Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekly Goals, September 30, 2013

Last weeks goals and the progress I made...

Goals for September 23, 2013

1) Money Management Check (Pun Intended)

Daily checking the accounts and balancing the checkbook and staying on task with our spending.

2) Daily Devotions  Done

I have been forgetting a lot the last few weeks so it's time to refocus!

3) Walk 3 Times  Done

4) Clean Kitchen Cabinet Doors  Done

5) Autumn Decorations  Done


 
 
 
1) Create New Goal Outline
 
My seasonal job will end this week and I have a mass amount of goals and ideas swimming through my head.  I need to take some time to write them all down, sort them out and organize them.
 
2) Walk 3 Times
 
3) Clean off Patio
 
 
 
Wonder why you don't see some goals on here anymore?  I try to implement goals for about 4 weeks to create a new habit, like doing a load of laundry everyday, going to bed every night with the dishes clean, etc.  Once I have developed the new habit, you won't see it again unless I notice that bad habits have returned.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Week Four of the Spending Freeze Challenge

Four weeks have passed since my husband and I agreed to stop any and all unnecessary spending.

WE  C H A L L E N G E D  O U R S E L V E S  T O  A  S P E N D I N G  FREEZE

Our mortgage fell through about a week before we were supposed to close on a home.  While the timing was not something we caused, the reason it happened belonged to us.

I'm not sure what the future holds but the last month has been a real eye opener for us.



We decided to give ourselves a minimal grocery budget of $100 per week and stopped any and all extra driving to help keep fuel costs to a minimum.  The only spending money that was allowed was $1.00 for each of the boys to spend at the weekly soccer games.

This week, I spent $90.13 for groceries.  I saved the $9.87 for the following week so that I can get coffee.  I have a Kurig Vue and allow myself one cup of coffee per day and a package of Vue packs lasts me a little more than 2 weeks.  It's one luxury that could be cut out if needed.  Thankfully, it's not needed yet!

The biggest thing that made a difference this month is not eating out.  We have not bought any family meals at restaurant for the month of September.  (I bought a meal at McDonalds for myself earlier this month.)  This is a huge accomplishment for us.  Huge.

We usually nickel and dime our way to having no money.  Swipe the debit card here.  Pay a couple dollars in cash there.  Rationalize this purchase by using a coupon.  All of these small purchases leave us behind on bills and living paycheck to paycheck.  This month was drastically different.

I just paid our first October bill on September 27.  That's right, four days early. 
(Can you tell I am super excited!!)

We're officially caught up and ahead on things.




My husband and I discussed how successful this month was and I asked him what he felt we needed to do to save the money needed for a home purchase.   He suggested another Spending Freeze month and I quickly agreed. 

The only difference for October's Spending Freeze is that we're going to budget in a small amount of cash for each of us to spend.

I'm a little nervous about October.

It was easy for me to be on a Spending Freeze while I was working.  (Maybe not easy, but easier.)

Starting October 5th, I'll be home with our two children and some old habits are going to have to be thrown out with the trash.

Let's see if I'm up to the challenge.  :-)


To read more about our Spending Freeze challenge, click on this link: Frugal Living

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Caterpillar Update: Chasing Butterflies

We had finally reached the last two caterpillars for the season.  They made their chrysalis and my job of collecting milkweed for 2013 was done.
 
 Diego and Teddy
 

 
 
Teddy
 

 

 
 
Diego
 




 
 
Diego landed in a tree in our backyard and while we were watching him, we noticed another monarch butterfly on a neighboring branch.  The boys got all excited and said that it must be Teddy.  So, Teddy and Diego are out there having a wonderful time together.  :-)
 
 
 
And our cats, Streaky and Stormy, are happy to have free reign on the sun porch.

http://seekhispurpose.blogspot.com/p/nature-study.html
 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Homemade Tortillas

Part of my job as a preschool teacher is to eat meals with the children.  It provides a level of quality in our care, plus it saves me lots of time and money.  This season, our cook has been phenomenal!  She really cares about the food she makes and it has made our season very yummy.  This woman makes most of her food from scratch and that includes homemade tortilla shells.
 
Now that I have tasted her tortilla shells, the ones I buy in the store taste like wood.
 
So I begged and pleaded until she gave me the recipe.
 
Then I came back and yelled at her (not really) because she was keeping a key ingredient hostage.
 
Homemade Tortillas
 
Ingredients:
 
3 cups of flour
 
3 Tbl. of butter, softened
 
1 tsp. of Salt
 
1 tsp. of Baking Powder
 
Up to 1 cup of Steaming HOT Water
 
 
Hot water is the key here.  If you use cold or warm, you won't be able to roll out the tortillas.
 
Mix the dry ingredients and then add the butter until it is crumbly.  Slowly add the water until the mixture is dough like.  It needs to be slightly sticky.
 
I used my Kitchen Aid and that made it super easy to make.
 
 
 

 
Let the dough rest for approx. 20 minutes.
 
 
Then divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape each piece into a ball.


 
 
The first one I rolled out stuck to my cutting board.  I sprayed my cutting board one time with non-stick spray and it was good for all 12 tortillas.
 
Using a rolling pin, begin rolling the ball outwards, almost like a fan.
 
 
 
 
Roll it until you are satisfied with the size and shape.
 
 
Just be aware- they get thicker as the cook!
 
 
 
 
I used a non-stick skillet to cook mine.  I did not have to use any non-stick spray.
 
Cook each side for a minute over medium heat.
 
 
 
 
Homemade Tortillas
 
Yum!
 
(My entire family approved.  Even the picky eater.)


 
My tortillas still don't taste as good as hers and they will probably never look as good, but she's got over 30 years of tortilla making experience. 
 
They might not be AS good as hers, but they're still 100% better than the ones I buy at the store.
 
You can also freeze them.  Just place a piece of wax paper between each shell, place it in a freezer bag and freeze.


Update:  February 18, 2014

I haven't purchased tortillas since September of 2013 and I've learned a few more things that may help you make this recipe.

1) You can mix 2 cups of all purpose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour to make a healthier version.  The tortillas taste delicious and are hubby and child approved!

2) Letting the dough sit for longer than 20 minutes makes it even easier to roll out.  I  have been leaving them for 45 minutes... unless I get distracted and forget.

3) Cook the tortillas on medium/high heat.  You have to watch them closely but it makes them a nice golden brown.




Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weekly Goals, September 23, 2013

Here's something that I realized yesterday about why setting goals are good for me.  When the mass amounts of never ending tasks are screaming at me, I just go to my list of goals for that week.  I will never have everything done, but having goals and checking them off helps me to feel like I have accomplished something.

Goals for September 16, 2013

1) Continue managing our money.  Another successful week!

2) Decorate for Autumn  I got the box out of the basement but that's as far as I got.

3) Organize Playroom  Done

4) Walk 3 Times  Walked Twice

5) Begin Gathering Pictures for Our Butterfly Album Not done, but a friend invited me to a scrapbook gathering and I'm going to save this for then. 






Goals for September 23, 2013

1) Money Management

Daily checking the accounts and balancing the checkbook and staying on task with our spending.

2) Daily Devotions

I have been forgetting a lot the last few weeks so it's time to refocus!

3) Walk 3 Times

4) Clean Kitchen Cabinet Doors

5) Autumn Decorations

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week Three of the Spending Freeze Challenge

I'm happy to say that my husband and I are still working together on this.  It's challenging and I find myself having to say no to a lot of things.  Keeping the goal of home ownership in mind gives me strength to stay on task.  This week I celebrated paying all our bills current and some early.  I can't remember the last time this happened but I know it's been at least 3 years.  I'm super-crazy happy over this not-so-small-to me success!





Here's an overview of week three...

1) Over the course of a week, we spent $106.97 on groceries.  This exceeded our grocery budget by $6.97 but I had forgotten to get ingredients to make a dessert for a carry in and needed to buy the ingredients for a tonic I make for colds.  I had a nasty sinus infection and the $2.89 I spent to make it was way cheaper than going to the doctor's.  This was also the first week where I felt like we had enough food.

2)  Matthew's shoes had come apart, the fabric was no longer attached to the soles of his shoes, and he needed new shoes.  I gathered some items that Liam had grown out of, took them to the consignment store and ended up paying 48 cents for 4 pairs of new-to-us shoes.

3)  I keep forgetting diapers at the grocery store!  Not good when my youngest is not potty trained.  :-(  I took several of my Thirty-One bags into the consignment store and got enough to buy a large box of diapers at Sam's Club.

4) It's nearing the end of the season for my job and everyone is exchanging gifts with their secret pal.  I politely turned down the instructions to participate and kindly repeated my answer when they tried to make me feel guilty.  It's a fun end of the season activity but our future home is going to be worth it.


To read more about our Spending Freeze challenge, click on this link: Frugal Living

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Woman Who Fears the Lord #9

The Woman Who Fears the Lord
 
A Study of Proverbs 31
Verse 18
 
"She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night."

I wonder when our friend, Mrs. Proverbs, sleeps.  This is the second verse that talks about her working at night.  Verse 15 says that she gets up while it is still dark and now in verse 18, she's still working while it is still night.

I don't know about you, but I get grumpy when I haven't had enough sleep.  I am currently finishing up the last 3 weeks of my work season and am still having to fight to make sure I get an adequate amount of sleep each night.  (Not verbal or physical fighting.  Mental fighting to resist doing a few more things before bed and a constant discipline to either not turn on a screen or to close one.)

Mrs. Proverbs gets up early and stays up late.  She gets the job done.

In her era, I think working or being productive while it was still dark was a admirable character trait.

In the 21st century...

We have electricity.

We have energy drinks.

We have a never ending to do list.

How then, can this verse apply to us?

Mrs. Proverbs is using her resources to make a profit.  She's probably trading her veggies, fruits, livestock, handmade clothing, etc. for goods that her family needs or for money.  She's making money or saving money.  Very profitable.

She gets her jobs done, even if she has to work into the night.

This leaves me with 2 conclusions.

She is a woman of her word

and

She gets enough sleep.

There is no verse in Proverbs 31 that talks about Mrs. Proverbs getting enough sleep.  Yet, she is an awesome wife, mother, homemaker, business woman and member of her community.

All that awesomeness requires sleep.


You may find yourself bringing in an income for your family or doing some of the other awesome things listed in Proverbs 31.

Let's use this verse to remind us,

To follow through with what we say we're going to do

and

To make sure we get enough sleep.


Because being a woman who fears the Lord takes a lot of energy and to be truly awesome, you're going to need your rest.



The link to the series "The Woman Who Fears the Lord"

Monday, September 16, 2013

Caterpillar Update: We lost one?

Friendship Jr. emerged from his chrysalis earlier this week.  Liam was too nervous to hold him.  Matthew had no problem taking care of it for him.


 
On Saturday, we found this little guy on our sun porch floor.  The butterfly habitat was sealed up tight and we hadn't been missing any caterpillars.  I guess we must have had one that had escaped and spun his chrysalis somewhere in the room.
 


 
 
 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekly Goals, September 16, 2013

My progress on last week's goals...


Goals for September 9, 2013

1) Continue with the budgeting, planning and following through.  It can be done!  Accomplished!

2) Prepare winter clothes for consignment  Done

3) Clean my van  Done

4) Clean and organize Liam's room  Done

5) Start decorating for Autumn  Incomplete



Goals for September 16, 2013

1) Continue managing our money. 

I'm slightly obsessed with it right now... just ask my husband!  Earlier this week he texted me and asked if he could buy some snack crackers.  I about jumped through the phone and reminded him how we are on a spending freeze- aka, we are not spending money.  I let him know that he should plan ahead, take snacks from home... blah, blah, blah.

2) Decorate for Autumn

3) Organize Playroom

4) Walk 3 Times

5) Begin Gathering Pictures for Our Butterfly Album

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Week Two of the Spending Freeze Challenge

My husband and I attempting to change our future by taking control of our money.  We want to purchase a house and I don't want our mistakes to be the reason we can't.

We have just finished week #2 of our spending freeze.  We use our money for bills, gas to get to work and other commitments we have made, and groceries.

This week I spent $98.47 on groceries.  I had budgeted $100.00 and felt pretty good about coming in under budget.  Until I got home and realized that we needed diapers and $8.00 for the Wednesday night meal at our church. 

Liam's not ready to give up on diapers.  He can go all day and only use one for a bowel movement, but so far he has need to be at home and half naked to do this.

The diapers and Wednesday night dinner put us $24.00 over budget.





Here are a few of our spending freeze successes for this past week---

* I based our weekly menu on what was on sale at the grocery store.  I happened to catch the last few minutes of an interview with the author of "Miserly Moms" on Focus on the Family.  She said that the front and back pages of the grocery store sales flyer are foods that they are selling at a loss to get customers into the store.  I went to Krogers, Martins, Meijers, and Aldis.  Next week I'll be going to Aldis first because I saw a few things that were even cheaper there than the other store's sales.

* We ate at our church Wednesday night which left no lunch for my husband to take the next day.  Normally, I would have given him a $5 and said to eat cheap.  This time, I got up at 5:30, made him grilled cheese sandwiches and some breakfast.

* My oldest son has soccer practice twice a week.  I'm working late this season and could have met them to watch practice.  Instead, I went home and made dinner.  I had my husband give them a big snack before they left and we all just ate a late dinner.

* We're adjusting our meal times.  Dinner should be at 6:00 but when I don't get home until 6:00, it makes it a little challenging.  Before the spending freeze, I would just grab takeout on my way home.  With the spending freeze, we eat when dinner is ready.

* A neighbor invited us to come to their church's Fall Festival.  I usually avoid situations where I don't know anyone and I don't go to church events that are not at our church.  I guess I feel like the church is trying to get new members and since we're not interested in finding a new church, we shouldn't go.  This time we went.  It was free, everyone was friendly and welcoming, the boys had a blast and it was only a mile from our home.


 Crafts that the boys did at the Fall Festival.








Fall Festival Face Painting




To read more about our Spending Freeze challenge, click on this link: Frugal Living

http://www.miserlymoms.com/default.htm

Monday, September 9, 2013

Frugal Meals: Creamed Chicken and Biscuit Casserole

I have cut our grocery budget in half this month. 

Not an easy thing to do and I'm still working on perfecting my system. 

If you can call chaos a system. 

I'm trying to purchase less prepared foods and make homemade.  That means my dear husband won't have dinner ready for me when I get home from work.  :-(  The man does great with 3-5 step recipes and grilling, but I don't know if he wants to be in charge of recipes like this one...

Creamed Chicken and Biscuit Casserole

 
Note- This hasn't been baked yet!  The guys will be leaving for soccer practice before I return home from work and my husband will be baking this in the oven for their dinner.  Hopefully they will save me some!
 
I found whole chickens on sale this week and put one in the crock pot before leaving for work this morning.  I used the leftover chicken for this recipe and changed a few ingredients to match what we had on hand.
 
The biscuits are homemade freezer biscuits.  I made one batch and got the 11 you see on the casserole and 9 more that are currently in the freezer.
 
Biscuits from a can are inexpensive but when you are watching every penny, making them is much cheaper.  An added bonus is they are healthier for us, too.
Instead of spending $4 on biscuits, I bought French toast sticks for Liam and napkins. 
 
Liam was getting French toast sticks a couple of times a week.  Now he gets it every other week for a special treat. 
 
 As far as the napkins go, one night while we were sleeping, the cats had a napkin party.  They didn't even have the courtesy to hide the evidence.  My napkins are safely tucked away now.
 
   
 
This is my first time making both recipes and I will let you know how it turns out!
 
9-10-11
 



 
Soccer practice was canceled and I got to enjoy the meal with my family.
 
I give the biscuits two thumbs up.  I will definitely be making those again. 
 
I think the casserole needed something different.  I had used corn instead of the red pepper or other ingredients they recommended.  Everyone in my family likes corn and it was what I had on hand but the combination wasn't the tastiest.
 
My husband said we could add the recipe to our meal rotation.
 
Liam said it was "good" and had two helpings.
 
Matthew didn't gag when he tasted it but said he was undecided about his opinion.  I take the not gagging as a good sign with this kiddo.

http://www.food.com/recipe/potsies-creamed-chicken-and-biscuits-casserole-110047

http://moneysavingmom.com/2013/02/homemade-freezer-biscuits-recipe.html

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Weekly Goals, September 9, 2013

Last week's goals did not go so well.  I'm not going to let it discourage me, I did get a lot of the day to day things done and my house is beginning to be put back together.  I have four weeks/20 days left of the work season and I hope things keep going this direction.  I would love to end the work season and be able to relax instead of having to spend an entire week cleaning.  (Having an immaculate home is not my priority, but I do need basic cleanliness and organization to help our days run smoother.)

Weekly Goals for September 2, 2013

1) Budget, save, budget and save some more?  Success!  My anti-budget husband and my avoid it and maybe it will go away personality made it through an entire week on a very, very tight budget.  I'm really proud that hubby followed through with the plan.  :-)

2) Mop floors  Done

3) Tame the clean laundry monster that lives in our room and in Liam's room  By the time I got around to the clean laundry, it was almost all gone and there was a massive dirty laundry monster staring at me.

4) Find 5 things to sell  Not done

5) Prepare Winter Clothes that Liam has grown out of to take to consignment store  Not done








Goals for September 9, 2013

1) Continue with the budgeting, planning and following through.  It can be done!

2) Prepare winter clothes for consignment

3) Clean my van

4) Clean and organize Liam's room

5) Start decorating for Autumn

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Week One of the Spending Freeze Challenge

My husband and I are going to change our financial future if it kills us.  It'll more likely kill him, but that's another story.

My plan (that my husband has agreed to) is to spend no extra money for the entire month of September and to keep our basic spending needs to a minimum.  We need to make sure all of our bills are paid on time, there are no negative balances in our checking and we need to put some serious money into savings.

Week one was a success.

As a family, we did not eat out once. 

I went to a fundraiser/paint a picture event with friends this week.  I had already paid for it before the Spending Freeze went into effect.  It was held at a small cafĂ© and I had $7 to buy dinner.  I had come straight from work and I knew I wouldn't be able to make it until I got home at close to 10:00 to eat.  Problem was that the meals they were serving were $10.  I ordered water, painted my picture and drove through McDonalds immediately after the event.  Not as yummy, but for $4.27, I stayed within my budget.




I allotted $80 for groceries this week and needed $15 of that to buy one of the wristbands for the rides at the festival we attended on Monday.  A friend of mine offered to cover the cost of the other wristband and parking in exchange for me helping out with her kids while she ran in a 5K.  I packed food and a gallon of sweet tea.  We had fun the whole day and only spent the $15 for the one wristband.






Which leads me back to groceries.  I spent $58 on groceries but it was not enough.  Don't get me wrong, we ate a meal every night and my husband had a lunch to take to work everyday, but our cupboards were B.A.R.E. 

This week I'm going to have to do something different...


To read more about our Spending Freeze challenge, click on this link: Frugal Living

Depression is No Laughing Matter

I wish I could write this post as a reflection of the past, it would be much easier.  I could gracefully skate across the challenges, frustrations, sadness and anxiety and end with a happily ever after message.

But I'm not there yet.

Yet.

Things have been off balance for me since about July.

Stress over work, missing my children and missing the pace of being a stay at home mom.

Observing my children's behavior as it changed and became more challenging.

Anxiety over buying a house, waiting for the mortgage to come through and trying to figure out how I was going to manage everyday living along with moving.

Then the mortgage fell through.

What should have happened in July, happened a week before we supposed to close.

It's all going to be fine.

We're not homeless.

No one died.

I'm still working so we can fix our end of the mistake rather quickly.

God is in control.

He knows what's best and will take care of us.

It could help my husband and I get on the same page when it comes to money.


Only, it all got messed up.

How can we change what we have struggled with for so long?

How can God help us?

Why would He want to Help us?

What if there are harder lessons that we are supposed to learn?

All of these thoughts are continuously running through my mind.  Sometimes I have in inner shouting match.  Optimism gets screamed at by Pessimism.

A few things happened in the last few weeks that have made me decide that I am depressed.

 At dinner one night, I asked my husband what he had done with the clean laundry from the dryer.  He said it was still downstairs.  Internally I screamed at him, "Why the (insert a not so good word here) didn't you just fold the laundry?"  Outwardly, I said "We're going to have to run all the clothes back through the dryer with a wet towel because they will all be too wrinkled."  I freaked myself out by swearing (those words don't usually come to my mind) and by how loud I was in my head.

I am missing my boys so much during the day that I sometimes feel sick to my stomach.  I have all these grand ideas about how peaceful our evening will be.  We'll read stories, make dinner together, have a relaxing bedtime routine and just enjoy each other.  I get home and am instantly overwhelmed.  People are yelling at each other, the house is a mess, I'm crying, and there is no peace at all.

I'm normally okay at work but this week when an 18 month old spilled her milk, which is a very age appropriate thing, I wanted to have a nervous breakdown.  I calmly wiped the spill up and reassured her that it was okay, but on the inside, my head was exploding.

Not good.

So, very not good.

I know I could go to my family doctor to explain things and she would probably give me some anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication.  I have been on something at two different points in time.

The first time was after our son, William, died from SIDS.

The second time was when my family had moved into my parents house to help my mother who had terminal cancer.


This time, I am going to try talking to a counselor about what's going on. 

I know I have all the right perspectives in my head, I just need them to be so loud that they can't hear all the negativity.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Caterpillar Update: Nearing the End

 The last of our caterpillars munching away...


Diego
 
 
Teddy
 
 

Diego, Friendship Jr. and Teddy
 
 
 


Diego, Friendship Jr. and Teddy
 
 
 If you look very closely at Friendship Jr., you will be able to see that it is darker than the other two.  The chrysalis will continue to darken as he transforms into a butterfly.



 
Matthew and Liam observing the caterpillars.
 
 
 
 
I found this little guy munching on a milk weed.  He is super cute and super fast.  My sister said that he is moth.  We're keeping him to observe what happens.
 
 
 
 
To see previous caterpillar posts- click below
 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Review: America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money

I knew we needed help managing our finances and I believe I came across a jewel when I checked out the book "America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money" by Steve and Annette Economides.  See?  I'm already saving money by checking books out from the library instead of purchasing them. 
 
 
 
 
(This only works if I remember to take the books back on time, but I'll save that for another post.)
 
Like so many other books on money management, this book has chapters on budgeting, debt, vehicles, housing, medical, savings and investment and vacations. 
 
 Some of the chapters you may not see in other books were kids and money, clothing, utilities, groceries and my favorite--- ATTITUDES.
 
The authors gave me practical everyday ideas that I can start doing now to save money.  Yes, me.  The once lackadaisical and avoidie girl has to get a tight grip on things and this book was a great place to start.
 
The first place I need to start is with our budget.  Steve and Annette advice to sit down often and update your family's budget because it changes. This may be why I always felt like I was failing at the whole budget thing.  It was constantly changing and I had this idea that that meant I wasn't doing it correctly... so I avoided it altogether.
 
They also recommend having the husband and wife do it together.  A definite goal of mine.  But how do I make it my husband's goal, too?  We're never on the same page. If we sat down and discussed things, we would be able to remind each other of the goals we set together.
 
The authors and their family buy most of their clothing from thrift stores.  It takes time to search but the amount of money they save is well worth it.  They also shop on the clearance racks and major sales.  Annette purchases clothes she finds for a steal seasons before her children will need them.  Planning and organization is key here.
 
Steve and Annette give their children an allowance.  It is based on the daily tasks that each child is responsible for doing and if it is done without reminding and with the right attitude.  Their days are broken up into four sections and when the child completes each section, they receive a check mark on their "Time Card."  At the end of the week, the checks are added up and then multiplied by the amount each child receives per check.  Depending on the age of the child, it ranges anywhere from 5-20 cents per check.
 
There are so many valuable ideas on how to teach your children to responsibly manage money in this book.  I've been inspired to implement plans and work with our children.  Currently, they each have piggy banks and Matthew has set goals and saved his money to reach the goal.  Good, yes.  But, we can do better.  I've been saving our spaghetti jars and we'll be setting up a save, give and spend jar for each of them.
 
The right attitude helps.  Instead of looking at what you can't have, look at what you can.  For example: Instead of looking at the fact that we couldn't go to Texas Roadhouse for dinner, I'm going to look at that beautiful home we'll be able to purchase after our careful planning and saving pays off.
 
 
 
Things I already do to save money.  They were ideas that were given in the book and I have been doing them for years.  Maybe I am not as bad as I thought.
 
#1 Reduce trips to the store.  Nailed it-- I don't even like to go to the store at all. Umm... I don't think that's what they mean.
 
#2 Menu Planning.  Having a menu and a corresponding list saves you money when you take fewer trips to the store and helps eliminate impulse purchases.  I also can tell my two kids, if it's not on my list, we don't need it.  If it's something they would truly like and can remember it before we take our next shopping trip.  I'll add it to my list.  (Hasn't happened yet.)
 
#3 Waiting and Searching.  When my family or I want something, we research it and try to find the best deal.  My hubby is awesome at researching and is getting better at finding deals instead of just taking what he can find.
 
#4 Vacationing and Saving on Food.  Four years ago, Matthew and I went on a vacation together.  We were gone for 5 days and we only ate out four times.  I made homemade rolls, cookies, and assorted goodies.  We stopped at the store and bought bread, milk, lunch meat, snacks, cereal, bagels and cream cheese.  This was huge for me because I love, love, love to eat out.  But, when I plan ahead and make foods that are more "treat like", it helps.  I was very pleased with myself after that trip.
 
 
Each chapter concludes with three starting points.  Beginners, intermediates, and experts can all look forward to knowing where to begin.
 
My favorite part about this book...
 
It's like I sat in a coffee shop with Steve and Annette.  We talked about family, friends and finances.  They were so kind and didn't make me feel ignorant or ashamed.  I got useful tools that I began to use right away. 
 
That's just the way conversations with friends go. 
 
They support you, encourage you and help you grow.
 
 
 
Steve and Annette Economides' website: http://www.moneysmartfamily.com/

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Weekly Goals, September 2, 2013

My list from last week turned upside down...
Weekly Goals, August 26, 2013

1) Sort Through Toys Not Done
2) List Thirty-One Products on Shop the House Started
(I've decided to sell my 31 bags that I purchased for my business but don't need.)
3) Clean House Worked on but will not ever finish if people continue to live here.  :-)

Our moving plans have been put on hold.  There was another delay in the mortgage process and we're hoping that it will be within the next month.  Although it is really disappointing, I'm going to try to look at the only positive thing I can find.  It will give me a longer opportunity to get things ready.

Moving plans:
1) Laundry Room
2) Curio Cabinet
3) Basement Play Room
4) Liam's Room
5) Our Bedroom

Things started falling apart on our mortgage application the week before.  I had a couple rays of hope but they didn't turn out.  We lost the house we were trying to buy when our application was turned down.

It's fixable though.  The woman who messed things up no longer works for the mortgage company and I have a workable plan to fix things on our end.  My husband and I have talked (Well, mostly me.  But I did get him to nod his head a few times) and we should be able to reapply the beginning of November.

Everything works out for a reason... but I'm still devastated. 

Plus, it's effecting more than just my children, my husband and me, which is sometimes more than I can handle.

Weekly Goals for September 2, 2013

1) Budget, save, budget and save some more?

2) Mop floors

3) Tame the clean laundry monster that lives in our room and in Liam's room

4) Find 5 things to sell

5) Prepare Winter Clothes that Liam has grown out of to take to consignment store