Sunday, March 29, 2015

Normal is a Hoax

A friend of mine on facebook posted a status the other day with this question:
How does one fund world travels and adventures while they're still young enough to enjoy it?
While others were leaving creative comments for him like "find jobs that pay for travel" and "work for hotels overseas... they are happy to hire people who are fluent in English," I answered simply "Don't spend money on video games, tattoos, or beer..." and I should have added "energy drinks" to that list as he drinks A LOT of them.

I know, I'm a jerk. It felt like a buzz kill answer too, but honestly I could not help myself. And ever since I left the snarky comment I can't stop thinking about the question he posed. This young man works at a hip local restaurant, I think full time, and still lives with his parents. I personally think it's financially wise to live at home if you're not married and your parents are on board with it so I'm not putting him down in that regard at all. He's been graduated from high school for a few years and is not enrolled in college. That is NOT meant to be a put down as I did not go to college and really never wanted to either. He spends a great deal of his time playing video games, just like my husband... video gaming is an enormous generational trap but hey if that's how you want to spend your time and money more power to you. He's also as of late started acquiring new tattoos and piercings. While I have zero gripe against either of those things, I don't have any tattoos for my own reasons but I went through a punker stage and I really appreciate good tattoos, to be honest even more so when someone is covered in really good ones. I also had a few piercing myself although they're in my past. However he makes comments often about how much he desires to travel, generally always accompanied by a "whoa is me, I can't afford it" twist.

I know for a fact that one can nickle and dime themselves into poverty. This fellow does not pay rent to his parents and he has a job. As far as I see it there is no reason he shouldn't be able to fund world travels and adventures in his exact situation with only a little difference. He needs to put his money where his heart is. If his deepest hearts desire is to "travel" through a television screen with a controller in his hand for hours on end then okay, spend $70 a pop here or there on the latest greatest game. If his hearts desire is to cover himself in images that express who he is, you know, wear your heart on your sleeve, as opposed to covering his innards in real life experiences that will impact who he is forever then go ahead and keep spending hundreds of dollars on tattoos. And while I understand that beer and energy drinks are fun, they are incredibly expensive. I speak from experience here, my husband loves micro brews (although he's tremendously cut back on buying them) and I used to have a SERIOUS Starbucks coffee problem.

I am absolutely not writing any of this to put this young fellow down. He and I have a lot in common precisely because of his ardent desire for adventure and travels, and his punker spirit (which yes, I still have, despite my having grown up). But I write all of this to say, "where are your priorities?" It's so easy to just go on with life. It's so easy to just hit up the Starbucks drive through again and again. It's so easy to go out with your friends and spend $15 on beer at the local pub (over and over and over...). It's so easy to get caught in the trap of normal, video games for example which are HUGE money earners for their creators. It's not so easy to cut out all of those things for a little while to fund some world travels but wait, it actually should be easy.

Let's say he spends $3 a day on energy drinks (I bet that's a low estimate) $90 in a month.
One tattoo, I think a low estimate $200 in a month
Three six packs of micro brews $45 in a month
A few coffees from a coffee shop,
lets say one a week generally around $4.95 for a mocha $20 in a month
Let's not buy three video games $220

That's $575 saved in a very short period of time. It would take two months (granted I made him purchase two tatoos and six video games in this scenario but he buys a lot of other geeky nonsense too so it's probably a VERY reasonable if not super low savings estimate) to fund a VERY nice world travels adventure. There are trips on travel websites, to Ireland for example, that cost about $600 for a package that includes airfare, a rental car, hotels, and an enormous breakfast each day for a week. (And I know these trips are legit because my mother in law took us on one several years back and it was amazing) After two months of saving $1150 by cutting out a few "normal" life expenses this young man could travel to Ireland for a week with a very decent amount of spending money in his pocket.

The question he posed irks me to no end because my husband and I spent so many years living just how he is living now. The real question is NOT, "How does one fund world travels and adventures while they're still young enough to enjoy it?" but "Why isn't one funding world travels and adventures when they're still young enough to afford it?" Why is it so difficult for the average Joe to look past the every day normal and see that if he just laid out his priorities and went after them then he could have so much more than, "oh woah is me, I can't afford it?" You can afford it! Just stop being normal. Normal doesn't win. Normal has never won. Normal is a hoax!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Gourmet Cheapskate

That's me!



I've said it before and I'll say it again I LOVE Panera breakfast souffles! I imagine if I'd look up the nutrition facts (which I am not going to do) they are horrible for you. They are way too tasty to not be horrible for you and are by far my favorite thing one could buy at a restaurant (at least a restaurant anywhere near me). They cost somewhere upwards of $4 and are worth every penny. Needless to say they are also far out of my price range for breakfast food. I struggle to justify spending $1.06 on the sausage mcmuffin at McDonald's so $4 for a souffle is really too much for me. But they are sooooo good.

Just so happens I finally looked up a recipe for them online. I found a copycat recipe (a few copy cats actually) and I tried one out today. <Happy dance> I used a sheet of puff pastry to make six breakfast souffles. I kept mine simple, especially since it was a first try and just did egg and feta for the filling with heavy whipping cream and salt. They did not turn out as good as Panera's (I did not expect them to) but they did turn out close enough and I'm certain they'll be even closer with my next attempt. Oh yes, there will be a next attempt! This is a wonderful breakfast treat! (Linked HERE for anyone who wants to try it out.)

The pan of six that I made today cost me about the same as one from Panera. Um, I'm more than happy with that swap! Additionally I clipped a coupon for a free coffee drink (pictured above) that I picked up while shopping today. Me sitting on my couch eating my hot out of the oven breakfast souffle (or, souffles... I might have eaten more than one) and drinking my free iced coffee was equally as happy as any hipster chilling at the poshest of posh fine dining cafes sipping $5 coffee and eating $3 or $4 decadent pastries. You can call me a gourmet cheapskate any day. I'm proud of it!

__________________________________________

I'm being obnoxious about it but if you haven't noticed I am doing a GIVEAWAY <-linked here, going on now. Free stuff just for the fun of it!

March numbers are in

Here's my spending rundown for the month with average daily spending for each category. My average spending for the month is down coming in at $16.20 a day for March but I did not hit my goal of $17.00 a day for the year so far. I'm over by 3 cents a day. That's comical!

I'm reporting early because I'm planning three no spend days from here on out and I just went grocery shopping. I'd hoped to squeeze in 22 NO SPENDs this month but I'll be at 18 for the month if the next three days pan out (they should). So, I also didn't hit that goal. To be quite honest I'm super happy with 18 no spend days this month.

Average daily spending for 2015: $17.03
$12.83 a day on Groceries in March. Total $397.72
98 cents a day on Toiletries in March. $ Total $30.40
$1.05 a day on Food out in March. Total $32.6

92 cents a day on Pets in March. Total $28.56
about a penny a day on Clothing in March. Total 47 cents
14 cents a day on misc. Stuff in March. Total $4.24

Average daily spending for March: $16.20

18 NO SPEND days

I would really have liked to hit the $17.00 a day goal but I'm certainly not going to reprimand myself for going three cents over (That's $2.70 I shouldn't have spent somewhere). My goal for April is to get my average daily spending for the year to $16.80 a day. That gives me $482.88 to spend in April. I'm not sure if I can do it, my spending for March was really quite low and as you can see I didn't spend in very many categories (no spending on cleaning or gifts and only 47 cents on clothes). Generally after a considerably low spend month I'll bounce back with a considerably higher spend month. But a goal is a goal, I'm going for it!

As far as no spend days go, I have an every other day no spend goal for the year. Right now I'm at 35 no spends (counting the next three days) which puts me 10 days behind my goal for the year. I'd need 25 no spend days in April to catch back up... I'll shoot for 20.

I feel like I just got back from the least successful shopping trip ever. I made a list, I followed it, I stuck with sales and coupons but I don't feel like I bought very much quality food. We've got enough to get us through the next four days as planned but I'm still not jumping for joy over today's groceries. At least I have that to-do marked off the weekend chores list. That's a bonus in itself.

It's looking to be a very cold day here in sunny Michigan. Stay warm folks and I hope everyone has a great Saturday on this last one in March!

March Total: $502.17
NO SPEND day 35    3.31
NO SPEND day 34    3.30
NO SPEND day 33    3.29
Dollar store spend $4.24    3.28
Coffee and a donut $4.52    3.28
Groceries $47.49    3.28
NO SPEND day 32    3.27
Groceries $6.39    3.26
Lunch and a coffee $8.17    3.26
Groceries $18.16    3.25
T-shirt for Abe 47cents    3.25
Coffee $1.79    3.25
Groceries $19.20    3.24
Snacks $3.98    3.23
NO SPEND day 31    3.22
Groceries $52.93    3.21
Toiletries $3.49    3.21
McDonald's (again) $7.39    3.21
McDonald's $7.60    3.20
NO SPEND day 30    3.19
NO SPEND day 29    3.18
NO SPEND day 28    3.17
NO SPEND day 27    3.16
Dollar store shopping $4.24    3.15
Groceries $59.03    3.15
NO SPEND day 26    3.14
NO SPEND day 25    3.13
NO SPEND day 24    3.12
Groceries $43.34    3.11
Wipes $2.10    3.11
NO SPEND day 23    3.10
NO SPEND day 22    3.9
NO SPEND day 21    3.8
NO SPEND day 20    3.7
Cake fixins $5    3.6
Groceries $31.37    3.6
NO SPEND day 19    3.5
NO SPEND day 18    3.4
Joint medicine for dog $20.35    3.3
Groceries $82.56    3.3
Groceries $24.03    3.2
Shampoo and Cond. stock up $24.81    3.2
Vet dog food $47.99    3.2
Dog food and treats $28.56    3.2
Pizza downtown after Disney on Ice $11.31    3.1

Friday, March 27, 2015

Weekend To-dos

I really didn't know how I'd survive this work week but the weekend is here and other than a lingering cough I'm feeling pretty much back to normal.

I've some major catching up to do after this past week of yuck and so I thought to myself, "if I post a to-do list to the blog I bet I'll get a lot more marked off of it than if I don't."

Here goes (my public attempt to motivate myself)
Bake bread. (you like how my first goal always involves food)
Go for a long walk if it's not too bitterly cold.
Finish backyard dog poo clean up if it's not too bitterly cold.
Grocery shop for the rest of the month. ($50 budget on that)
Finish the basement clean up for the first quarter goals.
Spend some good quality playing time with my little guy.
Spend some good quality learning time with my little guy... ideally working on letters.
Bake blueberry muffins too.
Finish grooming the second dog (poor Boz is half groomed since I stopped when I got sick)
Oh yeah, and clean the house.

Average daily spending for 2015: $17.17
$53.13 left to spend in March


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Budgeted Spending and Planned Spending are NOT the same thing

This past week I was pretty reckless with my spending. I did not go over my budget but I did make very unwise, unplanned purchases. Except for some butter, apple juice, granola bars, coffee grounds, and a t-shirt I got for my son for 47 cents (St. Patrick's Day clearance) the $58.16 I spent this week could have been stretched so much farther if I'd planned out my purchases.

Budgeted spending and planned spending are not the same thing! You can budget $50 for the week, go to the store, grab some reasonable items, stop shopping when you've hit the $50 mark and call it good. I shopped this way forever (okay, really, I'd budget $50 and spent more like $150 but you get the idea). For some reason the $50 that you budgeted is just never enough.

Or, you can get the ad for your local grocery store, go through it, pick out items that are on sale that you can make meals out of for the week, add some things to the list that are on really good sales that you know you'll need in the future, make sure to take advantage of extra deals the store is offering (but ONLY if it's on items you need or regularly use) and I bet you the $50 budget get's you twice as much stuff.

This past week of pretty reckless spending (totally blaming this one on the flu) has shown me that I've done a really great job of "planned spending" this year. It's a good deal of extra work to plan out pretty much all of your purchases but it's SO very worth it. I have not been having a very difficult time sticking to my budget so far this year and I also have not been left feeling deprived at very many moments. I've been able to afford ice cream bars here or there, chips for my hubby, an absurd amount of Cadbury Creme eggs, a very good variety of different meats, lots of fresh fruits and veggies... we've been eating good and not breaking the bank at all. I have a feeling that most people reading this do a great job of planned spending on top of budgeted spending but I was inclined to write this post because I am just now realizing the huge impact it makes on the budget when purposed spending is the only spending (for the most part) that you do.

Average daily spending for 2015: $17.17
$53.13 left to spend in March

Make sure and enter the GIVEAWAY folks!
It's the first one I've ever done. I have some really great sponsors and there are 12 fabulous prizes for the one winner. The GIVEAWAY is linked under this photo. Click on the link, just leave a comment at the end of the post, and you've earned one entry.

Oh, Thank-you Flu!

Thank-you flu for making my house feeling like a festering cesspool with garbage piles on the side that I've no energy to dispose of.
Thank-you flu for making my head foggy so that I can't think straight for going on a whole week now.
Thank-you flu for encouraging me to spend with abandon and forget all my goals and plans.
Thank-you flu for dashing the tail end of March on the rocks.
Oh, thank-you!

The end.
______________________________________

This is where I'd post my numbers but that would mean adding up the spending I've done the past four days. It hasn't been a crazy lot of spending but it has all been unplanned, last minute grabbing this or that, stopping at McDonald's in the morning for coffee in a daze type of spending; the exact sort of spending I despise but somehow have to tally up now. Oh joy!

I'm going to make blueberry crisp first. There are an intense amount of antioxidants in blueberries so I'm figuring that blueberry crisp might be the perfect sort of knock the flu out with one last kick in the rear type food.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Prize Number Six?

So on the giveaway, prize number six (of twelve) is a secret prize that little Abe will select from the dollar store.

My question is, after the winner is announced, and the twelve prizes have all shipped off to the winner, and a little time has elapsed for the items to arrive at their destination, do you all want me to announce what the little guy chose for prize number six?



The GIVEAWAY is on going.
And anyone can enter.
You just have to leave a comment on the post to be entered.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

NO SPEND 31

No spend day 31 of 2015 is in the books (which also marks, cumulatively, one entire month of not spending money for this year).
Today was the 14th no spend this month.
For my original goal of an every other day no spend this year I'm still off by 9 days but I am catching back up!

Average daily spending for 2015: $17.09
$111.29 left to spend in March

My apologies for yet another super boring post but I'm exhausted.
Now I shall retire for the evening.
Good night my friends.

Average Daily Spending

Right now my average daily spending for 2015 is $17.09 a day.

I ended last year with an average of $18.40 a day but I also lost track of spending for a few months last year.

This year I haven't been reporting an average daily spending for the month like I had been doing because I'm finding it easier to stick to my budget overall and keep my spending down by looking at the bigger picture (the average daily spending for the year). I know, that's ironic since I keep track of "daily spending," but it seems to be working.

My average daily spending for March is at $16.16 a day. I'm pretty happy with that!

2015 is just about 1/4 over. That's crazy but I'm really proud of my spending habits and fiscal responsibility so far this year. The $17.09 a day has afforded us to purchase ahead of time several gifts for upcoming birthdays. I've actually started stocking up on some things. If you've been reading for very long you will know that I am NOT good at "stocking up." Even if there's a great sale I hate forking over a large sum of money for anything. But this year it seems I'm turning over a new leaf. We have enough (Pantene) shampoo and conditioner (the kind we prefer) to last for MONTHS and I got a great price on it. We have 96 rolls of toilet paper! (I'm infamous for buying 6 packs of the stuff/ NOT a good way to save money) I hate buying toilet paper so I'm very happy to report that I've finally started stocking up on it when I find a great price on a kind we like. I can't say I've been purchasing GMO free, organic food like I'd prefer but we also have really not been eating out. I've been cooking at home, most often from scratch (I've fallen in love with from scratch chicken and dumplings soup). Our total food costs are really hanging out around $12 a day too and that makes me smile. Clothing is not something I ever budget and really I never buy new clothes for myself. This year within the $17.09 a day spending I've been able to get myself new socks, I think I had two new pair of lounging around the house pants/ jogging walking pants, and I bought a new pair of work pants. In summary I'm really happy with my spending this year!

I don't want to rush things but I'm excited for the second quarter of this year. I feel like it's going to be even better than the first (I mean in all reality I shouldn't have to buy shampoo or toilet paper <huge smile>). Spring is coming. Gardening with begin. Fresh air is so invigorating! You can just call me a happy camper... ooh, camping, that's a good idea too!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Shopping Adventures

We made the trek to the store today. It was worth it despite my still not wanting to venture out. There was an offer for $10 off a $50 purchase. I used an $11 store reward I had earned and I earned another $5 store reward to use next time I shop.

I spent $56.42 on groceries out of pocket. I saved $30.33 on today's shopping trip. I should have another 3 no spend days ahead of me now.

Somehow I missed an entire gallon of milk in our fridge though (which doesn't make sense because our fridge was really not full) so we now have 3 and 1/2 gallons of milk in the house. My boys will drink it all though.

Average daily spending for 2015: $17.09
$111.29 left to spend in March


Remember you can enter THE GIVEAWAY once a day by simply commenting on the post and earn extra entries by "liking" the sponsor's facebook pages or mentioning the post on your blog.
(I might just be obnoxious enough to talk about the giveaway at the end of each post for the next month)

Fail!

When you trim up your kiddo's hair because it's starting to curl into his ears and poke at his eye balls and then about two hours later (without knowing it's been recently trimmed) your husband say's, "We really need to make him an appointment for a hair cut. He's starting to look like a 90's kid. Look! Our son has a bowl cut."

I did NOT give him a bowl cut but I could see what he was saying, and yes my husband is that oblivious. He really thought it had just sort of grown that way.

Fail!

(I trim his hair pretty regularly... I guess I just did bad job this time around)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Today

I don't know...

I already spent $7.60 at McDonald's. I called in sick for work again (that's not going to be good for the paycheck, or my workload next week) but I had to get to the wi-fi connection (in the McDonald's parking lot) to send in work from Wednesday. Little Abe is doing great; totally back to his normal self and hardly even has a cough left, no fever. I on the other hand; yuck! I need to go grocery shopping but.... I'd rather not leave the house, or infect everyone in the store with this yuck, or move. My no spend roll I was on there might just have hit a big fat wall.

You know me though, que sera, sera!

Well that's today's update. I'll post my numbers with just the McDonald's spending and see where the day goes from here. I actually dread the idea of sending my hubby out for anything (like juice which we're out of but is a TOTAL staple in our house) because he has a way of spending about a million times more on a mini shopping trip than I would. Oh, the agony <puts back of hand to forehead> hehe :)

Average daily spending for 2015: $17.15
$178.33 left to spend in March.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

1000th Post: First Ever GIVEAWAY

This post marks my 1000th blog post for $12 a day
started January 2nd of 2011. 

I'm celebrating this milestone by doing my very first giveaway.
I'm excited to announce that I have some incredible sponsors who are sharing their exquisitely well crafted artwork and/or small business items with us for this 1000th post giveaway. The sponsors are all friends of mine, several of which make a living off of their small businesses and huge talents.

I started this blog as a journal for my financial journey while I learned (and am still learning) how to kick bad  horrible spending habits, acquire savings habits, and enjoy life in the mean time. Essentially this is my frugal journey. I really can't believe how many of you incredible individuals and fellow bloggers have come along with me for this journey. I appreciate all of you and hold you very responsible for, most often silently, standing in the shadows and holding my feet to the fire. I've changed a lot, all for the better these past four years. I truly cannot even imagine where my family and I would be now if I hadn't decided to put my foot down, pull up my big girl pants, and start doing this darn money thing the right way (or at least the better way).

The giveaway is open to anyone and is totally free, meaning you don't have to live in the US to enter and I pay the shipping. But, yes there is a disclaimer, if the winner ends up being someone outside of the US there will be a second place winner as well (Only if the first name drawn is someone outside of the US). I'm afraid the shipping costs for the heavier items wouldn't be doable for me for a winner outside of the US but I didn't want to exclude all the fine overseas folks out there.

The giveaway will be open for a month before I announce the winner on April 21st. There are several ways to enter and anyone can get up to 43 entries.

You can comment on THIS post once a day giving you up to 30 entries. (one for each day)

You can also like each of my sponsor's facebook pages. You will get 2 entries for each page you like, giving you up to an additional 10 entries. Please leave me a comment once you've 'liked' a page letting me know which one(s). The facebook pages of the giveaway sponsors are listed here:



You may also enter by mentioning and linking this giveaway on your own blog. You will receive 3 additional entries for this. (Only redeemable once) If you mention this giveaway on your own blog please also comment back here and leave a link for me to check out your blog.

In total, if you entered every day, liked all the sponsor's facebook pages, and mentioned this giveaway on your own blog you could earn 43 entries.

If you are an anonymous reader you will have to leave a distinguishable name in your comments so I can enter you in the giveaway each time.

Now for the prizes!
The first ever $12 a day giveaway includes 12 fabulous prizes
(well some of them are fabulous anyway).
The ONE winner of this giveaway will win ALL of these prizes.


1.
Bradley Gallery Ceramic 
The winner of the giveaway will receive this original rectangular ceramic plate with oak leaf imprint created by one of Michigan's top ceramic artists, Brad Patterson
(that is a standard size business card just to give you an idea of scale)


2.
 $5 Starbucks gift card
Starbucks is NOT a sponsor of this blog but as much as I've written about my struggles with purchasing coffee away from home or running out of coffee at home and certainly with as many times as Starbucks has been noted on this blog, a $5 gift card to Starbucks is only fitting.


3.
Rock Creek Soaps - Artisan Soaps
The winner will receive a set of the wonderfully fragrant hand made vegan artisan soaps from Rock Creek Soaps. The winner will get to choose from many different fragrances offered by Rock Creek Soaps. Some of the fragrances they offer are:  Black Raspberry Vanilla, Huckleberry, Lavender, Winter Garden, Bamboo & White Grapefruit, and Aloe & Cucumber; among many!


4.
A box of four Cadbury creme eggs.
This one really needs no explanation. A giveaway from me, near Easter, without Cadbury creme eggs in it would be an absolute fail. (If you win and somehow despise Cadbury eggs I volunteer to eat them all for you) Additionally Cadbury is NOT a sponsor.


5.
A mini facial set from Melissa at Roden+Fields
This mini facial is from the well renowned Rodan+Fields and includes a microdermabrasion paste that exfoliates with salt and sugar and is packed full of vitamins C and E.



6. & 7.
A dollar store prize chosen by Little Abe along with an original piece of artwork done by him.
Yep, there is a dollar store prize in this giveaway. It could be anything. You'll just have to wait and see what he picks out! Oh, you know you want to enter now, just for this special secret prize. I'll try and keep him away from the toy aisle... "try," that's the key word there.


8.
Handmade piece of Jewelry from .sprouts.

The winner will get to choose ONE piece of handcrafted jewelry made by the metal smiths at .sprouts. You have the choice between three of their fabulous pieces.
One of their personalized original dog tags, their personalized sterling silver micro state/ country pendant (they will place the heart over where you live (or where your heart resides)), or their beautiful stacked textured five band ring set.

I've pictured the three items below with links to .sprouts. etsy page behind each photo. The winner will get to choose ONE of these items to go along with the 11 other giveaway prizes.
Personalized handcrafted dog tag.

Sterling Silver micro (smaller than a penny) State/ country pendant.

Stacked textured five band ring set.


9.
 3M Command hooks
I love these handy hooks and I happen to have a hearty stock that I did not have to pay for.
These three are the ones the winner will receive.
3M is also NOT a sponsor.


10.
One high quality original photographic print from Yourgloryreflected art (that's me)

The winner will be able to chose one print from the following three photographs in which ever size they choose 4x6, 5x7, 8x10 or 11x14.
(With or without the logo. The logo is only in place for internet purposes)
Ice

Lovely

Driving Home


11.
Grow up Awesome - Original print t-shirt

The winner of the giveaway will also win ONE of the three t-shirts pictured below in virtually any size you choose. Grow up Awesome prints their original designs on baby onesie's, kids shirts, woman's shirts, and men's shirts. The t-shirts come in a variety of colors as well. You can head over to their website to look at color options and sizes. The Grow up Awesome website is linked under each of the t-shirt photos.







12.
Two year (2015-2016) Purse calendar
A quote by one of my favorite authors on a calendar where you can keep track of your no spend days... quite possibly a perfect ending to the $12 a day first ever GIVEAWAY!

The winner will receive all 12 of these prizes. (Unless outside of the US)


I will have links posted on the blog sidebar to each of my sponsor's websites or facebook pages while the giveaway is open for the month. Please don't hesitate to stop by their sites and check out all of their other wonderful works of art. Keep in mind that many of these items would make great gifts for friends or family.

Anyone who enters can win! You can certainly win with just one entry but it won't hurt your chances to get all 43 entries... it'll just be a bit more work for me, HAHA!

Thank-you again for reading all these years. 

I truly appreciate you all! 
And a huge thanks to all the sponsors for this giveaway.

Three posts in one day

Nope. Four!

Hey, I'm sick. Give me a break. (but the little guy seems MUCH better)

I've finished my 1000th post. It'll be up shortly.
This post is literally just a buffer because I'm too eager.


Some people take a vacation. Other people pretend to live in Alaska.

I always say I'd love to live in Alaska (I've never been there before). I just picture this vast wilderness where life is so much simpler; okay, not simpler in the sense of less work, that's for sure. But simpler in terms of less distraction/ less nonsense/ less noise.

When I say I'd love to live in Alaska I don't ever intend on really moving there. I'm really only fantasizing about living out in pure nature. Like that show Alaska: The Last Frontier, I LOVE how they exist in nature, live off of the land, and make use of everything around them to survive. I brought the idea up to my husband once who replied, "Honey, we don't even fish. We'd die!" I'm pretty sure he actually dislikes nature. Yes, opposites attract.

Maybe my hubby is in no way prepared to move to Alaska but I think I'm up for the challenge, sorry, I mean a challenge. He's right. We'd probably die in the Alaskan wilderness.

  • What I really want is to spend the majority of my time outdoors.
  • I wish to live in a simple little home with just necessities. 
  • I want to stay away from the technological aspects of our everyday lives that suck up so much of our time, attention, and are really very addicting. 
  • I desire to devote so much more of my time to being with my loved ones, free from our busy world distractions. 
  • I'd like to read rather than turn on the TV. 
  • I want to make stuff, food, clothes, gifts for people, other things we may have need of; to work with my hands.

If you've been reading this blog for very long none of the above comes as a surprise. I'm pretty sure that everything I just pointed out is reflected in many of my posts. I am truly a minimalist at heart. I want to be very close to nature and very close to the ones I love with very little distractions or stuff gathering up between us.

I think I'd like to devote April to my dream of living in Alaska. I want to make a million goals (1/5000th of which I might accomplish) that outline my hearts cry for simplicity (or maybe more like 50 goals). In April I want to live in Alaska... in Michigan.

_______________________________________________

My next post will be the 1000th post to this blog. I'm working on something special for it so I might not be back for awhile (like a day, haha) because I'm not done with it quite yet. Stay tuned!

And now I'm going to put my kiddo down for a nap and try to take one myself... which I hopefully won't regret. Have I ever mentioned that I can't take naps because I wake up an absolute monster when I do. It's true. I Inherited this cool trait from my Maternal Grandmother (along with that neat little honey jar). Well that's a fun little fact about me for today. Adios!

Home Today

I am very fortunate in that I virtually never get sick. My kiddo is the same way. However today we are both under the weather and I am home from work (I probably shouldn't have joked about calling in sick a few days back). The two good things are that little Abe seems considerably less ill than me and that today will almost certainly be the fourth no spend in a row, like I'd hoped for. Maybe not how I'd hoped for it to come about but I'll take it.

This will be NO SPEND day 30 for the year.
I'll be heading to the kitchen for some water, vitamin C, and zinc now. Then I'll sit for a spell. To be honest though, between the furry kids and little Abe there hasn't much sitting happening today.

Average daily spending for 2015: $17.27
$185.93 left to spend in March

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I've surprised myself by pulling off yet another no spend. I really thought I'd end up spending money today.

Tomorrow I'd planned to shop but Friday and Saturday there's an instant $10 off a $50 purchase at the stores I work (and shop) in. I don't want to shop two days in a row because I have been working so hard on getting the no spends in this month but I am very ready to get more groceries.

Yes, this is the kind of stuff I think about 50% of the day. It's kind of pathetic. Or maybe it's just one of the hats that comes along with being a mom and the budget-er of the family.

On a somewhat related but other note I can't believe March is over half over already. I need to stop thinking about the darn no spends, shopping lists, what to make for dinner, and the budget and get back to my quarter goals. This first quarter of the year is rapidly drawing to a close!

Back to the basement!

Average daily spending for 2015: $17.49
$185.93 left to spend in March

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day



NO SPEND 27

Today should be no spend day 28 for the year. There's absolutely nothing that we need so there's no reason for it not to be except that I've spent half the day thinking of things I want to buy. Something is wrong with me today. Maybe I didn't get enough sleep last night.

I'm reporting today's numbers as a no spend. Period. There you go. Today will be no spend day 28 for 2015, no spend day 11 for March... I should probably call in sick for work, yikes. (I'm not going to call in sick)

Average daily spending for 2015: $17.49
$185.93 left to spend in March

Monday, March 16, 2015

Worms


Yesterday: Kites.
Today: Playing in the backyard with worms! He found at least five of them.
(While I spent an hour picking up dog dirt... about which I'm not complaining. I'm so happy to be able to be outside!!! ) Have I mentioned how happy I am that spring is here!?!?!?!

Bonus: Last night the little guy got to use his new big helper reward. He spent a half hour cutting a Menards ad to shreds. I spent a half hour holding the ad for him to cut. I can't even begin to tell you how much he enjoyed this activity. My husband thought I was crazy letting our 3 year old just aimlessly cut up a bunch of paper. But it was a great exercise that he highly enjoyed. I was really impressed with how well he held the scissors and kind of fascinated with how he switched the scissors back and forth between hands. I'm now wondering if he's ambidextrous. I have noticed that he holds his fork with either hand as well... sorry, I'm starting to ramble now.

Today should be no spend day 27 for the year. I don't see any reason I shouldn't accomplish this. So, I'm reporting my numbers now, even though it's still just before noon.

Average daily spending for 2015: $17.49
$185.93 left to spend in March