Sunday, January 23, 2011

Goal Setting

I earned another $5 Amazon card from Swagbucks yesterday. That combined with my previous $5 gift card and the deal they had the other day to pay $10 for a $20 gift card means that I now have $30 towards Christmas shopping already! And it's not even a month into the year yet. To be honest, I never thought ahead to plan for Christmas. Which is funny because I am always making lists and plans. In the past, I have had good intentions of getting started early, but it just never happened. Well, this year it's happening and it feels great. And empowering.

In fact, I have many hopes and plans for this year.

*Make more things from scratch. For instance, why buy pancake mix when I can make killer, fluffy, whole-grain pancakes for a lot less? Why buy boxed mac and cheese when I can bake a savory homestyle mac and cheese with simple ingredients that I almost always have on hand?

*Start using more healthful and natural options for cleaning our home and our bodies. If I have to hold my breath while I'm cleaning to avoid coughing, then is it really something I should be spraying into the air to begin with? Probably not! I'm finding that for most things, wiping it down with water does the trick. I've also heard that vinegar is great for disinfecting, so I may use a combo of that and baking soda for the dirtier jobs (like the bathroom). I still haven't found a natural option for our cloth diapers that keeps them stink free... I keep going back to the Tide. Any suggestions?

*Stick to our budget and get out of debt. I am really liking the cash envelope for our budgeting system. It's working awesome for me so far, although I think that David might be having a bit of a hard time adjusting to it. It's hard to remember to grab a $20 for gas when we're so used to waiting until the last minute and then pulling out a card. The plus side is that I have cut out all impulse shopping. Like that quick trip to the coffee shop has been replaced with brewing coffee every morning and adding a scoop of hot chocolate. I got a huge can of cocoa for $5 at Costco, and if I want it creamier, I just add some milk or creamer. That can should last me a long time and it tastes just as good to me as buying a mocha. Only it feels even better because I have a goal to look forward to.

*Seek God's direction on where to go with my schooling, doula business, and/or finding ways to make money from home. This is one area I where I just don't know how to proceed. I finished my associate's degree last month with a 4.0, which I am extremely proud of. I am taking a bit of a break right now, as it was just getting to be too much with the cost of day care. Not to mention the stress of too much homework and having to scramble for backup care when the kids were sick. Which, when they were in day care happened quite a bit. As in, every week one of them had something. I am really enjoying being home with the kids and I would love to find something that I could do from home to bring in some income.

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