Making (Dollars and) Sense of Our Finances: Try It Tuesday/Just Jot It January 8, 2019

My #oneword for 2019 is: Embrace. I’m opening my arms wide to life –even on Tuesday, the day so often seen as ho-hum.

I’m giving poor maligned Tuesday a hug.
Read on to learn more!

What’s This Try It Tuesday thing, anyway?

Try It Tuesday is one part how-to, one part home lab, and one part journal – a way for me to explore some things I’ve always wanted to try, but never quite got around to.

Oh…and I record every step of the way.

I’m hoping it will not only inspire me, but also help you find something you’ve always wanted to try, and, well – Try It!

How It Works:

Every Tuesday in 2019 I present my progress on a Try It project. I have four projects at a time, so there will be something different each week.

I share the process from initial research, gathering materials and resources, and the actual nuts, bolts, laughter and tears (or laughing so hard I cry, as the case may be) …all of it!

When I finish a project, I’ll do a wrap-up highlight post, and reveal its replacement!

So… what’s this week’s Tuesday Try-It?


This is an area where I’ve flailed for decades. I’m not especially motivated by money, and I just haven’t seen myself as the type who has a handle on finances.

This is the year I change that – even if it takes all year to do it! So, let’s get this money-wrangling party started!

It pays to know yourself. For instance, I handle intimidating challenges best when I move forward slowly, feeling my way along, then building new habits.

Respecting that reality will give me the best chance of success, so my initial goals are modest:

1) I learn a few different ways of handling money.

2) We record our current expenses.

  • We know where our money goes.
  • We develop a mindful approach to its use.
Lise, at 5, learning about money in a lobster hat, because finances can be fun!

3) I invite both kids to be involved in the process to the degree they choose.

  • I help prepare them to handle their own adult finances.
  • I assist them in understanding why I make certain choices to support our overall financial status and vision.

4) We put a cash-only spending cap on our away-from-home eating, and honor it.

  • We become mindful with our largest spur-of-the-moment expense.
  • We label an envelope and put an initially generous amount of cash sum in it monthly.
  • We keep our spontaneous dining out expenses within that monthly cash budget.
  • Over time, we gradually decrease the amount we place in that envelope each month.
  • We learn to be mindful of each spontaneous decision to eat away or choose another option.

5) We experiment with a weekly no-spend day.

  • We discuss this concept, allowing space for differing opinions to be heard.
  • We set up baseline and exceptions.

So that’s it – the basis of the plan that will help me to make (dollars and) sense of our financial lives.

Will I end up with loveliness, chaos – or a liberal blend of both?

I’ll find out by trying. You can find out by popping by Tuesday, January 29 to see what kind of (potentially beautiful) mess I’ve gotten myself into this time, and to find out the date of my next Budgeting post.

If you don’t want to wait that long, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram, where I’ll be posting updates randomly along the way.

What’s On Tap for Next Week?

Watercolor Painting

For most of my life, my Bob Ross tendencies have lain dormant, even as I dreamed of painting clouds, dead trees, and ocean sunsets. Maybe I’ll never be good – but it’s long past time I let myself try! I’ll dip my paintbrush in on January 15!

Until then, I’m off to do some budgeting!

Got some Try Its of your own?
Want to share them?

Go right ahead!
There are three ways to play:

Comment below.

Tweet to the #TryItTuesday hashtag and tag me, @shanjeniah.

Snag the logo above, plop it into your own post, and link back here.

This Jot is part of Just Jot It January, where today’s prompt is “self”. Learn more or join in by clicking the handy-dandy links!

Till next time!