Friday, October 26, 2012

I've never felt so good

Well maybe not never, things could be better, like for instance having my husband here would be preferable. What I mean though is that my medication is working wonderfully. For the last couple of years I have coped with my depression without medication, and I've always been unstable and just bouncing between being motivated and being completely unmotivated. It wasn't just a lazy day here and there, I always had far more lazy days than productive days, and I really think that was due to my depression.

Since I've started on this medication I have slowly been picking up good habits, and I'm really not scared of regressing. Normally I do too much or not enough, and now I feel like I'm doing just the right amount of work everyday. I'm taking things slowly and set my expectations low, and everyday I feel so proud of myself, and it seems that I almost always do more than I plan on doing. I think one of the important things is that I know when to stop and just sit down, relax, and cuddle with my baby girl. Also, when I have anything planned for the day, such as an appointment or McKaleigh's dance class, I don't put anything too time intensive on my to do lists on those days. Honestly, just getting the girls in and out of the car more than twice a day can be pretty exhausting, so on the days that we are doing more than usual, I set my expectations pretty low in the housework arena.

I honestly wish I would've gotten on medication earlier on. I don't think I really realized how bad off I was until I was able to see how good I feel now.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A plan for my financial goals

I think I will start by laying out where we are right now. Then I'll talk about what our goals are for the next year. And then I'll probably talk about some of the things I'm thinking about doing to get us there.

Right now we have $1,000 in savings, $11,500 in credit card debt, ~$10,000 in unsecured debt, $8,600 in a car loan, and ~$18,000 in student loans. Ay yi yi.

So our biggest goal for the next year is to buy a house. I know, it sounds crazy right? But we want to get out of the house we're currently in, there aren't many nice rentals in this town, and housing prices here are really low so we'd probably pay less in a mortgage than we would in rent (especially considering how hard it is to find a place that takes dogs.) With Michael being in the Army we'll be able to get a VA loan, which means we'll only need a few thousand dollars for the VA funding fee and a few miscellaneous expenses. Thanks to refundable credits, we'll be getting about $4,000-$5,000 in our tax refund early next year. That should be enough for us to buy a house and throw a little in to pad our savings.

If we own a house, I'm not comfortable having only $1,000 in our savings account, so right now I'm shifting focus from tackling our debt to building up our savings. Our biggest area that can be improved is food. I've been making an effort to eat out much less, and have actually been pretty successful. One big thing I need to work on is meal planning, I still haven't really gotten into it. I'm going to sign up for WIC soon, because we definitely qualify. That should definitely help our grocery bill. I also recently learned about the SHARE program, where this group buys food in bulk and sells packages of it at the discounted rate, and all they ask you to do is volunteer two hours of your time anywhere, doing anything! Another thing I'm contemplating is couponing. I did some reading about it last night, and being a stay at home mom, I really do think I have the time to coupon. I'm thinking of getting rid of cable, or at least downgrading to basic cable. I've already cut our Christmas budget almost in half. I've also start cloth diapering Matilda with diapers I had bought when McKaleigh and Adelaide were younger. I'm thinking we'll be able to double our savings by the time our tax refund gets here.

I'm going to be going through every area of our lives, trying to figure out how to pinch those pennies! I think home ownership is the motivation I've been needing to really get serious about our finances.

One of those rambly posts

This is one of those posts where I just have an urge to write, but am having trouble narrowing things down to focus on just one topic. So I think I'll just start writing and we'll see where I end up.

I think I should start by saying that I've been on anti-depressants for more than a month and they are working wonders. I've been doing a better job of maintaining a reasonable level of productivity lately. Normally when I get motivated I do too much, and get burnt out. Then when I'm relaxing or being lazy I let it go on for far too long and neglect even the most basic tasks. For me to be able to feel balanced is a pretty big deal, and I've been feeling great overall.

Now that I really feel like the medicine has taken full effect and I've been much more stable and happy, I want to take on those areas of my life that I've always felt needed some improvement. The main things I want to work on are my finances, housework, and organization. What I'm having trouble with is that all three of these things feel really important and I've been thinking of what steps I want to take in each area. I know that I will be able to work best if I really focus on one thing at a time, so that I don't stretch myself too thin. But I also know that I do want to be working on each of these things constantly because of how important each thing is.

I guess the best thing to do will be to make lists! Lots and lots of lists, lol. And then choose which tasks seem manageable each week. Maybe I can pick one thing to primarily focus on each week, so that a majority of my tasks will be from that topic.

I did sign up to do the Simplify 101 workshop. Perhaps if I actually go through with the whole thing, everything will fall into place nicely. Over the next week or two I'll probably write posts on the different areas, especially finances, because that has been on my mind a ton and I have so many things that I want to get out in words!