Curious about our personal story? Be sure to read our story of how we became debt-free except our mortgage.
This week, my kids are having a blast at an enrichment camp offered by our school system. They each got to choose 2 fun classes to take for the week and my son is in one called “Slimy Science”. He’s definitely having fun, but you can imagine the things that are coming home with him! Today, he came home with several balls of flubber, colored green (his favorite color). I helped the kids get a snack and then headed upstairs to fold laundry. I’m sure you can figure out where this is going by the title of this post… My son soon came upstairs to tell me he accidentally sat in the flubber and had it all over his shorts and the back of his shirt. [Read more…]
If you have been trying to trim your grocery budget, you have probably tried Aldi or at least heard about their amazingly cheap grocery prices. I plan to do a post comparing Aldi prices to other stores soon, but first I wanted to write about some of the non-financial reasons I love Aldi. [Read more…]
Now that most kids in the U.S. are getting out of school for the summer, many families are looking for fun activities to keep the kids busy. It’s a great bonus when those activities also help to keep their minds engaged, get them outdoors, and cost very little. Our family has been enjoying an activity that fits all of those criteria. Letterboxing! [Read more…]
I had a great trip to my favorite thrift store last weekend! The picture above shows all the items I bought for my daughter for a total of $21.87. It included 10 items: 5 shirts, 4 pairs of jeans, and 1 dress, all in very good condition, including one new-with-tags. Since thrift store shopping can be such a great way to save money, I thought I’d share my advice for successful thrift store shopping. [Read more…]
I love the YNAB (You Need A Budget) software for budgeting and I’m sure I’ll talk more about the nuts and bolts of that in the future, but today I’d like to write a bit more philosophically.
The folks at YNAB suggest following their four rules to make budgeting work smoothly and rule #3 is “Roll with the Punches”, which means that when you overspend in one category, it’s OK to shift money around to cover it. This is not a failure, but just evidence that humans are not very good predictors of the future. Even if we diligently put $100/month into our car maintenance category, it can be hard to see when that large repair bill might pop up and it’s OK to cover the overage with some money from the eating out category or the home improvement category. Roll with the punches and move on. [Read more…]
It’s that time of year when many of us are working on our yards and buying flowers and plants. I love how warm and beautiful flowers can make a yard feel. I also love having a backyard vegetable garden where I can just pluck a few items for dinner each night. And trees… who doesn’t love beautiful trees? The only problem is that all of these things can be pretty expensive!
Here are some tips I’ve used to save a bit of money on the plants for my yard. [Read more…]
One small way that I saved money this week was by avoiding the online processing fees for my kids’ school lunch accounts. They had spent all of their lunch money for the year and we needed to add more. Our school system offers a convenient online payment system that is free for school fees but charges a 3.99% processing fee to add money to lunch accounts. I love convenience as much as anyone and happily use the system to pay school and activity fees without the processing fee, but is it worth the processing fee for lunch accounts? Let’s take a look at the numbers for our family. [Read more…]
Especially when my kids were preschool age, I often needed somewhere to take the kids and get a change of scenery. The same four walls start to feel like they’re closing in on you after a while. Fresh air and some fun distractions can be just the solution to family boredom. In our city, there is no shortage of places that offer attractive family memberships: the city pool, recreation centers, art museum, science museum, and the zoo.
Family memberships can be a lot of fun, but they can also be quite expensive, often well over $100/year each. Luckily, there are a variety of ways that you can save money on these memberships. Here are some ideas: [Read more…]