The Bean Team Budgeter

Well, as you know, we're all about budgeting and being on a budget and buying on a budget and decorating on a budget and eating on a budget and i could go on and on and I thought about writing about how to budget on a budget.
About a year ago, Anthony created a little handy-dandy Excel document that we now can't live without.  It's a month-by-month budgeting tool that we use to help us see how much we've spent based on what we bring in every month and how much we have left to either spend or stash away in savings or towards a student loan.  It always helps to see the numbers, I think.  For those of you budgeters out there, here's a link to our "Bean Team Budgeter". 

It's simple really.  All we do is fill in the constant payments, those that stay the same every month, like health insurance, student loan payments, and our cell phone bill in the left column.  (Tweak it to fit your bills.)  Once you fill in numbers, a total will automatically be calculated for you thanks to Anthony's mad formula skillz.  Then, you fill in variable payments made in the right column.  Variable payments are those that change every month like the gas bill and groceries.  Below the variables in the empty space we fill in random things like Target - $10 or Lowes - $20.  Again, the total is automatically filled in.  Put your monthly income in the 'income' spot and any extra money from babysitting, birthday money, or other such things in the 'extra income' spot.  Expendiary income is what you have left after all of your debt is subtracted from your income.  Then, for the next month, all you have to do is open another tab at the bottom of the document, label it with the current month, copy your constants over, and start all over again.  This way you can have one document for each year with each month tabbed.  Pretty dandy, huh?  Easy, simple, and straight-forward, just like we like it.  Budgeting has never been so fun!  Plus, your bank account will thank you and remain in black.  One reminder though - make sure to save your receipts so that you can enter them into your budgeter!  I'm a bit of a maniac when it comes to saving my receipts anyway...I save every receipt for six months and file them in a little envelope in our filing cabinet where they are paperclipped together by month (maybe a little obsessive, I know) just in case I need them for something or some crazy company calls me and tells me I didn't pay for something when I did.  You just never know.  

Well, if you have any questions about our budgeter or budgeting, feel free to shoot us an email at  We have our budget saved as an Excel document and I uploaded the one above onto Google Documents.  Not being the technological geek I could be, I'm not quite sure it'll download to your computer if you want to use it so if not, let me know and I'll just email it to you!  Happy Budgeting Ya'll! 

Independence Day Fun

Here's a peek into our sun-soaked Independence Day this year!  We loved spending time with great friends and celebrating our freedom as "One Nation, Under God".

Spray Paint? Oh Yes, Please!

I might possibly be able to write a whole book on all of the things you could spray paint.  It works absolute wonders and I'm convinced that whoever invented it was inspired by God to do so.  Here are a few things I've spray painted:

Landscape Lights  (Hammered brown Rustoleum from Lowe's)
They were speckled hunter green and black...not to my fancy.  I had to completely take each one apart but it didn't take much time and they got a much-needed bath.

Exterior House Lights  (same hammered brown as above)
They were worn silver and rust was movin' in.

Our Mailbox (yes, I love the hammered brown)
You can see it's 'before' picture on this page.  It was just a little too drab for us and since our house got a fresh coat of paint, it did too.  I also have in the works to paint our monogram "T" on it and spray paint little metal numbers that will be attached to the post.

Frames (Valspar spray paint from Lowe's...super cheap at $3.50 a can!)
Read about how these came about here.

Thrift Store Bowl (Base painted with satin silver Rustoleum and bowl with Valspar's white)
This pretty little bowl used to be stained and icky, now it looks like new!  After painting it, I put a coat of polyurethane on the inside so that fruit can be placed in it without tasting like spray paint...not sure if that would happen but just wanted to make sure.  :)

Planting Pots (Valspar's Mediterranean Blue)
I got thrifty one day with these. Read about this fun project here.

Getting spray-painted white soon:  Our blinds.
I've been going back and forth about painting these.  Since we've moved from having cream trim in our house to clean white, our blinds no longer match and they just look dirty.  We thought at first that we'd just save up the $150 or so to replace them but we have so many other things that we'd rather spend that money on that they'd probably never get replaced.  So, I've decided that I'm going to try one and see how it turns out.  I mean they come in all sorts of colors from the factory so they're obviously 'paintable', right?  Well, you can be sure I'll post about that day! 

These are just some of the things I've revamped (or am about to revamp) with a can of spray paint and my little pointer finger. I've also painted ceiling vents, the hinges and pegs on all of our doors, outlet covers, vanity lights over the mirror in our bathroom, baskets, and a wrought iron bench. I've had a friend spray paint an old brass chandelier to make it look stunning and another friend fix a scratch on her bumper with some of this magnificent stuff. It seriously covers almost anything and most things without needing a coat of primer (and my pointer finger is toned to the nines)! I've found that the best way to go about spray painting something is to cover with a few thin coats, with drying time between each coat, instead of one thick coat that can start bubbling and/or dripping. Spray using smooth back-and-forth motions instead of quick, shaking movements. Also, make sure you protect yourself from fumes while you're using spray paint! Spray in a well-ventilated area and if you're outside, make sure you're spraying so that the wind is carrying the fumes and paint away from you.

Have fun and watch the transformations begin! I'd love to hear stories and see your spray-painted creations so share, share, share!

Erb Update

Thought you might like to know how my little herbs are doing so I took a snapshot of the cute little things.

We had basil a few nights ago in our tomato sauce and it was good!  I haven't gotten to make anything that I've needed the other herbs yet (I'm not the biggest fan of cooking) but I like to eat the chives raw...they're yummy!  The oregano is so soft and smells so good I'd just love to just stick my nose in it for an afternoon.  Most especially though, I love how the green pairs so well and looks so good with my spray-painted pots.  I'm not saying I'm a pro-gardener, but for my first time growing edible things, I'd say green is a good color for my thumb.  :)  

Next Stop...The Office/Guest Bedroom

We're moving on to the final room...the office/guest bedroom and someday to be deemed the nursery.  Here's the plan:

The Closet
 It's going to get painted white instead of remaining the grundgy, cream color that it is.  We're also going to re-organize it since it's become the place to throw odds and ends.  As for the curtains, we're not sure if we'll keep them or replace them with real doors.

The Filing Cabinet
We inherited this filing cabinet for free but it needs a little love.  It'll probably get a fresh coat of white paint and I'll make some cute labels to make organizing paperwork more fun.  :)

Window and Bed
We're going to make a long headboard that will be padded and upholstered to make this twin bed a day bed.  As for the window, I want to make curtains and maybe a roman shade to dress it up.  Then, at a later date...a.k.a. when I learn how to sew...I'm going to make a cushion for the window seat. 

The Bookshelf
Not sure yet how, but I want to either paint or find cheap, cute wallpaper to put on the back 'wall' of the bookshelf that will add a little flair.  :)

Of course, the walls and trim will be painted in the whole room.  I want to try and save a little money by using and/or combining leftover paint we already have.  Since this room will one day, God-willing, be a nursery, decorating will remain pretty basic and neutral until we can go to town with it for our little bean sprout!

Should be a fun time!  Stay tuned to watch the transformation!