Lazy Girl’s Guide to Home Management, Part 4: Budgeting 


Um. I’ve got nothing.

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No no no. I mean, I’m horrible at budgeting. Well, it’s not that I’m horrible at budgeting so much as I’m horrible at sticking to a budget and like, guys, I’m really bad at it.

But because I’ve struggled so long with it, I have some thoughts about things that make it easier or more effective. 

So here are my tips for budgeting when you hate budgeting. 

  1. Use a budget. If you don’t have this written out somewhere- write it out somewhere!
  2. Online tools like Mint.com are free and easy and really help stupid people like me see where my money is going (as though it went anywhere other than Sephora and Gwynnie Bee.) 
  3. Make sure you have categories budgeted for gifts and charity. These are two major areas of your budget that you definitely should not get rid of but we often forget to separate.
  4. If you’re bad at this like I am, force yourself to look at it every week. There’s nothing worse than ignoring it for a month and being surprised. 
  5. Be on the same page as your spouse. If you’re not (like me) pray about how to get on the same page. 
  6. You know what? Just pray about it in general. Seriously. You need to.

So…not really groundbreaking stuff. And if my husband reads this I hope he’s stopped laughing hysterically at the thought of my giving anyone financial advice. 

Lazy Girl’s Guide to Home Management: Part 3- Meal Planning


So no matter how clean my house is or how organized my planner, eventually my kids get hungry and I have to feed them. And ugh, I hate feeding them.

I hate cooking. I hate grocery shopping, I hate preparation, I hate plating, I hate cleaning up. I hate literally everything about the thing I have to do three times a day almost every day of the week. (Buzz does breakfast on weekends, God bless him.)

Because I’m also not that smart, I’ve always planned out the week’s dinners. I literally could not function and would have no food available if I didn’t do that. But I always did one week at a time. Which meant that every Friday I’d have to come up with food for the next week and I’d whine to myself and avoid it and whine some more and then eventually end up just saying we’d have tacos or pizza or something every day because I did not want to deal with it.

Kind of boring.

About six months ago I switched to a four-week meal planning schedule and GUYS IT IS AWESOME. It takes about an hour every month (probably less, I’ve never really timed it) and it makes my daily life so much easier.

There are tons and tons of meal planning templates and whatnot out there, and like with everything, it’s important to make sure that you pick something that works for you.

For me, physically writing things down works great. I have a special notebook that I use exclusively for this purpose. Once I had that figured out, I just work methodically through the month.


First, figure out how many days of meals you need. My default is 16, since we have date night on Fridays and usually do leftovers on weekends.

Then look at your calendar to see what special circumstances you have. Usually we have a dinner with family, a birthday or something, etc. Subtract those days. Don’t do any more work than you have to!

I also make a note of how many crock pot meals I NEED. I love crock pot meals, and I end up making them pretty frequently, especially in winter (so September through May.) But there are some days that I absolutely require them. This cycle the kids have swimming lessons and we don’t get home until too late to cook. So I needed three to be scheduled for sure.

Then I turn to the internet, Pinterest, and my recipe book. There are some favorites here, that I try to repeat every month. (Like if I know the kids will eat a vegetable if it’s hidden in something here.) I compile a list of the recipes I’ll be making, and some extra information about them. My personal favorite- difficulty level. I don’t want to work any harder than I have to. Seriously.

I also keep a rating system, based on how much we loved the recipe. I try new ones every month to change things up (I get super bored) and mark those with a star. Sometimes they’re duds and I know not to repeat them. I also list location so I know where to find the recipe (G for Google, P for Pinterest, etc.) and a section for notes (if I changed anything, figured anything out, etc.)

Once I have that all listed, I turn to my planner. I keep all my meal plans in my planner because it works well for me. If you want to do it week by week on a board or something, great! Go for it. I write out the whole month in my planner (in pencil, so I can change it) and then put it up on the board for the week so the kids can start their whining early.

This is also where difficulty level comes in handy. I am not making a huge pot roast and duck a l’orange two nights in a row. Homie don’t play that.

Once everything is scheduled, I can turn to the grocery list. I have developed a grocery template that I print out every week and hang on the fridge so my husband doesn’t say “Hey we need blah blah blah” and I’ve already tuned him out. Because that was a pretty frequent occurrence.

It’s arranged according to the layout of my grocery store, so I’m linking it here but it might not end up helping you. Keep in mind it took me ten minutes on Google Drive to do this, so you can totally make your own.

(And maybe you don’t need your alcohol section to be bigger than your produce.)

(However if you don’t then we probably can’t be friends.)

(Guys! I’ve discovered frozen pouches of wine!!)

Then the day before I shop I can go through and fill out what we need for the week. It makes it easy to keep track of even with two kids that are running opposite directions and if I forget a pen for marking things off, I’m even okay.

(I forget a lot of stuff.)

(Not the wine pouches though.)

I’m always interested in new ways to do things though so tell me- how do you meal plan?

Lazy Girl’s Guide to Home Management: Part 2

Last week in our series we discussed general scheduling and my overall obsession with paper things I can write lists on. This week we’re going to move on to actual things you can do to make your life run smoothly.

This week- cleaning! (And schedules. Of course. I schedule everything.)

Keep in mind, like everything, everyone has different standards and desires. I can’t handle having a messy house. I need things to be neat and orderly and it bugs me when they’re not. That is just me though. Some people don’t mind clutter and would rather devote their time to other things. GREAT. That’s awesome. I am sincerely not judging you.

(Also, PSA. This does not mean that I have OCD. The fact that I compulsively take pregnancy tests and throw up when I smell BBQ sauce means I have OCD. All that wanting a clean house means is that I WANT A CLEAN HOUSE.)

I also love doing things other than cleaning. In fact, I hate cleaning. I really, really do not enjoy it. There is literally nothing in my life that I detest more than having to clean for most of the day before a party. Ugh. Such a waste of time.

So I developed a system for people like me who want as much time for Netflix viewing as possible, but like to watch Netflix in a relatively clean and put-together environment. Back when I started keeping house, I googled cleaning schedules and found a bunch of ones on Pinterest that were either too lax or too crazy. (Clean the oven every week? Nah, thanks, I’m good.) But I loved the idea of having a set schedule for cleaning so that a.) my house would always be in relatively clean condition, and b.) so I could have a specific end to the tasks. For me, I can’t relax and enjoy life if I have things left to do. But if I know I’m finished for the day, I can totally relax.

(That might mean I have OCD. But it has nothing to do with cleanliness.)

So I made my own! I know! Get excited!

I’m working on turning this into a full printable version, and I’ll update this post with it accordingly.

Basically all I did as break up the tasks into daily items, weekly items, and quarterly items. For my life (and I’m guessing yours), there is no reason to vacuum your drapes every month. Once or twice a year is good. Maybe I’m lazy, but whatever.

A few things- I avoided scheduling things on the weekends. Weekends are family and relaxing time for us and I want to protect that. Furthermore, we try to avoid any unnecessary work on Sundays. I also focused on inside the house. My husband takes care of the outside, and while this might be nauseatingly traditional, it’s how our life works. Finally, I have a full set of cleaning supplies (duster, broom, bucket, cleaners, towels, etc.) on each floor. This makes a huge difference for me just psychologically. I know it’s stupid because hauling a broom upstairs is not that big a deal. But it makes such a difference to me knowing everything is already up there. I do way more work than I used to. Well worth a $8 broom on amazon.

Daily Tasks:

  • Make beds and tidy rooms
    • Yes, I know I should have my kids do this for their own rooms. But most days it’s so much easier to do it myself.
  • Tidy kitchen and unload dishwasher.
  • Wipe bathroom sinks and toilets. (Otherwise my toilets get nasty and dusty and I hate that. Anybody else?)
  • Water plants in summer.

Weekly Tasks:

Monday:

  • Kitchen
    • Sweep and wipe floors.
    • Wipe out garbage disposal.
    • Clean out fridge.
    • Wipe down cabinets, walls, and counters.
    • Clean microwave.
    • Dust ceilings, woodwork, and flat surfaces.
    • Cursory cleaning of cabinets (make sure most things are in their place, but not a huge reorganization.)
  • Trash
    • Combine trash from all little cans around the house and take out to garage.
  • Wash laundry.

Tuesday:

  • Living Areas
    • Dust woodwork and furniture in living room and dining room.
    • Vacuum carpet.
    • Sweep and wipe hardwood floors.
    • Clean mirrors and smudges on interior windows.
    • Cursory cleaning of front hall closet.
  • “Stage” trash (make sure all boxes are broken down, bags are together, etc.)
  • Fold and put away laundry.

Wednesday:

  • Bathrooms
    • Clean toilets, sinks, and mirrors in both bathrooms.
    • Scrub tub and shower.
    • Sweep and wipe up floors.
    • Dust woodwork, walls, and flat surfaces.
  • Take trash out to the road for pick up.
  • Wash laundry.

Thursday:

  • Bedrooms
    • Change sheets.
    • Dust furniture and woodwork.
    • Wash comforters and sheets (comforters really only once every other week or so.)
    • Sweep and wipe floors.
  • Hallway and stairs
    • Dust.
    • Sweep and wipe hardwood floors.
  • Trash (collect and take out, like Monday.)
  • Fold and put away laundry.

Friday:

  • Family Room
    • Dust woodwork and furniture.
    • Sweep and wipe hardwood.
    • Vacuum carpet.
    • Wipe down closet doors/handles.
  • Wash laundry.
  • Fold and put away laundry.
  • Clean out car.

Quarterly Tasks:

Spring:

  • Clean oven.
  • Vacuum drapes.

Summer:

  • Wash windows.
  • Purge kids toys (after July birthday.)

Autumn:

  • Clean gutters.

Winter:

  • Wipe chandeliers/bulbs.
  • Purge kids toys (after Christmas.)

So I know this looks like a lot, and typing it out made me tired just thinking about it. But seriously, this takes maaaybe half an hour a day. I get up early so I can do stuff before my kids get up, and that works great for me. Maybe your kids are older and you can work it into the day, or stay up later in the evening. I work really well in the morning, and my husband already leaves suuuper early, so this is what works for our family.

Finally, a note on laundry. This is what I struggle with the most because IT IS NEVER OVER. NEVER EVER FINISHED GAAAAHHH. Seriously. I actually physically love the act of doing laundry, but it still annoys me that THERE IS SO MUCH AND IT NEVER ENDS. We have four people in our home, and I wash towels and stuff pretty frequently. So for us a washing on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and fold on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday schedule has worked really well. I don’t get overwhelmed by having to have everything finished in a single day, but I constantly stay on top of things with a distinct endpoint. (Hamper empty? Done for the day.)

I hope this helps a little if you’ve ever been interested in trying anything like this. I’ll update with printables as soon as I can!