Monday, March 1, 2010

Resolution Review: Two Months In

Oh, I love how February is exactly four weeks long, and therefore the days in March are the same as days in February. Because here we are. Again, it's Monday AND the first of the month. So again, the perfect time for a another resolution review.

1. Get our finances in order. We are still doing well here. In terms of Torsten's business expenses, so far we've come in under or at budget for every item. I'm sure that down the road there will be something expensive that we hadn't thought about, but the careful planning for the items we did think about will allow us the padding to more easily absorb that issue when it does arise.

As far as personal expenditures go, we have done very well staying within budget. We actually came in $50 below budget for groceries this month, and I am incredibly happy about that. In terms of non-budgeted items, this month we purchased:
  • A pair of jeans for me, because mine are all getting too big ($19)
  • A pair of flip-flops for Torsten, because his broke ($3)
  • Prints of a few photos of Montana to send with a thank-you note to the inmate who trained her over Thanksgiving ($2)
  • Postage stamps ($9)
That brings us to a total of $33 in unexpected expenses this month. Now, I'm sure at some point some sort of major expensive catastrophe will occur, and we'll need to spend a ton of money on it. So, for now, it is awesome that we are managing to stick so closely to our budget. Hopefully, this will lessen the blow when something expensive breaks down the line. Overall, this month: WIN.

2. Start working on obtaining a child. Still not talking about this one here. In fact, I'm thinking generally I'm going to try not to talk about this one quite so much, or think about it quite so much. I think it's only making the waiting worse. I need to just move on, know that it will happen when the timing is right, and focus on other things in the meantime. We'll see how this goes.

3. Help Torsten advance in his career. Other than the obvious (becoming the sole breadwinner while he works to get his business off the ground), I'm also trying to help in small ways. I attend meetings with him. I track expenses in QuickBooks. I write white papers to post on the company website. I encourage him to work when he needs to without feeling guilty about it, and I also drag him outside for some exercise and fresh air occasionally. And I've taken on more of the regular household stuff so that he can focus on his company.

I actually don't mind most of it. I'm still struggling with figuring out the sacrifices that I am and am not comfortable with, but if there are things that aren't working for me, I'm still able to express them, and he's still open to hearing them. So, for now, this is good.

4. Spruce up the house. This is still mostly on hold, but we are planning on painting the room that was Torsten's office. We've figured out what we want to do, and hopefully in March we'll actually get started on picking paint colors and maybe even actually doing some painting.

5. Be more deliberate about our food. This is going AWESOME. We ate out once this month, again, and it was again with a business partner who paid for the dinner. Other than that, we're cooking. Lots of healthy delicious meals and even some organic ingredients and fruit. And we're under budget. I imagine that even once Torsten has an income again, we'll continue to be much more frugal with our grocery budget. It was enjoyable to do what we did before, shopping indiscriminately at Whole Foods and eating out whenever we wanted, and certainly we will relax the restrictions once we can afford to do so, but we were wasteful before, and there's no need to be like that again, no matter how much money we have.

So! Another successful month! I do think it's easier to focus on resolutions in the winter, though, when not much else is going on. We'll see how things progress as we move into spring. Which will be this month, right? Please tell me we'll see some spring weather this month. I mean, the groundhog saw his shadow. That means no early spring and instead six weeks more of winter. But that was almost four weeks ago! Only two weeks left of winter! RIGHT?


  1. So impressive! You guys are doing great. Cannot wait to hear when you start painting!

  2. Wow I'm really impressed with how well you guys are doing! And yes, I sure hope winter is over soon, because the neverending dreary days are starting to really get me down.

  3. Organic fruit and vegetables are not necessarily for healthy for you. If you're trying to save money, you should probably skip those.

  4. 2 more weeks of winter? I HOPE SO!

  5. Since you're eating at home a lot these days, do you have any good recipes to share? We're in a rut here -- we also eat at home every night -- and need some variety!

  6. The other nice thing about February being exactly 4 weeks is that it's a short winter months. I'd be so much sadder if we had a short summer month! =)

    Glad to see you're doing a pretty good job with sticking to your resolutions.

  7. nicely done! i opened a roth ira in february, which was something i'd been meaning to do for a while, so i felt all fiscally responsible after doing that :-)

  8. I've come to think that things do happen when you're not focusing on them quite as much.

    And SF had a beautiful spring day yesterday, so maybe we'll have another when you're out this way visiting.

  9. Yay for another successful month. Great work!

  10. I love what you said about grocery shopping because I feel like we are wasteful with our grocery budget just because we can be. It's such an awful leak in our otherwise steadfast budget! How are you guys keeping the groceries in check -- are you meal planning? weekly? monthly? I'm used to doing it weekly but feel like that might be contributing to those last minute Whole Foods stops and those are always an "In for one item out with ten" type of trip.