Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Too Much Noise

Average daily spending for the year so far: $13.14

I'm still struggling with time management. Life is exhausting. But I'm looking at my average daily spending for the year so far and I'm not too disappointed. It's not $12 a day but it's not bad.

The thing I've struggled most with this month is having too much on my mind; too much noise. I'm contemplating cutting out noise in March. Not committing but contemplating. I don't see my husband that much and I'm not a huge fan of TV but I've had the television on a lot over the past year just for noise, just for company. It's mind numbing and I think I like that but it's the opposite of productive. I know that I function better when it's off. Less talk radio, less TV, less computer time equals more clarity and focus for doing those things that need to be done; things that matter.
The quieter you become the more you can hear.
-Ram Dass

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Here Comes March

My sister took me out for lunch today. Awesome!
The babe was flirting with one of the waitresses. Hilarious.

And I didn't spend any money. NO SPEND 11 in the books.

Average daily spending: $13.03
$4.40 left for the month. And there's no food in the house. I'm going to try and get as close as possible to budget but I'm totally spending more than $4.04 in the next 5 days.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Quick Update

I have NOT been keeping track of spending. Five days sure can fly by fast!

I spent pretty much all morning reworking our budget since I'm working 8 hours less a week. ALSO the tax hike seems to be larger than I'd thought at first, our insurance premiums have gone up some, and my husband started to contribute to a small life insurance policy and a 401K through work without mentioning it to me. WOW, our income just went WAY down. Oh and gas is up to $4 a gallon again. We both drive ALOT for work so the gasoline expense just jumped.

I've the budget adjusted to pay for all the bills but I can't seem to find debt payoff in there anywhere. I'm done working with numbers for today.

Average daily spending: $12.89
$24.78 Left for the month (6 days)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


$1000 Emergency fund is FUNDED!!!

I've been married for 10 and 1/2 years. We've NEVER had $1000 in savings. To my knowledge I never had $1000 in savings before marriage either. This is a step, a HUGE little baby step that I'm unbelievably proud to have accomplished.

It's funny, Dave says that most people can knock this "first" baby step out in under a month. I really truly feel that this took me 32 years.

Yippee for me, hooray! And I put another $100 in savings towards the $500 hubby cushion.
Now onto paying off the smallest credit card. I believe we owe $575 on it right now.

One little steppity step at a time. Little, little, little by little.

This is where I'd report today's lovely but this has not been such a lovely week after all. I shall not go into details but at least I can be very thankful that baby step one is done.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

More Diaper and Poo Talk

OH NO I think I'm losing momentum.

There are only a few days left in February and my mind has not been on money. I don't think I spent anything yesterday but how horrible is it that I don't even remember? Yep, my mind has NOT been on money.

Who wants to hear about poop, but it is my blog, my little guy got a some toxic squirts and a pretty bad diaper rash last Thursday/ Friday. I stopped using the cloth diapers for about three days because I just don't have enough to keep up with that kind of mess and what residue I do have left on the diapers irritates the rash. So I went through a billion disposables changing a diaper about ever 30 minutes all day Saturday (not cause of runs, but just to get the pee off the rash). He wasn't sick at all just had a few awful poos and it was downhill from there. He was in horrible pain but we used baby wash clothes as wipes (way less abrasive), air dried after every change(that was entertaining ALL day Saturday... only peed all over everything twice) lathered with Vaseline and the pain was gone in about 12 hours. I'm a pretty big fan of google search. Normally he does not get diaper rash at all so this was a really weird episode for us.

All that said, I'm really deflated because I had been doing great with the cloth diapers and I just had to buy more disposables. I didn't want to have to buy more until March. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. He's doing great now. A little mark left on his bum but he hasn't had any pain since Saturday.

I better get out into that "lovely" ice storm and make my way to work so I can get a paycheck.
I hope I can shake this money haze. I really need to be focused right now! Only 9 days left in February.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Week of Beauty

I've recovered from yesterday's gloom. The house seems a bit more chipper (and clean) today. I've yet to spend money but I'm pretty sure we'll be visiting the new baby and his blessed parents so I'm anticipating some sort of purchase coming up quickly.

Meanwhile I'm sitting here while my babe naps, attempting to be quiet as a mouse. Baby Abe is a VERY light sleeper which gives me a good excuse to blog, pin, check facebook, and sit on my bum while he's napping. I'm pinning away as facebook is super boring lately and I'm feeling oddly encouraged and uplifted by all those motivational signs and also beautiful photographs others have pinned.
This one makes me unbelievably giddy.
And then suddenly I think, "I'm making one of these neato sign things this week!" Easy peasy right? Just takes a little effort. And then I'm thinking, "and I'll take a gorgeous photograph as well." Instead of just pinning them, I'm going to create! Discover, see, and create. I'm not going to be making crafty stuff and turning my home into a magazine. I'm not saying I'll be attempting all my pins. I just want this week to focus on beauty, lovely, happy stuff and doing.
This week:
Find happy.
Snap a beautiful photograph.
Make one of those neato wordy sign picture things.
Post a Lovelies blog written by you guys/ gals... $12 a day readers.Let good thoughts shine out of your face like sunbeams  : )

And, GO!


Yesterday was Saturday, hooray... I was SOOO grumpy and sick to my stomach all day  : (
But I did not spend money. NO SPEND numero 10 done!

Ironic, yesterday I posted that I would love for you to share your lovelies with me and then I couldn't find a single one myself. (still wanting you all to comment on beautiful bits of your day). Today is looking good though. WAIT, I do have a lovely. Very dear friends of ours welcomed their son into the world yesterday. We get to meet him today (I hope). He was well overdue just like baby Abe was and it was wonderful that he finally made his appearance. Welcome to the world little Issac!

Average daily spending: $13.09
$92.68 left for the month.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lovely Today

I would like to do a blog post with "lovelies" from you ALL.
If you happen upon a moment today that's lovely as can be and then if you'd like to share that moment with me; comment on this post. I'd really enjoy turning your comments into a post for all the world to see.
That was not meant to rhyme but I just can't alter it now : )

Looking for lovely bits of life today! I really enjoy hearing about the beauty you all see.

p.s. if you have a blog that's not linked to your user name or if you comment anonymously and would like your blog linked to your "lovely" moment please leave your URL in with your comment. Neat.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Crazy Interesting Blog Post

That was sarcasm.

Pretty sure I got enough food for the weekend.
Total $26.68: mission accomplished.

Average daily spending: $13.09
If I can pull off not spending any money this weekend my daily average will be back under $13 a day.

Today's Lovely: Realizing that tomorrow is Saturday. Yippee!

Off to Work and Grocery Shopping

Happy HAPPY Friday to you all!

I'm off to work in a short bit but I wanted to squeeze in a quick blog before hand. Today is a 4 hour work day for me. I'm giddy just typing that. I intend to not spend a cent while working and then I hope to get groceries for the weekend. Maybe I can work in another 2 NO SPENDs for Saturday and Sunday.

I've $119.36 left in the budget for the month. That leaves just over $9 a day on average. So today I'm going to try and get groceries for under $28. Seems pretty doable. I think I'm actually beginning to enjoy the challenge. What is happening to me     : )

Happy Valentines Day

I like valentines day quite a lot because I work in retail. I love watching the never ending stream of guys scrambling for cards, flowers, balloons and stuffies. I also love how the stores smell like roses for a day or two. Witnessing this extravaganza never fails to put a smile on my face. It does make me wonder what the ladies buy for their "valentines" though. And then I can't help be feel that the boys get a much easier time at it. We have to be a bit more creative (generally). I did see several women at the store yesterday with a case of beer in their carts and I did wonder if that was their valentines contribution.

It's a silly holiday but I do enjoy it. I really didn't want to spend money on it though. My husband and I have been married almost 11 years and we gave up needless valentine purchases quite awhile ago. But it does seem like you're heartless if you don't do anything. I know, buying into the consumerism but it's true. I decided to buy him two British chocolate bars, his favorite even though I'm more of the chocolate fan. And I made him a card. It was VERY last minute and the ugliest card I've ever made. It might possibly be the ugliest card that's ever been made by anyone anywhere during all of time. It's the thought that counts right...

Wednesday evening he asked me, how much did you spend on Valentines day? I smiled and said, "oh... $1.98." He was actually relieved. I think this was one of the only times he was excited about my being frugal. That meant he didn't need to go out and get me a gift. We pretty much always match our gifts monetarily. I received a normal card. He received my interesting little creation and Valentines day is over.

Average daily spending: $13.08

Thursday's lovely: A small girl hopped onto the penny horse at the front of the store. The front of the store is solid windows all the way across. Directly next to the windows outside are two long rows of shopping carts. The shopping carts were covered in little birds. The little birds looked a bit like they were enjoying a birdie playground. The little girl sat on the horse, turned her head towards the windows, and shouted with glee, "MOM! Look at all the birds on the shopping carts!!!" She turned back to her mom with an enormous smile, so excited about the wonderful scene. This is when I saw the birds playing on the blue carts and I couldn't help but think how children tend to notice the lovely bits of life so much more often than we adults do. I loved it! I loved that she found joy in such a little thing, such a lovely thing. Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chocolate and/ or Cheese

I picked up some Cadbury eggs today, put them in the cart, and walked around with them for about 5 minutes before I convinced myself that they were NOT in the budget. Still averaging about $8 a day for the rest of February to get back and track and $3.19 for chocolate cream filled eggs... oh heavenly yumminess, is way to much wasteful spending for an $8 a day budget. A strange thing happened once I decided they needed to leave. If you've been reading this blog very long then you're well aware that Cadbury eggs are quite possibly a bigger weakness of mine than even coffee. Well, I wanted to get rid of them. I was frantic to get them back to their location. Normally I fight with myself about these little decisions even after I've returned the item to its home in the store but this time I actually saw the little chocolate treasures as $3.19 coming out of my budget instead of a bit of momentary happiness in my hours away from home and family work day. Oh dear, I think, maybe, I might be growing up.

There will be another day for a box of Cadbury eggs but today I lived quite happily without them.

Average daily spending: $13.19

Today's lovely: Home baked macaroni and cheese, my Grandma's recipe. I'm so in love with this cheesy goodness!!! Pretty good substitute for chocolate eggs in fact.

He can climb onto the couch now  : )
goofy, thinks I'm going to let him watch TV

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Debt Quote Long but Successful Tuesday

Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
Proverbs 10:4
Diligent was my middle name today.

Quite possibly I should blog every morning. After that last post I got my rear in gear and actually went grocery shopping (yes I work at the grocery store. no I did not want to make an extra trip) as I had no food to bring to work with me and I was out of yogurt and fruit for baby Abe. I did not want to resort to the drive thru today and I don't think the little guy would have been happy eating veggies and bread (and formula) all day. Once I got home from shopping I very much resembled the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland quickly turning this way and that, "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!" In one hour I made a tuna pasta salad for my lunch/ dinner, baked my very first Texas sheet cake, brewed up some coffee to bring with for the day, got myself and the boy ready and washed a few dishes. Saving money is exhausting.

I spent $8.25 on my shopping trip.
AND I didn't spend one single penny while working today. On my late (basically working second shift) day I usually spend money like there's no tomorrow. NOT today! Hooray!
Ooh, ooh, ooh, and my four hour Friday is only two days away. I am happy : )

Average daily spending: $13.51
$127.17 left for the month.

Today's lovely: There is a large lengthy dip in the road near the university I drive past on Tuesdays. It's a rather large university but it's in a very rural area. Thus tons of traffic but not much man made scenery. The expanse of vast red light sparkling before me and equally as many white lights on the other side of the 4 lane road was quite breath taking as everyone rushed to their destinations somewhere other than where we all were (in the middle of nowhere of snow covered hills between a large frozen river beneath a completely grey evening sky). Not often do I find traffic lovely but it was very much so this evening.

Happy Longday To You

Early morning blog in process. Today is my late day at work. I HATE the late day! It seems to drag on forever. I'm in the store at dinner time. And after about 5pm the stores seem to fill with hooligans. My husband doesn't usually put the babe down for bed before I get home so I get to come home to a VERY cranky baby boy (almost not a baby anymore). I'm generally down all day and my defenses for wasteful spending are practically none. Tears usually emerge at least once from having seen one too many mommies carting around their own baby boys. And I basically do not see my husband all day except for maybe 30 minutes in the evening when we're both tired and grumpy (certainly not ideal).

On my late day I tend to get a drive thru meal, buy candy, and purchase coffee. And whala $10 gone, just like that. It's one of those days where you feel like you're moving in slow motion through muck all day; exhausting, uncomfortable, and very much like being trapped.

I write all this not as an excuse for potential horrible purchases but in hopes that putting it out there will help equip me to overcome these wasteful "accidents." Please do wish me luck.

Baby Abe is in for a little snuggle time now and I may just look over that 56 things to do instead of spending list once more.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Seven Hundred and Eight Dollars

Reaching my $12 a day goal for January felt awesome. I did it. I stayed on budget and did it. <shouting from the rooftops> HOORAY!!!!

Now February is progressing and I am not doing so great. I certainly have not been piddling away the pennies on tons of unnecessary little stuff but I have made a few bigger (for my budget) purchases and I really need to refocus and kick it back into gear.

At the end of February my total spending mustn't be over $708 if I wish to stick to $12 a day.
I've spent $572.58 so far this year. Thus I am beginning my "money left" countdown considerably earlier than I did last month. I didn't start until the 27th last month but I need the perspective now. I've $135.42 left for the month.

$708 total spending for January and February is the goal. $12 a day. I've only $8 a day left for the rest of this month. Wow, that really does put it into perspective. Yikes.

Average daily spending: $13.63

Today's lovely: Working just FOUR hours. It was amazing. It was like a walk in the park. Mondays and Fridays are going to be SOOOO different now!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pretty Great Sunday

NO SPEND 9 is a success.

I mended a few holes in my clothes.

I washed the linens. I'm SO excited to go to bed. Clean sheets and fresh smelling blankets really are the best!

I solved an odd dilemma I've been having. I use holey socks as rags but sometimes after I wash them my husband gets a hold of them before I separate the laundry and I don't want my hubby wearing socks that I just scrubbed the toilet or the kitchen floor with. Ah, ha: cut off the toe! Why I never thought of this before, I do not know.

My boy did something that amazed me tonite. He piled up his new books again and was looking through them. One of the books we've had that I've read him a hundred times was sitting amongst the pile of fun. I started reciting it to him (yes I've memorized it word for word). He loves it. "The cow says moo. The sheep says baa. Three singing pigs say la la la." He gets this excited smile on his face, crawls right over to it (sitting in a pile of at least 20 books), picks it up, and holds it out to me just beaming. Awesomeness!

Average daily spending: $13.79

Today's lovely: Singing a made up song to my falling asleep (rapidly growing) cuddly baby boy. "I love you more than chocolate and more than pizza pie. I love you more than stars and sunshine. I love you more than elephants and more than zebras too. I love you more than anything." It has tons of verses. But they're different every time    : )

Happy Birthday Annabelle Princess!

56 Things

I found the below blog post on pinterest. I love it!

56 Things To Do Instead of Spending Money

I'm calling today a NO SPEND, number nine even though it's only 10AM. I hope I don't have to take it back. In order to get reach the 100 no spend goal this year I really need to average 2 a week. I've got 6 more to go this month.

Instead of spending money today I will attempt Number 5 and 40 of the 56 Things list.

5. Mend those clothes that need mending
That hem that’s come loose, the hole that needs patching, the button that’s hanging on by literally 2 thin threads; now's the time to get that pile of To-Do’s taken care of.
40. Wash all your linens
Nothing is better than clean sheets! Right?

It's a really neat list. Check it out when you have a minute. Right now I think I'll change a poopy diaper. Yay!

Average daily spending: $13.79
I've got some work to do!

Ooh, what of the no spending things might you do today???

Saturday, February 9, 2013


My sister in law just stopped by with a bin of board books for the babe. She's a teacher with three amazing little princesses so they've acquired many books over the years. <- this links to her blog all about her family and activities she does with the girls. She said she was giving us her back up books. Baby Abe loves them! We've read about 10 of them in the past 20 minutes and he's pretty excited. It only took about 3 minutes for him to empty the bin though.

Feeling pretty blessed. More board books was on the very top of my want list and now we've a ton of really great ones.

He loves them so much he hasn't even started chewing on them yet! win win!
Average daily spending: $13.58

Gotta run, I think my lunch is burning!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

TOTALLY Time for Bed

Oscar the grouch reporting in for the evening. Oh my goodness I couldn't shake the grouchies today. I was just angry for no great reason ALL day. I'll tell you something, it sure is difficult trying to be spending responsible when you're in a no good horrible mood. And another thing the only reason I did not purchase a Shamrock Shake from the McDonald's drive thru is because of what I believe to have been the entire College rowing team ordering at the drive thru all at once. I have to use McDonald's wifi for work at least twice a day (from the parking lot). I was absolutely planning on getting that scrumptious green shake from the completely dead drive thru as soon as my work had sync'd (one car, ONE car went through the entire time I was sitting there syncing). I kid you not, about 15 seconds before my sync was done a line of guys, seemingly never ending filled the entire parking lot out into the road. Oh was I angry (angrier, I'm not kidding, raging mad all day). Yep, that's the kind of day I had AND I did not even get my "hoping to cure the grouchies" Shamrock Shake. A little secret I may share is that I'm a tiny bit glad those boys filled the drive thru line, parking lot, and roadway. I did not need a shake but oh would it have been tasty.

AND the Cadbury eggs are in the stores again... woah is me. I have NOT bought one yet. Oh, I did buy my one McDonald's coffee for the month though after my morning sync. I had hoped it would cheer me up a bit... obviously didn't work. I do have a full coffee card now (FREE coffee).

Average daily spending: $12.99

I did happen upon two lovelies today: First there was an adorable kitty footprint trail in the snow this morning. It made me smile real big. Not my kitty. I think she's been out of the house 4 times in her 10 years of life. Then later I saw a bumper sticker that said "Ugly is in." That one cheered me up beyond belief. I really smiled inside and out, from ear to ear and head to toe. Hehe, it was on the back of a horribly ugly van too. Maybe a small part of the humor in it...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Good Day

NO SPEND number 8 is in the books.
Made dee-licious veggie lasagna for dinner.
More diligent cloth diapering is going great.
There are 4 smile faces on my little February reminder note (that means four good days).

And you know what's really great? In my eyes my boy is thee most incredible creature to ever walk this planet but I'm pretty sure he feels the exact same way about me. You don't think about that during all those years you're dreaming of becoming a mommy but it's so amazing.

Average daily spending: $13.10

Today's Lovely: Really great snuggle time with my kitty. She's our first born but she's been rather neglected since baby Abe came home. Which is ironic because before baby Abe came home she didn't ever want to cuddle. Now she's the neediest kitty you'd ever meet. It was really great snuggle  time.

Thoughts of Freedom

Where there is no vision, the people perish;
-Prov. 29:18

Right now I work almost solely to pay back debt/ money we borrowed. At the time, when we were borrowing the money life was very "now." We obviously hadn't anticipated paying interest for years. We didn't contemplate how much we were actually borrowing/ charging. It wasn't real. It honestly was not real. There wasn't a future to the decisions we were making. Stupid? yes. Foolish? yes. But that is in the past. Now I am looking forward. Now I am thinking about my decisions. Now I am trying to clean up the thoughtless, vision-less decisions we made in the past.

Now I have vision. I don't want to work almost solely to pay back debt. Money/ stuff is not what is important to me. Time with my son is what matters. Right now in many ways I am stuck. There are things I have to do because of past decisions in order to be a responsible adult. But I can look forward, base my steps now on what I hope for later. Like Dave says, "live like no one else right now, so that later you can LIVE like no one else." I'm working for that.

I think today I am going to dream. Today I am going to forget about the chains that are holding me down and really anticipate the freedom that will be. Sometimes I think the chains cause life to look foggy, like you almost can't anticipate the good things down the road. What could my future look like? Vision is a wonderful thing.

What could your future look like? hmm

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Date Nite

My husband called from work today to ask if we could go out for dinner tonite. I was planning a NO SPEND but you know, I actually felt good about saying yes. It's been quite a long time since we went out for dinner (by our standards at least). Even though I had been planning a nice dinner at home (I'll make it tomorrow) I knew it would be good for us to dine out.

We went to Texas Roadhouse and spent much more than I would have liked but we both ordered pops and we got an appetizer. I'm more full than I've been in a very, very long time. It was a really nice dinner and funny, the babe actually slept the entire time so it was very much like a date as well. That's my kind of date, no baby sitter but a wonderful time together just the two of us. Honestly I really prefer having my child with me wherever I go but I know that it's good for us married folks to venture out without the kiddos. This evening was perfect.

I'd planned to do an "average daily spending" report based on the months spending but I'm realizing that will require a bit of extra work on my part so I'm going to stick with the average daily spending for the year instead.

Average daily spending: $13.49
Shooting for my two NO SPENDs in a row tomorrow and Tuesday instead of today and tomorrow. Those should help get the average back down a bit.

Don't worry I'm not getting a tattoo. I do love the really good ones but I would lament never being able to see that bit of my skin ever again. Additionally I'm an extremist. I'd either want like full sleeves or none at all. One tattoo just wouldn't suit me. However Jenny I think I shall add "look for the lovelies" to my little list for the month once I've finished writing this blog. That's a very good idea.

Today's lovely: A somewhat unexpected date nite with my husband. It was worth much more than it cost.

Enjoy the Little Things

Often times I forget about the moment. There's so much to be thankful for during each and every bit of the day. It's so easy to overlook that. Especially while putting tons of thought and effort into trying to pinch the pennies I tend to neglect thinking about the beauty in life. Yet I believe that it's imperative that we're always thinking about what life is shining down upon us.

My Dad broke his hip last week. I visited him in the hospital before the surgery and I've never seen anyone in so much pain. I felt awful for him and wished there was something I could do to remedy the situation but the incident also left me thinking about how thankful I am for my health and that of my husband and baby. In a moment things can be awful but right now I forget to be thankful for the little things like not being in pain and sick and having the ability to walk. That really is something to be thankful for.

I hate going to work but I am thankful that we have the extra income from my job. People around here are constantly griping about the snow but it's one of the most beautiful sights to behold. I'd take a snowy winter wonderland anytime over the barren, grey leafless look of death during winter with no snow. As a mom and wife it's pretty easy to get annoyed by the neediness of your loved ones but oh my goodness am I blessed to have the loved ones I do. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Oh and my home, I'm surrounded by this and that and every other thing that needs attending to. But I want to remember that all this stuff is luxury, blessing, stuff that I am fortunate to have (even if it takes time to tend to it).

We get to thinking about losing weight, working out, cleaning up, doing well at work, attending to the kids (the furry ones too), saving money, not spending money, making extra money, oh it's an endless list of to-do's really, but we, I must always be thinking about the good things too/ the free things. There's so much loveliness. You know even in the midst of filth and dross there really is loveliness just sometimes you have to remember to look for it.

I haven't any tattoos but sometimes I feel as though I should get one right on the back of my hand that says something like, "look for the lovelies." It's so easy to forget they're there and yet they add so much spice, pizzazz  so much LIFE to life. This is your reminder (and mine) look for the beauty this week. It may have been placed right there just for you. You wouldn't want to have missed it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Groceries, Diapers, and Such

I highly recommend not going grocery shopping on the Saturday before super bowl Sunday. That was a mistake! I'm pretty sure that everyone shopping was moving in slow motion.

I picked up milk, eggs, cheese, meat, veggies, laundry detergent, and enough food for a few days. I'm planning two NO SPEND's for tomorrow and Monday. So I will also count today's spending as two days worth for my daily average. I really have been making the most basic of meals for the last week at least, trying to get January to $12 a day. Cooking tonite's dinner was really exciting: individual ground chicken meatloaves with cheddar cheese centers (my husband requested this meal), cheddar and garlic mashed red skin potatoes, and a side of peas. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (that I forgot to use the coupon for, grr) for dessert. You can tell we've been living ridiculously backwards (eating out way too often) every time I get excited that I cooked a nice meal at home. I do love food.

I've been adding a smile face to my little February reminder list when I get through the day without spending money on those little things. It's like I'm in elementary school but I like it. I've been doing good with the cloth diapers too. No diaper rash yet (this has been the main side effect from the residue and whenever a rash begins I try and strip the diapers AGAIN and stop putting him in them for a bit) and only two of the diapers have leaked so far these past few days (another side effect from the residue build up). Ooh, for anyone interested gDiapers (I use Bumgenius diapers) sells an almost tissue paper like liner that you set on top of the diaper so that when the little guy poops you don't have to scrape and spray down the diaper. You just set it in the diaper and then you flush the thing like toilet paper with all the poo on it. These insert things are awesome. I've only just started using them and I would highly recommend them to anyone who's cloth diapering. It almost eliminates all of the grossness AND it keeps the diaper much much cleaner so that you're not constantly washing out poop. A friend of mine gave me a small bag of these liners so I haven't purchased any myself but I will totally buy more of them once I run out. They're a remarkable invention and they're not irritating his bottom at all.

Enough about poo...

Average daily spending for February: $17.21
If I pull off two no spends I'll be at $12.91 by Monday. Again as long as my husband doesn't beg for dinner out this plan should be cake. Well, off to bed. Sweet dreams!

Today's Lovely: He's been attempting to walk quite a bit as of late but today baby Abe took two very controlled intentional steps without the lunging/falling forward that's been accompanying "walking" towards his daddy. It was really neat.

Baby Steps Revised

Not sure if you've noticed but I'm trying to follow the Dave Ramsey plan much closer this year. I've finally made baby step one a priority and am working on that $1000 emergency fund ($180 away). I'm finally using cash for all of my purchases. I'm planning to work the debt snowball from the smallest balance card upwards. It took a few years but I'm coming to terms with the fact that his plan does work really, really well. So here is where I insert an exception. After the EF is fully funded, and after I pay off the smallest card ($600 balance right now), I'm throwing in my own step, baby step 2.5: the husband cushion.

I want to have $500 in savings, apart from the emergency fund which is dedicated to emergencies. Since my husband is not on board with the debt pay off thingy I want to have spending money set aside so that I'm not having to play the bad guy and say no all the time. If I put $500 away for a hubby cushion I think it will be much easier for me to stick to budget, to follow the baby steps, and to not loose momentum. And when he comes to me and says I really, really, REALLY want to go to Bonnaroo this year with those cute puppy dog eyes I don't have to do the whole, "where do you think that money is coming from" thing.

I entered in all the tax info yesterday and we're not getting a ton back but I'm hopeful that I can put $500 of the tax refund away for baby step 2.5: hubby cushion. And we've never had to pay in extra on the taxes. I should be thankful for that. My mom always has to pay in.

1) $1000 emergency fund
2) Debt snowball littlest card
2.5) $500 in savings for spending

Hey, I've got a plan and it's only February. Now back to cleaning the house and watching baby Abe attempting to walk. Ahhh, he's getting so big!

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Little Bit Here and There


I just added up all the little purchases from January that were unnecessary, plus a few things I don't anticipate needing this month like cough syrup. Granted treats aren't bad. Little one time use tooth brushes aren't off limits. It is totally okay to buy a coffee from McDonald's now and again. BUT $73.46 could also buy a lot of food for dinners or a few nice meals out.

This month I really want to strategically navigate all of my purchases. A few things that I figure will save $73.46 are to not purchase coffee away from home, with one exception. I have a free coffee card for McDonald's and I only need to buy one more coffee to get the free one. I will buy one coffee this month and get one free coffee. After that I intend to not have a single coffee away from home. It will be a huge stretch but I'd also like to not buy any more coffee grounds. I have tea that I really like and although I struggle with a serious coffee addiction once my current grounds run out this month I can drink tea... maybe.That will save a few dollars.

I should also bake more
. If I bring a cookie to work with me I have no excuse to spend 79 cents on a candy bar, not that I need either but I know me. If I don't have one I will acquire the other. A homemade cookie or brownie defiantly costs less that 79 cents.

I must refrain from all the random little things; lip balm, lotion, stuff I just don't NEED. At least for February and in an attempt to save $73.46 I can do that.

Even though I've been majorly struggling with my cloth diapers (I cannot seem to get the dryer sheet incident(s) residue off of the dang things) I have yet to buy a diaper this year. I figure if I can at least use cloth diapers 68 times this month then I won't have to buy any disposables this month (with what we have left). I already made a check list to motivate myself to accomplish this little feat. Four cloth diapers used today, check.

Last, I didn't spend a ton on lunches last month but I'd like to try and not spend anything while I'm working. If I bring lunch/ food to work with me I should be able to save a bit more.

I'm going to carry this little reminder with me every day. We'll see how well that works.

I've already told myself that I will purchase a few "luxury" items this month. I'm going to buy a wall hang organizer from my sister in law who sells thirty-one items. I am planning to purchase a few more board books for my son. And Hubby and I both desperately need new socks. Maybe with these purchases I've already spent the $73.46 I'm trying to save but it will be an interesting challenge attempting to cut back even more.

Average daily spending for February: $0
NO SPEND numero 7 is in the books.

Dream Come True

It's only a small step in the right direction but I feel like I'm being rewarded for diligence in January. I will now be working 32 hours a week instead of 40. Yes this mean less income but it also means less mileage put on the car, less fuel expenses, and more time with my boy and to take care of our home. I've been wanting this for so long but the timing wasn't ever right. Ideally I still want to cut another 8 hours out of my work week but right now 32 hours instead of 40 is a dream come true.

In order to work 8 hours less I had to drop 2 of the stores I service. I'm losing the two stores farthest from my home which means I'll be driving over two hours less of commute time each week. So on top of the 8.5 hours I'll no longer be working (I'm required to take a 30 minute lunch every day) there are about 2.5 hours I'll no longer be driving. That's 11 hours a week I can be home instead of away. 572 hours a year... that adds up! I'm SO happy! I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present this year (I'm turning 33 this month). Yippee, happy dance, hooray.

I like February : )