Monday, April 11, 2011

Budget Update and Count the Value Month

(Image Credit)
Over the weekend I enjoyed my time at my women's retreat. I have to admit that I wasn't ready to come back to daily life just yet, but I never am after these retreats. They're so uplifting.

Nevertheless, today it's life as usual. I volunteered at Gleaner's this morning in the child care area and ended up taking the kids with me this time. William screamed half the time, as did Charlotte. At least my kids were the only ones in there for most of the time so they weren't really bothering anyone. I'll be heading back there this afternoon to do my shopping, as well as stopping by the bank to get this month's cash out for our envelopes.

Although I haven't turned it in yet, I finished the "Count the Value" sheet that Gleaner's handed out for the month of March. Once a year we count 4 weeks' worth of what we get at Gleaner's and calculate the value. We also add up what we spent on groceries outside of Gleaner's. It's always amazing to see how God provides for us through this program. We got about $200 worth of used clothing and boots and $395 worth of food and household items. We spent $50 out of pocket for our dues, then an additional $115.27 at the grocery store. We actually used up the surplus from the previous month as well due to buying seeds and soil for our container garden, which I'm still hoping gives us a good crop later in the summer, but since that was something other than groceries, I didn't count it in our total. So far, the plants aren't huge, but they're still alive. That's a plus!

Our budget still seems to be going well. Aside from our budgeted cash envelopes, we've only done a few dollars here and there for some dollar burgers on the run, but we've been good at sticking to our plan. The great news is that we're looking to get enough back from taxes to pay off the credit card and the car, plus put some into savings! The only remaining debt we should have are our school loans. If we're able to stick to the current plan, it shouldn't take more than 2.5 years to pay those off, and then we'll be completely debt-free. Oh, and since David and I don't have a "fun" budget, we're also getting some spending money from our tax return, so I'm hoping to get my grain mill after all. I've got a few other ideas, but that's the one I am really excited about. Not only will it be more healthy, it will also save us money on flour since bulk whole grains are much cheaper than bags of flour at the grocery store.

So, that's where we're at on our budget right now. Plugging along and feeling blessed in the process.

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