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Archive for posts tagged with ‘Matt’s Hard Earned Cash’

This and that

Thoughtfully penned on June 21st, 2010 and generally concerning Cloth diapers, Coffee, E, J, Life with littles, Matt's Hard Earned Cash, S, Summer Fun

Okay, so I’ve neglected my little friend the blog for a few weeks now. The first week I just didn’t feel like writing. No other reason, just didn’t feel like typing. The second week we were out of town for several days visiting my brother and his family. I didn’t have time to write except late at night, and then I pretty much fell into bed asleep. Last week I spent every naptime and several evenings engrossed in a book.

Today I would like to compose a coherent and thought out post, but I can’t seem to string sentences together. What’s with that?? I would also like to post about our trip to my brother’s house, but I want to upload pictures and that’s not happening either (I can’t figure out how to get them from my phone to the computer).

Instead, I’m posting some random bits and pieces from our lives lately…

~Matt starts a new job on Monday. This is exciting and a bit disconcerting at the same time. We’ve drawn a paycheck from the same place for the last 9 years. Although I am thrilled for Matt’s new opportunity, there is a sense of stability lost at the same time. I have no reservations about him taking this new position, but there is a bit of “fear of the unknown” that I’m battling.

~One of our big changes with the new job involves budgeting. For 7 of our 9 years of marriage our primary income (the one we budget on) has been paid monthly. Matt’s new employer pays weekly. I have to change my mindset as I approach our budget for next month.

~One of the great things about Matt’s new job is his schedule. He will work 7 to 5 Monday through Thursday and 7 to 11 on Fridays. Because he is trading a 40-45 minute commute for a 15-20 minute commute his time at home won’t really change Monday through Thursday, but we’ll have an extra half day every weekend!

~Matt had to make this statement to Boo on Saturday: “Don’t ride your horse n@ked in the living room!” File that under things you never thought you’d have to say.

~Saturday I asked Little a question and she answered, “Indeed!” Sometimes she talks like she’s 30 years old.

~One of my bestest friends is having a baby in a few weeks. I’ve bought 4 gifts for her. I really need to stop (it’s not like I don’t have my own baby girl to buy for).

~Matt’s Father’s Day gift was more coffee preparation paraphernalia. We have a friend who refers to Matt as Mr. Coffee. There’s a reason for that.

~The baby is teething. She’s been a bear the last couple of days.

~She also turned 5 months old last week. I’m struggling with the fact that she’ll start solid foods in less than a month.

~Little wrote her first sentence yesterday (in Matt’s Father’s Day card). I love you. I had to spell it for her, but she wrote it all. I’ll have to post a picture.

~I just bought Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I’ll let you know how it goes. This experience could be a deciding factor in whether or not we homeschool next year.

~I bought a new cloth diaper last week (in amethyst). I know you’re surprised.

~I got the kids a small inflatable pool today. They were so excited you would have thought we bought a water park.

And I think that’s all I have for now. Hope you’re having a happy Monday!

March update: Financial Goals 2009

Thoughtfully penned on March 12th, 2009 and generally concerning Goals, Matt's Hard Earned Cash

Early last month I posted some of our financial goals for the year.  Here’s where we are so far:

Done – 1. Move our savings into an account that earns more interest – February 15 – we’ve opened two new savings accounts and have earned more interest on the money than we did all of last year.

2. Have Life Insurance in place for both Matt and I – March 1 April 1

3. Create a Last Will and Testament for both Matt and I – February 15 April 15

4. Research Homeowners and Auto Insurance options before renewal – May 1 – have started this process; still gathering quotes, etc.

Done! – 5. Fully fund 4 months of Emergency Fund – September 30 March 5 – I am so excited that we were able to complete this quickly thanks to our tax refund

Done - 6. Prepare and file tax return – February 15

So, we’ve completed three of these six in the last month or a little more.  My big issue right now is with our Wills – I just can’t wrap my mind around choosing guardians for our kids in the event we aren’t here to raise them.  We’re considering our options (okay, so that sounds like we’re choosing a new paint color. We’re trying to prayerfully consider the people in our lives with whom we trust our children’s lives and well being), and, hopefully, we can get the Wills written soon.

New goals?  Since we’re doing pretty well I’m adding a couple of new things to the list.  Matt and I haven’t sat down to set “achieve by” dates yet, though.

1. Fully fund an additional 2 months of Emergency Fund (for a total of 6 months funded)

2. Start saving for a replacement car (ours are 10 and 6 years old, but that’s okay for now because they are paid for)

That’s our progress thus far in 2009.  Hopefully, we can get a couple more things marked off the list soon!

2009 Financial Goals

Thoughtfully penned on February 2nd, 2009 and generally concerning Goals, Matt's Hard Earned Cash

About 4 years ago Matt and I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. With the things we learned in the classes we were able to pay off all of our debt (except our house).

For the first couple of years we did really well, but as we got out of debt and started bringing in a little more income we got lazy with our budgeting and envelope system. So when our church decided to offer FPU we decided to go through the program again. This time around we’re focusing on getting our savings in line so we can do some things around the house and work toward paying cash for our next car.

Last weekend we sat down and worked out our budget for February. It wasn’t much fun, but, hopefully, it will all pay off when we are able to meet our financial goals for this year.

As of today, these are our financial goals for 2009:

1. Move our savings into an account that earns more interest – February 15

2. Have Life Insurance in place for both Matt and I – March 1

3. Create a Last Will and Testament for both Matt and I – February 15

4. Research Homeowners and Auto Insurance options before renewal – May 1

5. Fully fund 4 months of Emergency Fund – September 30

6. Prepare and file tax return – February 15

Each month I plan to revisit these goals to see what we’ve accomplished and to add any new goals to the list. I think having the information here and in print (in my budget book) will help keep us on track and accountable.

Our new toy

Thoughtfully penned on March 19th, 2008 and generally concerning Matt's Hard Earned Cash, Of games and good things

Yesterday Matt and I received a new toy

For the last year or so we’ve been using an Apple laptop that Matt brought home from work.  This arrangement has worked well, but now Matt needs the laptop back at the office.  This left us with a dilemma – either buy our own laptop or go without.  Now I do realize that it is a luxury to even have this dilemma; we have a nice Apple desktop, so we wouldn’t be without a computer.  However, Matt is an IT guy, we’ve had 2 computers for several years, and we are often using both at the same time.  It is also very nice to be able to sit on the couch and use the computer!

A few weeks ago we received a refund that has been owed us since last July and decided that since those funds had been out of pocket for several months already, we would use them to fund our laptop.  After much research and deliberation, Matt decided on the one he wanted and placed the order. 

I was a bit disappointed that it isn’t an Apple, but I’ll survive.  And here I sit (on the couch) typing happily on our nice new laptop and trying to remember how things work in Windows OS. 

A shoe show of hands

Thoughtfully penned on May 31st, 2007 and generally concerning Matt's Hard Earned Cash, Shoes anyone?, Sidetrack'd

I’m considering jumping on the bandwagon and purchasing a pair of Crocs. For those of you who don’t know me well, I’m not really the bandwagon jumping type most of the time; thus, I’m a couple of years behind on this whole trend in footwear. In fact, I’ve considered them about the ugliest thing you could put on your feet, and scoffed at the idea that they might be the most comfortable shoes on God’s green earth. But, I digress.

A couple of months ago my friend Michelle showed up at Bible study wearing an adorable pair of Crocs Mary Janes, and I haven’t been able to get them out of my mind. So, I’m trying to decide what color I would like to get. Do I go with the fun-loving lavender? The sassy celery? Or the good old standby – chocolate brown?

Let me know which color you vote for in the comments.

Fun-Loving Lavender

Sassy Celery

Chocolate Brown

Frugality vs. Coffee

Thoughtfully penned on April 20th, 2007 and generally concerning Coffee, Matt's Hard Earned Cash, Sidetrack'd

In this corner, we have a desire to be budget conscious and lower expenses where we can. And in this corner, we have an addiction to intense like for a great cup of bold flavor, dark-roasted coffee.

It was confirmed again this week that Matt and I are coffee snobs. This is something that I readily admit as it has been shown again and again over the last few years. There is nothing like waking up to that great aroma of good, fresh coffee awaiting you. Several months ago we discovered organic, fair-trade, locally roasted beans that make a wonderful pot or two cup of strong, rich coffee.

So, that brings us to the frugality mentioned above. We decided that, since our favorite coffee runs about $9 for 12 ounces, we would try a less expensive brand for day to day drinking and reserve the best for occasional consumption. At the grocery last week, Matt selected a great smelling vanilla flavored coffee; it was a brand that we have had before and liked moderately well. Let’s just say that the creamer and sugar (or Splenda in Matt’s case) have been used to mask the flavor of the coffee instead of enhance it. In the beginning we thought we just didn’t brew it strong enough, but after several additional attempts it still didn’t work for us.

The results of this little experiment in frugality can be summed up in Matt’s comment Tuesday evening: “I’ve decided that coffee is not an area where we can cut spending.”

Goals? We don’t need no stinkin’ goals

Thoughtfully penned on March 27th, 2007 and generally concerning Goals, Legacy, Matt's Hard Earned Cash, Satisfaction

Have you ever had one of those days (or weeks, months, or years) where the same topic seems to come up over and over again in various forms and in various situations? I’m having one of those seasons, and the topic seems to be discipline and self-control.

It all started back at the first of the year when I was convicted of my need to set some goals. Let me make it perfectly clear that, although I wrote them out, I have lost site of said goals – as well as the paper on which they were written. Coincidence? I think not.

Over the last few months I’ve received gentle reminders, repeatedly, that I might need to buckle down in some areas. Over the last few weeks the nudges are getting a little less gentle. I did make an attempt with my spending hiatus, which has gone pretty well; but I really feel like I’m being called to look at and work on my self-control across many areas of my life, not just my discretionary spending.

So, I am going to make a new list of a few things that I would like to accomplish or get better about doing over the next few months. Hopefully, I can manage not to lose them this time!

I know God has something to teach me through this, or something he is calling me to do. As I strive to get better in these areas I will continue to pray through it and pray for strength and determination. Do you have any goals you are working toward? Is God calling you to greater things?

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A bit of randomness

Thoughtfully penned on March 23rd, 2007 and generally concerning E, Matt's Hard Earned Cash, Sidetrack'd

An update on my spending hiatus:

- I have not purchased anything for myself since March 1st. I have been tempted (and have a list of things I will get in April :-)), but have remained strong
- I broke down and purchased something for Little on Monday. I was in Children’s Place buying a birthday gift and got Little a pair of sunglasses (I had to in order to get the 2 for $5 deal; that’s a good reason, right?)
- I have not organized Little’s closet.
- I realize that I can go a few weeks without buying clothes or shoes.

A few odd details, none of which really warrant a post of their own, that someone (like a grandmother) might be interested in:

- Little has figured out how to “cruise” around her Leap Frog table – she can’t pull up to it yet, but is trying
- Little has started sitting herself up – time to lower the crib mattress as far as it will go
- Little got her leg stuck between the slats on her crib after the bumper pads were removed – those darn bumper pads; can’t live with them, can’t live without them
- Little thought it was hysterically funny this morning when I said the word “boo” – she sat in her highchair and cackled as long as I kept saying it – there is nothing quite like hearing a child laugh
- Little seems to have no interest in eating her cereal…or fruit (odd, huh?) – but she’ll scarf down some veggies
- Little still doesn’t have those crazy teeth we keep believing are soon to come

Some really cute things I’ve found recently that would make great gifts for a child:

- Cute ballet skirts at Katchy Kids
- Adorable beaded socks at The Sock Shop
- Chalk mats, art smocks, and cool hats at Aunt Art
- Neat plush toys at Monster Factory

Spending Hiatus

Thoughtfully penned on March 5th, 2007 and generally concerning Matt's Hard Earned Cash, Sidetrack'd

I have a little problem and in an effort at full-disclosure I’m going to share it with you…I am a spender.

I’ve always been a spender, but now that I’m at home full-time I have more opportunities to watch my cash slowly fade into the distance – or not so slowly, it depends on the store. In all fairness to myself justification for my problem, I usually only buy things on sale. You might think this is a good thing because it means I’m spending less. You would be wrong, it just means that I have money left over to buy something else – like another cute pair of sandals.

My spending ways have only been exacerbated by Little’s presence. I mean, who can pass up a great Gymboree deal! There are just way too many cute clothes out there for little girls, and I seem to think she needs them all, in more than one size. We have baby clothes running out our ears and making Little’s closet an extremely disorganized mess.

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to practice a little self-control for a while. Beginning yesterday, March 4, and ending March 31 I am officially on a frivolous spending hiatus. I cannot buy clothes, shoes, accessories, books, toys, etc for Little or myself. To compound the difficulty of this task, I’ve chosen a 4-week period that includes my birthday.

In this same time frame I also hope to get a grip on the monster that is Little’s closet. Because, really, how many sundresses can one girl wear?