Sometimes I think if I run really fast - really really fast, the healthy budget accountability thing we started will just go away. But I know it is not going anywhere. I promised to share my journey and hopefully somewhere through this sharing will uncover some awesome tips and secrets for you. I also made a promise at a recent convention to Roger Barnett and thousands of Shaklee colleagues that we were committing to 100 days of amazing!
The number one tip and secret I still have is stop messing around and find your why, your purpose, your goals, your sticky factor. We can say it ten different ways and put a little spin on each of them. In the end, the only thing that keeps my mindfulness and plugging along is knowing where I am going with it all. More than that - -where my family is and can go with it all.
Time. Freedom. Balance. Flexibility. Travel. Adventures. Life. Health. Love.
Yep. There they are.
Time to enjoy, be present and share all the experiences my children are having. To get to as many games as I can. To explore a new interest of theirs with them. To challenge them to go out of their comfort zone and try new things. To be the hug and heart they need when things maybe aren't going so well. To be the ears to listen when they need to sounds off, talk through something, or shout with excitement about something cool that just happened to them.
Freedom to say yes. Freedom to say no. Freedom to say let me think about it. Freedom to explore.
Balance. The never ending balancing game. Life is never really balanced, but I want to move back and forth with it's unevenness with just a little more ease and give and take.
Flexibility goes right along with freedom. Let's move through life and know we will have to adapt and adjust and it may be uncomfortable, but we can do it.
Travel brings adventure on the small scale and the large scale. It shows you life. It allows you to grow as a person.
All of this plus so much more I can't put into words. I can just feel it. It is strong. It makes you think. What do I need? What do I value? What do I love?
Looking at our updated numbers from when we started this project and comparing and contrasting to just last year is eye opening. Where did that money even go? What food? In what body? With this new perspective, life is actually better - feeling more free, balanced, flexible, adventurous, fun and alive!
An update since June... (I can't believe I am 4 months behind!)
2014 Average Spending: $1550 per month
2015 May-October Average Spending: $845.50
This savings just seems flat out crazy to me AND it feels even crazier because I still think I am not trying very hard. The simple practice of being more mindful and planning (and my planning is VERY loose) makes a BIG difference.
Here are some little tips, I hope can just kick start you and make you think:
1. Decide WHY you want this!? Retire early. Travel More. Purchase your dream home. Eat at home more because you know it is HEALTHIER. Pay for college without stressing. Donate to your favorite charity. The list can go one. DREAM. Dream BIG!
2. Experiment at different stores. I do most of my shopping now at Walmart. Yes. Walmart. But I will pop into Publix and do a walk through for sales and when I can I will get to Trader Joes and stock up on some favorites. Whole Foods is now a treat.
3. Paleo friends, don't kill me... Eat vegetarian a couple times a week or for my paleo friends, take a look at your meat portion compared to your healthy fat or veggie portion. No, you don't need that much meat.
4. Frozen fruits and vegetables are great especially in the colder winter days where we want a hot meal. Stir fry, add to the crockpot, throw in the blender.
5. When you dine out, you do not need the appetizer, main course, dessert AND beverage(s)! Is it the food making the experience or the people with you making the memory? Narrow it down to at least 2 of those. Depending on where you are, you may even be able to split a meal and then enjoy an extra drink. Or enjoy 1 drink and then make the rest at home and enjoy time with friends and family at home rather than in a restaurant.
6. Bring a water bottle with you. Fill it up at home and travel with it. You do not need to be buying plastic filled water bottles or soda or any other energy type fancy drink.
7. Make your coffee and tea at home and do you really need the Keurig cups? Sell it. Go buy a very inexpensive French Press and enjoy the coffee experience. Yes, you will have to wait a little longer then a push of the button, but you will actually taste it and enjoy it in addition to saving tons. The time it actually takes you to heat the water and have it sit in the press is the time it takes you to stand (or sit) in line at Starbucks.
8. Eat Real Food for goodness sake. The granola bar, cereal or the prepackage microwavable dinner may seem cheaper at the moment, but it is not filling or satisiying and forget about how nutrient void it is. You will get full and feel more satisfied by eating some whole food goodness instead and your health will thank you AND you wallet will thank you when you are not sitting in the doctors office for a sick visit or online at the pharmacy.
9. Your kids (and you) do not need to eat every hour. Follow tip 8 with them. I know it is not easy, but who is the parent. They are not starving. Feed them their nice 3 nutritious meals and 2 balanced snacks (maybe 3) and call it. An apple and hummus will fill them up way more than a granola bar or handful of fish. Couple the fish with a cheese stick or some almonds and have them drink some good old H20 and then go tell them to play. ;-)
That is all I have for today. Give it a try. Shake it up. Not just for one day. Try for an entire month and actually track it. Look at the numbers. Go ahead you can do it. I was a little more forward and direct today, but I think we all need that sometimes. Cut the fluff and let's talk real and then...
Let's DREAM. Dream BIG!
Have an amazing day!