Monday, April 29, 2013

The Budget View- Part 1- Needs vs Wants

OK we are all adults here, right?

I am willing to bet most of my savings account that the audience here does not consist of two-year old toddlers who kick and scream every time they do not get their way.

I also believe it's a safe bet that we all have had a case of "BBLS": Big Bottom Lip Syndrome. Typically this BBLS rears its ugly head when we have either figured out we don't have enough money for something we want or we have been told by someone(who probably loves us) that we do not need to make a certain purchase at this particular time.

I know you probably thought I was going to jump right into the tools(materials) you need to make a budget successful...
I actually think knowing the difference between real needs and wants can be the most important tool to learn how to use in a household budget. Everything else comes secondary.
In my very humble opinion our society has become a bit, ahem..... immature, lax when it comes to knowing the real definition of  a need.
I have faith that most of us already know this, but some of us may just need a very gentle reminder.

Please allow me do a break down, but first a word of warning..... 

Disclaimer: I am not judging anyone if spending your hard earned money on wants is what you wish to do. Although if you are struggling & stressed trying to make ends meet month to month, live on lines of credit(loans, credit cards, borrowed money) you find difficult to pay off, or have constant arguments in your relationships because of money, take a moment to ask yourself: "Self, do I  need to re-evaluate my true financial needs and wants?"

Need: A roof over our head to keep us warm at night; a place where we are comfortable and safe that we can call home. 
Want: All the latest and greatest bells and whistles in a home that could house 10 people or more(because let's get real, most of us DO NOT have 10 or more people living with us)
Food & Clothes:
Need: Nutrient loaded, non-processed food we can make ourselves at home, and clothes that keep our private parts covered and our bums warm.
Want: Going out to eat and spending 10x's the amount of money we would spend by cooking it ourselves at home. Having 50 pairs of shoes, 20 pairs of jeans, or 10 different purses hanging in our closets.
Need: Breathing oxygen.... 
Want: The Life of someone else...someone who has a bigger house, a nicer car, a "fairy-tale marriage", someone else's vacation, or someone else's clothes.
Need: A mode of transportation that gets our family to and fro safely.
Want: The next best thing, with a big 'ol car payment.
Need: Usually this category requires an appropriate amount of sleep, exercise, and eating healthy. 
This may sound cliche but this Need can also be met by just "stopping to smell the roses", literally. 
Taking the time to really soak in all the beauty God provides us on a day to day basis.
Want: Warning! This is not a slam against the beauty industry. I use to be part of it as an Esthetician. And it was so much fun! But every last service that is provided by a Cosmetologist, a Nail Tech, an Esthetician, or a Massage Therapist, falls into a Want category: Facials, eyebrow waxing, acrylic nails, pedicures, massages, hair see where I am going here, right?
I know, I know...many of us would hate to even think about living without some of the services mentioned above, Me being one of them! BUT sometimes the truth hurts, ouch!
Need: Plain, clean drinking water(this may require a filtration system of some kind on your tap)
Want: Any store bought bottled water.
Need: Vitamin D from the sun, Fresh air, healthy non processed food, exercise
Want: Energy drinks, Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Gym memberships & Exercise equipment that is not being used.

Now just one minute before you go all pout-y lip on me. I have been guilty of most of these in my lifetime. And honestly this is just scratching the surface. I am not pointing fingers at anyone, just merely pointing out a few of the differences between Needs and Wants. 
However, at certain stages in my life I have had to prioritize what is really important for myself and my family and our peace of mind when it comes to our finances.

If you are serious about wanting financial peace in your life, I suggest you start right here....figuring out the difference between your basic needs and wants. I know it sounds so boring, and horrifying but I promise if you stay tuned there will be room for the fun taking this step means I won't hear about your episode of Hoarders, because I can't watch that show, it makes my skin crawl.  
Oh Lord have mercy....ain't nobody got time for that!

And remember, that no matter what step you are standing on, take a really good look around you, and show gratitude for everything & everyone you have in your life. And always remember to........

Enjoy the View

Friday, April 26, 2013

BeautyView...a beginner and her fancy-nancy camera

It's Friday Friends!
This officially ends my first week of blogging.
Thank you for the kind comments and joining my on this fun little adventure.

My goal on Fridays is to leave you with a very amateur snap shot, of something I thought was beautiful, taken by Yours Truly.
A little like how Charles Osgood leaves us on Sunday Mornings at the end of his news show.
I wish I could somehow insert the sound of my pictures but that is way beyond my blogging skills.

So what I ask, is that you just sit back, take a big swig of coffee, and....
ENJOY the view..... 

We had winter for 7 months straight. I found this particular scene beautiful because the water is no longer snow and spring is FINALLY in the air!

I am NOT a professional photographer(not even close).
In fact, now that I think about it I am not really a professional anything.
So I have no idea on the rules of photography. I am just starting out.
I hope to one day look back at my first photos with my fancy new camera and laugh a little.
I do not know the rules or laws, but I guess I am going to give it a shot.
Please don't sue me for anything. I only have a bike and a dog...You're not getting the bike!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Budget View: Where I start

Who really wants to be on a budget?
Um, I don't see a lot of hands shooting up in the air and waving wildly :)

However, the geek in me finds some sort of excited satisfaction in figuring out a budget for my family.... but I don't always think it is fun or easy to follow it. Most times a budget puts a serious crimp in my style, and if you knows me, I am stylin' and profilin'(sorry, I should have warned you with a "geek alert" before I pulled out my urban slang, because I am so not urban).

When it comes to spending money I have always leaned more conservative.  My Hubby, who I will lovingly refer to from here on out as the "B'Dog", would say I am just indecisive & fickle about what to spend our money on.
Let me plead my case:
#1- I am indecisive because I do not want to theoretically be caught with my "pants down" due to over spending and under planning. I know that seems like all the rage right now, especially at a Government level, BUT I hold myself to a little higher standard than that.
I know, I know, so 1950's of me.

AND #2- As far as the "Fickle" part goes, I have a spending disorder, is it called: Buyer's Remorse. No matter what I buy, when I buy it, or how much I buy it for, there is always a nagging feeling of regret & remorse.
This disorder serves our budget well, until B'Dog really has his heart set on making a purchase. That's when I start to look like a control freak with iron purse strings. Amazing how we can see the same situation in a completely different view.

I'm all like: " Do we really NEED that right now?"
And B'Dogs all like: "Yes, plus I really WANT it right now."

We typically compliment each other very nicely in our purchasing decisions, because neither of us gets our way 100%  of the time. Truth be told it can be a jerky little ride, like too much "gas pedal/brake pedal action"  but for the most part it's a fine balanced act.

So here is my idea: I am going to try out a budgeting series.
I am thinking it will have 4-6 parts over a 2 week period.
I hope you consider joining in on these posts, even if you despise the "B" word, not to be confused with the "B'Dog".
You may find a tip or two that will benefit you or your family a long the way.
I would also LOVE to hear what works in your budget.
I am constantly learning and I am sure some of my readers have fabulous ideas!

Remember no matter what your money situation is right now I hope you......

Enjoy the's free! 

I am not a Pro at economics, math, investing, ect.
I have no formal training or education in any of these areas.
But I do consider myself semi-pro at keeping OUR household afloat from month to month.
I am happy to report that for the past 11 1/2 years (20 if you count when I was single, but I will stick with the years we have been a family unit)  our family has not had even ONE over draft fee from a bank. 
I consider that pretty successful!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Viewing...where plants "usually" come to die and other tales from the crypt

I've been garden this year....if the snow ever stops falling and the ground thaws.
It is nearing the end of April and Minnesota was just slammed with another winter storm this week.
Thankfully it was 40 degrees yesterday and there was some serious melting going on while the sun was shining.
Let me tell ya folks, that is the ONLY good thing about snow in April, it does not last.

OK let's get back to the inspiring parts....a couple blogs I read have "talked me into" becoming a quasi-farmer.
When it comes to anything living that is green, that needs TLC, let's just say, I don't do it well.
Typically it's a big 'ol flop. In my defense it's not always my fault. I try, really hard, to carefully tend to the beautifully gifted houseplants that I have received, but I have 2 serious issues and they look like this:

Cute, right?
Don't let them fool ya, they are fur-covered plant killers.
P.S. not the same cat...Big Mow(Mow sounds like Mauer, as in Joe, without the "er") & Mee Mow(on the right)

So I gave up on house plants, because it was easier than giving up on the Mows.
But come February, in Minnesota...I am jones-ing for some plant life. 
I think you already get the drift that these two criminals make it nearly impossible to have a living one indoors.

Ms. Kelly over at: Grassroots Homestead, was an inspiration on two parts: to get my blog up and running and to start producing my own food, or at least TRY to produce my own food.
Hop over to Kelly's blog and check her out, let her know I sent you :)

Another inspiration was Jessica over at: Optimal Living
Her family leads, what I would consider, a healthy lifestyle. Her blog has inspired me to incorporate little tips and tricks into my family's lifestyle too!  Find a moment to check out Jessica's blog, you won't be disappointed.
 She recommended this book on gardening: 

I must admit, it has an overwhelming amount of information to sort through. Especially for this non-gardener's brain. But we, as a family, are going to put our best foot forward and try to produce a little of our own food.

Sounds fun, right? 

I hope I think that as I am out tending to my precious plants, when it is 100 degrees, 70 degree dew point, and the mosquito's are dive bombing my head this summer.

And just so you don't go away thinking ALL plants come here to die, I have proof they don't:

(pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a flat of marigolds(apparently these keep the rabbits out of the garden?)

My daughter and I actually grew these from little teeny-tiny seeds!
I would like to say there wasn't any criminal activity from the fur-covered plant killers, but I would be lying. 
Mee Mow was caught red-pawed(?), with a tomato seedling hanging out of her mouth.
They have since been safely tucked away into the play room, with the door closed at all times.

Hopefully sometime this summer we will all get to,

Enjoy the View......from our garden!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Taking the Plunge & Creating a Blog


It most likely seems a tad bit presumptuous on my part that people(meaning you) would be interested in reading anything I write(or in this case type) about my views on LIFE.

My views may very well not jive with your views at all.
My style of writing may not always be grammatically correct(I consistently misuse seen/saw, put commas & apostrophes in the wrong spots, and use "....." a lot to show a pause in my thoughts).
 I can almost promise you, even with spell-check, there will be a misspelled or missing word or two.

And my views may not always be politically correct. In fact, most days I am(and you should be too) counting on posts going totally off the rails and residing on "Incorrect Boulevard".
So PLEASE no judgement necessary.
Although I cannot promise, at times, that my views won't be judgmental(or sarcastic) in nature.
And a quick word of WARNING : I am almost certain I will offend a handful of people throughout my blogging journey. Never on purpose, of course :)

Mostly, I just want to blog, because I lurvvvve reading blogs and peeking in on other people's views(and houses).
And I LURVVVVE to write.
But please do not expect professional journalist quality material here.
Or professional photography(I do have a fancy-nancy new camera, but have no idea how to use it).
It's just ME.... A God-fearing Chic, who happens to be a Mom, a Wife, a Friend, a Sister, a Daughter(blah blah blah) who wants to share some of her views.

ENJOY the View!