Another kid funny.
At supper we were talking about where different family member have travelled or lived and mentioned that "Uncle M use to be the army". Our youngest looked at me with amazement and said "Uncle M was saving the world from the evil droids?!"
Too much Star Wars you think.
We are avid "save for it before you buy it" people. Granted, you can't really do that with a house, but focus on paying down/off the house asap. How can anybody do that? Absurd? Life with mortgage and car payments is just the way it is. Not true.

It is possible to become and live debt free, but takes commitment to the goal and the process. It takes a budget. Eek! Budget!!! Budgets are essential to accomplishing your goal. It's like a recipe to a cake, a personal trainer to fitness, its a tool to your financial accomplishment.

A budget can look different to each person, but in many cases will have common items like mortgage payment, grocery expenses, insurance payments, bills. But what will look different is the amounts, what's coming in and what's going out in different manners.

Once we had accomplished much of our initial financial goal from when we first married, we have kind of coasted for a while, not giving much thought to budgets, albeit distracted by childhood cancer a long the way, but maintaining the pay as you go mentality. Kept us out of trouble, that's for sure. Recently a new direction was becoming apparent. While we had been putting some money away for retirement, the question became how much, along with the kids educational future and with a special needs child, there is more too. RRSPs, RESPs, RDSPs and TFSA's so many initials and all needing attention. And as usual there is only a certain amount of money coming in, expenses going out and now decisions on how to fit in the rest. Once again a budget plan comes into play with new goals.

A budget isn't all about restrictions and limitation, to us it has actually been relieving. Knowing there is a plan, what is doable and while there is give and take, it is much more freeing knowing that choices over where money is going is keeping the
families best interests in mind, and not to let the cheap pleasures of today keep us from that. Smells like frugal living you say? Why yes it is. Frugal doesn't mean being cheap, eating macaroni cheese for supper each night and only using one light bulb in the house. It's about putting your money to things that matter! Not just cheap thrills of the moment. We enjoy our lives because we purposely spend and save our money to things that matter to us, not the Jones'.

I'd like to do a little study on what people really think of budgets and how they work in the real world. There are many methodologies of personal finance and curious to know how well people succeed by them and stick to them. Let me know, do you budget? Has it helped you? How do you budget?

Been reading the book Wheat Belly and so I thought I'd try a wheat free week. Well maybe not completely wheat free but at least our supper meals.  Baby steps, right. Being wheat free isn't really a goal of mine but I am trying to be more aware of glucose index (GI) and wheat does have a high GI so it can't hurt to try these Wheat Belly recipes. Note: not everything below is from the Wheat Belly Cookbook, just those that are italicized.

Peppered steak, quinoa and green beans. Wheat Belly doesn't actually agree to using quinoa because it has carbs, but it is an OK level of carbs and eating it with steak will lower the GI impact on the meal anyway.

Tuesday: Almond crusted chicken, carrot rice and salad. Again Whet Belly doesn't encourage rice, but its going to be
basamati rice which has the lower of GI of the rices out there, so I'm good with that.

Wednesday: Meatloaf , mashed potatoes and salad. I don't know what Wheat Belly thinks of potatoes yet; haven't finished
the book yet, but what is meatloaf without mashed potatoes.

Thursday: Thai Chicken Curry Soup with salad on the side. Sounds yummy to me, not sure what the kids will think but gotta keep expanding their horizons.  If you notice salad a lot, I like to make a big batch and then I have for a couple of meals and only chop veggies once.  Dressing is always on the side at each meal.

Friday: Taco Pie and veggie sticks.  The taco pie will use the Wheat Belly version of tortillas.  Sound good too and kids
do like tacos.

The weekend usually is for eating up leftovers and/or what ever comes to mind.  I like to plan the weekday meals as the weekdays are most busy and that is when I benefit the most from planning.  I think this should be a good week for supper. The meals look more than reasonable. Now if I tried a bean week, I'd have a mutiny on my hands I'm sure.

Who else does menuplanning? Do you plan weekly, bi-weekly or whatever?  I find if I do this it helps me out a lot because I don't have to ask "what's for supper" every day.