Posts Tagged ‘Time’

November Goals

In Uncategorized on November 4, 2009 at 10:49 am

I’ve got to post an update on my No Spend Month for October and where I failed to keep to those goals, or where I succeeded, but I’ll have to do that once I tally everything up. I just haven’t had enough free minutes to do it yet.

In the meantime, I thought I would post a few goals I have for this month. Most are financial, since I’m trying to keep this blog directed in that realm of my life.

November Financial Goals:

– Make 50% of my Christmas gifts by November 30th.
– Decrease debt by $1000.
– Come under budget this month.
– Save money into tax account for small business.

There are only four goals, but I think I can reach them all. I’ve included making my Christmas gifts under financial goals because it really is a financial goal for me. By making my Christmas gifts, I am keeping out of the malls and stores and will be saving overall on my Christmas spending. I’ve gotten a bit sentimental in the last little while and making everyone individualized gifts really means something to me. I want my loved ones to have something thoughtful and useful as their gift this year. This season is about giving, and for me it is about giving time to our loved ones as well. Being together and cherishing the memories will be my focus for Christmas this year instead of the material items. Handmade gifts will hopefully have more meaning to everyone on my list.

This post got a little sidetracked from ‘financial goals’ to ‘Christmas’ but hey, there are only 50 days left!

Menu Planning

In Uncategorized on October 21, 2009 at 10:43 am

Menu Planning – it seems to be a popular thing to do. Do you do it? I don’t.

But maybe I should start?

The few things I would need to overcome:

1. Our schedules are not regular. Like, at all. Hubby is away several days a week. We are often not at home on the weekends on sporadic events at friends places, etc, usually only planned at the last minute.

2. When hubby’s away, I rarely eat meat. But when he’s home, he works from home and will cook the meals, often on a ‘whatever-he-feels-like-having’ plan with frequent trips to the grocer with ‘pick-up-what-he’s-missing-for-his-meal’ lists.

I think it would be hard to follow any sort of ‘plan’ I make up on a weekly basis if hubby was throwing it all away when he decided he wanted to make a big roast on Thursday that week. What would I do with my fresh channa curry ingredients since we’d be out all weekend and not have a chance to make it? Would it all go to waste?

What works for you?

Maybe I will try it out for two weeks and see how things go. Maybe hubby will be convinced its a good idea once we get into the routine. I’m just afraid it will impeded his ‘creativity’ in the kitchen – he’s an AWESOME cook and I love when he whips us up an amazing dish. Mmmmm… hungry now!

A phenomenon in the blogosphere is ‘Menu Plan Monday‘. Every Monday I started to see posts titled Menu Plan Monday. I just thought everyone planned their menus for the week that day because the flyers came out and we knew what was on sale, or for some other unknown to me reason. I just did a search on my Swagbucks, and found out that I guess it is actually something that was organized by Laura at ‘I’m an Organizing Junkie‘. Here’s her menu plan for this week.

I’ll keep you posted on our Menu Planning progress. I’d love to hear how you plan out your weeks meals and grocery shopping. For our grocery shopping, we have a list we post on the fridge of our most commonly purchased items, organized in order by their appearance in the grocery store. When we notice we are out of an item, we check it off the list to make sure we pick it up next time we are out. It works really well for making sure we always have our staples in the house. Things like flour, eggs, butter, coffee…


In Uncategorized on October 10, 2009 at 8:00 am

My dates of debt repayment according to my current plan are as follows:

May 2010 – Credit Card #1
Feb 2011 – Credit Card #2
Jan 2013 – Credit Card #3 (LOC)

DEBT FREE DAY (D-DAY): January 2013

If I increase the amount I repay per month by $40, I can move the dates forward like so:

May 2010 – Credit Card #1
Jan 2011 – Credit Card #2
Oct 2012 – Credit Card #3 (LOC)

DEBT FREE DAY: October 2012

My hopes are that my salary will be going up in four months allowing me to increase my monthly debt reduction payment by $340 in total. This would get me out of debt by:

Feb 2010 – Credit Card #1
Aug 2010 – Credit Card #2
Nov 2011 – Credit Card #3 (LOC)

DEBT FREE DAY: November 2011

I’ve decided that I definitely need to move my debt free day up to November 2011, especially if we would like to start our family next year.

Now, keep in mind this payment plan does not include any snowflakes or additional payments I make. Every month I make additional payments on my debt from any income I bring in from my side-hustle (part-time small business). These make a significant impact on my debt reduction and every month I play with the plan (you can use the same spreadsheet as me, found here) adjusting the dates, interest rates, and balances. It is motivating to see the numbers change, the balances go down and the interest rates go down as I re-negotiate my credit card accounts and transfer balances as needed.

Should we still retire?

In Uncategorized on July 7, 2009 at 9:56 am

I’ve had some independent thoughts provoked from an interesting article posted by Adam Baker of Man Vs. Debt over on on retirement.

You can read the article here.

This is interesting. I’ve always thought about retirement as simply a milestone marking the end of one career and the beginning of another. I know I will never stop working. Never. I love to be busy! I have a million and one things going on at all times, and it drives my husband nuts. But this is what keeps me going: having lots to do!

Chances are, I will keep busy once I finish my current career with another self-employed career. In fact, I am growing a small business as we speak in anticipation of going on maternity leave. When I’m off on leave I will also be dedicating more time to my own business.

And of course to raising a child… 😉

Never one to stay still for more than a few minutes at a time, I place value on my hours by the activities that fill them. The quality of the activities is gauged by the importance I put on them. For example, time spent with family and friends has more importance than time spent doing housework. But, housework has much more value than reading a book. Except if I am in need of some time to myself, in which case I may place more importance on self-care than house-care. Moreover, reading a book is intrinsically more valuable than watching TV.

SIDENOTE: I’ve stopped watching idle TV! It’s amazing how much time I have.

So you can see I weigh out all my options for how I spend my time.

Will retirement provide more time to be carefully measured out into valuable activities? For certain. Will that time be spent idly? Doubtful. Will that time be spent earning money? Most likely. If I enjoy something, and can make an earning doing it, I will probably choose that activity to fill my days.

Have I formulated a good idea here in this blog post… not so sure. Maybe I am just rambling. But this was time well spent because it has me thinking about the future.

Time Management

In Uncategorized on June 16, 2009 at 11:03 pm

the past few weeks I’ve had a terrible time trying to focus. Every time I sit down to a task, I find a million other little ones that need to be done right. now. Then by the time I get my initial task completed, it was three times the amount of time it should have taken! This little nasty habit applies not only to my personal life, but my work life too.

After reading a great post by Gail Vaz Oxlade, I took her advice. Of my long list of things to do, I grabbed my pink highlighter and pinpointed three that were ABSOLUTE must-dos for today. Then, after checking my email, I closed my email, the internet, and turned off my phone ringer. Anything that was absolutely critical could wait until noon today. By the end of the day, not only did I get those three things DONE, but I also got a few other ‘extras’ crossed off my list too. That felt really good. I felt accomplished. And efficient.

I’m a lover of lists, but to prioritize them like that really was a new tool to add to my toolbox for time management. The ‘Highlighter’ Trick.

Another technique to use, especially if you are susceptible to the ’email-checking-every-10-minutes-and-replying-right-away’ monster is to schedule when you will check and respond to email. A training course I once went to suggested checking your email three times a day. First thing in the morning, once at noon and then again at 3:15. If anyone needs answers from you at another time during the day, they pick up the phone and call. It does your prioritizing for you! Fantastic.