Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ahhh...It's Nice To Be Back!!!!

It's good to be back blogging since my hubby's accident and finally moving all of our stuff to our new home. We gave the keys back to the landlords and the rest is history.

My hubby is feeling great and is back at work. He gets the staple taken out of his head Monday.

I am so behind on a lot of things....making my grocery list/matching coupons, laundry, updating our budget, even cooking...sometimes I just found it easier to get take out....

Since then, I updated the budget, cooked dinner and I am now doing laundry and will start my grocery list soon; I don't like going to the market unprepared. I am also in the process of unpacking all our stuff..I'm hoping to have that done by Tuesday, Lord's will...

As for the last post in my financial series (Investments/Retirement), that will be coming this weekend....I had to put that on the back burner because of everything that's going on at the moment.

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Had to go to the Emergency Room....Please pray for us...

My hubby bumped his head this morning against the medicine cabinet in the bathroom and got a bad cut in his head as a result. His head was bleeding and we had to go to the ER this morning. They cleaned him up and had to put a stable in his head to close the wound. He's fine and we're home now. He'll go back to the doctor in 7 days so they can remove the stable.

Please pray for us and as a result of this situation, the Investments/Retirement post will be put up tomorrow, Lord's will!

Have a nice day,

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Investments/Retirement Post delayed until tommrrow...

Had a busy day and I still have some things to do I'll put the final post up tomorrow, Lord's will. I hope you'll tune in.

Enjoy the rest of your evening!

My Husband is the Best!!

I just had to interrupt this financial series to tell you how wonderful my husband is. He came home early yesterday from work around 4:00pm with 2 dozen pink roses, a big bag of pistachios (my favorite), gave me a huge hug and kiss, and told me he was going to take me out to dinner; that night!
So of coarse I put the flowers in some water, gave some nuts to our daughter, got dress, and we were on our way. I order the crab cake, broiled Tilapia, with broccoli and rice...YUMMY!

I also got some nice "smell goods" and a candle with a container for it from Bath and Body smells so good! It's the Dancing Waters scent..I believe it's new.

It was a wonderful night! I love when he does these surprises!! I'm so lucky to have him and that he's mine! All mine!!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Eliminating Bills/Debt....contiuned series...

Now that my baby is taking her nap, I'd thought this would be a good time to post the next topic in this financial series regarding SAHMs and money...enjoy!

Some debt quotes to get us started and to lighten the mood a bit.......

"The only man who sticks closer to you in adversity than a friend is a creditor." ~Author Unknown

"In God we trust; all others must pay cash." ~American Saying

There are plenty of ways to get ahead. The first is so basic I'm almost embarrassed to say it: spend less than you earn." ~Paul Clitheroe

Today, there are three kinds of people: the have's, the have-not's, and the have-not-paid-for-what-they-have's". ~Earl Wilson

I selected each of these quotes for 2 reasons: 1. it brought a smile to my face and 2. they are true in every sense of the word.
We all have debt. We all have bills. However, there is a HUGE difference between the 2, from my perspective. Bills are things we NEED and that are on-going. Examples would be Mortgage/Rent, car payment, insurance, savings (yes, think of it as a bill), misc (cause something ALWAYS will come up), food, gas, utilities (water, phone, heat, electricity), and household (daycare, toiletries, diapers, etc)
. These bills will probably be around for most of our lives and will be money that we'll have to pay out matter what.

Now, let's move on to Debts. Debts are NOT things we need but are created by things we want. For example, having a house isn't a debt, BUT having a house that is too big for you and your family and that require more upkeep and money than what you bring in every month is debt; because if you don't bring in the money, where's the rest coming from? cards!

We remember, at least I do, going into Macy's or our favorite stores and seeing an outfit or pair of shoes we love. They just seem to have kept calling our name, begging us to purchase them and take them home with us. Sound familiar, doesn't it?! I made bad decisions like this on the whim, just figuring I would worry about it later. I thought I was young enough where I could bounce back...but boy was I WRONG!

Debt is also create when we WANT, yes, I said WANT things that costs too much but for appearance purposes we stretch ourselves and our wallets to full capacity. We don't need an Cadillac Escalade when a Toyota Corolla will serve our NEEDS, but we just have to have the Escalade because we like SUV's, or it's nice looking, or we want to keep up with the Joneses. I have to admit, I was like that. I didn't care that it was too much for me or that I couldn't afford it; I just wanted what I wanted. As a result, it take years to pay off, leaves you broke in the meantime, and with more than your fair share of grey hairs.

Now, don't get me wrong not all debt is bad...Mortgages, Student Loans, Car Loan (on a car you NEED); these are good debts and wont harm your credit score too much.

But, then we have those bad credit cards/unnecessary personal loans....(all types of credit cards, i.e. store cards, gas cards, etc.) I remember someone saying, 'if I don't have the cash or money in the back to purchase an item, even if it's a good sale, I don't buy it because it's not a sale for me." How true is that statement! If we all thought about every single item before we bought it to make sure we really needed it, we wouldn't be in this economic mess to begin with. But the fact of the matter is, we as Americans feel as if we can't go without. That we want what we want NOW!! No Exceptions!! We don't want to wait and save and work for it, so we will charge it and worry about it later...OR we'll just pay the minimum balance on the credit card, refi our house, take out a loan, or something else.

In order to become free of these bad habits, we must admit we have a problem, find a solution, and then carry that solution out. I knew if I wanted to have money tucked away for my family that first I'd have to put a stop to buying stuff I didn't need, especially when I would never even use it. It would just sit in my closet or I'd give it away or throw it in the trash. I knew I needed to confront and get rid of any debt we had, then start saving some money..seriously. When something happened with the car, we'd have no savings and all the credit cards would be maxed out; so we'd have no solution; nope none at all!

I hated living like that and so did my husband...if we wanted to buy a t.v. or go to dinner we couldn't because we had no money and all our bills weren't even paid yet. He would work and work and work and couldn't enjoy the fruits of his labor because of my bad habits. I'm so glad we made a turn around. I really am...we sleep better, arguments are much rarer, we have a peace of mind, and our relationship is better. Like I mentioned before....all the student loans are current, both of our credit cards have $0 balances, no car payments (we just keep driving our 10 and 14 year old cars), nicely funded savings account, and over 4 months of our living expenses saved in another account..along with a Christmas and Vacation funds.......and now we are moving towards investments; all with 1 income!

Keep in mind we still have bills just like everyone else, but we choose to limit our bills and put that money away. We have wants; don't think for a minute we don't. This gives us so much more fulfillment than shoes, dresses, and even going to our favorite restaurants.

If you see yourself in the same boat we were in...start by looking at your bank statements and taking note of where all of your money is going to. If you see that you have more bills/debt than what your bringing in..find ways to reduce and put that money aside in a savings account. Trust me, you'll thank yourself for it later.

Tune in tommrow for the last post of this series....Investments/Retirement.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Savings & Emergency Fund....contiuned series....

Look familiar?:

"Financial Bank..........Account Number....00001"

Transactions Amount
ck #100 $ -50.00
overdraft fee $-35.00
phone bill $-100.00
overdraft fee $-35.00
car payment $-200.00
overdraft fee $35.00

Total Balance $-455.00!!!!

Early in our relationship, my husband and I were used to seeing our account in red. We didn't like but we felt as if we couldn't come up from there considering our situation. We always wanted to save money but never got around to it. Either something would come up, we'd buy something we didn't need, we'd go out to eat, or spend it on something else. Before we knew it, we were saying, " I wish we coulda, woulda, shoulda". Before long weeks, months, and even years would go by and we'd still have nothing but constantly owing others. One day we decided that enough was enough! If we wanted to provide a good future for ourselves and our daughter, we needed to have a savings account with money in it!

Since we had 1 income and loans, credit cards, and our regular bills, we needed to create a budget that fitted our needs and stick to it. No if, and, or buts! We also decided to put something towards savings each time their was a paycheck even if it was just $25...kinda like tithes..taking it from off the top. One night after seeing I had spent over $100 in a week and a half on just eating out, my hubby and I printed out our account statements from the past couple months and got a pen and calculator. We wanted to see exactly how much went to just eating out in 3 months. Can you believe that it was almost $1,500 in just 3 months! $1,500! That is a lot of money to waste on eating out, when it could've been saved.

That was the final straw. We created a budget, stayed on top of our money and bills, and started saving. Our first goal was $500.00. It was an good starting point for us and we were able to achieve this goal in a couple months. Then we increased it to $1,000...and once we were able to meet that goal it made us feel good; really good and saving money started to replace the urges of buying clothes, shoes, bags, etc.

Once we saved a $1,000 we knew we could and wanted to save more. So we set a goal for ourselves to have 3 months of living expenses saved, and we not only achieved that goal but we have over 4 months saved, working on 5 months! This is our Emergency Fund! It's there in case hubby loses his job or something happens. We also have other savings accounts such as a Vacation Fund, Christmas Fund, Regular savings, a soon to be Car Fund, and now we are starting to go down the investments path. This is what I think about when I see an outfit or a pair of shoes I want. Or if I want to stop at Burger King or order takeout because I don't want to cook. It motivates us to not waste money but find different ways to save.

Now, I realize every situation is different but we really have to ask ourselves if we are truly being good with what the Lord has given us, including wives, especially SAHMs. Our hubby's count on us to use the hard earn money wisely. When we don't care and spend, spend, spend; then we are showing ourselves to be lazy and least that's what I thought I was. I wasn't being considerate to the fact that my husband has to work hard for that money, I wasn't keeping in mind our bills, getting diapers, etc for our daughter, or even trying to save a little bit. I was feeding a bad hunger that needed to be removed and replaced with a good one.

God forbid the car breaks down, a pipe breaks, gotta buy a new bed, or someone you know may need will you handle the situation with nothing saved? Of coarse GOD will be with us but sometimes we get ourselves in a jam and GOD will allow us to suffer in it a little while so we learn better the next time. That's certainly what happened to me. I felt trapped. I felt like I couldn't get under from the debt. It was truly a stressful time in my life, but I thank GOD for allowing me to stay in the fire a little bit so I can truly learn to do right by everything. my hubby and I have 2 credit cards with no balances....current on all my student loans (which is considered good debt, like mortgages), over 4 months of living expenses saved, funded regular savings, no car loans, and able to give to others. It can be done in any situation, just take the first step and never try to live up to others. Each situation is different and just as good in GOD eyes.

Do you want to be free from bad financial habits like me? Pray and ask GOD to help and guide you to be a better steward today. Just trust him!

The Savings & Emergency Fund, Elimanating Debt/Bills, and Investments/Retirement Series from a SAHM's Perspective

This has been a post that I have been planning on writing for some time and since I am up early this morning, I'd thought this would be the perfect time. It comes from a christian, 1 income point of view.

Saving money is VERY important to me and my family. It gives us a sense of calmness whenever something unexpected happens. There's never a need to fret because we have what we need to get by. But it hasn't always been like this. There was a time when I would be so afraid of looking at the account. It made my stomach hurts to have to see a negative red number. We'd have to rob Peter to pay Paul because things were bad. Now, with the recent downturn of the economy, it has been even more important to be wiser regarding our money. People are losing jobs, their 401ks, IRA'S, and other investments due to the wall street collapse. As a result people turn to their credit cards to help them get by until they find another job or a way to bring in some more funds; which in turn increases their debt.

Being a young couple (I'm 24 & hubby is 29) and living on 1 income, it is even more important that we use what money we have the best way we can. We have to save more, be wiser, and more frugal than a 2 income household. We have the same bills, students loans, and now a mortgage to pay for. Yes, their are times when money gets tight and that's why I strongly encourage budgeting. It not only allows you and your mate to know exactly where every single penny is going but it also prevents unnecessary arguments, which can lead to an unhappy marriage and household. And statistics shows that money is the #1 cause of divorce nowadays, even among Christians.

Being a saved couple, we strive to be good stewards of what the Lord has given us. That includes giving without expecting anything in return, not wasting money, and saving some for those times when it's truly needed. We believe that GOD gives his people a little to see how they treat it; if they do good by it, then he knows that they will do right by a lot. Besides, if we can't be responsible with our own, then how do we expect GOD to allow us to be responsible over others. Like I mentioned before, would I want someone to run my company's finances if their own finances are not good.

Now, when we got married, both me and hubby was working. We were that example of having 2 incomes and NEVER saved a dime. We always spent, spent, spent. Never put nothing away or gave to others. I used credit cards, paid bills late, always wanted to eat out somewhere. We were irresponsible with our money. God knew and saw this. When I was 6 months or so pregnant, my hubby and I decided that I would quit my job and become a SAHM. I mean, we couldn't complain because we were already in the red and at rock bottom so going to 1 income wouldn't be much different we thought. We knew that even on 1 income, if we did our best with our money and be responsible stewards, the Lord would not only make the 1 income work, but possibly add on to it or stretch it a long way ( and we all know that no one can stretch a dollar like GOD can!).

When we finally sat down and reviewed our finances, we realized that we wanted to have a stable financial future for ourselves as well as our daughter. We knew GOD would be with us but we also knew GOD expected us to do right by what he had given us. We understood that if we weren't doing right by the money that GOD would see us through any situation but not without suffering for a little while first. And trust me nothing can cause you heartburn like getting a financial whipping from GOD.

To get on the right track We had 3 basic steps we wanted to concur: Savings & Emergency Fund, Eliminating Debt/Bills, and Investments/Retirement. We finally reached this point and it took us years but it doesn't have to take others the same amount of time. We did it and so can you!

Now, each of these topics needs a separate post of it's own because they are quite lengthy. Today, I will post about Savings/Emergency Fund, and will continue tomorrow and Saturday (Lord's will) with Eliminating debt/bills and Investments/Retirement. I hope you get something out of this series and any feedback/responses would be great!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Recession!! What Recession??

My hubby, bro-in law, daughter, and I went to Delaware last Saturday to purchase a t.v. for our new home.

Note: my hubby always wanted a nice, big t.v. and since we budgeted for it, we figured this was a great time to buy.

.....................we go to Circuit City first and the parking lot was so full; I mean full! There was not one parking space available. We had to drive around a few times before there was a space and there were other cars coming in the parking lot every second. When we got in the store, there were people everywhere in the store; buying moves, cameras, video games, and don't even mention televisions. It seemed like everyone was buying one and not small or medium sized ones either. These were 50in and up; so we're talking $1500 and higher. The lines were long, kids crying, people carrying lots of cash, yes carrying around cash, and hardly any carts left. We looked at several televisions they had left in the store. We didn't find a television and since we refuse to settle, we went over to the Best Buy.

They had a bigger parking lot and it too was full. We had to drive around in circles before a space was free. They too had people everywhere in the stores with computers, cameras, t.v.'s, video games, and printers, etc in their carts. They had long lines and only 2 lanes open (doesn't that just bother you). So I turned and asked my husband, "how in the world are we in a recession with everyone buying up all this stuff. I thought people were cutting back?". I guess I was wrong on that one.

So, when we found a t.v. we wanted to purchase, guess what?! They were sold out completely. So we looked around and found another t.v. and they were sold out of that one also. So we looked again and found another one and go ahead and guess.....they were sold out! I was thinking " how in the world a place that specializes in electronics are sold out of all three types of t.v.'s?" We asked the associate about it and he said everyone came and bought them up.

So we left there empty handed as well. That's the beauty of having a budget...we can go somewhere else and take our time finding what we want. We WILL NOT buy something just to be able to walk out the store with a bag or something in our cart; but I had hoped we would find a t.v. for my hubby

O.K., so I figured either the media is feeding us untruthful information or people aren't saving and using their money for these items or using their credit cards.

I wonder which one is it? I think it's the latter of the above statement.

Which one do you think it is?

Quick savings goal update:

We have 4 months of our monthly expenses saved! Woo Hoo!!! Now we are working on 5 months! It can be done, even on our 1 income; yes, 1 income.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ING: Here we are!

We finally opened the ING account. Yep, we are opening 3 accounts, General Savings/Christmas Fund/Vacation Fund.

We also have a savings account with my hubby's credit union.

I'm Back!

Note: I decided to put up a new post since I had tidy up the house, did one load of laundry, folded clothes, fed daughter, prayed and read the bible, and ate breakfast myself and it's only 9:21am!

Boy, what a past couple days; preparing to move, moving, getting unpacked, bringing misc items to new home, going shopping for new items for new home and all the while trying to keep life normal for hubby and our daughter.

Even with all that, I still can't complain. The Lord had his hand on this process the whole time! This was the easiest move I ever experienced and hubby agreed it was pretty good.

Here's how our last couple days went:


We finished up the painting and cleaning at the new home. I got home around 8:30pm, hubby and family member stayed until about 1am (yep, we have a great family).


Hubby off from work! I woke up about 6am and started to get boxes, bags, and other items ready for the movers. I was severely behind schedule and ask hubby to help me, which he did without complaint. Movers came around 8:30am and got started. I remembered when I called to make the appointment, the guy told me that the move would take 6-8 hours to complete. So if you do the math $100 an hour would equal $600-$800 plus $100 travel charge.

Now I know some of you may say this sounds like a lot of money and it is! However myself and my hubby made it an requirement that we get movers; especially for my husband. He has moved many people over the years and every time he comes home all broken up, has the stay in bed and heal, and still has to go to work. We budgeted for movers and decided that it was worth the costs to keep hubby in good shape. We knew it wouldn't take 6-8 hours to move our things but maybe 3 or 4 hours; so we set aside $500 max. The costs of the movers included 3 guys, a truck, equipment, insurance, and a peace of mind.

I have to say that our experience was really good! When they first came, these guys were clearly mid to late 40s and I ask hubby, would they be a little slow because I was expecting younger guys. That was a lesson in it's self for me. Never judge outward appearances. Never judge at all! These guys were fantastic. They were moving dressers and beds like it was nothing. They had the whole house (furniture/bags/boxes) in the truck in 1hr! Yep, these guys were good. My hubby and I were looking at each other in amazement.

When we got to the new house, they unpacked the truck and took each item to the rooms we wanted. They even set up the bed frame, put the bed on it, had the drawers in the dresser and night stand, put the t.v. on the stand and everything. The only thing we had to do was make the bed and put our clothes on the drawer!

They finished the entire move in 2 hours! Yes, 2 hours and the move was done! So instead of $500 it was $300 (included $100 travel fee). We were so impressed we gave them each a $30 tip! And even with the tip the budget came to $390 instead of $500! It was the best $390 we spent; I mean we were done the move in 2 hours!


Our battery died in one of the cars. Hubby planned on taking it Sunday to get it replaced. Also, We went to Delaware with my bro-in law to search for a t.v.. Since we are 20 minutes from Delaware and they have NO sales tax, we thought we'd go there to find a good deal. We were un successful though, they ran out of the televisions. Yes, Best Buy ran our of 3 different Samsung T.V.s.


Hubby got the battery replaced and I went to the market to go food shopping, since we needed food badly. We also unpacked more of our stuff and some of our family came by to visit.


Hubby was off today as well. We unpacked more stuff and went out to some stores to get some items for our home. We were out for hours and before we came home, we stopped at the old house to get some more stuff to bring here. We capped off the family time by playing Guitar Hero on the WII. I did poorly, LOL....Hubby did GREAT!

So there you have it; we were tired, happy, excited, and frustrated; but we are VERY grateful to GOD for his many blessings.

Have a Great Day!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!


I will put a post up later about our move. It probably was one of the FASTEST and HASSLE FREE moves I EVER experienced!!!! Thank You Jesus!!!!

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So much to do! So little time!

If you've ever move before, then you know where I'm coming from. Especially if you've moved with a child/children before.

Wallpaper is done in the 3 rooms and the kitchen is completely done. It's a summer sun yellow color!!

I confirmed with the movers for tomorrow and hubby is off work Friday and Monday too! Woohoo!!

We are also getting a new phone number, even though we are moving 5 min away in the same city. Not our doing, it's the phone company.

Well gotta go, we will be so tired and busy, but it's well worth it.

But here's some good; actually GREAT news.....we get our tax refund tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bibile Money Matters

Article taken from

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” - Matthew 19:26

Israel was losing the war against the Syrians. God’s prophet Elisha was dying. All seemed bleak.

King Joash visits the dying Elisha. Joash begins to weep. He knows Elisha’s death will prove a great loss to Israel.

“Get a bow and some arrows,” Elisha tells Joash.

“Put your hand on the bow,” Elisha says. The king does this and then feels the prophet’s own wrinkled hands wrapped around his.

“Open the window eastward.” Joash does.

“Now shoot!” Joash shoots.

“The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance.” Elijah tells him. The arrows represented the Lord’s deliverance in Israel’s battle against Syria.

“Take your arrows and smite upon the ground,” Elisha tells the king. The king smites the ground three times.

Elisha becomes angry. “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.” (2 Kings 13:19).

Do you limit God’s blessings like Joash did? Do you smite the ground a measly three times when a whole quiver full of arrows is available to you?

God has made us joint heirs with Christ. He offers us innumerable blessings and promises. Yet we are content to live on crumbs when a banquet table full of spiritual delicacies is spread for us.

We wallow in despair when God offers us joy. We live in anxiety when prayer can bring us peace. We feel lonely even though God is always with us. We tremble in fear when faith could help us stand. We struggle to endure when Christ offers the gift of long suffering.

God’s promises are exceedingly great and precious. Grab them. Claim them for your life.

Don’t limit God. The Lord of the impossible is waiting for you to call on His name. Will you call on Him now?

My Reflections on this reading.......

When we make an honest effort, then GOD will step in and do the rest.

We all have our own personal situations regarding our finances. There was a time when I HATED to look in our account; I HATED seeing the account in red. I didn't want to see the results of my constant spending because I then would feel ashamed. I couldn't see how I was failing so much. I just figured GOD would get us out of whatever situation I got us in. I would just pray and then hope he would act.

I didn't realize how being responsible with money corresponded to being responsible with all other matters within the church. Isn't finances apart of running a church successfully? Wouldn't I want someone who was responsible with their OWN money to run a company I owned or was an investor in? Of coarse I would! Wouldn't anyone! Bills would need to get paid; up keep to the church would need to be managed; taxes paid; supplies for the church such as fans, chairs, books, toiletries (tissue, towels, etc), and other things. Being responsible is a vital part of being a leader; in fact it's a job requirement.

I then understood what Jesus meant by his parable of giving out the talents to the men. When one of the men didn't do anything but bury his, he got nothing because he did nothing. The others went and made more (responsibly) of what the Lord gave and as a result, the Lord increased their talents. I realized that is what I needed to do. I needed to be responsible and find ways to increase what the Lord has given me. Now that didn't mean I should go out and get a job, but rather DECREASE our bills and spending! Yep, DECREASE bills and spending. This was done by turning out lights in rooms I wasn't in, turning off the t.v./computer when it's not is use, having limited cable or no cable instead of premiun cable, etc.

I soon started picking out items in the store with care and then right before I got to checkout, I go through my cart and go through EVERYTHING. I ask myself":"Do I need this item?"; then I ask " Do I need this now or can it wait?"; then I ask " can I get this cheaper somewhere else?". Once I ask myself that, then I determine whether to purchase it or not. And trust me I have put back many items that I really wanted to buy. I mean some really nice stuff.

So in all, it took me a long time to get where I am regarding money. It took a lot to become responsible. Looking back I'm glad that the LORD took me through the pit, so I could learn to be a good steward of my family's finanacies. Besides, It's nice to be able to offer help to others, when they have a need.
Remember " To Get A Blessing, First, Be A Blessing" ( Uncle Bill-my pastor)

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm still here.....

Although, we've been VERY busy. We move in THIS Friday, and trying to get prepared for that. My husband is taking off work Friday and Monday to give us enough time to unpack and get settled in our new home.

The wallpaper is off in the kitchen, living room, and dining rooms. The living/dining room is being primed tonight. Thank GOD for family!

We still have wallpaper in the foyer and wall going up stairs and hall on second floor but we are seriously moving towards hiring a company for that. I never realized how much work is into wallpaper; I just thought you just take it off; I guess it wasn't that easy, huh?!

I set up the bathroom at the new house; it's a light blue with different earth tones like browns, greens, tans, etc. I have to take some pics and show you guys.

We'll gotta go, it's after 10pm and hubby and family is still over at the other house priming the walls. Gotta get Issy ready for bed. Me and Issy just got in ourselves.

Nite, Nite!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Macy's is doing it again & Wallpaper Progress!!!!

If you go to Macy's today and wear the color red, you'll get 20% off your purchase (exceptions apply). If you are a Macy's charge customer, you'll get even more off. I probably will be going there today! Since I still have to get some things for our new home, I might as well get a discount while I'm at it.

BTW: My husband was loving the pots/pans I got 2 days ago. When I told him they were $100, he said that was a good price; when I told him I paid $40 out of my pocket, he was shocked and amazed.

P.S. We are making great progress with the wallpaper. Thanks for all the ideas/suggestions you all gave us. We tried the hot water and tide detergent and it worked! Even my husband was shocked at how well it worked and we didn't even need to buy that expensive wallpaper remover they sell at Lowes/Home Depot. As for getting the excess glue off, I saw an online suggestion; one man said he used duck tape and it worked GREAT , so I'm going to try that. We also have some family memebers coming over to help us; we have a great family!

In addition, we had a wallpaper company come and give us an estimate to see how much would it cost if they removed the paper. You wont believe the price they gave us; to remove the top wallpaper in our dining room (we have a chair rail), 1 wall in the living room, our foyer (which isn't big), the wall going upstairs, and the hallway upstairs (which is small, not big at all); guess how much: $800!!!! Yes, $800 big ones. $800 dollar bills! Of coarse we said no way! They must be crazy!! LOL.....That's food shopping for 4 months!!! NO way, Jose!!

I'll keep you all updated.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Deals & Updates!

When I checked my blog this morning, I realized that I failed to put up a post yesterday. I was out of the house most of the day; running errands, going to Bath and Body Works, Circuit City, Target, Macy's and BJ's. Even though I did all that when I was done, I went straight to our new house to remove some more wallpaper.

While I was out, I took note of the sales that were happening in the stores. As a side note: I have been going out to stores more often lately and that's because we have to buy things for our new home and of coarse we have a budget set for that.

Bath and Body Works: They had some 75% off deals that looked interesting but I didn't get any of that. They did have a Japanese Cherry Blossom perfume that I thought of getting because my husband got me a huge gift set for Christmas. The perfume was $24.99 but discounted 75% off would have been $6.24! I did have a coupon that said if I bought something that totaled $10, I could get a free item worth up to $12! So I bought a Sea Island Cotton scent gift set that was only $10 and I got a Sea Island Cotton bubble bath for free!

Circuit City: I went in again to see if they further discounted their items and it seems they did, but not too much. They did have the WII remote for $22, regular price would have been $30.( we need an extra remote) but I left the store empty handed, unlike other people in the store ( I'm glad I can say no to myself).

Target: I LOVE target, I really do. Unlike Walmart, they are very helpful, the aisleS are orderly, bathrooms are cleaner, the bright red colors everywhere makes me feel cherry, and they have better quality items. They are however MORE expensive than Walmart, but I like the customer service. I did pick up a Shovel ( which was $17!), garden gloves ( our new home has one!), trash bags, and some other things. Sales at Target aren't as grand as other places but they do have some GREAT clearance deals when you can find them. I also saw some size 2 huggies that had like 150 diapers on clearance for $14.68 and I had a $1.50 off coupon so I could have gotten them for $13.18; regular price was $30.00!! That over 50% off! It was hard for me NOT to get them, but I didn't know of any children in my family who currently are in size 2 diapers.

Macy's: I absolutely LOVE this store. They have high-end, quality items that are affordable. I had a 10% off coupon; I got a stainless steel pots/pans set that was $100, but after discounts I got it for $40! That's $60 off!! One lady who bought the same set was a Macy's credit card customer and she got the same set for $15. Man, sometimes, I want to be a Macy's credit card customer (because off all the extra discounts), but then I think of the bill and I change my mind. I also got Issy a cute red coat/jacket that was $75.00; of coarse I didn't pay that crazy price. However it was on clearance for $30 but then because I had red on yesterday, the cashier gave me an extra 20% off, so I paid $16 for a coat that was $75; even my husband was shocked!

BJs: This is a place like Costco/Sam's Club. You can buy items in bulk from here. I totally recommend places like this if you use more of a certain item. We bought diapers, wipes, cereal, bacon, lotion, body wash, etc. You pay a membership fee but they give you coupons and you can use coupons out the newspaper and internet!

After I did all that, I went over to our home and started taking off more wallpaper, gathering trash, etc. Boy was I tired when I got home a little after 7pm and all this with a 2 year old.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

2009 Goals (January Update)

Wow, January is gone already. The time is just passing by so quickly, I can hardly keep up. January was a very busy month for us. I started THIS blog, which had over 100 hits by the end of the month (Thanks everyone!); we bought our first home, we started our game/date nights, and was able to save more more money as well.

2009 Goals!!!!-Updated

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. (gotta keep up with this; usually when I read I start with scriptures from the daily bread or my Sunday school lesson)

2. Have my little sweet pea go to sleep on her own and use the potty by herself. Also ween her from nursing.( I have been making average strides with this issue. I haven't been as good with this as I would've liked but I am making progress)

3. Have a date night with my hubby at least once a month. Have family fun night twice a month. (We went to the Olive Garden (with a coupon), played scrabble, and spent more time having conversations together)

4. Eat healthier. ( I'm working on this. We discovered a new salad this month that was soooo good,; I will share the recipe in a later post)

5. Spend more time outdoors when the weather is beautiful. Parks & Libraries are great places to start. (Weather is still cold, wet, and now it's snowing outside)

Financial Goals:

1. Spend less money on ALL bills, including Electric, Food, etc. (The electric bill has remained the same for the most part; I have decided to spend only $50 a week for groceries for a family of 3, which is $200 a month; gas is a huge saver and we only spend about $100 a month for 2 cars )

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. (The Lord has really blessed us in this area; not only did we have to bring $34.99 to settlement on our home, we were able to put that extra money in savings that we would've brought to settlement. Our goal was to save 30% of our NET income, I am happy to say that we are at 74% of the goal. When we reach this goal, we will just continue to save more.)

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. (We are actually going to open 3 accounts; one for Emerg'cy fund, Vacation, and Christmas; we also have a regular savings account with our credit union )

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. (Didn't get the piggy bank yet, but it's still on our list)

5. Buy our First Home; which we are currently in the process of. I'll keep you all updated. (I'm proud to say that we are NOW homeowners and moving in Feb 13th!!!!)

How did you do in January regarding your goals????

Monday, February 2, 2009

Removing Wallpaper

We have 3 rooms of this plus the upstairs hallway. The previous owners lived there for 40+ years so they lived in the wallpaper era; my grandma still has it in her house as well.

It is so hard to remove and a lot of work. I don't think we'll use wallpaper; we'll just stick to painting. Besides it's such a hassle to remove.

Got any suggestions for us? We sure would appreciate it!

Bi-weekly shopping trip

Weekly Shopping Trip

Budget for Shoprite: $60.00
Budget for Acme :$15.00
Budget for Produce Junction:$15.00

Total Budget for Bi-Weekly Shopping Trip: $90.00 (That's $45 a week)

Let see how I did:

Note: I believe I left my receipt in the shopping cart at the market, so I only remember what I paid out of pocket and what the total was before coupons/savings.

I was only able to make it to 1 store this morning-Shoprite; I plan on going to Acme and Produce Junction later today (daughter is napping).

Here's what I bought:

Box of Life Cereal
Box of Capt'n crunch
Box of Capt'n crunch berries
Orange juice
No yolks egg noddles
Tri-colored bag of pasta
3 Langers juices
Fanta orange soda
Brown/spicy mustard
Wise potato chips
Bag of cheese balls
2 Arm and hammer deodorants
lady speed stick deodorant
kids toothpaste for Issy
10 books for Issy( on clearance for $0.10 a piece)
12 pack of toilet paper
2 glade air fresheners
2 boxes of fruit snacks
6 boxes of raisins
3 gallons of water
Clorox bleach
Eggo waffles ( I plan on buying a waffle machine)
Box of pancake mix
Mrs. Smith Sweet Potato Pie ( This gets gone in 1 day; we all love it)
Yo plait yogurt
1/2 turkey breast
1/4 Munster cheese
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
box of dishwasher tabs
1 McCormick seasoning
1 box of Couscous
1 box of Rice a roni
Box of butter ( 4 1/4 sticks)

See bottom for Pictures/Totals

Total BEFORE Coupons/Savings: $66.90 add books and total $86.90

Total Paid out of pocket: $45.50 (including 10 books for Issy)

Saved $41.40!!

I'll post my trip from Acme/Produce Junction later today.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Can You Believe It!!!!!!!!

The title speaks for itself. The Lord blessed us so much when we went to settlement. We were supposed to bring over $2,000 but only paid $34.00!!!! Can you believe that. Even the realtor, title company, etc was speechless.