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Archive for July, 2006

Things to do while Children are in FL.

July 30th, 2006 at 05:28 pm

1. Finish book/start new book
2. Go to the Library
3. Go to the half Price Bookstore and sell books
4. Sleep
5. Go to SermonAudio.com and listen to some sermons while relaxing
6. Tidy van
7. Sew one simple item
6. Watch dvd from the library I got last week

A good week!

July 30th, 2006 at 11:26 am

Yesterday I had my friend's baby shower at church. It went really well. We had about 30 ladies and girls. Here are a few tips and ideas I used. It is so hot here...we served pink lemonade and peach ice tea. No one missed HOT coffee. For flowers on the tables,I used impatients-they are bushy this time of year at the nursery and also on sale. They give your table a big flower bang without spending a fortune on cut flowers. I also used small flowering bushes for the food tables. Again...alot of green and I can plant them! We used some balloons too. Easy way to make the church class room that is bland look more festive. I also brought silk flowers from home to add color where needed...no cost there either. I have lots of pink and white ones. I also brought my girls baby stroller and decorated with lace ribbon and silk flowers and a tedddy bear. Again.....I simply had it at home! We had a very nice time and I was exhausted from all the planning and work involved but I was so glad we did host a shower for her and that we did it with excellence! It was a lovely afternoon but I am dragging today and feeling still a bit worn. The heat took it out of me...and we were inside!

It is very hot here. I have covered my windows so the afternoon sun does not heat up everything. I used poster board that I had to buy for back to school. It is cheap and easy to work with. I have my air on but I have been really adjusting it and making sure I use it wisely. I am nervous to get my bill for the a/c. I feel badly for those out west...there seems to be no end to the heat out there!!! Gas is 2.88 at Wal Mart. I got it for 2.85. I would say that was a good deal. I loaded up on bottled water at Wal Mart while I was there. Propel is cheapest there, I got 10 eight packs. I saved alot. My kids like it and they drink that and never soda unless we are having pizza. I got some bagels, cat food, cat liter, paper cups and some school items my daughter saw and needed.

My kids leave for FL with dad and his "honey" on Weds coming back on Sunday night. Frankly I will miss them but I am looking forward to a needed break. It seems as a single mom I am always needed and on call. I will have to mow the lawn and deliver the newspapers. Usually my son and daughter do those jobs. So I will do them for them. I do plan on relaxing a lot. Reading and what not. Last summer they went to FL and I slept and slept for days!!!!!!!!I hope to hit the library and browse...I am always helping the kids find things...I never have time to really look around for myself. I hope to not spend any money while they are gone and eat simply. We will see.

There is a small shop not too far from me advertising the need for moms to do some "factory" type work. I am thinking hard about applying. I have no clue what it entails. I never heard from the grocery store demo company so I am looking again for a way to get some money to save and sock it away. I drove by it and it is very small like a large auto garage. It is not far from me. I figure while the kids are gone I will stop by and see what they offer.I do not want a job that is too complicated....but I am a hard worker and I just want to earn some money. I have about four checks to put in my savings account. I am proud of myself and so thankful because I held off and did not need them for July. I have some money coming for Augusts-so I should not need to spend any of this money.....so yes ...I can save it....save it...save it!!!!!!!!!! I am always so glad when I can save. It seems like July was a busy month with things to buy or purchase-so I must of cut back in the right areas to make it all balance out.

I was interviewed last week for a business publication here in my city. My ex and I did our divorce thru a mediated and collaborative method. We never went to court...we did go to court to sign the final papers but we did the whole process with each of us having a lawyer and then working out our own details. So this publication wanted to hear how I liked this method. I was able to share how all in all it is a great method and we faired very well thru doing this way. I liked the fact that the kids were treated with respect and we made our shared parenting plan.......work favorable to make their lives priority. I asked my ex to be part of this article and he was very irk'd I was doing it. In fact he read me the riot act....via phone call and email---but I was not listening-- I guess he still enjoys controlling me if possible. I was thrilled to share a bit and hopefully I will help another person to try the non court method that is available. I did not discuss anything personal...just how the method was a better way to go for me and the ex-hubby person. I am looking forward to reading it. If anyone is interseted I can recommend a web site and a book that is really helpful.

Back to taking out the trash, watering and weeding....it is so HOT...I know I have said it before twice.....it is just awful to be outside.

Have a lovely Sunday and stay cool and on track in the money department. A new month is just about upon us! Stay encouraged as we approach August!

It Pays to ask!

July 25th, 2006 at 08:29 pm

I was at TJ Maxx last week. I was looking for one or two special items to give my daughter for her birthday. I came across a really pretty pink and khaki tote bag. It cost about $10.00. I decided to get it. It was a nice bag I could use it for the library and maybe even overnite when I visit my parents. .

As we checked out my older daughter noticed inside was a baby changing pad. It was a diaper bag! I did not realize it. It did also have some faded spots inside and a orange dye splotch. I asked if they would give me a better price since it was damaged. Sure enough they marked it down to $7. Later that day I gave my friend the cute fabric diaper changing pad as she is the one expecting a baby and who I am hosting a shower for. I love the bag----I am so glad I asked for the discount. It never hurts to ask. Who knows you may find even a better bargain if you ask.

Not so Frugal Week

July 25th, 2006 at 02:20 pm

Hello frugal friends! Yes...I have not been good these past few days. Pizza dinner one night for girls sleepover we had here.....and some Chinnese another. Sunday was KING AND I theater tickets and then dinner at Cracker Barrel with the moms and daughters from dance studio. Today birthday lunch at at the tea shop for daughter, me and two sisters....plus ice cream! Tonight dinner out at Applebees with an old friend.
I never...I repeat never.....do much as far as fun is concerned.....but this is overkill! Hopefully the buck stops here for a bit.

One good story....I saw that drying racks were on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I had my coupon from the newspaper and was ready to stop by and get one. I did stop at the junk shop in town....and there it was in all of it's re-sale splendor!!!!!!!!A very nice super large wooden drying rack!!!!!! For $6.00!!! I almost did a small Irish jig I was so happy. My daughters thought how BORING- a wooden drying rack???? and please do not dance in the junk shop mom!!

So that just proves it to me--- over and over....when you are faithful and patient sometimes God will provide in all sorts of ways. To be faithful in small things .....Bigger things seem to work out just fine.

I got called by my bank yesterday to switch savings accounts. I was using a basic savings account that yielded not much interest. I had been really socking my money here and there when possible --knowing I needed to switch over to a money market account savings plan. It pays better interest. I was thrilled to be able to finally switch. Plus I will get a monthly statement instead of one every three months. That to me is so much more encouraging! I love to make the account grow even if it is just a small amount I feel I am least going the right way...saving not depleting! I am so glad that opportunity occured...for once I was glad the bank called me!!

It is so hot again....! Very humid as well! I had the air off alot. Today I had it off as we were gone...but it is so hot in the house. I had to turn the a/c back on. I still use my fans to move the air around....they were a great buy at TARGET....I am so thankful I purchased two of them......one for up and one for down.

The baby shower is Saturday. So far not a overly huge turnout....that is really OK--- it lowers my bill for food. Here is a question...if there is leftover food....do I take it home or give it to the guest of honor? I figured since I paid for it......I take it home with me. I paid the gal from church to cater it all. Is that right? Is that proper??? I am a stickler for good manners. I am stumped on this one. Any help would be appreciated.

I have to take my son's car in for body work. He hit an older lady backing out at Walgren's the other day. They need five days to fix it all up. The guy I go to for body work runs a nice shop...he is a very trustworthy. I was so bummed with my son. He is still so young and is not experiencd. At least he was only going about 6 mph. He will have to pay the deductible. His insurance will have to be adjusted for sure.... I am nervous-- I did not budget for such high insurance. My ex is supposed to help me out with that...pay a third --but he is weird about it because sometimes I will drive my sons' car. Oh well....he just likes to be weird about many things. Especially when it comes to money..HIS MONEY.

I have been looking at all sorts of great blogs concerning money and budgetting. The sky is the limit ---there are so many! Each one adds to my knowledge or encourages me. It is amazing the wealth of knowledge and good advice and wisdom are out there.

Summer is going by quickly. We did some back to school shopping. I decided to skip alot of items that are required. It seems they never use them at school anyway. I got practical. I have a stash pile in the basement. That is so helpful to recycle items and pass things on to siblings...like the spainish dictionary. My daughter starts in Spainish for 9th grade but my son,who had it for three yrs in HS is not taking it anymore...so she will get the dictionary. Some folks mis-place so much re-usable stuff in general....they have to buy new all over again. Have a place for sticking school items. A box is good enough!

What joy!!! Now it is thundering outside...good --I hope it rains. I like the free water for the garden. Take care and stay frugal.

Rolling along with Role Models

July 20th, 2006 at 05:08 pm

My parents are a fine and wonderful example of having a happy and good married life....yet....being frugal. They are careful and very thoughtful behind much that they do money wise. My mom is excellent in making something out of nothing! I am thankful that her fine example of homekeeping has rubbed partly on to me. She has taught me alot just by watching how she orders her life and home. My dad is orderly in his garage and bank account and investments. I think it is very important that in the journey of life, finances and living within our means....we have role models and fine examples to pattern ourselves after. If you want to learn how to be a fireman why would you go watch a guy who does landscaping? Dumb example....but I think it is so important to have someone you can watch from the sideline or right in front of them. Again my parents are great examples. I also have some friends who have either 5 or 6 kids- I watch them as well and learn how they make the dollar stretch. I also am blessed with many fine bad examples. Many of my neighbors are trying way too hard to impress someone. They are up to their eyeballs in debt. My ex-husband has a sister who is a bad example. Even my oldest daughter figured it out early on she is not a good role model to watch as far as money goes. I mean how many designer bags can one closet and one hand hold?? I have another friend who is going thru a divorce...mostly over really awful money woes that never seem to end and only get more compunded each year. It is like a snowball rolling down the hill that no one seems to be able to put the brakes on. Wrong role models for me.

I challenge myself and you, my friend, to keep looking for good role models who can encourage us along the way. I am talking practical and solid and ways. I mean I like Warren Buffet and his style of business....but he is not a practical example to me. I find so many right here in the blogging world....! Please be looking for a role model. Iron sharpens iron....we need others who seem to know a thing or two about budgets and investments and saving for the future to sharpen us and make us....hopefully a role model for someone else in the future.


July 19th, 2006 at 09:28 pm

I would like to say HELLO to my sister who has visited my blog. What a nice surprise in Blog-ville to have her visit.

Have you been visiting this blog? If so let me know you are out there! I would love to say hello to you. Leave me a comment. Please be nice....remember I am a first time blogger!!

I am always intersted to visit other blogs and sites. I find it very interesting and most of the time I find such great places to visit.

So hello and greetings! I hope to journey along with you on saving money, being wise and staying far from debt or getting out of it as soon as possible.

Stumbling and Bumbling along

July 19th, 2006 at 09:17 pm

Greetings all....I have no time to focus on my budget! What is wrong with me???? I feel overwhelmed in my life for some strange reason. Partly I had a bad week so far dealing with some ex-husband issues. It has really drained me mentally I guess. I will get to it. I am thinking about it as I move thru my day. Today I went to Barnes and Noble. When I got home I looked at my receipt. I could not figure why my bill was so high. Well it was easy to see......one small paperback book I got on Divorce was $34.95!!! That book my friend is going back!!!!! That is plain pathetic in my opinion! That just shows me how wonderful the library is! Or the Half Price Bookstore. What do these publishers think???? Just awful! To top it all off----- the clerk tried to SELL me the advantage card for BARNES AND NOBLE....in my small opinion a huge rip OFF!!! Yes they charge for their card. RIP OFF---

It is still hot here.....I am tring like the dickens to not have the a/c on when I am out and about. My two fans are awesome for moving the air around in a pleasant way.

How is your gas prices? I filled up a half a tank worth for $2.78 a gallon. I almost feel guilty....I know alot of you are paying a hefty sum for gas. Gas is outrageous......I see how bad it is on the news in some parts of the country.

The baby shower I am hosting is next Sat. Many ladies cannot come. On one hand I am so sad to not have them be a part of the fun...yet my budget is getting more in line with what I wanted to spend. I am looking forward to the fellowship and fun. I know my girls can not wait to hostess and be in charge.

Well I hope to report back that I DO HAVE A BUDGET.......wish me luck-

Is anyone working on figuring out a budget?

July 14th, 2006 at 07:39 pm

I am going to try very hard in the next 7 days to prepare a real honest budget for myself. I keep putting it off. I would rather go to the pool or take a nap or do something fun with my kids, play with the kitties.....or sit on the frontporch! I really need to get this done!!!! Anyone care to join my little challenge? Why am I stalling??? I am not sure....but I need to get going on this pronto!

Old Habits die Hard

July 14th, 2006 at 08:19 am

I have called my hoarding friend a few times. She has had her car break down and the washer at her rental house over flowed and flooded her basement. Thankfully she has a car from a friend to use and the plumber is coming over the landlord called him.

I tried to encourage her. She seems in good spirits! even though so much as happened again!

I was so sad--she told me she went to bed, bath and beyond and bought an expensive double rod rolling clothing rack to store her excess clothes. Then she told me she went shopping at BIG LOTS. Part of me wanted to scold her and part of me was shocked. I guess when you do hoard and shop compulsively it must be something you can not see in yourself.
I really really hope she get s revelation here soon. I now almost feel sorry for her. I will keep chatting with her....maybe I will make some head way.

Son blew a tire today on the way home from soccer practice at 8am......another expense! It is at the tire store now. It should be fixed by 3 today. Thankfully his coach saw his distress and pulled over on the road and helped him.

We stopped at Kohl's he needed some dress slacks and a few shirts for work....we got them on sale...but again another expense.
Stay cool everyone...it is so hot here.....please keep your shades down and the fan on.

Use that Pantry up--

July 13th, 2006 at 11:06 am

I have to get serious and cut back on groceries...so we are eating out of the pantry. I just had to order a pc. of glass that is odd in size.....it was not cheap. It is so frustrating! To feel like I am making strides then BOOM.....I am not making strides.

Other ideas I have---
use up craft items in the basement-cheap entertainment.

Maybe have a fall garage sale. One that I get the proceeds. Really clean out.

No eating out for the rest of July-(like pizza) let the ex husband do that with the kids. Have him take them to the amusement park, movies etc...
Use free kids meals coupons before they expire.

No clothing items are to be purchased

Keep hitting the dollar store for needs and basic suplies.

Use the library more

Keep a/c turned down as much as possible!!

What things are you currently working on to make ends meet or save more money???

Hooray it is Weds!

July 12th, 2006 at 09:02 pm

Not much to report.....my wonderful parents left today. The did a great job on my daughter's room--it is so pretty! I hope she is happy! I am still trying to clean and tidy the house...things got dis-organized with all the re-doing and painting. I have got to work on a budget. I have to tell my money where to go. I am in good control but I have got to do better. It has been humid here.....very very humid! I have had to use a/c.....it is scary to have to use it so much. How are gas prices? Ours vary from town to town...it is kinda strange.

I try to not drive or combine trips as it is crazy not to think that way--
I am working on reading some good budgetting books....and the other blogs for encouragement. It helps so very much. I am still socking away as much as I can......it is so important to sock it now at my age, and being divorced......there is no other way.
So far we have had three homes go to sheriff sale in our neighborhood. I am not sure but I am betting that affects my home value.

Has anyone purchased school supplies yet?
I wish I was motivated to do that- my friend and her daughters are done...they went to STAPLES. I am thinking of doing it next week if there ar some loss leader/school supplies.

I am going to send my children's teacher some money. They have the little boy with cancer. The Lord has told me to give a large amount--I keep fighting this. They are very needy. I am going to do it on Thursday or by Friday. My kids are healthy---we are blessed--I have to learn to trust God in this area---

Stay encouraged this week----

Back to Blogging

July 11th, 2006 at 04:44 am

Greetings! I am finally back to the blog world. I have been so busy and continue to be busy!
The garage sale went really well...we made about $500.00! We had a super first day...took Friday off and then re-opened on Saturday. There was a tag sale down the street on Saturday so we took advantage of the extra traffic. We had tons of folks stop by...what a blessing that was for us. I was able to pack up all the leftover items not sold and take them directly to Goodwill. My son helped me pack and bag it all up. Goodwill took just about everthing. When we stopped at Goodwill I was overwhelmed by the mountains of items they had....it made me wonder about how much excess we all have and how it is so not needed in all reality. The Goodwill seemed swamped with stuff! I got the garage cleaned up as well. So my daugther's class made some great money. All in all we had alot of fun and enjoyed hosting the sale. My daughter and her two pals did a great job organizing and pricing.

My friend finally was kicked out of her house. It was very nutty towards the end. She needed alot of help. She commented how she could of never had done it all without our help....it was that BAD!!!I took van fulls of trash to my house! She was not able to leave any trash anywhere.....so I took it all to my backyard. My yard was full!! It was very overwhelming! I was so glad I could help...otherwise she would of had to hire a company to pick it all up. They did have to call 1-800-got-junk? to take a huge pc. of carpet that weighed maybe 500 pounds! It was gross as her pets had urinated on it for years.....her house was so dirty and gross.....I felt very sorry for her in a way. I wish I knew how bad it was beforehand.....she needs to get some counselling in dealing with all her stress. She is so sweet but is in need of some mental health services. I will continue to check in with her
she was worried I would not continue to be her friend....I hope to keep up contact with her......
My tree lawn was full of trash on trash day! Thankfully the trash guys took it all!!! She is now in her new rental house and trying to settle herself. She seems to be doing fine. She had good day in court last week. She is now going to be getting some money from her ex. Hopefully her ex will start giving her the child support and spousal support she has bee owed for two yrs. She has been thru a valley....now things are looking up.

I also called 1-800-got-junk? They took a ping pong table and my old basketball hoop and pole on Monday. It was worth the $79.00.
I HIGHLY recommend this service. I booked my apt. online and saved $10.00 in doing so. They were excellent. They arrived on time and were super to deal with. If you have alot of junk and you need to de-clutter.....they are a great way to go.

My parents are here for three days. They are painting my daughter's room it is her Birthday gift. My mom sewed all new bedding and curtains-lets just say she is amazing! SO today my dad will prime the walls and hopefully paint. SO far he has fixed my downspout.....trimmed some trees and cleaned windows! He is amazing as well....! It is so nice to have some things done. Plus he has the tools and equipment to do it. We sat on the porch last night and relaxed....it was so nice to relax after a busy Monday. My daughter is in Chicago all week on a missions trip. So when she ges back she will have a brand new bedroom. I hope she is doing OK....I heard from her once when she go there. She is in a neighborhood that is Puerto Rican. They are working with an inner city church. They are hosting a sport camp and a Vacation Bible school. I keep thinking of her---hopefully she is doing fine. She seemed very excited to "rough it".

Next project is to clean the basement...now that the ping pong table is gone. I still have some clothes to take to Goodwill.....I am planning on doing it in early August when he kids are in FL. with heir dad. He has been bugging me and driiving me crazy. Iam not sre why.....I am usually never buggged. He told me someone is hosting a party for him and his honey. I think that thought of some sort of engagement party just hurt my feelings a bit. I think I am better today.....at times I am still amazingly raw in the emotions department.

I am not saving money this week it seems.
My parents want to go to the Cheesecake Factory tonight. I figure that would be a nice thing to do for them....it is not exactly cheap.....oh well. My kids seem to be eating so much food too....summer is so much harder I think as far as food goes. I had to purchase some clothing items for my daughter for Chicago. So that was a set back as well. I hope to get back in the groove soon. It is bugging me!

I hope everyone else is doing better in the budget department.....have a great day.

Frugal Dinners

July 6th, 2006 at 12:02 am

What are some of your favorite dinner ideas that are somewhat frugal and simple? Here are a few of mine...and my children's--

pancakes and bacon or sausage
hobo dinner...gr. beef foil packet dinner
pasta with a sauce and cheesy bread
canned soup and grilled cheesers
sloppy joes
english muffin pizzas
Kilbesa and baked beans
shake and bake chicken legs

I used to have so many cookbooks....now I have about ten books. I use the web for recipes. The simplier the better for me.

Garage Sale

July 5th, 2006 at 06:37 am

Not much time to write...we are having the garage sale on Thursday so we are working in the garage getting ready. All money raised goes to the freshman class....this is our first fundraiser for them, my daughter's class. I did this for my son's class and we made $500 last summer. I have had few parents donate but not too many.....we still will have a good sale I am sure.

We have to sort and price and get it all ready. I also have to do the baby shower invitations as well....summer is moving too quickly!

It is very cool out and so the ac is off and the windows are open! I hope to not spend too much this week.....we will see. I have a coupon for CVS so I hope to buy TP and some laundry soap. I can save a little with a coupon.

All the yardwork is done--- my son re-mowed since it rained so much our grass went nuts. The yard looks like a magazine cover! It really looks lovely. I love to sit on the porch swing and gaze upon the trees and flowers....it is so wonderful to do that......I just love it out there!!!

Have a good day everyone. I really pray I keep up my energy and work well getting the sale ready with my kids. I truly pray that I stay on task and not get off track since I have so much to do.

So Thankful!

July 4th, 2006 at 08:40 am

Hello everyone! I am so filled with gratefulness today. A few young men helped me and my kids help my neighbor today....we moved out so much on the free church trailer! It was wonderful to have strong guys to help lift and haul....we were so thankful! She has some more to do but she is in decent shape! She had a great day in court as well....she took my advice and stayed silent and let her lawyer talk. The judge took such pity on her......I think he was ultra shocked at her ex and how much she is owed money wise....The judge saw him in a very poor light. I am so thankful that the judge saw her plight!! Hopefully she will begin to get some money as she is so broke!

I am so thankkful I truly had the opportunity to help her.....I had to be patient and I had to bite my tongue so much! It really was a wonderful lesson for me.

We helped at church last night. We opened our church parking lot for visitors to watch the fireworks. It was so nice! We had a Dj and food and snacks... a popcorn machine and games for the kids.....we had so many folks say do it again next year! We had fun just loving people and being friendly! I got to chat with lots of nice people. My daughter helped too and she had a blast. I am so thankful I said yes to helping....I was so tired....I wanted to do nothing last night.....but I am so thankful I went!!!

I feel so exta blessed today......on the fourth of July I feel so thankful to live in USA....such freedom and oppoertunity we have. Be thankful today that you have good friends and family to perhaps celebrate with today....be thnakful for all our blessings......I know I have written the word--thankful alot today in my little blog-- but it means so much to me today this precious hoilday we celebrate----enjoy your day!

Family Fun

July 2nd, 2006 at 08:33 pm

Well....I wanted to do something for the Holiday----- We trimmed all the bushes and weeded. That was fun....but such hard work! My kids actually helped and did not complain one bit!!! My daughter did alot of the trimming and she did such a good job! She is only 14 so I was amazed how nicely she did them. My son really helped as well. I have three bushes in the backyard that were hand me downs from my ex MIL years and years ago. They served their time but were looking really bad. So my son said lets rip them out and do it over! It was neat to see everyone getting excited over ripping out bushes and dirt! My son did most of the hard labor.....it was really hard!!!!!!

I am getting some mulch on Monday and I went and got five little bushes to plant. It is amazing how fresher it looks and well.....nice! My kids really had fun raking and looking at worms and bugs.....we even found a plastic ring buried in the dirt...we pretended we found a long lost treasure and we wondered if we should sell it on eBay!!! It was a fun laugh!

I helped my friend who lost her house...with more things today....mostly I helped type her resume. It was so sad my printer ran out of ink!!!!!I was able to email it to another friend and get it printed for her. She needs it for her court appearance at noon on Monday.

We made stuffed shells tonight...boy were they great! I got the pasta on the clearance shelf at the grocery store. I have an easy recipe if you would like it ----let me know!

The lady who has helped me with cleaning forever has been in the hospital. We visited her after church complete with pink flowers and balloons! We had a nice time seeing her. She is in for tests....she may have liver cancer. All other cancers have been ruled out. She seemed in pretty good spirits. I think her hubby is very worried.....he is a sweet doting hubby! Very attentive to her every need.

I have a busy week coming up.....it seems overly crazy for some reason. I will have to pace myself and keep a good list going on my tablet on my desk.
I have not done anything with my spousal support check for the month of July....I am hoping to make it till next month and put a chunk of it in my savings. I just want to save....save...save as much as I possibly can. I am not worried but I do not want to waste it or fritter it away......I seem to have a busy money month. My daughter needs those eyeglasses...she graciously has offered to wait and make due....they keep falling off her face now and again....so I really appreciate her saying that.

I have fallen off the laundry wagon....I am so behind! When I work outside...I seem to not get things done inside....oh well...I can do it on Monday.
Enjoy your Holiday!