5 Tips to Staying on Budget This Year

Having a budget is really great. I mean, really really great. I owe my status as a homeowner to my budget. The fact that no one has ever come after me for collections (ie- I pay my bills on time) is also something I own to my budget.

But having a budget isn’t enough. It’s like having exercise equipment with your clothes hanging all over it.  Staying on budget, and working with it, is necessary for it to be effective.

If you are interested in starting a budget, check out my post here to get started. As you can tell from that post, AV and I have a lot of history with our budget and learned a lot along the way.  From that, here are my best tips for staying on that budget this year.

5 Tips for Staying On Budget This Year | www.beyondthekhakipants.com | #budget

  1. Organize. Have your budget organized in a format that works for you. I use YNAB, and love it! But there are many options as far as software is concerned. Find what works for you and your lifestyle. Your budget should be easy to read and easy to access.
  2. Have monthly (or every other month) check-ins. Taking the time to check-in regularly with your budget is so so so important. For two reasons. (1) It lets you know how you did last month (2) It prompts necessary change based on the results.
  3. Work your budget. Based on your check-in (monthly or every other month), you should know how your doing. For example: Say you budget a $100 for gas. Last month, you spent $130. You need to figure out if you spent more because of an occurrence that isn’t being repeated (example, say you went on a road trip). If that’s the case, keep your budget at $100 for the next month. If not, say you spend $130 on gas and you drove a normal amount…You need to change your budget!!! Add more to you gas line item and finagle funds from somewhere else.  Do not set yourself up to fail by under budgeting for necessary items such as transportation, living, food, etc.
  4. Be proactive, not reactive. You have your budget set up, so follow it. If you have only x amount of dollars for entertainment, know your limits. Say ‘no’ if you need to, to invites to expensive concerts, events, or dinners out. This is one of the hardest habits to create when sticking with a budget. Saying ‘no’ is necessary….unless you have unlimited funds. Right?! It’s hard, but just say ‘no’ sometimes.
  5. Keep your eye on the prize!! In a world where not many people are on a budget, it may start feeling a bit disheartening. I mean, the world is out there with fabulous new clothes and going out to eat…and you, well you’re on a budget. Wearing not-new clothes and eating your left overs for lunch. But it’s ok. Because you’re saving. Saving for a car, a house, your retirement. Whatever! Keep your eye on the prize! You will be better off for it.

What tips do you have for staying on budget?!

Five on Friday: Floors, Paint, Seahawks and a $500 NORDSTROM GIVEAWAY

  1. We’ve moved into our house. Sort of.  Since we had such a fiasco with our floors, we got behind schedule. So instead of moving our stuff into our house…we had to move our things into the basement since the floors were still drying. Therefore, when I say we moved in, I mean we have some stuff up stairs and some stuff in the basement.  Not so great and it’s made for a very busy week.
  2. We got the f-ing floors done. Ok, I am still a little bitter about the ridiculousness of that project. And we are living in the house (great!). Only one small problem. The [only] shower/tub doesn’t work. At all. As in, we can’t currently shower at our house.  Instead of fixing the plumbing issue, we decided to just remodel the bathroom all-together. But that hasn’t started yet.  So you might be wondering if we are the smelliest people in Seattle. You’d be wrong ;). Been showering at the gym. With any luck, I’m going to be in the best shape of my life. No skipping the gym anymore..I have to shower! Ha!!
  3. The Seahawks are in the Super Bowl…again. And you’d probably be thinking I’d be loving that…being a Seattleite in all, but if you’ve been reading the blog closely, you’d know that I’m a Vikings fan. And I am as loyal as they come when it comes to sports teams. So even though the band wagon has plenty of room for new comers here in Seattle, I am not planning on jumping on any time soon. Frankly, I can’t wait for it to be over.
  4. All I want to do is paint my ridiculously ugly [white] walls a nice pretty color. I think it would make a big difference in making this house our home. But instead of painting, I am studying fiercely and I am forcing myself to not paint until after my exam. It can wait.
  5. This may seem ridiculous, but all I really want to do right now is go shopping. I am usually not much of a shopper. And in the last year or so, AV and I have made it a top priority to save, save, save! And we did. But with all that saving, I’m pretty sure now my favorite sales associates at Nordstrom probably think I’m dead.  And since I have a few more major purchases planned for the house, Nordstrom will have to wait. But it doesn’t have to for you! Check out this AWESOME $500 Nordstrom giveaway going on right now! Good luck!

Nordstrom Giveaway - January.jpg


Prize: $500 Nordstrom Gift Card

Co-hosts: Orange Marigolds • Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog • 2 Just B You • Cassidy Lou • The Style Boro Babies Boardrooms & Blowouts • To Hell in a Handbag • My Fashion On The Rox • Mommy on the Money • The Jort Report CLEfashionista • Beyond the Khaki Pants • Lush to Blush • Adri Lately • Dress Your Guests Blog • A Labour of Life The Classified Chic • Miss Erin Says • TonieGirl • A Touch of Teal • Everything She Is • Classy Yet Trendy Keenly Kristin A Good Hue Silicon Valley Lodge A Lily Love Affair  Handbags + Handguns Prosecco & Plaid Diary of a Southern Belle The Fairy Princess Diaries

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

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So you want to make more money…

No post here today, but I am guest posting today on Snap Ginger, talking about how to negotiate and receive a raise!

And not to brag…but to shed light on the topic, since AV and I moved back to Seattle in the middle of 2013, we have negotiated two raises…EACH.

Yes, that’s 4 raises in about 16 months!!! And I don’t want to throw out [tacky] numbers…but I’ll just say this. We increased our income over 27%!!!! All by asking….negotiating…and earning those raises!

So go check out my post at www.snapginger.com!

Send me questions or leave me comments if you have any. AV and I are very skilled at this conversation and it’s one I love having. Who doesn’t want to earn more money for what they are already doing?!



Finding That Fine Line…

Do you strive for more? Or do you try to be content with what you have?

Finding that fine line between success and satisfaction is extremely hard.

If you’re not new to the blog, you know that one of my passions is creating success. In every sense of the word. Personal, career, relationship, financial…success.

But when is striving for more…too much? When can wanting more be a detrimental practice?

Finding that Fine Line: Between wanting more and being ok with what you have |www.beyondthekhakipants.com | #career #blog

On my way home from work the other day I was listening to a country music station on the radio. I should also add that I have a lengthy commute. One that I use a lot for personal reflection and “thinking” time. So, I’m listening to Seattle’s country music station. Hoping for some uppity songs that only country music can bring…and Darius Rucker’s Alright came on the radio.

Alright is about the simplicities in life.  How he has all he needs in life. I’m driving along, listening to the song and I hear: “May be a simple life…but that’s ok…” It kind of struck me…

I am sooo not ok with a simple life.  And I don’t think it’s a bad thing either.  It’s just not for me, right now.

I will honestly admit. In my adult life, I have been surrounded by successful people including mentors, friends etc. And at times, a few of them came off as arrogant, ungrateful or even a bit a shallow to me. Why do they always need more? I thought. Aren’t the ‘simplicities’ of life, what really matter anyway?

But as they years went on, I started to realize that their thrive for success was not coming from a place of ungratefulness. Rather, I began to see that the more you experience in the life…the more you want to experience more. The more you learn…the more you want to learn. The more you have…the more you can give. It may not be as shallow as it sometimes appears.

It may be because I’m 27 that my thrill for “more” is still very high. More traveling. More meeting new people. Trying new foods. Understanding different cultures.

I don’t doubt that by the time I’m 60 and retired (because…duh, AV and I are stellar savers ;)) that a simple life will be exactly what I’ll want. I hear it from all my 60+ year old patients all the time and even my parents. But I have to think, that by the time I’m 6o, and ready for that simple life…that I’ll only be ready for that because I lived to the fullest up to that point.

So for now. I’m going to keep climbing that career ladder. Pushing for financial freedom. Reflecting for self-improvement. Challenging myself in to unchartered territory.

Next task? Figure out how to keep the energy up to do all of this. Schedule in some breaks and down time. And allow for some grace along the way.

How do you strive for success in your life? Where do you draw the line between striving for more and being ok with what you have?


Refinishing Our Hardwood Floors: Before and After Pics!

Refinishing our hardwood floors was a labor of love. I now understand why so many people (even seasoned DIYers) send out for help when approaching the task. It was BRUTAL to do it ourselves. Mistakes were made (Read this post). Time was spent. Slept was lost. And despite wearing a mask,  I inhaled enough sand dust and polyurethane fumes to take a few years off my life. But it was so worth it to do it before we moved in.

And even though the floors turned out pretty dang good, here is my current thought on refinishing hard wood floors.

How to Refinish Your Hardwood Floors |www.beyondthekhakipants.com

It just took…soo..much…time. But without further ado, here is what the floors looked like before. It was 20+ year-old carpet. Nasty.


2015-01-01 11.54.43Carpet, Before refinishing hardwood floorsRefinishing hardwood floors


Refinishing your hard wood floors

DIY Refinishing Hardwood floors Refinishing your hardwood floors

Refinishing your hardwood floors Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Sorry for some not-so-great photos, I just snapped a few on my phone during the fury of moving in. Honestly, even though I left this project totally worn out without an ounce of desire to do anything myself again…I kind think I would kill it the next time I tried this. We made mistakes…but learned immensely from them (just like anything in life). And I would do an awesome job should I ever have to do this again. But as it stands now…that will never happen. AV refuses to do it ourselves again, ha!! Next step…painting!!!

In all seriousness…I will be sharing a step-by-step guide on how to do this soon. I will share the tips and mistakes we made. This is not the hardest task in the world…just a time consuming one. And this can be done for less than a few hundred dollars!!

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