Saturday, December 26

Christmas is over.

It was a wonderful Christmas, without giving into the temptation of buying ever toy made for a 2 year old. ;) I don't think Kasen minded that he didn't wake up to toy overload. He appreciated the few things that he got, and that's good enough for me! I do wish I could've spent more, just to get a few nicer things for the other people on my list, but, I'm happy with not going broke for one day.
Now, we're trying to find a few things we need for our trip to Utah. I'm still having a hard time with the idea of spending money on it all, but I know it will be so much fun. Seeing how much Kasen enjoyed the little bit of snow we got in Texas this week gave me a glimpse at how much he'll love all the snow he's going to see there!

Wednesday, December 9

Christmas, The Year Without style.

I got a bonus check for $200, so I decided that would be my Christmas budget. I REALLY wanted to beat it... what a challenge! I can't post what I bought (don't wanna ruin any surprises), but I spent a whopping $130 on Christmas gifts for everyone (Kasen's 2 sets of grandparents & his Auntie, 2 adults for the family gift exchange, 3 kiddos, & Kasen). Yes, I DO rock - thankyouverymuch. I didn't originally include them in my budget, and I splurged big time on our family Christmas pajamas (they came out to $60), but I can add them in & still come out $10 under budget!!! I'm gonna grab a few stocking stuffers & call it a day. I am very happy with what I did.
Don't let anyone bully you into believing that Christmas must make you go broke - or worse yet, use credit cards. *gasp* That is NOT what Christmas is about. Spend time with the people you love & make some amazing memories - that's what Christmas is all about.

Monday, November 30

A month later...

Still here, still chugging along. Barely (at the moment). We got hit with the end-of-year-everyone-is-closing-their-books-and-realized-you-owe-them-money crap. And taxes. Go figure. Merry Christmas to us. It's okay though. I'm going to try to buy ALL Christmas gifts for under $200 - I'm hoping $150 will do it, but we'll see. We have 3 kids to buy for - they're all getting coloring books. I think. Unless I can think of something else cheap yet adored by kids. Luke & I aren't doing gifts. I'm gonna go hit up the thrift & consignment stores for a bike or scooter for Kasen & I'll throw in a few other things that are priced right. We've got the 2 gifts for our family exchange also. That's it. I see no reason that I can't stick to my budget goal. The less I spend the better really 'cause I've also got to find Kasen some snow-appropriate boots, a coat, some gloves, & a hat for our trip to Utah in January. I really wish I hadn't bought those [non-refundable] airline tickets even if it was a HECK of a deal. We don't have the money we need to enjoy the trip, but we'll figure it out. I really need some sweaters & Luke & I both need a pair of shoes appropriate for snow, but we'll have to see if that happens or not. *sigh*
Anyway, that's where we stand right now. We're chugging along. I need to be better about posting here, I swear we did much better with things when I did.

Sunday, November 1


I'm feeling a bit discouraged. I know we've come a long way... but... I feel like there's still so far to go! There's no way we'll have this last stupid loan paid off when we planned to. I wish, wish, wish there were some way for me to make more money. I higher paying job, an extra job, anything. I don't feel like sacrificing sleep (and a clean house, clean laundry, etc) to make a little more than minimum wage for a few extra hours every night would be worth it. I wish someone would just hand me some money, no strings attached. That would be wonderful. But, it ain't gonna happen. I wish I could find some amazing job with good pay & the right hours, so I could add it to my life right now. I wish, I wish, I wish. I don't mind not blowing a lot of money on Christmas (although I REALLY want to get Kasen the cute wooden kids' table I saw at Costco... and a bike... or a scooter... and a big boy bed... see, nothing cheap on my wish list. sigh), but I do mind not having everything paid off as planned. I totally mind. We wanted this to be over at the end of the year. We're only 60% through the debt. That's not much more than half. :(
It's November. We've made almost made it to the end of the official year of The Year Without. In case you're wondering though, it won't be ending on December 31st, it will keep going until we're out of debt. Let's all hope that's sooner rather than later. For my sanity at least.

Wednesday, October 28


Okay, a woohoo here should = NOT spending money... but...
We've been planning on taking a trip to Utah (if you've been following since day 1, you might remember that we were suppose to go this year, but put it off to follow the rules). Well, we decided we'd wait 'til we got this last loan paid off - in March. BUT, there is such an amazing deal right now, that we're gonna have to jump on it. All the major airlines are cutting their airfare if you'll fly during their dead times. Um, should I say dead when referring to a flight? Ick. Anyway... if we go in January, we can all 3 fly for under $600 (WITH taxes & fees), verses probably a little over $1000 if we go in March. Um, HELLO?, that's a big savings. So, we're going in January I think. We've got to get the kinks worked out tomorrow, since it's the last day to buy.
On to frugal news... We're doing well still, trucking along. I did buy a $9 bag of candy for Halloween night. I don't think it'd be fair to send my kid out & not repay the favor. -I did see a genius frugal idea today though. Send your kid out TorTing, and when they get back you hand out their candy. Doesn't cost you anything (but the costume) that way AND you save your kids' teeth. Is it awful that I feel like I'd seriously consider that??
Tomorrow my 1 year subscription runs out on the local mom board. That's gonna suck. I can still log on & such, but there are things I won't be able to see & I think I'll have to look at extra ads. Oh well, I knew going in that I wasn't gonna get to spend $20 on a renewal. The world will not end over it! (I think you have to be a member of something like this to understand how hard it is to do without. *sigh)
I can't believe Christmas is EIGHT weeks away! I have got to start saving some money & hitting the thrift stores for Kasen's gifts. And, if we're going to Utah, I guess I need find some snow-appropriate clothes for him too! I'm not sure I even know what snow-appropriate clothes are...

Friday, October 23

TWO freebies in one week!

Freebie # 1 was a Poken from The Green Wife. Hopefully they'll catch on 'cause they are a genius idea!
Freebie # 2 was walkie talkies from work. Score! They were literally going in the trash, since we got new ones that are supposed to be less finicky. So, I took some home to give us a means of communication between upstairs & downstairs or inside & outside. Kasen already loves them - bonus! ;)

Monday, October 19

Catching up.

Time slips by faster than I realize! We're doing great, staying on track!
I really wanted to borrow a costume for Kasen to wear for Halloween, but I wasn't having much luck with that, so I headed to a consignment shop where he picked out a Curious George costume. It was more than I wanted to spend ($8.99), but he didn't like the cheaper options I found & insisted on that one. Hopefully that means he'll wear it come Halloween... ;)
We did go out to eat (Pei Wei - yum!) on Saturday night, but it was within our rules, so nothing was broken there either. :) Right now I'm really wanting a 2nd (or even 3rd) loaf pan so I can make more than 1 loaf of bread at a time (actually, a bread machine would be most ideal, but I digress...). I'm thinking of hitting a thrift store to see what the have. Yet, at the same time I feel like that's somewhat frivolous since I already have a loaf pan that I can use. (See, I've gone crazy with frugality!)
I do want to find Kasen a (USED) bicycle for Christmas, I think that'd be at the top of his list. He also seems to really want a hoop-a-loop (ie holahoop - is that how you spell it), so perhaps those 2 things will be his gifts from Santa this year. Yes, I'm already thinking of Christmas. Come on though, you HAVE to think ahead when you're being frugal! I'm also thinking maybe our family gift exchange should have the requirement of being bought at a thrift store, wouldn't that make it more fun? :)
Anyway, that's about all that's going on money-wise in our house right now. We're still chiseling away at the debt. Unfortunately we had a hefty amount of money go to medical expenses last month, so that hurt us a little, but not horribly.