28% Debt payment (extra car)
Looks kinda cool due to the extra weeks income! (BTW the remaining 3% is sitting in the bank as cushion still)
Lessons learned this month:
1. Yes I can put back things when I am over budget, even if the money is in the account should I feel like using it, just not enough things ...working on it.
2. Forgetting a phone and failing to call for a grocery list may result in spending less money (I cook he shops...under budget on food by 80$)
3. Lowering the heat may not result in low enough gas bills, that hot shower may have to be shortened...next winter.
4. Yes we can stay out of stores if I plan well....and are willing to suffer through lima beans and spinach for almost a week!
Plan even better on groceries, and stay under budget for 'misc.'.
Expected 'Misc'....umm....none....so why do we always spend so much!
Though I do foresee some trouble with food as it is my sons birthday and Easter.
Archive for March, 2007
Today for lunch we had, as usual, leftovers to nuke.
After hands were washed, kids were seated and oh so patiently waiting, I opened the door of the microwave and pulled out the container... and then watched it fall to the floor. OOPS
As noodles and broccoli crashed to the floor covering 3 square feet in a saucy sticky mess, I actually thought, cool.
No not that the leftovers were that bad, actually they were good. But it is cool that we can afford to replace the meal. I simply scraped the food up into a pile, and put it aside while talking to the kids about replacements.
We had alternatives, from waiting 20 minutes for mac N cheese, to nuking those easy macs the Grandparents sent, to whipping up a batch of spaghetti or beans, we had options.
Given the state of hunger we went with super fast nuking a veggie and making PBnoJ. But isn't it amazing, I didn't have to feed them food from the floor to prevent starvation, and we am not looking at starvation later in the week to make up for a lost meal. We just had a couple sniffles over the lost food, and a wonderful discussion over how blessed we are to afford enough food to make up for a clumsy momma, and moved on.....
We learned a wonderful lesson from our lunch off the floor, but I don't plan on repeating it anytime soon!
This nifty calculator says we will be fine If we up our 401K by just a bit and...if Social security holds out...
I don't really want to rely on that.
But we do plan on upping the 401K contribution next year, so if we do that each year, and then pass the current need we aught to be ok...except for that social security thing....
But regardless it is a far cry from the last calculator!
I actually have hope of not needing my kids to support us, or of having to work at age 90 (though in case I haven't mentioned it when the kids leave, I plan on getting a part time job teaching or something..because I would be so bored without!)
We had our date! we spent ALL the date money..we splurged, we were not frugal...and it felt wonderful to know I was not spending milk money, though I do admit a twinge of conscience that I aught to save some of it to pay off the car..but..only a twinge
Not planning on spending that much again, but we are planning on going out again, maybe in a month or two.
I did spend a few minutes thinking how amazingly different this year is from last. Last year at this time I also received gift money for my birthday...But we did not go out and splurge, we spent a little bit and the rest went to extra groceries.. This year we had leftover Christmas money, that wasn't needed for groceries, combined with my birthday I had enough money to spend a wonderful evening and no I didn't drink water! I do like water, (no ice with lemon please) but sometimes I like something different, (glass of wine) and in general I feel I cannot spend the money on wine, when I could get it at home for 5$ a bottle vs 5$ a glass (yeah cheap wine, really I can be a pretty cheap date)
Last night, I felt free to spend every last penny (that was budgeted), on the wine in the fancy glass that I didn't have to wash..and the water kept being refilled again no glass to wash (I dirtied two glasses!)
Anyway, just grateful for the wonderful change in finances, and grateful for the chance to know need so I can delight in plenty....I know that seems weird, but if I started rich I wouldn't be so grateful! (Nor would I think 35K a year was rich .)
Just placing pictures
on a side note..can you see my page? (on right says 'bio'
thats where the pictures went btw (one of each kid)
Well sorta, all my work is done, two trips to the recycle center, one more in line and room to walk around the car when parked. Not the passenger side, but the driver side is no longer an athletic feat to get in...I think, car is not in the garage right now. But it looks better.
Of course all spring cleaning in my house comes with a need to purchase 'stuff'
In this case an S hook for two bikes (bitty bikes, so cute and short!) plus some brackets to hang shelves (we have the shelves) plus some looooong nails to make a 'table' to hold the lawn mower out of the way...weird to say that, but we have a ledge around the garage, if the mower is on the ledge the car fits, if not....it doesn't, so we have to get it a bit up off the floor...with a handy dandy plywood found in a dump while they were building a house (sticking out the top, no workers lunch or anything yucking it up..)
umm, oh yeah and some hooks for the bike helmets....
I think that is it...And well there is this guy who does home stuff we know who gave us wall paper...I wonder if he ever has odd hooks laying around he wants to get rid of too? I have to figure out how to ask without sounding like I am err asking for stuff...yeah that'll work.
Oh yeah! and we are NOT going to PA, update on father in law he is doing better, and home so we figure he needs rest without rug rats still open to going later if need be, but not tonight (nor tomorrow, date is still on!). Thanks for all the well wishes!
We are doing a new book in Sunday school, or planning on it anyway, the book plus workbook costs $13 or you can get the book used and buy the workbook for 3$, personally I would rather neither, but then I am cheap.
So we found the book used and offered to help others find it that way to, we agreed to go buy 5 copies. Now the chances of finding a copy of most books online used and cheap is good, the chances of finding 5? not so great.
So far we have 4 coming and one with 'some writing' we figure we will take that one and hope it is a person who took good notes. My husband did all the work and reminded me that we go to a church full of people making double triple or even quadruple our 35K salary..each...and most of them are dual income families...for the most part they think $13 is a fine price for a book.....I am not sure they want a used book...but they did agree to try it.
Either we will make a convert or two or we will convince them never to touch a used book again.
And btw this means I do not have to write the book down as 'bought new' Or those other 4 books we had to get while we were there....(what your k, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grader needs to know - got tired of renewing them from the library, and the 2nd and 3rd grade book will be used for all 3 kids, the others for 2, seemed reasonable)
Though I am not obsessed..course it isn't my exact name (my last name is shared by an author who wrote a book about a character with my first name)
Now my user name..the hits it gets ... that irritates me silly I know, but can't help it My only saving grace is some are actually me ain't I special....
My father in law is in the hospital again and we may go to pa to visit, will use the date money for it..so no big financial hit, but...no date.
Planning on packing english muffins, some treats that were given to us, and some fruit/nuts. that plus water and some peanut butter should keep the food costs to about what I have saved for our date. I also am figuring on baking before we leave some muffins, maybe cookies (for him) and cheap eating out.
Now gas isn't cheap, so I am not sure if that will come in under budget, plus we plan on paying our babysitter at least half her fee since she reserved the night for us...could be out making money (and better money, we are cheap) if she wasn't on hold for us. Not fair to give her nothing.
Waiting on more news from the in laws before we pack, but either way, it sure is nice to know we can go if need be. No cancellations, husband already worked his 40 hours, so not missing work, no meetings or important work that must be done...and my kids wont miss any education at all . (not to mention will gain a great deal of insight what kinds of things we do for family)
Oh and btw my father is better, came to visit and everything, not too sure on the details, but glad he is healthy again.
So in my recent attempt to lose weight without the benefit of nursing I discovered lots off odd facts.
1. I eat a lot..ok I knew that, but really I eat a lot! (over 2000 calories when I am being healthy)
2. the 1500 calorie rule of thumb is HARD! and I am having no luck at it at all, not even a smidgen.
3. It takes 3500 calories burned to lose one pound! from here
4. I burn 2202 - 2500 calories in a normal day (now today was not a normal day I was burning way more!) (info from same site)
Now to take that information and figure out how to lose weight without feeling super deprived....
Taking 3500cal/7 =500 less per day to lose one lb a week.
average 2200 and 2500 = 2350
take 2350 - 500 = 1850
So if I do nothing more than my housework I can eat up to 1850 and still expect to lose a pound a week....if I do something really strenuous and burn at least 150 calories I can eat up to 2000 and still lose weight.
That I can manage, I think.
See the internet is a wonderful resource!
In general we eat cheap, but healthy, and I like it that way, for one thing I don't feel bad about ruining cheap food (never said I was a good cook) and for another thing, well even lousy tasting food at least has that 'it is good for you' line to help you force it down.
so after reading hungry for a month (thanks lux for the link)
I decided to see just how much we are spending on food a day...
Suppose I spent my whole budget:
$500/month * 12months = $6000 (year)
$6000/365days = $16.44/day
hmmm I am not sure what that means, other than we are rich compared to a whole lot of the world........
I searched to find the average cost to feed a family and while I discovered America wont be able to feed it's own by 2050
and that you can make a small batch of chicken Lo mein for 4.27 (small batch because there is no way that would feed my family!)
It took much longer to find the usda average food cost chart.
And for that my family should spend $685.70.....(for a low cost plan)....which is $4.50 a day. (thrifty is $4.09 a day)
And begs the question..just how does the USDA come up with those numbers? And why does it say women cost less to feed? Am I the only girl who eats just as much as my man? And why does it say a 2 year old costs less than a one year old? And just how much does it really cost to feed a family healthy? There is no way I would feed myself or my kids on white pasta and white rice....and not much else.
* Apparently I need to make sure my house has eves to save money good design save money
*Boy scouts of America is price gouging! They have to be to charge 54$ for a shirt you only wear once in a blue moon! No we didn't buy one, but our oldest is going to be a Tiger scout and we will not be buying one! The club leader on the other hand bought one. and wasn't to happy with the price.
* Only 5 more days till our date!
* I recommend avoiding the AAA driving school here in Charlotte, we passed a car today with the nice 'student driver' sign and a smoking cell phone talking driver...not the example I want for my teen!
While I really don't know how much it would take I do know that I would use some of a large sum for a house..not my house, my dream house.
Wanna see it? as of march 17th 2007:
The first floor:
The legend in case you can't tell what my goofy stuff means.
The second floor
Not perfect, and I got lazy on windows, but there it is, the house I would like to own.....
On the forums they posted a link to Scott burns article on Dallas morning news about net worth, I decided to see how we stack up.
net worth assets minus debts..well the debt is the house and the car, and that is worth more than the amount owed..so the total has to be positive right?
I wouldn't know where to start on the rest of the 'stuff' so I will rest content in knowing so long as I borrow no more, and keep said house and car it is positive.
To see how it changed I would have to look for old CC bills for last year, how about I be content that had to go up, as last year started negative. (owned less house, owed more CC)
categories...there is the 401K (how grown up of us .)and the mini EF, and the house plus stuff, ....Umm yeah, rough guess of 15% stuff..not so terrible, but higher stuff than financial (10%).
home equity percentage....75% house....yeah not anywhere close to his 40% recommendation.....
Debt up or down...guess it has to be lower.
consumer interestumm I projected the interest for the car for 2007...if I am doing it right...1K in interest...which is 3% interest...so less than his 4% recommendation. Finally we got one right!
Now I know, and knowing is half the battle
Course what to do about too much house...well nothing right now, we want to pay off the car first (etpo* end of 2008), then we want to pay off the house (etpo...2030 in time for the merge with Canada**), then and only then will I aggressively work on net worth.
*Estimated Time of Pay Off
** shadowrun timeline "# Oct 15: Act of Union signed in Washington D.C., Canada and the US merge into the UCAS." yeah sorry the date stuck in my head from the teen years..had to google it when I realized the etpo for the house
They never work, math wise..I am always left with either too much money in the bank or not enough money, and trying to figure out why or where!!!!
Today it is too much money, I know nice problem to have, but...
See the budget is only set up to spend the minimum paycheck, and he almost always works overtime, so that over time money is supposed to go to pay off the car....but I have two different answers on how much it is...
My bank account says one number 2K (actually two bank accounts each have their own number added up is the 2K), my budget says another, 1.5K. Neither are what I expected (
We are going on a date!
A real date. With no kids!, just a man and me, (my man of course).
Soon, only 7 more days, we even have a babysitter!
I am so afraid something will happen between now and then, but so looking forward to the possibility of time alone with no kid.
The cost will be exorbitant.....and trust me I know it is a luxury, one I fully inted to take advatage of, cause it wont be happening again anytime soon!
So thanks to all who gave me money for my birthday! it is going to a good cause .
When we moved in here oh 5 years ago, we put lots of boxes in the garage..temporarily.
That temporarily kept the car out till last year.
This year I have a goal of being able to get into the car from the garage, as of right now my husband has to weasle his way over and squeeze in, thankfully he is a slender fellow. Then he takes the car out of the garage and the rest of us get in. Now with his collection of err junk. I doubt we will ever get both doors to open fully, but I have hopes of easy walking to and from the door for him.
First up is a pile of stuff to goodwill, he sells I goodwill. Second up is cardboard...some of it he needs for his ebaying (have I mentioned the stack of boxes in my living room?) but most of it is just piled up out of maybe laziness.
Third up is a pile of garbage..ok fine he doesn't call it garbage but I do...I sincerely hope Saturday to take a large laod of stuff to the recycle center.
And then.....A free cabnet from a friend to better store some of the junk that must remain...
Now to actualy implement all that...right now I have to get off my rear and go clean a kitchen so the kids can go play wiht chalk whie I do some preliminary work.
I googled mine and always turn up some author who wrote a book followed by movies I would rather not know about.
So today on a whim, I googled my husband...apparently he is a fighter, street style....now I happen to know he is strong and prolly good in a match should one occure, at that particular time he was a bit busy in a match with me.
Then I tried his 'handle' or one of them, and discovered he is an avid ebay seller! I knew that, but though it was cool to find him. out of three pages of links, all but 4 were for ebay.
One of the 4 was his blog bing linked back to by an education site, pretty interesting since he is not the teacher in the family....man I gotta learn how to write!
None of the posts were for someone other than my husband, he picked a unique handle...mine on the other hand is shared by 10 pages of links, less than half of which seem to be me..ok I didn't waste that much time reading all 10 pages, but out of the first two half are me, I'll assume more down the line are not.
unfortunatly some lady has been given my name the other princess
Oh well, guess I knew it wasn't all that origional when I picked it.
Now to me the key word there is 'fantasy' Ok yeah I like most all games, but when it comes to fantasy games I expect a certain break from reality...
I want to play the girl, not just any girl but I want my figurine/character to be my ideal version of myself, with proportions completly fantastic, armor that is all encompasing even though it consists of a kerchief and a string, and of course amazing powers to defeat the 'biggest baddest bad guy ever'.
What I do not play fantasy games for is to find out that the kerchief and string armor costs more than my car payment so sorry 'po folk' can't use it, that the only character with any skill I can afford is about worthless and might as well stay home (doing nothing but teaching and cleaning I suspect), or that the 'biggest baddest bad guy ever' can only be purchased by those with 6 figure disposable incomes.
I just simply cannot get into a game that requires money - real hard cash as a game piece! I don't even play poker with real money ! (oops I said that name again, sorry .)
Apparently many can, and there is a booming mini game industry (paint your own - with whatever hair color you like) as well as the 'collectable card game' ripoff, where you have to spend a fortune just for the chance of getting the right card! I mean seriously, why not just play the lottery and be done with it?
Now when I play a game I like for all players to start with an equal financial standing, like monopoly where you all get to start with the same 2K, or Munchkin where you all start with a character of roughly the same stats...(you can earn that string armor as you go...) And I'll leave the state of my finances behind for a time, and not ask after yours while we play.
I don't think this would be well received, specially since keeping me on topic in person is rather hard. So instead of saying it to anyone, I'll post it here, because I can....
I have this blanket that my Aunt made, it says 'Thadeus April 10th, 2002'...Now I do not have a kid named Thadeus, nor one born on April 10th, but I do have the blanket. She tried to make a blanket and messed it up. I thought it was funny, and obviously 5 years later still have it to tell you this story.
To me the blanket says two things:
1. No one is perfect, and
2. We should try anyway.
(Ok and 3. that my Aunt loves us and cared enough to make it)
Now when I hear someone telling me they don't think they can do it, I remember the blanket...so what if you can't, don't fail because you didn't try, if you are going to fail at least put some effort into it first.
I know I fail frequently, and in the past I never wanted to try, becasue I knew it wouldn't work, now I have learned to try anyway, and take the consequneses.
If I let my kids not try they would never learn to walk, Each child fell (failed) countless times before that first step succeeded, each time they learned a little something. Each time I fail I learn something - even if it is a lesson I had to learn again (and again, and again)....
So please, don't tell me 'I can't' Go try anyway, and just see what happens, don't fail due to lack of starting.
K all done now, if that should fall in the right hands I will be eternally amazed.
So I told my son I would print a page of notes and help him learn where they were on the keyboard and how to read them. this was mainly an excuse to go look it all up, cause I can't read music nor play any instrument!
Anyway he gets this excited look on his face and says 'so I can learn to play piano!'
umm yeah, so long as you teach yourself!
I made the pages, dug up the old sentance (Every Good Boy Deserves Fun) and found out the space spells face...now all I have to do is figure out why my computer wont print!
Oh and get a cord to plug my keyboard in, see this same kid broke the old one....I told him if he wants to learn he has to save the money to buy a new one, without reducing his church gifts or bank savings.
He is eager to do it, and has been memorizing the notes very quickly..so all I have to do is find the cord, before he gets the money!
While hunting up some more quotes I found a couple relating to education and money....
The best education in the world is that got by struggling to get a living.
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. – (unknown)
Read my VisualDNA™ Get your own VisualDNA™
Well he asked for a construction cake, but he is also asking for balloon expiraments, because balloons are a birthday thing, every birthday we get out balloons and a hand pump and the kids go to town.
I found one where you take a balloon and blow it up (touch a match to it) and one where you put some water in it, the match wont burst it.
and now Monkey mommas rocket will be added to the list. I think I would like a couple more.
Our birthday things are really family events, no fancy games or anything, but a few balloon things before I cook is cool.
The local nature center offers classes for preschoolers at 3$ a pop.
Now 3$ last year seemed soooo big, but this year...with CC paid off, and car actual on track for off by the end of 2008...I kinda think 3$ is worth it.
Of course it also needs transprotation, and if one kid goes the other will...but bugs butterflys, frogs...stuff I actually know very little about, and they love.
amazing what a budget and a raise will do for your spending...apparently increase it for us! (kidding, well no not kidding, but I want some areas to go up, like education..as the kids grow I think it is important, and I don't know any bug people..)
So you noticed for a time I have on again off again been complaining about how long it takes to do everything.
I even started waking up early and didn't seem to finish any earlier.
Well two days ago I decided to schedule the important things so that when I look at the clock and think 'doing good' I know what I am talking about.
and it worked!
As odd as it might seem to schedule 'vacuum' it actually worked.
I scheduled just the basics, and listed the other stuff, but just being able to look at the clock and see where I aught to be, helped me keep up the momentum, and not lose track of the esssentials in all the 'other stuff' (like dusting, nothing wrong with dusting, but washing towels is more important...)
Yesterday I was done at 930, today just after 9..course the depressing thing is I get up at 6:15 now...that is about 3 hours of 'getting ready for the day'....
Though on the upside it includes:
1.working out (10 miniutes plan on increasing soon)
2. kissing my husband goodby and helping with his lunch packing.
3. Praying (15 minutes -man is that hard!)
4. Making my bed, checking kids
5. Load of laundry in
7. dishes out of dishwasher and back in
8. 'tidy up house to vacuum'
9. Nother load of laundry in
10. Vacuum (8am)
11. bleach entry way floor
12. wash windows/dust (actually this is what the kids do while I vacuum, keeps em out from underfoot...and happy!)
13. Mop kitchen floor (or sweep, depending on crumb count)
14. clean mirrors (again kids do)
15. Bleach bathroom (or two) (8:30)
16. shower three kids and self
And of course miscelaneous potty help, dressing assistance, inspections, ect.
I guess that list is kinda long...
Then after all that we play actually most mornings they ask to do 'worksheets' or read magazines, or sometimes play a game. but summer is comming, and I want to be able to go swimming most sunny mornings....will have to ad 'pack lunch' to the list, plus sunscreen and such.
Anyway, I broke my record
I jumped on the band wagon.....so far..inputing food is ahassle, and the site wont listen when I tell it I want to do my workout my way...I am not objectionable to new, I just want to log todays work..and it is not what they are telling me to do
Oh well, regardless I hope to find new ideas, motivation and goal tracking for free.
Everything we do is a subtle advertisment for something, might be taken wrong (what were those cat wranglers selling anyway?) and it might be taken out of context, but every step you take, every move you make, someone is watching you.
Networks like the buzz word of mouth thing, and 'digg' try to capitalize the selling people do each and every day.
I knew this but a few examples over the last year really drove this point home for me.
I used to pack juice in the kids cups for trips...I personally prefer the flavor to stale water, and I dont mind a weekly or twice weekly treat.
Then I heard a small comment about how I always let my kids drink juice...umm what? oh yeah, all they see of my kids is those trips, and it is always juice. I have since stopped packing juice, "water water everywhere". Fortunatly you can (and we do) drink it.
I also had a friend over who commented "you have a lot of movies"....umm yeah I guess we do, Now I don't plan on ditching the ones I like just to avoid being seen as an avid movie watcher(we are avid readers and occassional movie watchers), but as I plan how to arrange my living room, hiding the movies is prime on my list. Oh and that bookcase I made him put up to get the books out of the closet was done within the week of the comment....
While I do not want to live my life for what others see, I also do not want to advertise what I do not believe in. Not that excessive juice is the worst sin in the world, far from it, this just happens to be one example of something I can sell, or not.
So when I pack for an outing, or make changes to my house setup, or wardrobe, whatever...I often ask "what is this selling" if I can't figure it out, I don't worry, but if the answer is something I don't want to sell, I try to change it
(and I deal with life if I can't, I also deal when I fail, guess wrong, screw up, and otherwise cannot be perfect, but I will try)
For the longest time my husbands old company had been paying him in addition to the new company, now we were not crazy enough to spend it, but we did put it in ING while telling the managers they were paying double.
As more and more months of double pay passed we started to hope we could keep the money (or at least earn a nice interest for a long time.
Well the time is over. They have requested the amount back. Their math seems odd, but then we have all the pay stubs and will be double checking before saying good by to a nice couple months pay...(yeah would so be aan almost full EF! Oh well)
I followed the link from the main site to the 'complaint free' bracelet. and found a site for a church that is dedicated to not complaining.....
Not complaining! but that is what I do! Most of my entrys are in the complaint category!
Not that I like to complain, well you know maybe a little. Just that 'life is ducky' is well boring..and doesn't result in very much helpful advice.
How am I supposed to learn how to save if I never get around to complaining that I don't have enough money? Or learn to cook better if I just go along 'ducky' with my lousy cooking (I bake not cook, though some foods I am good at)
How am I supposed to change if I don't complain?
I can't think of a single change I have made that didn't start with me complaining...I reduced sugar due to too many headahes....I increased whole grains due to too many drops in sugar after 'healthy meals' that had all white stuff.
Complaining may be worthless when no change can occur, but:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change those things that I can....and the wisdom to know the difference.
I can see the need to not complain or worry about things you cannot change like......ummm......oh I know: the time between lunar eclipses. (boy was that hard to come up with!)
But as to things I can change, I just need some patience figuring out how and waiting for it to work (not to mention persistance to try try again)
now I shall check 'complaint department' for my category..and move on.....
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