Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I worked two and a half shifts by cobbling together hours on the weekend. I signed up for a couple more shifts but had to cancel when our second dose of the plague in one month ran through the house.
  2. It’s hard to be spendy when you are on the couch watching Netflix all day!
  3. We watched a movie on Vudu using credits I got through work. (“Baby Boss”, the kids liked it, the adults found it tolerable).

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. I forgot to update my Amazon Subscribe and Save before shipment, so we’re getting some extras of things we don’t really need for a couple of months. Oh well!

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I got a random mailer with a special code to get two free tickets to a show of the Dayton Philharmonic. My friend Jen and I will be seeing their Swingin’ Christmas show with them. My husband would rather eat a live cockroach than sit through a show.
  2. I picked up 10-11 extra hours this weekend when we wouldn’t need child care. I was up until midnight working last night, but I earned a $50 bonus for doing a certain number of our backlogged faxes.
  3. We used our YMCA membership and went to a local park this week.
  4. My mother babysat a few hours while I attended a meeting at one of the kid’s schools.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Several fruits/veggies went to the great Compost Bin in the Sky.
  2. I did it because I see it more as a donation to the PTO, but we bought fall mums from our PTO for about three times the price I could get elsewhere.

How is your week?

40 Goals for 2017: Week 36

I’m keeping myself accountable this year by tracking my progress on my 40 Goals for 2017 every week. 

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase an item through my affiliate link, I receive a small percentage as compensation, that we then use to help reach our financial goals. Please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting our family!

Week Thirty- Six

Financial:

  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. The Mister has all he needs for this year’s Roth savings and I have $2250. More than half done!
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. Each child went up one level in their skills, so it was a success. We cash-flowed this one. Boom!
  3. Save $3000 for HVAC replacement. This will be sitting in savings until next year, but we are also at 100% for this as well. Done!
  4. Save $4000 towards the mister’s car replacement fund. Not yet. We haven’t totaled out August yet, so not sure where we are with this.
  5. Save $1050 650 for Christmas. Thanks to the $300 in Amazon Trade-in Credits from selling my grad school textbooks, I have completed Christmas shopping for my kids with the exception of a book or two for each child. We decided we would stick to 4-5 gifts per child, with one “bigger” gift each, and that has reduced our budget.  Goal met!

 

6. Save ? for outdoor play set.   It ain’t happening this year. We have the money but my husband changed his mind about doing this.

7. Save $750 towards next year’s 2018 family vacation and $ 750 towards my 2018 40th birthday trip ($125/month). We have $113 from last year’s garage sale earnings that I put towards our vacation fund. My uncle gave me $100 as a graduation gift, and I added it to my vacation fund, as he stipulated that I “use it for something fun for myself”, and I have $80 I got as another gift. Let’s just say my family knows me well enough to know it would have gone towards something practical. Total: $293

8. Spend $600/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on my fun money We went over budget in August by $36. So far in September we are under budget.

9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. I completed this last week. Done!

10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. This month, I have a  Girl Scout meeting service unit meeting and our first troop meeting is in October.  I donated $27 for the child in Gambia we sponsor from Plan and $42/ to St. Jude’s .

Personal: 

  1. Complete my master’s degree! I graduated! Done!
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  We went to The Winds Cafe with friends last weekend. Done!
  3. Read 1 book per month  I started reading Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 2: The Hammer of Thor. Yep, I like to read my 9-year old son’s books sometimes, especially the Rick Riordan ones. This makes 18 going on 19 read out of 12Goal met! 
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  I am meeting the girls for brunch at the end of the month.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. Still working on it!.
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. OK, didn’t happen yet. I really need to get those Daisy patches sewn on my daughter’s Girl Scout vest before the new troop year starts!
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. I think I’m going to make these Apple Shaped Cupcakes from Makes and Takes this month. 
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.   I hit this 7 days this week.
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. We are calling this a 50% success.

Family/Home:

  1. Visit family in Cleveland. We visited my in-laws this month and were thoroughly spoiled as usual. Done!
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. The big kids are in school again, so the Little and I went to the park and played many Candyland battles again. The 1st-grader and I did a craft and read some books, and my son and I read together. Check!
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. I am sold my son’s jeans for $23 and am his old firefighter outfit for $3 (boo). I have a box of clothes upstairs and a few coats that will be posted soon.
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done! Here’s our new fish, Bender .
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. I hit this hard and totally redid my office using the organization suggested in Organizing Solutions For People with ADHD. The corner is cleared out and the bookshelf is more usable, especially since I sold most of my nursing texts to Amazon. I went through and tossed, shredded, or filed most papers, used colored files for easy visual recognition, pared those files down to only about 10, and cleared out my desk. Done!
  6. Get the toddler potty trained! The Toddler, or should I say the soon-to-be-Preschooler, has officially crossed over and is completely in underwear during the day and during naps. This is saving us $20-30/month. We donated the extra cases of pull-ups to hurricane relief efforts. Success!
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. It’s the end of summer and still not done!
  8. Plant front yard tree. We learned that if we let the old roots decompose for another year, it will be easier to plant the new tree in the same spot next year and require a smaller hole. Bonus: it will save us money this year. We filled in the area and planted a little grass instead. Deferred! New goal: weeding and mulching flower bedsimproving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken)and fixing and replacing the mailbox. My husband fixed the mailbox but we now know it will only be temporary, as several parts were severely damaged. We are looking to buy a new one.
  9. Paint half bath. Not yet BUT my friend Diane has most of a bucket of paint leftover from project and she is helping me do this in a couple of weeks.
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  We tried an amazing new park this month that will probably become a regular one for us.   This month we visited Winton Woods and Highfield Discovery Garden .  Goal met: Six of six completed. 

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Nope
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names siteProcrastinating! Hard to find time when I am picking up extra hours.
  3. Purchase the virtual real estate for the other four sites I want to create. I hit a 25% off sale this week. Done!
  4. Incorporate as an LLC. This month?.
  5. Explore affiliates for my sites. I signed up for Share a Sale but need to look at which ones to work with.
  6. Double my daily traffic for Frugal Stepping Stones. I  hit it three times this week again. Thank you everyone who is stopping by!
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Coming soon? We have had two weeks of constant illness and this got sidelined.
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year I did brainstorm part of my next post .
  9. Do one guest post. Not yet, but I have a few ideas where to reach out.
  10. Interview one person for the blog. I have someone who is interested in being interviewed. It will be later this year.

How are your goals going?

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

This post contains referral links. If you sign up, I get a small amount of money that we can then use towards our goals!

Frugal Steps:

  1. I did a CVS survey for $10 in Extra Care Bucks.
  2. I got a $15 Ebates check in the mail.
  3. I pay for Hulu with Swagbucks gift cards. My membership expires in 3 days, so I requested a $25 Hulu gift card using Swagbucks. That should cover me for about 3 months. I try to earn at least one $25 gift card per month.
  4. My mom watched the youngest twice this week while I took another child to appointments.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. My son picked up a nasty stomach bug and passed it to us Sunday and Monday. I had planned on working some hours both days but instead spent it napping and zoned on the couch bingewatching episodes of Downton Abbey for the 90th time. I might pick up a few extra hours tomorrow to make up for it.

 

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I did a CVS survey to get $10 Extra Care Bucks.
  2. I used our YMCA membership to take a yoga class while our youngest went to the child watch.
  3. I took the youngest to a park while the older kids were in school.
  4. I worked some weekend hours while my husband was home so did not need to pay child care.
  5. My father was hit by a car this week while standing on a sidewalk near a parking lot. He is fine, but I needed to leave work and run to the hospital. My mother came over and got the kids off the bus so I could do that.
  6. I baked oatmeal raisin cookies.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Because of that aforementioned car accident, I worked only half days on Thursday and Friday instead of full ones and did not pick up any Saturday morning hours.
  2. I spent most of Thursday sitting at the hospital or driving around and ended up picking up dinner for myself, getting some food for my dad, and buying a bag full of supplies for him at the pharmacy.
  3. My son’s friend was hanging out at our house and we kept him a little longer because his sister needed to go to the ER. The kids begged for a pizza party and I am a big softie.

40 Goals for 2017: Week 34

I’m keeping myself accountable this year by tracking my progress on my 40 Goals for 2017 every week. 

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase an item through my affiliate link, I receive a small percentage as compensation, that we then use to help reach our financial goals. Please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting our family!

Week Thirty- Four

Financial:

  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. The Mister has all he needs for this year’s Roth savings and I have $2000. More than half done!
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. Each child went up one level in their skills, so it was a success. We cash-flowed this one. Boom!
  3. Save $3000 for HVAC replacement. This will be sitting in savings until next year, but we are also at 100% for this as well. Done!
  4. Save $4000 towards the mister’s car replacement fund. Not yet. We tend to build up and then dump every few months, so we’ll see how this looks at the end of August/beginning September.
  5. Save $1050 650 for Christmas. Thanks to the $300 in Amazon Trade-in Credits from selling my grad school textbooks, I have completed Christmas shopping for my kids with the exception of a book or two for each child. We decided we would stick to 4-5 gifts per child, with one “bigger” gift each, and that has reduced our budget.  Goal met!

 

6. Save ? for outdoor play set.   Is this happening?  We have the cash but my husband’s powers of procrastination are quite formidable !

7. Save $750 towards next year’s 2018 family vacation and $ 750 towards my 2018 40th birthday trip ($125/month). We have $113 from last year’s garage sale earnings that I put towards our vacation fund. My uncle gave me $100 as a graduation gift, and I added it to my vacation fund, as he stipulated that I “use it for something fun for myself”, and I have $80 I got as another gift. Let’s just say my family knows me well enough to know it would have gone towards something practical. Total: $293

8. Spend $600/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on my fun money.   I  spent $484.44 in July and was way under budget. In August, we have spent $634.82 out of our $750 goal (it’s a 5 week month) so far.

9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. I completed this last week. Done!

10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. This month, I don’t have anything planned for volunteering.  I have a  Girl Scout meeting service unit meeting in September and our first troop meeting is in October.  I donated $27 for the child in Gambia we sponsor from Plan and $42/ to St. Jude’s .

Personal: 

  1. Complete my master’s degree! I graduated! Done!
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  We went to Cinebistro this month and watched The Glass Castle. Done!
  3. Read 1 book per month  I started reading Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 2: The Hammer of Thor. Yep, I like to read my 9-year old son’s books sometimes, especially the Rick Riordan ones. This makes 18 going on 19 read out of 12Goal met! 
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  I met the girls for brunch at a local favorite, The Meadowlark, this month.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. Still working on it!.
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. OK, didn’t happen yet. I really need to get those Daisy patches sewn on my daughter’s Girl Scout vest before the new year starts! I am either making time this week or next for this.
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. Our youngest passed her oral challenge of strawberry at the allergy doc’s and is now allergy free! I made an amazing Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake for her to celebrate.  Looking ahead to September, I think I’m going to make these Apple Shaped Cupcakes from Makes and Takes. 
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily  I hit this 5 days this week.
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. We are calling this a 50% success.

Family/Home:

  1. Visit family in Cleveland. We visited my in-laws this month and were thoroughly spoiled as usual. Done!
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. The big kids are in school again, so the Little and I went to the park and played many Candyland battles. The 1st-grader and I baked some oatmeal raisin cookies, and my son and I played some Uno. Check!
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. I am sold my son’s jeans for $23 and am his old firefighter outfit for $3 (boo). I have a box of clothes upstairs and a few coats that will be posted soon.
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done! Here’s our new fish, Bender .
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. I hit this hard and totally redid my office using the organization suggested in Organizing Solutions For People with ADHD. The corner is cleared out and the bookshelf is more usable, especially since I sold most of my nursing texts to Amazon. I went through and tossed, shredded, or filed most papers, used colored files for easy visual recognition, pared those files down to only about 10, and cleared out my desk. Done!
  6. Get the toddler potty trained! The Toddler, or should I say the soon-to-be-Preschooler, has officially crossed over and is completely in underwear during the day and during naps. This is saving us $20-30/month. Success!
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. They are now neatly stacked and ready to go though. I hope to have this done by end of summer.
  8. Plant front yard tree. We learned that if we let the old roots decompose for another year, it will be easier to plant the new tree in the same spot next year and require a smaller hole. Bonus: it will save us money this year. We filled in the area and planted a little grass instead. Deferred! New goal: weeding and mulching flower bedsimproving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken)and fixing and replacing the mailbox. My husband fixed the mailbox but we now know it will only be temporary, as several parts were severely damaged. We are looking to buy a new one.
  9. Paint half bath. Not yet BUT my friend Diane has most of a bucket of paint leftover from project and she is helping me do this in September.
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  We tried an amazing new park this month that will probably become a regular one for us.   This month we visited Winton Woods and Highfield Discovery Garden .  Goal met: Six of six completed. 

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins coursesNope
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names siteProcrastinating!
  3. Purchase the virtual real estate for the other four sites I want to create. I hit a 25% off sale this week. Done!
  4. Incorporate as an LLC. August? I am struggling with choosing a name. I don’t want too boring, too complicated, or too odd.
  5. Explore affiliates for my sites. I signed up for Share a Sale but need to look at which ones to work with.
  6. Double my daily traffic for Frugal Stepping Stones. I  hit it five times this week again. Thank you everyone who is stopping by!
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Coming soon on September 1st, if you signed up for my newsletter.
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year.  I did brainstorm part of my next post .
  9. Do one guest post. Not yet, but I have a few ideas where to reach out.
  10. Interview one person for the blog. I have someone who is interested in being interviewed. It will be later this year.

How are your goals going?

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps

  1. My kids saw the allergist and pediatrician this week. Our youngest was successfully cleared of a strawberry allergy, which means no more yearly Epi-pen and between both doctors, we were sent home with samples of children’s Zyrtec, Aveeno sunscreen, and Qvar, which is an inhaled steroid used for asthma. The Qvar alone costs a $25 copay for us, so it was much appreciated!
  2. My mom watched the kids one day at the Grandma price of a few hugs and kisses.
  3. My husband and I went on a date to see a movie at a dinner and a movie place called Cinebistro. We saw The Glass Castle (excellent!) and used a local discount to get our dinner (the food was awful!).
  4. I took the kids to our neighborhood on the last day of summer vacation.
  5. Our zucchini plants seems to be trying to grow a couple more zucchini.
  6. I worked 8 hours yesterday and 2 hours Saturday and did not have to pay child care, since my husband was home.
  7. Now that we have started the school year, I have plans to work more than I have been doing in the past two years, especially since two kids are in FT school and the youngest will be in preschool two days.
  8. The kids’lunch boxes were looking pretty dreadful and I wondered if they could be cleaned well enough to keep using or if I needed to replace them. I scoured the internet and tried a few things. They are pretty sanitized even though there are a few dirty spots still. I plan on using a Tide Pen to see if those stubborn areas can be fixed. I also learned that you can put good quality lunch boxes in the washing machine (ours are Land’s End and Planetbox). I plan to toss them in once per week now.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. I cleaned out the vegetable crisper and had to throw out several things that went to the Great Compost Bin in the Sky.
  2. The kids and I ate lunch out twice last week.

How about you?