Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2013

Monday No Spend Challenge and Frugal Update

Since I have two weeks to get caught up on the Frugal Update and the No Spend Challenge (sigh), let's get this ball rolling!

Last week was homecoming at both schools my kids attend, we have gone to a lot of ball games and cross country meets, Jordan's wisdom teeth out, and not a lot else on the plate. I did that on purpose! I am pretty serious about keeping the gas usage down. Even filling twice a week was starting to get ridiculous. In an effort to keep it down, I have been intentionally and consciously driving the speed limit. For those of you who know me well, that was a big adjustment on my behalf. The results have been great! I also have been keeping the trips to a minimum. Last weekend, I did not go anywhere except to the football game Friday night.

I am finding out that if I stay home more, I get a lot more creative about what I do and don't do.

Those of you who were wondering about the games and admission, we have activity passes that we were gifted with. A huge bl…

Weekend Links

It's the weekend! Time to conquer and divide! But be sure to relax too!

I have a lot of interests and I read about a lot of different things. I always want to share that information with you and I couldn't decide on the best way for a long time. I always want to sound like the expert and share this information with you after I tried it, but you know I just don't have the time to try everything I want to.

Every weekend I will share with you 5-8 articles, blog posts, videos, or books that I think you should check out. I will be posting where they came from and what the article is with a link for you to go see them yourself. This truly is the best way because I do not want to take credit where credit is not due.

So, without further ado...

Where Are You On Your Homesteading Journey? by Joybilee Farm

How To Do It All by Home Joys

Your Questions: Getting It All Done by Reformation Acres

Build a Better Pantry: How I use Price Lists to Help Me Prepare for an Emergency by Mom With A Prep

T…

Planning for Christmas - Week 2

(I was a bit busy this week and am a bit behind. Monday's frugal update will be next Monday! Thanks!)

With Week 1's Planning for Christmas, we got our holiday notebooks and our list of people we wanted to give presents to written in it. This week will be building upon it.

First, I want you to write your family traditions in your holiday notebooks. Anything you do for the holidays that your family loves to do, you love to do, food you love to make, and whatever else you consider a tradition. Think about what your family loves to do at the holidays.

Notice I use the word "love". If you have a family tradition that seems like a burden, reconsider that tradition. This is all about making the holidays fun, easier, frugal, and organized. If a tradition is a burden, it is becomes a chore and that is not what the holidays are about.

After writing down your traditions, make a list of things you need to make those traditions happen. Whether it be food, gifts, craft supplies,…

Weekend Links

It's the weekend! Time to conquer and divide! But be sure to relax too!


I have a lot of interests and I read about a lot of different things. I always want to share that information with you and I couldn't decide on the best way for a long time. I always want to sound like the expert and share this information with you after I tried it, but you know I just don't have the time to try everything I want to.

Every weekend I will share with you 5-8 articles, blog posts, videos, or books that I think you should check out. I will be posting where they came from and what the article is with a link for you to go see them yourself. This truly is the best way because I do not want to take credit where credit is not due.

So, without further ado...

25 Fast Facts About The Federal Reserve - Please Share With Everyone You Know by The Economic Collapse

FREE PDF: Complied Aquaphonics Research for Beginners Part 1 by Ed That Matters

Debt-Free Living: Where Do I Start? by Stacy Makes Cents

Making J…

How Can I Prep? I Have No Money!

I have written before about prepping with little or no money. Prepping with no money takes some creativity, some patience, and some planning. However, I still hear things like:

   "I wish I could do what you do, but I don't have the money."
   "I don't have the money for all that stuff!"
   "I don't have the time for that and I can't pay for it so I don't do it."

Money is nice when prepping, but money can only get you so far. Money doesn't teach you skills or how to be creative with your resources. Money doesn't get you in shape or do the work for you. Money doesn't make plans, inventory, or lists.

If and when something happens, money might buy the goods and grease a few palms. But, at the end of the day, only you can survive and thrive.

Only you can do the work to get through the day and provide for your family. Only you can take care of yourself and your family. Only you can make the decision and use your resources wisely. Only…

Planning for Christmas - Week 1

As I mentioned in the Christmas in September post last week, we will be getting ready for Christmas one week at a time! We have plenty of time, we just need to get it planned!

This week we will be doing a couple of things. None of them are too difficult and will help you keep it altogether!

First, find yourself a notebook to write in. This can be anything that contains paper! You might want a small notebook that you can fit into your purse or a school notebook that is big enough to not lose. You can use an old notebook or a new notebook. Whatever floats your boat! Just make sure there is plenty of paper so you can keep multiple years in the notebook.

Next, in that notebook, I want you to write down anyone you need or want to buy Christmas presents for. If you have birthdays coming up, you may want to write down those too so you can keep the birthday gifts separate from Christmas gifts. Paige's birthday is right before Christmas so I find including her birthday keeps me sane and ma…

Monday Frugal and No Spend Update

Since we are all about keeping it real on this blog, I will admit this last week has sucked. Big time. Getting back on track financially and doing what I can to make some extra money is getting very difficult. Thank you to the State of Iowa for "helping" in this endeavor. You have not made my life any easier this last week with cutting a few services as well as allowing the child support to drop down even though he is still in arrears.

If that sounds angry and bitter to you all, I am right now. I am struggling very hard to stay upbeat and positive. Every time I take a step forward, I slide back down two steps. I can tell you this: The No Spend Challenge will extend into October. Unless a miracle happens.

This week will be a total exercise in not spending money. Hopefully, insurance will cover everything tomorrow when Jordan gets her wisdom teeth out. She is so miserable that they need to come out now. Otherwise we should have a rather cheap week with very little going on exc…

Weekend Links!

It's the weekend! Time to conquer and divide! But be sure to relax too!

 I have a lot of interests and I read about a lot of different things. I always want to share that information with you and I couldn't decide on the best way for a long time. I always want to sound like the expert and share this information with you after I tried it, but you know I just don't have the time to try everything I want to.

Every weekend I will share with you 5-8 articles, blog posts, videos, or books that I think you should check out. I will be posting where they came from and what the article is with a link for you to go see them yourself. This truly is the best way because I do not want to take credit where credit is not due.

So, without further ado...

10 Signs That You're CHEAP Instead of Frugal by Stacy Makes Cents  (Hilarious!)

Hamburger Soup To Can by Home Joys

10 Reasons To Preserve Your Own Food by 365 Days of Creative Canning

Ohio Gov. Kasich: Able-bodied Will Work For Food Stamps by …

Kids and Finances - What Do You Tell Them?

I had a discussion with a friend a few months ago and we came to a point that we had to agree to disagree. We were discussing what you should tell your kids about your finances. This can be a sticky area for most families. I would like to tell you how I handle finances with my kids and what I do with them.

First of all, I will not lie to my kids about money. If I don't have the money, I certainly am not going to spend more on something for them. Most of the time it is a frivolous want, not a need, and they need to be told no anyway. I simply say that I do not have the money for that item right now, but if they want to spend their own money on the item, that is fine.

Some kids will spend their own money and some will show their true colors by not buying it. I want to send the message that it is not okay to spend my money on something that they would not spend their money on too.  As the kids get older, I have them start buying their clothes, accessories, etc. I will buy them things…

Christmas in September - What?!?!

(From Christmas 2010 - My kids were so little!)
Time to start thinking about Christmas!

What that you say, Erica? Not ready for that Christmas thing!

Me neither, but let's get a positive attitude about it!

We have three months and two weeks until Christmas! I also have two birthdays in that time so a little more creative planning is involved. I like to think ahead about these things and get the ball rolling.

I have simplified Christmas to only giving my kids four gifts and a stocking stuffed full. This makes my shopping easier, but I still get to buy sixteen gifts total. Oy!

I have the kids' gifts broken up into four areas:
(1) Something to wear
(2) Something to read (usually about 3-4 books)
(3) Something they want
(4) Something they need

I ask nicely (maybe I mean demand) wish lists from all of them. That way I know what they want, especially the teenagers. They can be the tricky ones! This year I have a college student too. New territory for this mama! I have no idea what…

Monday Frugal and No Spend Challenge Update

With everything in life, when you are being hardcore about your spending and budget, something will challenge it. The challenge for my budget for at least 9-10 months out of the year is school. Something always comes up that is not planned on. With this week, Paige was going on a class retreat and need to help provide snacks. $6.00 for those snacks because homemade food is a no-no in this school district. I also bought a school shirt for Dane for $6.00 and ordered from his book order for $15.00. Those books will be part of his Christmas presents so I am justifying it that way.

We did not go to the store for anything but groceries. 

I did only fill my tank twice which was great considering some of the trips I needed to take. Not having the air conditioner running constantly while driving and keeping my lead foot light kept the gas mileage good.

I also spent $55 in my $130 grocery budget. I will be spending a bit more today because boneless, skinless chicken breasts are on a good sale.…

Monday on Tuesday Frugal Update

I love three day weekends! Now I have a legit excuse to be late with this post! All joking aside, it was a fun, busy weekend.

I learned something new! I have mentioned I love adventure and trying new things. This weekend, Rob arranged for me to learn how to drive a four-wheeler and to go off roading. Once I got the hang of shifting the four-wheeler, I loved it! I always thought I would love it, but it was exhilarating! Even better, we were in some beautiful areas in Wisconsin near the Mississippi River and I can completely understand why people love it there. I love visiting there! And I can't wait for another opportunity to go and teach the kids how to drive one too!

I got a check from Nationwide Insurance for overpayment in the amount of $3.13. However, they owe me a little more than that, but that is another battle for another day.

We got some free cat food from Rob courtesy of a place he delivers to. If they hit the pallet with a forklift and rip a bag open, they can no longer…