Sunday, November 16, 2014

I need some help finding the perfect blog!

I love reading debt saving, meal planning and organizing blogs but the one thing I've noticed is that the majority are written by people who have kids under 7. While, I still enjoy reading I've been on the hunt for a blog that can provide some guidance for those of us with tweens and teens. Because as we all know they eat a WHOLE lot more than little ones.  As well as make a WHOLE lot more mess, have friends over and require a WHOLE lot more money.  And for me personally I have the added cost of a special needs child so I'm the odd woman out when it comes to finding a blog that fits our lifestyle. So I figured if I can find a few I can Frankenglue them together to give me a great guide to organinzing, saving and meal planning. LOL! So if you all have any good suggestions please do share, I would really appreciate it!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Brrr...A cold front blew in!

As I type my fingers are thawing out! A cold front blew in Wednesday night and its so cold today. Well, for us down here in South Texas its cold ...36 degrees F with the windchill it feels like 26 degrees F.  I know many of you up north deal with a whole lot colder weather but it might as well be 10 below 0 because all the heavy coats, mittens and hats have been pulled out.  By the way, I AM LOVING this weather.  I'm in such a can do mood in the  Today, I will be listing.  I need to make about 300 dollars by the end of the month. I've been researching a whole lot to see what price points are the best to get my items moving.

A post or so ago I wrote about Dad wanting to close up shop.  I had a long talk with him and come to find out he does want to keep the booths open but he wasn't generating enough profit to pay the rent.  I didn't know we was pulling so much of his money out of pocket. So many of my siblings have been visiting that he couldn't open the booths.  I told him that he needed to have them tag along and help if they were in town for a visit. My Mom always said "Tienes que ser FAIR". Its a mix of Spanish and English translated to "You have to be fair". She always said this when telling my Dad they had to visit my siblings out of town or attend one of their special events.  She always made sure they were each given time. So, I told him this but with respect to letting my out of town siblings help out with the booth when they were in town.  I told him its not fair to have my sister and I run it with him and then expect us to entertain as well when family comes to town. We need our down time and would like a break when someone else can help out. He understood and already had one of my brothers at the booth with him one day last weekend.  

I have to get working but I will leave ya'll with a shot of the front moving into town :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hooray! Paid off a credit card!

Hooray! Another glimmer of light has shown through our long dark tunnel of debt. We paid off Credit Card F.  It was our highest interest rate card. Seeing our debt slowly dissolving is motivation to keep going forward.  At times some sacrifices may seem huge but looking back they were so small and have now made a bigger impact. We can do this!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Adjusting to changes...

I just got off the phone with Dad and he's decided he wants to close up the fleamarket booth.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  Although I'm a bit excited at the thought of reclaiming my Sunday, I can't help feel a bit sad. Sad because Mom really loved going to sell at the fleamarket.  She liked talking to people and fixing up her booth. Dad wants to move out and put all the inventory into a storage shed behind his house. He already cleared it out and wants to start bringing stuff bit by bit to the house.  I feel like I'm abandoning what Mom worked hard to have. He would always talk about closing it up and she always said no.  So, I'm very conflicted about closing it and leaving what she loved. It makes me really sad but I'm not sure I want to be tied down to the fleamarket every weekend. I am going to have to talk to Mr. Man and see what he thinks. Can you tell I am not good with change?! 

Aside from that, I've been listing like crazy on Ebay.  I need to make a nice chunk of change and fast! 

I also have been looking at our budget for the next few months.  I don't like getting ahead of myself but I figured I needed a solid goal to work towards. I want to see our debt total plummet and soon! 

Once I finish writing I'm going to start dinner up.  I'm thinking something easy like pesto pasta with chicken. Trying to keep from eating out as much as possible. 

Hope everyone has had a Fabulous week so far :) 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Identifying your Spending triggers...

I am in a foul mood as I write and hopefully by the end of this post by mood will be better. So I'm apologizing now if I ramble a bit.  I had some words with Mr. Man regarding his times it seems like a pointless conversation but I owe it to our children to at least speak my peace.  When it comes to his health,  he does not take very much responsibility.  It makes me a bit angry considering all the health issues I've had over the last couple of years.  Once our discussion ended, I found myself wanting to head to the store.  Then I realized, I would be shopping to lift my mood instead of working through it.  Ugh...why must being an adult be so Not Fun at times.  Well, I promptly listed on Ebay and decided to write. Talk about self! I like to think of myself as a big saver but how I spend is I find things on sale and justify spending because of the savings.  Wow...that was a bit wordy. Anywho, my mood is brightening and I'm off to talk to Mr. Man again.  I worry so much about him but in the end he has to want to do what is best for him. MEN...(shaking my head)...are so stubborn!

Friday, October 3, 2014

I just got free ice cream :)

It has been a hectic day so far.  Running around all day. Just now, I had to run to the corner store to pull some cash for the man who does our lawn.  Just in case you are wondering, we DO NOT live in some huge palatial estate.  LOL!  Mr. Man's work hours make it really hard to get some lawn work in so we pay $40 about once a month to get it done.  It's a great deal, he works fast and we get to enjoy a nice cut lawn. 

Anywho, Kiddo2 and I are the only ones in the store.  The ice cream delivery guy is filling the cooler and asks me if I want some free ice cream.  I never turn down  He gave me 5 pints of butter pecan, 10 butterfinger ice cream bars and about 15 orange/cream bars.  He said the best buy date had come due but they were still good.  I just had an orange bar and it was yummy :) Kiddo1's friends will be staying all weekend and they always eat me out of house and home. They will be gone by!

Aside from that I'm listing away.  Trying to make some quick cash.  Later tonight I'm going to catch up on some of my blogs and just RELAX!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

New sickness

So Kiddo 2 and I just got over a nasty respiratory virus.  Now Kiddo 2 has a stomach bug.  Thankfully Kiddo2 is still happy go lucky just with some barfin' and poopin' in between (sorry if anyone is grossed out). Since, kiddo has no fever we will give it a day or so to see if it runs its course. I just want to hide under the covers and not wash, spray or clean up anything for like a  A mother's job is never done.

The upside to being home so much is I have been trying to whittle down my piles and piles of papers.  I'm down to a small stack and hopefully today I will tackle it while Kiddo 2 sleeps (fingers crossed).

Budgetwise, I see a bit of relief.  We are actively trying to save and pay as much as possible. Trying to find low cost entertainment, keep busy at home and cook at home. This week's cooking went well.

Monday was Beef Stew (super yummy recipe I found that I will post next week)
Tuesday was Potato and Egg Scramble (breakfast for dinner)
Wednesday we bought take out
Thursday was Baked Chicken
Friday was every man for himself

Hoping for a better Saturday!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Keeping busy!

I haven't had much time to post has started so I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  By 8pm, I am absolutely tired from driving the kids (and their friends) to/from school, errands, housework, homework and checking up on Dad. Add to that a nasty upper respiratory virus and well I've been a little defeated. Thankfully, I am getting better and with that, trying to get stuff done around here.  I haven't completely updated our debt totals but they are going down which is always a good thing! In between all the chaos, I've been trying hard to list, list, list on Ebay.  I emptied out our linen closet and moved 95% of my inventory out of my bedroom.  I needed to reclaim it along with my sanity.  My Mom was a big believer of the side hustle. She said everything you have in your home cost money to buy.  So in turn, every little thing you own has value. From an old magazine, jar of buttons or a pillowcase, someone out there will need those things.  So never throw away anything that has a use, instead sell it, give it away to someone who needs it or donate it.

Hoping everyone is doing well. I will continue listing while enjoying our rainy weather. Have a great weekend!

I leave you with a parting pic...some homemade banana bread :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

ASL video :)

Mr. Man's cousin is a ASL interpreter and posts a new ASL music video every Tuesday.  I just think she's wonderful!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Kids are off to school :(

The kids have started school.  Truth be told, I miss them terribly.  I absolutely love having them home :) They drive me crazy but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I will try to busy myself with cleaning and household projects but I'm counting the hours till pick up time.  This is what's on my agenda for today:

1. Filing
2. Laundry
3. Look at the budget
4. Pick up around the house/do dishes - clutter everywhere!
5. Check in with Dad
6. Mail off some Ebay packages
7. Plan a trip to the grocery store with coupons

Hoping my list will keep me busy till this afternoon.  I'm making zucchini boats for dinner so I'm looking forward to that.  

Hope everyone has a SUPER week!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Meal Planning, Exercising and Keeping Organized

Meal Planning has always been a challenge for me. Making a menu is easy but keeping to it is another story completely.  I may have found a middle ground that works for us.  While walking on the treadmill (I'll get to that in a bit), I was watching Youtube and came upon several meal planning videos.  The majority involves prepping food to be cooked/snacked on/prepared. So now, what I am doing is separating my fruits and veggies into small containers/baggies.  Like these:

I wish I had more containers to show but kids have been eating the fruit like crazy, which I'm pleased about because its a much better alternative to just eating junk. I have also started to make a large pot of oatmeal. We have it for breakfast and if we want a snack. Its so yummy and so nice on the pocketbook!  We are still in the early stages of our meal planning tweaks but I'm very hopeful we will make them lifelong habits. It doesn't hurt that its a big help to our food budget.

I started to walk/run on our treadmill at least 3 x per week.  My goal is to get on every day. The first week it was a challenge to walk much less run 20 minutes consistently at a fast pace.  Fast forward to two months later and I'm at 40 minutes.  I do not like exercising but as I get older I realize it is a need to lead a hopefully long life.  I feel great when I'm done walking/running and my overall mood is better.

Finally, while searching for meal planning vids I came across this great video for a Goof Proof Family Organizer . I am actually changing up my home organizer to incorporate some of her ideas.

Have a great Wednesday :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday Everyone! Getting my day started and trying to clean off my desk as it is a total mess!

Trying to keep myself busy so I don't unnecessarily spend $$.

Went food shopping yesterday.  Found a couple good buys but we didn't exactly need a whole lot. I will be buying fruits and vegetables today as the store I went to had little variety. Here's what I bought for a total of $47.74.

I had budgeted $75 for the week, about $25 less than what I normally budget. I did it to see if I can make it work.  It will be a bit challenging considering the kiddos eat like lumberjacks.

I'll be going to visit Dad sometime today and see where else the day takes us. Have a great weekend :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

If you don't complain about your finances...

You must have a ton of money in savings?! Wrong!

So, a little over a year ago Mr. Man received a promotion.  With it came a higher salary.  That's where fact and fiction get confused.  I've noticed more comments from family about Mr. Man's salary and how now we are "Good", as in set financially.  What my family fails to realize, is that we pay all our bills and there are quite a few.  We are a single income household with a mountain of medical debt.  Add on to that the daily expenses that are not average.  I willingly volunteer, as well as a couple of my other siblings, to check up on Dad several times a week.  With that comes gas expense, food expense and the occasional entertainment expense.  We do it because we want to but that doesn't take away the financial aspect of it.  I also have a special needs child who requires weekly therapy.  We get absolutely not one penny of government assistance and our health insurance copay is useless.  Why? Well, here is the breakdown.  Our copay is $80 per therapy session.  The therapy office charges us a private pay cost of $65 per therapy session.  Therefore, it is cheaper to pay out of pocket versus go through our health insurance plan.  Add to this a large mountain of debt from my 4 of 5 surgeries within the last two years.  I refuse to complain but I'm a bit annoyed by assumptions people make.  If our circumstances were different and we only had to worry about ourselves and our kids then we would have a very nice savings but life happens.  I wouldn't want it any other way.  I love my Dad, am beyond grateful for my kiddo's progress and thankful for my health. If only my family would take a step back to realize that everyone's financial situation is different. I know I'm not the only one in this boat but sometimes in my little corner of the world it feels like it.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Are we broke?

Summer is only one day in and already my kiddos have posed this question to me. I told them that just because we cannot go out and spend, spend, spend, that does not mean we are broke.  I said that in order to have a nice summer getaway we need to spend our money wisely.  Needless to say they moped around until sundown when we went to an outdoor movie at our local park.  They had a blast and it was free :)

We still have a few more days till payday and I'm going to have to get creative with the activities.Yesterday, Kiddo2 had me assist in putting this together...LOL!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Trying to avoid backsliding into oblivion!

I have not written in a WHILE! I'm so glad school is almost out for summer. You would think I could remember all these expenses like yearbooks, class parties, teacher gifts and field trips. I finally laid it out in a language they could understand..."If we save money by NOT eating out and NOT buying random junk then a trip to DisneyWorld would be possible just about every year!" They were amazed! Now....they know we would not go to DisneyWorld every year but they actually were listening to what I was saying versus tuning me out. LOL!

I plan on listing like a mad woman next week.  I need to make some moola in a serious way. Plus, my organizing has gone off track and I need to get it under control again. So much to do and I'm looking forward to it :)

Have a great Weekend!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sick Kiddo, Matt & Kim and Mr. Man's Bday

Kiddo2 is sick at home today...I hate when the kiddos are sick, I wish I could make it all better. Hoping a day of sleep and meds will help. Kiddo2 is just happy to watch some TV and not do  I have been listening to Matt & Kim to keep me energized. I'm filing, decluttering and trying to list a bit on Ebay.

I'm hoping Kiddo2 is feeling better by tomorrow because its Mr. Man's bday. Usually we do something at home but I know he really would like dinner out somewhere.  I wanted to invite some of my family to join us and surprise him :) Keeping my fingers crossed and praying it all works out!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Just when I start to lose hope...I update my debt page!

I've been MIA for a while.  So much going on at home plus I got sick in the process. When Mom is sick the world stops.  Or at least it feels like it! I'm getting better and thankfully getting back into the groove of things. Moneywise, I had started to lose hope. Getting the new house itch (AGAIN!), wanting to go out and shop till I drop (notice I said "Wanting" not "Went") and feeling a little stagnant overall. Then, I went to update my debt page. YEAH! Seeing the total go down always stops me and lets me know all the little sacrifices are paying off.  Having a few dollars versus having NO dollars in the bank is always good.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Small victories...

So these past few weeks we've been running pretty lean at Casa de Q&A. The temptation to use credit
has been rearing its ugly head and so far we have resisted temptation. It is so hard not to take the easy way out.  Hoping things settle down a bit this month.  I'm trying to hit a sales goal this month in hopes of contributing to our home repair fund.  We need to come up with about 1500 in the next few weeks for a partial fence replacement.  I'm hoping to contribute a few hundred from Ebay.  I'm also going to dip my toes into Etsy with some vintage items.

Mr. Man and I are also rearranging our bedroom.  We are trying to get away from the idea of buying a new home and we figured might as well and make this one more into what we want.  I'm not 100% convinced yet but I'm willing to try.

My parting photo is of a local pond...I have been wanting to take the kids for like ever and finally we went.  This goose was chasing me waited till after I fed it!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I'm not very disciplined....

It's time I just face it, I'm not very disciplined. I'm a bit scatterbrained and most certainly easily distracted. I'm not going to set any blog goals as its very hard for me. About the only thing that I've been consistent about is updating my debt totals periodically. The spending tab is going away to the great beyond.

Aside from that, I'd like to say that I'm at a bit of a crossroads in my life.  I've been really thinking about what I want to do with my life and how I want to spend my time.  I thought I had everything kind of figured out but ever since Mom died, things have been chaotic.  I never have time for anything. My siblings have seemed to fade into the background more and more when  it comes to checking up/caring for Dad.  Thankfully, he's very independent but still needs a homecooked meal and company.  And I've gone through the spectrum of emotions. Where I've ended up is, how am I making the most of life both with Dad and with my own kiddos/husband. So, I think I'm going to take a short break from Ebay, concentrate on all things home and Dad. Sell whatever stock I have and go from there. Dad also mentioned closing up the fleamarket booth and frankly I'm not sure how I feel about that. I have come to really enjoy seeing all her customers and catching up with them. Also, I love selling and providing a fun shopping experience for a lot of people who are of modest means. Dad still makes a small profit but he's not looking to get rich.  I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. The only thing I am certain of is that I want to enjoy life more.

Our objective remains the free ourselves from the debt monster but have fun doing it. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Trying to find time to post!

Taking a short break before I go back to "work". Kiddos need homework help, laundry is screaming to be done and dinner has yet to meet the oven.  I'm exhausted but know I can do this.  In the meantime,  have you ever had one of those days when you look forward to something yummy in the fridge only to find it GONE!

He's screaming/shrieking in spanish "SOMEONE ATE MY SAAAANDDDWWIIIIICHHHH!" or "Alguien se comio mi torta!".

Have a meltdown free day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Money sure goes fast!

This month I'm trying to track my spending.  And boy am I surprised how fast it goes! We have spent more than usual on eating. I need to start planning dinners again. It didn't help that our oven had burned out. I picked up the part yesterday and we are up and running again :)  We have various expenses this month and I'm hoping to make some extra money to help out with that. Trying to figure out what to get/make Mr. Man for Valentine's Day!  I also have a mountain of clutter/papers at my desk that need taming, a book report, two trips and who knows what else that is coming up.  Oh gosh, my head hurts just thinking about it :D   But I'm glad I'm feeling better enough to do all these things!
I'll leave you with a fun parting pic...the other day I asked Kiddo2 to bring me a cup of water because I wasn't feeling well.  This is what I got :)

Kiddo2 said the straws were put together so I wouldn't have to sit up to drink. Kiddo2 also pulled up a chair and snacks to sit with me.  My heart just swelled with happiness.  It was the best medicine ever.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A bowl of optimism :)

This year, Mr. Man and I are being very optimistic. Our thinking has always been to reduce debt. We are now seeing progress where the numbers are concerned.  I have upped my student loan payments (which up until now has not been included in our total debt), we will soon eliminate another credit card payment and my focus on additional income is so much better. I have been really trying to create a personal balance in my life and I've seen that translate into our financial lives. So simple yet took this long to finally "get it". I'm considering adding an additional page with daily spending. A little more accountability never hurts.

On a totally unrelated note, this cold weather has been awesome!  Yesterday, Dad invited me to lunch and we stopped in at a little Mexican place. The "caldo" or soup was heavenly.

Today, I will be working on listing on Ebay.  I have a mountain of medical debt that needs to be chipped away at so hopefully I'll make a few sales to help a little.

Hoping to catch up on some blogs later and as always organize, organize, organize. Have a wonderful day :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's a Soup kind of Day!

Last day of winter break...letting the kiddos sleep in. It's cold today, at least for these parts it is.  Currently 36F.  I know our temps are nothing compared to what some of ya'll are dealing with right now.  Hope everyone stays warm.  Mr. Man had a bout of food poisoning this weekend and he was feeling awful. My sister took Dad on a weekend trip to the casino. I was able to have a lazy Sunday versus going to work at the fleamarket with Dad. Was a nice change of pace.  Currently, I have a pot of 15 bean soup on the stove so we can take Dad some lunch.  I also made some cinnamon oatmeal for breakfast...I'm in rare form :D  I wish it would be this chilly more often so I could stay home and cook more. I'll be working on my debt totals this evening as well as listing a bit.  Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

Relaxing Sunday....reading my favorite blogs. Also joining all the Sunday night fun hosted by Carla !
  • Reading: Bridget Jones' Diary - LOVE the movie and Mr. Man gave me the book for  Christmas :)
  • Listening to: The wind blowing - cold front came through, currently 46F
  • Watching: Two and a half Men (slim pickings when you don't have cable)
  • Cooking/Baking: Made breakfast and that's about it :D
  • Happy you accomplished this week: Made arrangements to up payments for a school loan
  • Looking forward to next week: Organizing!
  • Thankful for today: Being able to stay home with my family
  • Bonus Question: Does anyone watch Downton Abbey? Love it and so happy the new season has started!