Time Budgeting

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Yup. This is totally what I look like when I iron.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard a mom at the playground talking about how busy they are, or how they didn’t have time to get such-and-such done, I’d have more than a nickel.

If you’ve been around a while, you know the Hubby and I paid off $77,232.88 in 2 days shy of 28 months (but who’s counting?) by being intentional with our money. The basics of that is we had a certain amount coming in, and we had a certain amount going out. The things that didn’t fall into the “need” category (like our mortgage, groceries, and gas) were budgeted for as we had the extra money to do so. If we didn’t have the money, we didn’t get to buy/do/have XYandZ. It was all about learning how to prioritize spending and realizing that there is a set amount you can spend. If you spend more than what came in, you have a deficit. Every month, we worked hard to never have a deficit while still enjoying our lives.

We’ve been debt free now for a year and a half. Later this month (week?) we will have our Fully Funded Emergency Fund in place (3-6 months living expenses, though, given the protections we’ve put in place, we are going on the lower side of that number). Yes, it took us a year and a half to get it done, but you know what? We did it. And we had to remodel a bathroom, pay for preschool, put new tires on a car, pay dental visits, etc. and we STILL got it done. I’m a happy girl.

So, what does this have to do with Time Budgeting??

It’s simple, and if you were paying attention, you already know the answer.

“…we had a certain amount coming in, and we had a certain amount going out. The things that didn’t fall into the “need” category (like our mortgage, groceries, and gas) were budgeted for as we had the extra money to do so. If we didn’t have the money, we didn’t get to buy/do/have XYandZ. It was all about learning how to prioritize spending and realizing that there is a set amount you can spend. If you spend more than what came in, you have a deficit.”

How many times have you wished for more hours in the day or an extra day to the weekend to get everything you wanted to get done?

Here’s the deal: There are 24 hours in a day. No more, no less (unless you count those stupid Daylight Savings time adjustments. I still say parents across the nation all rally to boycott. But I digress….). Simple tasks, like personal hygiene and unloading the dishwasher have to happen. Doing laundry, prepping and cooking meals, grocery shopping, sleeping… those are in that “need” category. No matter how much you WANT to avoid them, they are a part of our lives, and like your mortgage or rent, you’ll have to pay that due at some point, but if you put it off too long, there may be a penalty or upheaval of your life in some way (like getting evicted. Let’s not do that, ok?)

Since we are talking about time management here, that penalty is that it will take you MORE time to fold the laundry if you put it off for a week (my BIGGEST problem, by far). The times I slack on the laundry for a week (or more), I have to find an HOUR to fold everything! How many moms out there can actually find an hour to themselves when they want it? However, when I carve out time on a more regular basis, it takes far less time to get everything washed, folded, AND put away (or in their respective Action Boxes).

So, if you’ve ever wished you could get a grasp on the daily must-do list, that never goes away (not talking projects, though you might find you have more time for them!), have a little peace in your mind that the time you’re spending on the computer, reading a book, or weeding the garden (notice I didn’t say “playing with the kids”. That should never be an “action item” on your to-do list), isn’t throwing the rest of your life into a tailspin and you’ll be left wondering where to find the extra hours to do XYandZ, you need to do a Time Budget.

Want to know how? I’d be happy to lay that out for you, but my allocated time for blogging is done for the day, so I need to move on to making the kids breakfast. (see how that works? I’ll still have to make breakfast, whether I keep blogging or not, but this way, I’m not rushed to do so!)

You’ll just have to check out my follow-up post tomorrow morning 🙂

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