I spent so many years trying to stay on top of everything. It was like plate spinning. But every time someone threw another plate at me, I’d drop one or two that were already spinning. I’d forget to grab my wallet or buy milk or pay that bill. Then I’d bounce a check or run out of gas or forget someone’s soccer practice. I started working my way through the insane amount of how to lead a more organized life advice there is both in books and on the internet. And as with all things, not everything works for everyone. To this day I wish I could get one of those how to keep your whole house clean by just doing certain things on certain days of the month. It doesn’t work for me and I don’t suppose, short of my becoming a stay at home mother and wife which is laughable, that it ever will. However, I have found a few things that do work for me. The first is a budget. I keep my budget in excel and it is projected for the entirety of the calendar year… and honestly, I’m so obsessed with it that I usually start working on the next year around fall. I have every single bill and all projected pay listed. And then I have all of the monthly bills as well as the things I know we will need to spend money on in certain months, like Christmas or back to school clothes. I balance this budget against my bank and credit card at least three times a week. It keeps me sane.
Another thing that I do, that honestly I have a hard time believing other people don’t is my meal planning spreadsheet. I am not a big fan of grocery shopping. I have my moments where I wish we could all just have a food iv and I could pay that bill and never have to shop or cook or do freaking dishes again. But then I remember that chocolate is good and fresh hot bread with melted kerrygold butter on it is better. So, because it has to be done, I plan out the menu for each week. I usually open this spreadsheet on Wednesday when my local grocery store offers up their ad and all of the digital coupons become available. Using as many of the sale items as I can, I form a dinner plan for the week. We also cook breakfast daily and pack lunches at my house so I make sure and plan for that. Once I have the “menu” done, I start the list… on my spreadsheet, I have a column for the estimated price (you shop long enough and you know just about how much everything costs. And a running total that tallies itself at the bottom of the page. This is especially awesome when I impulse buy items while shopping and can then see that I blew like $40 on crap afterwards.