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Home > september budget, free food extravaganza continues

september budget, free food extravaganza continues

September 2nd, 2015 at 12:07 pm

The total of my two August paychecks was $2035.09, so that's how much I have to budget for September if I follow the YNAB way. I've already received my landline/DSL bill (87.97, a little more than last month) and my electric bill (39.80, much less than last month because I was away for a bit). Those will get automatically paid at some point early in the month. I have estimates for my other monthly bills and have assigned budget amounts to variable categories (food, gas, entertainment, etc.).

I'm not contributing to any "savings" accounts this month because I want to cash flow (I think I finally understand this term that many SA bloggers use!) my property taxes and my pre-buy heating oil as much as possible, although I will most likely need to pull some funds out of savings to cover those costs completely. After this month, I will budget a certain amount a month for the next year for both of those categories. I also budgeted $500 in September towards my bathroom renovation debt.

Entertainment will be higher this month than last. I'm thinking about attending a local barn concert ($20) on Labor Day and a charity bike ride with some friends the following weekend ($25 to participate plus possible camping/lodging expenses if we stay overnight). Both excursions would be fun and worth the money.

A work colleague of mine is transitioning from retirement from her current job to becoming a life coach. During her training she offered discounted coaching sessions, so I decided to try it out. We worked together for a few months, mostly by phone. One of the terms she used was "sparkly moments" and I've been keeping that in mind recently as I decide how to use my time and money. I can get caught in major ruts of sleeping late, going to work, overworking, going home, watching tv shows on my computer while eating crappy food, falling asleep sitting up, then wash, rinse, and repeat the next day. Yikes, I'm almost embarrassed to type that. So, I'm attempting to think about and plan "sparkly moments" here and there because time is flying by and this is my life! The barn concert and the bike ride excursion will be two such moments if I decide to commit to them.

I've been part of a knitting group for about 15 years, although I don't knit! We take turns hosting once a month, share potluck food, socialize, and knit or do other needlework, if desired. We don't usually meet in the summer, but I suggested that we get together in late August at a local lakeside state park. Seven of us were available last evening, so we had a potluck picnic, swam and chatted for a few hours after work. I got there early and took a walk to squeeze in some exercise. It was a great time! My potluck creation was a mixture of white basmati rice and tricolor quinoa (both from my pantry) with steamed zucchini and kale (both free), chopped scallions (already in my fridge) with a shiitake/ginger bottled dressing that I had on hand. Cheap and yummy! I also took some apples from my tree. We're having a heat wave, so an evening at the lake with friends was perfect and definitely a sparkly moment.

One topic of conversation was upcoming travel and I found out that almost everyone has an interesting trip planned in the near future. Cuba, Italy, Costa Rica, and New Zealand were some of the destinations. I realized that I want to travel, but always put it off - nobody to go with, too expensive (but not bothering to budget and save for it), etc. I did start to look at active group trips recently, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that option. I used to be a bike tour leader in my 20s and have never seen myself as a "group tour person". I'll have to think about and explore that option some more because I really do want to experience more of the world.

On another topic, I got more free food this week!
From a work colleague:
Cherry tomatoes

From another work colleague:

Leftovers from a work event in my building:
3 sesame bagels, cream cheese
Watermelon and cantaloupe slices
A bit of grilled chicken

From a neighbor:
Bunch of kale
6 small pears
Cherry tomatoes
A few tomatoes

And I have a tree full of many, many small apples (I think they are McIntosh), so I've been enjoying those as snacks and I want to make some apple sauce.

I technically could get by with no food shopping this week, but I'm going to stop at my local food co-op after work to get some organic green grapes and whole wheat wraps on sale. I hope I can stick to my tiny list! :/

My light healthy eating and regular exercising continues! I did indulge a bit at last night's picnic, but am right back on track today. I'd like to be able to enjoy special events knowing that I can return quickly to light eating rather than making indulging the norm, as it often is, or completely forgoing all treats, which is no fun.

I walked for an hour with my friend A this morning and have a massage this afternoon. Back to work!

3 Responses to “september budget, free food extravaganza continues”

  1. snafu Says:

    Free food is wonderful and I hope you'll write out a plan to use it all. I've no idea how adventurous you feel about food but Moroccan stew uses many of the items from your list with a bunch of spices like cinnamon, clove, cumin, garlic, paprika and a can of beans. It's served over rice, cous cous [quinoa] as preferred.

    Do you like the idea of joining a bike tour?

  2. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I get into a similar rut. It's easy to do, especially when you don't live with someone else. Even though I'm in a relationship, we only see each other 2x a week most weeks, so the majority of my week is spent alone. I try to find free or inexpensive things to do which add joy (or sparkly) to my life when I can.

  3. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Sparkly moments is so true because life isn't a dress rehearsal and when we do things monotonously day in day out, all of a sudden that's what life begins to feel like. "I'll do this when I have free time/money/the right friendship or relationship (depending on the situation)" and then all of a sudden five years has gone past in the blink of an eye! So keep your colleagues advice and regularly plan your sparkly moments and schedule in those indulgences (as you know, they are not all expensive)

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