If you aren't a fan of the Queen of Free, you should be. Aside from their incredible story of getting out of $127K of debt, she has so many awesome ideas on how to save money and be money wise. best of all, I happen to know Cherie personally and she is the Real Deal. She is authentic, a woman of grace, and so incredibly loving and compassionate.
She's done things in her quest to conquer debt and be money-wise that I really admire but have never found the inner strength to do myself. The first is a No Restaurant Challenge. She and her husband are both able to go for periods of time where they don't eat out. At all. I eat lunch out, sometimes grab breakfast on my way to work, and we often grab a quick dinner in the midst of our busy schedules. I even once tried to just do no lunches out for 1 work week and failed after... 2 days.
I want to set a goal and not eat in a restaurant for that time period.
The next is that she does these awesome meal plans - like this one where you can shop at Aldi and cook 7 meals for 4 people for under $50. That's pretty amazing, if you ask me. Now, the big struggle on this one is that our grocery shopping each week really focuses on what the kids take in their lunch boxes and what food and snacks we can keep around the house. We don't do big sit down dinners. I get home from work and we are out the door for tae kwon do - that's 3 nights each week. No big meals before doing 45-50 minutes of TKD!
I want to meal plan and challenge myself to not spend more than a certain goal on groceries for that week.
A friend of mine posted a link to a blog written by a woman who got rid of her wardrobe. At first, I was intrigued. I've joked about doing that - because I'm truly overwhelmed by how much clothing I have. I clean it out regularly but don't have a good handle on what I really need vs just always seeming to accumulate more. I didn't like this particular blogger's approach because part of her drive was based on not liking how she looked and comparing herself to other moms - really not my cup of tea.
I want to get rid of most of my clothes. I want to only keep things I wear for work and sentimental things (like race t-shirts or vacation souvenirs - if I actually wear them).
My friend Lori (find her at Chaos and Craziness) has an incredible back yard. She has garden areas where she is growing food. She has a fantastic waterfall on a sloping part of the space, she has a welcoming deck and gazebo. The space is well maintained and is very welcoming and comfortable. If I lived near her, I think I'd hang out on her deck most evenings - even if she wasn't home to join me! To make that happen at our house, I have to clear out the 2 decks, pick up a lot of trash and junk from the yard, clean out weeds, power wash the decks, re-stain/paint the decks, get reasonable furniture that we can easily care for, and I'll be all set.
I want a deck space where I can look out on a yard that I find peaceful, fun, family oriented.
And one final thing - I want to clean out my kitchen. We have so much stuff in the kitchen that never gets used. We have sandwich makers and indoor grills and bits and pieces of rotiserries and other gadgets and appliances and it's time to clear out what isn't being used, throw away the junk, and make better use of the space.
I want a kitchen that is simple and leaves me happy to be in.
Where do I start? I can already feel that it is overwhelming to look at those things and try to think about doing them all at once.
I think I'm going to set my first goal -
I am going to clear out my wardrobe.
My plan for this Saturday is to gather, sort, and get rid of a lot of my clothing and the kids' clothing. I have 2 dressers that aren't really being utilized and a closet that is currently blocked by hampers full of clothing (clean).
Check back on Monday to see if I succeeded! Hold me accountable, friends!