Planning, organizing, and streamlining to avoid a nervous breakdown!
Although it is nearly the end of January, it’s not too late to discuss New Year’s resolutions. I didn’t really make much of a list, but I did decide to streamline my life as much as possible in prep for the tenure process. I also want to pay off as much of my lingering debt as possible. So, I decided to try menu planning. Typically, I just make dinner on the whim. If the ingredients aren’t in the house, I head over to the market. Of course this results in lost time, greater expenditures, and often frustration which leads me to order take-out!
So, I prepared two months of menus (Jan and Feb) with shopping lists. We’ll see how things go. So far, it has cut a lot of stress for me. I checked my menu and see that today is “gruel” day. Gruel is what Mister Man calls Khichdi — a single pot meal of rice, lentils, spices, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, and whatever other veggies are hanging around. It’s a super tasty vegetarian meal that warms the tummy on cold evenings. It also has a ton of fiber — and at our age, fiber is really important! We love Gruel!
I’m really trying to avoid the nearly daily stop off at the market — and it seems like each visit is an easy $40.00! But, a lot of my purchases are poorly planned which only adds more time to my day. I’m going to try a single market day for the bulk of our month’s supplies with only the occasional stop off for perishables.
I’ve also planned out my debt repayment plan following a snowball method. My goal is to start 2012 with no debt at all! (I want to be debt free for the end of the world, heehee). Again, the biggest problem is not a lack of $$, but rather unplanned and unnecessary spending. Oops, I bought a pair of shoes this month that are definitely not necessary! But check them out . . . can you blame me?
It’s too wet and cold still to wear these stylin’ shoes . . . but I can’t WAIT to debut them. Frivolous, I know, but I’ll be good from now on, promise! I’ve been budgeting now for about a year and it has made huge difference in how I spend my money. No more spending more than I earn and I’ve even been able to shunt money away in a savings account. My goal is to save up money for a down payment on an acreage so that I can have a big garden and lots of chickens!
Next, and I’ll work on this asap, is to budget my time. I found a posting today on Inside Higher Ed that helps tenure track peeps to prioritize their time. I’m going to dedicate some time to creating a time plan. Like a lot of people I have a lot to do with limited amounts of time. But, I enjoy relaxing with Mister Man and getting plenty of sleep. This requires a strict time budget that will allow me to work at top efficiency so that I can max out my relax time. I’m also hoping that time management will lower my stress level which will lower the amount of cortisol in my system which will hopefully help me lose some poundage. See! it’s all part of a plan to reduce the belly fat!! Ulterior motive revealed.
My parental units will be celebrating 50 years of marriage this summer and we are all going on a family cruise. I’d really like to fit into some chic cabana wear and even a bathing suit.
Ah, I can hardly wait to be out on the ocean, sipping a fruity umbrella adorned drink and enjoying the wacky extended Sanchez clan. Good budgeting now will allow me the funds, time, and mental state to fully embrace the festivities!