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April Goal Update (better late than never!)

At the beginning of the year, I make a list of finance-related goals that I want to meet over the next 12 months. At the beginning of each month, I report on my successes or failures. If you’re new here, you might want to read my original goals post, my February update, and my March update.

1) Eat Non-Cereal Breakfast 4 Days a Week

We’re still doing great with this goal! Our cereal consumption is way, way down from what it used be (because, um, we used to eat it every single morning), and we’ve been eating a lot of whole wheat bread, yogurt, fruit, and oatmeal, along with some local eggs.

I do still think I could do better with planning ahead, though, and now that the weather is warmer here, I really need to get on the stick and make some granola. Because a steaming bowl of oatmeal is really not that appealing in 80 degree weather.

2) Start saving for a replacement van.

I guess I should edit that to say “continue saving” because we already started saving in January, and you can only start saving about one time (unless you stop saving, and I don’t plan to do that!). As of this month, I have $807 saved in my van fund. I’d really like to be able to add more than $200 to that fund each month, though, and I think that after I buy my camera body, I’m going to funnel any of my extra income into the van fund.

3) Keep Quicken updated once a week.

Like last month, I give myself about half credit for this. I did keep it up better than I used to, but it wasn’t exactly once a week.

I lose at keeping financial records. It’s a good thing I’m better at actually paying bills!

4) Spend $80 a week on groceries whenever possible.

I’m actually going to scrap this goal, but not because I plan to go hog-wild. My husband and I recently watched Food, Inc., which, for a variety of reasons, re-motivated us to try to be responsible in our food consumption.

While I don’t think that healthy eating has to cost a gazillion dollars, I do think that adding more local, real food to our diet is going to cost more than $80 a week. So, I’m going to give myself $100/week to spend and I’m not going to feel at all guilty about that.

From here on out, this goal will be something more like, “Spend $100/week on groceries and include as much real, local food as possible.”

5) Save up for a replacement camera body by September.

Good news here! Due to some unexpected extra income, I think that I am going to have enough to buy my new camera body by the end of April or the beginning of May, and of course, I am very excited about that.

I’m shooting my first wedding at the beginning of July, and I’m really happy that it looks as though I’ll have two camera bodies by then. For one thing, it made me nervous to think of shooting a wedding without a backup camera body, and for another, when I get my new camera body, I’ll be able to keep my 50mm lens on one body and my 24-70 lens on the other, which means I can switch back and forth between lenses without having to actually take my lenses on and off. I think this will be very advantageous during a wedding.

So, it looks like maaaaaybe the next time I post a goal update, I’ll have my new camera body in hand. 🙂

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Monday 12th of April 2010

I agree with your decision to add to your grocery bill in order to eat healthier. I cut out lots on groceries and buying, but refuse to pay less for healthy food that matters, such as good vegetables and fruits, etc. On some things it's just not worth it to try to save and spend less.


Sunday 11th of April 2010

For all the local food advocates out there, I highly recommend "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. This handy book is about her year in the life of eating locally and the slow food movement. There are tons of resources in the back and the website is very helpful in finding local food resources. It is a life changing story that, once you've gotten the idea of eating locally, will encourage, inspire and educate you. Lots of laughs too!


Friday 9th of April 2010

While I don't often buy local due to time constraints, I do buy real food and your post makes me more determined than before. I've also found Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution to be a great incentive, even though I have no school age children.

OK, I am off to plan menus for the week! One will include your latest marinated chicken.


Thursday 8th of April 2010

I am really looking forward to seeing more real, local food here! Maybe more vegetarian recipes, etc? Please? Thanks! Have fun with it all! :D

Molly On Money

Thursday 8th of April 2010

My husband and I are also having a difficult time balancing the budget in groceries. We know we could spend less if we bought less organic and local food but I want to be purchasing more local and organic food. We are still beating our budget every month- that's helpful. We're experimenting with growing our own chickens to see if its any cheaper raising and processing them ourselves- I must have ordered the chics right after I watched Food, Inc. for the second time! A bit impulsive on my part.

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