Saturday, June 27, 2009

Okay, I know I have been going on and on about Dave Ramsey for a lifetime on this blog, and you're probably like "enough of the money talkie talkie" so I'll keep this short. He has "baby steps" to financial freedom, there are seven. Let's just say Mike and I thought we would be occupying the first three for several years.
AS OF FRIDAY, WE HAVE BABY STEP 1 DONE! $1000 in a savings account for emergencies. Yipee, what a great feeling to know that we have money when something comes up and we don't have to panic or use plastic (which I will never use again in MY LIFE).

Now on to Step 2- debt snowballing-we have giselle intensity!
And I can't close out here without an endorsement for DAVE RAMSEY. If you can't do the University, just read his book-Total Money Makeover. But he is so awesome to see in person, the book wouldn't do him justice.

That's all, thanks for coming along on my Financial peace journey.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So I have enthusiastically entered the world of couponing-at the same time Mike and I entered the world of Dave Ramsey Financial peace university. My brain has been weary figuring out cash systems and double couponing, stock piling and debt reduction.

I decided to keep track of some of my spending in June. I kept all my food/personal toiletries/household receipts just to see if I was on track, and now that I am all done shopping for the month of June, I totaled them all up.
Drum roll please...I had $300 for my food/household/toiletries budget and I spent..$298.47!!! I also added up all my savings (at the bottom of the receipts for most stores it totals your coupon & store savings)...I saved $234.17!!
I am really proud of myself and I have to say we ended up with much more food and other items from working those sales, double coupons and coupons.
I used to spend about $100 per week on groceries and then drop another $75 or so at Target for all those "extras"-that is $475 a month! With a little planning and preparing, it does really work, and we also save TONS of money by only eating out once a week. YEAH!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm still alive-3 weeks of summer vacation!! It has been raining so much lately, I have flashbacks of living in Seattle cooped up with energetic kids. Even the hydrangea bush I planted with such hope two years ago has BLOOMED for the FIRST TIME (the hope was starting to dwindle)! It thinks it's in Seattle too.

Overall, the kids have been really great. Little squabbles here and there, but I am seeing a real and true friendship developing. I mean, they are brother and sister and love each other, but usually after an hour of playing together, it ends up with Hannah crying and Taylor yelling at her. I think she is getting a little more mature, or maybe they are just facing the fact it is summer and this week I have had to put lots of hours in getting the July issue of the magazine done. It is really sweet all the games they think up, Hannah has become really interested in dinosaurs so Taylor is like her teacher. We have been going to the library every week and they are consuming books like food, I love it.

Our week started with our baby Isa dog getting fixed. It's like taking care of a baby. So lots of work and rain and by Friday when the sun had come out, I was majorly ahead of schedule and we were planning a bike ride and some fun outside. I had to e-mail a PDF of the magazine to clients for review-usually a process that takes 5 minutes. STOP!!! The computer software program I use totally freaked out and wouldn't work-no exporting PDF's for me. No bike ride and I got to spend a frustrating 5 hours figuring out my problem with the kids intermittly coming and asking when we were leaving, they were bored (you get the story). The problem is I have 4 year old software that isn't so compatible with Mac's newest operating system-we'll say they don't get along. so i thought no problem I'll just have a look at that software upgrade...!!!!!!!$$$$700!!!! AHHH! It's part of a "creative suite" so I thought I'll just get that program (not all 5). So I paid $200 for an update for the one program that isn't working-oh wait that didn't work either. Nope, you have to buy the full version of each program separately (around $600 each) or update the ENTIRE suite. I really hate Adobe about now. At least they will refund my money. So I have a free trial for 30 days until I figure out a plan. The good news is InDesign 4 rocks!

So after all that stress of the week-I got a LOVELY birthday card from my in-laws with a pretty necklace and a check-what a sparkle in my day. So today I got a haircut, didn't worry about my software, went to the mall and got my favorite lotions, and drumroll, here's the big one: I JOINED THE GYM. I have been contemplating it for months. I really feel better when I exercise, and I'm just not the type that will go for a walk every day or watch a exercise DVD. I dont' like the process of exercising but i can't stand how I feel, look or have no energy all the time. This gym is really close, no membership or joining fees, i can quit whenever and it has everything I need, plus did I mention free classes? I decided I was worth it. Finding the time this summer might be tricky but once the kids are in school, I can drop them off and go work out. Usually when I start working out after a umm hiatus we'll call it, I go crazy and over do it and can't walk for a week. I am going to be sensible and for the first week or two go three times a week for 30 minutes. I love that elliptical. I also really love strength training (on the machines) but I'm taking it slow. I am excited to have some energy and feel good about myself. If I lose weight that will be a side benefit. Right now I just gotta get back in the swing of things and start living healthier. Now if I could just find that sweet tooth and kill it!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Yes, our family loves pizza. At one time we were speed dialing our local Pizza Hut every week, but since our new ahem, budget plan has taken place, wasting $25 a week on pizza is a total waste of money. We've been making our pizza for awhile now, and occasionally we call up PH, but most Friday nights will find us munching on our own. I am trying to use more wheat flour in my baking to make it healthier so I tried this our last batch and I wanted to try and freeze it.
MISSION SUCCESSFUL! Mike and I had a baking day a couple weeks ago and made 4 crusts, wrapped them up and froze them. Now I just take them out, let them rise 2-3 hours, top and bake. SOOOOOO good and no one has said anything about the wheat flour. So Monday I will be adding to our dough supply and make about 6 crusts. It is so nice on Fridays to get out the crust and just add toppings. Dinner done. Our weekly menus now have two days that are the same every week and I only have to think of 5 other things. Friday pizzas and sandwich Tuesdays. Life is good.

Here is the pizza out of the freezer, all mis-shapen and flat.
Give it a couple hours and it is light, tender and full of flavor.

Out of the oven and so delicious. Yes, our one topping pizza is boring but it's what we had on hand!

Hannah her wonderful teacher last day of school!
taylor and hannah's gifts to their teachers-they had their picture and a message written on each can full of markers, pens, highlighters, etc.

As I was participating in Hannah's end of the year celebration in her kindergarten class, I realized this was the last kindergartner I'll have. They are just so sweet at this age, and leaping into first grade really changes them. I watched her and all her classmates, so innocent, happy and open to everything. Her teacher gave them all certificates, showed us a slide show of the entire year (and we got copies!), they did a pinata outside and got a fabulous BBQ hosted by various local businesses. We had hot dogs, pulled pork, cookies and rolls, and beverages at 9am, yum. Hannah made sure Daddy and Grandma joined in the fun. I hope she enjoyed it because after kindergarten in our school system, the bells stop there. The last day of school doesn't come with a lot of hoopla. So we ate, played, had some candy and hugged the teacher goodbye. My baby is ready for first grade. i think after summer i will be ready for her to be at school ALL day!
Pinata time!

hannah's favorite place on the playground-the jungle gym!

I made it through kindergarten!

Hannah's favorite pillow-harley

Hannah with dotty-the class dog-one last time

Ginger really loves taylor-look at that tongue!

nothing to look at here folks, just Mike doing the dishes-wait what IS that on his back?

Monday, June 1, 2009

i don't know what is going on, text size is "normal" according to my posting feature...

staying on the couch sick!!

The kids were up all night puking, so our plans of a picnic at the park have been replaced with eating dry toast while watching "The Jetsons". Oh well, there is plenty of time to get our "fun things" in. I have been truly blessed and will not have to work outside of my home all summer!! That means no daycare costs to worry about!
Unlike last summer, I am not going to be crazy and have a schedule that is hard to follow.

Here is a breakdown of our summer:

JUNE: summer reading program at the library (all summer), enjoy FREE movies at the theatre during the day, Adventures in Odessy at the discount theatre (free), Vacation Bible school, a couple family swimming sessions at the local pool and lots of popsicles..and working on some school work to stay updated.

JULY: having out of town family come and stay with us for the 4th of July, big BBQ while they are here and a trip to the waterpark, hosting Rendi's baby shower, camping at lake Tahoe at the end

August: swimming lessons, enjoying a visit from my brother, school shopping, bike rides, more BBQing and eating ice cream