Our decision to downsize is not an easy one, after all, we live in a conservative 2-bedroom, 1,069 square foot apartment that has a somewhat awkward living/dining room floor plan.
Before coming to this decision, I did what I do best...made some lists! A pro vs con, an if we move vs if we stay, how much money we'd save & what we'd put it towards, and a few other ones. They all intermingled with each other, but we did it anyways knowing it helped solidify our decision.
Raise your hand if you have allowed yourself to fall prey to emotional eating?
(**sheepishly raises hand**)
Countless times I have let stress of work get to me where I come home and order a pizza and drink one too many beers. I've gone to work without packing a lunch... I mean, c'mon Kara, that is a recipe for disaster! Can you say drive thru??
So, how can you remove emotional eating from the equation
Coinsurance. Co-pays. Deductibles. Explanation of Benefits. Out of pocket expenses.
These words can be quite confusing, especially when the bills start coming in.
Wouldn't it be much easier if you got one bill for a surgery? Instead, you get the hospital bill, the anesthesiologist bill, the doctor bill...am I missing anything?!
No one likes to fail.
Failing hurts your soul - or at least it does mine.
No one likes to advertise failure.
And by writing this now, I have not only failed, but I am advertising my failure.
Mark was born a beautiful, healthy 7 pounds 15 ounces on August 14, 2016; one day after his due date. After you give birth, your pediatrician will come to the hospital the day the baby is born and then every day you are in the hospital. When our doctor came to visit Mark, she almost told us immediately that we would not be able to do the circumcision while in the hospital. Why? Well, she felt that the bottom of Mark's penis was shorter than normal. She said that was nothing to worry about, we would simply revisit at his 2 month check up.
You can Google all the amazing benefits that breastfeeding offers - antibodies that aid in fighting off viruses and bacteria, lowers the risk of allergies, fewer ear infections, and the very obvious one, it's free!
Our journey in breastfeeding was a rocky one until we went to a lactation consultant. That 2 hour appointment was life-changing. Seriously! It became less painful, never bloody again and a very enjoyable time for me. We made it 4 months of exclusive breastfeeding. We had to begin supplementing with formula when my efforts to pump did not offer us enough food for his time in daycare. I would breastfeed weekday mornings and evenings and every weekend. Then use formula and any breastmilk we had at daycare.
I then stopped pumping about a month ago. So it was straight formula while at daycare and then I would nurse all other times - nights and weekends.
To all you moms that I secretly scoffed at, I’m SORRY!
I get it now.
After 36 hours of wearing the same spit-up ridden shirt, pajama pants that have missed one too many laundry days and not wearing a bra in order to have easy access to feed my sick child, I get it!
In the confines of my own home, I would say, “I do not understand how these women forget to shower. How do you FORGET to shower?”
That, coupled with, “How in the world do you forget to brush your teeth. C’mon, SOMEONE is being a little overdramatic.”
How many of you have heard of the 52 week money challenge?
You put $1 in for week one, $2 for week two, up until you get to $52 for week 52. By the end of the 52 week money challenge, you should have $1,378. I tried that a few years back and did not have good success. At the beginning of the challenge I did good, but then I got to the higher dollar amounts and failed miserably.
One of these years I will complete the 52 week money challenge, but this year, I am doing what I said in my post about my goals. I am setting a realistic goal. If I say I'm going to do the 52 week money challenge, but I already know I'm not going to succeed, why even do it. I need to be realistic.
So I present to you the 365 day penny challenge. The premise is similar to the 52 week money challenge, except here it's every day and is in pennies.
Day 1 you save .01¢, day 2 you save .02¢ until you get to day 365 where you save $3.65. Month one you will save a total of $5.59 and month twelve is the most you will save in one month at $108.50. The total you will have by the end of the year is $668.58.
Now there are several different ways you can track your progress. I thought about creating a cutesy little jar to put my money in, but since I did not have anything available to me at home, I decided to use what I have. Why spend money when the point is me trying to save money.
OPTION 1: I've created the below excel spreadsheet. There are two tabs to choose from. The first one shows you exactly what you should save each day. The second tab gives you the day of the month and a space for you to fill in what amount you saved that day. Who knows, maybe on the day you are supposed to save $1, you have $3. Save the $3, and get that higher amount out of the way.
OPTION 2: Use the HUB app. This is what I am doing. Dustin and I happened upon the HUB app one day. It is an app you and your family can download. You can then create lists and within each list task items. If I update the HUB app, Dustin gets a notification, and vice versa. To say we LOVE it is an understatement. It took me about 15 minutes to create the list called 365 Day Penny Challenge and then a single task item for every single day. When I put change in my jar, I mark that day off the list. So far I have 327 days left out of 365. So I am about a month ahead of schedule.
Below is a screen shot of the HUB app. The left picture shows all of our lists. As you can see, we have a lot of lists. We use this app for everything, and if we don't put something on the list, chances are we are going to forget about that item. Then the second picture is when you select a list. Within each list you can enter a task. I entered 365 tasks within this list. Every time I put change in my jar, I mark it off the list.
I am very excited about this little money challenge. This alone will help me gain momentum towards goal #6 of saving $2000 in 2017!
I will plan on doing a quarterly check-in for this challenge to hold myself accountable and all of you that are doing this along with me! We got this! Let's end the year with $668.58 in our pockets!
At the end of every month I like to sit down and evaluate my progress I made in the gym for that month. My review of December was bad. I was sick. I had visitors. I didn’t give my full effort. Do you want to know how many leg days I finished out of my 5 planned leg days? None. [**hangs head in shame**]
I did not give December all my effort, and for that I am disappointed in myself. No, I’m not counting my missed gym days due to me being sick. I have to remember first and foremost that I am still my sons main food source, so I have to take care of me first so that I can give him life.
But, what’s done is done. No sense in fretting over what should’ve been. There is only learning from the past and moving on.
What did I learn? That I need to not let an excuse of I’m too tired or I have a guest in town stop me from spending my one hour five days a week at the gym. I can do that! Next lesson learned? Don’t skip leg day. Seriously. If you’ve never Googled “never skip leg day meme” you will see a lot of pictures of people who skip leg day. I don’t want to become the next viral meme. I kid, but not really.
This January I plan on giving every single ounce of effort. I will NOT miss a workout unless I am physically unable to. My goal is to, immediately after Mark goes to bed at 6 p.m., hightail it to the gym. Going at that time is by far my least favorite time to hit the gym. It’s always the most packed. But, I will not let that be my next excuse to miss going to the gym.
This month I plan on doing the following workouts:
If you head on over to my fitness page here, you will find a excel document version of my workout sheet for January 2017. Feel free to print this out and follow along my workouts.
If planning your workouts one month in advance seem too tedious or time consuming, or even overwhelming, take it a week at a time. Determine what days you are going to the gym and have an idea of what you are going to work. For me, having a plan is half the battle. There’s no guess work, and I thrive better that way.
Every month this year I plan on doing an update of the past month alongside my goals for the following month. Let’s start this year strong and end it even stronger!
We got this!
Hi there! I'm Kara, of taking KARA myself! I've dabbled in blogging off and on for a while now. Mostly off. But I'm trying to change that and make a dent in this side of the world wide web. Enjoy!