September Review

Last month, I laid out some goals for September. I wish I could say that I had gotten better than mixed results… but I did not. Here’s what it looks like:

Income

Goal: $400 more than childcare ($1030)

Actual: $158 more than childcare ($788)

Analysis: My better-paying trivia job was very slow this month and I had trouble motivating myself to do Leapforce; other tasks always seem more important. And unexpected time-suckers came up, including a job interview that required extensive preparation. I really need to rethink whether paying for part-time childcare is worthwhile.

Spending

Goal: Limit groceries to $500

Actual: $577

Analysis: I’m actually not too discouraged here. Where I went wrong was in not paying closer attention earlier in the month.  By the time the month was half over, I had less than a hundred dollars left, and while I made a valiant effort (including experimenting with making my own yogurt), staying all the way under was just too difficult. I’m not very experienced in sticking to a grocery budget because for two years until this summer, we were living at a boarding school and ate most of our dinners in the dining hall for free, and at other times, Mr. FP has been our main shopper. So I won’t be too hard on myself.

Lifestyle

Goal: Reduce our consumption of disposable training pants and get Little Brother to sleep in two pairs of cloth trainers plus a plastic cover.

Actual: This went better than expected. I had actually just bought a large package (for extended trips out of the house, etc.) when Little Brother decided that they were completely unacceptable as undergarments. It is actually a frequent struggle to get him to put on that second pair and the cover, as he wants to wear “just undiepants,” but since he is waking up soaking wet 2-3 mornings a week, I’m holding firm. (Interestingly, Big Brother became reasonably reliable at night just a month or so ago, at exactly the time his larger-size plastic cover finally disintegrated.)

Other

Get life insurance: Fail. Mr. FP hasn’t gotten around to doing his exam and I never got my application.

Read three books: Pass!

Make weekly to-do lists: Marginal pass. I’ve gotten into a good rhythm for making the lists; that’s the good news. Every Monday after lunch, I review the previous week’s list and see what else needs to be done. I have been less successful at actually finishing a list, but I figure that’s good: if it were easy to finish, it would be a bad list. Probably better to have two or three things that I don’t get to than to finish my list on Saturday.

BONUS: While I haven’t been goal-setting in this area, I am seeing a slight decrease in the numbers on the scale as well as some muffin top shrinkage. Wouldn’t it be nice if I went all the way through the month of October with NO strangers asking me if I was expecting a third child? (I am not, as it happens, currently in the family way.)

Stay tuned tomorrow for some October goals. Did you make any goals for September? How did you do at meeting them?

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About frugalparagon

I'm a part-time librarian and mom to two small boys. I blog about striving for the long-term goal of financial independence while running a tight ship at home.

5 responses to “September Review”

  1. Tawcan says :

    Looks like you had a great month in September. A grocery budget of less than $600 for a family of 4 is actually pretty low. If I were you I’d definitely get the life insurance done so you have a peace of mind.

    • frugalparagon says :

      Thanks for the encouraging words! At least we ate well on that money :-). Lots of fresh veggies from Sprouts and I learned an awesome way to cook beans that I will be blogging about next week.

  2. Autumn @ The Barefoot Budgeter says :

    Job interviews are such time suckers – I hope it went well! I’m already getting a little anxious about going through the whole job hunting process and I’m close to a year away from it.

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