My 5 Goals in 2019 – Week 6 of 52

  1. Every day for the next 5 days, pack a lunch. I am sorry for the lack of pictures for the past week! I was busy busy and it went by in a whisk. Then I was left with no pictures. Shrug. Deep breath out.
    Happy to say I did pack a lunch all 5 days. There was:
    – Fish, butternut squash and kale chips
    – Leftover pasta with chicken & broccoli
    – Meatballs, mushroom salad and broccoli
    Well I can’t remember the other days. Darn memory. But I do remember the oatmeal I brought for breakfast (and PB2 does not make an equal replacement to peanut butter).
  2. Keep it Frugal. What was frugal outside of cooking at home, drinking coffee at home, bringing my breakfast and lunches to work… Oh yes, we went to the 99 Cents Only store to score some Vegan goods at really discounted rates compared to the fancy grocers.
    Things like:
    – Coconut sugar
    – Granola
    – Almond pudding
    – Spaghetti squash and red/orange bell peppers
    – Vegan cheese

    $0.99 cents for Vegan cheese that otherwise costs $6 at the wholesome nutritional store.
    It has a strong pepper flavor eating it alone. So we were going to put it on our veggie burgers but forgot. So I will need to report back after having properly trying it with something, like in a sandwich. But this stuff is usually $6 at the fancy grocery store! It was very much nostalgic going to the 99 Cents Only store. I remember my young adult days addicted to Combos pizza baked snacks. Those were the days making almost nothing but I don’t ever remember feeling broke with this local store!
    This weekend, I also came home with a big bag of grilled Pacific rockfish. I had it for breakfast this morning of all things. It will also be part of my packed lunches during the week. Yay for being sent home with leftovers!
  4. Pay with cash. Envelopes, clips or debit.
  5. And I did not get around to making new envelopes this payday. I re-used some old cash envelopes. A travel one, a botanical one, and a Christmas themed envelope. Haha.
    I gave up on the money clips for now.
    This week’s cash budget consists of: Food – $205, Gas – $105 and Everything Else – $30.
    I am quite comfortable with my cash budget now. Rarely using my debit card. Last time I used it, I had a hard time recalling the pin.

  6. Healthy habits. I walked a mile twice. Did you know that My Fitness Pal considers light activity as walking one 1/2-hour each day?! And here I can only do it twice in one week. Smh. But I am putting an effort forward and will keep trying. Maybe I will try some yoga again before the night’s end.
    I have started eating healthier this past week. I am trying to eat with Whole30 in mind. But will at times still eat beans or will consume whole grain bread. I tried spaghetti squash for the first time. We had it with marinara and meatballs. It was quite tasty.

    The $1 spaghetti squash from the 99 Cents Only store!
    I’ve also stocked up on green and black tea to replace for coffee with cream and sugar. The switch hasn’t been too hard to get used to thus far.
  8. Read. (Affiliate links) I completed The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Good memoir, well written but quite a sad upbringing. Fortunately, the author did good for herself upon becoming an adult.
    Over the weekend I read:
    It Starts with Food (Whole30)
    Power Foods for the Brain
    The Brain on Fire
    The latter was quite interesting. It’s about a very rare autoimmune disease that made the author quite manic. The neurologist team stuck with her – as opposed as putting her in a psyche ward claiming a severe mental illness – and they figured out what was medically wrong with her. The take away – wondering how many young women have gone un-diagnosed only to live their days in a psych ward when that was a secondary cause of an inflammation in the brain that can be cured 90% of the time.
    I am now moving onto another one by Ellen Marie Wiseman called What She Left Behind.


That’s it for the recap on this week’s goals. How are you doing with your goals and/or staying in budget? Anything fantastic happen over the weekend?

Click HERE to follow FrugalToFI on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow Frugal2FI on Instagram.
Click HERE to subscribe to FrugalToFI by RSS feed or Email.

My 5 Goals in 2019 – Week 5 of 52

  1. Every day for the next 5 days, pack a lunch. Albondigas with an RBC (rice, bean and cheese) burrito for 2 days. RBC burrito for 1. PB&Js for 2 days. Proud to say that I brought my lunch to work each day.

    I also did not use my debit card for the vending machine. Speaking of, I found out the company running the vending machine is charging an extra $0.10 per transaction but the information is not posted anywhere on the machine. Sneaky vendor.
  2. Keep it Frugal. I had the chance to join a (free and frugal) ChooseFI meetup where I heard Jillian from Montana Money Adventures and Johanna Big City FI give some awesome presentations.
    BTW, Jillian will be speaking at FI Chautauqua UK this summer and Johanna will be talking at the LA Lola Retreat coming up quick! But hurry, because tickets are going quick!
  3. Pay with cash. Envelopes, clips or debit. I tried switching from envelopes to clips. Actually I started using the envelopes as divider cards clipping the money to the card. I do like the clip idea overall, but putting money away is more cumbersome than stuffing money back in an envelope at a moments notice.
    As much as I love my new Hmong wallet (Etsy), it is not the perfect cash budget envelope system wallet I was hoping for. But I am not giving up in finding a workable solution because it really is a great wallet.
    hmong wallet
    As for the budget… Now that the Food & Household budget is reduced to $400/month, it seems my ‘Everything Else’ category is being re-purposed for household buys. Which is fine as it works.
  4. Healthy habits. I have walked 2 times this week at a mile each. And I snuck in some yoga during the weekend. I was going to pull with all my might to reach my goal in moving by body 3 days this week!

  5. Read. Book 2 for the year. I started to read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
    The Glass Castle
    “One time I saw a tiny Joshua tree sapling growing not too far from the old tree. I wanted to dig it up and replant it near our house. I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and tall and straight. Mom frowned at me. “You’d be destroying what makes it special,” she said. “It’s the Joshua tree’s struggle that gives it its beauty.”
    ― Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

January Stats

  • Starting Debt in January: $69,960.45
  • Debt Accrued: $16,558.00
  • Debt Payment: $3,423
  • Debt Remaining: $83,864.79

At the start of the new year, did you give yourself a word to intentionally follow? Did you make a set of goals? How is your progress going? What was our word? Let me know in the comments below. I look forward to rooting you on!
*Wallet picture by ChangnoiBags on Etsy

Goals in 2019 – Week 4 of 52

At the beginning of previous week I jot my intended goals in a notebook. Then 7 days later I share how things turned out. Some of my 2019 goals are repetitive, like don’t use the credit card and to pack a lunch everyday. Other goals are going with the wave of my life and change weekly. Each and every week, I am holding myself accountable to live a more intentional life.

1. Don’t use the CC or take out a loan.

I did… but only for travel. This is actually planned because they were supposed to charge it at the time of reservation, but didn’t. It’s only a month later they decided charged it. My room reserved confirmed and this bill will be paid off in a couple of weeks.

2. Check on status of pending application.

Still pending review… least I still have lots of time before my trip. But even if it doesn’t happen, travel will still be okay.

3. New – Walk 3 times this week (-1).

My health is something I really need to take more seriously. Seems about 60…65 years of age that my family members star to decline in health. Yikes. That might be a bit over a decade for me to reach, but really is not that far!

My goal was to just start walking with no distant necessary to achieve. Whether that meant outside or on the workstation treadmill, didn’t matter. Well, I only walked 2 times this week. I was really going to try and put in a quick last minute walk, but it did not happen.

I am keeping score and will try to clear that (-1) this coming week requiring me to walk 4 times this week.

4. New – File taxes.

Well I was not expecting to file so quickly, but when notice came from Intuit that my documents were imported and ready I filed. Last year was simple in terms of taxes and I had all the documents I needed. I will be getting back a decent return. Which will catch up on my payments to be ahead of schedule and allow me to put another $1k in my emergency fund. This makes me happy.

5. Every day for the next 5 days, pack a lunch.

Accomplished! I am finding it harder to keep up if I don’t prep enough – like this past week (and I still need to prep for this coming week). But I still followed through bringing something. One day it was 2 frozen mini pizzas for lunch and a PB&J (from the freezer) for breakfast. Another day it was the frozen chickpea curry from the back of the freezer. It was spicy good but took a good time defrost and heat up in the microwave.

Last week my main fruit were grapes as they were on sale.

6. New – 4 weeks $400 food & household budget

Did you see my Instagram post?! $436 was my total with $23 of that an emotional spend. I make this a win! The beginning of the year food budget was a little easier to obtain as there were holiday leftovers and gift cards to cover a small expenses (like a coffee trip).

Funny thing, I ended the 4th week with $1 left in my wallet available for the food & household budget.

Two things I have observed from this lowered budget, 1) simple carbs like pasta are on the increase and 2) not eating as much fruit. I miss my fruit. So on this week’s shopping trip I increased the fruit with apples, nectarines, and oranges – all on sale. I need my fruit! And I am going to monitor and decrease my simple carbs replacing it with more veggies and beans.

Meals at home

garlic sea salt mahi mahi
Garlic-sea salt mahi mahi, roasted sweet potato slices, black beans, coconut-lime rice and broccoli
A giant triple berry cinnamon pancake later topped with super crunchy peanut butter
Sad potato tacos (end of the 4th week). The spiced potatoes were awesome but I was out of avocado, roasted corn and cabbage.

I anticipate the next 4 weeks to be a little more challenging because I might crack and go out to eat. Which is fine, but eating out really is the culprit to high food expenses if I do not spend right. In addition, I need somethings for the house like razors, cat stuff and trash bags. But I am cheering myself on and am ready to give this a try.

7. Don’t use the debit card for the vending machine.

Passed y’all. It was spare change to the rescue. I really don’t need to be eating that chocolate or junk food anyway!

8. Continue reading a book.

The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman is so emotional. My heart is <grip>. I can’t imagine the time during the Holocaust. Even though this particular book is fictional, the author does an persuasive job of recreating an ultimately sad and unfathomable time in history.

As for The Complete Tightwad Gazette. – I didn’t even get a chance to read it. Just as I received it, I became engaged with this other book. So I went to renew the Tightwad Gazette so I could read later and they didn’t give me any renewals! It took me so long to receive my hold from the library. Totally unfair! Oh well, I can’t complain as it was free and I can put it on hold again.

9. New – Meditate 3 times a week

That didn’t happen. But I did get to play in nature this past weekend to catch up with a friend. The time was well spent and to me, nature is meditative. So I count that as a (-2). Not sure I will catch up on meditation. All I know, is that I need to start practicing it again or to start hiking again. One or the other as there has been such a benefit in my life when I do practice it.

Goals for week 5 of 52

1. Don’t use the CC or take out a loan.
2. Check on status of pending application.
3. Every day for the next 5 days, pack a lunch.
4. Stay in $200 food & household budget for the next 2 weeks.
7. Don’t use the debit card for the vending machine.
8. Finish the current book.
9. Walk 3 times this week and meditate 2.


Well that is it for this week. How did your goals do last week? 

Goals in 2019 – Week 3 of 52

1. Don’t use the CC or take out a loan.

I didn’t do either!  In fact, I am trying to figure out where to store the CCs for out of sight, out of mind. It doesn’t seem a safety deposit box is an option because my bank doesn’t carry them.

2. Check on status of pending application.

I checked. No movement on this one. It is still pending review.

3. Confirm CC refund.

With my new-to-me used car, I bought new wheels for them. Then I returned them because they are not a necessity right now. Took me 20 minutes of hold time on the customer service line, but I confirmed $700 was refunded.

4. Start printing and gather tax paperwork in a folder.

Student loan paperwork came in and I printed those. Just waiting on bank and employer paperwork so I can file. Looks like I may be getting back a couple grand on my tax return. My job has been a little iffy right now, so it’s likely I will put most of it into the emergency fund.

5. Every day for the next 5 days, pack a lunch.

Every day of the week I accomplished bringing my lunch to work. From leftover chicken tortilla soup, to PB & Js and fruit, to leftover fish/rice/spinach. You know everyone loved me at work when I was heating up that last dish!

6. Don’t spend more than the $6 this week. That is the amount I have left from my $400/month reduced food budget.

I had to pull out the emergency $20 when I ran out of coffee. I also gathered more breakfast goods (even though we have pancakes and oatmeal to last us for days). I am looking forward to seeing the total food budget spent at my month’s end (after I tally up the vending machine spending). But still think I stayed very close to my $400 mark. From the previous $650/m – this includes household – that’s some major savings there!

7. Don’t use the debit card for the vending machine.

I know I failed on this one. But then I switched to finding spare change in my desk. Sometimes it’s chips to pair with my PB & Js because we don’t keep chips in the house. To buying the 3pm craving for chocolate. Next week, I will be adding walking to my list of goals!

8. Start reading a book.

I did do this! I received a batch of books from my friend and starting reading The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman. It’s a fictional tale written in the setting of Germany during WWII. Not my usual reading material, but it really has been a good read (sad, too). I’m also glad to take up reading fiction. It’s hard to pull me away from self-help books.

The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman

My library hold finally came in – The Complete Tightwad Gazette. So I stopped by there and picked up additional books. I need to make sure I fit this book in my reading schedule too. Can’t pass up the opportunity to learn some new frugal tips.

9. Make new money envelopes.


Yay for having goals as it kept me on track. I scooted to my craft (dining) table and whipped this set of cash envelopes up. I love, love how they turned out! They are all shiny and a tad bit shorter than the normal ones. And now they fit my wallet perfectly. I am looking forward to payday so I can them.

How was your week with goals or embracing your strong word? 

Goals in 2019 – Week 2 of 52

This week went well.

1. Pass – Put $200 in travel checking⁣⁣⁣

2. Pass – Appt done. Now we wait. Glad we have a buffer in our travel plans with the Gov’t shutdown going on. My heart goes out to all of you facing financial hardship because of it. ⁣⁣⁣

3. Conditional Pass, but 99% pass – No use CC or take out a loan. I did use the CC but had this $45 charge planned ahead. So I am not giving myself a hard time over it. ⁣⁣⁣

4. Pass – Pack a lunch or skip. Brought it all times. Even packed oatmeal for breakfast since I was out of breakfast burritos. I did go out with a friend but had the cash to cover it. ⁣⁣⁣

5. Pass – Meal prep. The cranberry-walnut chicken salad came out so good. It allowed me to use up chicken breast I bought from Costco. Also made breakfast burritos and single serving rice packets. ⁣⁣⁣

6. Pass – Stay in reduced food budget ($400/month). Pass for this week. If I don’t spend until next payday it will be a win. Think I have a few bucks leftover from grocery shopping trip. But my freezer and fridge are full. I can do this 💪🏼⁣⁣⁣

Goals for January Week 3

1. Don’t use the CC or take out a loan.
2. Check on status of pending application.
3. Confirm CC refund.
4. Start printing and gather tax paperwork in a folder.
5. Every day for the next 5 days, pack a lunch.
6. Don’t spend more than the $6 this week. That is the amount I have left from my $400/month reduced food budget.
7. Don’t use the debit card for the vending machine.
8. Start reading a book.
9. Make new money envelopes.