Tag: Goals

Check in on your Finances

January Budget – Are we on track on need a restart?

We made it to 2021 and it’s time to dust off this article from last year and see what updates we can make and try to get everyone on track and in a good position to make better financial decisions this year. Why not keep more money in your pocket? Food prices are expected to soar upwards of 30%. It’s important to keep our costs at a minimum and save where and when we can.

We all start the first of the year with good intentions of saving money and getting on track but the truth of the matter is we are setting ourselves up for failure. The holidays kick everyone in the pocketbook regardless of income. Everyone overspent, many people got cheques early, banking days and automatic payments were mixed up due to the holidays and whatever budget you once had was dead by January 3rd. That’s why we don’t start off with a budget at the first of the year in posts, we wait until a bit down the road. January we need to learn what saving strategies there are, and get our butt in gear to get things on track.

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Here is where I am:

Swagbucks – It’s only the 2nd of the month and I have around 612 Swagbucks, I am waiting until 775 to trade it in for a $10 Amazon Gift Card. You earn Swagbucks from shopping from home, doing surveys, searches and more. The total lifetime total is 148,407 SB.

52 Week Challenge– I have a whopping $1 saved

I have $10 in Gift Cards in the Gift Card Challenge (I purchased a $10 Sobeys) When I am in a store, I just grab something and put them in a ziplock bag in the safe; if you don’t have a safe use a drawer that won’t be accessed by others. I really didn’t “miss” the money.

Requested to increase our mortgage payment by $50 per month (It took 2 years off a 10-year mortgage)

I rolled over 112 Cash miles and 3080 Dream Miles on our AirMiles.

I scored 14409 PC Optimum Points (Regular grocery & Gas)

Caddle is $1.60 this month ($261.55 lifetime), Checkout 51 is $7.59 (lifetime of $1183.31) and Coin out $6.62

Meal Planning

It is a great thing to try even if it is your first time, dig deep in that freezer and let’s get that stuff out and get fresh inventory in there. My kids have even adopted a resolution of “trying things” or knowing you can eat around what you don’t like so instead of saying I don’t like that dish because say they see peas, they try all of the dishes and just don’t eat the peas, however, I did notice there were no peas left.

I set up a meal plan for the rest of the week, working with what we had in the house and I made my grocery list today which consisted of needing baby spinach, mushrooms and sour cream. I was gifted some Epicure for Christmas from my friend Dana so we were going to try some of those dishes. Start with your proteins or meats and then find your sides, it doesn’t have pretty. I know we struggle sometimes to get those veggies in but a handful of this or that can be all you need.

Today consisted of Chicken Parmesan over egg noodles. I got the Chicken sauce for Christmas and I checked the ingredients and all I needed was baby spinach, we had the milk and I had got the boneless chicken or 1/2 price the other day so we cut it up before it was cooked. Devyn took an interest and decided to cook the egg noodles to go with the chicken Parmesan. Today’s supper cost approximately $2.50 per serving.

Tomorrow’s supper is beef (they don’t know it’s venison) & broccoli (It was $0.99 a head) and gravy (2/$1.25 at Dollarama) over mashed potatoes ($2.00) and baby carrots (free) which would be $0.90 per serving.

Pork (Got it preseasoned & 50% off before the holidays paying $3.50) Pita’s with mushrooms ($1.00) and veggies & Almonds ( $2.50 Sets with broccoli, carrots, baby tomato, almonds and cheese were 50%) which is $1.75 per serving.

Beef (Venison) Stroganoff over egg noodles – Mushrooms $1.00, Egg Noodles $1.00, Sourcream $2.50 which is $1.13 per person.

Donair loaf (made with venison prior to freezing) with sauce (Can milk, vinegar and sugar) and rice for $2.50 which is $0.63 per person.

Special Potatoes (Cut potatoes in bite size pieces place them in a bowl, place the oil of choice, such as olive or corn, sprinkle in whatever spices are fun in your cupboard, salt pepper, garlic, etc stir up and then place potatoes in the oven on 400 for 30-40 minutes until crispy), Corn and Chops (Chops are from our pig) which is $0.75 per person

Left Over Night – Check the fridge and freezer and whatever is in leftover containers is what it is. Might be a slice of pizza, 2 fish sticks, baby carrots, corn, beans, bologna, bacon

The Bills

I have started the list. If you have not this is the time to start. You need to list all your expenses, right down to your bank fees, if you are paying interest how much, and if you are making payments how many do you have left? How much are they a month? Make a list of all of those things you pay, how frequently, and how much. You need to set a goal! How much do you want to save this year? Is there something you want to pay off early? Write it down so we can get started!

These are just the things I could check quickly. How are you doing so far? Let us know in the comments.