It’s easy to become discontent with an older car because of lots of small imperfections like paint transfer scuffs. I think it’s important to maintain old cars so they can still look and function their best. It’s much easier to stay happy with a car when it’s looking nice, and driving an older paid-off car is much easier on your budget than a new car. [Read more…]
Archives for July 2016
It costs $2.50/day to buy lunch at our school, so for 2 kids, I’m looking at $5/day if they both buy. I do allow my kids to buy lunch 1-2 times/week for my convenience, but it can be much less expensive to pack lunches (and probably healthier at the same time!). It is also easy to spend MORE on a packed lunch if you buy all prepackaged items like little bags of cookies, pretzels, and juice boxes. If you have easy-to-use containers, you can avoid the expensive prepackaged items while also making it easier for your young student to manage their lunch independently. How many times have you sent pretzels flying across the room when you attempted to open those little bags, even as an adult? Or squirted yourself in the face with juice boxes? I also care about the fact that it is better on the environment to avoid disposable food packaging. [Read more…]
There are really only three things anyone can do with money: spend it, save it, or give it away. Giving money can be a lot of fun, and I think the most fun kind of giving is the unexpected or unplanned kind. For many years, though, I struggled with how to fit unplanned giving into my budget which was planned down to the penny. I could easily budget for something expected like my monthly church giving, but how could I budget for a friend asking me to support their run for a cancer charity? [Read more…]
Can you believe it’s already back-to-school season again? It feels like the school year just ended!
Shopping for back-to-school clothes is a tradition in many families. For us, it usually includes some new socks and underwear. When my kids left for overnight summer camp, I didn’t label their underwear with their names because it was all a bit too small and worn out. If it gets lost, I won’t be too sad! I wonder if other moms are making their kids run around in ratty underwear until the sales start. Is it just me?
I thought I’d share some of the tips that we use to keep back-to-school clothes shopping within our budget. [Read more…]
You may have heard the expression, “Show me your checkbook, and I’ll show you your priorities.” It’s been said in a variety of ways by a variety of people. We can all nod our heads and agree that makes sense… but putting it into practice in real life, day in and day out, is no easy task. I think the real challenge is that we have to remember that every single time we do anything with money (save it, spend it, or give it), we’re making a choice. We’re choosing to say YES to that thing and choosing to say NO to a whole lot of other things. [Read more…]
You’ve probably heard by now about Pokémon Go and how the new game is sweeping the nation. If you haven’t heard about it, have you noticed large numbers of people wandering around your town looking at their phones? Or gathering in parks or on sidewalks? That’s probably what they’re doing! Once you realize what’s happening, it’s pretty funny to watch! [Read more…]
A friend recently became an aunt again and we were talking about how it’s nice to now be in the position of being the “wise aunt”. My friend and I both have elementary-aged kids now. We’re moms who have survived the infant, toddler, and preschool years but we’re also still close enough to those years that we remember vividly what’s it’s like.
We’re no longer clueless new moms and we’re not yet grandmas with irrelevant decades-old parenting advice (sorry, grandmas!). We’re in that perfect middle ground of “wise aunt” or “wise mom friend” and we think there should be an award for making it to this stage. When a mom’s youngest is age 6 and in full-time school, she should line up to get her medal. Maybe just a silver medal, as the gold ones should be reserved for the new empty nesters who have made it to the finish line. [Read more…]
When someone first starts to learn about reducing a family’s expenses, one of the first pieces of advice they’re likely to hear is to “cut the cord” of cable or satellite TV. It might surprise you to learn that when we first started out on our journey to freedom from debt, we kept our satellite TV, even while we were doing crazy things like selling BOTH of our cars. We started down this path in late 2008 and didn’t get rid of our satellite until early 2015, almost SEVEN YEARS LATER. It’s painful to think that we spent around $100/month for a total of about $8,400 during that time. We did play the system to try to lower our bill as much as possible during that time (calling to ask for deals every 6 months or so), but it’s still never cheap. [Read more…]
I have a confession to make. I’m completely obsessed with avocados! I bought fresh avocados for the very first time a few months ago because I wanted to try making homemade guacamole, which was absolutely delicious. If you want to try the recipe I used, it’s very simple and kid-friendly. In the process, I realized how amazingly delicious avocados are and I started buying them more often.
I mentioned to a friend that I’d always avoided buying avocados because I felt that spending $1 on a single piece of fruit was absurd. After all, I’d never pay $1 for a single apple or banana. She wisely pointed out that while avocados are a fruit, their nutrition is more similar to the nutrition of meat and if you look at the amount of nutrition you’re getting from one avocado, it’s actually a pretty good value. I suspected she was right, but I wanted to see proof in the numbers. [Read more…]