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    April Goals

    Keeping to a budget is not a big issue for me. I am NOT a big shopper for clothes, shoes…..Eating out has never been a major issue for me. I am a decent to good cook and I MUCH believe in cook 1x, eat 2x/more so I tend to batch cook. On busy/lazy days there are ALWAYS some things (meat, chicken, pork, veg) to choose from in my freezers.

    I have already set the goal of eating out of my freezer for April except for dairy, salad fixings, fruit and veg. Since gas has now hit $3.95 I must also set the goal of significantly reducing my driving. In the last 6 months I have on avg driven 383 mi/mon. With my Dad rotating between the hospital & rehab place like he has been since Aug (he is going back to rehab today) this will probably be tough but I am aiming for 15% less; for a total of 326 mi. The ONLY exception I will allow myself is a drive to DD2 (82 mi rt). I seldom do this and I owe her a couple. This reduction only saves 3 gal or so of gas (all stop n go city type driving) but it’s a start.

    I also NEED to get back to decluttering/spring cleaning. Declutter goal is 250 items since I have been totally remiss for 3 months now. I will also do a spring clean list and goal is to accomplish a minimum of 1/2.

    Goals need rewards so to reward myself for these:
    1 goal gets me an extra (unbudgeted) manicure/pedicure (cost $15)
    2 goals gets me #1 + a decent meal out (cost $30-35)
    3 goals gets me #1 & 2 + spending $30 additional on clothes/shoes (cost $60-65)
    4 goals gets me 33 AND 1 nite/2day trip w/a friend (my shared cost about $100)

    From the look of my spring cleaning list so far I might get everything done if I devote 4 hr/day EVERY day – Like that’s really going to happen – NOT!!! And, if I do make a significant dent in my goals I SURE will NOT be spending much as I will be WAAAY too busy to go out & spend. I also have a list of ‘bonus’ chores that I can substitute for an single line item.

    #2
    Maybe you should adjust your spring cleaning goal down a little. If it's not something you think you can achieve, you may become discouraged and give up too easily.

    Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right!
    -Henry Ford


    Aside from that, I like the rest of your program it's good to see that you've got rewards in place for your goals! Most people forget to do that. Very good plan.


    I think it's worth the $15 to see DD2

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      #3
      Love the rewards MH! I too use the reward system for getting more done than dailies + one project, however my rewards are more modest. I chose from...cup of special, herbal tea, glass of sherry with dinner, 15 minute phone call to a special friend, one square of quality, dark chocolate, bubble bath, 30 minute visit with a neighbor, x-tra 15 minute dog walk or off leash run, or self done pedicure.

      I mostly work from home so M - F, 9 - 4 are blocked for employment. My long list of 'to do's' are mostly repeats and I've done my best to break each task into 20 minute segments.

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        #4
        Snafu
        I also break major tasks into segments. Example; Spring/quarterly cleaning in the bathrooms is
        drain flush
        tile
        shower door
        cabinet interior
        cabinet exterior

        for windows each room is listed. Same for closets. In the kitchen cabinets are separate from drawers. Furniture washing & polihsing is listed by room.

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          #5
          I clean weekly with major indoor and outdoor cleaning like windows, siding, cabinets, walls, closets taking place quarterly. For the first time this year I am considering getting some help with the exterior stuff - not sure yet on the costs, but it might be money well spent. Consider it a reward for compeelting the interior stuff right?

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            #6
            Decluttering is always good. I wish I drove as little as you do, but with my two jobs it is an impossibility. I drive more in a week than you do in a month.
            Brian

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              #7
              I too like your list of goals for April. I find it hard to drive as little as you do, because in my city, you have to drive to another city to get to most shopping, jobs, etc. Not fun having a bit of a longer commute. Gas here is close to $4.00 here as well, not sure where you are.

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                #8
                AtoZ
                I live in metro Chicago and the $$ of hiring out jobs is astronomical; I could not afford it even when I worked FT.

                Frugal
                As of Mon (delivery day here) gas is now >$4/gal (4.05-4.09). I live in metro Chicago, do not work (right now) and have CVS, WAG and a fruuit/veg market within walking distance. I am 'trying' to keep my driving days down to 2/week - those are generally about 20 mi rt trips to see my Dad & do other errands. I also realize I will add on a 'controlled drive day (<5 mi rt) here & there. DD1 lives 35 mi rt, DD2 is 82 mi rt. It is VERY hard to keep the mi down. I already have 70 mi in this month & KNOW I will do another 20 on Thur seeing my Dad so thats on a pace for >360 mi this month (went to DD1 on Sat).

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                  #9
                  As of now:
                  All drains have been flushed
                  Fed taxes done
                  State taxes done

                  I am getting back MUCH more than usual. I usually owe the Feds a few hundred and get back the same from the state. This year I am getting back $2400 from the feds and nearly $500 from the state. I do NOT understand it. AGI was up by 5k, deductions were only up by 1500. Should NOT be that bigf a difference on the Federal return. State increase is mostly due to increased property tax credit so that one I understand.

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                    #10
                    I just figgured out why my fed refund is SOOO high. When I was riffed in Aug my sevrance (about 12 weeks of pay) was paid on a single check/pay period. That check was w/held as 1/26 of my income. I only wish my income was that high.

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                      #11
                      I put in 3 hours on chores on Wed. I knocked a couple items off my list of 26 + 4 substitues or bonus. Nothing will get done today as I will run errands & see my Dad.

                      I have been VERY good about eating from my pantry & freezer. I ate a lentil stew and a beef barley soup so far this week. I took out 2 chicken breasts to defrost for today & ?. I will have them w/pasta (pantry) and use leftover zuchini & tomatoe veg for the sauce. Lunch today is salad w/black beans (pantry-cooked from scratch), salsa & ranch dressing. I will have black beans leftover to use another time (next week?).

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                        #12
                        I have cut out dinners at restaurants, but have been unable to cut out spending too much on lunch. My goal is to cut down on lunch expenses.

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                          #13
                          Shane
                          Is it at all possible to bring lunch w/you? Is there a fridge (or do you have an insulated bag + ice pack)? Is there a toaster, toaster oven and/or microwave available?

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                            #14
                            Is it the culture at your employment to go out to lunch with your colleagues? With prices going up this is going to be even more costly.

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                              #15
                              Well, DB just assigned me another task to add to my April goals:

                              to find an assisted living facility for my Dad. This one is going to be a MAJOR time & gas eater.

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