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general update

August 30th, 2011 at 10:11 am

Well, we survived the unemployment. Actually quite well. For the most part unemployment paid the bills. We took on a few odd jobs, received several gifts from anonymous (a real sweetheart). And ended up with a small CC bill, plus a small interest free dental bill.

Both should be paid by the end of September.

Sadly we have no savings left, hope to have that back by the end of December.

The new job pays better than the old, though it is only guaranteed through November. If it gets renewed it should be for another year.

All 5 kids are doing well, still homeschooled, and still as frustrating and adorable as always Smile

You can check up on them at my homeschooling type blog.

We have a job!

August 28th, 2011 at 09:26 am

Husband got a job.....

Money is nothing to argue about -till there isn't any

March 31st, 2011 at 07:23 am

No one wants to talk about it, no one wants to visit the problem.

and yet the bills need paid, and someone seems to think it will all be fine.

which it will, eventually. Just think some changes need to be made

I think I paid all the bills ontime

January 27th, 2011 at 10:56 am

I finally logged on to pay some bills, I think I managed to get them all.

Not a pretty sight, but at least it is done.

Avoiding finances again....

January 25th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Well, I can tell you why folk avoid finances...it is annoying, frustrating, scary, boring, and quite frankly painful.

Looking at a bank balance that just keeps going down in depressing. Not knowing if it will every go up is sad.

Having to shuffle finances to pay bills is a royal PIA.

Even though so far all are paid, truthfully I would rather live in a dream world of what to do 'if I win the lottery' than have to face the real life...just barely getting by.

I aught to be happy we are getting by. I aught to be really greatful for all the skills I have learned (many from this site) to help us 'get by'. But really I am cranky again.

I am cranky because I have no time, I am cranky because I really am starting to hate my 'job' that I don't get paid for (I volunteer for both GS and CS, and a few other mini positions) And I am cranky because I would like a 'magic pill'. Both for finances and for my weight (which I haven't lost from the most recent baby)


I am however very happy about my other unpaid jobs (homeschooling, mother and housekeeper...no wait I hate that last one too) And I love my kids, I just wish I had more time for them and a clean house. Oh and all that scout crap done.

Grocery Store

January 12th, 2011 at 09:42 am

Last week I finally went back and looked at the coupon sites. Turns out it was the perfect time to try using them better, Super doubles at HT. That means they double coupons up to 150 I think.

I made a list with some good deals, a couple free items, and husband headed out to pick up some stuff.

We didn't have any old papers, but we still managed a few free items to donate, a few cheap items as treats for us, and nope. Nothing important was cheap or free. Though blue berries were on sale.

This is why I get discouraged doing the 'coupon thing' Whole wheat, no HFCS and just plain fruit/veggies are so rarely on sale. (no canned, those don't count).

Ah well, It does feel good to have items to donate again without breaking the budget.

Income is still steady, nothing interesting in the works, and we still have too much savings to qualify for most state food/medical help.

EF is slowly being whittled down though

Is that a good thing or bad? If it disappears and we qualify (if we apply) for the free help, it would be like getting a raise...but a raise with a 'price'. I do not welcome the govt into my house.

100 items in 100 days?

December 11th, 2010 at 10:51 am

I just read of a very interesting challenge idea
100 in 100

I think it would be a great way to purposefully downsize. Once you get past de-cluttering all the junk that tends to pile up, you need something to get you past the hump and back into downsizing. 100 items donated or sold for donations might be a cool way to do it.

Not that I am past the junk phase right now. I was at one point, then I stopped de-cluttering once the easy pickings were gone.

I have been trying to move back in the phase of de-cluttering again. And I fear that point.
Or if money doesn't pick up I might sell and keep the profit....

sorry if that isn't very nice, but the EF is nearly gone and no job in sight.

Still spoiled

December 10th, 2010 at 10:36 am

I discovered as a teen that I am a spoiled person. No my parents didn't really spoil me, they never had enough money to do so. And my life hasn't always been easy.

But in general, I get what I want, or else I want what I get.

Somehow I learned not only to be grateful for what I have, but to not pine over what I don't have. (much). Which lead to me giving the attitude of spoiled brat as a teen on occasion. After all what kind of person always gets what they want? A brat. So I must be one (and in truth at times I could/can be one)

A typical teen lament is over getting cash from their parents to pay for some event or item. I never really had a complaint. Not that my parents gave me money. I never really thought they should.

Another is over asking parents for some fancy item for Christmas. In general I got what I asked for, though I only asked for things I thought were in the price range they could afford, and I kept my request to one or two items. (though I was known to tell them to replace one item with another...I distinctly recall several major moral dilemmas over if that constituted asking for a third item since I knew Mom would try to fill any want she knew of)

Occasionally a want would arise that didn't seem to eb being fulfilled. Usually sooner or later the item would fall in my lap. Sometimes literally.

I still find that sort of situation. While friends lament lack of cash for things. I find clothes fall in my lap (recently in a bag of girl clothes - which I don't need - I found 3 pairs of pants for my son, who really needs them).

I wanted a few interesting books, one of which my mother found and asked offhandedly if I wanted.

I needed a gift for a 'Dirty Santa' exchange, I found the one and only item in our house that wasn't passed on to the goodwill soon as I realized it wouldn't be used. And traded it for the perfect gift for the next Secret Santa thing. (my husband hangs on to things forever, I generally feel if I don't want it today, someone else will benefit sooner by my not holding it)

I have so much 'stuff' and so many odd things just work out perfectly I really do feel pining away after things is a big old waste of time, and counterproductive.

Oh I have my moments, I still would love a bigger house, and wouldn't it be nice if my husband had a nice well paying job? And I really could use a maid....

but in general I am very happy with what we have, and I am certain that anything we really need will pop up sooner or later, generally right after I have gotten used to doing without.

As a young teen I found this prayer on a card or coin or something......

God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change (including what I do or do not have)
The courage to change the things I can
and the Wisdom to know the difference.

It really spoke to me then, and continues to do so.

Homemade Christmas

December 9th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

So in light of our lack of money we have been doing some smart things.

One is to look for more homemade presents for Christmas. We always did something simple for the various teachers and scout helpers. But this year we are also trying to make homemade items for the kids and for the extended family when possible.

It isn't really easy. I am terrible at gift giving, so having to not only think of something, but think of something simple enough for the kids to make is really really hard.

So far we are looking into making a flannel play set for EL, and a leather case for a scrapbook and pencils for JC.

Many folk will be getting beaded 'charms' (hanging things for backpacks or whatnot. Some will get ornaments, others simple embroidery.

Sometimes that is a perfect fit, like the music teacher who will get an embroidered ornament with a xylophone on it. For others it will be a generic Christmas thing. Not sure if they will like it, but it will be a token of our gratitude. I figure most of the folk working with kids will like it.

Most local folk will also get fudge. (I have been told it is the highlight of Christmas for some folk, though two don't like it and wont get any. I have been tweaking the basic recipe for years, and folk never seem to complain.

Extended family is hard. Grandparents usually like homemade kid stuff, but... nothing particularly perfect comes to mind, and cousins certainly wont appreciate it. Which is why we wont be going %100 homemade.

With only a few short weeks till Christmas we have no ideas for the boys. I would like to have something homemade for them like the older girls will be getting.

I keep debating with myself about if the baby really needs anything. She wont notice not getting anything, and she certainly doesn't need anything. But the older kids will notice.

We will still do stockings with basis for all, some playdough, toothbrush, animal crackers, and I might do fruit or nuts, maybe a small toy.

Made it to Thanksgiving!

November 29th, 2010 at 06:46 pm

Mostly by virtue of not being here we made it with no heat all the way to last night.

We came in about 2am from our trip to PA and found the house 55 degrees.

Part of me is thinking we were idiots to not test the heat out before then, what if it didn't work and we were stuck with no place warm after a 9 hour drive?

Part of me was pretty pleased we made it so long with no heat, will be nice when I get the bill next month.

Also I was very lad that when my husband turned it on he set it at 62. Which for him is great.

I am finally debating a programmable thermostat. If we could go a few degrees cooler in the middle of th night, say midnight to 5am, we prolly wouldn't even notice. Though I am not sure my husband would want to try.

If a kid should happen to wake up and need diaper/potty help it is already cold enough to have to get out of bed without letting it be 2 or 4 degrees less. So that might have to wait till all the kids sleep through the night (which means we hae to stop having more)

toy computers, heat, and 'free dinners', why I'm not here

November 17th, 2010 at 02:59 pm

My mother sent us her old net book that was crashed, she said if we fixed it we could keep it.

We fixed it. Ok so my husband fixed it, I just heard the daily updates.

I am not knocking my mothers generosity, it is a cool toy but....

It is just a very expensive toy. With the amount of memory and hard drive space, and especially with the type of hard drive. It really only runs a few simple kid games. (Starfall.com type online options and we barely managed to fit times attack on there)

The size of the keyboard means even my 8 year old son couldn't really use it for typing practice. Though it does make it perfect for the 5 year old and only marginally small for the 7 year old (with small hands - she is kinda petite considering her 6 ft tall parents)

No heat still, and the windows are open, so not really an achievement of mine.

We had coupons for free kids meals, with 5 kids that takes a sizable chunk out of our meal cost. Since we had a few birthdays to celebrate we thought we should take the plunge. Unfortunately with two hungry adults still add up to a pricey meal (least for unemployed folk) And no I am not sitting in a restaurant with 5 kids and not eating.

Speaking of unemployed, yep we still are. UI wont run out for a good long while, but dental bills are eating into our EF.

And as to why I'm not on here. Partly due to keeping up with education blogging, which is kinda more my life. And partly because it is embarrassing. Here it is finance, and my finances suck, and are not looking up. Both due to things I cannot change, lack of husbands job. And due to things I don't feel like changing -spending any less.

I got comfy in the level we spent, and I cut it a bit to make it all fit in UI, but...I really don't want to go back to the drastic measures I had to make a few short years ago. And yet if no new job comes before the EF runs out. OR if any other big reason to need the EF happens...I will only blame myself.

So not interested in change, and full knowing it is stupid to keep spending all the UI (which is essentially living paycheck to paycheck) I hesitate to come to a place full of smart people who might tell me I am being an idiot. (though you folk would never be so rude about it)

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.



Christmas

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.

Anyway.

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.

phooey, diaper trouble

June 25th, 2010 at 06:25 am

I mentioned the cloth diapers are too big. Well we had some free newborns, and some free size ones. But we are now all out.

Yesterday there was a good CVS deal, large jumbo pack for 20 earns 10 ECBs. Plus we had a $3 coupon. and leftover ECBs with no where to spend them.

Turns out the only size diapers in jumbo packs are 3s or larger!

We went ahead and bought them since we are sure she will grow, but kinda bummed about her need of diapers.

I could just go pay full price, but I don't wanna.

In other deal news, bought a ton of junk food for camp (chips and smores making stuff) plus beef and chx for dinner, some fruit (raspberries!) and other misc food stuff all for $60, coupons totaled over $60 in savings Smile.


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