Monday, March 30, 2009

water heater

I had to get a new water heater last week. Not real exciting stuff, but necessary. So, I was lucky that a friend of mine put it in for me. Saved me $240!! :) Sweet. I'm all about saving money. It works well, and looks great. I'm so pleased! Now, I've got to get the old one out to the curb.

I've heard people complaining lately that home ownership isn't worth it... the expense out weigh the ownership. For me, I don't feel that way. I do realize there are things that have to be updated and cost money each year. But, so far, it's been realistic and not too overwhelming. I bet, though, if you had an old house, or one with a lot of problems, it would feel different.

Anyway, the only other home repair that I want to get done this spring is getting my whole house fan fixed... :)


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Goals and personal finance

I am a very goal-oriented woman. I love goals. I like making them, and I like working through the process of getting to the finish line of the goal. It's my nature. It's not other people's nature, though. Which, sometimes I find odd. ;-)

I have highly likely written about my goals for this year already, but I am working every week to make my goals a reality.

#1 Goal: Pay off credit cards by 12/31/09.

I'm pretty well on my way to doing this. Yes, part of my tax return helped. I've cut spending back to the bare minimum. Which, kind of sucks. I like to shop... but I like to be out of debt more!! haha. Progress to date: I have 6 (yes, 6) credit cards. As of tomorrow, 3 of them will be paid off! The other 3 had larger balances, so it's going to take longer, but 2 of the 3 should be paid off by September and the last one by December. Whew. :)

My bigger deal, though, is the line of credit (against my house) I took out last year to help with my own credit cards (yeah, right) and Sister's divorce and credit cards... Ugh. That's a biggie. And, even though I have like 20 years to pay it off... I'd like to get it paid in the next 2 or 3. So, that's a bit more daunting. Lesson learned, by the way. Debt consolidation can hurt you... by giving you more debt if you're not careful! Of course, it was the best option at the time, and I do not regret it.

Oh, and now the University wants to buy said house. Let's hope and pray I get enough to cover the house pay off and the line of credit. That would be very helpful. Very. I'm not sure when this house buying thing will happen, but it could happen as soon as next year, and I'd like to be prepared to buy another one.

Anyway, goal setting is pretty easy for me. I like making a plan. But I know others who aren't so good at it. I wonder during these times how they are going to make it. Because to get your money situation under control, you really need a plan. Dare I say it, a budget. Budgets aren't bad, actually. I never really understood that, or liked them until this year. They felt constricting.

However, I learned that you put yourself and some fun money IN the budget and it doesn't feel as constricting!! Yes, things might be tight, but you've got to allow (or at least I do) for some spending money, or you might go off the deep-end and spend too much!

For a couple of years now I've been putting other things first instead of my own personal financial freedom... So, this year, I'm trying to get back on the right track. Looks like I can make it, and I'm really thankful / grateful for that.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Giving our all

What if... we gave everything?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Show and Tell - Nephew Imagination

For my show and tell for Stirrup Queens:

My nephew has been participating in a group called Destination Imagination this season! They came up with a "tragedy" yesterday....(could have been comedy or tragedy)

Sis said: "The Destination Imagination (DI) getting ready to do their Instinct Messaging. They had to choose between a comedy or a tragedy, theirs was a tragedy. The animals escape the zoo only to get caught in super sticky gum, the zoo keeper tazes them and puts them back in the only cage that hasn't been broken."

Auntie M is so very proud of her Chasey-man!!! He called me all excited this morning about losing his 4th tooth in a couple of weeks and how much fun he had yesterday at this DI event!!! He's 8 years old, and quite the creative little guy, if I do say so!!

Love you to both... xoxo


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sis update

Sis has officially gotten custody of my nephew! They are still following the shared parenting, so it doesn't change much until the fall, when she can put him in the school by her. But, I hope this bodes well for the final divorce hearing in june. God, please. It's been a rough go for them, but Nephew needs to be with his Mom. That is for sure. I hope it happens soon.

But for now, we're relishing the tiny win of custody!! :D

Sis seems to be doing a little better overall, too. She doesn't get paid what she's worth at her job, and I"m trying to convince her to try to get the to give her more money, or move somewhere else where she can get more. It'll take time, but it is a definite need.

As for me, I got a new cell phone this week. I love it. I've been trying to lower my monthly budget bills, and this was one way. Which means other things can get paid. It also means Sis won't be on my plan for now, but that will actually save us money. So, let's see how it goes. I felt kind of bad about it, but I think it might work out OK. And, I'm totally digging the fact that my new cell phone battery is still at 3 bars, and it's been since Wed that I got it!!! WOOT.

I'm looking into digital home phone service, to see if I can cut another $10 a month off that one. It has been a pain in my behind for awhile... I don't use it much at home, b/c I use my cell... but I feel like I need the basics... which seem to stay around 40-50 each month! UGH. So, I'm determined to make a change somehow. Even if that means getting a 2nd cell and keeping that one at home or something. I don't know yet.

Sis has the same issues. So, we've been working on our budgets for this year. Really trying to be more frugal day to day... My number one goal this year is to get my credit cards paid off.

I realize that it seems kind of silly to nickel and dime some bills... but I live by the rule that EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS. :) so... there you have it. If you're trying to budget, just remember that encouraging little tidbit. 'Cause it all adds up. Believe you me.


Friday, March 13, 2009

A bit off this week

It seems so odd to me that the time has changed already. I am still not quite used to it... yes, i do realize it's only and hour and it's been a week already!! It just seems to early to do the DST change already... oh well. I'm going to try to get back on track this weekend!!

So, a couple of months ago, I got my hair cut off. Not sure if I mentioned that here or not. But I thought I'd post an updated pic... just 'cause there's not much else to write about tonight. I had a trim last week, but nothing major. I'm going to let it grow for awhile! :) Lil M also had her FIRST-EVER hair trim last Thursday (3/7/09), too. I now have hair for her baby book.

Oh, and it looks like Senate Bill 68 won't pass this go around. Woot! Thank GOD for sure.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Plugging along

Plugging or plodding... I don't know, but we're getting through the week. Lil M hasn't been taking naps like she needs to for the past 3 days. :( That messes us up... got to get her back on track. It was my fault, actually. We went to the Zoo on Saturday, and she had a late nap. She love the Zoo, of course, and I didn't feel like we could pass up such an absolutely gorgeous day. Then we had company Saturday night... more about that later... Sunday, we went to the Shriners' Circus. Another first for her. She got to ride a camel. That was fun to watch!! But, no nap at all. So, yesterday, she didn't take one at daycare. :( I'm sure it doesn't help that daylight savings came this past weekend, too.

So, what do other parents do to get their children back on schedule with naps???

As for the company on Saturday night, we had a girls-night-in... I had invited some girl friends, with and without kids, to come over. It happened that we were all Mamas there, and had 4 kiddos with 5 adults. We had pizza and wine (water/milk for the kids, of course). We had a blast!

My other question is, how do you decompress? Or get your adult-mommy time in? Do you have get-togethers? Do you go out? Get a sitter?

I haven't broken down and gotten a sitter, yet. But I think that day will come!! :) We had such a great time this weekend, though. And, that made it ALL worth it!