February 13, 2019

Being More Mindful About My Money

It is 2019 and my word of the year is MINDFUL. Mindful about what I put IN my body. Mindful about what I put ON my body. Mindful about how I spend my money. This is the year that I want to have financial freedom. Why? For my future. Everything I am doing now will impact my future quality of life and the quality of a family's life. I wish I would have started this earlier but to me, better late than never.

Mindful Spending


This is kind of embarrassing that I am not better with my spending. I am always thrifty and conservative when it comes to spending. However, this month was the time I finally was going to break it all down. And boy was that scary. I was in a shock at the beginning of the month when I went through and wrote out all my spending, particularly on food.

Spending Fast

In January I decided to put myself on a spending freeze. The only money I was spending was on the necessities. Now this wasn't too hard, except when it came to my classroom. But here we are half way through the month and I am doing pretty good. Each month, inspired by The Budget Mom, I am going to make a financial goal. March will be no eating out more than 26 days. This will include buying coffee.

Budget Binder

So with all of my new goals for my money I needed to be organized. I am a teacher as many of you are, and I live paycheck to paycheck, so again the goal is to have financial freedom by paying off debt. 
I took one of my snow days and I put together my new love. My Budget Binder. 
I will be writing down every amount I spend. Seeing it on paper is exactly what I need to know the damage I could be doing. 

Cash Envelopes

I will be implementing the idea from The Budget Mom about using cash envelopes. Cash envelopes will be used to help control the amount I spend. I went through and created an expense tracker and expenses such as food will be used as cash. Anything that I have left over will good into envelope for the next paycheck and then into savings at the end of the month. By using the cash I will not be able to get out of control using my debit card and spending more than I have planned. Each pay day I will be taking out the cash I budgeted for that pay. Note - I do work a 2nd job and actually get paid every week. The paycheck for my part time job is going right to my debt and then savings for travel. Take a look at my tracker below.

I did not do this for my first paycheck of the month which is why the left is blank.

Meal Planning

I have always meal prepped since I started eating Paleo a few years ago. It is just easier. Well now I am kicking it up to high gear and doing some major tracking. I will plan what I am eating for each week. From there I will write out the ingredients I need for each recipe. If I have the ingredient on hand (by checking out my inventory) I will mark it off so I do not accidentally buy it.

Any ingredients I need I will shop for using my grocery app. By shopping through the app and adding only what I need I am saving time AND money. There will be no impulse buys and no buying a sale item. I am notorious for buying pantry items when they are on sale. While this is not terrible because I can add it to my inventory, it could hurt my budget for the week. I use Butcher Box as my meat source so 90% of what I need is produce or pantry items.

First: Plan the Meals

Search pinterest, Instagram and cook books for those recipes! I am doing a Whole 30 the month of February so all my meals are compliant. I found myself getting bored of my meals when I would batch cook my meal prep. So I am changing it up and cooking dinner every night. My advice? Keep it simple. My meals may be a little more complicated, but I LOVE cooking. Surprisingly after working all day and going to the gym I still want to cook, it is my stress reliever. So I am going to embrace that as long as I can.



Next: Write Out Ingredients and Shop From Your Inventory

I write out my ingredients so I know exactly what I need.

This is HUGE. By shopping from what I have I save A LOT of money.


Finally: Grocery Shop

I write out my entire list and add it to my grocery app. I was able to buy almost everything from there except for a specialty item or 2. Shopping in the app is so nice because I can easily read the ingredients and compare prices. Note: if it is your first time using the app search for a discount code. Mine was $10 off my first order. Helped my budget!

As you can see I did not need to buy any meat because I planned my meals around my freezer. 


My total for ordering online was $47.10 before my $10 off. I purchased some seasonings which made it cost more. However, I allowed myself $100 for this paycheck. So I have $62.90 to spend on the following week. Since I am using the app I will not take out all of my budgeted cash for my envelope.


So why do this? Because I want to be in control of my money. I want to be able to allow myself a budget for the things that are important to me. By budgeting I can have money for my Beauty Counter and Butcher Box orders and not feel like it is taking away from my savings because I also budget for that.

If you give this a try I would LOVE to hear how it works for you, or any suggestions. If you would like my binder printables grab them here.



Come to Life Books New Releases

Last year when I went to Book Con I came across Little Hippo Books. These new augmented reality books just blew me away!! I have shared about them before but I want to remind you how great they are BECAUSE there are new books!


How They Work

These Come to Life Books utilize augmented reality. You use your device by downloading the Hippo Magic App. Each page that has the Hippo Icon will be able to come to life for you and your little ones to interact with.



Why I Love Them

These books get reader's excited! Having these as an option in my classroom is perfect for my students. I always teach my students there are three ways to read a book: read the pictures, read the words, and retell the story. Little Hippo has several fairy tales that children will be familiar with, therefore they can easily retell the stories and read the pictures. Adding the extra component of augmented reality makes them even more engaged.

New Releases

When I saw that they were releasing new titles I was so excited! I love sharing these with my friend's children and I know you will love them too.