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Archive for August, 2011

Every little bit helps...

August 18th, 2011 at 06:52 pm

I got a freelance check for $500 today, so since the bills and mortgage are paid, I reserved $250 for Bean's first preschool bill, sent $50 extra toward the car loan, and put $100 each into the kid's 529 plans. Every little bit helps!

travel hacking?? And other financial odds and ends

August 17th, 2011 at 09:53 pm

So, I've just heard of travel hacking. Apparently, it's a clever way of utilizing incentive programs to earn significant amounts of free travel that you then use to go round the world or wherever for free.

Has any one hear of this or know how it works? I saw one site, but it was a pay site so I was turned off. Then, another blog where a lady discusses her strategies. Sounds like a lot of opening new accounts and shuffling things around. Might be worth it for a big trip? (Like hubby and I anniversary?)

In other news, my September extra freelance assignment turns out to be for $100 more than I had expected-- $250-- so that is great!

I may also be back on track. I had some extra money this pay period, so I sent $100 extra to the savings account and $75 to the car loan. I paid the mortgage and still have another $500 freelance check coming this week. May use it to pay for preschool plus some savings or debt repayment. Not sure yet.

Also upped our biweekly debit to the emergency fund, from $50 to $100. It is a small, sad amount considering how much it was before we bought this house, but at least I feel like I'm finding my way back to on track!

Gearing up for No Spend Month, School, and all that!

August 16th, 2011 at 09:38 pm

The boys are back home and once again, the house is filled with laughing and crying babies and thumping feet. I missed those babies, but it's amazing just how good you sleep and how much you get done every day when they aren't around!!

So, we start the flurry or orientations and back to school stuff this Sunday. Little man starts a new preschool. I think it will be good for him, but I know he's going to be sad when he realizes his friends from the last school won't be there.

I talked hubby into a no spend month in September has well. I'm giving us $450 for everything that isn't a regular, recurring bill. I think that will free up some much needed cash for savings.

Today, I also scored a few coupon deals.
4 2-packs of Dial soap for 18 cents each. (regular $2.89)
3 St. Ives body wash for 49 cents each.

God bless coupons. Hubby also discovered the drawer of cheap and free toothbrushes and seemed pretty happy that I had been stockpiling necessities when they cost next to nothing. At first, he rolled his eyes thinking it was just silly. Until he needs a toothbrush!

The day is looking up: our lost bag from the airline was just delivered to the house. Phew!

Boys come home today

August 15th, 2011 at 02:48 pm

So, my week alone is ending. I miss the boys but also miss getting this done and sleeping in!

I managed to get most of my to-do list done: went to New Orleans to see friends, painted murals in both the kids' rooms, painted the kitchen, unclogged the tub drain, and started organizing the garage (which has turned out to be a herculean task.). Not too shabby.

I have some freelance work to do today and hopefully I can clean up, and finish up a few more little projects before I head off to the airport this afternoon to bring them home.

Little man starts preschool in a week and a half. The summer has really flown by.

Workwise, I just picked up another $150 once a year freelance gig, so it'll be nice to have a little extra cash come in. I'm also going to pitch a few ideas to my occasional very-high-paying editor. So we'll see. Hopefully he'll bite on at least one.

Anyway, here are the pics of son 2's aquarium room. Just add fish (I'm getting to that...)

Day 1 on my own (now with pics)

August 9th, 2011 at 05:07 pm

Well, I've been family free for about 24 hours now. It's very strange. I used to be at home alone all the time before marriage and kids, and it was never weird, but once you are used to a housefull of people, it's very strange!

In that time, I've managed to get a little bit of freelance work done. I painted a road construction themed mural in my 3 year old's room (putting finishing touches on it now), and just have to move the furniture back. I'm putting the third coat of paint on the kitchen. (it's red, so it requires lots of coats, ) so that should be done soon.

Hopefully, I'll be able to wrap up some freelance projects today, finish painting, and start on the ocean themed mural in my youngest room today.

Then tomorrow, off to New Orleans to visit friends. Lots to do!Here are some pics, as you requested. I haven't added the trucks, cars, and construction equipment to son's mural yet, but you get the idea!

Next month is going to be a no spend month

August 4th, 2011 at 08:57 pm

Hubby and I haven't had a no spend month since Dec. 2008, and I think we are about due. I'm officially declaring Sept. a no spend month. It should be a fairly ordinary month, as in no trips planned, etc. so it's a good choice. Hopefully I can get hubby on board.

I feel like our finances could use a reboot, and I thought no spend month was an incredibly useful exercise last time.

A whole week....alone??

August 3rd, 2011 at 09:40 pm

So, hubby has decided that he is taking the kids to his parents house-- alone, without me. They are flying, and there are no direct flights. Is it pathetic of me to be terrified about him flying and navigating airports car rental and baggage claims alone with two very active and opinionated toddlers?

They leave Monday. I'm terrified. If something happened to them, I would not recover.

So then, beyond that anxiety, is the reality of an entire week alone, to do with as I please. I thought about it. My first impulse (and one hubby was hoping for) was "oh, I can work on the house and get it the way I want it."

But then I thought, I'm always responsible, always about the to-do list, and frankly, I have no social life, I miss my friends, and I feel like I could use a little bit of being not productive.

So, I decided on a compromise. I'm going to do my freelance work on Monday and Tuesday. I'm also going to paint the kitchen, and start on the murals in both of the kids' rooms (one construction theme, and one ocean theme.). I'm also going to assemble the fabulous medicine cabinet I bought at IKEA.

I'm going to do as much as I can in these two days, then on Wednesday, I'm going home to New Orleans to spend a few days with my best friends, floating around in their pool. I'll head home on Saturday, and still have two days left without the family to work on the house and finish odds and ends.

IF the kids make it to grandparents' house safe and sound, I should be able to enjoy this week and get some things done. Fingers crossed.