Honestly in reading my July goals and then my weekly to do posts, I wonder why on earth I even bothered. I thought I was doing well but in actuality I got little done of all the items listed. I managed the new zone work in two areas but failed utterly with the other two. I got mulch spread at the house in town in the one section of flower bed and laid out the whole new roll of weed mat but need more. I did nothing in my own yard and my only accomplishment was potting up all the bits of plants I'd rooted from cuttings.
The pantry freezer challenge was a bit of a bust. I spent the full grocery budget at the start of the month and I've made little progress on my proposed plan to stock the pantry and freezer afresh while eating the older items. I spent small sums here and there and when I added them up the total was shocking.
As for the quarterly financial planning I did at the beginning of last month, I smugly wrote down what we ought to have had to put into savings these next three months and then watched as July's finances took a serious death blow. We went into debt this month and it seemed we just couldn't help but to go deeper and deeper than we'd even thought we might. There's one bill that still remains untouched and I must make time to make arrangements to tackle that one but I'm not sure where that money shall come from. But as I said, not a bit of it could be helped. It was just one of those things that happen and so we now scrabble about and try to pay it off best as we can. It changed not only this month but all the rest of the year I'd semi-planned out, as well. Ho hum.
Thank goodness I know how to make do, get by, stretch a penny and food to go further than it seems it reasonably might. I might hate where I am at the moment but by the same token, it's not all that unfamiliar a place. A lifetime of experience meeting such crises will see us through this one, as well. I'm pretty much over the gnashing my teeth and wailing about it. At some point you just have to calm yourself, straighten your clothing (i.e. Pull up those big girl pants), and get on with it all over again.
About the only goal I seem to have accomplished at all was spending time with the Grandchildren and that was a default thing, lol. I'm keeping Caleb for an undetermined amount of time. I'd forgotten how time consuming child care is at this stage. When he takes a nap in the mid afternoon, Gramma tends to sort of fall off the edge of the world and sleep as well. So not even during his rest time do I get very much accomplished. I'm philosophical about it as the truth is, one must do what is needed in the season in which it is needed. And this is the season where I find myself at present.
So I don't know what the heck happened to our lives in July. It felt like chaos and upheaval and confusion and I'm still dazed thinking back upon it all.
For August, I'll be extending my pantry/freezer challenge. I'm going to try and compromise. I'm not going to do a big shop. I'm going to watch weekly sales and see what comes up at best prices and use those items to restock the pantry and freezer, but we will mostly rely on what is on hand for our meals this month. It's not as though we will starve. I'm pretty sure we've plenty to get through this month except for dairy and produce. Thank goodness it's the season for cheap and well varied produce! As for cutting the grocery budget I'm going to try. But honestly if I spend ONLY what I have budgeted for the month even that will be a help!
I'll work out my August wardrobe. I seem to keep culling things from my closet. I've had so many of my things for several years now and the few 'new' items were also gently worn thrift store finds. I shouldn't be shocked that some of these pieces are now looking shabby when I myself have worn them for two or three years after buying them used.
If I'm super careful with my allotted allowance then I might be able to manage the next quarterly Stitch Fix box. I set aside a portion in July for it and it is my hope to set some aside in August and September and manage it without a strain even if we do have to cut back allowances for a bit which is the other thing I mean to do: we have to trim allowances.
I'll be cutting the eating out/entertainment fund out of the budget entirely for the foreseeable future. If we can't manage on our smaller allowance we just won't go out. I do resolve however in future, I'm going to just purchase gift cards when we do have funds and then if we have to cut back, we won't have to give up our one luxury.
I know that August can be quite hot and the AC works hard to keep the house at temperature even though we keep our thermostat higher than most folks. Often during the day, the machine struggles and that's going to mean we have to turn that thermostat higher in order to keep the motor from running for hours on end instead of cutting on and off as it should. I'm usually the first to complain. I'll just say now that I'll just bite my tongue and shush my mind from complaining. I don't need my electric bill to go whacko this month because I am feeling a bit hot. I'll sit down and drink more cold drinks and pull the curtains even if I do hate sitting in the dark.
Honestly the electricity and grocery and allowances are about our only expenses that aren't set at a certain monthly rate, and this is where we will realize the additional savings room we need just now.
I will gather water from rain buckets, etc. to water my plants with and keep them going in the event that August and September act as usual and become dry and overly warm. I'll use my rinse water to water plants as well. I'll move things to more shaded spots if need be in order to keep the soil from dehydrating so badly in the pots.
I will diligently harvest from my yard the few things I might harvest. I'll look for pretty bouquet materials from the plants I have on hand. I'll root more cuttings and pot those up. In other words, I'm going into full 'make do' mode.
Those are my plans for August...Do you have any plans made?