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September 13th, 2006 at 03:39 pm

I was reading through Mary Hunt's Everyday Cheapskate newsletter today and she mentioned something that hit me like a brick. She said "The more I am willing to be disciplined, the more numerous my options. The more carefully I plan, the bigger I dream, the better my life becomes and the more joy I experience."

I hadn't ever really thought about it this way, but it's true. When we discipline ourselves in our spending, we create a savings and this can lead to financial freedom. I need to remember this the next time I'm tempted to impulse buy.

Class in America

September 9th, 2006 at 08:27 am

I was watching Oprah the other day and she was talking about how Americans are separated and judged by class. She compared two families-one middle class and the other low class. The mothers were giving details on how their lives were.

The low class mom's family lived in a rough neighborhood. Her oldest son started kindergarten and came home using gang signs. Her husband worked two jobs on average of 60 hours per week. She was a sahm.

The middle class mom had kids that went to a nice public school, her kids wore brand name clothes (if they didn't they would be singled out at school) and were involved in multiple extra-cirricular activities.

One difference I noticed that the low class family had the advantage is how their kids were disciplined. Their kids knew they didn't always get what they wanted and had to work hard for what they had. The middle class children expected to get everything they asked for because their parents had money.

I'm lucky to live an a community where most all of the people living here are of the same class. I don't think class separations affect us much here-thank goodness!

Dryer's Fixed!

September 7th, 2006 at 01:49 pm

Got my belt for my dryer yesterday. DH put it on last night and it's working -yeah! But, I'm still going to hang my colors and my jeans.

My daughter is doing better in school. I've been trying to get to the root of the problem (if there is one). I don't think it's a bully or her teacher or anything. And I don't pry too much-that starts putting ideas into their heads.

I've been doing pretty good on my grocery budget and hope to continue to do so.

My daughter isn't liking school

September 5th, 2006 at 10:33 am

My youngest daughter who is seven and in the second grade has a hard time going to school. Last week was the first week and she missed two days because she was sick. The first day that she missed she called me about 10:00 in the morning crying saying she had a stomach ache. When I went to get her she seemed fine. I asked her if she was really sick or just sick of school (on the 3rd day?) She smiled and said sick of school. So I told her that is she was going to miss school, she was going to have to go home and work. I put her to work pulling weeds.

She came in after that, layed down and fell asleep. I was beginning to think she really was sick if she was sleeping and took her temp. Sure enough, she was running a fever.

Anyway, after missing two days last week and the long weekend, it was hard for her to go back today. She cried on the way to school which just breaks my heart, but I have to make her go. I've promised her if she goes 10 days in a row, she can miss the eleventh and we'll do something fun. She already has planned on doing tie-dye t-shirts. I was hoping she'd pick something that didn't cost money.

I'm Being Cheap Again!

September 2nd, 2006 at 08:06 am

The school year started last week and already kids are out collecting money for fund raisers. The other day a high school student stopped by selling "coupon cards" that offer discounts at several local businessess. My husband bought one last year and I don't think we used it once-mostly because we forgot we had it (most times we remembered after we had made the purchase and were on our way home)

I told the boy that I didn't have any cash and he should stop by when my husband was home. This was true, however I guess I could have written a check.

I always remember the time a few years back when my husband was just starting out in his business and finances were a lot tighter. Having $10 cash on hand was great and usually meant we could go to the store and buy bread and milk to last us for a few days. Another fund-raising student knocked on my door and I said "Yes, I would buy their product" and went and got my last $10 bill out of my purse. I scolded myself under my breath for not having the courage to just say, "No, I can't afford that right now".

I have five kids who are in school. I try to allow them to only do fund raisers once per year each and they each have to do them at different times of the year. I discourage them from going door to door and try to encourage them to approach close friends and family who I know can afford it.

Broken Dryer-A Blessing In Disguise?

September 1st, 2006 at 08:37 am

Well, on Monday the belt on my dryer broke and I have been without a dryer all week. My husband and I talked about going out and buying a brand new one since the one we're using is probably (we're guessing) about 30 years old. We got it for free out of an old rental house that we bought when we were first married. We've actually been through 2 washing machines since then, so I guess the old saying holds true "They don't make 'em like they used to".

When we discovered that the problem was just the belt and it would only cost $20 to fix, we opted for that solution. Maybe if we ever add on to our house and can build a bigger laundry room we'll splurge and buy a new dryer.

I'm probably saving money this week as I have been hanging most of my clothes on the clothes line. I usually only hang my jeans, but realize it's not so bad hanging the other colored items as well. Just don't ask me to hang our underwear! I've been using my MIL's dryer for that.

I ordered a new belt and it should be here by next Tues or Wed. When it comes, I'm going to try to continue hanging all the clothes that I can until it gets too cold.

Can you attract wealth?

August 30th, 2006 at 08:16 am

I've been reading a very interesting ebook lately titled "Happy Pocket Full of Money" about being able to attract wealth by changing your attitude and way of thinking. That's the very basics of it, there are so many "deep thoughts" in this book so that's it in a nutshell.

Anyway, I have story to share and I hope I don't come off sounding crazy. Yesterday I was in Wal-mart looking for some composition notebooks for my kids for school. I wasn't finding any in the school supplies, so I went to the office supplies section. I was pushing my youngest daughter in the cart and carrying my wallet in my right hand. As I was looking for the notebooks, I glanced down and saw a journal that caught my eye. In my mind I thought "That's such a cute journal"

I dismissed the thought, turned the cart around in the isle, checked the other side of the isle for the notebooks and did not find what I was looking for. I went back to the school supplies one last time to double check.

As I returned to the school supplies I glanced down at my wallet and was not only carrying my wallet, but also the journal that had caught my eye. It was the strangest thing!! Almost like the journal magically appeared in my hand. I don't remember picking it up. My daughter couldn't have picked it up-she was strapped into the cart. How did it get into my hand?

I think this is how we can attract wealth. Obviously, I did pick up the journal. But doing it was so effortless that I have no recollection of doing so and it seemed to just appear in my hands. I'm really starting to believe the stuff this book is saying.

By the way, I didn't buy the journal. I already have one. *Smiles*

Buy one get one at Walgreens

August 29th, 2006 at 08:51 am

I forgot to post this last week. I was so excited to go into Walgreens to get some drinks for lunch I was taking on with pizza (Dead Mouse Post)and find out they were having a buy one get one free sale on backpacks.

They were nice backpacks and only had two left so I grabbed them. I was going to make my son use his backpack from last year even though it was torn on the inside. So I thought he'd like a new one that he didn't get to pick better than that. I had my daughter with me-she wasn't to keen on the idea at first (of course they want to pick their own!) But I showed her all of the cool features like three pockets and a little hole for her headphones to slip thru. She was sold!

So, I'm adding $10 to my $20 challenge because that's how much I saved.

New total: $60

Am I A Cheepskate?!

August 26th, 2006 at 08:11 am

Ok, we just wrapped up our school clothes shopping and shopping for school supplies. Here in our school district each student gets a school supply list that has several items that they need to bring with them to class on the first day of school. When you have four kids attending school, that can get quite expensive.

So, this year I decided I was going to be a cheepskate and not buy everything on the list. For example, my youngest daughter attending school had "Hand Sanitizer" and "Box of Tissue" on her list. So, there's at least 20 students bringing a box of tissue. Really, is the 2nd grade class going to go through 20 boxes of tissue? And what about Hand Sanitizer? Can't they just got to the bathroom and use the soap in the bathroom?

I honestly don't think that us as parents should have to fork out the money for this kind of stuff. I can understand the pencils, crayons, colored pencils, erasers, notebooks, etc. can be furnished by us. But some of these lists go to the extreme.

And what infuriates me the most is last night my oldest daughter who is about to start middle school walked in and said, "I guess we didn't need to buy graph paper." and hands me an almost brand new graph paper tablet that my oldest son had brought home from school last year. Did he ever use the tablet? Maybe one or two sheets. Hello!! Why can't the teacher buy one tablet and, when needed, tear out a couple of sheets for each student?

We also found a couple of other items that my kids "had to have" that were nearly brand new and almost never used. This just irks me.

What do you think? Am I being a cheepskate?

Four No Spend Days!

August 25th, 2006 at 07:37 am

We had a great time on our camping trip! It was relaxing and fun and a great way to spend that last week of summer vacation with my kids.

Another positive is that I did not spend any money in four days! I know that if I plan right, this can happen more often.

I am going to add $20 to my $20 challenge total because I always eat out for lunch on Tuesdays (I get together with my mom and aunts for lunch) and this week I didn't do that. I think that brings my total to $50.

A Camping We Will Go!

August 21st, 2006 at 11:20 am

Well, we're off for our official vacation. This year we decided to go camping because my husband is very busy (he's a professional builder) and is working on two homes up the canyon where we will be camping. His grandparents own a large piece of land up there so we can take our camper up and park it without any problems.

It should be a frugal week as I will be up in the mountains and with nothing to tempt me to shop or eat out. I do have a few more things to get at the store for the trip so I will be going over budget on this weeks grocery budget.

The kids are excited-they love it up there! They can hike, fish and ride their dirtbikes anywhere. They are ready to leave and so I have no more time on the computer. Be back on Thurs!

College Students Save Money!

August 17th, 2006 at 06:36 am

Every day I receive an eNewsletter from Mary Hunt's Debt Proof Living website. The other day it had a great tip for college students. When you go to buy your books go to the book store and get the ISBN # of all the books you'll need. Then order the used books on Half.com or eBay. You might save hundreds of dollars!

Free Pedicure Set *First 300*

August 17th, 2006 at 06:25 am

I found another great freebie! If you're one of the first 300 applicants you can claim your free pedicure set!
Click Here!

Budget Buster!

August 16th, 2006 at 07:37 am

I went grocery shopping yesterday for our camping trip next week. My total: $127.63. Ugh! I really wasn't wanting to spend more than $75. But I did get things like paper plates, napkins and paper cups, plus I bought some bulk items like drink mix and cereal that we will use after the trip.

So, I have only about $15 in my grocery budget for the next two weeks. Can I do it?

Free Sample Infusium 23 Shampoo & Cond

August 15th, 2006 at 05:32 pm

Here's a free sample for you to try. I've always liked Infusium 23, but haven't used it for awhile because I get the cheap stuff. I'll send off for the free sample though!

Click Here for the Free Sample

What doctor does this?!

August 15th, 2006 at 03:57 pm

A couple of days ago my nephew who is 13 years old had a roping accident. He loves the rodeo-especially the roping competition. He's actually quite good and has already won some awards.

Anyway, he almost lost his thumb in this accident. The doctor scheduled surgery and they made the two hour drive to the hospital. The doctor opted not to do surgery and after a several failed attempts, popped his thumb back into place and wrapped it. My nephew is on his way to a full recovery.

The cost for this procedure? $0! Zero! Nothing. How many other doctors would have put a pin in his thumb just to make a buck. How many other doctors would have done the same thing, but charged an arm and a leg? This was a great blessing because like us, his parents are self-employed and cannot afford to carry health insurance.

Let us remember there are wonderful people in this world!

Priceline Summer Package Deal Save up to $300

August 15th, 2006 at 09:24 am

I've been browsing the internet for coupons - I've never used them before. I can't believe how many great deals and coupons are offered online! Priceline is offering a summer package deal:

"Book a Flight + Hotel package during our End of Summer Super Sale. You can save up to $200 just by booking your flight and hotel together. And now, for a limited time, you'll get an additional instant rebate up to $100 when you book a vacation package by August 27th. That's up to $300 savings in sun-soaked destinations like Las Vegas, Florida, Hawaii, and Cancun or Big City destinations like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.* "
Click Here for More Info

I'll post more as I find them!

$20 Challenge

August 14th, 2006 at 11:57 am

This weekend we didn't eat out once! We usually eat out at least one time on the weekend-either Fri or Sat. So I'm going to make my first addition to the $20 challenge. I'm going to figure it as $30-that's about the average bill when my husband and I eat out. If this happens again I'll figure more because we take our kids out once in a while too.

$20 Challenge: $30

Grocery Budget

August 14th, 2006 at 11:53 am

Well, after the post I made yesterday and reading through the comments made, I've come up with one idea. I'm going to make a menu every week-something I haven't done in a while. Then I'm going to create a shopping list from the menu. I've decided that I will budget $100 per week for groceries, including toiletries and non-food items. We'll see how it goes. I have a family of seven so I think this should cover it. For motivation to keep things under budget I'm going to put any extra into the $20 challenge.

It's going to start off weird already because next week we're going camping for about four days. So I'm going to purchase groceries for next week tomorrow. I'll check in two weeks from now with my total under-budget -hopefully there will be some.

Today I made my dinner menu:
Mon- Lasagna & Salad
Tues - Hard Shell Tacos
Wed - Hawaiin Haystacks
Thurs - Scalloped Potatoes & Corn

Friday we'll be leaving for a wedding and will be eating out this weekend.

My total for today's groceries was $59.07 I tried to sub-total as I shopped and estimated $60 before she rang me up. The biggest part of my grocery bill was the ground beef. Six pounds cost me about $16.00. My husband and I usually by in bulk from my uncle-he's a meat processor. It's been awhile since we've bought meat from him, but I will definitely be calling soon.

Groceries purchased today: $59.07

$20 Challenge

August 13th, 2006 at 12:37 pm

Ok, I've been struggling with this one. I read in someone's post that the $20 challenge was saving money that you normally wouldn't have earned, and since I'm a sahm I don't earn much. I do teach an exercise class four days per week and earn a little from that. So I won't count that money or the money I get from my change jar (just cashed it in a couple of weeks ago for $248!).

But I've decided that I will count the money I save when choosing not to eat out (since that's such a sacrifice). The money I accumulate is going to my "Why'd you go and do something stupid like that" credit card with a balance of a little over $5000. I'll post the exact balance and the story behind it later.

I've decided I might try selling a few things on eBay, after I clean out the kids closets before school if there's anything worth selling.

So my balance for the challenge right now is $0, but hopefully it will grow and I'm going to brainstorm tonight for more ideas.

Any advice??

Fingernails made of gold??

August 12th, 2006 at 07:01 am

I was driving in the car yesterday with some of my kids and I started listening to their conversation. I hear my son say, "Wouldn't it be nice if our fingernails were made of gold and everytime we clipped them we could sell them for a lot of money?".

My daughter responded by informing him that gold isn't really worth that much and he probably wouldn't make that much money if that could happen.

Where do my children come up with this stuff?

How much is gold worth anyway?......

Dead mouse in the driveway

August 11th, 2006 at 01:39 pm

Well, this being my first post I guess I'd better tell a little about myself. I am very blessed to be a stay at home mom to my five wonderful children. My husband is a self employed contractor and the last few years our finances have started looking up. But that's usually when we go and spend big money and get into debt again. Anyway, I'm hoping that by logging my spending and (hopefully) savings in this blog, we'll get out of debt sooner.

My biggest vice: eating out! I don't really enjoy cooking and so I love to eat out. I guess it's good that I live in a very small community -population about 1500 give or take a few. There's only one small cafe in town. There's a college town about 30 min away that we go to alot that has all of the good restaurant's (It's getting a Chile's and Taco Bell soon-yeah!).

Anyway, to get to the point of my post. Yesterday I took my girls swimming and on the way home we grabbed three medium pizza's at Dominoe's. The total:$16.04. I justified the purchase by thinking we'd have leftover pizza for dinner. Well, when I got home my older son was here playing with his cousin's and they decided to have some pizza too, which was fine. But one of his cousins saw a dead mouse in the driveway, got grossed out and threw his entire piece of pizza on the ground for the cat! This infuriated me for several reasons:

1. Our children of ours think they have it so good that they think nothing of throwing a good slice of pizza on the ground. Why is that? I guess they need to go without for awhile so they can know how good they really have it.

2. I felt guilty about buying the pizza anyway because I knew it would have been just as easy and more affordable to come home and make the kids sandwiches

3. I'm not big on wasting anything. Turn the lights off when you leave the room-don't waste electricity. Recycle. Stuff like that. Seeing the cat eating a perfectly good slice of pizza. What a waste.

4. One less piece of pizza for dinner that night.

So.. was the pizza really necessary?