I Tried It: Cash Flow Budgeting Part 1

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am HORRIBLE at sticking to a budget. Truly awful. Over the years I have started and stopped budgeting so many times that, if budget failing were an Olympic sport, I would win the gold medal easily. However, having a healthy, growing toddler and living on mostly one income now, I’ve come to realize that the time to become a budgeting expert is now.

One of the things that I hate most about budgeting is that sometimes it can be hard to physically see where your money is actually going and how much little things add up. That’s why I’ve decided to try out a cash flow budget (if you’re interested in learning about this type of budgeting click HERE. This is the website I used). The short of it is this: Every month I make budget based on my predicted income for the month using a nifty excel spreadsheet that I downloaded off of the internet (I did NOT use the downloadable Monthly Cash Flow Plan from the previous link for the month of November. The spreadsheet I used was found HERE). I then allocate specific budgeted amounts to each category. The idea is that every single dollar is accounted for, even savings. So essentially the leftover amount is ZERO. This sounds daunting, but it actually makes a whole lot of sense to once you do it. Throughout the month, I open up my spreadsheet and input my ACTUAL income then adjust my budgeted expenses to account for the difference. I also input my expenses. This is helpful for me because I can see exactly where my money is going, where I’m over spending, and where I have a little extra room. I ALWAYS budget high in the savings category. The goal here is to save as much as possible while still paying off as much debt as possible.

I’m sure that I haven’t done the best job of explaining here, but the truth is I’m still learning as I go. I have just started for the month of November and will be updating you all on my progress throughout my journey.

Have anyone used this method of budgeting before? If so, what worked for you and what didn’t? If no, what methods do you use? Any tips, tricks or questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below.


I’m Back!

Well, here it goes again!

Yes, friends, I’m back again. It sure has been awhile. Life has been turned upside down for me over the past few months, however I find myself with a little extra time and a lot more inspiration on my hands.

Over the next few weeks I will be breathing new life into this blog. Expect to see more posts, reviews, rants and raves. I hope you’re ready!

Take a look at my list above to see what’s coming your way for the rest of the month. What other types of posts would you like to see from me in the future? Drop a comment below to let me know!

cooking · food

Adventures In Home Cooking: Update!

Two years ago, I posted a lengthy write up about ingredient and recipe delivery services (you can read that post here). My intention with this post was to eventually choose a service and try it out myself so that I could give a full review.

Well, folks, it’s finally happened! Ryan and I have decided to do a test run of Home Chef. If you’ll recall, Home Chef was the service that I determined to be the better of the three that I reviewed, at least in my personal opinion. I liked that it was more customizable and appreciated that the pricing wasn’t ridiculous.

Our first box is scheduled to be delivered next Tuesday and I’ll be honest with you, I’m extremely excited to try it out. We have chosen to get three meals a week if we decide to stick with it. This coming week we will be trying:

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken with Arugula and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Chimichurri Steak with Roasted Potatoes
Sticky Glazed Bone-In Pork Chops with Sesame Chinese Broccoli

I’m not a HUGE fan of pork chops, however I am trying to be more open to eating things I normally wouldn’t so I’m going to test it out and see how I feel about it.

I will be posting updates as we take this journey into Home Chef. Each night that we make a meal I will post the recipe along with pictures and a review of the dish.

If you are interested in signing up for Home Chef, feel free to use my referral link Click Here 

I hope you’ll join us!


Get Your Ass In Shape Brittney!

So, I’ll be the first one to admit that I have NEVER in my life been in shape. I’ve tried, believe me I have, but either things get too hard and I quit, or I just get super lazy and, well……. quit.

But now that I have Liam, I feel like it’s probably time to start taking better care of myself. I’ve started by trying to make more meals at home, something that Ryan and I always try to do, but would like to do way more often. And now I’m going to make a sincere effort to actually work out as well.

So today begins day one of my journey. I have found a work out plan that I will be following for the next 4 weeks. Believe it or not (and I’m sure you’ll believe it) I came across it on Pinterest and thought it was PERFECT for my situation. The plan comes from the site From Insanity And Back, a site that I’ve increasingly become obsessed with over the last few months (seriously, it’s awesome. click the link and check it out). I came across Melissa’s Level One Workout plan because someone I follow on Pinterest pinned it and I thought I’d check it out. I had been looking for somewhere to start on my fitness journey but I’ve never truly been in shape so I was worried about trying to start something that would be too advanced for me. I think that’s really where my lack of follow through comes in, when something is too hard I get discouraged and quit.

Now, I’m not going to bore you every night with the details of how I feel after every work out and what I did and blah blah blah. I’ll post again at the end of the first week and discuss what I did, how I felt, and maybe what I ate too!

Wish me luck people…….


Update! I’m not dead I promise

Yes I know, I do this all the time. I disappear for a few weeks, then come back with some big long post about how I’m back and will be better at updated. I post consistently for about a week and then POOF! I’m gone again. Well……. This time is different?

Except probably not.

It’s worth a shot again. So allow me to make another (possibly empty) promise to you all that I will be better at updating.

So what have I been up to lately? The better question is what HAVEN’T I been up to!

Life with Liam has been taking up most of my time these past 10 weeks. Yes! Liam is now 10 weeks old! It’s hard to believe that the time has flown by so fast. As of his 2 month appointment which was last Tuesday, he was 11 lbs 10 oz and 23 inches long. He smiles all the time and let me just say, his smile is the cutest I’ve ever seen.


In addition to my new job as Liam’s Mom (that’s an official title you know!) I’m also back at work. Honestly, being a working mom to an infant is tough. Sometimes I feel like I don’t get to spend nearly as much time with Liam as I’d like. But I also know that it’s what’s necessary right now and Ryan and I were incredibly lucky to find a wonderful daycare down the street from our apartment that has amazing reviews and inspection reports and a friendly staff.

Welp, that’s pretty much it. The story of my life for the last 10 weeks. Like I said before, I am going to work VERY HARD to continue to update on a regular basis. But well……… yeah we’ll just see.


Post baby update

Hello all! Meet Liam, the newest little Masterson.


As you can all see, I’ve been lacking in the updating department, but I’ve definitely had a good reason.

Liam came to us on Tuesday, February 16 at 6:31 pm after a grueling 22 hour labor that included a foley, an epidural, having my water broken, two additionally doses of pain meds, and 4 1/2 hours of pushing. He was a whopping 7 pounds 15 ounces. I’m not ashamed to say that the second we saw him, Ryan and I both sobbed like…. Well…… Babies

 The first week home was tough while Ryan and I adjusted to Liam’s schedule. It involved a lot of crying and very very little sleep. Now as we finish up our 2nd week with Liam (tomorrow he’ll be 2 weeks old? Holy crap!) I think we’re starting to get the hang of it.

Yeah….. I probably just jinxed us didn’t I.

So now I’m back and ready to fill you all in on how our lives will be changing over time. I’m excited to get back into the swing of things!

****Edit- I will be posting our birth story this week.