Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas ....

It's been a hard few days. Mom is what made Christmas extra special. She made it wonderful and happy. Without her everything seems not so bright. I kept replaying her words in my head "Christmas is for the children. Always make it special for them." I mustered up every ounce of happiness and tried to keep our spirits up. It turned out okay. We ate and laughed and exchanged gifts. It was a full, full house. My Dad kept his chin up as well.

Mr. Man gave me the best present ever, Into the Pleasure Groove, the autobiography by John Taylor of Duran Duran! I'm a huge fan :) My Mom had bought Kiddo2's gift before she passed.  It was of course perfect.  She knew Kiddo2 so well.

Financially, we will struggle till Mr. Man gets paid. It's okay because I have no desire to shop or go anywhere. I will be listing the remainder of this month. New Year's will be spent at my Brother's place so minimal spending there. We've been eating/cooking a lot at my parent's house.  Everyone keeps bringing food and I'm trying hard not to let any go to waste. 

I am not sure how I feel about the New Year.  I guess its a bit bittersweet.  I just pray for strength and have been asking my Mom for patience when dealing with my oldest sister. Even in heaven we are still asking her for help.  Love you Mom :*)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Remembering Mom...

My Mom passed a week ago.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that she is no longer physically here.  I know she is with me in spirit but I miss talking to her, seeing her and hugging her.  This past week has been a huge week of reflection.  We all are trying to remember every thing she ever told us.  I guess in an attempt to hold on to her a little longer.  And in those reflections, I remembered all the things she told me about saving, spending and living.  I wish I would have listened to her more but I guess we sometimes have to learn the hard way.  The first thing she taught me is always have insurance.  She would pay a small insurance policy every month.  She had said so that when her time would come we would not have to worry about her funeral.  It did help tremendously and although we did all incur some costs, her insurance made the financial load a little lighter.  For that I am thankful. The second thing she taught us was, always put a few dollars away for a rainy day.  She had a habit of tucking away a  few dollars here and there.  Just enough to buy herself a little something if she felt like it. We use to laugh with her because she would sometimes forget where she put her money. The third thing was how best to live our lives.  She always said to live a good life helping those who may need your help.  She was a big giver...almost to a fault.  She never wanted anything in return.  Her reward was seeing others happy. That is what endeared so many to her. Now this is just a sliver of what she taught us but I think it describes her pretty well.  Which is, take care of those you love the most, enjoy the little things in life and give from the heart.  I will try my hardest to make her proud. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

A long long week...

One week ago today was the last time I saw my mother.  She passed away on Saturday, December 8th.  There was no warning or sickness to let us know something was wrong.  Just a frantic call by my father.  I have never felt so helpless in my whole life.  In an instant, my mother was gone.  My heart is broken.  She was my everything.  She kept our family going and always was there for us.  I find myself barely holding it together.  I know she is in a wonderful place but I just want another moment with her.  She had always told us how she felt when her mother passed.  She said "It feels as though your world is ending."  That is exactly how we felt.  In our crazy circus of a family, we were the clowns and she was the ringmaster.  We all reacted to what she did.  It just came naturally to all of us.  So without her here we find ourselves a bit lost.  Who will be there to greet us at the front door with a big smile and hug?  Who will offer us something to eat over and over, each time ignoring our "No thanks Mom" till we finally say "yes"?  Who will give us the most honest of opinions and advice even when we don't want to hear it?  I am trying to be grateful for the time she was here with us but I can't help feeling angry, confused and hurt.  I know only time will help our pain. I just wish she could have stayed here with us just  a bit longer. Mom, I love you, I will never forget you and I will do my very best to honor you.  May you rest in peace with the angels. Te quiero Mama.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mr. Man, a birthday and Christmas!

So I have been on pins and needles lately.  Mr. Man is up for a promotion.  I am so excited for him.  He has worked so very hard and I hope all works out.  We still can't believe how far we have come.  He started with the company well over 10 years ago.  He literally started at the very bottom.  He was the lowest paid employee.  He has worked hard to move up through the ranks literally learning every single job in his business.  I am so proud of him and am praying he gets the job!

Add to that Kiddo2's birthday.  I am not the most social of people, so throwing any kind of party makes me all kinds of anxious. I just want all the kiddos to have a good time.

Then we have Christmas!  Did I mention I have 7 brothers and sisters, 22 nieces and nephews and several great nieces and nephews!  That is a whole lots of gifts but thankfully we all keep it small.  No one is obligated to buy gifts but we all do it because its so much fun.  We are also participating in an angel tree which provides gifts to children in our community.  I need to make a list this week. 

Aside from that we have holiday performances and recitals. It is such a wonderful time of year!  I am so thankful and blessed.  I hope each and every one of you is enjoying your December so far :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

DECEMBER 1st...woohoo

There's no particular reason for my woohoo just a yay its December 1st.  The holidays are almost upon us and well I'm just in a good mood. Eventhough, my house is a mess, I have a stack of bills and have only a couple of dollars in the bank.  I refuse to complain because in all reality there isn't much to complain about.  I am blessed and I'm grateful for that. 

We had a movie night at home.  Watched Brave and Arthur Christmas.  Great movies and the kiddos are now in the Christmas spirit more than ever.  Tomorrow, I'm pulling out the tree and we are decorating it.  I'm also hoping Mr. Man puts up the lights on the house. 

Aside from that, not much planned. I love the weekends, especially when we don't have a whole lot planned.  I cannot believe Christmas is a little over 3 weeks away!  So excited :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Buh Bye 24% interest credit card!!

Photo credit : Crazyadventuresinparenting


Woohoo...Yippee...we paid off one of our high interest credit cards!  Total was a little over $1600.  We were paying 24% interest, which is ridiculous.  It saved us over $300 in interest a year.  So thankful we were able to do this. 

This weekend I am hoping to do some Christmas shopping.  We have a little extra cash and Mr. Man and I agreed to not spend it on eating out or useless impulse buys. So I'm going to look at my coupons and get the most for our money. 

Aside from that, we are preparing for Thanksgiving.  For the past few years we have taken a turkey to my mother's (two are required and she makes the other).  Luckily, one of my siblings volunteered to bring the other turkey so I only need to bring a couple side dishes. I'm pretty happy about that.

I'm actually getting excited to see everyone the next few days.  Hope it goes well :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

$$, Pineapples and Spongebob

On the money front, I received some great news!  One of kiddo's therapy bills was overpaid so I have a credit!  Woohoo.  I'm hoping to catch up the other therapy bill and start the new year with a zero balance.

Now on to pineapples.  We love pineapple.  So much so that I was buying 3 to 4 cans a shopping trip.  I was paying about $3.50 for 4 cans.  Then, one day I decided to buy a whole pineapple for $2.  I cut it up and ended up with the equivalent of 6 or 7 cans.  The whole pineapple tastes sooo much better. Can't believe it took me this long to figure it out!

Speaking of pineapples...one of the kiddos bought a dvd today with their own money.  It was a Spongebob Christmas two pack at Walmart.  The 2 pack costs $14.94 and there was a sticker on the front for a free movie ticket up to an $8 value. You redeem a code online and print out your movie cash!  So easy and convenient.  Two dvds and a movie ticket for 15 bucks.  I thought that was a great value. 

I'm hoping by next post, my debt totals will reflect one less credit card! Although this year did not prove to be as productive as I would have liked, I  have to focus on the positives. Our debt did not defeat us but instead motivated us to make changes in our lives for the better.  A zero balance is no longer a dream but a very attainable goal :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting, Cleaning and not much else :)

Kiddo2 is at home today but thankfully feeling much, much better!  I went to vote and the wait was about 20 minutes which worked out well since kiddo's stand still threshold is about .......20 minutes. LOL!  Was happy that my kiddo could see voting "in action".

I'm taking a break from cleaning the house since I'll be picking up a friend's kiddo from school and don't want the house looking like the mess it normally is. Trying not to overdo it just wiping off things, organizing and dishes.

I hope to list some more this evening and then turn in early :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

A trip to the Doc :/

Taking Kiddo2 to the doctor in a bit.  I hate to see my kiddos feeling sick.  Thankfully my kiddo still has an appetite so that is always encouraging.  I just want my kiddo running around again and driving me crazy :)   

Aside from that, I put a pork roast in the crockpot.  So, no worrying about dinner.  Dinner for four for under $5, plus there will be leftovers.  The pork roast was regular $6.16 but every morning the meat gets marked down and it was reduced to $3.16.  I snapped it up as well as a few other cuts of meat.  I froze them and now I don't have to worry about meat till next week. 

Not much else happening today till after we see the doctor. 
 

**Update**

Back from the docs. Kiddo2 has strep throat.  Some antibiotics prescribed and no school tomorrow.  I don't want my kiddo sick but we are both jumping for joy (on the inside of course) that we get to sleep in. We are so bad....did I mention only 11 days till Thanksgiving break. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A sick kiddo and slacker Sunday!

Kiddo2 has been sick all weekend :(  Yucky cough and light fever.  Thankfully, it seems to be calming down a bit so we will see what tomorrow brings. 

Today was spent doing a little picking up, packing off some stuff for Ebay and some listing. It was a pretty relaxing day.  No dinner to make as I am TIRED and well I don't want to cook. So we will just eat whatever is in the fridge.  After reading a couple of my favorite blogs, Frugal Queen and Out My Window, I feel like such a huge slacker!  I imagine myself baking and cooking in the kitchen but somehow I don't ever get motivated enough to stay in there more than an hour at the most! One day, I aim to make them proud :)  Unfortunately, that day is not today. To my credit, I did go to the grocery store to get the kiddos some lunch items.  This school year both kiddos are taking their lunch to school and it helps our budget tremendously.  Not to mention, what they eat is way healthier.  Although, you can't tell from Kiddo1's lunch on Friday.  Talk about no color!  lol. 


I was trying to keep the sandwich together and put in all those flag picks...Kiddo1 had a good laugh.
Last year, lunch was running Kiddo1 an average of  $2.30 a day or $11.50 a week.  Now its about 50 cents to a dollar a day. Every bit saved helps. 

Mr. Man also called his little brother in NYC.  He was happy to hear that all was well with him. He didn't go long without power and has been going to work.  Its crazy how people only miles apart are dealing with the storm in radically different ways.

Tomorrow, will be spent organizing and purging.  There is stuff that I still cannot let go of and just need to stuff in a bag and donate. 

Lastly, I am happy to report that debt totals have been updated and the number went down and not up.  We still are at more than we started this year but that's due to Mr. Man's used truck purchase. I hope by my next update we will have eliminated one card...we are still deciding which one we can pay off but it will be at least one.  Yippee :)

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy Sunday!

Hoping everyone is having a wonderful Sunday!  Yesterday went well.  Mr. Man and Kiddo2 did everything they planned and then some.  Mr. Man came home and barbecued some chicken and sausage.  My contribution was GF cornbread (mix from the box) ...lol.  The parents came over for a bit.  They have been helping Mr. Man all week.  My parents are in their mid 70s and 80s.  They have more energy than their grandchildren!  I love them to bits and am so thankful for them :)  They took some food to go as they were off to see my sis down the way.

Today, I spent picking up a bit with the help of Kiddo2's toy grabber claw thingy.  It helps me reach all things high and low.  LOL. I listed a few items and went to a couple thrift stores to look for a few sweaters for Kiddo1. I'm going to go and look up my debt totals and hopefully update them. 

The parting pic is Kiddo2's Halloween drawing :)


Hope everyone has a SPOOKTACULAR week!



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mr. Man, kiddos and a breakfast taco!

Yay for Saturdays!  Thursday and Friday were hectic.  Both kiddos stayed home sick Thursday and yesterday. Kiddo1 was still a bit under the weather in the am.  Mr. Man was sooo tired and gave me a good laugh when he said "I'm tired of bending over to pick things up!"  I said "Well, they don't magically pick themselves up."  I'm grateful for both his help but glad he is getting to see all that I do. The kids are feeling good today. Mr. Man took Kiddo2 out for the day :)  Kiddo1 had a sleepover a couple weekends ago and Kiddo2 was pretty bored so we decided today would be a special day of fun.  Mr. Man and Kiddo2 left for breakfast, then Best Buy (Kiddo2 had wallet and coupon in hand), maybe a swing by the arcade (another coupon in hand for a free go kart ride) and who knows what else :) 
Kiddo1 and I are getting dressed.  I'm still sore but am getting a little stir crazy all cooped up.  We are going to venture out for a breakfast taco.  Haven't had one in a few weeks and have been craving one. A cool front came into town so the temperature is currently 55 degrees.  LOVE IT!!! The rest of the day will be spent organizing coupons and Kiddo2 moving things for me in the closet. I will also be updating debt totals and money made totals. 

Hoping everyone has a great weekend :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hospitals, pain and debt

Had my day surgery yesterday.  I'm glad it's over but didn't realize how incredibly painful it would be. Mr. Man has been running around like a madman, helping me and watching the kiddos.  I am hoping I am back to normal soon.

I am going to use my downtime to clip coupons and rest a lot. Lol.

Hoping I can update my debt totals next week!  Have a great week :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mums, filing and a cold

So Kiddo2 and I are home sick today :(  Kiddo2 has a fall festival this evening at school and has stayed in bed all day in order to get better.  It seems to be working.  I on the other hand am a coughing and sneezing mess. This is the last thing I need before my surgery next week.  I am trying my hardest to rest up and "get better".  We will see.  In the meantime, I am filing all my Explanation of Benefits - how I love how medical insurance companies work (insert HEAVY sarcasm).  I guess it is a twist of "good" fortune, my surgery will be 90% paid by insurance. I guess it all balances out, since we pay for Kiddo2's therapy out of pocket at the tune of $480 per month.  The irony of it all. 

Mr. Man has been working like a madman.  It is helping out tremendously and we hope to be rid of at least one credit card bill by years end. 

Aside from that I sent Kiddo1 off to school and here is a pic of a couple of mums I made for friends. 
If I had paid for these at a shop it would have cost be at least $25 to $30.  My cost about $8-10. I may consider making these next year to sell but we will see. The larger ones go from about $50 on up.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Preparing for Day Surgery :/

Yesterday I went to preregister at the hospital.  Today, I'm going back to do some labwork...oh joy.  I think I've caught a cold because I cannot stop sneezing, am congested and just feel out of it.  I feel the anxiety creeping on. Hoping to shake it off by working on some Homecoming mums, artificial mums decorated with ribbons, bells and trinkets worn the day of the school's football homecoming game. Making some for Kiddo1 and Kiddo1's friends.

This weekend will be spent cleaning up the house and hopefully a big day of cooking Sunday.  I want to make a few nights meals in advance since hubby will be running around taking/picking up kiddos from school and generally be on mom duty for a few days. 

On the money front, my mind has not been focused. I'm hoping I can take advantage of my downtime to think and hopefully gather my thoughts on how to improve on paying down our debt. We are making slow headway but we would like to move things along more quickly.  We will see how that goes. 

Well, I'm off to the hospital but I may come back to post a pic or two of my completed mums :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My house has been invaded....

Invaded by teens!  Kiddo1 had a sleepover and its been crazy since Friday.  I was stressing since Kiddo1 asked if it could be a two night sleepover versus one night.  Considering there are hardly kids ever over I said sure.  Then I panicked because I thought "How am I going to feed these kids?"  I had a one night plan but two nights was not in the cards.  They were having an anime conference so Mr. Man was going to take them Friday night which gave me some time to prepare.  Friday night I made a late night dinner of Tortellini with Meat Sauce, salad and garlic bread.  I also pulled out some cookie dough that I had purchased recently from a school fundraiser.  Kids happily ate.  Saturday morning, I knew I would be tired so I planned on a cereal buffet bar - easy and no stress!

 
Yesterday, Mr. Man took them to the convention bright and early! He bought them some fast food outside the convention center to save $$.  Then in the evening, we did 3 $5 pizzas.  Again easy and cheap.  This morning, I said what can I feed them...I could have gone the cereal route again but wanted their stay to feel a little special.  So I made french toast.  They loved it and ate every last bite and then some.  Mr. Man is taking them out to the convention again (last day) and for lunch I probably will defrost some meat and make some burgers and fries for them. By dinner all kiddos will be back to their respective homes and we will probably just have leftovers.  I am so extremely tired but I love seeing my kiddo so very happy. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Week Ahead...

Preparing for the week ahead.  I dread Mondays!  This week should be interesting.  One of the kiddos is taking a swimming course through school this week and well I'm a nervous. wreck.  I plan on being at the pool everyday just to keep an eye on the kiddo. I also have scheduled my surgery for later this month.  I've dropped a total of 8 pounds in the last 10 days.  I anticipate another 5-10 before surgery.  I have been watching what I eat as to not bring on a gall bladder attack and "knock wood" its been working so far.  I've cooked at home 9 out of 10 days. I'm shooting for 13 days out of the next 15. The kiddos are eating foods they wouldn't have even looked at before. I am following FRUGAL QUEEN'S lead and taking stock of my fridge and cabinets to see what I can use and minimize my shopping list. 

The weather is FINALLY cooling down here.  Tonight we are in the 60's which is sooo nice!  I love the cool weather :)  This past Saturday I went to a couple of garage sales.  I was so happy I did. I found two brand new in the box TV antennas for $7.50.  I set one up in Kiddo2's room.  By Kiddo2's reaction you would have thought K2 won the lottery!  It was only a few months ago that we had more channels than we knew what to do with.  Funny how it has worked out for the best.  I also found a Dallas Cowboys sheet set and comforter for $6 :)  Put it through the wash and once out it quickly made its way to its new home!

I also found a few other items for Ebay and already have turned a nice profit! I drive by the mall and lately have had no desire to go in. I keep thinking I can spend that money much more wisely and am really trying to. 

Wishing everyone a great week !

Monday, October 1, 2012

I REALLY want a cheeseburger!


Cheeseburger Bed

So, I saw my doctor on Friday and he's referred me to a specialist this week.  Hopefully we can schedule something soon....very soon! I am too afraid to eat anything besides fruit, saltines and ramen noodles.  I am so hungry especially for a juicy cheeseburger with bacon and cheese.  Its sad but true!  But I don't dare get near anything greasy, fatty or remotely not gall bladder friendly.  The pain is so terrible that I even passed up a pint of cookies and cream ice cream.  And I can't ever remember passing up ice cream :D  I feel like one of those lab mice who get shocked when they do something they are not suppose to. 

I have been trying to keep busy by listing but I am lacking motivation since my mind is elsewhere.  But I have already one sale under my belt for this month.  We will see how it goes. My total for last month was about $530, I am absolutely thrilled by that.  Hopefully the buyers are still out there this month. 

Hoping everyone's week has started well! Off to crunch some numbers :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Haven't been feeling well :/

Have a doctor's appointment tomorrow.  Not looking forward to it but I can't put it off any longer.  I'm going to have to schedule surgery to remove my gall bladder.  The pain has become constant and before it gets any worse I need to have it removed.  I get so nervous and anxious when it comes to the doctor or dentist.  I'm a big scaredy cat. 

On a brighter financial note, I absolutely kicked butt this month on Ebay.  We needed every penny to get through the month so I'm happy my hard work paid off.  As of today I have made a total of $530 for the month of September. I'm hoping I can keep up my sales through October.  I recently paid bills so anything I make will go towards medical bills.  Also, both the kiddos have fall festivals at school so we will put a little aside for that.  I updated my debt totals and I'm not happy with the total.  I'm disappointed that we made no where near the progress we wanted to make this year but this whole process has been a learning experience.  Either we continue on the path we are on and struggle from month to month or we work towards getting our financial act together.  The end result being our financial freedom which makes me happy just thinking about it.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I can do this!

I was so stressed this week about money. The bank was pretty much at zero on Monday.  I needed at the very least $150 by Friday. On Wednesday I wanted to hide under the covers and cry.  But after a few minutes, I decided that was not the best course of action. So I kept listing and listing and listing.   Tomorrow is Friday and I'm happy to say my goal is met!  I am so proud of myself.  I didn't know if I could do it but I decided to just keep listing .  I am so very thankful that the things I needed to pay are out of the way.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thoughts on the anniversary of 9/11....

Woke up this morning with my heart a little heavy.  This day always brings some anxiety.  Like the rest of the nation we are remembering the terrible events of this days 11 years ago.  It especially hits home because my mother in law was in the first tower to be hit. She said she remembered the building shook and seeing debris fall past her window. She had been in the the 1993 World Trade center bombing and quickly remembered the safety drill instructions she had been given over the years.  Drop everything and leave. She didn't even go back to her desk to get her glasses, she said she just left.  She hurried down 70 plus flights of stairs and upon exiting remembers a policeman telling her not to look back or up.  She listened and quickly walked to one of the city's bridges. A couple of hours later she found out her building was gone.  The memory of my husband crying when the building came down will never leave my mind.  He remembered it took 2 hours to evacuate her in 1993.  The bulding came down well before that and we thought she was gone not realizing she had made it our safely. We give thanks daily for her surviving but we also pray for those who lost loved ones.  It is crazy how quickly life can change.  Ever since that day, I defintley hug my loved ones a bit tighter and tell them I love them.  We will NEVER FORGET.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bring on the weekend!

Woo to the hoo!  So happy the weekend is here. Well I'm happy to report (insert heavy sarcasm) we have acquired an additional car payment :/  Mr. Man's work car was finally sent to the big junkyard in the sky.  He has needed a work car for quite some time. I would like to say we saved for it but we didn't.  The car payments are very reasonable so I'm grateful for that. Mr. Man even offered to help me Ebay to help with the payments. I love him for offering but he works a lot as it is.  I may have him take the kiddos out for a few hours on the weekends to give me time to list.  I have been  keeping my Ebay momentum up.  I made $100 this first week of September. My goal is to average at the very least $125 per week.  I've been trying some new pricing strategies and listing anything and everything.

I've been reviewing our budget as well as gathering totals to update my debt.  I get such anxiety from it but its keeps me in check.  There is no hiding from debt when its staring back at you in black and white.

I'm trying to just keep busy.  That way I can have more no spend days. 

I'm off to read :)  Hoping ya'll have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Three Day Weekend.....Yes!!!!!

So happy that we have a three day weekend!  I plan on listing and relaxing tomorrow :) This month was great on the Ebay front.  I need to keep the momentum going. I still have plenty to list so that is good.   I made dinner tonight and plan on eating in for the rest of the weekend.  I went to the grocery store yesterday so there is no excuse not to eat in. 

Right now, I'm going to pop in my favorite dvd and start rearranging the closet. Its an absolute mess. We will see what I accomplish! Wish me luck :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Every bit helps!

This weekend was spent organizing, listing, and preparing for the first day of school.  I cleaned out the cupboards on Saturday.  I had a large grocery bag of food...items that the kiddos didn't like after all, knew we were never going to use or had expired.  I was going to throw out the expired food (all boxed items) but decided to put them and all the other items on our local Freecycle site.  I put a description of all items as well as all best by/ better use by dates.  I was very surprised at all the responses I received.  Each person expressed their family's need for the food items.  It was hard to choose but I recognized a family who I had picked up craft items from many years ago.  They are a family of 12.  I told Mr. Man that I wish I had more to give.  I frequently come upon clearance items at the grocery store for pennies.  I told Mr. Man I will be buying items and stockpiling them and then give them away.  I told him for the cost of a candy bar every week I could buy quite a few items.  So that is what I am going to do. 

This next week will be spent listing, listing and listing.  Ebay has been good to me this month and I thank my lucky stars for it.  I hope next month will be just as kind :)  

Hoping everyone has a fantastic week!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Preparing for Back to School

Well, these past days I have been preparing for the kiddos to return to school.  It's been a challenge since funds are very limited.  Today, I had a little over $370 to work with.  With that I needed to fill up the car, buy uniform shirts for Kiddo2, buy clothes for Kiddo1 and buy groceries including lunch items for next week. Here is the breakdown:

$61 for gas
$48 for Kiddo2's school uniform shirts
$99 for Kiddo1's  clothes
$120 for groceries
$36 for lunch (back to school lunch)
$9 breakfast

Total $373

Going out to lunch was not necessary. We had been out all day and the lunch ended up being a good way to enjoy a lunch out together before school starts. I'm happy I was able to  do all I needed to with what I had.

I'm thankful to have made some sales on Ebay and with that will be getting Kiddo1 a book bag, Kiddo2 some shorts for school and Kiddo1 a pair of shoes.

I need to empty our "back to school" jar.  Whatever is in it will go to any lingering school expenses :)

I'm going to be listing through the weekend.  To be "cash only" 100% of the time is our goal.  Its hard but we have come so far already.  I just need to keep my eye on the prize - DEBT FREEDOM!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Have not been inspired these past few days :/

I have started to write a new post every other day only to stop because I felt nothing I was writing was worth reading.  I didn't have much to say although there is always something going on around here.  I'm trying to get inspired so please bear with me.  I hope in the coming days I can update our debt totals as well as write a longer post. For now, I will just try to catch up on reading my favorite blogs. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

MOTIVATIONAL Monday!


So this morning I woke up MOTIVATED!  Motivated to clean, organize and just get stuff done.  I've already cleaned out the foyer, vacuumed the living room, vacuumed the dining room, thrown out the trash, put out the recycling, decluttered, cleaned up my new to me lamp (bought it for $3 at a garage sale), put away the clean dishes and swept the kitchen.  The house has felt so cluttered that I needed to sort through a lot of this and that.  I have 3 grocery bags of unwanted items to take to my Mom's.  I try to take at least a bag or two once a week to her.  She sells what she can, keeps what she wants and donates the rest. 

Right now, I'm waiting on the kiddos to get dressed.  I have to run to the bank to get some cash because our central air is not cooling and in 100 plus degree weather its needed.  Luckily, despite all our bad financial decisions, we have managed to always pay for our home maintenance plan.  It has saved us on more than one occasion.  We pay $47 a month and a $55 service call for each visit. They assess the problem and fix it.  A few things aren't covered but the majority is and its been a lifesaver just about every year.  We compared what the actual repairs would have cost versus what we pay and we are getting one heck of a deal everytime.

I've also got some cooking on the agenda.  I have some chicken thawing for tonight.  I'm also going to be putting some beans in the crockpot.  For dessert, I'm going to make some banana bread. 

I have some listing planned for early this afternoon.  We really need the cash so I'm hoping to put up about 10 items to add to the 10 existing items I have up.  I also need to sort out some items to sell on our local for sale site.  If I can make 100 dollars on the local sales by tomorrow that would be great. 

Hope everyone has a great Monday and hope to catch up on everyone's blogs this evening :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The "Poor Man's Chicken Parmigiana" :D

Yesterday, my Mom had invited Mr. Man, the kiddos and I over for dinner. My brother was suppose to come into town so she was going to make dinner.  I went to the store today to buy a few things and didn't buy anything for tonight since we had plans.  After getting home from the store, my Mom calls to tell me dinner is postponed till Friday.  I'm tired, sleepy and have a ton of things to do at home. Come dinnertime I look in the fridge and its slim pickins.  I could have had Mr. Man pick something up but decided to work with what we had. This is the result:


I call it "Poor Man's Chicken Parmigiana" :D  I cooked some gluten free noodles, opened up a can of crushed tomatoes then seasoned it and put some chicken nuggets in the oven.  Not the healthiest nor most visually appealing meal ever but it was tasty and Kiddo2 ate plenty of pasta with just the sauce. I'm going to do our big shopping trip tomorrow.  I created a spreadsheet for all my coupons and put them in order by layout of the store.  If it helps me while I shop then I will keep doing it. 

I updated my debt totals and it's not pretty.  I could let it get me down but I must keep postive and try to continue battling the debt monster.  My biggest challenge is using credit. Mr. Man and I want to pay off at least one account and close it before the year ends. We have to stay motivated  and to some degree writing this blog always brings everything back in to focus for me. 

Hope ya'll have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A full weekend!

So thankful for a full weekend. Spending was not too terrible. Friday, I visited with my brothers who came into town. Saturday, one of my brothers and I , went to the Antiques Roadshow.  There were so many amazing items there!  Unfortunately, my items were not worth much :(. My brother could not decide what to take so he picked up a clock at a rummage sale that morning for $20 dollars. Lo and behold, it received an appraisal of $250 dollars. We had a good laugh about that. Apparently, an item someone brought received an appraisal of between $800,000 and $1,000,000!  We met so many nice folks and heard some great stories. It was a great experience. Yesterday, we took an early morning visit to the beach with all the visiting family.  The kids had a blast :)

This coming week, I'm going to work at home on organizing. Kiddo1's room is in desperate need of a makeover. Going to make a plan and possibly try to redo the existing furniture. Aside from that, my main focus is to bring in some extra money!

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back to School Shopping :(

Oh...I despise this time of year.  We still have a few weeks of summer left but back to school shopping must begin.  I refuse to wait till the last minute again. Only to not find clothes or shoes in the kiddos' sizes. I wish they would stay home all the time but thankfully they look forward to going back and seeing all their friends :)  I just love having them at home and it breaks my heart every time to see them go. But enough of my blubbering. In preparation for my BTS shopping, I'm taking inventory of my school supply stash.  I don't want to buy anything we don't need.  I'm also clipping coupons as I can get pens, crayons and colored pencils for free or next to nothing. I'm also putting aside a little cash to have on hand for the first month or two of school. The school has t shirt sales, fundraisers and school pictures all within the first month.  I'm hoping to be better prepared this year.


To alleviate my BTS blues, I'm going to be going to the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW!! Yay!! I applied for tickets and was lucky enough to receive two.  My brother and I are going and Mr. Man is watching the kiddos.  I would have loved to go with him but my Mom is going to have a full house the same weekend. Hence, no sitter.  I am so excited but also a bit nervous.  I'm weird like that.  I'm not exactly sure what to take but it should not be too hard as we can only take two items each. I'm guessing I'll be one of those folks laughing at the end of the show about how my items are only worth a couple of dollars. We will see....wish me luck :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What happened to the week?!

So this week has been pretty busy!  I thought it would be rather quiet but that was not the case.  Kiddo1 developed a rash all over.  Luckily there were no other symptoms including itching.  Decided to take a trip to the doc on Tuesday, just to be safe.  All turned out fine.  I also had a couple of Ebay packages that never quite made it to the post office. I finally made it today.  Also, everything at home seems to be breaking down.  Our AC has not been working right, our garage door is broken and our internet went out. Luckily, the AC was a quick fix and the internet guy came this AM.  The garage door is going to be another week or two. 

As far as our budget, its very, very tight right now.  I will not complain but continue to move forward. Bills have been paid and we have been keeping close tabs on our spending.  I stocked up for the next couple of weeks so I'll be cooking up a storm this week. I also plan to list this weekend.  Mr. Man and the kiddos will be busy watching the Olympics so I will get to sneak off and list items here and there! 

Menu for 7/26 to 8/2

Thursday - Pork Shoulder Roast
Friday - Chicken and Rice
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - GF Spaghetii and Meat Sauce
Monday - Cheesy Chicken Broccoli
Tuesday - Tacos
Wednesday - Leftover Quiche
Thursday - Stirfry

Sunday, July 22, 2012

School Reunion!

This weekend was my high school reunion.  It was a long time in planning but thankfully it all worked out in the end.  We worked on an extremely limited budget and we were able to provide three days of events.  Mr. Man and I hardly ever get to go out without the kiddos, so to have three days of social activities on a weekend was tiring.  We both agreed that one night would have been plenty! My home is a complete wreck. Between our trip and the reunion, our budget is a wreck as well.  This week I have some extreme organizing and budgeting to do.  I need to whip us back in to semi shape. I'm off to catch up on all my favorite blogs and hope to post our menu for next week tomorrow! Happy Sunday :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Crazy Vacation!

Our vacation started off well.  We drove to Orlando and our first stop was the Nickelodeon Suites Resort. The kiddos were so excited!  It had an awesome waterpark area. There was also an arcade, movie theater and a live Double Dare show.  We stayed in a two room Spongebob suite. We had a blast and will definitely be going back.  The next morning, we headed to our inlaws.  Not even an hour had passed before I was lying in the guest room sick to my stomach. Half an hour later, Mr. Man took me to the ER.  The room would not stop spinning. A few hours later, I was sent on my way with a diagnonsis of vertigo :/  Thankfully, the doc prescribed me some meds and the next evening I was much better. The rest of the week included a "date" to the casino, a day at Disneyland, an afternoon at the arcade and a day lounging at the inlaws' pool.  It was just what the family needed!  Of course, I had to make sure to end our vacation on a memorable note.  On the road home we stopped the night at a hotel to rest.  I needed a shower before bed and ended up taking a hard tumble in the shower. I'm still hurting...I'm laughing about it now but I gave Mr. Man quite a scare with all the noise I made.

Of course, throughout our trip we saved money.  We packed plenty of snacks and beverages to save money on our two day drive.  We only had to pay for one Disneyworld ticket since Mr. Man's niece works at Disney and was able to get us in free! My mother in law cooked some of Mr. Man's favorite dishes which saved us a ton on eating out costs.

This week is going to be quite busy and I will be so happy when it is over. 

Off to finish unpacking...so glad to be home!

Nickelodeon Resort Room


Spongebob and Patrick

Cinderella's Castle at Disneyworld

Tomorrowland is my favorite :)


Buzz Lightyear


Parade with Mickey Mouse

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On Vacation :)

We are in beautiful sunny Florida!  Having a great time with my husband's family. Of course, I miss home but every now and then its nice to get away. Had a small hiccup but I tell ya'll about that when I return. Just wanted to check in and say hello :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!


Wishing all those stateside a Happy 4th of July!  If only I could gain my independence from DEBT! lol....I'm grateful for a day to celebrate.  Husband went into work this morning.  I told him only till 12pm since its a holiday.  He's trying to get all his work squared away before we leave on our trip :) 
Kiddos just about have everything they need.  Hubby and I will probably try to maximize on the 4th of July sales and get what we need today. 

This morning, I woke up to find some of the china pieces I had listed on Ebay had sold!  I initially invested $50 on three boxes of dishes (about 100 pieces).  I have already recouped my investment on 16 pieces so I'm pleased.  I also had gone garage sailing with the parents and had found a couple of old bottles for a dollar each.  I was happy to sell them for over $30.  My Ebay sales have helped tremendously with our daily expenses. I am able to pay our bills and have money for the week. 

I was also able to work in some girl time. The friendship has been a bit rocky but I decided to meet for dinner.  Although I was happy to get out, I was reminded why we had not seen each other.  I have made the difficult decision to take a break from this person. Oh well, be careful what you wish for! 

Kiddo2 is going through cable withdrawl.  I keep hearing "I need LIVE TV!" LOL!!  The rest of us have fared pretty well.  I have been watching my shows online and its worked out well :) 

Well, I'm off to get dressed then get a few things for tonight.  Kiddo2 wants to make hotdogs and cupcakes!

Have a Happy Wednesday :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Good thing I love being at home...

Lately, I've been missing having girl time. I have a sister literally five minutes away but we never hang out since she always has something going on. I don't really have friends that I hang with in town. It's pretty hard to find people I have a lot in common with. I wish I was one of those people who can talk to anyone but I am not. I love hanging with Mr. Man and the kiddos, so any time spent away from them has to be worthwhile to me. Mr. Man says I should not be so selective but that is just who I am. My three close college friends live hours away so it's hard to see them. I guess budget wise it works out great since there are no dinners to be bought, drinks to be ordered or shopping days to be had. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise....lol!

On a totally different front, we are gearing up for our trip. I am so excited as are the kiddos. Money is at the forefront of our minds. I'm hoping we can make it through without going nuts with what we have. It would be nice to come back with some cash still in our pockets. I will be taking a break from Ebay for a couple of weeks to focus on preparing for the trip. I am actually hoping to find some inventory on our travels :)

This week I am going to try my absolute hardest to cook at home everyday. It just really wears me out doing three meals a day whether they are quick or not. As always, we will see. I was pleased to find a super great deal on makeup today. Months ago, I found a concealer I loved. Only problem was it ran 8 to 10 dollars. That was a lot to me. Went to the store today and thesame brand cosmetics were $7 off and it was priced at $7.99 so sale price was 99 cents! I bought four so I am good for a while. Is the little things. I'm planning for a frugal week....

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cooking, Clutter and Clothes

This week is racing by and I'm actually thankful for that. I was unable to convince the parents to go out to eat Tuesday but I actually spent some girl time with Mom.  Our visits usually consist of her venting about my siblings, discussions about bills, questions about junk mail and phone calls they need me to make for them. We both enjoyed not worrying about anything and just talking.

Progress on Goals

I survived my doctor's appointment on Tuesday. 

Yesterday, I did the pizza mystery shop and the kids were thrilled.

 I've listed 5 items on Ebay and hope to do 5 more today.

Today

I am going to make a trip to get some things for my stockpile. I  have been sorting out my coupons and don't want to spend any more than $10.
Cooking has been so/so, I've been a bit out of it.  Putting some chicken in the crockpot and hope it turns out yummy.

Work on kiddo time....still don't know what to do?

Also will be decluttering...it never ends.

If I have time, I will be on the hunt for some clothes. 


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

106 for the high....really?!

These past few days have been crazy hot! Looked at weather forecast and today's high will be 106!  I would prefer to stay home today but I have things to do. I have a followup appointment with the doctor today.  I'll be glad when it is over.  Also, taking my parents to run an errand or two.  Hopefully, the kiddos can convince them to go to lunch with us.  I like making it a day out with them every once in a blue :)

This afternoon, I plan on working on my goals for the week. Hoping to make some progress!

Have a good one :)



Monday, June 25, 2012

Goals for this week....

Goals for this week

1. List at least 10 items - its a busy week and if I can list some of the fine china I purchased it will be great

2. Get Tuesday over with - have a dr's appt which I'm dreading because plain and simple- I hate going to the doctor

3. Do mystery shop on Wednesday - have a pizza mystery shop so should be easy...I will not flake out.

4. Get some clothes for the trip...we've been bargain shopping and have done pretty well.  Found kiddo2 some tees on clearance at the mall - paid $11 for 3 tees.  Also found some cute sandals for $15.

5.  Cook every night this week...there is plenty here at home and looking forward to using what we have.

6. Enjoy kiddo time....don't want the kiddos to get lost in the shuffle of my to do list!

7. Replenish stockpiles....they are dwindling and I have to stock up on personal care items.  I refuse to pay full price!

8. Declutter!

I think that should do it....I just want to have some kind of plan for this week.  Ya'll have a good one!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just a quick trip to the ER...


So day before yesterday, I woke up with my face feeling fizzy and my arm hurting. Fast forward to yesterday and still not feeling well. Made an appt for today but by 330pm yesterday, I felt really off and had Mr. Man take me to the ER. After an EKG, blood tests, and chest X-ray, I was given the all clear. Doc thinks it is most likely muscle strain if not my neck. Even though I am not thrilled about getting the ER bill, I think my piece of mind is worth that and much more. It absolutely crushed me to leave the kiddos with family when I left. I rarely go to the doc because thankfully I'm okay most of the time but yesterday really freaked me out. An emergency fund is so important in times like these and well ours is pretty much nonexistent but I can't even complain about that. I'm just glad the doc said I was okay. 

On a funny note, after I came home Kiddo1 pointed out that it was a no spend day because we had lunch at Grandma's house and dinner was bought by my sister who with the help of her daughter watched and fed my kiddos :)  Plus my Mom came over and did my mountain of dishes.  I was so embarrassed but grateful for all their help...love them to bits!

Monday, June 18, 2012

You won't know unless you ask!

Yay....I am so excited.  I have an appointment this afternoon to pick up three sets of fine china.  I initially saw them for sale with a bunch of other items.  I only wanted the dish sets and thankfully after a week or two of back and forth they agreed on my offer.  Its over a 100 pcs total for $50.  I am so psyched because my plans are to list them on Ebay. I have been on the hunt for inventory and this could really help!
 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

A big Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there!

Wrote my father a little something :)

To my Dad,

You have always been there for me, whether it was picking me up from school, driving us all over the place for vacations, helping me pick out my prom dress (albeit against your will because Mom was out of town..lol) or driving me up to college.  You always have stood quietly on the sidelines cheering us on and never take any of the spotlight. You are strong, giving and kind. You are a true gentleman and I'm so blessed to have you!

Love,
Maggie


Friday, June 15, 2012

My Purse Search is Over :)

So, I had mentioned in my last post that I was on the hunt for a new bag.  Initially, I only wanted to pay no more than $30 for a brand new bag.  That's a big splurge for me.  I had been looking at every store possible.  I wanted something easy to maintain and roomy but not huge.  I looked in department stores, discount stores and everywhere in between.  I did this while searching for clothes for our trip...no sense wasting a trip.  Well, today on my way home I decided to pop into a thrift store near my Mom's house and there hanging on the huge wall of handbags was a like new Tignanello handbag. I couldn't find any signs of it being used besides the absence of a price tag.  It was simple, black, cute and roomy.  I couldn't believe it.  I had just seen a Tignanello handbag at the dept. store yesterday for $150.  The bags were comparable in size but different design.  Either way I new this bag was made well and I would use it everyday.  It was marked at a whopping $9.59....can I say SOLD!  So happy my persistence paid off :)  I'll try to get a good pic up tomorrow morning.  And as a cherry on top I'm hoping to list my old bag on Ebay for $9.99 ;)


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pizza...it's what's for breakfast!

Last night, Mr. Man suggested going to dinner with the kiddos.  Its a rare occasion that Mr. Man wants to eat out on a weeknight but he had been craving pizza.  We decided to go and of course the kids were happy to eat out.  It's becoming a few and far between treat :)  We brought home the leftovers and I decided to have a slice for breakfast.  Not the healthiest choice, but to my credit I only had one slice. I didn't want to go run errands with kids and be hungry. 

Not sure if anyone has noticed, but I added a savings ticker over here----> It was originally for Christmas but I decided to switch it to Back to School since we are always hit with school shirts, school supplies and club expenses. Let me not forget, school pictures (one set taken within the first month of school) and school fundraisers (again first month of school). 

Today, I'm on the hunt for trip items. Kiddos and I are in desperate need of some shoes.  And I need a purse.  Its just a sad sad heap.  I'm being super picky about a bag because I don't want to pay much but still want a quality item.  I have no doubt I will find something. We prepaid a hotel night at a kid themed resort.  Breakfast the next morning is included as well.  We had planned to head to my inlaws after our one night stay but they have decided to meet up with us in Orlando for a couple of days. We are moving to a different hotel and the inlaws told us not to worry about it, they would cover it.  So nice of them :) For the second half of the week we will be staying at their home.  They have a pool so the kids will definitely have something to do.  I am so excited!

Well, I better get crackin' and get dressed!  Happy Saving :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Leftover Quiche...eating out...decluttering


I made the leftover quiche yesterday and it turned out pretty good for my first attempt.  Mr. Man wasn't so jazzed about the crust so I may make it crustless next time. I enjoyed it and am heating a slice up for lunch.

As the summer goes on...I'm trying to keep busy and resist the temptation of eating out with the kids.  Up until now we have eaten a couple of times at in and out type places and kept it under $15 for all three of us. Its just hard when we are out running errands and the kiddos start getting hungry.  We will see how we fare this week.

I'm listing today and hope to make a few sales by days end.  I'm also putting boxes of stuff together.  I think I'm going to have a garage sale this Friday.  I can make a few bucks for our trip and get rid of some clutter.

On the debt front, aside from medical bills, all  has been quiet. We are making progress and I'm glad to see that we have eliminated almost $4000 of debt since the beginning of this year. 

Mr. Man has been down in the dumps a bit.  I think he really is getting burnt out at work so our trip next month will be a welcomed getaway for him.  Seeing his parents will give him a much needed recharge :)

I'm off to get things done...have a good one!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday...time to get it into overdrive!

Happy Monday!  Up and ready to run errands.  Waiting on Kiddo2 to get dressed. I currently hear singing in the shower so it could be a while ;)  

This week I'm kicking it into overdrive!  Payday has come and gone and thankfully the bulk of the bills are PAID.  We have a few stragglers that I will need to find a way to pay. Ebay has been going well this month.  I added a nifty new page tab up top to track all the extra income coming in. I will be listing anything and everything this week! 

There is only a few weeks left till we go visit my inlaws and we still need quite a few things.  Luckily, I had kiddos look in their closets and take inventory of what they could use for the trip.  Kiddo1 had given me a laundry list of items beforehand.  We managed to cut the list in half.  Kiddo2 was easy since we found 2 brand new shirts in the closet.  I had bought one on clearance for $1.75 and the other was free (used a gc my parents had given us since they hardly shop at that particular store).  Coupled with two shirts we had purchased ($10 for both).  I'm thinking of going to the thrift store to see if we can find a few pairs of shorts for both. Clothes for Mr. Man and I will be a bit more challenging but I'm gathering as many coupons as possible to help.

We did some food shopping this week.  We bought and separated all the meat we needed for the next couple of weeks.  I'm trying to keep our dinners interesting. I'm going to try a leftover quiche today and see how that works.  I was inspired by Life After Money and Frugal Queen.  I love their food pics and recipes.  At the risk of sounding corny, their views on life and money have really changed my family's life. 

Got to skedaddle! Hope everyone has a great week :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Fridays...talking house, money and chocolate cake

As always, I am thrilled it is Friday :)  In the process of creating Mr. Man's honey do list.  I told him yesterday that we need to start being more "house proud".  For the past few years we have always seen our house as a temporary home but with rising housing costs and our desire to travel more with the kiddos we have come to realize that giving the kiddos more life experiences versus a new home is more beneficial to them.  Our house is perfectly fine, albeit a few repairs/refinishing that it needs. This summer, Mr. Man mentioned being able to tackle at least one item on the list every weekend.  He is going to be a very busy man ;)  

Anywho...this week we were determined to get by.  We started out the week with little money and a need to grocery shop. Thankfully, my ebay sales were good and I also finally got around to selling some scrap gold. They were items I didn't intend on ever wearing again or needed repair. Nice bit of change :) I was able to grocery shop, buy some things we needed for our trip next month and gas.

Tomorrow I will be doing my big trip to the grocery store.  I am going to stock up on meat and fruit/veggies. I'm also going to go through my coupons so I can continue stocking our pantry.  The pic below is my first homemade chocolate cake.  It came out okay...I don't think I'll ever make it again.  Going to try a vanilla cake recipe this weekend.  Hopefully with better results!

Have a great weekend :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Last day of cable....

Today is the day.  Our last day of cable...I will miss knowing its there but don't watch it enough to care :P  Internet person comes today so I have to clean up!  Ugh.  Will be doing some more listing/decluttering.  I have a huge mound of school papers to get through. Wish I could keep every scribble and drawing but at this rate I'll need another room in a few years just to store them! I hope to finally make a chocolate cake today.  It will be my first "from scratch" cake!  I hope its yummy :) 
Hope everyone has a good one!

Update:  Just realized there will be no one coming to connect Internet service.  Its DIY.  Guess its on the Honey Do list.  Well, at least I cleaned up my desk and kitchen.  And all before 10am! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday!

I so love Fridays!  Mr. Man says everyday is my Friday which is so not true.  He thinks that because I stay at home but he forgets how much there is to do in the course of a day.  So today's schedule looks like this:

  • Do Laundry all day (load/unload as I come and go)
  • Go to Kiddo2's school to pick up paperwork
  • Take Kiddos to the park - they need some sun :)
  • Mail Ebay packages
  • Figure out lunch!
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Sort through closets (thinking about putting up a yard sale tomorrow)
  • Wash dishes (I have a dishwasher but don't like using it)
  • Make dinner
Hoping and praying its a No Spend Day but with the kiddos nothing is ever guaranteed :D  I think I can get through the entire list today.  Maybe even add a walk by the bay later this evening. We will see!  What is your Friday looking like?


Saturday, May 26, 2012

What do we REALLY need?



This summer will be a great transition period...I just cancelled my newspaper subscription. The majority of the time I read it online anyways!  We have made the final decision to cancel cable and our landline.  The landline will be the hardest to let go just because I see it as a safety net. Hubby just signed us up for internet service with a different company. Had to change  since we are currently signed up with cable company.  We will be saving $115 a month between both.  We are also hoping to reduce our phone bill by downgrading our plan.  We really have been evaluating what we really need...although nice to have we really weren't watching much television plus our all inclusive phone plans (although nice) were a luxury.  So, in order to push along our progress in our battle against debt we need to cut expenses.

 I'm also headed to the grocery store today to stock up on essentials.  I see lots and lots of cooking in my future :)  I'm pretty excited because I'm so inspired my all of you and your wonderful pics and recipes. 

I love having the kiddos home!  I'm hoping we have a great summer :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thank Goodness...the week is almost over!

So...I didn't reach my goal but I did make about $40. I sold a couple of items on Ebay which I was thrilled about.  I was able to put off a couple things till tomorrow. Mr. Man and I have talked about having me Ebay full time.  Its something I know extremely well but my time is limited.  I currently do it as needed but with the kiddos out of school, I am going to commit more time to it.  We are fully aware we are not going to get rich off Ebay but if I can bring in about $500 per month, it would be a tremendous help.

I'm a little late but here are this month's debt totals:

Mortgage - $91,640
Auto Loan - $20,706
Loan - $ 5,889
CCA - $ 8,489
CCB - $ 4,675
CCC - $ 1,851
CCD - $ 1,803
CCE - $ 1,200
CCF - $  2,069
CCG - $ 1,300
CCH - $ 1,330
Medical - $550    
Medical - $544
Misc -      $125
________________________
Total $142,171

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mom, I need money!

Its only Wednesday and I have heard this more than I care to hear.  I am so stressed out!  Mr. Man and I are very open as our money situation with the kiddos but they are kids so sometimes these things just go over their heads.  So I'm stressing because in the next 24 hours I need to come up with about 75 dollars. We live paycheck to paycheck so any unexpected expenses are hard to work in.  I am going to sell books, Coinstar and Ebay. Wish me luck! I think I can...I think I can... I'll update tomorrow morning to let you know how I did :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

999 pageviews...

That's my view count.  Not sure how many of those are me or those pesky Russian spammer sites but I'll take it.  I am so grateful for the 8 people who follow my blog.  Its nice to know someone out there might be listening to me rattle on. Keeping with this blog has been good for me.  It helps me stay focused far better than I ever have before.  It also allows me to read my favorite blogs daily and gather inspiration from each one.  I hope to continue writing and  collecting advice, tips and wisdom from my fellow bloggers.  Thanks for reading and have a Happy Sunday :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Almost to the finish line!

I wish I was talking about debt.  I am talking about the kiddos school year.  Only a few more days and we are dunzo! I am thrilled. I love having the kids home! I'm starting to search for an activity or two for them to do.  I know they will get bored by day 3 of their summer vacation. But before we get to the finish line all sorts of expenses have been popping up.  Last minute fundraisers for the school, yearbooks, performances which require certain clothes and I'm sure something else I've missed.  I calculated a total of $151 dollars extra this month. No bueno :(   I went ahead and started another sealed pot labeled end of school year 2013.  We will see how that goes.  Today will be spent organizing and listing. Hoping all of you have a great day!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My one day of ABSOLUTE rule :D

Ahhhh....it's Mother's Day!  Not even on my birthday do I have so much power in my home....lol! We will see how far the "It's Mother's Day" excuse will get me :)   I purposely did not do the dishes yesterday because I knew they'd get done today...I know...I know...so sneaky but Mr. Man and the kiddos are awesome like that.  I will be going to the grocery store because my Mom has requested banana pudding for our Mother's Day lunch.  My Dad is making a brisket so no cooking for me.  I also have to bring a side dish but I may just buy something premade because....wait for it....IT'S MOTHER'S Day!  Okay on to the gifts...Mr. Man and the kiddos gave me a cute pair of flats and a gift card. I always tell them not to worry because just a few hugs and kisses make it all worth it but I'm not crazy to refuse a gift :P  I'm getting dressed in a bit and heading out.  Yay...a morning for me is great!  Now...I try to work in me time every now and then but today it just makes it that much sweeter :) I'm blessed to still have my Mom and Thank God every day for her.  I'm lucky to have some great kiddos and being their Mommy is an absolute honor and joy.   HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Go out to breakfast....NAH!

True story...actually it just happened a few minutes ago....lol

Mr. Man:  Let's go out to breakfast?
Me:  Nah
Mr. Man:  Some pancakes sure sound good!
Me:  I'm not in the mood for pancakes.
Mr. Man:  You can have some eggs at the restaurant.
Me:  OR we could make a dollar worth of eggs at home and save money.
Mr. Man:  (in a defeated tone) You're right.

And breakfast is served :)  Nothing fancy but it will do!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Debt, debt and debt

Ugh....I am so overwhelmed with debt lately.  Thankfully, Ebay has been great so its helped with day to day expenses.  I however need to figure out how to cut more expenses out.  I would really like to put the money towards debt but right now we are in a neverending circle of debt. I'm determined to win this battle so I need to keep motivated. Any hints, ideas or strategies that have worked for ya'll?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Yay for Weekends!

So happy the weekend is here!  It has been a long week and I'm happy to say we did not order take out or eat out for dinner since at least last Saturday (can't remember any farther back! lol). The school year is wrapping up so I'll be happy to have the kiddos home. 

There is a lot going on with Mr. Man's job and after 14 years with the company he is considering leaving.  It seems they are going to cut his pay again all the while praising him for his job performance.  So I'm bracing for the job change....I'm a bit scared but he needs to be where he is appreciated.  He is not worried about finding another job but in the beginning it will be a pay cut.

I'm trying to bring in some extra cash and started to list on Etsy as well.  Ebay has been picking up so that is encouraging. Mr. Man wants to visit his parents this summer so we are buckling down to afford to make the trip.  We will need at least $2000 total for gas and expenses for the week.  It will definitely be a much needed recharge for all of us :)

Parting shot is of last nights dinner : Arroz con pollo translation Rice with chicken ;)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Having a much better day!


Today is going so much  better than yesterday.  Took breakfast to my parents and did a little thrifting afterwards. Took Kiddo2 to an appointment.  Picked up Kiddo1 and we all went to the grocery store.  I was so tempted to just buy take out for dinner but I snapped out of it.  Here's money spent today!

ATM - $20 (covered breakfast for Mom/Dad & lunch money for Kiddo1)
Corner Store - $6 (2 Drinks and Pistachios - snack for Kiddo2 before appt)
Gas - $61  (filled up the tank!)
Groceries - $126 (got 90% of what I needed for the week)

Pic is of tonight's dinner...four servings for $10 total....definitely better than eating out!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tired, stressed and having a good cry :(

Today has been a very stressful day.  I have alot going on....more than I care to mention at the moment but its been one of those days.  Everyone leans on me and most of the time I can handle it.  I don't feel well and it caught up with me today.  I always feel guilty for feeling overwhelmed because I know others have problems far bigger than mine.  And yes I'm having a good cry :(  I know I'll wake up tomorrow and feel better.  I"m going to try to find something funny on tv to help lighten my mood. Hoping for a better tomorrow!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A No Spend Day!

Today was one of those rare no spend days...I definitely need more of them :) .

Kiddo2 needed some things for lunch so I decided to head on over to Walmart and see what I could get for under $7.23 (the balance of a visa gift card I recently got in the mail).  Here's what I purchased:

One 6 pack of Lays potato chips -2.18
One carton of strawberries - 1.88
One 10pk of 100% Minute Maid Juice - 2.98
One small package of Schar's Gluten Free Wafers (can be used for two lunches) -1.67

Used a $1 off Minute Maid coupon
Used a $2 off any Schar's product coupon (WM gives overage which is a plus)

Total was $5.71

Balance remaining on gc - $1.52

On my way out the store, I returned my cart and found a $3 coupon sitting in a cart for another grocery store which will get me $3 in baby food free (Kiddo1 and I love eating the banana baby food as a snack...lol).

Its literally the little things in life that make me happy :P

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sicky Saturday and Keeping Busy


So my guests came and went yesterday morning.  I'm always a wreck when people are to come over because my house never manages to stay clean. So I can now say, it looks the most presentable it has in a long time!  Unfortunately, I seem to have caught a cold or something because I've been congested and sneezing.  Oh well, nothing I can't handle.  Today, I'm again working in my bedroom.  In cleaning the rest of the house, a lot of things made their way to our room.  So I'm going to get it straightened out before its out of control.  Ebay has been incredibly slow which is disappointing but I'm switching up my sales strategy to see if it helps bring in some extra cash. Mr. Man's birthday is coming up and I would love to get him something really nice :)  I leave you with a parting shot of tulips I bought for Kiddo2's teachers.  They are such a great group of educators that every now and then I like to show them our appreciation :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Asking for a few prayers...

Normally, I don't get religious/spiritual but I figured the majority of people believe in a higher power, being  or sending positive vibes.  I ask that you please keep my nephew and his daughter in your thoughts/prayers. In the course of a couple of days, he was medically discharged from the military due to his health suffering due to Lupus and told his daughter( who suffers from RA) is being flown from Germany to NYC.  Her condition has worsened and she is requiring immediate medical attention.  She's a very sweet 7 year old and her parents are just overwhelmed.  So again, I ask for you to send them a prayer, thought or good vibe.  Thanks to you all!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rain Rain Go Away

It has been raining all day.  Wouldn't mind it but some parts of the area are getting severe thunderstorms and a few tornado watches. So, I'll be happy when it moves out of here!  I listed a couple of items on Ebay and Etsy.  Should list more but I'm feeling especially scatterbrained.  I blame this weather ; )

Daily Spending for 4/15/12

Toll Bill - $6.00

Now I'm off to work on cleaning out my closet...I think I can...I think I can!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Good Morning! Looking around and procrastinating.  I did start the morning right...convinced Mr. Man to put dinner in the crockpot and also made breakfast (Mr. Man was wanting to go out to eat). Now, I'm kind of at a standstill.  I have guests Friday morning and want the house to look as nice as possible. The kids' rooms are okay considering I'm always on them to pick up after themselves.  My room on the other hand looks less than presentable.  I'm fixin' to get a trash bag and fill it.  About once a week I take a few bags to my mom for her either to resell at her booth at the indoor fleamarket or give to the Goodwill.  It's items that did not sell on Ebay or I cannot list due to size or condition.  It helps her out a bit and gets the clutter out of the house. Come tomorrow, I'm hoping to have a trunkload to get rid of!

On the spending front we are doing so-so.  So many things have come up that it's driving me a little batty.  We have end of school dances, charity walks, school pictures and yearbooks.  Its a bit insane! I'm trying my best to get a handle on things and well at least for now I can say we aren't completely broke!

To keep myself honest and accountable here's a list of what's been spent:

Spending 4/11/12

$20 ATM (bought Mom and Dad breakfast - took to their home)
$19 Pharmacy (Soup, crackers, meds and tea for Dad - he's been feeling sick)
$48 SAMS wholesale club ( best money spent this week for bulk food items)
$65 Kohls (Clothes for the Kiddo2 - running shoes and outfit for picture day)

Spending 4/12/12

$7 McDonald's (no excuse other than I was hungry)
$60 ATM (school dance tickets and March of Dimes donation)
$22 Grocery store (Teacher's bday gift and a few essentials)

Spending 4/13/12

$20 ATM (fun money to spend on my Mom)
$13 Target (paid portion of Kiddo2's DVD for doing extra chores plus a couple Easter items for next year)
$51 Gas (filled up the car)
$4.50 ATM charge (I hate paying ATM fees!)

Spending 4/14/12

$8 Grocery Store (bread, cheese and popscicles)

Hoping next week's spending will be a whole lot less!

Borrowed this from Economistmom.com:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Keeping Tabs on Spending

Today was bill paying day.  I never enjoy it but I do feel better knowing things are being paid on time!
I also have been writing down my daily spending.  I figure I would log it in here as well.  Its funny how long it takes to make money but how quickly it goes...

Daily Spending for Tuesday - 4/10/12

Clothing -  $55 (Clothing for Kiddo1 and I)
Fast Food -  $10  (Bought breakfast and lunch while out today)
USPS - $6 (Ebay Shipping)
Dollar Store - $10 (went in for packing tape and found a few things for Mother's Day)
Target - $71 ($56 for grocery/healthcare basics and $14 for food/drinks at the Target cafe)

Total Spent - $149

Yikes...preferred to not buy any food out but I was out of the house all day. I'm aiming to not buy any more fast food this week.  We'll see.....

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday...this is going to be a good week!

Trying to pump myself up to get this week started right!  This weekend was fun filled :)  Saturday, we did an Autism Awareness walk in the early afternoon followed by a visit to an arts and crafts sale located by the Marina.  It was such a beautiful day to get out!  Sunday, we went to my brother's land in the country to meet my parents and 7 brothers and sisters and their families.  We flew kites, played silly games for prizes, had a water balloon/water gun fight, cracked confetti eggs, broke not one but two pinatas and then had egg hunts for the children, women and men. It was literally a day of play :) The kids had such a great time and all the adults managed to get along. 

Today, is slow going but I'm going to continue decluttering.  My room is the biggest challenge. I want it to be a place of serenity versus what it currently is...chaos.  Don't think I'll finish it today but if I can get it done by Friday I would be beyond pleased!

On the financial front, bills are getting paid which is a good thing! We have been tossing around the idea of a no spend month.  Has anyone done this and if so....how did you prepare?  We are thinking June since the kiddos will be out of school.  I'm a bit apprehensive but Mr. Man is all for it!  I guess we know who is the spendthrift...me!

My parting shot is my niece hitting the second pinata!



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Three Day Weekend and Easter!

So excited that today was the last day of school for this week!  Tomorrow, I'm telling Mr. Man to take my car to work and we will all sleep in/loaf around.  Today, I spent way more than I anticipated and I'm a little stressed about Easter.  I have such a large extended family and we all usually give each other's kids a little something.  I'm trying to find inexpensive crafts that I can make.  I'm considering buying a bunch of plain tees and painting bunnies on them.  Not sure but its a thought. 

Moneywise, we are in the crapper but I am happy to say no credit cards are being used so that is a positive.  Tomorrow I will use to list on Ebay and hope to make a few bucks.  Yesterday, I had been running around all day and knew I would be running around some more this morning.  I told Kiddo2 I would buy lunch for them and bring it buy.  Kiddo2's response was "No, I don't want that.  We have plenty of good food at home."  Out the mouths of babes...it was really nice to hear that. I felt myself losing what little grip I have on my finances and that comment brought me right back where I needed to be! 

Tonight, I am going to declutter some more.  My house is a terrible mess and I want it back to a somewhat neat state.  We will see how much progress I can make...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Debt Totals...gardening

So here are our debt totals for the month of March...

Mortgage - $91,836
Auto Loan - $21,589
Loan - $ 6,197
CCA - $ 8,251
CCB - $ 4,738
CCC - $ 1,889
CCD - $ 1,801
CCE - $ 1,239
CCF - $ 1,774
CCG - $   986
CCH - $ 1,285
Medical - $ 468
Medical - $ 544
Misc - $ 125
________________________
Total $142,722

I'm pleased to see progress. Some days it is harder than others and we feel as though we should go out and splurge on something huge.  Then we think about it and realize we don't need much. Its such a hard habit to break.

To help keep us occupied we have planted a couple things in our garden box.  Last year, we went a little crazy and wanted to plant everything and while most of it did grow...the space was too small.  This year we decided to plant just cucumbers and onions. Our cucumbers did really well last year and this year they have already sprouted. I also have planted a tomato plant and the kiddos planted watermelon and broccoli.  Kiddo1's broccoli has already sprouted.  Its so rewarding for them to see something grow from such a tiny seed.  I'm excited and already want to plant a few more things!

Here are a few pics. Mr.Man made a cover for the box because a opossum had been getting into it for quite some time now.


Our visitor


Garden box safe



Cucumber plants have sprouted




Tomato, watermelon and broccoli




Broccoli has sprouted










Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quick update

April is fast approaching!  My days are quickly racing by and all the while I've got stacks of papers to file, bills to pay and appointments to keep.  At times, its very overwhelming but I'm determined to take on one thing at a time. 

My desk is in total disarray so I will be working on that today. I also have a dentist appointment and I'm not happy about it.  First, its the dentist and it is just sensory overload for me.  Second, the out of pocket expense today is $298.  Its so much money to me but I need to take care of myself.  I always make sure everyone keeps their appointments and always put off mine because of the expense.

On a brighter note, I've printed out a payment schedule to pay off CCE.  If all goes well, we should have it paid off by October.  Seeing my debt total drop little by little is so encouraging.  Although at times it is hard, I know we are on the right path to financial freedom!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday, Listia and figuring it out!

Yay for Fridays!  Its a bit bittersweet since kids will be going back to school on Monday.  I LOVE having them home and miss them when they are at school. Luckily, I have plenty to keep me busy.  My new obsession is Listia.  As a loyal Ebayer, I was hesitant to even take a look.  I would describe it as a cross between Freecycle and Ebay.  No fuss with money (if you do free shipping) and a laid back trading atmosphere.  So far I love it!  Of course, I'm still listing on Ebay to make extra moola. And I need to make lots of it to help Mr. Man pay down our debt.

Soooo...I haven't really mentioned how its going with the money jars.  Its pretty much at a standstill. We have been withdrawing anything we don't need for the week out of the account and putting it in a second account Mr. Man has had for a while.  He really never used it and figured it was out of sight...out of mind.  I have to say its working.  We are cooking soooo much more and trying to find free things to do to entertain ourselves.  I do have the jars above my desk and they are a reminder of what our priorites are. I'm a little sad it didn't work for us but I think the concept has done wonders for how we look at our monthly expenses.