Friday, September 30, 2011

3in30 Challenge: Final Thoughts

I didn't do a very good job of updating you guys during my challenge.  But here's how I did:
  • Do some form of exercise 3x/week
    • DONE! 
    • I surprised myself and did pretty good here.  I may not have made it to the gym 3 times every week all month.  But I went at least twice and took the pups for a walk on the other day.  
  • Start and finish 1 book on my list
    • DONE!
    • I started reading Stealing Faces on my iPad at the beginning of the month.  I'm about 65% of the way through.  It's not super exciting.  Some days I can get into it and get really far.  But other days I'm just not interested.  So I started and finished Lauren Conrad's book, Lauren Conrad Style. I've had this on my coffee table for a few months.  I started and finished it in the past 2 weeks, reading a little each night.  It was a great book.  I loved it!
  • Stay on budget
    • Here is where things went south.  You'd think since I blog about frugal living I would knock this out of the park.  But it's not always easy, and sometimes things come up.  
    • I went a little over on our grocery budget, about $100.  I started buying healthier snacks for husband and I to keep at work.  This is hard because we don't like the same things.  So it is almost like buying double.  I also went to the produce stand every week instead of just buying my produce at Wal-Mart or wherever I went.  Usually the produce stand is cheaper, but not always.  I like to go there to get my fresh food because it is local.  
      • I also want to clarify that I don't use coupons on every thing that I buy.  I also won't say, "no, can't get it. don't have a coupon."  I just try to do my research on the best deal for an item and find a coupon.  But it doesn't always work out that way.  Sometimes I buy things on a whim.  Some weeks I don't feel like deal hunting or worrying about the extra leg work.  I'm in a hurry, and I just need to get in and out of the grocery store.  But I usually only let that happen about once a month.  But it is also so easy to let the grocery bill get away from me while not worrying about it.  $100 is a good bit to go over budget.  So I MUST do better next month and quit being lazy.
    • We also went over $60 on the auto/gas budget.  This is something I don't care too much about since it's so hard to alter it.  Husband and I commute to and from work, and we obviously have to go every day.  I also travel to some of our dental offices sometimes.  But I do get paid mileage, which goes straight to the savings account.  I do this to account for the extra maintenance on the car.  Our friends and family live out of town.  So we spend A LOT of time in the car.  I was also due for an oil change this month too.
    • Husband had to pay for his last section of his CPA exam.  This went under our Miscellaneous section.  And let me tell you, these are NOT cheap!  But he only has 1 left to pass.  He's taking it the week before we go to Vegas in November.  I'm so proud of him! 
So all in all, I got 2/3.  Which is good, right?  I'm a little upset with myself about the budget.  But it's ok, because we have a good buffer in case we overspend.  It's not like we spend outside of what we earn.  We just can't put as much in savings if we overspend.  But there's always next month to make it up.  I am DETERMINED to be under or right at budget for groceries for the month.
Do you set personal goals for the month?  If so, how'd you do? 
I'm excited, because the weather is supposed to be great.  Tonight I am going to a Yoga class with a friend.  It's called Vino & Vinyasa.  They will have a wine reception after.  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend.

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