Setting goals is super easy, but keeping them can be challenging. I know this from personal experience! So, today I thought I would talk about how to make it easy to actually accomplish your goals.
First, you need to name your goal, be specific, and make it measurable. For instance, if you just say you want to read your Bible more, exercise more, etc. you’re probably not going to stick with it. Not because it’s not a good goal, but because you can’t track it. A few examples of measurable goals are:
- I will read my Bible every morning
- I will exercise five minutes a day/3x a week
- I will save $20/week for 52 weeks (That’s $1,040 not including interest in case you were wondering)
Create a graph on paper or on your phone/tablet/computer so that you can see if you are making progress. Keep it somewhere that you will actually look at it. By the way, I don’t believe the Bible should be a checklist item, but it’s better than not reading the Bible. If that’s a goal of yours then check out How to Read the Bible (it will open in a new window).
My exercise goal is a little different. Since we will be living in town soon, my plan is to ride my bike for quick trips to the store instead of driving (unless it’s raining). This will save me some gas money and I will hopefully lose a few pounds. I’ll let you know once I’ve been at it for a few months.
What are some of your goals and how are you keeping track? You can let me know in comments or on our Facebook page!
Today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite things, decorating! Yes, decorating can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Today I’m going to talk about doing so with a modest budget. It helps to be creative and crafty, but it’s not required.
The top picture that you see is one that I took at Dismals Canyon in Phil Campbell, Alabama. I chose it because I am planning to have it printed at Walmart so that I can hang it on my wall at Berry Cottage. I can print it as a 16×20 poster and buy a frame for less than $20 and it has meaning to me and my family. If you enjoy taking pictures and want to show off your artwork, there are many options for printing. I chose Walmart because I can upload my pictures and drive there to pick them up. No waiting.
I buy all of my furniture from second-hand stores and on Facebook marketplace. I buy my mattresses at Wal-Mart because I’m terrified of getting bed bugs. There are ways to check for them, but I personally would rather avoid them.
A simple way to dress up a room is with new curtains and throw pillows. If you have a sewing machine you can use sheets from a thrift store if you can’t find inexpensive material that you like. Just cut out your pattern or the measurements you need for what you’re making. Remember to leave room to hem it. You can also use old clothes and sheets to make a throw or a quilt.
If you like figurines or you’re looking for holiday decor, Dollar Tree is awesome! My mom has an adorable Christmas village that she bought piece by piece there and you can’t tell. They add new ones every year so you can add to your collection.
You can also repurpose furniture. For instance, there were two dressers in the Berry Cottage when we bought it. One is tall, but the other is perfect for our TV. I use the drawers to store DVDs, games, and CDs (I still have CDs and cassette tapes, but the cassettes stay in my 1999 Toyota). You can paint furniture to fit your decor and even change the knobs to give it a new look. I’m considering it with our new TV stand, but I kind of like the retro wood and brass look.
This picture was taken when we first bought the house so this room looks very different and all of the trash has been thrown away.
What are some of your favorite ways to decorate on a budget?
I haven’t really discussed finances much on this blog, but today I want to because it’s something I enjoy. I use Google Sheets, but there are apps you can use and other spreadsheets. I just like that I can open it anywhere and see what bills I have to pay. I create my budgets months in advance and I tweak them when I get to that month. I already have February 2020 on my Budgets spreadsheet.
The first thing I did was list my bills down the left hand side, leaving the top rectangle blank (I’ll explain why in a moment). Each item gets it’s own rectangle. You can change the font and size, which I did to make it easier for me to read. A few examples of what to include are:
- Tithes and offerings
- Savings (Pay yourself)
- Propane/Natural Gas
- Car loan
- Car insurance
- Health Insurance
- Credit Cards
Your list may be longer or shorter depending on what bills you have to pay. The beauty of a spreadsheet is you can move things around easily as your needs change.
To the right of the blank square I type in the month. Then, beside each bill I type in how much I owe for that month (rent) or an estimate (electricity). Make sure all of your amounts are in dollar formats, you can do this by highlighting all of the boxes with numbers and hitting the $. Now I highlight them again, if needed, and click the funny looking “E” for Functions. I use this to add everything together and that amount appears below the last amount in my budget.
To keep track, as I pay bills I mark them green for paid, yellow for pending, and red for not paid. It makes it super easy for me to see what I need to pay still at the end of the month. Also, if a bill ends up costing more or less when I go to pay it, I change it in the Budget so I know for next month.
If you use an app or a different spreadsheet, tell me in comments. I may try them out and I write another blog post highlighting your suggestions. I will not use your name without permission.