Monthly Archives: September 2012

I have created a new challenge for myself

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Cross Country Skiing

It occurred to me last week that living in Colorado will present me with the opportunity to go skiing again, cross country skiing, that is.  Then I realized that I am in horrible shape and would probably kill myself if I went out skiing without any kind of conditioning or training.

Hence, the challenge.  I decided that I would need to start exercising…again.  But, I needed to make it interesting.  So I hopped over to Google Maps and got walking directions from Cleveland, TN to Silt, CO.  

It is a total of 1511 miles from here to there.  And it just so happens that I have a cool pedometer that I bought for the last time I was going to get in shape (Ha).  Rather than having these nebulous goals of “walking more” and “getting in shape”, I chose some concrete goals:

1.  Walk 30 minutes per day – not just around the neighborhood and call it 30 minutes – actually walking 30 minutes per day at least 4 to 5 times per week.  And I have to use a timer or watch to make sure I am actually walking for 30 minutes.

2.  Meet the goal of a minimum of 5000 steps per day for this week.  

3.  Calculate the distance I have traveled each day to see how far I get on my “walk” to Silt, CO.

Since 5000 steps is only about 2.5 miles (2000 steps = 1 mile), I think I will post once a week on how far I have made it and where I am.

And since Google has pictures of most of the intersections and roads along the way, I can actually see the places I am getting to.  Cool, huh?  Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to copy and paste those images into the blog yet.  But, I bet you I will come up with a way to do it before next weekend. Maybe I will buy some state maps and put them up on the wall and use push pins to show my “walk” to my new home and lifestyle.

Have you ever tried this before?  I guess the idea came to me from a past experience I had with my daughter in 4-H.  They were challenging the kids to get out and be more active.  They asked the kids to log  how many miles they walked during a given period of time and they tracked it on a map.  It was neat to see how far the kids could get, as a group.  

 

Living on a budget…Sucks!!

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I know that I haven’t said anything for quite some time because I have been busy closing down Sunshine Canine and preparing………to move again.  The kids and I have decided that we want to be closer to our family that wants us around, namely my Sister and my Dad.  So, about a month ago we started looking for a house to buy in Colorado.

The latest news is that houses are a lot more expensive in Colorado than they are in Tennessee and they move a lot quicker too.  One or two days on the market, in my price range, and they are under contract.  We have been lucky (depends, really) to find a very cute house in New Castle that is right in my price range, the only drawback….it’s a short sale.

I am what you would call a “property virgin”.  I have never, ever, in my life ever bought my own house.  The house we live in here in Tennessee is in my mother’s name.  She put the down payment on it and I pay rent to her every month.  Much as I would like to fool myself into believing that it is mine because I pay the bills and do the maintenance on it – it is still in her name and legally it is her house.  Well, we all know how I feel about my mother, so as you can imagine, that doesn’t sit very well with me.

Well, after gathering up all my financial information for the bank to get pre-approved for a mortgage, the hard cold facts about how dismally the dog training center failed is right there in front of me – in black and red, so to speak.  Mostly red, because it didn’t make any money and I am in debt up to my eyeballs from trying to keep it open.  My Daddy has kindly volunteered to co-sign a loan with me so that we can get a decent house.  He is such an angel!!  But, even though his name will be there and it allows me to borrow a little bit more…. I still have to be able to afford the monthly bills.

So, anal list maker that I am, I went about putting myself on a budget.  I must pay down the debt in order to be able to live in Colorado.  I cannot keep spending more money than I am bringing in and I must pay down the debt.  Bear with me while I whine a little bit.   I don’t like telling myself no.  I don’t like having to keep track of every single penny I bring in and spend.  Wah Wah Wah.  Whine Complain  Whine Complain!!!

Today, I had to put myself to the test …And I passed!!!  Yay for me!!!  I went to Wal-Mart to get a vacuum filter.  I knew it was expensive, that’s why I have been putting it off, but I had no idea.  $19.87 for a freaking vacuum filter!!!  I had to tell myself no.  And the reason I could was because I have 2 vacuums at this time.  I just brought home my old Rainbow vacuum from the training center.  All it requires to operate is a tank full of (free) water and a little extra body movement in the form of dumping the dirty tank outside.  So, I told myself to get up off my lazy ass and put out the little bit of extra movement to save myself the $20 for a vacuum filter.

I also saw this wonderful tip on Pinterest the other day.  (And, yes, I am addicted) Anyway, they were talking about buying essential oils to refill the plug-ins.  I use the Febreeze plug-ins, which it costs $9.47 to buy the double pack of each month.  Those little tiny bottles hold 1.75 oz (together) of oil.  I just bought an 8 oz bottle of essential oil from Hobby Lobby for $9.99 and I had a 40% off coupon, meaning it cost me $6 to buy 8 oz of refill oil.  And after filling the tiny little bottles using a tiny little funnel, I am guessing that I have enough oil to refill those bottles another 3 to 4 times.  So here are the savings in black and white (not red, this time)

1.75 oz divided by $9.47 = $5.41 per ounce

8 oz divided by $6 = $1.33 per ounce  —  I like this figure a whole lot better!!

So, I had to tell myself No! for one thing and do a little bit extra work, but I found a cheaper way to tell myself Yes! on another item.  Maybe this budget thing isn’t so bad after all.

Well, got to go get to vacuuming.  What sacrifices have you had to make while living on a budget?  Where have you cut back or eliminated in order to save money?