Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Feeling Overwhelmed

I have a natural tendency to take on more than I can handle at any given time.  I have always been this way and over the years, I think I have found a way to sort of combat that tendency.  I have learned to say no when I know that it would be too much for me to take on at times when my plate is just too full.

Right now, my plate is about as full as it can possibly get.  I am working more hours then I was when I first started, I am running around more as I try to get organized and get all the appointments for the family that we have missed out on over the past two years.  Yes, two years of missed appointments...eye exams, dental exams, etc. That's a huge fail on my part but I've been in a veil of issues over the past two years.  That's a whole other post.

My plate feels so full and yet, it is about to get more piled on.  The big kids are starting their spring sports in the next two weeks which adds in daily pickups, double practices, games/meets spread throughout the week so that even weekends are booked solid.

While I would never discourage my kids to take part in sports (this is how we got into this mess) I am now seeing the logic in making kids choose between two activities at a time.  I am so excited to watch them in their sports and they are both trying lacrosse for the first time but oh man, my calendar is so full and I don't even have the boys lacrosse schedule yet!  There are days where Chuck and I will most likely have to split up and each take on a game/meet so that we can have one of us at each event.

This also means that I have to get creative with my work schedule so that I am able to make it to one sporting event each week without missing too much work.  I try to schedule my days of leaving early so that it is only one day a week and each week it is a different day.  The sports schedules don't always comply with what I want to do but I will try it that way.  Hopefully, my boss will be understanding of my stance on my being a mom first, employee second.  It has always been that way with all my past jobs and this one is no different.  That M for mom is engraved on my heart while my work name tag is simply magnetically attached. It has to be that way.

I have sat down several times in an effort to write up a post but have had no luck because this feeling of being overwhelmed is, well, overwhelming. Ha.

This is all I've got, I have a pile of Box Tops to cut and count for the big kids' school, fundraising to do for the lacrosse organization and household stuff to do before I get out the door to head to my two jobs.  Overwhelmed, just a bit.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Filling The Calendar

Just like everyone else, I start a new calendar before the first of the year and start adding in the dates of birthdays, events I know are coming up, fun weekends, etc.

My calendar also consists of races or runs that I want to do.  I have a running list of races that catch my eye, I've done before and want to do again and ones that I've always wanted to do. The list is long and if I could, I would do them all.  I just don't have the time or endless amount of money it takes to do that.

I have become a bit more picky in how I choose my races now. I do a few virtual races that are free or very low cost.  I choose charities that are close to  my heart and I choose races based on location.  I certainly can't go out of town for a race.  I just can't justify spending the extra money just so I can go run a race.  Now, if we were to go out of town for a weekend away and I could fit in a race while we were there, that would be different.

As it stands now, I have several races lined up that I am registered for....I think around 7 right now and I plan on registering for at least 7 more to reach my 14 in 2014 goal. I need to get on with the running though because for some reason, February is always a slow running month for me.  I have a larger goal of running 500 miles this year and if I want to achieve that, I need to get a move on it!!

Some of the races I'm registered for:
Frostbite Autism 5K - March 1st
Superhero 5k - April 26th
Pittsburgh Marathon Relay - May 4th
Foam Fest 5k - June 14th
Dirty Dash 5k - August 2nd
US Road Running Movie Madness Half Marathon - Virtual by Jan. 1, 2015

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Are We Finally Getting It?

In a quest to finally get some goals in place and a plan to execute those goals, my husband and I sat down to write some things down, look at dates, compute numbers and we have a plan.  A solid plan that we both agreed on and are all in for.

A plan to start really saving some money.  We were going to do the $25.00 a week for a year to save up around $1300.00 over the course of the year.  However, we came up with something even better.  We are pretty certain that we have figured out how to save so much more and have a pretty good cushion for when things could go wrong or if something were to happen.   It's probably not a plan that would work for everyone but it will for us.  We are determined and pretty pumped about it.

I am going in to this year feeling positive about the changes we are making so that we can live a little more stress free.

We don't have any credit cards or store cards.  We live a "cash only" life to avoid going into debt and it can be pretty tough when you live on a very tight budget.  So a savings plan is vital to being able to fix things when they break, get the kids something when they need it, etc. Something always comes up so this is going to help us so much.

I have thought about doing what some other people do and use a credit card for all bills and just pay off the card when you get paid and that would probably also work for us but for now, we are sticking to the plan and seeing if it really works the way we are calculating that it will. Maybe in the future we will switch things around to start using a credit card to take advantage of some of the reward perks that cards have.

Do you have a set financial plan or savings plan that you implemented and did it work the way you had hoped?