Breaking in the new budget

Hiiiiii 😀 Happy Monday to ya. Hope your morning is going well!

After I last *saw* you last night, we went over to the madre’s for my stepdad’s bday dinner.

My contribution to the feast:

sweet potato

Mashed sweet potatoes 🙂

I just baked about 12 organic sweet potatoes at 375* for an hour and 15 minutes, peeled, tossed them in batches into the stand mixer and added Earth Balance, sea salt, pepper, and a hefty drizzle of maple syrup. So easy, so good.

At madre’s, I munched on Chipotle-lime shrimp with my sweet potatoes, and the fam also dined on grilled ribs, corn, and of course there was cake:


Madre made that creation with Oreo crust, topped with a layer of fudge, caramel, then butter pecan ice cream, Cool Whip and Oreo crumbles. I had a few bites 🙂

Since we’re still waiting for our new mattress to get here, we had a camp out last night with our other mattresses on the floor (Bella loved it) and then I made some bfast:


Chocolate cherry smoothie and a piece of brown rice toast with AB to munch after spin 😀

There’s a TON to do today, but the #1 thing I’m most [nerdily] excited about is tackling the new budget.


We moved into the house a couple of months ago and while we had a tentative budget, now we know exactly how much all of our bills are and when they’re due, so I can tweak our current spreadsheet to reflect the new numbers.

We still follow our usual method, but a couple of things have changed since the Pilot has been home:

-We have a weekly food amount we stick to (which includes one *nice* dinner out each week)

-We have an allowance. This is the money we each spend on *extra* things each week. Usually for me, it’s shopping or spa services, and for the Pilot it’s grabbing lunch when we don’t pack him one or other random things.

Here’s a post I did on *budgeting* if you’d like more info – it’s a great fall goal and another way to start fresh 🙂

Do you follow a budget, or follow “go with the flow and be mindful of spending” type of approach?

Off to spin!



Something to read:

10 foods, 40 recipes

4 post workout must-dos

The fall (please send my friend Ash some love and healing vibes!)

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  1. Shaya (Eye Girl Eats) on September 12, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    We don’t budget over here beyond setting aside an allowance for each of us every month– I spend mine on clothes and shoes and he spends his on gadgets and computer stuff 😉

    Works for us!

  2. Lori on September 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I am glad you posted about this! Would you be willing to share your excel sheet, minus the personal information of course? If not, I understand, but I have been struggling to find one that works for me!

  3. Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries on September 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I’ve never done mashed sweet potatoes before… sounds great though considering I am a huge sweet potato lover. And that oreo cake! Wow, that looks great!

  4. Katie @ Plates and Paste on September 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    My bf and I have been together for 5 years and have been living with each other for 3 of those years…we normally take a “be mindful of spending” type of approach. We obviously have separate accounts and our own money. But we both split the bills and I usually pay for groceries while he pays for meals out. We have no real system though which bugs me because I’m sure we could be doing it better. We’re working hard to save up right now, so I can’t wait to read about your budgeting tips!

  5. Becky @ Fit Chick on the Fly on September 12, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Hellooooooo mashed sweet potatoes I<3 you !

  6. Taysa on September 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I’ve been documenting my journey to get out of debt on my blog, and I’ve finally gotten to a point where I can save money again, so I just created a budget a couple weeks ago. Creating the budget was fun and easy…sticking to it is really hard.

  7. Katheryn on September 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    The mashed sweet potatoes look divine!

    Hubby and I had a budget that we stuck to for the first 5 years. Over the last 5 years though it’s more of a mindful spending though. I guess we stuck to the budget long enough that certain things are now ingrained in us, and we don’t feel the need to stick to one quite as severely. We still put one together ever year for Christmas though!

  8. Alexa @ Simple Eats on September 12, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I’m horrible at budgeting…thanks for the reminder to get back to it and stick with a budget 🙂

  9. Jin @ Health Ninja on September 12, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I just started this month to keep track of my expenses by using an excel chart. So next month I can see were my biggest weaknesses are and cut down on them. Living on a budget is a great way to save money on the long term for bigger investments, which will surely come in everyones future at some point.

  10. Hillary on September 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I don’t follow a budget, per se, but I definitely am mindful of what I spend. I try to keep groceries below $40/week (it’s just me after all!), I only eat out once a week, and I limit shopping to necessities, with a fun thing thrown in here or there about once a month. It works ok for me so far!

  11. Moni'sMeals on September 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Do I budget?? The best I can, it really is hard and thank god I have some good connections to help me out with it all. 🙂

    I am a ninja grocery shopper though, I have it down to a tee to save momey and not waste food. 🙂

  12. Jen @familyfoodfitnessandfun on September 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    When we were first married, we had a strict budget. But now, we go with the flow but are mindful of our spending. However, I do have a certain amount that is automatically put in our savings account each month 🙂

  13. Danielle on September 12, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Now that I have a real job and I’m trying to save money to buy a house, I really should start budgeting out my money. I will probably do what you’ve done with an excel spreadsheet. I like seeing what I “have” to pay for every month and then budgeting out the “me” allowance. But I generally try to keep my spending pretty tame.

  14. Laury @ thefitnessdish on September 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Looooove mashed sweet potatoes! I make mine pretty much the same way with some cinnamon & nutmeg added in…mmmmmm

    Okay..I am the worst budget-er (is that a word?) and I need to be on a budget. Thanks so much for the links I gotta get on the spreadsheet bandwagon. I am so ADD with that stuff it’s ridic…

  15. kathleen @ the daily crumb on September 12, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    i am absolutely golden on our budget until it comes to grocery shopping/dining out. we absolutely love going out to eat and it has definitely started to add up. that is not to mention my lack of self control when it comes to ti’s and whole foods.

    • Fitnessista on September 12, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      i’m right there with ya, girl. those are tough for me, too!

  16. Nicole on September 12, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    We have a spreadsheet just like this! I am so specific about where our money goes and how we are spending it. Most of our debits are to our grocery store and the attached gas station. Oh, and let’s not forget Starbucks. *gulp*

    Those mashed sweet potatoes look awesome! I am going to have to try to make a batch of these and see how the family reacts.

  17. Julie (A Case of the Runs) on September 12, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Budgeting was a New Years’ Resolution of mine, and before 2011 started, I made a spreadsheet but didn’t ever go back to it really. But after reading this post, I refreshed it and will start formally tracking next month, though I am going to “practice” with the values I’ve set (e.g., $50/week for food <– not counting going out). I still have a few months to cross off that resolution!

  18. Hannah on September 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    I get paid monthly at my job (graduate associate, aka lousy salary, but pays for my tuition!), and unfortunately my budget = try not to spend every single last penny before the 15th of the month.

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