Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Setting goals and making lists

What are my goals for 2015?  The same as everyone else of course.  To save money, to loose weight, to get my health under control, exercise, organize, downsize, …… yeah, the whole bit ….. just like everyone else.

What makes my personal goals a little different is that I really like doing the things that are my goals. Umm…. except for the eating healthy part.

I like to stay organized and I like making lists to keep track of things.  Keeping track with lists can help me save money, track my weight loss, be reminders to keep appointments, and lots of stuff. Many people like keeping lists and information on their computers.  I prefer the old fashioned way of paper and pencil for my lists.

Organizing 2015 010Sometimes I’m able to find just the right forms to record my lists and then other times I create my own forms.  I don’t trust computers.  Computers have a way of crashing and taking all my information with them.  I may use the computer to hold some stuff but mostly the computer is a typewriter to fill out my lists or create specific forms.

Organizing 2015 013I keep lists and binders for lots and lots of stuff.  It’s like this; as I grew older my mind became filled with a lifetime of memories with family and friends.  These memories have left little room for mundane memories like what I had for breakfast on Tuesday of last week or what I spent $5 for last month.

Lists are my way of not forgetting something important as well as show me what I’m doing right or wrong.  Here you can see some of my binders holding lists and information.  I have a few more.

Organizing 2015 012You might think this is a little over board or too time consuming.  I find it very easy to use lists.  For example if some doctor asks me when my mother had her last eye exam I can quickly open the binder for Mom and look under her medical records list to find out. Binders are like vertical file folders.

If I want to know what food in the freezer should be eaten first I will look at the freezer inventory list before opening the door. If I want to show my doctor that I really am trying to eat lower carbs I can give her my daily food log to see for herself. When I want to find out just exactly where the most of my money is spent I look in my money tracking list.

Keeping lists and tracking really helps me be more frugal.  As a senior living on a very limited income it is very important to know things.  Things my memory just can’t hold for me anymore.  Writing something on a list takes no more time to write than it does to write a reminder on a sticky note.  A list is just neater than a bunch of sticky notes everywhere.

Except for my daily food journal I don’t write on every list everyday.  I only write something on a list every now and then.  For example: the freezer list is only updated after I grocery shop once a month or after getting food from the mobile food pantry.  Takes maybe five minutes or less.  Mom’s list is only updated when there is a change in medication or she has a routine test done.  The lists are sort of like an index for the binders.

If you have not been keeping lists before maybe I’ve shown you a reason to start one or two?  Choose one of your goals for this year and start tracking your steps with a list.  You’ll be surprised how it helps.


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