EXIT Realty truly is a different way to do Real Estate

EXIT Realty truly is a different way to do Real Estate

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Question: Why manage your household?

Answer: Because if you don't, it will manage you.

I want to clarify, my house often gets the best of me.  EVERYONE knows that my house is not the most picked up and spotless house in the block, far from it.  Cleaning is not my strong suit, BUT I have many other talents that helps me manage the chaos of being a stay at home mama.  I'm good at budgeting, shopping, sewing, creating meal plans and decorating.  I'm NOT good at gardening, keep things picked up, folding laundry and keeping projects from going out of control.

With that said, there are 3 things you need to ask yourself when deciding how you are going to be a domestic goddess.

1) What am I good at?
2) What do I enjoy?
3) Why should I ______ (be frugal, live on a budget, shop second hand..ect)

First find what you are good at.  I am good at organizing, creating, decorating, analyzing.
Now, what do you enjoy.  I enjoy sewing, cooking, being outdoors, crafting, shopping, being girly.

Often I have found that these things coincide with each other.  You will use these skills and abilities to save you $! (on to that later)

Lastly, why should I be frugal, live on a budget, shop second hand.....This list is personal to you.  I really think before you start to try to go through all these steps to save money or manage your household more effectively that you need to know why.  Have a purpose and a reason for the madness before you start couponing or using cash envelopes for everything.  Here are my reasons.

The reason why we live on a budget and try to be as thrifty as possible:

1.  To save money (on a macro level) to accomplish our dreams : (get out of debt and for DH to graduate college and for me to stay at home...and eventually so we can give back and honor God with the mission he has given to us).
2.  To save money (on a micro level) monthly on our bills (and sometimes out of absolutely necessity).
3.  To be a good steward of the environment: reduce, reuse, recycle.
4.  To make living life more enjoyable and with less chaos (that's where meal planning comes into play)
5.  To be content and live within our means.
6.  To set a good example for Baby Boy and so we can provide him with the best future possible.

It CAN BE really difficult to live on a budget and to change your habits and to get out of debt or meal plan or make hand made gifts and ect.  BUT once you have the reasons why (goals) and a vision (where you want to be in 5 years) it comes easier.

We are in our 2nd year of paying of debt and living on a cash budget.  It's not easy, but I am confident the reward is going to be super SWEET when we finally get there. :)

Until next time,


Bringing sexy back to Meal Planning

Ok, can you tell I was listening to Justin Timberlake when I came up with the title?  There is really no way to glamorize grocery shopping, and drafting a meal plan is really not cool or sexy (unless your doing it in your lingerie... I've not tried that one yet much to DH's dismay).  But I have found that in order to save my money (and sanity) that I must have a plan. 

The Objective: Save $ and trips to the grocery store.
The Plan: Create weekly meal plan

How to:  It's as simple as grabbing your recipe books and sitting down with a pen and paper and writing down what your going to have for dinner each day.  To make life easier here are some things I do.

1) Designate certain days of the week for certain meals or types of food.  We always have homemade pizza on Fridays and now I am starting Soup Sundays.  You can do this for other days.  For instance, we have church on Wednesdays so I usually make a casserole on Wednesdays so that it is quick and easy and yummy.  A certain friend of mine always makes spaghetti on Sundays because that's what her mama did.  Don't be afraid to jazz it up!  If you are a creative type and like trying new things allocate one of the days to trying a new recipe out you found on pinterest.  If you do a certain type of food on a day make it different every time.

2)  Create a meal plan based on what's on sale.  You have to do a little research on this.  For instance, I knew that hams where going to be on sale during Easter time.  So I bought this giant ham for Jesse and I, I knew I could make at least 4 meals off of one ham.  Safeway does a really good job of letting you know what's on sale (check online) and often has coupons in the Sunday paper and in store coupons, as well as using your member card.  Here is a Safeway hint: Often I will make my meal plan first, then go to Safeway to the clearance meat section and make minor adjustments if there is a specific cut of meat that is 30-70% off.  I have talked to the butcher and there is nothing wrong with the meat they can only have meat on the shelf for a certain amount of days, they just suggest freezing it immediately when you get home.  Here where I live they have 12 hour sales at Roseurs and Super 1, if it is a 12 hour meat sale...get on it!

3)  Make sure your pantry has the necessary basics.  Rice, Flour, Salt, Pepper, some canned veggies, some canned soups, ect.  Or hopefully you have a nice neighbor you can run to and ask for a couple cups of flour (I had to do that one 2 weeks ago on pizza night....DOH!)

4) Have a good recipe book.  I don't know what I would do without my Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, My Cambells Cookbook and my own personal cookbook.  The internet is great, but I know the recipes in these books are time tested and approved!  I recieved a photo album with recipes as a wedding gift and I have kept adding each time I find a good recipe I love.  This makes for easy meal planning. 

5) Sit down and actually write it.  Doesn't have to be neat, doesn't have to be pretty, just do it.  The first couple times I tried meal planning...it got all messed up.  This week got all messed up for me, but that is ok, keep on keeping on.  The goal is to save money and not go out and to have all that you need so you don't make impulse trips. 

6)  Leave yourself a couple of free days.  DH and I like to to enjoy 1 night out every 2 weeks.  It keeps us from going insane.  I think going out to dinner twice in one month is not going to kill the plan (as long as it fits in the budget).  Also, you will notice on my meals plan a day will just say 'meat.'  In order to fulfill my creative side I buy some type of protein and figure out what I want to do with it on that day.  That's when I get my pinterest on.  :) Keeps me challenged.

7)  JUST DO IT!  Take the meat out the night before, follow the recipe, make the dinner and ring the dinner bell.

There you have it.  Here are some examples of my meal plans, if you can decipher them:

Here is to successful meal plans and fatter wallets!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

There is No Try

As I wrote to you before, I decided to write a series of blogs on saving a little money and how to be the best frugal-ista possible.  BUT before I do I must write about the attitude in which to approach budgeting and frugal-ing! ALSO, I just want you to know that by me writing these series of blogs does not mean that I have "arrived" at frugal-dom.  I am writing for the sole purpose of sharing my ideas, just in case you need some help.  I am always in search of a good blog to help me be a better household manager. 

And now, on to; 'There is No Try.'

 I've realized that no matter where you are, who you are, your position (or lack thereof), you can always strive to be better.  This is especially true when it comes to managing your household.  Being a Stay at Home Mom was not my idea of how to use my Business Degree.  In fact, I struggled with becoming a stay at home mom especially since I only graduated a year prior...Struggled is not the right word, bitterly fought is more appropriate.  I was really convicted when I read Dave Ramsey's book called "More than Enough," where he writes about the value of working hard no matter what your circumstance may be.

Does this sound familiar:  Still in PJ's until 11am, teeth not brushed, trying to figure out what to make for dinner, paper work pile a disaster, laundry spread to the ends of the earth, devotion not read, random splurge here and there, bad attitude on the verge of eruption

Then you sit on your bed and you think, "Well, isn't this glamorous?"  This was not the life I imagined myself having.  Mind you, I've always wanted to be a Mommy, but not like this.  I finally realized that it was me who had to change.  The demands of having a baby was not going to change, my dishes weren't going to wash themselves, my DH is (for the time being) going to have to work 50-60 hours a week (and now he's going back to school too!).  I had to TRY to be who I envisioned to be.  Now, before you come at me with a pitch fork, I'm not telling you to do something that doesn't work.  My goals were simple: Dress myself nicely in the mornings and make sure my teeth were brushed and get my devotional done.  I don't believe in pressuring yourself to do something that is impossible: BABY STEPS!

So.  The moral of the story is, if you want to stay on a budget or save money or be a domestic goddess you must work to achieve it.  I decided I will be the best Household Manager possible.  I clock in every morning at 7 am and clock out at 7:30PM (when baby boy goes to bed).  How I spend that day and with what attitude is entirely up to me. 

"Work is doing it.  Discipline is doing it every day.  Diligence is doing it well everyday." Dave Ramsey-More than Enough

I'm not going to tell you that I'm a diligent household manager.  I'm not, but I have decided to be purposeful about it.  I am envisioning what I want to be, how I want my husband and children to perceive me and how to live in a way that gives glory to Christ. 

Now, on to the REALLY glamorous stuff: painting my toe-nails  :)


Friday, April 6, 2012

The secret of enjoying life...on a budget

I was reminiscing (ok, having a pity party) about our life only a year ago.  We didn't have a child, we were living it up large and could afford mostly everything we wanted to do.  I thought how our life has changed and what had changed about it.  Of course I would NEVER trade Jaxon for the world, and we absolutely LOVE Montana, that being said our lives and our bank account has definitely changed dramatically.  Most of our financial problems are due to dumb choices like; having credit card debt, student loan debt and two car payments.  Now I'm a stay at home mama and that adds to the strain.

SO! How does one enjoy life on a shoe string (or floss string) budget?  Here it is, the secret weapon:

Be content with where you are and what you have. 

DH and I felt so convicted because we had become whiners caught up in stinking thinking.  Here we are with a beautiful healthy baby and money to pay the bills and we were being total schmucks!  The secret to enjoying life is to be content with what God has blessed you with.  Did you know that most likely all of you that are reading this are in the top 10% of the worlds wealthiest people?  Think about that.  90% of the world does not have what you have.  Shocking....and yet we whine and complain and look at our neighbors grassy yard and become the same color of that grass because we can't stand that someone has it better than ourselves.

I decided that for the next week or so that I am going to write how to live (and enjoy it) on a budget.

A final word about being content:  Being content is a spiritual and emotional thing.  Often I find myself having to brain wash myself and start counting my blessings.  Being content is looking at your paycheck and saying: "Thank you Lord for my paycheck" NOT "Wow, my paycheck sucks."  Being content is looking at what you have and saying "Thank you Jesus that I get to enjoy these things."

Here is Webster's definition of content: "Desiring no more than what one has; satisfied."

Work on being content and you will be able to have more fun, do more with what you already have and you will definitely be a more joyful person.

 All this content piggy has is mud and he LOVES it!