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No heat still

November 4th, 2010 at 10:05 am

It is now Nov 4th and we still haven't turned on the heat. I think that is a record? but not sure as I have a terrible memory.

I would like to make it as close to Thanksgiving as possible. I'll settle for after Veterans day.

Mostly it is kinda easy here in NC, mid day is plenty warm, and night time is snuggled under blankets, it is early morning that is getting uncomfortable.

Time to fire up the kettle and make some hot tea in the AM to wake up too!

hmm wonder if I made some before bed and put it in my super thermos thing it would still be hot in the AM? I think I will have to check tonight!

Computer is back!

October 29th, 2010 at 04:55 pm

My computer was down for weeks with some virus trouble. I finally have it back, been catching up on everything.

Still no job, though several more interviews.

Talked with a friend the other day who was lamenting her lack of money for medicine. She found some by the end, it was the cash she had to pay for her other kids fun class.

Now I am sure that choice is frustrating, but when her kid flipped out over losing her thing, the mom could treat it as a lesson in compassion and priorities...or she could join in the pity party.

I don't know which she did, but I hope it was the lesson. A hard one to be sure, but a good one.

Job interview Monday!

October 2nd, 2010 at 10:00 am

For a job that would pay better than the last!

And it is a smidgen closer.

Hoping all goes well and things work out the way they are supposed to.

We have already been chatting about how we would allocate money if we get more.

Of course first up is to put money in savings to build it back up.

Then we will be trying to work out deals with folk we know for them to drive the kids to the various classes we have been taking advantage of when he is home. Most are really cheap, and they fit mostly in our budget, but without him to drive, We will need to work something out.

And I broached the subject of buying more hormone free foods. I don't know if he will go for it, but it sure would be nice.

After that I want to pay more on the house. Would love to actually own this place.

Skiping the annual rant- I hope

September 29th, 2010 at 10:31 am

I just read this lovely post and since she said things so nice and sweet I feel no need to add more.


though it is early, we shall see how the first typical Christmas questions go.

Clutter lost a bill

September 28th, 2010 at 10:01 am

I just got the phone bill. A two month phone bill, and a 'last notice at that. Apparently I lost the last two bills on my desk. I am really glad I finally did something about this desk. There is more to do, but at least I got the bills paid.

Clutter always costs me, in energy, time, and money.

The bad news is I have been spending the week doing a fancy balletic type dance around the obstacle course of rearranged misplaced piles of stuff. Slowly shrinking piles, bu still it hasn't been fun.

It is times like this that make me want to throw up my hands and demand a larger house. 3 bedroom 1100 sq ft house for 7 of us is really hard.

But plenty have it worse.

Idiotic commercial

September 15th, 2010 at 02:25 pm

I just watched a comercial on youtube for contacts.

some kid with glasses in a school hall, then I ignored it to watch the video (Tim Hawkins on homeschooling halarious)

then glanced back and it says "I see him in the halls every day"

then she morphs to not having glasses, and flips to "Someday I will have the guts to say HI"

now I missed something in between, but....

really a commercial that says you can only talk to folk with contacts?

I wear glasses, and I do recall not liking them as a teen. I wore contacts for a few years, during which time my eyes went from kinda bad to horrible.

I have no objection to letting my kids try contacts if desired. I object to straight up saying contacts are required for popularity or whatever.

Movies that show girls and geeks getting makeovers that always require contacts are more than enough thanks.

Time is expensive

September 10th, 2010 at 10:59 am

After spending a good deal of time at the park and wondering why we don't have time to do it more, I started noticing I might not be managing my time quite as well as I would like.

Some time use is unavoidable, I can't shrink my sleep any less than about 8 or 9 hours (interrupted by a baby) Call it 8.5 for ease of math.

I can't shrink the time I spend with potty business (diapers helping kids, and of course my own) which is actually about an hour a day. More on a bad day.

Total 9.5

And meals are already pretty short, between prep, eating and clean up about an hour each, two for dinner.

Total 13.5

Then there is putting kids to bed/nap, considering I am just 'directing' for most of it, why does it take so long? At least an hour a night, plus naptime reading. Call it an hour and half. (snack, teeth, face, changing clothes, story, prayer, and tucking them in one at a time)

Total 15 hours

So that leaves 9 hours a day for education cleaning and computer 'work' (bills co-op, scouts) and non work (FB, email, surfing)

Am I really using those 9 hours well? I dunno. I mean the kids are certainly educated, the house could be worse, and the bills paid.

Oops forgot to add up how much time I spend feeding the baby.

I might have to work on my time management. Or maybe I just need to not have a baby to feed all the time...and a bit less FBing.

Interview today

September 3rd, 2010 at 10:28 am

Husband is still not home from his morning interview. I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I want to be a responsible adult and of course taking govt money doesn't qualify. ON the other hand I like having my husband around.

this is why unemployment is a bad idea. If money were an issue of course I would be wholeheartedly behind him getting a real full time job...for the money.

But as it is.. I can so see the lure of letting the govt take care of it all, even if it isn't the optimum for long term goals.

Not that we will do anything to jeopardize this job opportunity, even if it does mean travel away from family.

resume requested, writing, and the gimmies

September 2nd, 2010 at 08:48 am

Husband sent his resume out to several folk who requested it as jobs opened up at their workplace.

Plus he has been writing again. A couple small articles got him back in the mood and he is working on a children's book.

I dunno if it will pan out, but I am glad he has this chance to try. So long as he actually works on writing not more FB games....

Money is pretty much on autopilot, though my desires are spiking lately. Weddings and trips, and of course not being quite as exhausted (pregnancy is way harder than nursing), leaves me with time to get the gimmies.

I recently thwarted a severe case of the gimmies by asking my MIL for a bunch of paper case boxes. She can get one or two a week from work. I used them to organize the kids out of season out of size clothes. So now my daughters' closet is all nice and neatly stacked with boxes labeled roughly by size.

I had wanted new shelving or some nify container store baskets, or something fun. The boxes do the trick for free. Only I need more to do my sons closet. (with 5 kids and some clothes bigger than the oldests, I have a lot of clothes even though I tend to only save 3 or 5 outfits each size)

Though all those clothes is one reason why our clothing budget is almost nill. We buy warm stocking for girls in winter (err for the oldest girl, the younger gets the hand-me-downs) and underwear, occasionally socks (though if your socks are full of holes from sticking a pencil in them, buy your own!)

Money is a royal PIA, and getting in the way of life

August 16th, 2010 at 05:58 pm

I so love having my husband around, other than the few hours he is putting resume's in and taking care of that stuff, he is here hanging with the kids.

Doing some coupon-ing, housework, building stuff with the kids, teaching them to swim. And of course the closer we get to the fall the more volunteer work he gets to do. I could so get used to him around all the time.

I just don't know how to turn anything into a enough money he can stay.

I am not my FB account

August 7th, 2010 at 08:18 pm

I recently posted an anti environmentalist photo on my FB wall, as soon as I hit 'share' I realized it was asking for complaints from some of my 'friends'.

Folk who really know me IRL, are aware I am pretty much a treehugger. Nothing to fancy, but in general we choose the so called 'greener' way.

You just can't tell from my FB wall. I don't post every time I fill up a bottle of water for a trip to the park.

If I restricted my wall to only folk who really knew me..well I think I might have 3 friends..one of whom is my husband.

But you are wrong!!!!

August 6th, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Ever have on e of those days where you really want to point out how wrong someone is?

I am having one of those weeks, and it is a big waste of time. I type up a comment explaining how wrong something is, then I delete it because it isn't very nice. then I draft two or three other ones trying to get my point across nicely.

Really the internet is not the place to make converts. It is not a place to have intellectual debates, and it isn't the place to challenge anyones fundamental ideas.

I know, I know. But that blogger is wrong! If they could just use a little logic on their own comments and read my information they would see!

Ah well, thank goodness for this nice community that will not berate me for saying it is spelled vain, and that boundaries are important for kids.

You prolly wont even mind that this post is not financial.

So one of these days I am going to have to learn how to spell probly, probebly, probably, whatever.

Then try it differently...

August 3rd, 2010 at 10:01 am

So I just commented on why I don't watch other peoples kids..I'm too antisocial.

And then I thought a bit more about it...if someone was complaining to me about money I would have lots of answers. Ranging from:

'Tough, get over it you need the money' to ....

'Well then watch kids for shorter times.'

It is very easy to shut an idea down at first glance. But if I keep looking I might find a way to make it work.

Have to find something to do

August 2nd, 2010 at 07:28 pm

Heard the job was filled, we didn't get it.

Not that unemployment is running out anytime soon. The govt is doing it's darnedest to make sure we never have to work again. I figure eventually the magic money printing machine will break. I just hope it isn't due to bloodshed.


In light of that, I figure we have to adjust the budget. Right now roughly 2K comes in, and roughly 2K goes out. Compared to the average American that is fine. But I would prefer to see the savings going up.

Just haven't figured out where to make the change yet.

Though we did turn the air off for over 24 hours. Right now the house is pretty comfortable, I doubt that will last.

I really think we are at our comfort limit for reducing bills. Not that I can't see ways to reduce, I know many of our expenses are luxury (chocolate, and hot water to name my two favorites). I just really am not interested in reducing them right now.

So I really think we need to find some alternate sources of income. I just dunno where, I have no talents myself. And the perfectionist in me wont sell anything done with my less than perfect skills.

I don't want to share

July 27th, 2010 at 09:48 am

I haven't' been posting very much lately. But I do love this site. I love the friendly relaxed atmosphere. I love how kind and considerate most are. I love how advice is freely given, even to the millionth person asking about EFs and such. There is info on saving, investing coupons, and cooking.

In short this is the perfect site for folk looking to get out of debt and get smart about money.

But it is also the one wonderful place I can go to be private. I can vent, whine, post about my holiday problems, or success with saving. Whatever.

While I am sure there are folk here who think I am an idiot, they are kind enough not to tell me. I can't see their faces when they read my posts, so I remain blissfully ignorant.

I can post about how much money we do, or do not, have. Without worry that someone will judge me. Ok so I am sure some folk do, but they don't tell me so.

I have a friend IRL, who could really use some money advice, and part of me wants to share the link here with her....but more of me would rather complain about her money habits......

I suppose if I ever decide to be nice and share I should delete this post.

New plan when I win the lottery

July 9th, 2010 at 06:56 am

I am going to revamp the back yard and have it certified as a 'natural wildlife habitat' and revamp the front yard as part of a 'playborhood'

found this website yesterday Playborhood

love the fountain in the front, and love the idea of playable space.

However folk shouldn't glare at cars just trying to go home...they should politly thank them for waiting while the kids get out of the way. (and promptly return)

BTW I do not play the lottery...and yes I would do this while looking for a larger house, the 7 of us are a bit snug here.

UI review tomorrow, interview Thursday

June 29th, 2010 at 06:30 am

You know life would be so much simpler if it were the other way around...

Ah well.

In other news we have several 'money makers' at the various drug stores. But I have to find the right coupons, and we have to actually make it to the stores.

The kids also need to go to Barnes and Nobel for free books, earned in summer reading. They earned them over a week ago, but we haven't made it to the store yet.

We have cloth 'newborns'!

June 28th, 2010 at 05:22 pm

The wraps say different things, like 6-8, or 8-10. But oddly enough the ones that say they are only up to 8lb, are the bigger ones!

Ah well you never know what a difference but shape makes.

So now we have diapers, but of course, the hard part is keeping enough of them clean to keep her butt covered!

So far....well so long as she stays asleep till the dryer stops we will be fine - but if she wakes up early....

On a side note, she woke up from nap and hadn't peed yet, so I told her now would be a good time and she did! Then later when I was changing her I mentioned we could get the next pee out of the way if she would pee. I swear she thought about it and peed!

Not that I expect to have her potty trained any time soon, but I have high hopes she is like her big sister and we can look forward to an easier road.

feeling much better -and phone call

June 24th, 2010 at 09:23 am

Saw the midwife today, she said it sounds like a very short case of mastitis.

Have a mild headache today, going to try some peppermint tea and a nap.

Got a phone call yesterday from some babbled company 'you won some sweepstakes, because of your garble garble, and also your visa, MasterCard'..and proceeded to list half a dozen other CCs.

then he asked if I carry one in my wallet now.

I said nope....

"oh well it must be because of your debt card, does it say visa, MasterCard, or" something else I can't recall " on it?"

I said, dunno, I don't have one of those cards.

he apologized and hung up.

Somehow I just don't think I was a real winner.

Phone interview went well

June 23rd, 2010 at 09:43 am

Not sure what sort of waiting timeline there will be. But the interview went well.

Husband has all the skills they are looking for (and then some) Not entirely certain if the job is temp or regular though.

Anyway, it is the most promising lead we have had so far.

Encountered a problem with the cloth diapers...they are too big! Very adjustable for size, but apparently not quite so small as this tiny baby!
which means we right now have no diapers, and nothing that wont leak. I am a fan of early PTing, but this is pushing it!

A friend offered me a loan of some of her newborn cloth diapers, so come Sunday we will have an alternative. Plus there are some other diapers donated to the church that the nursery doesn't use, we just have to go pick them up.

Husband was going to pick them up yesterday, but I got sick, horrible fever and all the body aches going with it. Today I am left with just a splitting headache.

Hopefully that will go away soon.

Had the baby!

June 19th, 2010 at 11:08 am

Sunday night we had her at 11:59, she just squeaked into a Sunday birth.

She is tiny, and doing great, the rest of the kids are doing quite well with her arrival. A bit of extra whining on the younger three's part, but the oldest is being a big helper, and kinda responsible sometimes. The rest of hte time he is your typical 8 year old Smile.

Things are starting to settle into a routine of sorts.

I posted a bit about the homebirth on my non finance blog if you are interested.

Financially he has a phone interview Monday, which if it does progress to a job would be pretty nifty.

Last night we caught ourseles 'counting our chickens' well before they even arrived to hatch Smile Allocating the income and such.

Nothing extravagant, we aim to keep our bills pretty constantly low enough that UI would cover them. Though we would for the sake of time prolly pick back up the habit of having someone else do the grocery shopping, and maybe even run kids to the library. The rest would be savings really. OK a bit more eating out...but nothing that would be a reoccurring bill.

I guess it can't hurt to ask.

June 4th, 2010 at 04:46 am

So my husband brought up a point yesterday, why don't we call the mortgage folk and tell them we are soon going to be unable to make payments (unemployment wont last forever and if there is one thing Charlotte is full of it is out of work IT guys).

We have not payed late, nor missed any in almost the entire loan (the one time we were 'late' they cashed my check for less than it was written out for, so their fault and was fixed eventually) So in 8 years we have given them no troubles.

I am wondering if that will help or hurt our chances of refinancing or something. I figure the worst that can happen is a wasted phone call. The best is a new loan, at a lower rate, but I do not want a loan to reset. I get depressed enough looking at the life of the loan as it is.

Well the worst that can happen is a wasted phone call and a cranky husband.....

I must be out of the loop

June 2nd, 2010 at 03:08 am

While hunting the best deals this week for grocery shopping I came across a frozen pizza that was $13 on sale....really? it costs $13 for a frozen pizza? I recall those things as rather unpleasant substitutes for dinner, that cost a couple bucks. I dunno maybe they taste better these days, but if I have to heat up my house in this weather, I would expect some top notch food, and a really good deal.

Considering how much my family eats, I would prolly be better off going to the restaurant to order out!

In other news, the drug store shopping has turned up some cheap first aid kid supplies, needed for GS project. Free razor, that the 'regular' checkout lady asked my husband 'did you get the free razor last week?' and when he said 'yes' she asked 'why didn't you use it'...... I happen to p0refer him clean shaven, but being 9 months pregnant I really don't care much one way or the other.

Speaking of pregnant, yes I still am.

Scouts have both done their crossovers, Co-op has done it's end of year thank you and play, and the only thing major left to do before a baby is a birthday party for EL and husband.

OF course after there is VBS and backyard campout with scouts.

Money wise, eh, it comes in, it goes out, a smidgen out of the EF each month for things like teeth, and hopefully regular income will return soonish.

One job place husband finally got ahold of via email, apparently they had the wrong number, and one job applied for yesterday is actually worth having, close by and description fits exactly what husband used to do. Pay decent and all. We shall see.

CVS fun

May 13th, 2010 at 11:20 am

Husband took a trip to CVS earlier this week.

2 tubes toothpaste (normal size)
1 box kotex
2 things of lotion

used a coupon each, plus 6 'extra bucks' earned from previous weeks. Paid $6 out of pocket, and now have $16 in 'Extra bucks'.

Now on the one hand we made money...on the other we will have to use that money at CVS, but they frequently have diapers and TP on sale, plus coupons, so I don't really see that as being a big problem.

On the down side the bonus money for Walgreens expired while we were in PA, and I forgot to take them with us, or use them up first, lost $5 that way Frown.

No I am not going to 'game the system'

April 12th, 2010 at 07:59 pm

Many folk upon learning we have a savings account suggest we hide that money so we can qualify for food stamps and other federal programs.

Look I am not turning down money the govt gives me, but I am also not going to cheat my way into more!

Besides, I wouldn't know what to do with all that food stamps....I eat whole wheat and lots of fresh produce, I still would have trouble spending the 900 a month they would send me. (plus WIC)

It was nice to learn the tax return will restock the EF. And though we will have some extra medical expenses with the baby, we still shouldn't run out of money till sometime after unemployment runs out (if it does, they keep extending that)

Honestly I am glad we have always been rather frugal, and I am glad for the super lessons we have learned. Unemployment covers almost all our bills. We could make it cover all if we went back to white pasta and the like.

No idea what the future holds, but whatever, I am not worried. I meet lots of folk who still hold out we must be able to do this because we are rich. I only need about $50 from the EF a month beyond unemployment, how is that rich?

We are not able to do this because we were/are rich. We are able because we have really low bills.

Needs done, or can wait for the perfection fairy?

April 6th, 2010 at 11:25 am

I have a largish strip of cloth that needs hemmed, but I do not have a sewing machine. I can hand sew, but I am not very straight.

So what to do? Well a good part of me wants to wait for the 'perfection fairy'. You know the perfect solution that gets things done just right? Yeah I haven't really met her, but I keep hoping she will come along.

The rest of me knows full well the cloth needs done, and my best is going to have to do.

I am often faced with situations where I know I wont do a job well enough, but honestly. It is more important that it get done.

It took me a long time to realize I had a perfectionist hiding inside me, keeping me from starting things because 'they wouldn't be done right'. I credit flylady for pointing her out. Now that I know she is in there, I can firmly tell her to shush up and let me get on with getting things done.

At least sometimes.

Sheesh you go away for a weekend camping trip and find it all different!

March 29th, 2010 at 10:06 am

The new look came as a bit of a shock when I peeked here.

So far I don't mind it. My blog page looks the same, but the front page and this editing screen are all different.

Of course we forgot the paper while camping, also found out we really 'need' to buy better sleeping bags!

Yeah I can manage without, and this weekend reminded me how grateful I need to be of my house. I have a comfy place to sleep in a warm bed. Only when I voluntarily head out to the woods am I in the 'real weather'.

Fortunately the hail storm waited till we were home. It doesn't take a lot of money to make us rich. I know my kids were snug in their beds while the hail pounded down, and I knew that was unlikely to change anytime soon.

As to the sleeping bags, I really hate being cold in a blanket roll! Will have to do some researching to find a couple real sleeping bags for 6 foot tall folk.

Coupon update and links

March 11th, 2010 at 11:53 am

Well if cheese is really on sale...I have to put the if in, cause the store in question didn't send me a flyer and I don't know how to check actual price online. But according to one of the coupon deal matchup websites, cheese is 1.55 for 8oz block. combined with a coupn should be a decent price.

Other than that, nothing beyond some free pasta to donate.

Apparently my brand of yogurt (I know I shouldn't be so picky) and our brands of pasta do not have coupons. The one I hate does frequently, but not the couple I like. I know my pickyness gets in the way of saving, but well there you have it.

I could get cold cereal on sale several places, but...I don't like to eat it, too sugary, and since even the so called whole grain is essentially simple carbs it is practically a waste of time to eat. By the time you finish a bowl and clean the milk/mess the kids are hungry again. (me too, but I am always hungry)

Read a simple article on working out while being frugal, basic but nice

Sometimes it is good to review what can be done. I hear far to many excuses in my life. from folk who can't do a thing for scouts to folk who can't afford (fill in healthy item here). To folk with no time to homeschool, or workout, or you name it.

I am about tired of excuses, unless I am giving them, I don't want to hear them. Now if you don't mind I can't work out today, I have too much scout work to do..... umm oh, not helpful eh? OK fine, I would rather sit here and type this and other emails, than go for a walk... but we shall see what the end of naptime brings. Better get cracking on the most important emails.

Oh another link, that rude website has a hilarious article on national debt and finances. Though you will have to meander on over to cracked yourself, I refuse to link to it, cause they were swearing again. I know it is silly, but leave me to my silliness, it is as harmless as the website.

Monthly payment myth

March 5th, 2010 at 10:20 am

monthy payment myth

Little blog post on monthly payments.

I remember looking through a mail order booklet when I was young. It had all sorts of nifty gadgets for the kitchen and house. All with very low prices between 3 and 7 bucks with a few really fancy machines for up to $25. I thought they were a great deal, till my mother pointed out that was per month. None of the ads said how many months you would be paying for! I am sure the info was in the fine print somewhere, but the mere thought of buying something when you don't know the price seemed like a huge risk to me.

I was really bothered by the total cost of our house, but didn't see any other way to own a house. Saving up 100K or more while paying rent didn't seem to make any more sense then paying 200K for a 100K house.

Maybe we made the wrong decision on that one, but at least we in general avoid the monthly payment trap with all other items.

Have to have a little chat...

February 26th, 2010 at 10:57 am

I sent my husband off to the store yesterday with the few coupons we had and a traditional list.

He came home with a wii game and a camera thing.

Now yes the Wii game was bought by my son with his recent gift money, and the camera thing was on sale for $5, from $20ish.

BUT, still. Just because you get a few things free doesn't mean you get to go spending that savings on other items!

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