Friday, January 30, 2009


.......we officially become home owners! Please pray for us.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!!

Wow, there is just so much going on right now, I don't even know where to begin.....

-We close on our first home tomorrow
- We found out that we only need to bring under $50 to settlement; PRAISE GOD!
-Finish packing our things
-Travel to Lowes to purchase items needed to remove wallpaper & then paint
-Complete Car registrations
-Complete change of address form
-Finish planning hubby's birthday dinner for this weekend
-Plan menu/Go food shopping
-Hubby's boss wants to talk to him tomorrow and she said it's good! (PRAISE GOD!)
-Mail off FINAL rent check to our landlords!!
- Go to BJ'S

And the list goes on and on and on; I'm glad though and am VERY grateful that the LORD has given my hubby and I this opportunity. What a mighty GOD we serve!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Having Dinner Out Tonight

This is where having a Dining Out Budget or Savings comes into play. My husband has some co-workers who are visiting here in the states and they want to go out to dinner before they go back to Romania this weekend. Since we are closing on our home Friday and will be kinda busy tomorrow night, we will go to dinner tonight. We are taking them to an American Restaurant, Applebees! I wonder if they had a burger before or'll see.

Note: My hubby had to go to Romania for a month a couple months back to train some of the employees in their Romanian office. Me and Issy went with him. We also got to go to London as well. It was a great experience and something I will never forget. They were so nice and kind to us while we were there..and things are much cheaper too!

Can Dining Out be a Budget Buster?

Maybe..but then again maybe not.

We all have those moments when we don't feel like cooking, or we have something cooked but just not in the mood for that particular dish. Say you were out all day either running errands, handling business, or got caught in an emergency. When you get home you are just tired and hungry; and you want those two needs met right away, without much ado on your part. That's where you decide to stop at a drive thru or order takeout or go to a restaurant and have a nice meal. If you have found yourself in any of these situations more times than many (like myself), then maybe it's time to create a Dining Out category to your general budget.

When I wrote in one of my first posts when I started this blog, I noted that over the coarse of 3 months, we spent almost $2,000 JUST in dining out. That was way too much money to be thrown down the toilet when it could have gone else where, i.e. saving account. When I finally made up in my mind to develop a budget and stick to it, I left out Dining Out altogether.

When I showed my husband the budget, he said that there is nothing wrong with dining out, it's when you abuse it that it becomes a bad thing. Then he said to be realistic and honest with myself. Those dishes that I LOVE so much in restaurants, I can make at home and it'll be cheaper and taste better; so that's what I started doing. Then once I saw myself scaling back and spending less dining out it made me proud, especially when I saw more and more money being saved rather than given to McDonalds, etc.

I soon started to look for ways to dine out cheaply. My hubby isn't a fan of fast food, so I started to look for ways to go to sit-down type places and do so on a budget. I soon started to cut coupons to places like Olive Garden or Red Lobster; or wait until restaurants ran specials on their dishes. Also, is a really way to order gift certs. at a cheaper rate and you take them to the restaurant and use those like cash (In case anyone want an additional 70%off their gift certs when they checkout, put in the promo code SUPER). I am order 1 $75.00 gift cert. to a restaurant in Radnor, PA for me and hubby to go to and it will only cost $18.00 due to the 70% promo code.

So, there you have it....dining out can be done where you can enjoy it and be inexpensive at the same time. It also is a great self-esteem booster because you can eat $75 worth of food and spend UNDER $20 for it. So I'm going to challenge you to analyze your dining out, see how much it's costing you, and create a budget and see if you can stick to it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Honey!!

Yes, isn't he handsome!

After 5 1/2 years together, my love for you grow even stronger. You go out and work to provide for me and issy and we want you to know we appreciate all your hard work. We don't know where we would be without you in our lives. I thank GOD for bring me to you this day and forever more. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and many, many more. We love you honey!!!!

Old Navy, Circuit City, Kohls!!!

Yesterday, I ventured out to look for a gift for my hubby's birthday. As I was out, I decided to take note of any major sales that were going on.

Old Navy....
This place had the BEST sales by far. They had women's shoes and sandals marked down to $.99 cents. Yep, ladies you saw correctly, 99 cents. There were women in there trying and buying those shoes. I went to look but didn't see any that I liked. They had some brown flip flops for children and I got Issy a pair for $.59 cents, regular price $3.50

I then got a kid's jumper, pair of children sneaker's, and a hat for $5.70! Yep the clearance prices were further discounted to an extra 50% off. I got the sneakers for $2.24, they were originally $7.50! I got the jumper for $1.48, it was $12.50 regular price! And the hat we bought was $.99 cents; regular price $3.50!

So before the any discounts my bill would have been $27, but with the sales the total was $5.70! Saved over $21!

Next Kohls....

I really like Kolhs. They sell a lot of well made items but they can be very pricey. While there I didn't see too many good deals. They did have some office furniture like lamps, desks, etc. 50% off. After I did the math, it still was a good enough sale so I didn't purchase those items. I did find however a wedding frame that I have been wanting to put in our bedroom but it was too expensive. But here it was on clearance for $7.99, so I most certainly snag that. I also found a shirt and shorts for $6.70 on clearance. Regular price $33!

Circuit City....

Although they are going out of business, I didn't see too many good deals. They have items on clearance, but not enough clearance, if that makes sense. most of it was 10%-20% off. I didn't purchase anything.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What would you do with $500 or $1000?

The following in taken from CNN.COM/MONEY....It asks a good question....

"Part of President Obama’s stimulus package is a tax credit of $500 for individuals and $1,000 for couples (with some income restrictions). If Congress passes the measure, what will you spend it on?

If you intend to pay off debt, how are you deciding which debt to pay down? If you are saving the money, are you investing it or just putting it in an account?"

So.......If my hubby and I got a $1000 tax credit ( since we are married), it would put into savings. Since both of our credit cards have $0 balances, we are aren't officially homeowners yet, we have no car payments or personal loans; we'll just save it. I do have student loans but it's no incentive to pay extra unless you're paying off the whole amount; so we'll just stick to our regularly scheduled payments.

What would you do with this tax credit?

Attention Target Shoppers: Clearance!

Attention Target Shoppers: I Found Time On Clearance!

She also saw many other items on sale too! I might have to go take a look...
Click on the link to go to her blog.

Budgeting, Future Deals, Misc......


If your like me, you probably have searched and searched for a budget sheet that you could stick with, easy to follow, and easy to explain to your spouse or to someone else. I have downloaded and printed so many budget sheets trying to find something that would work for me and my family. When I failed at keeping a budget, I just blamed it on not find a good budget spreadsheet.

I finally had an epiphany, when after months and years of over drafts, negative accounts, no savings, and many sleepless nights; i realized that it was me. I was the reason for my family's constant decline regarding our finances. My husband and I also printed out our monthly statements from both of our accounts and decided we would go over them the old-fashioned way; with a pen and calculator.

After totaling the numbers after our bills, and food; we saw that we spend almost $2,000 just in DINING OUT in 3 months. Can you believe that $2,000! That is a lot of money. Think of what we could have saved, just in reducing our dining out consumption. I was so disgusted at myself. I was so angry that I, NOT my husband, but I caused all this because I was too lazy to cook and when I did cook I didn't want what I made.

I had no discipline at all. None what's so ever. And all the while causing my poor husband to feel like he couldn't depend on me. That was the breaking point. I always want my husband to feel like he can depend on his wife; that he can count on me if he cannot count on anyone else. I knew that I had to show my GOD and my husband that I could raise from the ashes and be responsible.

I found a budget sheet that worked and most importantly, I stuck with it. I made sure I knew at all times what our bills were, how much I was spending, rethinking an item before I bought it, researching sales at stores, using coupons, and being frugal. Now, my hubby feels so happy that he can count on me. He doesn't even check the accounts anymore. He just comes to me! That makes me feel so happy, more that any sale could ever do.

Now, I have set goals for my family, got approval from my hubby, and have more knowledge about financial matters than before. I also see the LORD stretching our money and using it to help others. We also are in the final stages of buying a house. So, there it is....our testimony regarding how we started on the wrong track but ending up on the right track.

Looking back, I cannot believe that I would actually get upset when my hubby would try and tell me I should be responsible with the money. I felt insulted. I felt like I am an adult and if I spend money, then don't question me. I believe that is why the Lord, had to bring me to the lowest of low. He had to make me humble and most importantly submissive to my husband. Boy, sometimes I just wanna slap myself for how I acted in the past, but I just thank GOD that he helped me get over that hurdle and I thank GOD for my husband who stuck with me through the good times but the ever so hard times we had. Love you dear!

Anyhoo.......Future Deals....

It seems that because of the economy, there are many stores that are unfortunately going out of business or having huge sales.

These are some of the places I'm keeping an extra eye on for things for my family or for others....

Babies R US
Children's place
Circuit City
Old Navy

When visited at the right moments, you can walk away with so many items and pay pennies on the dollar for them.

For example,
I bought about $95.00 worth of items from BABIES R US and paid maybe $23 for it all!!!!

Nothing..I just feeling really good, deep in my soul and go to closing on our home THIS Friday! Thank You Jesus!!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Great shopping deals

Box of Donuts

24 count box of Sprite can soda

BBQ Chips

Gallon of 2% Milk

Box of mutli-colored pasta

2 boxes of DiGornio Garlic Bread/Pepperoni Pizzas (Yum)

Reynolds Foil

Kellogg’s Fruit Loops

Kellogg’s Raisin Bran (Hubby adore these)

Kellogg’s Strawberry Mini Wheats (Hubby loves these)

Kellogg’s Blueberry Mini Wheats-(Hubby likes these)

Pillsbury Pie Crust


Fresh Garlic Bread

Bag of Garden Salad

2 Sunday Papers (One for me and my mom; loads of coupons)

Huggies Wipes

Total BEFORE Coupons/Savings: $66.54

Total after & out of pocket cost: $30.00!!!!

Saved OVER 54% and if you noticed, most of the items are name brand which in this case was cheaper than generic.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fun Pics

Playing around with the camera.


Just some songs the Lord has placed on my heart this morning....

What a mighty God we serve, What a mighty GOD we serve
The angels bow before him, heaven and earth adore him,
What a mighty GOD we serve....

Another Song....

Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus, Thank you Lord
I'm gonna thank you, all the days of my life...
Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus, Thank you Lord
I'm gonna thank you, all the days of my life.

Another Song....

GOD is good, all of the time
all of the time, God is good, god is good
God is good, all of the time
all of the time God is good.

One last song....

At the cross, at the cross
where I first saw the light
and the burden of my heart all lay
It was there, by faith, I received my sight
and now, I am happy all the day...

Thank you Jesus for being so good to us. I love you more than words could express. I'm so glad to be a child of the most high KING!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shopping Deals

You are probably wondering how did I manage to get this much stuff and for what price. I'll first list everything I bought, how much I paid out of pocket, and much much I saved.

As you can see from the picture above what I got, but I some of the items you can't see because they are so small.

I usually shop once, maybe even twice a month for our non-food items. This includes baby items such as diapers, wipes, clothing; or household items such as laundry detergent, trash bags, tissue, paper towels, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. I budget $150 a month for these items, which is pretty good. I usually buy diapers, wipes, chicken, soap, toothpaste, and a host of other things in bulk, so when you figure that into $150, I come out pretty good and it's usually cheaper that way.

Here it goes:

Huggies diapers
Johnson & Johnson's children soap
2-pack air freshener
Multi-surface pledge cleaner
Dryer sheets
ALL Laundry Detergent
Ring Pop
Cooking Spray
Baking cups
box of freeze pops for Isabelle
Body wash
Dial liquid hand soap
Suave deodorant
Ziploc Bags
2 Bounty Paper towels
Quiltern Northern Toilet Tissue- 6 pack
3 boxes of Puffs Plus Tissue
South Park Desk calender for hubby
8 Containers of Luvs baby wipes
28oz of baby wash ( the biggest you can get)

Total BEFORE savings/coupons for all items in picture = $69.19

Total AFTER & Out of Pocket = $49.61!

Saved $19.58! I had $80.00 budgeted for this bi-weekly shopping trip so I am $30.39 UNDER Budget!!!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Planning for Disney!

Disney World is perhaps one of the most exciting places in the world. Whenever I think of that place I always get a happy feeling; very bubbly and excited inside.

When my husband and I were planning our honeymoon, we decided that Orlando was the place to go. We went to Disney and Universal Studios and had a ball. We stayed in a resort, ran through the parks, ate our hearts out, drove go-karts, and got caught in a few T-storms!

We went back to Orlando again for our 1st anniversary but this time we went to Sea World. My husband always talked about going and this time we went. We enjoyed ourselves and didn't want to leave.

This time around we have a 2 year old daughter. We always talked about taking her to Disney around 4 or 5. We had some requirements first, like sleeping through the night, must be able to walk most of the time, be fully potty trained, and a good eater.

We have ordered the Disney planning DVD and have scheduled to go September 2010, Lord's will. It about 19 months away but the planning starts now. I have come to realize that people who plan to go to Disney, plan years in advance. They save they're money, and go there and have a ball. And that's just what I plan to do. First I will pray and ask the Lord's if it's ok. Then open an ING savings account just for our Disney Fund. We have looked up resorts on Disney property, tickets, airfare, dining,misc, taxes and spending money and figure we will need $4000.00. Boy that's alot of money, but this shouldn't be a problem if we're saving for 19 months. That's the beauty of it; if we deny ourselves other wants, we can plan to go to Disney and REALLY enjoy ourselves because we waited 19 months and saved up our money.

Disney also has a birthday promotion going on. Come to Disney on your birthday and you'll get in the parks for FREE!! If you have already bought your tickets in advance, they'll give you a free $50 gift card on the spot to use in they're parks!!!
Since me and my daughter birthday are 4 days within each other, we'll have an extra $100 from Disney!

We could use all the advice/help/suggestions that you all might have in regards to traveling to Disney or in general. Thanks!

Today's to-do list

There seems to be so much going on right now and to be honest I kinda like it. I like to be busy, especially helping others.

Today is my Mother's (Hubby's mom) birthday. We have something special planned for her. She is such a godly example of what it means to live holy and to live for GOD. She never complains, whines, or get out of the way. She is kind, sweet, loving, and very caring. She can find her reading her bible, fasting, praying, and helping others ALL of the time. She is such a blessing and I don't know what we would do without her. We love her to pieces! Happy Birthday Mom!

Another things I have to do today is make a Strawberry/Banana cake, tidy up the house, put up my Disney post on my blog, and run a few errands. My hubby's birthday is the week after next so I am going to start planning for that.

Well that's all for today. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pathmark Triple Coupons!

Next week, from Jan 16th-Jan 22nd, Pathmark will TRIPLE coupons! You have to have a pathmark card of coarse...Enjoy!

Grocery shopping

Shopping Trip-Jan 14th-Jan 22nd

I still have 1 store to visit.
Budget for Acme-$15.00


3 Langer’s Juices
Lysol toilet cleaner
Trident gum
2-4 packs of cottenelle toilet tissue
1 pack of lunchables
Brayer’s strawberry ice cream
Box of popsicles
Pack of shredded cheddar and monetary jack cheeses
Lysol Kitchen cleaner
Cartoon of whipped cream
2 cans of Pringles
5 lb. bag of potatoes
Pie crust
Baking items
Ritz crackers
Texas toast croutons
1% milk
1 Box of 8 go-gurt yogurt for issy
1 box of Swiss Miss Mocha hot cocoa
1 Box of whole grain spaghetti
1 personal pizza
1 Box of strawberry toaster struddles
2 boxes of tri-colored pasta
2 cans of Musselman’s baking apples
Bottle of ranch dressing
McCormick sea salt
Cartoon of frosting
1 pack of permanent markers

Total BEFORE coupons/savings=
Total AFTER/paid out of pocket=
Saved over 30%


5 boxes of iced tea/fruit juices
1 water
2 packs of Nestle cookie dough
Package of chicken breast
Strawberry waffles
Ziploc storage bags
Head of cabbage
2 lbs. of bananas
2 liter Pepsi
2 liter raspberry ginger ale
2 liter grape soda
1 bag of chips
Quaker cheddar rice cakes
Quaker Carmel rice cakes
Quaker Oats cereal
4 cans of soda
Betty Crocker potatoes
Dietz & Weitzen pepper turkey breast
1 loaf of wheat bread
Hunts pack of bbq sauce
Cartoon of strawberries

Total BEFORE coupons/savings=
Total AFTER/paid our of pocket = $27.08
Saved over 56%

In addition, when I looked at my Pathmark receipt, it says I saved $87.10 so far THIS YEAR, and I only been there twice! YAY!!!

How did your shopping trip go? Please share!

Almost there..........

We have gotten our Inspection, Appraisal, and contract details straightened out and now our next move is settlement.

W settle on the 30th of this Month!!!!!!!

I have to admit, at first I didn't want to be a homeowner because I didn't want to fix any major problems in a house, BUT now I am sooooo excited that me and Steve (hubby) will be homeowners. The Lord has blessed us with a wonderful real estate agent who has been nothing but great during this experience. The Lord also provided us with other people in the industry who were nothing but helpful and nice to us. And trustworthy..we know it was no one but GOD who was making this all happen and for that we are truly grateful.

I'll be posting later about my bi-weekly shopping trip...stay tuned.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shopping on the cheap

Since we bought our home, there seems to be so many things we have to get. I guess I never realized it, until now. Things like lamps, curtains, rugs, towels, sheets, light bulbs, etc; and it all cost MONEY. And depending on what you get, it could cost ALOT of MONEY.

With that in mind, I have set a budget and have made up in my mind to stay within that budget by being a smart shopper. I have visited thrift stores, ebay, craiglist, and other retailers like Target/Walmart.

Ill let you know what good stuff I find.\


Friday, January 9, 2009

We Are New Homeowners

I know I haven't been posting lately, but I promise its for a good reason. My husband and I just became First Time home Buyers! It was/is a very stressful and exciting process all wrapped into one. We believe that the Lord made this ALL possible and we cannot take any credit. He blessed us with a GREAT Realtor and other wonderful people in the business. Not only that but they paid most of our costs, like inspection, radon testing, termite testing, mortgage processing fee ( $1,680) and a host of other things. And our Realtor just told us today that we'll be able to use the first time home buyer credit of $7,500 on our TAXES this year (if we wait to do our taxes until AFTER settlement; which by the way we settle on Jan.30th) so we'll have an extra $7,500 at least to save. Praise GOD!

We have set a budget for things to buy for the house and now we can start the fun part of buying a home; SHOPPING!! I've never been so excited to purchase a towel before, but that comes with having your first new home.

The home is actually in good condition. I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA so it's VERY expensive to live here, I mean expensive! If we bought a home in one of the southern states, we'd be able to get a HUGE house. But we like where we are now so we'll take something smaller to remain happy. It's 3 updated bedrooms, 1 remodeled bath, private parking, finished new basement with recessed lighting, central air and heat, bright new laundry room, freshly painted walls, new double closets, and so many others things.

We are just so happy and thank GOD for having mercy on us and blessing us with a wonderful home!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 Goals!!!!

Instead of making New Years Resolutions, I prefer to use the term " Goals". Usually I forget my resolutions by the 2nd week and have already failed keeping them at that point. However, when I make goals for myself or my family, they are usually at the forefront of my brain.

There are 2 types of goals that my husband and I have talked about for this year; Family & Financial Goals.

Our Family Goals:
1. Read the bible in it's entirety in a year. They have many, many resources out there that you can use to help you get through the bible.

2. Have my little sweet pea go to sleep on her own and use the potty by herself. Also ween her from nursing.

3. Have a date night with my hubby at least once a month. Have family fun night twice a month.

4. Eat healthier.

5. Spend more time outdoors when the weather is beautiful. Parks & Libraries are great places to start.

Financial Goals:

1. Spend less money on ALL bills, including Electric, Food, etc. ( will post about this subject soon)

2. Save 30% of our income by December 31st, 2009. Seems like a long shot, but with focus and discipline, it can be done. Besides, when the Lord sees my family being good stewards with our money, he'll make it stretch or even add on to it.

3. Open at least 2 ING accounts. I have seen many people recommended ING as a great place to start, when trying to be financially independent.

4. Get Sweet Pea a piggy bank or some kind of saving device. It's never to early to teach good habits, especially regarding money.

5. Buy our First Home; which we are currently in the process of. I'll keep you all updated.

We have short term goals too ( like starting a savings account for a trip to Disney by September 2010, Lord's will), but I'll do a separate post on that soon. We'll that's our goals! Not too much or too little. With hard work and prayer, I know this can be done.

SAHMs and Sisters in Spirit
Mrs. B.