Thursday, May 28, 2009

What Do You Use To Manage Your Family's Finances?! it a software program, spreadsheet in excel that you created or downloaded, on pen and paper, check register, etc?

I personally like a system that is simple, easy to follow...yet detailed for my family's purposes. I like something that isn't all over the place, hard for me to follow or my husband to follow, & included too much information.

Part of the success of creating and maintaining a budget is to have a system that is good & works for you and your personal situation.

How do you manage your family's finances each week, bi-week, month, and/or annually?

I'm Here........Just So Busy.....

......but the sky looks cloudy.....I hope it thunderstorms; I don't know why, but I like them. I also LOVE the color of the sky....dark grayish/blue color.

I should be back in the groove of things tomorrow, hopefully.

Enjoy the rest of your evening!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

.........To All Our Service Men & Women!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Emergency Budget-Update

Here's a post I write on March 10th. Now, more than 2 months later, I'd thought give an update; which is at the bottom of this post.

"In these difficult economic times, it is NEVER, ever to soon to start planning for the unexpected. After all, isn't that's what car/home insurance, wills, and other future planning documents are for. It is to have everything in place, as best as you can, so you and your family would be prepared for the worse.

It's no surprise that more and more companies are laying off workers; and although my hubby's job is pretty secure (works in pharmaceutical/technologically field), you just never know. Even if he received a pay decrease, we would need to have a plan in place to cover our bills; especially with me staying home and having 1 income. It's even more important.

I talked with my husband about having an Emergency Budget in place; to cover our necessary expenses until he found another job, if he got laid off. He agreed and we started working on one.

Here's our Emergency Budget (if something happened)-$2,000 a month. (from our savings)
-This does NOT include unemployment, that would just be extra income.

Mortgage, Taxes, Homeowners Insurance, PMI= $1,143.50
Electricity/GAS/Water (Utilities)= $160.00
Phone (basic service)/Internet (basic as well)= $40.00
Cell Phone (reduce plan to just 1 phone with basic plan)= $40.00
Food/Toiletries/household expenses = 275.00
Transportation ( 2 cars, paid off) = $85.00
Student Loans= $40.00 (get them deferred due to unemployment)
Misc= $100.00
Heath Ins. (Daughter would get FREE coverage from state; hubby and I will get coverage through COBRA)= 100.00
Credit Cards= $12.00 ( they have $0 balance, but company charges $12 in monthly maintenance fees)

Total Bills = $1995.50; so we just rounded up to $2,000 (This may sound like a lot, but it isn't)

These are our basic bills, and we figured after looking over everything, we would need $2,000 to cover everything, especially our house payment (so we don't lose it; were new home It pays to save and be frugal, especially in these times where no one or no job is off limits.


Since the time I wrote this article more than 2 months ago, we managed to save over 4 months of Emergency Expenses (Once we get to 6 months; we will STOP adding money to our E-Fund) and my husband received a promotion & a 14% raise.

We will continue to contribute to our regular accounts as well; I.E. Retirement, Vacation, Regular Savings, Auto, Christmas & a soon to be New Car Account (yes, we really have all these

Have you and your family developed a plan in case something happened?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Superb Deals w/ up coming posts

As you can see from the above pictures, including the recipt...I paid $13.24 OOP and saved $38.67!

Here's what I purchased:

5 Boxes of Uncle Bens Wild Grain Rice
2 Boxes of Ritz Bits
1 Box of Wheat Thins
2 Containers of Coop Whip
1/4lb., Pepper Turkey Breast (not pictured)
A Loaf Cake (for hubby)
Box of Carolina Rice
Jar of Miracle Whip
1 Glade Sense & Spray

Up Coming Posts

I have been thinking and working on some topics to blog about. Here are some that I will be putting up in the coming days:

1. Tour of my home w/pictures
2. Update on Disney World Trip
3. Budgeting
4. My Coupon Binder
5. How I prepare for food shopping

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This Is What Happens When.......(w/pic) leave a 2 almost 3 year old in her room for a little while.....

...Yes, my baby is "PROUD" of her work.....LOL...

Books, toys, clothes, pillow, sheets...everything pulled out..LOL

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Pantry!...Scroll to Bottom of Pics!

These are some pictures of our current pantry. Since we bought our home in Janurary of this year, we haven't had a lot of time to build up our stockpile, but it's coming along, rather well.

Some of the items here, including price OOP, are:
1. 17 Boxes of cereal, each $0.99, $.0.50, or $ FREE (My Fav)!
2. 8 Boxes of Uncle Bens Long Grain Wild Rice-$0.16 each!
3. We had about 10-15 cans of Air Freshener; we gave some away.

I would like to get more of non-perishables, like pasta, can goods, water, and toiletries. I guess we'll see how it goes. Is it me, or are more people starting to use coupons; I'm seeing the selves get empty, very quickly.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Being a Good Steward With Extra...

Since my husband found out that he will be getting promoted and as a result a raise; I have been thinking about what to do with the extra income. Being that I manage our finances each month, I wanted to make sure that whatever we did, GOD would be pleased.

A few things have popped into my head, some of which are:
1. Starting a Retirement Fund (he's 29; so he still has a lot of time before he retires)
2. Of coarse increase out tithing when the raise takes into effect.
3. Increase our Regular Savings & Emergency Fund Accounts. We currently have 4 months of EM fund savings. We want to increase it to 6-8 months.
4. We would like to put money towards our 1st Family Vacation to Disney World, in September 2010 (which will be $2300-$2500)
5. Finally, continue to give to others and use what the Lord gave us to be a help to someone else.

Again, we are so blessed to even be able to plan these types of things. It is so sad to hear/see lose their jobs. So sad.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

How Young Is Too Young to Be a Successful Housewife

When my husband and I got married almost 4 years ago, I was 20 years old. I had met him when I just turned 19. Right away I fell in love with him; but it wasn’t your standard “boyfriend & girlfriend” type love, but something much more. When we announced our engagement 3 months after we met, we ran into a lot of ‘are you ready for marriage”, or “your too young”, or “live life first, then in a few years, if your ready".. I started to think if getting and staying marriaged was even a good thing anymore.

Yes, I was young and still am (I’m 24 now), but yet GOD had something else in store for us. Its funny how almost every single person in the bible that was used by GOD had a situation/appearance/background/etc, that wasn’t accepted by “society” standards. I mean, can you imagine the looks and “talking behind the back” remarks Moses must’ve received when he told his family that GOD spoke to him through a burning bush. People’s first thoughts were probably, “Moses is nuts!”

I have to admit, my perception of Housewives was quite different growing up and entering college. As a young child, I can specifically remember being told to study hard so I can go to college and get a good job. I wasn’t taught to keep a house, cook, how to dress like a lady, or even prepare myself for a husband. Many of the women in my family had terrible relationships with men and I was taught that I didn’t need a man in my life. All a man did was become a weight, that had no job, dozens of children, no education, etc. I didn’t even want to get married because of what I experienced growing up; and if I did get married, it would be when I was older, much older…like 40!LOL

And kids, don’t even get me started on kids. I didn’t want any children. Nope, none whatsoever! Many girls my age growing up, had kids and it was ALWAYS out of wedlock, with some guy they knew for a few months. Here they are stuck with a baby, still in high school, no job, or stable future. I did not want that to be me. That was something else that I was taught growing up……..STAY AWAY FROM BOYS! BOYS ARE BAD!!! BOYS ONLY WANT ONE THING FROM YOU!!

Well when I met my husband we was 23, gone to college, VERY smart, had a career, active in his church, dressed VERY professional (even on our first date), and extremely handsome. His background was MUCH different than mine. His mom stayed home with him and his sibling when they were younger. She taught them how to care for a home, cook, manage money, dress, and behave. I had to learn ALL this, especially when we started talking about marriage. I realized that I would feel VERY bad, even awful, if I didn’t know how to cook my husband a meal, and he’d have to go to someone else or stop off at a fast food place.

When we both decided I would stay home and be a housewife, it was a lot to take in at first. Here I am 22, college graduate at home doing nothing. We’ll GOD sure did change my perception. I soon realized that my job in the home is so important. It’s like running a company. There’s cooking, cleaning, budgeting, organizing, planning, and so much more. My cousin said that even though the man is the head of the family, the wife is the neck! LOL. That means the head needs the neck to get everything in the body function properly. It guides the head in each direction...LOL

Today, I can say that I LOVE taking care of my family. Yes, there are times when I get into a “rut” and yearn for something a little different. But all in all, I’m happy and blessed. Since I began to stay home, the Lord gave my husband a new job, 2 raises, and he just got a promotion last week…in THIS economy! When I let go of my wants and desires, GOD will step in and pour his blessings on you!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Super Savings This Week!!!!!!!!!!!

$225.44 in Groceries for $91.00(Groceries for 2 weeks)->saved $134.44!!!!
We are a family of 3 who budgets $100 every 2 weeks for food; that's $50 a week!

Super Savings Today.
I go to 3 places; 2 supermarkets & 1 produce market


Oust Disinfectant
Gatorade water
3 boxes of Uncle Ben’s Long Grain Wild Rice
2-6pks of soda
2 boxes of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Crunch cereal
2 boxes of Kellogg’s Special K Berries cereal
Mc McCormick Grilled Seafood Rub
2 boxes of Pop secret popcorn
2 Kraft salad dressings
1 Kraft Zesty Italian dressing
2 McCormick Grillmates seasonings
2 bags of New York Texas Toast Croutons
2 boxes of Nabisco 100 calorie snacks
2 liter crush orange soda
2 liter grape soda
Box of Wheat Thins
½ gallon 1% milk
Dozen of eggs
Box of super pretzels
2 Right Guard deodorants
2 bags of salad
1 bag of salad finishers

Total BEFORE= $107.54
Total AFTER coupons/savings = $35.20!
Saved $72.34 according to my receipt today!


Dozen of eggs
Ritz Crackers
Onion Rings
2 boxes of Capt’n Crunch Cereal
Minute Maid Punch Juice
Minute Maid Berry Juice
2 boxes of Welch’s Fruit Snacks
Ziploc Bags
Bag of Cheese Curls
1.97lbs of Bananas
Bag of Cinn. & Raisin Bagels
Philadelphia Strawberry Cream Cheese
2 boxes of Uncle Bens Rice
Container of Sour Cream
2 Pepsi 2-liter sodas
Box of Hot Pockets Burchetta Panini
Lays BBQ Potato Chips
Box of Freezer Pops
Bag of 8ct Hamburger buns
1 Golden Pineapple
1.39lbs Collard Greens
2 Tropicana Orange Juice
Hershey Bar
Pillsbury Can of Biscuits
1/4lb of Pepper Turkey Breast
1/4lb of Munster Cheese
Pack of Turkey Breast Cutlets
2.65lb of Perdue Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast
Bag of Tilapia Fillets

Total BEFORE=$97.90
Total AFTER coupons/savings= $45.80
Saved $52.10 according to receipt!

Produce Market-

Granny Smith Apples
2lbs. of Broccoli
Bundle of Asparagus
Bag of Potatoes
Bag of Plums (9 for $2.00!)

Total =$10.00
Total if bought in Supermarket = $22.00
Saved $12!!

If you didn't notice, I love's one of my Guilty Pleasures; it has been like that for years..........

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Free Stuff!

Free Stuff

We have tons of free stuff that we will/have been getting via gift cards, gift certs., coupons, items, etc.

The free stuff we have already & will be coming within a few days are:

- FREE Hallmark Card
-4 coupons for FREE KFC Meals (already got 3 meals, will get rain check for last coupon)
- $10 Dairy Queen Gift card
-Best Buy $20 Gift Cert.
-$5 Kohl’s Gift Cert.
-FREE $99 VOA Pocket Video Camera (pink)
- FREE Pirates of the Caribbean’s DVD
-Papa John Gift Cert. for FREE Pizza & 2 liter soda ($20 value)
-$10 Target Gift Card

Total amount of FREE Items = $168.00!!!!!!!
Praise GOD for Jesus!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Husband Got A Promotion!!!!!!

He is now "The Group Leader of the Quality & Compliance Department" at his company. He works in the Pharmaceutical/Technology Industry. He will officially be promoted once they get the paperwork together in the coming days, but they congratulated him & told him yesterday that he was excellent at what he does and he's the perfect person for the job! He went from being an Quality Assurance Analyst.....they bumped him over the Sr. Analyst position and made him the Group Leader!

I thank GOD for what he has done. Especially with this type of economy, the LORD still opens up a door for his people. We certainly are unworthy of this blessing but I am so grateful that he looks pass our faults and looks at our hearts. It just makes me what to do right by God. My hubby said that when he was told about the promotion...the sun immediately came out and he knew that meant the Lord was there with him.

Isn't God good. He's just wonderful.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Re-cap


I hope everyone's Mother's Day was great! My husband gave me a lily corsage to wear on my wrist for church, he stood up and told everyone who much he appreciates everything I do, we then arrived home to have a special dinner for our grandmother, and had a nice conversation. This morning we gave me another "special" Mother's Day gift and my present; which is a day of my choosing where I can go out shopping (he gave me spending money!)..yes, shopping & lunch!!! I am so looking forward to that day!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day............

To all the Mothers, Mother's to-be & Mommies "in spirit!

Enjoy your special day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Favorite Mother's Day Gift Would Be............. favorite mother's day gift would a night in a nice hotel, by myself, with a full spa treatment, all preparing me for my favorite GIFT of all...a FULL NIGHT'S SLEEP...yes about 10 hours!

What would your favorite MD gift be?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Still Awake & Full of Energy..... baby. My wonderful, beautiful, cuddly 2, almost 3 year old. It's 10:28pm and she isn't sleep yet. We have tried the "letting her cry it out", but she still will not go to sleep. She cried for almost 1 hour until we came and got her. She will ONLY go to sleep if I lay with her; she likes to be close to me...the bad part is that I have to sleep in her room on the floor, and I am a sensitive sleeper..the slightest sound will wake me up. I really haven't slept through the night since she was born, which would make that 2 1/2 years!

Oh, how I long for a good, comfy night's sleep.

So, for my birthday...and I have already made my request known to my husband (my b-day is in September)...I would like to stay in a hotel overnight, by myself...with a nice spa treatment & dinner. All getting me ready for my BIG birthday present...A FULL NIGHT OF SLEEP! (hopefully the BEST 10 hours, OF MY LIFE! ( At least I hope to sleep 10 hours straight).

We'll I'm, off to see the wizard.....or at least in dreamland hopefully.

Nite, nite!

So Busy......

These past few weeks have been busy ones in my household. We have been entertaining a lot, getting settled, and other house stuff.

This week is no different. Even today. I have folded up 4 loads of clothes, and still washing some as well. I also cooked breakfast this morning, got hubby off to work, put daughter down for a nap, and I still plan to pick up a FREE KFC meal and go to the children's museum with a cousin of mine. But before that, I need to tidy up the basement, put the dishes int he dishwasher, & get both myself and my daughter dressed. I'm preparing for a special event for Mother's Day, as well.

I can't complain though. I'm blessed and happy with my life. I'm still sticking with my plan that for the whole month of May, not to buy any paper products (i.e. toilet paper, paper towels, etc), cereal, etc..because we have a ton already stocked up.

I also plan to make up some business cards and take them with me when I go shopping. I get people who ask me how get so much for so little, and instead of not knowing what to say or writing down my e-mail on a piece of paper..I can give them a professional business card.

We'll since my baby is napping..I'm going to rest until 12:40 (30mins)..yep...mommy needs a coffee break..LOL.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Super Savings-How'd about $110.15 in Groceries!

Shopping Trip-April 30, 2009-May 15th, 2009

Note: We are a family of 3 who budgets $100.00 to buy groceries every 2 weeks. This equals out to be $50.00 a week; which is $7.14 a day for 3 people to eat 3 meals..including snacks.

Produce Junction-$5.25

Total of all my (3 stores) items BEFORE savings/coupons = $205.25
Grand Total I paid OOP (3 stores) = $ 95.10
Saved $110.15

Here’s what I purchased:

Produce Junction-
Green Apples-$1.00
Total = $12.75
Total in supermarket = $27.00 (priced)
Total Saved = $14.25

11 Boxes of Kellogg's Cereal (for stockpile/giving some away)
V8 Tropical Splash
2 boxes of Ronzoni Pasta
Archway Molasses Cookies
2 huge bags of Tortillas
1 jar of salsa
2 boxes Sunrise Capri Suns
1 2-liter Ginger-ale
3 6pks of Soda (orange, black cherry, grape)
¼ lb of Turkey Breast
1-lb of Extra Large Shrimp
2 cartons of Strawberries
1 Chocolate cookie mix
Puffs Plus Facial Tissue
Vlasic Relish

Total BEFORE savings/coupons = $81.71
Total AFTER savings/coupons = $40.42
Total Saved = $41.29

Box of Popsicles
2 boxes of Begal-fuls
2 bags of Green Giant Broccoli Steamers
2 boxes of Barilla Pasta
2 Stayfree Pads
2 Lb of purple grapes
2 boxes of Purina Cat Food
Box of Kids Sanitizer hand wipes
Reynolds Aluminum Foil
Whip cream
3 boxes of Tasty cake Krimpets
Lysol Bathroom Cleaner
Lysol Wipes
Lysol toilet cleaner
Electrosol Dishwasher tabs
½ lb. Turkey Breast
2 Glade Sprays
Colgate Toothpaste
2 boxes of Keebler bite snacks (for my dad)
4-pack of Ocean Spray Juice (for dad)
24-pack of Nestle Spring Water
Raid Ant Bait
Breyer’s Strawberry Ice Cream
2 packages of Sargento Cheeses
2 Langers Juices
6pk of Portuguese rolls
Tomato Paste
3 big cans of crushed tomato sauce
Can of Star-Kist Tuna
2 bags of Carolina rice
4 Bottles of 2-liter Pepsi

Total BEFORE coupons = $96.54
Total AFTER coupons = $48.85
Saved $47.66 ( had this amount from coupons ONLY; not including store savings)

Oh, how I LOVE coupons!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Our Bi-Weekly Menu

Here's our planned menu for May 1st - May 15th:

Tuna salad, corn on cob, BBQ chicken, muffins

Spaghetti & broccoli

Lasagna with cheese & string beans

Shrimp Scampi & Asparagus, buns

Fish, mash potatoes, string beans

Pork Chops, Long grain wild rice, Peas

Baked Mac 'n Cheese, broccoli, chicken



Egg Salad Sandwiches, fruit

Turkey Burgers, carrots & fries

Grilled Cheese, Fruit, pretzels

Turkey/cheese sandwiches, fruit

Breakfast- will repeat the following week also:

Banana Pancakes, eggs, bacon


French Toast with strawberries, bacon


Grits, toast, eggs, bacon


Strawberry Shortcake
Apple crisp
Cinnamon Buns
Tortillas chips & salsa