Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 coming to a close...looking forward to 2014!

We are winding down the year and well, I'm glad I survived! This year has been a flurry of doctor visits, surgeries and hospital stays.  I want 2014 to be a much healthier year! Aside from that our finances hovered around the same spot from beginning to end.  We really worked on using cash and I'm proud of the progress we made.  Although I did not post as much as I would have liked, I did try to make the most of my time with my family.  So that's a big plus in my book.  For the coming year, I would like to eat healthier, save more, spend more time with my family and travel more.  I'm not sure on very specific goals.  I'm not the best at sticking to them as my mind tends to wander :D   I wish each one of you happiness, health and a world of success in 2014...CHEERS!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Preparing for Thanksgiving, Making Pie and Getting our Financial "Act" Together

So this week will involve lots of cleaning and lots of cooking! This is the first Thanksgiving without my Mom :(  She told us all what to bring and what to do when it came to Thanksgiving and doing it all without her this year is a little scary for me and my sister. All my siblings will be bringing sides and desserts. In preparation for the influx of family, the kiddos and I will be helping Dad clean his house for the next couple of days.

Keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, I made a pie! I'm a thrower together of food and not a great baker. So when Kiddo2 informed me that I needed to make a blackberry pie for their pie tasting party, I was a little freaked out.  All the other kids had signed up for the "normal" pies and I wasn't going to get off easy by sending a store bought pie. I was bummed but for my kiddos I will do anything :) So, I made it on Friday.  It smelled yummy but I have no idea how it tasted. So I'm going to have to make another so we can sample it on Thanksgiving!

Now that it's holiday season, this is the most dangerous time for our finances.  It has been a bit hard not to go completely crazy and spend spend spend.  We decided to pay a large portion of our yearly property taxes and work the remaining balance into our monthly budget. I also upped the monthly payment on one of the credit cards to get it paid off in 9 months. I'm proud of us for veering back on track. I credit all the blogs I love to read who provide so much inspiration and advice!
I'm off to get ready and head to Dad's. Hoping everyone has a blessed week!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cooking at home, Christmas shopping and Ebay

So if you haven't figured it out by now...I go through phases.  Currently, given my physical state of health, I'm in a homebody phase. I have been cooking way more than I have in a long while.  Today, I made breakfast for Dad and I. Then, I decided to whip something up for a late lunch.  Made a Chicken and Broccoli bake and homemade banana bread (dad brought some ripe bananas). I'm starting to scare myself. I mean...I made hot freakin chocolate yesterday.  I'm morphing into some other person and I'm liking it. LOL!! It has been doing wonders for our budget which coincidentally I have been watching like a hawk.  I'm writing every transaction and reducing it from our bottom line. 

Aside from cooking, I went ahead and printed out my Christmas Lists.  Yes...lists.  I have a family list and a teacher/friend list. I'm keeping gifts small but thoughtful.  I'm scouring Pinterest for inspiration and ideas.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the holidays.  From putting up the tree, to Christmas music, to Christmas light watching and all the yummy food that goes in between.  The Christmas season lifts my spirits.  I thank my Mom for that and although she is no longer here to share it with us, I know she will be here in spirit :)

Finally, there's Ebay. It's a love/hate relationship.  Sometimes I enjoy listing that it seems so easy and other times I'm reluctant to even log on to the site. I'm not "feelin' " it this week but we will see what the weekend brings!

Hoping all you lovely people out there have a WONDERFUL week!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Homebound and budget planning

So I'm already bored out of my mind. I cannot do much physically and it makes the day slowly tick by. I started catching up on some of my favorite blogs....which always cheers me up and makes me feel like a slacker at the same time!

This month I will attempt to go "cash only".  One reason is to spend less. The second reason is because a week ago my card info was stolen. The thief made a dummy card and used it in North Carolina! Thankfully, there wasn't much money on it. Bank returned the money into my account and the old card is history.

And one last thing, last month I received this awesome wristlet that I ordered from Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily .  I absolutely love it!!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Recovering from surgery. - Ouch!

Came home today. I'm recovering from ureter reimplantation surgery. I'm in pain but determined to get better! Mr. Man has been my rock! Helping me get around and basically waiting on me hand and foot. He's exhausted as am I. I am praying I feel better soon. 

Financially, I don't  know where we are at.    I will use my down time to try to find new ways to save and formulate a better spending strategy. We are still on the right path but all these medical bills are throwing us for a loop. 5 surgeries in 12 months has been draining to say the least. Being healthy is the most important thing to us right now.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Funny how life works...

To make a long story short, went to see the Doc today and well I'm having surgery in the next couple of weeks.  Initially I was going to try to hold off till December but things took a turn in a different direction and well...unless I want a drainage tube stuck in my back I have to get surgery done soon. I'm praying all goes well!

Aside from that, haven't had a whole lot of time to list but may work on that the next few days. I'm not sure how much surgery costs will be so I need to make some money fast.

I hope to update my totals soon but things keep popping up. I'm hoping to make time this weekend.

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day Surgery, listing and dinner fail

Had day surgery Thursday...procedure was not successful and so major surgery will be a little more difficult. I was so bummed but at this point I can't cry or complain. This is what it is and hopefully soon I'll feel close to normal again. 

In the meantime, I'm going to list away on Ebay. With the added medical expenses, our budget is tight! So every bit helps :)

Last night, I decided to make chicken and rice. I'm not a great cook and so I take the  "lets add this and this" approach. Well, I wanted to simmer the chicken a bit and decided to add a little chicken stock. Never bothered to check the best use by date. After pouring a bit, I gave it a sniff and it was not good! Dinner went into the trash and we ate pb and j sandwiches. Lol. 

Today, I plan on going to watch Mr. Man and the kids fish. Weather is going to be nice so I'm looking forward to it :)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Having Day Surgery today :/

I'm a big ball of anxious right now. Having day surgery in a few hours. If y'all could send a good vibe/prayer my way I'd appreciate it. If all goes well, it will make my big surgery much easier.

Our finances are taking a backseat again. I'm hoping we can somewhat keep it together. It's hard because my health directly affects our spending. If I cant cook, clip coupons or shop for the best
deal then that makes a dent in our budgets bottom line.

God willing, Ill post an update later :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Night Chit Chat

You wouldn't believe the week I've had. Let's just say it was stranger 
Than fiction!  One day ill work up the nerve to share. For now I'm going to enjoy my Sunday night. 
Live reading Carla's Sunday Chit Chat. Here's mine :)

  • Reading: all my favorite blogs 
  • Listening to: Video that Kiddo2 is watching - Curious George
  • Watching: nothing...in my room relaxing
  • Cooking/Baking: baking some chocolate chip cookies
  • Happy you accomplished this week: mailed off a Huge EBay package
  • Looking forward to next week: getting my first surgery over with!!
  • Thankful for today:  having dinner with my Sis and Dad. It's rare for us three to get together :)
  • *Bonus Question* What is your favourite part of Thanksgiving food-wise!! Apple Pie !!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hiding under a rock and talking finances with Mr. Man

I never seem to have enough time lately. Between the kids, Dad, Mr. Man and doctor appointments, everything has been turned upside down.

This past weekend we had a three day slumber party due to the big Anime convention in town.  Mr. Man sacrificed himself and camped out at the convention each day to keep tabs on the girls.  They loved it and we loved seeing how happy it made our kiddo and friends. I was a bit under the weather and had an ER visit the night before the convention was to start.  Turns out I had a kidney infection in addition to my current ailments. Oh what fun.  Went to the specialist and after two days of CT scans, I got a diagnosis.  I will have to have two surgeries. The first is a day surgery this coming week. Is a quick surgery that will involve some prep for my big surgery in the next few weeks.  I'm scared, anxious and weirdly relieved that hopefully I will feel better soon.

Aside from that I have been helping Dad at the fleamarket every weekend.  I enjoy the social aspect of it but hate being away from Mr. Man and the kiddos. I do it because the money I help Dad make is far more than the money I could possibly give him out of my own pocket.

The cherry on top of this craziness is the fact that we are in fundraising season at both kiddos schools. So orders forms were due, the big school fundraiser is gearing up, picture money was due and who knows what else I'm forgetting.  All I know is I'm super dee duper TIRED.

I will add that this past money was my biggest Ebay month yet.  My gross sales were close to $800. I worked my butt off and hope I can make at least half of that this month.  With the upcoming medical expenses it will help tremendously.

Which brings me to talking finances with Mr. Man.  Although, bills are getting paid, we are trying to figure out how to keep an emergency fund in the bank. He is a better saver than me but then again he doesn't have to deal with the day to day expenses as well as wade through our mountain of medical bills.  We devised a plan of attack for this month...lets see how we do. 

Here's a pic of my kiddo and friend in their cosplays :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Planning for another surgery this year :/

First where the money went....

$20 for Kiddo1's school fundraiser
$22 for groceries/household
$70 Specialist copay

Yesterday, the doc told me I would be needing another surgery.  Having a CAT scan next week to confirm what he suspects are my issues.  If it goes as planned, I would have had 4 surgeries in the span of 12 months.  Its both ridiculous and depressing.  I am so over hospitals.  Keeping a positive attitude toward it all is my only option at this point.  I intend to enjoy as best as I can the next few weeks leading up to surgery because then I'll be home bound for a few weeks.  I have to not only mentally prepare but financially prepare as well. 

I'm off to catch up on some blog reading....Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Where the money went!

Instead of recount my day by day spending, I decided to account for all money spent.

Mortgage                           670
Car Payment                      230
Car Payment                      470
Utilities                              150
Internet                                53
Loan                                   248
Medical                              450
Credit Card Pymts             394
Music Lessons                   108
Mr. Man Work Expense    250
Eating Out                           61
Groceries                             66
Personal/Household            63
Clothing                              29
Gift for Dad                        60
Kiddo Lunch Money          20
School Pics                         20
Gas                                     60
Misc                                   40
Total Spent                     3442

Monday, September 16, 2013

Coming up for Air....

Popping in for a minute.  This week raced by and I haven't posted any updates on my spending.  I will be doing so later today. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A work day....

Today, Dad and I went out hunting for inventory.  He was in search of inventory for the fleamarket.  Not that he needs it..LOL!  I went in search of goodies to list on  Ebay. 

Total spending for the day:

$30 Gas and drinks
$11 Pharmacy
$10 Inventory
 $51 Spent

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Where the money went today

Today has been pretty quiet. Listed a few more things on Ebay. Stayed closed to home for the most part of the day.

$7.00 drinks/snacks after school
$5.00 Kiddo2 lunch money

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Today's numbers

4.00 Kiddo1 breakfast
15.00 lotto for Dad and I
14.00 McDs for the kids and I

Ugh...$29 was not even close to necessary. I'm going to list some more just to try to make up for this spending.  I'm determined to have some no spend days!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Money spent and yummy GF cookies

Spent $10 on lotto scratch tickets for Dad.  Totally unnecessary but he loves them :}

Kiddo 2 wanted something sweet so I popped these in the oven! Soooo good and no grainy/cakey texture. Just plain old chocolate chip cookie goodness that happens to be Gluten Free by Immaculate Baking Company. The kiddos loved them. Another choice to go into our lunchbox rotation :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September No/Low Spend Challenge

I can't believe I'm going to do this.  I need to somehow be held accountable for my spending so I'm going to participate in Carla's September No/Low Spend Challenge.  My goals  for the challenge are:

1. Track all my spending via my blog
2. Put $500 towards our emergency fund
3. Stay within my allotted food budget (this is going to be a challenge!)

Okay...so here it goes!

Money spent today $12.00 for lunch (Dad and I)

Here's a pic of the fleamarket booths. Dad is across the aisle watching TV. Although Mom has been gone over 9 months, we still have customers come in looking for her.  I'm in awe at how many lives she touched :)

Happy Sunday!

Well, I'm doing a last minute list on Ebay before I leave to help Dad out at the fleamarket.  I'll be at his booth (thankfully indoors) from about 10 to 5.  I love rearranging and talking to the people who come in.  I'd rather be home with the kiddos and Mr. Man but I try my best to make the time fly.

Yesterday was spent listing on Ebay and I had a small sale so that was motivation enough for me to continue putting up stuff. I'd like to make at least $100-150 by Friday.  We will see how it goes. 

I will be bringing Dad by this evening to eat dinner at our house. With Christmas fast approaching, we need to save every which way we can.

Hope you all have a great Sunday!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Totals Updated, Give Away #2, $378 Purse...I think not

So I've updated my totals. Number is still huge but I'm pleased so far with our progress to move that number down. I hope to gain more momentum with each month. 

Here is Give Away #2. Its a Claude Monet Friends and Family Organizer Book.  Its never been used.  Keep your phone numbers, birthdays, Christmas Card List and gift ideas all in one place. First person to want it..gets it!

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Man took me  out for my birthday. He said I could buy whatever I wanted. The majority of the day was spent going from store to store. Every kind of store- thrift store, craft store, discount store and finally the mall. I found a few things for the house and kids. All on sale of course. I had been on the hunt for a blue purse that was roomy yet not too gawdy. Well, I found a purse whose style I really liked. Mr. Man said to get it. It was my day and when he said anything he meant it. Luckily, I'm the one whose always looking for a bargain. The  $378 price tag was a huge turnoff. The things I could by with that kind money (I bought a bunch of clothes and my total didn't come close to the price of the bag). Here is a pic of the the $$$ bag

I decided to look for something I like but without the big price tag. Here's what I got


Not exactly the same but similar enough and in the color I wanted. With shipping, I paid $28. Woohoo! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Changing it up and ready for the weekend!

I decided that the giveaway idea was not going to work. So instead I'm going to post various items up and the first person to comment that they want it will get it.  If someone else can use it then we are both winning :) 

Aside from that I'm looking forward to a weekend of listing, resting and sleeping!

Hoping ya'll have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

One less payment, Give Away #1, clutter update

Well....I called about why my payment had not cleared yet.  Apparently, only one payment for this month and not two. Regardless...Credit Card H is PAID! Woohoo!!  I'm so excited and ready to start paying off another card soon.

In the meantime, I am going to begin my giveaways.  I'm starting with a lovely book entitled "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain. It's from my personal library. Its about the relationship between Hadley Richardson and Ernest Hemingway. 

First reader to comment that they want it will get it :)

Still working on the clutter in my bedroom. Hoping I can post an after pic soon :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's in the bank...

Current bank balance $215.  Waiting for my $250 installment payment to go through which is taking forever.  Have to run over to the bank to deposit today to avoid overdraft fees. Payday will be here soon.  Mr. Man and I have talked about paying off a card or a large chunk of medical bills by years end. Either way we want to make headway on our debt totals. 

I have some meat defrosting for dinner.  I'm trying to cook dinner every day this week.  For most people that is no problem. Lately, I have not been wanting to do it. So, if I can make it to Friday, I will be happy. My goal is to feed 6 of us for dinner for under $10. The extra 2 are my Dad and nephew (who has been staying with Dad). I'm hoping tonight should be easy.

Aside from that I'm still decluttering.  It seems to be endless! Taking some more stuff over to Dad. I'm also going to try to give some away on Freecycle. 

I've been bouncing around ideas for the givewaway.  Carla from  My 1/2 Dozen Daily had an excellent suggestion and I'm going to run with it.  I'm going to do a few small giveaways consisting of a few previously loved items then do a cash/PayPal giveaway. I'm so excited!

***just finished making dinner...baked barbecue chicken with zucchini, Spanish rice and refried
beans. Fed 7 for $10! Woohoo :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Subscribers and ideas for a blog giveaway!

Okay, so if you look on over to your right, you will notice there are 11 wonderful people who follow my blog. It makes me so happy to know that I'm just not rambling on and on and no one hears me.  With that said I would love a few more.  I'm always on the hunt for more blogs to read but even if you don't blog please subscribe if you can :) Thanks a bunch!  Tying in with that, I would love to do a giveaway.  I'm not very crafty or anything like that so I'm needing ideas on what everyone would like to see in a giveaway.  If ya'll have any ideas please comment below.  I welcome all suggestions! 

I'm off to an appointment with the kiddos but will check in this evening!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ugh...Mr. Man, short on time and trying to make money

None too pleased with Mr. Man today. I won't get into the details as it is nothing major just Mars vs. Venus type stuff :D  

Well this week is going to prove to be short on time for me.  Now that I'm feeling a bit better (still a ways away from feeling 100% though), I have headed over to Dad's to spend the day with him.  I take him to where he needs to go and make sure he eats something while I'm there.  He can do these things himself. I figure, if I can take a load off from him from time to time, its good for the both of us :)  In doing so though, my day is very segmented.  So not a whole lot getting done at home.  I hope to catch up next week.

On the money front, my account is at 85 cents. A bit sad, I may have Mr. Man dip into the reserves. Just to make it through the week. I'm trying to find time to list on Ebay but there is so much to do I'm not making enough time to do it.  A thing listed here and there is not cutting it.  I will have to schedule in some time. My goal is to make a couple hundred by months end. I know I can do it, let's just see if I make the time to do it! I'm also excited at the 3rd payment installment will be going through soon. Cannot believe how fast time flies. 

The decluttering is going very well and I'm making progress.  I've gotten rid of so much and hope to get rid of a lot more. In the meantime, here is a pic of the before (its scary!):


Monday, August 5, 2013

Surviving the Weekend, getting back into couponing and bioparents

Well, the kiddos were in rare form this weekend.  They drove me a bit crazy but also made me so proud.  Just when I'm about to lose it they reel me back in with their helpfulness and of course lots of hugs!  Oh these kiddos.

I've been busily printing and clipping.  I'm kinda over paying full price on toothpaste and deodorant and so I've decided to stock up a bit on toiletries and such.  This is also my birthday month which means a whole lot of freebies and great coupons.  So I want to be sure to take advantage of the savings.

Moneywise, I'm down to $21 in the bank and am trying to figure out how to stretch it till Friday. That little temptation to fall back on credit always tries to creep in. Its hard but now I know to just shake off the feeling.

Lastly, I found out that Mr. Man's biodad passed away.  He never really knew him and has always considered his stepdad as "DAD", so when I told him he wasn't upset.  I think I took it a bit harder because losing Mom is still very new to me.  I had wanted him to at least contact him but I guess that wasn't meant to be. It makes me a bit sad.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A bit house bound but that's okay....

I've been going a bit stir crazy!  Since my surgery, I have not been able to leave the house for long periods of time.  I was not anticipating my recovery time would be this long.  You would think the 6-8 week recovery time the doctor told me about would have given me a clue ;)  At times, I am absolutely miserable but find myself having to snap out of it and be thankful that I am okay.  The good thing about being home so much is I have been decluttering quite a bit. I thought of selling the larger things but figured Dad would be happy to put them up in his booth for some quick cash...I figured its a win/win.  It's out of my house and Dad gets a little extra money.  As I clear out space it helps me focus on items that have been overlooked and can actually bring in a nice profit on Ebay.

Aside from that, I have been working on our budget.  I'm happy that my 2nd installment payment will be going through shortly.  I'm actually excited to see it vanish off my debt total list!

With being at home so much, the kiddos have been bored.  They have been such troopers, helping me clean and move things around the house these past few weeks.  I am counting my blessings.  Yesterday, we purchased a snow cone maker.  With this crazy heat, I figured it was a nice way to cool off. We purchase cold slushies and ice cream more than once a week. So the $20 investment was a no brainer.  We had some snowcones this afternoon to cool off. 

Lastly, Mr. Man and I had a huge reality check. I have been wanting a newer home for years. We always look but Mr. Man finally had a realtor come look at our house. He said our home would sell as it is with no problem. He just sold a home down the street in less than 60 days. He said ours would be easier since it is market ready.  Plus it would sell at a nice profit. Hearing that, we went into house buying mode IMMEDIATELY. Mr. Man was ready to snap one up and I was excited and sick to my stomach. For once in my financial life, I found myself weighing the pros and cons carefully. What it boiled down to was, we would go from $149,000 in debt to $250,000 in debt after all was said and done. A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS just sounded so ridiculous that Mr. Man and I put on the brakes! I could not take on that kind of debt. It is so crazy and unwise.

I must saw I am a bit relieved.  We have been so cold and hot about the housebuying situation but once we looked at what our debt would be like after buying a "new to us" house it just didn't make sense. Tonight, I hope to get a good night's sleep.  Counting my blessings :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Debt Totals updated and more cleaning

I've been plugging away at the cleaning around here.  I'm suppose to take it easy for 3 more weeks so as you can imagine, cleaning is very slow going.  Aside from that, I have updated my debt totals. God willing, I'm working on bringing that number way down by year's end. I have been sorting through clutter and all kinds of stuff.  I took some to donate and I also have a big pile ready for Dad to take to the fleamarket.  I've also managed to get through the day without spending a whole lot of money.  Spent under $3 today at CVS.  It would have been way more but I did a CVS survey this morning for $10 in Extracare bucks and printed out another $3 ECB that they sent me yesterday.  I also had a coupon. So before, total was like $17 but I only paid $2.79 out of pocket.  Wish everyday was a low spend day. 

Off I go...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Getting Rid of all the Extra Stuff!

For the past few weeks I have been decluttering my bedroom. I'm amazed at the amount of stuff I have.  It's a bit ridiculous.  I've formed attachments to everything and letting it go is a process.  At times I feel I've made headway and at others I feel I'm right back where I started.  Now, don't go thinking I'm like a lost episode of Hoarders. I just want a room that somewhat flows with the rest of my home. 

On the money front, I've made my first payment on my installment plan.  Its Card H on my debt totals.  Three payments and its GONE! I also need to recalculate my medical bills.  I have a nice new stack of them that need to be sorted and added.  Oh what fun...I can't complain...I'm on the road to health :)

My current bank balance is $43.00.  A bit pathetic.  Will we make it on that till next payday? Probably not. Luckily, Mr. Man has some cash tucked away but I'd rather not spend it. 

I'm out of here for now but will check in later ....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Settling debts

Last October I fell behind on a line of credit. The total was about 1400 dollars. I put it off intending to get back on track with my payment schedule. Then Mom passed and all extra monies went to her service. They sent letters and I would just put them in a pile. Finally yesterday, I decided to try to set up a payment arrangement. The funny thing is I was willing to pay the total balance owed. Their rep said the company would not accept an installment plan. I'm not naive and know that the collection agency did not ever call the actual lender but I played along. I just wanted to set up payments to pay my debt. Ironically, in the end they made me an offer of $1000 to be paid over the course of two months. I agreed and although it will be a very tight squeeze, I am glad to get this resolved. Especially at a a 400 savings without even asking!  Strange how things work out.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Trying this for the umpteenth time :/

So while I've been laid up, I made a weekly menu.  Mr. Man went to the grocery store yesterday and bought me pretty much everything on my list.  We will see how well we stick to the menu once I start going to stay with Dad again.

I'm still working on my debt totals but hoping to bring it up to date soon.

 Here are a few pics from our trip :) 
The weather was great while we were there

Times Square

Another Times Square view - people everywhere

Central Park

FAO Schwartz Toy Store

Rockefeller Center

The Times Square Ball

Times Square Toys R Us Ferris Wheel

Friday, July 5, 2013

Resting up!

Had surgery a few days ago.  Trying to take it easy at home but with 2 kiddos it can be challenging. My Dad and Sister have been a big help.  Mr. Man has been a trooper.  He is simply the best.  I'm hoping I won't need to have surgery again for a long time.Thankfully, our NYC trip last month was so much fun and a much needed getaway.  It was simply wonderful to get away and see my inlaws and take the kiddos on a very special trip. Our financials are okay but could use some improvement.
I'm sorting through the hugest stack of medical bills.  Our goal is to make huge headway in the next six months.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Happy Saturday!

Oh my...seems like forever since I've posted.  Need to get with it!  My sister has taken my Dad out of town to the casino so I have a "free" day.  Have so much to do but would rather just waste it away.  I think I will update my totals as well as list and clean house.  I have been feeling so much better and although I miss my mom like crazy, things are getting a bit easier.  Our vacation date is fast approaching and I can hardly wait.  I think I'm most excited about not driving for a week.  Its the little things that make me happy.  Well, off to make the most of today!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Today is a good day...

For the past few weeks,  I did not know what to write. I finally decided to sit down today to write. Today is a good day.  Life is starting to look up.  The sadness of my mother's passing is not gone but rather, very slowly being replaced by the gratitude of having had such a wonderful mother for as long as I did.  I still talk to her, I still see her in my dreams and I still miss her so much.  But I'm fortunate enough to know that what I had was rare.  A mother who loved unconditionally, who was totally selfless and who was loved by so many people. A lot of those people we never knew till now.  Who come up to us and tell us how special she was and how special she made them feel.  That alone fills my heart with happiness and helps ease the pain of her loss. 

With this small movement forward, life with Dad has also gained a sort of rhythm. A couple of my siblings and I have a sort of schedule we follow so we don't leave Dad alone.  Its now manageable and something we each have come to enjoy. 

With the settling down of things, Mr. Man and I have begun to look at our finances again.  Last Thursday, we signed the papers to refinance our home.  The new percentage rate is now 2% lower which is a huge savings for us.  We now have a 15 year note versus the 22  years that was left on our old one.  Its a big step forward. 

We have also not used CC for a couple months which feels great.  Its hard but in the end its good knowing we can do it.

Lastly, we have booked tickets to fly to NYC for Mr. Man's little brother's wedding.  It was paid cash so that was a HUGE accomplishment for us.  We are hoping to make hotel reservations soon.  Which will not be put on credit either.  I'm very proud of us.  Finally we are getting it. 

I'm looking forward to catching up on all my favorite blogs, updating totals and finding new ways to pay down our debt. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Trying to manage it all...

Lately, its been hard to get in a moment to just sit and be.  I have been shuttling between my home and Dad's.  Although, most people would say to have Dad stay at home with me. That would be easy except for the fact that he is grieving.  Home is where Mom was and continues to live in every picture, nic nac and curtain.  I go to my parent's home and I feel Mom all around me.  There is no way I can have him leave his home especially when that is where he is most comfortable.  At times I am tired and overwhelmed but having him laugh or smile keeps me going.  In between that I am having to manage the kids schedules, keep my own home semi livable and try to bring in some extra money. One minute I feel like I have it all under control and the next I'm a crying mess. Loss is not just hard, its heartbreaking.

Finances have taken a backseat at times and I'm slowly working my way back to some type of normalcy.  Our emergency fund is growing nicely.  Spending isn't exactly under control but its getting there.  I have so many things to list.  Time is my biggest challenge. These next few weeks will be challenging with the Easter holiday approaching. We will see how I do.  Wish me luck.

Hoping everyone has a great weekend!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Woohoo our house payment went down!

A small bit of good news.  I received our new payment book from the mortgage company.  Our house payment came down $45 per month.  That was enough for me to shout "Woohoo!"  The reduction is due to our property taxes falling a bit. These past few years I had complained to Mr. Man that they seemed a bit high for the area. I guess the appraisal district did some tweaking :)  Yay for us. 

Aside from that, I've been trying to work on our income taxes.  Finished up the bulk of the work...just need Mr. Man to find a paper or two and I should be done.

This next week will entail lots of filing, shredding and organizing.  I've made quite a bit of headway today.  I'm trying to make the most of my time at home.  I've been staying with my Dad 1/2 of the week so a lot of stuff at home is piling up.  I'm trying to manage my time better little by little.  I actually feel a bit accomplished and just wish there was more money to pay bills so I could file them away :D 

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and a wonderful week! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel...

Our finances have been disastrous lately...thankfully I'm seeing a teeny tiny glimmer of light at the end of the debt tunnel.  If all goes well in the next week (knock wood) we should catch up our mortgage payment. We had been paying it a few days after the due date (during the grace period).  It's a big weight lifted knowing its being paid a few days early.  This will help put us back on track and allow us to pay off bills without wondering if we will have enough money to get us through the month. I am going to try the envelope method this month.  I tried the jar method a year or two ago and it did not go well.  So I'm hoping to have better luck this time.

Next, a huge huge thanks to Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily for the awesome zippered pouch.  I love love love it :) I'm keeping my extra cash and change in it. It will serve as a reminder of all your great financial advice and help me to spend wisely!

Wishing everyone a great week!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The embarrassment of being cash poor!

Recently, I mentioned that Mr. Man had decided to use one of our lower interest cards for work related expenses. Welllllll.....off he went to his business meeting.  He had a bit of cash on him. We paid off about half the balance on said credit card. His room and expenses would be reimbursed so we were going to pay that back towards the card. We were quite proud of ourselves. Making an active effort to pay off that card completely. Mr. Man calls me from the hotel saying he cannot check in. Our credit limit was lowered after paying down the card!!! We had cut every single other credit card we had. Plus we did not have the $500 the hotel needed. I was so embarrassed for Mr. Man. Thankfully, my mother in law saved the day. It never occurred to us that the credit card company would do that. We realized that not using it every now and then actually hurt us. Needless to say, we would not be in this predicament if we had a little money tucked away.  Talk about lesson learned.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A bit of Art and no shame

Yesterday, Mr. Man dared to venture out with me in tow.  We went to run some errands and visit my Dad, sis and brother at the indoor fleamarket. My Mom and Dad have a booth there so now my sis goes with Dad. I hobbled on by to visit.  The lady next door to him had this gorgeous frame which I had to snap up.  Her asking price...$25!  It is huge and the colors are so vibrant. My pic does not do it justice at all. I love it so much...I had Mr. Man put it over the fireplace.

Afterwards, we went to visit my Mom. I had not been to the cemetary in a few days and was eager to see the Valentine's flowers and decorations my wonderful sister had put up around mom's site.  It was beautiful :*)  

Today, I'm trying to pick up around the house.  There is no school tomorrow for the kiddos which is a big relief.  Mr. Man will be leaving on business later today so I'll be on my own with the kiddos till Tuesday.  Yikes. 

Before I leave I have to address the fact that my photo on my last post did not an ounce of good in publicly shaming me into sorting it out.  While I did relocate about 25% of the pile, the majority is still sitting here...next to me...mocking me.  I vow to get it done before Mr. Man gets back!

Hope everyone has a blessed Sunday :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

A wonderful way to start the weekend!

I am so excited right now. Sometimes the smallest things can bring the biggest joy.  I'm here at home recovering from surgery, feeling a bit glum for a few reasons when I decide to read some of my favorite blogs.  I head on over to My 1/2 Dozen Daily and begin to read Carla's 5 Things Friday post.  After I'm done admiring her super cute pouches that she sewed yesterday, I realize I have won her latest giveaway for the most adorable pouch ever.  It totally has made my day. Thank you so much Carla!

Now that I have a bit of pep in my step, I think I will attempt to get through a pile of paperwork that has been sitting by my desk. It has a little of everything and I'm ready for it to be gone! I've posted a photo in attempts to shame myself into not putting it off.

Hope everyone has a Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Recovering from surgery and saving money

My surgery is over and I'm recovering at home.  The most difficult part has been missing my mother. She took care of me after I had both kiddos and both of my previous surgeries. So not having her here to just talk to, cheer me up and make her yummy chicken soup has been difficult. I am thankful all came out fine. The last thing we are waiting on is some testing but the doctor was optimistic.

On the financial front, our reimbursement came in so we should be okay till Mr. Man's payday. I guess it helps that I'm home bound for a few days. Lol. Also, we found a bit of money on those government unclaimed money sites. Not a huge amount but a little to go to a medical bill.

On the EBay front, I will be listing this week and will be updating my money made totals.

I also will be updating my debt totals. I'm hoping to eliminate a credit card much sooner than anticipated. Mr. Man will use it for work so we will also have a near zero balance on it.

I'm off to get some shut eye. Hoping you all have a great week!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The price of staying healthy...

Well, I'm scheduled for day surgery once again (different procedure). Mr. Man said his promotion came at the right time because of the added expenses.  I'm grateful I can have the procedure done and hopefully relieve some pain. The past 30 days have been terrible.  Between losing my mom, the holidays, sibling drama and my health, I'm about ready to go hide under a rock somewhere. I won't complain.  I know others are dealing with bigger issues so I have to be grateful for all my blessings. 

The total oop expense should be about $2000 for the surgery.  Our flexible spending account should reimburse us $560 of that so I'm hoping it does. The hospital does not require the full amount up front so we only need about $1300 by the time I preregister. I really hope I'm feeling as close to normal after all this.

I have been listing here and there on Ebay.  Brought in a few dollars and need to ramp it up after I'm feeling better. More than likely that will be the beginning of next month.

I'm off to do nothing for a little while....going to try to find a good British romantic drama on Netflix :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

With a New Year comes New Beginnings...

Financially this month has been absolutely horrible which only mirrors our month on the emotional front as well.  Now that the air is slowly clearing, I am getting in a better headspace to begin planning for next year.  With Mr. Man's new job comes a little more income.

So what are our goals for 2013...

1. Reduce my credit card debt by 30%.  Currently we have about $23,000 in credit card debt alone.  I would like to pay off at least $8000 by December 31, 2013.

2. Create an emergency fund of at least $3000.  This was my goal for last year and we failed miserably. I'm hoping to have better luck in 2013.

3. Reduce our daily expenses. I'd like to have more no spend days.  I will try to plan better and also modify my grocery lists with more healthy snacks that we can take from home when we head out to music class or therapy.

4. Open bank accounts for each of the kiddos.  They expressed interest at having their own accounts.  I'm all for them learning to be responsible with money.