My thoughts lately: planning to ignite a fire.

So many of us are working way over 40 hours a week, in jobs we don’t really see futures in.

I’ve done quite a bit of reading in the area of following your passion, starting your own business, or working in a more lucrative field where opportunities exist.. but aren’t guaranteed.

So, do you make the leap or do you stay in a boring, yet safe place?

All the literature out there tells you to do what you need to do in order to have a safety net, or nest egg to fall back on. If you don’t have set hours with a set pay check at the end of the week or pay period, you have to have something to fall back on.

safety net

That’s true and I agree with it. I want to talk more about how you make a plan to follow that fire and create some structure out of it.

Work backwards

You have to work your plan backwards. Begin with the end in mind.

What do you need at the end of the month to sit pretty? Start with that number. Then break it down by weeks.

Is $2,500 your goal end number for the month? Then, you need $625 every week, roughly.

Now you figure out your game plan and work out what you need to do to come up with your weekly number. How many hours you need to work or how many shifts you need to pick up and what your goal number is per shift.

If you’re looking to make a transition – you now have a goal number to hit every week, or you could break that down again by day. Say I’m looking for a 4 day work week (aren’t we all?) I need to have $156.25 in my pocket before I call it a day.

This breakdown could be FREEING.

happy day

It might take all day – doing whatever it is you choose to do- to pull in that $156.25. Or maybe you found something really lucrative that allows you to rake that in by 1:00, just in time for a little siesta.

Now that you know how you need to work and what kind of standards you need to hold yourself to, account for everything and plan ahead.

Plan ahead, differently.

Sure it’s nice to see your checking account grow and grow. But by looking at a higher number in your checking account, a sense of entitlement might come over you and a spending spree might be something that’s considered to be deserved. Go ahead and protect yourself against the urge and separate what you budgeted to bring home from any overage.

By that, I mean physically move any extra to the side.

I’m fortunate enough to deal in cash for a good amount of my income, because I wait tables in addition to my daily 10-6. I know which nights I work and I know what my goal is per shift that I work.

Every month I write out my estimated income, broken down by shift and by checks I get from my other place of employment. I have a number that I expect to have made at the end of the month. Every day I write down what I brought home in tips and any extra – goes physically into a separate envelope. (You can do the same by percentages through online banking to transfer overages to a separate account too). That being said, if I’m short a day – I can pull from that envelope that has extra cash for whatever month I’m in. We are always quick to spend anything extra beyond what we planned for, but slow to recover when we have to take a hit for an unexpected reason.

Plan to stay at the level you planned for. Then, any extra money you have physically set aside in an envelope at the end of the month is truly extra that you can fund your small business with, buy yourself a new pair of shoes with (guilt free!), or go out for drinks on a school night.

Hoping to do something you love doesn’t have to be unattainable. Every day is dull if you aren’t loving what you’re doing, or contributing to the world in some way. Of course everyone can’t up and quit their job simply because they don’t like it.

But for those of us with a passion and a vision.. get your ducks in a row. Establish your savings. Transfer your extras into savings. Go get a part time job. Suck it up for now & then once your gut tells you it’s time.. you have a plan to transition into something less stable, but potentially thrilling.

We have one life to live, right?

Boldly, go. 

boldly go

Here are some great tips from the ladies at Design Love Fest too.


Making Your Best Grocery List

It’s been a few weeks.. but it’s time to start wrapping up the Be Prepared for the Chaos Series!

The third part in the series will discuss making your grocery list. The art of being prepared when it comes to food and not falling prey to those moments when you’re starving and there are no quick grab & go options, takes planning. Yes, it’s work. If you do the work up front though, there is alot less to do in the actual store. Just follow your list and toss the items in your basket.

I have created a list that’s relevant to our household when it comes to stocking up our kitchen on all of our staples.

Grocery list viewable here:

Master Grocery List p1

Master Grocery List p2

As you can see, I’ve attempted to divide the types of items into categories as well as allow for those extra items that vary from trip to trip. If you can get it all down in a format that you can refer back to, planning is much easier & there are fewer trips back to the store for forgotten items.

Making Your Best Grocery List:

1. Refer to your master grocery list and note which items you need to pick up

2. Select dinners that you want to make during the time frame between grocery trips. Me, I shop every 2 weeks. So I plan for a 2 week period. Breakfast items, lunch items, dinner items, snacks, etc. are all incorporated. I make a list of all of the potential meals so that I don’t forget about anything in my pantry and then I use a weekly menu board that I made to keep myself organized. This eliminates the whole “I know we have food, but I don’t know what to make tonight..” or “I was going to make this chicken recipe but I forgot to lay out the chicken ahead of time..”

Easy to make DIY menu board. Pick a frame & a favorite [light colored] scrapbook paper, and label each day with colorful stickers. Replace the glass on the frame and use a dry erase marker to update your menu board weekly with all of your dinner ideas to make dinner prep a cinch!

3. Read through all of the recipes that you have collected for this grocery trip’s dinners. Make note of any items that you will need to pick up so that you don’t get halfway through prepping dinner only to realize you didn’t have garlic salt in your cabinet like you thought.

4. The next step is finding coupons for the items that you didn’t add to the list just because they were on sale or BOGO when you began your meal planning process, like we discussed in one of the earlier parts in the series, viewable here.

Part 4: Couponing your grocery list – to come soon!