Valentine's Exchange

At our previous childcare facility they didn't celebrate Valentine's Day, so this was our first year doing a school Valentine's exchange. Only, this Valentine's exchange turned into party x 4 because I've got two kids and they celebrated on two different days (so all the kids could celebrate, given that many only attend on MWF or TTh). There are 25 kids in the class x 4 (again, 2 kids & [...]

Housing - It's All in Name and Our Plan

Update: Read below for my original post.  But the day after I wrote this, I was offered a significant enough local contract to decide to stay put.  It's not enough to pay the bills yet, but it is enough to make staying put the best decision financially for now.  We will be going with Option 2 for the time being as far as housing goes; the kids are thrilled for a number of reasons!  I won't sta [...]

First Children's Activity!

It's been awhile since I've brought up the issue of paying for organized kid's activities. Our twins are now a little over 3.5 years old. They'll turn 4 this June. And, to date, we have never enrolled them in a single organized children's activity. We started our debt-reduction mission nearly 2 years ago (when they were only 18 months old) and, at the time, I didn't feel like they were missing [...]

Outrageous Electric Bill

We just received what I believe is the largest electric bill I've ever received. I was so sure that the price was an error that I called, waited on hold for a solid half hour, and spoke to a representative who confirmed, Yep. There's no error, that's just our bill. Hubs and I had a little bit of a pow-wow. We can pay the bill, so it's not an issue of not having the funds to cover it. But th [...]

4th Month of Unemployment - Status Update

I am now entering our fourth month of unemployment.  It is only by the grace and generosity of others that I have not accumulated any additional debt and am not too far behind on bills.  (I was so grateful that so many took my post What I have Learned being Poor to heart.  One reader even graciously reached out and offered to pay a bill for us.  I didn't want to make a big deal of it, but I di [...]

New Debt Thermometers

After completing our last debt thermometer (for the car loan - yay!!!) I decided to make some new debt thermometers. Only one thing.... I like to keep our old debt thermometers because they're motivating to look at. I had pulled them off the fridge to take a picture of them and they had been sitting on our kitchen table....and the girls destroyed them. Thought they were playing arts and crafts [...]

Ashley's January 2016 Budget Update

Let’s just jump right to it, shall we? Also, full disclosure….as I was making this month’s budget update I realized I never made one for December! Yikes! How did no one point this out/remind me? In full honesty, I feel too rushed for time as it is to go back and write a post from last month so I’m just picking back up here and moving forward.   Place Amount Spent Rent [...]

Dipping Into 5-Digit Debt

You guys! I have another fun debt-related thing to celebrate today! After nearly TWO YEARS of blogging here (officially started in March 2014. Here was my first "application post"), I've FINALLY and forever more fallen below the six-digit-debt threshold! When I started blogging two years ago we had $150,000 of debt. Our combined household income at the time was not quite $50,000/year. After pa [...]

Canceling My (Vision) Insurance

Hi friends! Sorry I didn't get a post up yesterday. Life, you know? Today I want to tell you about a horrible experience I've had with my vision insurance company. I'm about 2 minutes away from canceling it all together but before I officially make the call I wanted to put it to YOU to see if I'm overlooking something or if there's some good reason to keep it. Here's what I've been dealing [...]

Fulfilling Charitable Resolutions Without Breaking the Bank

By Holly Tomlinson Giving back more is one of the most popular resolutions made each year, but as we round out the first month of 2016, I find myself having done nothing towards my goal. If you've also made a commitment to improving the world around you, you might be wondering how you can do so on a tight budget when you find yourself often having less than you need. I always try to remind [...]

What's Next

If you missed my post earlier this week, I announced the exciting news that we are officially consumer debt-free! YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! (insert happy dance emoticon) What's funny is almost immediately after making the final payment on the car....it broke. Ha! A bit of euphemism. It didn't break down. Just a piece of it broke off. Check this out. Nothing even happened to cause it to break! I w [...]

Is it Worth It?

Continuing along the lines of last week's post on Lessons I've Learned Being Poor I'm having an internal debate /struggle with myself.  On one hand I am applying for all sorts of corporate IT jobs that should reasonably pay $80K+ per year with benefits.  On the other hand I am applying for anything that peaks my interest including but not limited to: teaching English in China, church secretary, [...]

WE DID IT!!!!!!!

I thought we'd have to wait until the end of the month, but hubs' month has started out on an upswing, which gave us the extra leeway to make the call. Actually, I'd tried to call yesterday but I called at 3:40pm Arizona time (=5:40 EST), and they closed at 5:30pm EST. Rats! But that didn't dampen the mood any this morning when I called bright and early and made the request: Customer Servic [...]

Fraud Alert!

For those of you following along with my father's saga (in case you're new, he was diagnosed with a major disability and moved from Utah to Texas in November), I have a not-so-great update to report. My uncle was tasked with keeping up with my Dad's Utah home. This includes removing junk mail/mailers from door and mailbox, starting the remaining vehicle weekly, running water, and just general o [...]

Tips for Moving on a Budget

By Noel Finley I've moved a lot in my life and one thing I learned early on is that moving costs can turn out to be a nasty surprise. It's unbelievable how many homeowners, including myself, fail to take the cost of moving into account. Then when the bill comes, not only is it a surprise, it's a struggle to pay it. If you are moving on a budget, here are some of the money saving tips I have [...]

Drivers License : It Could Change Our Lives

One adult, Four children, Three Two dogs, One cat - three working, two days a week of homeschool co op, four in activities, all social.  The amount of time I have spent in the car every week...well, it makes me dizzy just thinking back on it.  But now, I'm getting some relief!  Please join me in congratulating History Buff on receiving his drivers license this week! For now, he's only dr [...]

Lessons I've Learned being Poor

We hear all the time about the welfare state, and the generations of people living on welfare, etc.  And being a conservative, that has always driven me batty.  "I'm working my butt off to support my family with no assistance, and these people who are perfectly capable for working, just sit on their butts and collect a check which I worked for." --has been my attitude on it.  And this even comi [...]

Job Title/Raise Update

Hey guys! Thanks for all your awesome suggestions on this morning's post! I haven't been able to read/reply to all of them yet, but I did see a sampling of great ideas and I'll be sure to reply later this evening. Thank you! As always, you've come through with great tips! So, remember in mid-December when I mentioned wanting to ask my boss for a title change and raise? Well our meeting was just [...]

Saving Money in the New Year

Since starting my full-time job this past summer, I've had a really tough time keeping on top of some household tasks. The biggest of which was meal planning and food prepping. It's lead to a large increase in our overall grocery spending as I've been buying more prepared foods, not buying items on sale, and making more last minute trips to the store for "one item for dinner" (which inevitably lea [...]

Checking Accounts are Still Relevant

With credit cards and prepaid cards making payments easy, a lot of people are closing their checking accounts. But is this a wise move? Consider the following advantages of having a checking account or business checking account before you decide that one isn't something you need. The fees may not be as high as you thought A lot of people think that prepaid cards are cheaper than check ac [...]