Thursday, October 31, 2013

There's a First for Everything

Back story: my husband is making a large purchase next month. He's been planning it for at least a year so it's no shocker. He's come up with half of the cost by cashing in vacation days (without taking vacation or time off). Still there's been this big ugly lump in my forecasted budget for awhile.

Two days ago he called from work and asked me to schedule a hair appointment for him. He goes to a rather expensive salon. But I might call anything expensive since I've paid for one haircut during my entire 33 years on the planet. My mom never even once took us kids for a hair cut and until I donated once with my hubby I kept up the tradition. I'm not mad at him for the upcoming purchase but I am glad to announce that I stood my ground on the budget for this one. "Honey you know I'm trying to have enough money in the bank account for your system next month. We cannot afford a hair cut right now." He grows his hair out long and he generally donates it once he's got 10 inches to cut off. He doesn't get hair cuts often, still, right now is NOT a good time.

Reluctantly he asked if I would cut his hair for him. Yikes, we're embarking on dangerous water here. BUT what's the worst that could happen right... if I botch it up horribly then I guess he gets what he wants and can go to the salon. If not, major money saved. Well I did it. I cut his hair. Layered it and everything. If you ask me it's a tad bit goofy but I cut it exactly as he asked and even though he dare not admit it the look on his face was a dead give away that he actually really liked it.

I'm abnormally impressed with myself lately. I've been coming up with some really different ways to save money. On that note, after I try it out, I'll have a new post soon with another money saver. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


That moment when the clouds are fierce, haughty and ashen overhead. There's a chill in the air. It seems that the cold grey heaviness will linger for eternity. Suddenly the sun tears a ravine through the center of the dark pillowy monsters and a brilliant warm ray shoots from the sky and graces the earth with its heavenlyness. You hear the angels chorus and a smile embraces your entire being.

We just received a $150 visa gift card in the mail. It was promised to us when we switched our phone/ internet/ cable service over. But we'd apparently waited to long to retrieve it. I'm sorry but should their truly be an expiration date on a gift? We were supposed to go to a website and mark that "yes" we want the gift you promised us. How stupid. BUT, lalalalala they waived the date when we called and complained about the fine print and it's actually here now.

You have no idea how much I would like to purchase a few new blinds for our home with this money. Ours are brittle, ancient, and with an almost two year old in the house they're crumbling to bits every time he attempts to push them away from the window so he may watch the neighbor boy play basketball. I don't even celebrate Halloween but our blinds make it look like we live in a spook house. I'd also like to purchase some new articles of clothing. My wardrobe is becoming a funny joke. I would also like to buy my son some toys (believe me he does not need them). I would also like to... Oh how the list goes on. But guess what we've decided to do with our $150? Gas and groceries. Yep. We, collectively have decided to be responsible and catch up a little on the bills and bank account and just use this "gift" for normal everyday spending.

This is a silly thing to be rejoicing about but I feel no need to include this $150 in our $12 a day which means... wait for it... my $12 a day goal for October is COMPLETE!!! I did it. I got through October on $11.70 a day. HAPPY... happy, happy, happy dance!

Okay, so I'm not going to claim a no spend day when I've used this gift card to purchase stuff. That's still spending. BUT it's not spending from my $12 a day budget.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cutting it Close

2013 Financial Goals
1. Average $13.50 a day spending currently $14.68
2. 104 NO SPEND days currently 70 (planning 71 for today)
3. No more than 45 days off the record currently 46
4. Maintain $1000 emergency fund currently $2
5. Stick to a monthly Zero-Based Budget This is really very difficult

For October I've been trying really hard to stick to $12 a day. So far my average daily spending this month is $12.59 a day. I'm SO close to meeting my goal for the month. I think I can do it.

My $13.50 a day goal for the year though... hahahahahaaaa! For that goal I've $576.12 left for the next 65 days. Yes, 2013 will be over in 65 days. That's only $8.86 a day. I'm having a very difficult time keeping my average under $15. I guess at this point I'm just going to try and keep my spending down, down, down and see where my average ends up on December 31st.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Laundry Soap Isn't Gone Until You've Flipped The Bottle Over

Thank goodness for payday. However planning isn't my strong suit. Hubby and I are really great at spending 75% of Thursday's check by Saturday. I can think of 100 things we "need" right now but I'm going to attempt to buy the bare minimum today and pull off two NO SPEND days this weekend. Maybe come next week Tuesday and Wednesday we'll have more than $2 left in the bank account.

Things are not always this tight but I really have been playing a game of two steps forward two steps back for the past few months. My hours have picked back up so I'm in the taking two steps forward phase of the dance but we're still behind right now.

Have I mentioned that I really hate money. Yep.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Day Before Payday

Surprisingly enough I did not use a credit card to buy food today. In fact I didn't buy anything today. I fed my family a very strange dinner but we ate and tomorrow starts a new financial week filled with paying more bills, budgeting for another week of spending, and trying to knock out a little itty bit of debt.

Two NO SPEND's in a row has sent my spending for October down to $11.78 a day. It will shoot back up again tomorrow after I buy groceries but I'm really happy to have it under $12 a day. You'd be amazed at how giddy I get at these little moments, truly.

Good night!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Debt Quote Tuesday

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
-probably every mom ever
Have you ever crawled around on your hands and knees picking fuzz balls out of your carpet because you just don't want to buy more vacuum bags? Well, that was me today.

We have NO money for two days. And we need food, cat litter, diapers (thank goodness for the cloth ones I do have but Hubby and mom in law aren't keen on using them), laundry detergent; the list seems endless but I won't continue. We at least have toilet paper, milk, and food for the fuzzy kids. I plan on a NO SPEND day today (#68) and I'll most likely charge a few food items tomorrow. If I can make it through all of next year without using a charge card one time I will mostly likely feel similar to someone who climbed mount Everest (with warmer finger tips). This year has been really hard on me BUT I am figuring out how to fit a third person into our budget with less income. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself.

Next year will be fabulous!

Rant Over

I couldn't leave my last post up. It was too mean. I'm still angry though.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Boxes Are The Most Fun

We made a free toy today. 
And that's what I call a successful Saturday.

That's his "give me a kiss mom" face. It's my favorite thing ever!

Why yes, that is cottage cheese in the quiche

I just want to reiterate, I am LOVING leftovers quiche!

This week we had sloppy joes from which I had a little bit of extra ground beef and a quarter of a red bell pepper sitting in the fridge. We had wonderfully delicious veggie lasagna from which I had a smidgen of cottage cheese left in the container. I made a tiny dish of baked mac n cheese and had less than half a cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese left. Last night I made quiche with the leftover cheddar cheese, ground beef, bell pepper and cottage cheese. I think it was my favorite so far.

The last one had ground beef, bacon, roma, and cheddar.
The one prior had mozzarella, and turkey pepperoni.

This is becoming fun and so yummy! Talk about an inexpensive dinner too. Eggs are significantly less money than any meat and I've been able to fill my quiches with bits of stuff that I might find it difficult to use up otherwise. Win, win for sure!

A HUGE thank-you to my sister in law at JJ and the Princess girls for giving me the wonderful Dutch Quiche recipe ages ago. Thanks again Jessica! 


I've decided to make a few goals for what's left of 2013. It's fun to put them out there in the blogosphere even if doing so shines a huge spotlight on the ones you've left undone.

1. Compile financial info for hubby (in case of an emergency). I don't have everything written down anywhere. If he needed a handle on all of our accounts he'd be up the creek without a paddle.

2. Potty train the baby. He's not a baby anymore. I'm not saying I will have major success with this one but I'd like to try before the year is up.

3. Read three books. This one takes dedication! Time always seems to be lacking but I love to read.

4. Write and send ten thanksgiving notes. I'd "resolved" to write about 40 of these this year. I'll be happy with 10.

5. This ones a bit more vague. I'm feeling down about our financial situation for 2013. With "uh oh's" and loss of hours at work and you name it this year has been rough on our piggy bank. I would like to go over the budget with a fine tooth comb and figure out a way to feel a bit more secure about our financial decisions this year. I'm not positive what that means but that's the point of the goal: figure out how to clean up 2013 financially.

Well that was fun. Now lets see where these goals take me.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

All Her Household is Clothed With Scarlet

Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life. 
She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar. 
She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard. 
She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
Proverbs 31: 10-17, 21

The woman described in this passage has always fascinated me. I have never imagined woman of Bible times to be buying fields and planting vineyards or having anything at all to do with financial matters. But this woman is taking care of her family and household, working diligently, is strong, confident and excels with money.

I heard something that really stuck out to me on the radio the other day: what's another way that you can say I love you? My husband has less than zero interest in our financial affairs. I hope that this will change as time progresses but for now I am very alone in trying to keep our house in order. I've learned over the years that alot of women find themselves dealing with this situation. But I thought of this scripture when I heard that question. One way I can say I love you is by doing a really good job at dealing with our finances. Maybe my husband doesn't really care but me excelling at finances (or at least attempting to) is really a very good way of saying I love you.

Sometimes when a task becomes daunting you just have to think about things differently.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

NO SPEND day 63 it is.

And Happy Birthday to one of my most faithful readers and dearest friends!!!
Hope your day was AMAZING : )

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sixty Two

62 NO SPENDs are in the books! Every new one I mark off pushes me closer to my goal of 104 this year. I'm pretty horrible at goals so I do get giddy when I'm home for the evening and no money has left my hands, wallet, bank account or otherwise.

We've 84 more days to take advantage of this year and I've 42 more no spends to tackle. Giddy up!

And thanks for the comments on my grumble, grumble blog. You guys are pretty great. Thank-you for kind words and encouragement. (I hate money)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Gripe, Gripe, Complain, Complain

This is going to be one of "those" blogs. I try not to blog often when I'm grouchy but this one's been compiling. Please refrain from reading if you don't want to hear it.

We've been having such "fun" with money the past few weeks! The brakes on the car seized up a few weeks back. Pretty much everything brake related needed to be replaced. I scraped together about $300 for the repairs (in other words paid EVERY bill late last month) and charged $230. Oh the agony!

Our fridge was on it's way out and leaking. A friend of my husbands offered us a used fridge (much MUCH newer than ours) that he had in his garage. He only wanted $100 for it. That is a good deal and some refuse company will give us $50 for ours after they haul it away. Needless to say we jumped at it. But we have a new fridge now and we have not paid hubby's friend and that $100 is weighing on my mind.

Yesterday, now this is a good one, I noticed that our bedroom walls were wet! I decided that rather than hope they clear up (during the rainy autumn season) and possibly have to tear down half our house later on I needed to get a de-humidifier and clear them up ASAP. Unfortunately I'm almost certain the moisture is coming from a VERY wet room in our basement so I purchased, with a credit card, two de-humidifiers for $460. It would have been nice if we had that emergency fund eh?!

Work has been VERY slow for most of the year. There are these small annoying doctor and dentist bills to the sum of about $250 that I cannot seem to knock out. Now we've almost $1100 in strange malfunctioning home and car purchases that popped up over the past few weeks. Needless to say I feel like I'm failing miserably with money. It's a yucky feeling.

On the bright side (because a blog like this one always needs a bright side) I'm a much more responsible spender than I was in my younger days. My hours at work over the past few weeks have picked up. The walls in the bedroom look 100 times better than they did yesterday. The basement is dryer that it's been in months. Our fridge is lovely (the old one was nasty). And the car is no longer shaking violently like it's about to blast off into space while we drive it.

I might not be getting ahead but I'm not drowning. That's a good thing right. I LOVE being an adult!!!

(I probably won't publish comments on this post. I'm just venting. Thanks.)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October is Here

I finally, FINALLY made it to NO SPEND day 60! Four days in a row I'd planned a no spend. But "wait the dogs are out food. Oh SHOOT I forgot to get laundry detergent and toilet paper." One of the days I was just grouchy and coffee won out over my resolve. I'm so excited to be to finally have marked off day 60. TWO MONTHS (cumulatively) of not spending one single penny. Woohoo!

In other news it is October. Did anyone else get that memo? I'm a little in shock. I do LOVE autumn though. And I've already drank about a gallon of apple orchard apple cider. Hot apple cider in the evening... it doesn't get much more lovely than that!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Leftovers Quiche

I planned to make quiche today but I find it funny how it came together. I used the remaining cheese, little chunk of meat, few slices of bacon, and half a roma tomato that I had left in the fridge:

Leftovers Quiche!

Here's the recipe for a very yummy dinner. It starts with the pie crust recipe from the Pioneer Woman that I altered a bit because I just don't use crisco. This recipe makes 2 or 3 pie crusts depending on how thick you like it. I always use it to make two. I don't think I'm genteel enough to make three crusts and not tear them to bits while trying to put them in the pie pan.

For two pie crusts mix together:
3 cups of flour
1 cup of softened butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of vinegar
5 tablespoons of cold water

Divide the dough into two or three balls depending on how thick you want your crust.
Place each of the balls into a separate unsealed ziploc bag and flatten them a bit.
Then roll each ball out into a circle that just fits within the bag.
Seal the bags and place them in the refrigerator (at least 20 minutes) if you'll be using them that day or in the freezer for later use.
When you're ready to make your pie, take the cold dough out of the baggy. I rip the bag right off. You can easily roll the dough out with very little flour and virtually no mess. The bags are a bit wasteful but they also allow you to make very hassle free pie crust. I would never be making my own crust if I hadn't learned this trick. I LOVE it!
For the quiche:
6 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of flour
1/2 to 3/4 cups of cheese
desired amount of salt and pepper
desired amount of meat and or veggies

Place the rolled out crust into the pie pan. Whisk together the eggs, milk, and flour. Then pour that into the crust. Sprinkle the cheese, meat, and veggies over the egg mixture. I usually pat the top a few times with a spoon after everything is in the pan but I don't stir it all together. I'm not sure why though. It's just what I do.

Bake 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

If you like gooey runny quiche then this recipe is not for you. I've had some pretty gooey quiches at a few different restaurants and talk about a good way to ruin someones day. I can't stand runny quiche. This recipe has made a nice fluffy firm quiche every single time I've made it. We love it, even the munchkin scarfs it down.

And that is one of my fairly frugal scrumptious dinners.