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. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Banana Crumb Muffins and Happy Surprises!

I read some of my favorite blogs and was inspired to do some baking/cooking.  I took a quick look in the kitchen and decided to make Banana Crumb muffins and make a bean and frank stew for dinner.
Moments after the muffins were done, my Dad called.  He said someone was there who needed to speak with me.  It was my nephew who came into town unexpectedly.  It was a very nice surprise. I packed up the kiddos as well as the muffins and raced over to my parent's house to see him.  I spent all afternoon there and came home a little while ago.  It was such a great visit. I really love days like this!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Menu Plan, Spring Break and The Lorax

Monday is here!  Mr. Man went in to work for a bit but took the rest of the day off!  He took us all to see The Lorax in 3D.  Kids were happy and I was glad to be doing anything besides cleaning! Yesterday, I went ahead and put a roast in the crockpot and chicken in the oven. So today will be an easy day of cooking.  Without further ado, the Monday Menu Plan!

Monday - Stuffed Red Peppers
Tuesday - Chicken Parmigiana
Wednesday - Soup and Sandwiches
Thursday - Every man for himself
Friday - Fried Tilapia
Saturday - Stirfry
Sunday - Gluten Free Spaghetti

Taking a short break at home and then headed out to the park and Grandma's! 


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Is it Monday yet because Mr. Man is driving me crazy!

I am counting the hours till Monday because Mr. Man is driving me absolutely batty.  He is being such a Debbie Downer.  Saturday morning I woke up with a renewed attitude...despite Kiddo2 being sick, I am determined to have a fun and relaxing Spring Break. Mr. Man on the other hand is going on about missing work for a few days (hence missing out on some commissions) as well as having limited funding for Spring Break.  I told him to take just a day off if that would help his workload as well as our budget.  Even then he has still been mopey and as I type this he is taking a nap.  I told him he needs to seriously get over it because two mopey parents on Spring Break is no fun! The kids are getting dressed and I am too and we will leave him to his own devices for a while and hopefully when we return he will be in a better mood or ELSE! lol! Being an awesome Mother, Wife and all around Great Person is Hard Work.  ;)

**Update - Mr. Man did get over it for the most part and we enjoyed a very nice evening with the kids.
                   This Spring Break vacay is looking better already! **

Friday, March 9, 2012

A not so great start to Spring Break...

I was so excited this was Friday and after today our Spring Break would officially begin! My excitement was shortlived :(  Before noon the nurse called that Kiddo2 was running a fever.  I went over to the school and Kiddo2 looked terrible.  We went over to the pediatrician's office and after about an hour we were told Kiddo2 had the flu.  Doctor prescribed some Tamiflu and off I went with Kiddo2 in tow (who kept telling me over and over how much they wanted to go home).  Pharmacy1 did not have it in stock so off we go to Pharmacy2.  It would be ready in about 2 hours so I took Kiddo2 home and waited for Kiddo1 to get out of school.  Afterwards,I picked up meds and back home we went.  Five hours later, I am exhausted and a little bummed that meds alone were almost $160 after insurance but I'd gladly pay anything for my kiddos to feel better.  I figure the next couple days while Kiddo2 is in bed I will try to list as much as possible.  I'd much rather Kiddo2 be running around driving me crazy than sick but I will try to maximize my time to make up for the dr. visit/med cost. If all goes well, we will still have a great Spring Break!

I leave you with a parting shot of my very good friend's baby whom I think is super cute!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Finally a moment to breathe!

Well, this past weekend was the wedding and it went well.  We stayed at my brother's place to save money and it helped tremendously.  Yesterday was a very busy day! It was also profitable.  I did the focus group in the morning and earned my $85 grocery store gift card.  That was enough to cover food, cake and some decorations for Kiddo1's brithday :) My afternoon was spent cooking and cleaning before my family arrived.  Made manicotti as per Kiddo1's request and a great time was had by all :)

We have managed to work with what we have to spend and I hope we keep the momentum going.  I'm finding my money habits changing more and more.  This week has been so hectic that I really haven't had a chance to list on Ebay and I know we will need the extra income in a few days. So, Friday I am concentrating on that. My house is a wreck and I need to get it in order as well. I figure the busier I stay at home and the Kiddo's schools the less time I have to spend money.  This weekend I'm cutting the cable/telephone cord.  Kiddo1 said "We hardly watch TV anymore" and Kiddo2 watches everything online so its really Mr. Man and I who have the attachment and I don't even watch during the day. I don't know if internet will stay as is or if we are moving it to another company.  Depends if they make us an offer we can't refuse but I'm not holding my breath on that one!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Debt Totals and Birthday Cake...

So here is where I stand as of March 1, 2012

Mortgage    -         $92,032
Auto Loan  -          $22,015
Loan          -          $  6,352
CCA         -           $  8,312
CCB         -           $  4,789
CCC         -           $  1,908
CCD         -           $  1,816
CCE         -           $  1,275
CCF         -           $  1,796
CCG        -           $   1,120
CCH        -           $   1,200
Medical    -           $     468
Medical    -           $     544
Misc        -           $      125
Total                    $143,752

I'm so glad to be making some progress.  I also heard back about the focus group survey!  I was accepted and will be doing it next week.  I'm getting paid $85 (grocery store gift card).  I will use it for Kiddo1's birthday dinner and cake! After this weekend, I'm sure it will be needed. I think Mr. Man and I will be cancelling our cable/phone/internet plan.  After some quick research, we figured we could easily save about $110 a month by eliminating cable and switching to a cheaper internet/phone plan!  So this week its gone. That will help considerably. 

My parting shot is a pic of my Mom's birthday cake.  I usually like to buy her a really nice one but this year I opted to make it. What it lacked in presentation it made up for in taste. LOL!  Plus, I even made cake pops.  Kiddo2 helped me, he mixed and sprayed the spray frosting.  My Dad and Kiddo1 ate more than their fair share :)