Welcome to our State of the Blog report for April 2017. I’ve ended my seasonal job for the year, and we’re gearing up for another track out for Little Bit. We’ll cover the to-do list, hairstyles, and 6-year-olds buying their own clothes.
For the first time in a while, I actually did more than I planned with the blog. We had 5 posts in April, but only because Troy from markethistory.org was nice enough to write us a post about his teenaged investing experience. I’ve decided for now to keep posting on Tuesdays and adding any extra content (Jon’s posts or the occasional guest post) on Thursdays when available.
Phasing back a little seems to have given me the time I need to get into a better frame of mind for blogging. For now, though, I’m sticking to once a week posts. Who knows, maybe I’ll even get ahead a bit?
In the meantime, expect a couple of investment-oriented articles coming up.
I also updated my old post on 10 money lessons I’ve learned from Geekdom. One of my goals for this month will be to try to freshen up some of my older content. I wrote a fair amount of posts in my first 6 months or so, but my writing style has evolved quite a bit since then.
I also plan to reboot my weekly emails, which I’ve neglected. If you want a money saving tip and a mini-post each week, you can sign up here.
It’s Getting Hairy
Or not so hairy. After 6 months of a concerted effort to grow out her hair, Little Bit changed her mind. She wanted a summer weight haircut, and she got one. She marched right in and told our hairdresser “Cut it off.”
It looked so cute Angie put it on her Instagram.
That was an easy change. The bigger change…I’ve decided to see if I can stand gray hair again.
I’ve dyed my hair for a while. While I like our frugal life most of the time, I’ve been willing to pay extra for a professional cut and dye job. My hair dye allergy seems to be becoming worse and at 49, I’ve decided to see if I can handle the gray gracefully. So on my last appointment, I skipped the dye job…and the extra $50 I’ve been paying.
For now, my decision doesn’t really show. That should change soon.
As long as no one refers to Little Bit as “your granddaughter” again, I should be fine.
I didn’t think Little Bit was ready to manage her clothing budget, but she may be further along than I thought.
The other day, we cashed in our Children’s Place Cash for a few pairs of shorts, and Little Bit decided she wanted a tank top. I said no.
“You need shorts, not t-shirts.”
“What if I buy it with my allowance?”
“Then you can have it.”
‘$6. Yeah, it’s worth a week.”
Little Bit, when you can start comparing the value of something with how long it takes you to accumulate the money for it, you are likely ready for larger financial responsibilities. I may have to give her more control when it’s time to shop for Fall clothes.
The To-Do List
To recap, my goals for the year were to:
- Live Healthier
- Increase Financial Health
- Improve the Blog
- Do Good Things
- Get Rid of Excess Stuff
Darn you, Easter and all those delicious Cadbury eggs!
I did not do as good a job avoiding sugar during the week this month. Fortunately, the most tempting Easter goodness is gone, leaving only Peeps. Green and pink marshmallows do not tempt me.
Nor did I do much exercise, until the end.
I’ve decided I need to try exercising with someone, and my favorite kiddo decided we could be exercise buddies. So towards the end of the month, we started doing some kid-friendly yoga. Despite how silly pretending to be a mermaid or a banana made me feel, I could feel my core muscles working.
Considering Little Bit was extremely enthusiastic, I’m hoping she’ll push me to exercise more frequently than I did when I was trying solo activities.
Increase Financial Health
I changed my main investment account from my maiden name to my current name. It’s ready to receive my other accounts, and in a week or so I should have all the other ducks in a row to move them.
It’ll be good to all the investments in one place with one low fee structure to worry about.
I noticed, though, that our grocery bill has started to creep up again. We’re not spending anything close to what we were mid-2015, but we’ve been adding a few more little luxuries lately: raspberries, mango slices, the good cheese, and wine that isn’t $3 Buck Chuck. Nothing major, but an extra $15-$20 in the cart each week puts us a bit over budget. Fortunately, we have a little wiggle room, but it’ll need some attention going forward.
Improve the Blog
I mostly talked about my plans earlier in the blog stuff section: one post a week, plus back to the weekly email.
I need to get on more blogging classes before my year of access runs out, though.
Do Good Things
While I didn’t make it to my old gig volunteering at the school store last month, I did volunteer for “Super Kids Day” at Little Bit’s school. Watching Kindergartners play soccer is good for the soul.
I’m signed up for one school store day this month and should get back to the swing of things in June.
Get Rid of Excess Stuff
I did less than I’d hoped to do, but more than I had other months.
We sent lots of toddler stuff to my nephew for his first birthday. By all reports, he really enjoys the books and ridable Thomas the Train. We also sorted out the shoes in Little Bit’s closet (and got her some new ones) after she explained that several pairs I suggested she wear to school were really too small.
As for my stuff, I went through my drawers and reorganized sweaters, t-shirts, pajamas and underwear. I didn’t get rid of too much, but at least I can see what I have.
Goals for this month include sorting through my sock and winter accessory drawers and going through at least 2 of Little Bit’s toy totes.
Wrapping Up April 2017
I’m not sure April was a bragworthy month for us, but I do feel I’m in a better frame of mind than I’ve been in a while. With luck and a little determination, I’m optimistic that the better framework will result in more of a sense of accomplishment when we come back to review May.
How did April go for You?
*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich.*