December 2018 Goals Update

Hey Hey Hey!!

Its a New Year and a New Day! I’m happy to be alive and chatting it up with you.

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So, I made it through December 2018 goals. It wasn’t a smashing success. But, I gave it an old college try.

Read Luke 1-24 – A Chapter Every Day

So, I am absolutely glad that I incorporated this into my goal. I was not only successful. But, I am DETERMINED to make this a Christmas tradition for myself every year. I started on December 1 and finished on Christmas Eve. There were only a couple of days that I had to play catch up.

I truly learned so much by reading Luke. By reading the whole book of Luke, you get to see the entire life of Jesus. And, I thought it was a unique way to focus on Christmas.

What was super interesting to me are the similarity in scriptures in Luke and Matthew. I sort of knew that there were a few. But, I really got to see this. Particularly with the scriptures dealing with worrying and talents. (Okay, I hear you God.)

So, I had actually did three blog posts concerning worrying (Part  1 and Part 2) and talents. I truly needed that confirmation. Thanks Jesus!

I think I would like to add some type of reading or activity on December 25 as well. I am constantly thinking about Christmas traditions to establish now that Gracyn is here.


Power of A Praying Woman

So, I actually started this. But, I wish I would have looked at the table of contents first to see that there are 31 prayers. I liked what I have read so far, but I felt that it would be best to give this my full attention at a later date.  So, I pushed that back. 

 

Getting Fine for the One Nine

BUNDTLETS FROM NOTHING BUNDT CAKES ARE MY ABSOLUTE WEAKNESS!!!!

BUNDTLETS FROM NOTHING BUNDT CAKES ARE MY ABSOLUTE WEAKNESS!!!!

I wouldn’t say super fail, but I didn’t do the best. Y’all, I had two bundtlets from Nothing Bundt Cakes in less than 24 hours!! I showed out. Plus, there was Christmas Eve and my anniversary.

I did come out with a net loss of .8 pounds. Hey, a loss is a loss to me. Honestly, I still incorporate bread and other not so keto-friendly things in my diet. I just feel moderation is essential. But, I really thought I didn’t veer too bad off the course. As I write this update, I am now second guessing my decision to bring a bag of yeast rolls from a restaurant. My idea was to use it for Marcus’ breakfast. However, it became my snack. At least I was reminded that I really can’t have trigger foods in the house.  

Total Debts Sheet

I got this completed. Yay! Now, I am preparing to focus on knocking some of this out for 2019 and trying not to incur anything new. Good news -–It is mostly student loans <insert sarcasm>. I am loosely following the Dave Ramsey’s baby steps toward financial freedom. I think his baby steps are a good guide to getting out of debt and moving closer to financial freedom. If you are familiar with Dave Ramsey’s baby steps, then you know that your mortgage is a separate step.

Gas Budget 

My husband’s car went out of commission in late October. During this time, we borrowed his Mom’s car and then gassed it up before we returned it. So, we shared a car until some angels helped us get his ‘97 Caddy fixed.  Since my husband works 45 minutes away, we spend a lot on gas. And, I have definitely tried to dwindle my running around unless I absolutely have to. In my little town, traffic can get very congested. We spent approximately $300 in gas in November. December, we ended up with $142. I knew it would be a smaller amount because I have a small economy car. So, I will keep my eye on January.

Grocery Budget

Girl….You should have listened to my Instagram Stories in December. Because, this was an EPIC FAIL.  I definitely spent more in December. I really hate using cash. But, I keep warning my inner self that I am about to resort to cash purchases only for groceries. So, I am already at $40 per week with baby girl’s Similac habit. And, I felt like I did need to buy a lot of toiletry items, which I include in my grocery budget. 

My monthly goal was at $488/month. This is based on the USDA estimate of the cost of groceries. You can check out this monthly guide here. I was at $590 by the end of December. Yikes! You might think I had a Christmas party or two. But, that was not the case. I did try to meal prep more in December. I am doing this because I really hate cooking and messing up dishes. So, if I can get this done all in one day, I am one happy camper.

In the beginning, I was getting enough food for three lunch/dinner combos. However, I am learning that my husband is not going to help me eat all of this lol. And, I would grow weary with all the leftovers.  Towards the end of the month, I dwindled it down to two lunch/dinner combos. 

Here’s what it looks like inside my ibotta app

Here’s what it looks like inside my ibotta app

IBOTTA

One saving grace was my re-start of the Ibotta app. It is basically a cash back app for buying specific groceries on the app’s list. I was faithful with this app in the past especially when I was trying to be an extreme couponer. You do have to earn $20 to cash out. However, Ibotta has added several ways to earn different methods for cash back including purchases with Groupon and Amazon. If interested, try out my referral link.

Still, I must do a better job of accounting how I am spending my grocery money. I use a budgeting app, but I continue to go over. I will, however, increase my grocery budget in 2019. If you look at the USDA monthly guide, it goes up and down. So, I noticed that I could increase my budget to $525. This puts my husband and I on a thrifty plan and baby girl on the moderate plan.

P.S. The grocery budget doesn’t include our Eating Out budget, which is more like a recreation thing. But, I went over in that category too!

I continue to make budgeting a top goal for me. I want to become more aware of my expenses and how I can save. My overall goal is to push more money towards debt repayment.

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OVERALL

My December 2018 Goals really set me up for my overall goals for 2019. And, I am so excited for what God has in store. My pic includes my first attempt at bullet journaling aka bujo.



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I will still plan for monthly goals. And, I’m trying to make sure that the monthly goals will tie into at least one of my overall goals.

I would love to hear what your goals are. I believe accountability is key.

Stay Saved, 

Shannon

If you missed my November goals update, you can check those out here. And, don’t forget to like my Instagram and Facebook page! You will find more updates and inspiration on social media. You can also receive updates via email.