Meals, miles, books and looks of June!

Happy July 2! Yesterday was Canada Day and we packed it chalk full. We went hiking, spent a couple of hours at the pool and then hit up the local Canada Day festivities which feature food booths from around the world. So yummy and fun! It was a full, busy day and wonderful day.

MEALS 

So it’s time for my Meals, Miles, Books and Looks of June recap! Except I don’t have a single meal to share this month. I do not know how that happened. I think mostly because it’s summer which means a lot more grazing in the evenings and not actually eating many meals, which actually is not that great for my waistline! My go-to summer meal is hot dogs so I’ve been eating a lot of those. Also lots of salad and fruit and veggies.

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I did have bannock for breakfast at the Farmer’s Market for the first time the other day. I love getting bannock on Saturday mornings at the Farmer’s Market but the bannock stand has not been there for the past couple of months. Needless I was super excited to see it there last Saturday! So that will be my one meal for June :)

MILES 

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My friend Carmine and I ended up showing up to one of our lunchtime HIIT classes in the same top from Costco! Too funny. 

A ridiculously low mileage month following my huge mileage month in May. I only ran 31 miles / 50km in June! I only did one longer weekend run the entire month so that probably had a lot to do with it. I got in 26 workouts in 30 days that included 11 strength/circuit classes + teaching 5 TRX classes so 16 total, 3 yoga classes (sad, sad, sad) and 7 runs. I also played seven baseball games.

Certainly not an inactive month but to be honest I’m not feeling that great lately. Back in February/March my eating was great and I was also doing lots of double workout days and feeling super fit and healthy and also getting lots of compliments on how great I was looking (not to sound vain or anything but it’s true!).

Lately I’m feeling a bit ‘softer’ and more sluggish. I know that this mostly has to do with my eating but I also think my workouts have been lacking. I NEVER get up to workout in the morning anymore unless I’m going for a run and I think that may have something to do with it. I would like to try to add back in a morning yoga class and a morning strength session a week if I can. I am trying really hard to not beat myself up too much and remember it’s just the time of year for more food, more booze and more fun but it’s hard when you know you can and have felt better.

BOOKS

I read two books in June…

All the Light We Cannot See – I went into this book with really high expectations, which honestly were not met. While you can’t deny the writing is beautiful the plot was too slow moving for me and I found it way too easy to put this book down. The last of the book especially dragged for me and it took a solid two weeks to finish it. The story was interesting enough, but just too slow moving to keep my attention. I gave it 3 stars.

Purple Hibiscus – This was my pick for our recent book club book and also qualified for the “book by an author under 25″ category of the Read Harder challenge. This was definitely a very heavy book as it dealt with domestic abuse. I enjoyed the story and the characters despite the heaviness and found it especially interesting to learn more about Nigerian culture. I gave it 4 stars.

LOOKS

Two looks this month to share, one was the first new-new piece of clothing I bought in months, the dress I wore to a gala event for work at the beginning of the month.

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The second are two more Value Village finds. I think this whole outfit (white capris and top) cost me about $9?

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And that’s June for you! I spent A LOT of time at my mom’s pool in June as it was insanely hot.

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Overall June felt like a bit of a meh month. I feel meh about my outfits, my eating, my workouts. Hoping to step things up a bit in July and get into a really good routine. I also really want to focus on lots of relaxation in July and August as I’m gearing up for a busier fall at work than ever before and I know I want to go into September bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and not exhausted.

What were your meals, miles, books and looks of June? 

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TWATA: How we budget

My entire weekend can basically be summed up in the below photo! I got in some other things too – Farmer’s Market, yoga, a class at the gym, meal prep etc. but the majority of my weekend was spent at my mom’s pool. Temperatures were between 38 and 41 C (100 – 105F) all weekend so pool floating was very very necessary!

June 28 pool float

*****

Soo, instead of sharing another weekend recap post I thought I’d jump in with another TWATA (The World According to Amber) blog post. My past two TWATA posts about training our dog and meal prep can be found here.

This time I’m going to talk about how we budget. I’ve briefly talked about our cash budget in the past but have never gone into the details of our budgeting system that we’ve made work for us.

So here’s how we do it…

A Spreadsheet 

We have a spreadsheet of all of our costs including the costs that stay the same each month such as our mortgage, strata, vehicle insurance, hydro (we do equal payments option) etc. and the costs that can vary and what we budget for them. Everytime we get paid we put a certain amount of money aside into the “bills” account and that is where our various bills come out of. The majority of our bills come out on the 1st or 15th of the month but then we have some random ones like our insurance that come out on random dates and our mortgage is biweekly.

Cash

The costs that can vary we take out cash for and this helps us stay within a certain amount. We used to spend almost twice as much as we do now on groceries alone and I’m sure our entertainment budget would be blown every month as well if we didn’t take out cash for it.

Having a cash budget system has saved us so so much money in the long run,  I’m sure of it!

Piggy bank atop money

{Source}

Savings 

We also have our savings budgeted directly into our budget and we practice paying ourselves first. As soon as we get paid we both automatically put a portion of our money into a savings account. I personally like to have my savings accounted separated and named, so I have a travel & fun account, a new house down payment account and a car and house savings account for unexpected expenses. While I consider all of these accounts “ours”, I am the one who tends to manage them. We each have our own personal savings accounts as well where we can save for whatever we want. For example, that is the account I use to save for things like my girls running trips!

Finally, we each get an “allowance” each month and that is money we can spend on whatever we want and don’t have to check in with the other person. I would say for the most part we try to check in if we are going to spend more than $100 – $150 on something. Remember, Eric and I have been together for 10 years, living together for 8 years and married for almost 3 years – this system is the slow making of all that time together. It took a long time to find a system that worked really well for both of us.

For RRSP’s, I am really lucky that I pay into an RRSP through work so that money automatically comes off my paycheque before I even get it, which is awesome and makes it so easy to save for retirement!

Personal Preference 

My personal preference is to keep very little money in my chequing (or “spending”) account. This means if I want to make a larger purchase I have to transfer money over from savings. Pretty easy to do in the world of smartphones and mobile banking apps but this is something I’ve done for years and years and really forces me to think twice about spending money.

I also no longer carry my credit card in my wallet unless I’m traveling. I just ran into an issue where I was putting way too many small purchases on my credit card and they quickly added up to a lot of money. My credit card is now completely paid off and stays at home so I’m not tempted to use it! Luckily I’m not much of a shopper anyways so I think that helps me a lot. The thing I would most like to spend money on is travel and experiences, which we absolutely have over the past few years.

I have friends who have had great success using YNAB (You Need A Budget) for budgeting but I tried it at one point and wasn’t a fan, I don’t like tracking every single purchase I make and find it easier to only have a certain amount of money in my bank account and a certain amount of cash in our cash envelopes and then we can’t spend more then what’s there!

How do you budget? 

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Father’s Day Weekend Recap!

Friday 

Nothing too exciting. Eric and I made homemade pizza and my dad came over for dinner. It was a pretty low-key evening!

Saturday 

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First thing on Saturday morning we finally made it to the Farmer’s Market for 8am. I love going to the market every weekend but I especially love going early in the mornings and beating the crowds. I didn’t get much this week, just raspberries, eggs and kettlecorn.

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After the Farmer’s Market I subbed on a different baseball team for their morning game. It was fun! I have really enjoyed playing baseball this spring/summer. After ball we came home, had some food and coffee and then went to the matinee since it was a rainy day outside. We saw Jurassic World! It was OK, entertaining enough.

Saturday evening we had dinner at my mom’s house and then played cards while we waited for my cousin and his daughter to arrive. She is spending the week at my mom’s for a fun little summer vacation!

Sunday 

Sunday was busy! It started off with a big group breakfast for Father’s Day. It was great to catch up with my cousin Brad before he hit the road and I’m excited to spend some time with my adorable little cousin, Madi, this week!

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After breakfast I went to the gym for a kettle bells class I’ve been meaning to try for weeks. It was a very strength focused bootcamp style class with a bit of kettle bell work and a ton of work on the bosu. It was an awesome workout and will hopefully become a regular addition to my Sunday morning routine!

After the gym I quickly got myself cleaned up and met up with my dad, brother and Eric for a round of golf. I’m not really that into golf but I don’t mind playing nine holes every so often. It was a fun Father’s Day activity and I’m grateful my dad happens to be visiting so we could spend Father’s Day with him.

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Don’t I look serious?! :)

Sunday finished off with what else? Baseball! It was actually our second to last weekend of ball as July 5 wraps up the season for us. It will be nice to have our Sunday nights back but I’m also a little sad as it’s been a really fun season and our team has improved so much!

How was your weekend? 

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