Live Life More Fully! Light the Candles

Live Life More Fully! Light the Candles

Live life more fully! That’s what I plan to do this year. I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions and I wrote a post about that recently, why I believe goals and priorities are more important and achievable. However I do think that the beginning of a new year is the best time to assess and evaluate your goals and priorities – so whatever you want to call it, goal or resolution – one of my biggest this year is to live life more fully. I don’t mean take lots of trips to exotic locales or do anything wild and crazy, but to take more joy in the small moments.

Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.

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Forget Resolutions! Free 2017 Goals & Priorities Planner

Forget Resolutions! Free 2016 Goals and Priorities Planner

I’m a strong believer in making goals but statistics show that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year’s Resolutions. On the other hand you are much more likely to be successful if you have written down specific, measurable goals that you regularly review. That doesn’t sound too difficult does it?

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Forget Resolutions! Free 2016 Goals & Priorities Planner

Forget  Resolutions! Free 2016 Goals and Priorities Planner

I’m a strong believer in making goals but statistics show that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year’s Resolutions. On the other hand you are much more likely to be successful if you have written down specific, measurable goals that you regularly review. That doesn’t sound too difficult does it?

Part of the problem we all seem to have with resolutions is that we make them so broad – lose weight, get organized, save more, get fit, fall in love. The trick is to take those broad goals and break them down into chunks that are more easily achievable. For example, instead of “lose weight” the goal could be to “lose 15 pounds by May”. That gives you five months to achieve the overall goal and at only three pounds per month it seems so much easier to achieve, plus when you reach each of those smaller milestones you’re more motivated to continue on and reach the final goal.

Setting life goals and personal goals doesn’t have to be a chore and it really isn’t difficult if you have the right tools.

Forget  Resolutions! Free 2016 Goals & Priorities Planner

Download the 2016 Goals & Priorities Planner

This free downloadable 2016 Goals and Priorities Planner will help you to easily record and keep track of your priorities and personal goals so that you can achieve them. Think about the things that are most important to you and your life in 2016 and record them on the main page of your goal planner. It’s best to plan on no more than 20 attainable goals for the year so you won’t feel overwhelmed.

Forget  Resolutions! Free 2016 Goals & Priorities Planner

Download the 2016 Goals & Priorities Planner

Next, break down your main goals into monthly chunks and record the goals on the monthly pages. Beside each of the goals you want to accomplish for the month put in the tasks that will help you accomplish those monthly goals. For example, if I want to lose 15 pounds by May, I’d put “lose 3 pounds” on my January sheet and for the tasks needed to accomplish that goal I’d put in “walk or exercise 5 days a week, keep track of my food intake, and eat healthier meals”. Once you attain a goal be sure to mark it with a “Y” in the right hand column and that will keep you motivated to continue working on the others.

Consult your 2016 Goals & Priorities Planner at least once a month to see where you are in meeting your goals and adjust them accordingly. Now that you have recorded yours goals and priorities and the steps it will take to attain them it will be so much easier to stay on track and accomplish all the things that you want to in 2016.

Download the 2016 Goals & Priorities Planner

Final Numbers for June – Saved $310.40

June-at-a-Glance

We are right in the middle of moving across state lines to be closer to my parents so we’ve been eating from the freezer and stockpile quite a bit this month, but I was still surprised to come in so far below my monthly budget of $300! For the month of June I spent $80.11 to buy $390.51 worth of groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, or a savings of 79%! According to the spreadsheet I’ve spent $802.58 so far this year for $3,220.48 worth of stuff, or 75% off. That equates to an average of $134 per month for our family of six, or 74¢ a day per person! Of course I’ll need to start stocking up the freezers again once the move is finally over, but it feels good to be keeping expenses down right now while we’re having all these additional moving costs.

Final Numbers for March – Saved $494.69

glance_0313

We’ve been eating from the freezer and stockpile quite a bit this month, but I was still surprised to come in so far below my monthly budget of $300! For the month of March I spent $182.43 to buy $677.12 worth of groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, or a savings of 73%! According to the spreadsheet I’ve spent $500.50 so far this year for $1,975.52 worth of stuff, or 75% off. That equates to an average of $167 per month for our family of six, or 93¢ a day per person!

End of the Year Numbers & 2013 Goals

glance_2013

Here is my year at a glance for 2012 – I’m very proud of these numbers and excited to share, but honestly I’m looking forward to beating them in 2013! I’d like to thank Angela at The Coupon Project again for putting the spreadsheet together that I’m using. I’d highly recommend that you download Angela’s new updated version of the savings tracker spreadsheet for my favorite price – free!

This year I bought $10,582.20 worth of products for only $2,584.30, or 76% off. Take a look at the ‘coupons’ and ‘discounts’ columns and you’ll see that less than half of the $6,763.02 that I saved was from coupons and the majority was from sales. That shows that you can save 30-50% without clipping a single coupon if you simply buy things when they’re on sale, and buy enough to keep you until the next sale. So how much you want to save and how much time you want to spend are completely up to you, but you CAN do this!

For 2012 I set a budget of $300 per month for our family of seven, plus two cats and a dog. That’s $69/week ($3,600/52 weeks) or $10 per person, which I felt was reasonable and still allowed for some room in the budget to expand the stockpile. I’m thrilled and more than a little surprised that I actually spent an average of $50/week for all of 2012! Even though that’s just a little over $7 per week per person, I’m still going to keep the budget at $3,600 for the new year, $300 per month or around $70 a week. The kids are growing fast and seem to be eating more every day so I hesitate to lower the goal at this point. Considering that I used to spend around $325-350 a WEEK, I’m very excited to know that we can easily live with a grocery budget of just $300 a month!

End of the Year Numbers & 2012 Goals

Here is my year at a glance for 2011 – I’m very proud of these numbers and excited to share, but honestly I’m looking forward to beating them in 2012!  I’d like to thank Angela at The Coupon Project again for putting the spreadsheet together that I’m using.  I’d highly recommend that you download Angela’s new updated version of the savings tracker spreadsheet for my favorite price – free!

This year we bought $14,010.39 worth of products for only $2,933.86, or 80% off. Take a look at the ‘coupons’ and ‘discounts’ columns and you’ll see that the $11,154.58 that we saved was approximately half from coupons and half from sales. That shows that you can save 30-50% without clipping a single coupon if you simply buy things when they’re on sale, and buy enough to keep you until the next sale. So how much you want to save and how much time you want to spend are completely up to you, but you CAN do this!

For 2011 we set a budget of $375 per month for our family of seven, plus two cats, one dog, and 11 fish. That’s $87/week ($4,500/52 weeks) or $12 per person, which we felt was reasonable and would maybe even allow us some room in the budget to expand our stockpile.  I’m thrilled and more than a little surprised that we’ve actually spent an average of just $56/week for all of 2011! Even though that’s just a little over $8 per week per person, I’m going to budget $3,600 for the new year, $300 per month or around $70 a week. That will provide us a little bit of a cushion and will allow for occasional “splurges”, plus it’s 20% lower than last year’s budget. Considering that we used to spend around $325-350 a WEEK, I’m super excited to know that we can easily live within our new monthly budget of only $300 a month!

I’m also very excited to be participating in the Boost Your Budget Pantry Challenge in January where we’ll be eating as much as possible from our freezer and stockpile and keeping our shopping expenses to a bare minimum so we can start the year out right with lots of room to spare in the monthly budget!  Please join us in January if you’d like to do the same!

News Years Goals and Resolutions

I love this time of year – I enjoy making a list of my resolutions and goals for the new year, and taking stock of how I did on last year’s.  I’ll write up a list of personal, financial, blog and business goals and keep it in the front of my calendar so it’s easily accessible, and I’ll make a point of taking the list out and reading it a few times during the year.  That way I can make sure I’m on track and hopefully see how well I’m doing on the list.

Here are a few of the highlights from my list for 2011:

  • Get more organized!  (seems like this makes the list every year)
  • Live within a household budget of $375 per month.
  • Lose 10 pounds, five before Blissdom 😉  (also on the list every year!)
  • Pay off all credit card debt.
  • Complete my masters degree (hopefully by summer).
  • I also plan to bring you all more tips and strategies, and lots of fabulous giveaways!

So what are your goals and resolutions for 2011?  Do you have a list?  Remember, if you aim at nothing you will hit it!

End of the Year Numbers & 2011 Goals

Here is my year at a glance for 2010 – I’m very proud of these numbers and am happy to share, but honestly I can’t believe how easy it was.  I’d never kept track like this before this year and I’d like to thank Angela at The Coupon Project again for putting the spreadsheet together that I’m using.  I’d highly recommend that you download Angela’s new updated version of the savings tracker spreadsheet for my favorite price – free!

This year we bought $15,249.05 worth of products for only $3,743.84, or 75% off.  Take a look at the ‘coupons’ and ‘discounts’ columns and you’ll see that the $11,510.21 that we saved was approximately half from coupons and half from sales.  That shows that you can save 30-50% without clipping a single coupon if you simply buy things when they’re on sale, and buy enough to keep you until the next sale.  So how much you want to save and how much time you want to spend are completely up to you, but you CAN do this!

For 2010 we set a budget of $500 per month for our family of seven, plus two cats, one dog, and five hermit crabs (sadly, there are no more sea monkeys). That’s $115/week ($6,000/52 weeks) or $16 per person, which we felt was reasonable and would maybe even allow us some room in the budget to expand our stockpile.  I’m thrilled and more than a little surprised that we’ve actually spent an average of $72/week for all of 2010!  Even though that’s just a little over $10 per week per person, I’m going to budget $4,500 for the new year, $375 per month or around $86 a week.  That will provide us a little bit of a cushion and will allow for occasional “splurges”, plus it’s 25% lower than last year’s budget.  Considering that we used to spend around $325-350 a WEEK, I’m super excited to know that we can easily live within our new monthly budget of only $375 a month!