Friday Finances

1655997_10101908331136069_156095651_nI spent Wednesday evening at a huge consignment sale with my mom.  This is the third time I have been to this specific one, and it was the busiest we have ever seen it.  We walked away with some amazing deals!

I budgeted $150 to spend on Miss C’s wardrobe.  The money came from my two photo shoots I had this month.  I did awesome at staying under budget!  I also took an extra $50 for anything extra/gifts/miscellaneous items I ended up finding while there.  Again, I stayed under budget in this area too!

Here is a break down of everything:

For clothing for Miss C I spent $119.50 + tax
I bought one book for Miss C which was $3.00 + tax
The other items I bought are surprises, but I spent $37.00 + tax

Subtotal: $159.50
Tax: $13.56
Total Paid (in cash!): $173.06

Here are the items for Miss C’s wardrobe that I came away with:

7 sets of pajamas (1 set came with top, pants, and shorts. 1 set came with top, pants, and another top)
8 onesies
5 one-piece summer outfits (romper type of outfits)
7 two-piece summer outfits ( either top & skirt, top & bloomers, top & shorts, dress & bloomers)
1 three-piece summer outfit (top, capris, shorts)
4 two-piece spring or fall outfits (long pants and a top)
1 three-piece spring/fall outfit (long pants, long-sleeved onesie, hoodie)
3 separate tops
3 pairs of long pants
2 pairs of capris
6 pairs of shorts
1 jean skirt

We are ready for spring and summer!

As for other finances, we are going to be over our halfway point for savings tomorrow!  We are about $6 away, but I received a check today from a client for extra images.  That will put us over the $1,000 mark!  Woo-hoo!

I have already set up our March budget, and we should be able to add another $300 to our savings!  It will all come from photo sessions.  Our paydays are a bit off for the month of March, so we will wait until the beginning of April to put some in our savings from our paychecks.

I hope to be back tomorrow with all of my March goals!  I can’t believe March is going to be here tomorrow!

How are your finances looking?



Thankful Thursday

593189f75a7b3987d86964b5acf510f1Love this!  I definitely have a hard time with comparing myself to others, and inevitably I will feel bad about my situation or myself.  That is one of the reasons I have embarked on this Thankful Thursday journey.  I am working on finding one thing each day that I am thankful for.

I did not blog last week, so I will actually have two full weeks of blessings to count.  Here they are…

Friday, February 14: Thankful to see four beautiful deer on my drive to work.  They crossed the road (a safe distance) in front of me.  They were silhouetted against the gray morning sky, and it truly was a beautiful sight.

Saturday, February 15: Thankful for yummy Mexican food with a good friend.  This particular friend is one I had not seen in a while.  She was my best friend in college and my roommate numerous times.  Sometimes we don’t see each other as often as we should, but no matter what she is one of my very dear friends.

Sunday, February 16: Thankful for our financial situation.  We do not struggle to make ends meet.  We are working on building our savings so we are covered if there is an emergency.  Our finances are not perfect, but we live comfortably and without fear of things spinning out of control because of a possible mishap or unexpected expense.

Monday, February 17: Thankful for the birds chirping.  It seems like it had been ages since hearing the birds chirping in the morning.  It was a lovely and very welcome sound.

Tuesday, February 18: Thankful for fun times with a good friend.  Again, had dinner out with a dear friend.  We talked for 2 hours.  I used to teach next door to this wonderful friend, so I got used to talking to her daily.  Now we don’t see each other even weekly and it’s tough.

Wednesday, February 19: Thankful that my husband gets to spend 3 days at home with Miss C.  Hubs’ schedule right now is 10 hour shifts on Saturday through Tuesday.  That means he gets to be home with the little missy on Wednesday through Friday.  I love seeing their relationship grow, and how much they adore each other.

Thursday, February 20: Thankful for little girl squeals.  Miss C has the cutest squeal when she gets super excited.  She always squeals when she is tired and super silly.  It is perfect!

Friday, February 21: Thankful for getting to come home to a loving husband and sweet girl.  This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Saturday, February 22: Thankful for seeing old friends and having time with my family.  My family got the chance to have breakfast with an old friend, which was lovely.  We got to catch up and have a few laughs about the past.

Sunday, February 23: Thankful for good deals!  I have been doing a great job grocery shopping and getting good deals.  It has become fun for me to find the best deals possible!

Monday, February 24: Thankful for being able to pay bills on time each month without having to juggle money around.  The 20th/21st of the month is usually when most of our bills are due or come out of our account.   It is nice that they are all paid on time and we don’t have to worry about picking and choosing which bills to pay.  Makes life much less stressful!

Tuesday, February 25: Thankful for dinner out with my family.  Hubs, Miss C, and I went out to an impromptu dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  It is a very rare thing to have a sit-down dinner out together.  It really was a wonderful treat, and everyone had a great time!

Wednesday, February 26: Thankful for a wardrobe for Miss C!  I went to the consignment sale last night and stayed under budget!  I got her wardrobe filled for spring and summer for less than $150!  So happy!  I plan to do a break down of everything I got and the costs of everything!

Thursday, February 27: Thankful for the words of wisdom from the book I am reading.  I have been working on One Thousand Gifts and finally found some good time to read today.  I didn’t read a whole lot, but the chapter I am on really spoke to my heart today.  It was definitely what I needed to hear.

There ya have it!  I am absolutely exhausted, so I think I am going to turn in for the night.

What have you been thankful for this past week?

Resolution Recap


Can we just pretend February didn’t happen?  For how awesome I rocked the January resolutions, February has just sucked!  We had three snow days at the beginning of the month, and I have just felt very busy and somewhat overwhelmed the rest of February.  Needless to say, I don’t think I have accomplished any of my goals this month.

Let’s take a look…

Put $200 into savings: This has already happened.  I was able to put $292 into savings on the 15th since I received the medical insurance refund.  At the end of this week, I should be able to put another $100 or so into savings and put us to our halfway point with our savings goal for the year.
$75 into Christmas savings: Done and done.  This occurred the day of my payday (2/15).
10 No Spend Days: I honestly have no idea how many no spend days we had.  This is because I did not do well with my next goal.
Track Spending: I did not do well with this one at all!  I have kept up with my checkbook, which has been a problem for me in the past, but I have not tracked all spending, including cash spending.

Do something once a week to make sure Hubs feels special: Honestly I kind of forgot about this goal.  I do regular things for him like laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc., but I wanted to do a little something extra each week: a shoulder massage, snuggling, etc.  I did not do this one at all!

Send out Valentine’s Cards: Yeah, that did not happen.  I did, however, send out Christmas gifts finally!  I knew a few people have received them, so I am grateful I finally got that accomplished!

Workout 5 Days this month: Big fat fail!  I worked out one day, and it was taking Rose for a walk because she had eaten garbage and wouldn’t poo.  It was not a glamorous, health-focused walk.  The bitter cold and snow did not help at all!
Drink 4 cups of water a day: I think I would give myself a C on this one.  I have definitely been drinking more water than I have in past months, but I haven’t kept up with how much exactly I have been drinking.

Finish Reading One Thousand Gifts: Nope.  I don’t think I read any of it this month.  I may start bringing it to school with me, and while my student teacher is teaching, block out some time so I can read.  I will finish reading at least one book this year.  I am determined!

Continue cleaning living room and kitchen before bed: Nope.  I had to do a huge cleaning this past weekend, so it has been clean for most of this week, but that is it.  We have been working on getting Miss C to pick up toys before she goes to bed.  We need to be consistent with this and make sure she helps every night.
Get better at turning off/unplugging things: I honestly have no idea.  I am going to go with no.  There have been a few times I have come home from work and the garage light has been on or the hallway light has been on the whole time.  Right now the deck light is on from when I let the dogs out, but I never turned it off.  I really am just not aware that I don’t turn things off.  I need to get that changed.

Print out and complete 5 items from TPT: I actually printed out and cut out at least 5 things yesterday.  They will be laminated tomorrow and then will just need to be cut from the lamination.  I already had 1 item completed and cut and all that fun stuff already this month, so this will be a completed goal!  Yay me!
Update photography website: Nope.  I still have not done this.  It really is an easy thing for me to do.  I just never think about working on it, or it is not high enough on my priority list to get it done quickly.

So there ya have it.  Not pretty at all!  I already have my March goals written out and will share them with you all on Friday or Saturday!  I can’t believe March is less than a week away!  This year is flying by!

How are your February goals going?

Menu Plan Monday

menu-plan-mondayI am happy to report that I already have our menu for March ready to go!  I sat down and worked on it for quite some time yesterday.  I am looking forward to some of the yummy new recipes we are going to try.  I also put in some grilling recipes, and I hope the weather will cooperate enough to let me get outside and grill.  We loved grilled food around here, and it will be a nice change of pace if we get the chance.

Here is what we have on tap for this week:

Monday, February 24: Chili (I realized today that I forgot a few extras for our chili, so I may be stopping at the grocery store after work to pick them up… things like shredded cheese, oyster crackers, corn bread.)
Tuesday, February 25: Chili Leftovers.  I force Hubs to eat one dinner of leftovers, but I end up eating leftover chili for about 4 straight lunches.  I love it, so I don’t mind at all!
Wednesday, February 26: Out.  I am going to a big consignment sale this evening, so Hubs and little missy will be on their own.  I think my mom and I may grab something quick before or after the sale.
Thursday, February 27: Homemade pizza!  Yummy!
Friday, February 28: Spaghetti.  Super easy and not fancy at all.
Saturday, March 1: Smothered Beef Burritos

There ya have it!  It’s going to be a pretty easy week!

What is on your menu this week?


Sunday Cents

Sorry, friends.  I don’t think I am going to get all caught up with my posts from this past week.  We may just have to double up this coming week.  I know you all are heartbroken.

It has been a very productive day, as the little one took a 3 hour nap!  She just “told” me that she wanted to take another nap, so she is in her crib right now, but is just playing.  (She was coming up to me and laying her head on me while sucking her thumb.  That is how she tells us she is tired.)

Here is one of the big things I got accomplished today:

pic_to_send (1)We have a clean kitchen!  The kitchen was atrocious this past week!  I had dirty dishes on the counters and junk everywhere.  It feels good to have it all cleaned now!  I even ran the dishwasher, unloaded it, and loaded it partway again today.

I am happy to report that my March menu plan is complete, our budget for March is complete, and the laundry is going!  It has been productive, and I still plan to get a few things done this evening before I go to bed.

I did go to the grocery store and Target this morning.  Here are some deals I got:

I went to Target to get diapers and dog food.  We didn’t need diapers, but there was a great deal going on!  If you bought 2 boxes for $24.99, you get a free $10 gift card!  Totally worth it, and I know the diapers will get used!  I was also able to use my coupons on the diapers, so each box came to $22.49, and I got a $10 gift card that we can use on anything!
The other thing I got at Target was dog food for Rose.  It was originally $13.99.  The Cartwheel app had 5% off the brand we use.  (If you ever shop at Target, you MUST get the Cartwheel app.  It is amazing!)  I also had a coupon for the dog food, so it ended up being $11.29.
Finally I did peruse the clearance clothes and found some killer deals.  I didn’t have it on my list, but I went ahead and bought 3 shirts.  I got a long sleeved black shirt for $4.48 (originally $14.99), a black tank top for $3.00 (originally $10.00), and a long sleeved white shirt for $3.88 (originally $12.99).  These are all staples that I will use multiple times.  The one item I really NEEDED was the long sleeved white shirt.  The one I have is quite dingy and stretched out.  I have wanted to replace it for quite some time.  Now I have a new one!
I used cash for all of this, so we didn’t have to worry about using the debit card!

After Target, we headed to the grocery store.  We were hugely under budget again this week!  I budgeted $120 for groceries again, and it ended up being $88.20.   I was able to stock up on some chicken again so that is awesome!

Right now the main deal that the store has going on is if you buy 6 of select items (you can mix and match), you will save $3.00.  (Each item will be reduced $0.50.)  This is great because you can use coupons with these items and some of them were sale prices to begin with!

Here is the breakdown of numbers:

By shopping sales I saved $12.92
By buying 6 select items I saved $3.00
By using e-coupons I saved $8.20
By using regular coupons I saved $2.75

The biggest deals were two bags of frozen chicken.  Originally $9.99, on sale for $5.97!  I now have 4 bags of frozen chicken in our deep freeze!  It feels good that we are stocked up and I don’t have to worry about not having enough chicken or having to budget more for it.
Another good deal was on toilet paper.  A 12 pack was originally $8.49.  It was on sale for $6.49, and I got an additional $0.50 off because it was one of special selected items. A final price of $5.99.
My last big deal of the trip was Velveeta sliced cheese.  We use this when making homemade mac and cheese.  It was originally $3.99.  It was on sale for $2.49 and was also a special selected item, so another $0.50 off!  A final price of $1.99.

I actually felt myself looking forward to our grocery trip this morning just to see how much we would be able to save and stock up.  I have never enjoyed grocery shopping, but this is making it more fun!

Did you find any good deals today?

Busy Sunday

This weekend has already been crazy busy!  Yesterday I had breakfast with my family and a family friend who we had not seen in quite some time.  It was so much fun getting to catch-up and spend time with everyone.

I had to leave breakfast at 9:30 so I could get to a photo shoot.  I got back to my parents’ house around 11:30.  I hung around and ate lunch with them before packing up the little missy and heading home.  We got home around 2:00.  We played quite a bit, then I tried to put her down for a nap.  She did not want a second nap at all!  While she was in her room, I chatted with my sister-in-law for a bit, and I managed to get some photos edited.  Once Miss C was awake, she wanted to play, play, play.

We cheated for dinner and Hubs brought home a pizza.  Our local pizza place is having customer appreciation this weekend and all their large pizzas were half price!  We got a large pizza for about $9.  Not too bad!  It is enough to feed us all dinner and lunch the next day!

After dinner we played some more and put the little on down at 6:30.  (She usually plays in her crib for about 30 minutes and then she is asleep around 7:00.)  Hubs and I also went to bed at 7:00, as neither of us slept well the night before, and we were both exhausted!

Needless to day, yesterday was busy and fun, but that means today is a full day of getting chores done!

Here is a peek at my to-do list!

20140223_102942Lots to do and only two things have been marked off so far!  The little one is napping now, so I hope to get the kitchen cleaned, trash taken out, laundry started, and possibly another blog post ready to go!

Do you have a busy Sunday planned, or are you taking it easy today?

Menu Plan Monday


Here we are again… another Monday, another menu plan.  This is what’s on tap for the week:

Sunday, February 16: Crockpot chicken parmesan (finally… It had been showing up on our menu for a few weeks, but I did actually make it last week.)

Monday, February 17: Chicken Stir Fry

Tuesday, February 18: I am having dinner out with a friend, so Hubs and Miss C are on their own.

Wednesday, February 19: Beef tips with egg noodles.  I really like this meal, although Hubs is not a huge fan.

Thursday, February 20: Garlic Chicken fried Chicken (I have never made this recipe, so we will see how it goes!)

Friday, February 21: Homemade pizza

Saturday, February 22: Pasta Toss

There ya have it!  Things look yummy this week at our house!  Hopefully I can stick with it and won’t reach for the debit card and fast food this week (like we did last week).

What is on your menu this week?

Sunday Night Chit-Chat… On Sunday!

20140216_181955This is my to-do list as it stands now… And yes, there is a little bit of dinner splattered on it.  Oops!  Once I hit publish here, I will get to check off one more.  (I did finish laundry, but my pen is not close by for me to mark it off yet.)  Then I will work on the very last item and be done for the night!  Woo-hoo!

It is time for our chit-chat, hosted by the ever-lovely Carla!

Here we go… What are you…

Reading? Same old, same old.  My mom has started (and passed me) reading One Thousand Gifts.  She keeps telling me I need to read more and keep reading.  My complete tiredness at the end of the day is what keeps me from reading.  It is not a book that you can read lightly… You need to really pay attention, which is why it is hard for me to pick up the book at the end of the day.

Listening To? The tv is on in the background, and the dish washer is running.  That is about all I can hear at this point.

Watching? Something about Russian nesting dolls.  The Olympics will be on soon, so we will continue watching that.

Cooking/Baking? Tonight we had chicken parmesan in the crock pot, spaghetti noodles, bread, and mixed veggies.  It was delicious (and super easy)!

Happy you accomplished this week?  I had a great photo shoot with a darling 9 month old earlier this week!  I loved it, and I love the way the photos turned out.  I need to get the editing done this week, so I can send the gallery to my client.

Looking forward to next week? I am having dinner with my dear friend on Tuesday.  Then next Saturday my parents, Miss C, and I are seeing our former youth and assistant preacher.  He is traveling through our area, so we are going to get a chance to catch up with him on Saturday morning.  I also have a photo shoot on Saturday, so that will be fun!

Thankful for today? Staying under budget on groceries today!  This is the second week in a row!  I shopped sales and used coupons and was able to stock up on items we will use in the future.  So proud of myself!

*Bonus Question* If you could have Carla make you anything, what would it be? I already have a few of her wonderful creations, including a zippy pouch I won, 5 bibs (3 infant and 2 toddler), and a camera strap cover.  If I were to be lucky enough to get another lovely creation, I would want a coffee sleeve.  I love the cute coffee sleeves she makes! (And I love coffee!)  I don’t think this would be conducive for my budget though, as if I had one, I would think I would NEED to use it all the time. 🙂

So there ya have it… Your turn!  

Post answers in the comments section, on Carla’s blog, or on your blog and link up!  I love hearing from you all!

Friday Finances… On Sunday

And I am back to catch-up on another post that I missed earlier this week.

20131223_104150This past week was so-so with finances.  We ended up using our debit card much more than we normally do.

We did eat out (using our debit card) twice this past week… Tsk, tsk.  I also used our debit card to pick up some miscellaneous items (including canned pumpkin for our naughty, trash-eating dogs) at the grocery store.  The last debit card transaction was to get valentine’s for my class.  I also picked up a super cute outfit for Miss C for Valentine’s Day.  It was only $8, but this is NOT a habit we need to get back in!

We still came out ahead, thanks to the medical insurance refund.  We were able put $292 into our savings account and $75 into our Christmas account.  I also had one photo session, so that was $75.  (I deposited that money into our savings account, but it will come out once it is time to go shopping at the consignment sale for Miss C.)

One nice surprise was receiving a $75 check for being on our negotiations team at work.  I did not realize that we were paid anything, and I assume it is just a yearly check.  I started on the team about a year ago and just figured it was all voluntary.  So it was a very nice surprise when it showed up in my mailbox at school!  That money went straight into our savings account.

Our savings account is sitting at $911 and some change.  We are almost half way to our goal!  We should be able to put in another $150 or so at the end of this month!  I am so excited how well things are going!  I wish there were more in there, but because we had started this process at the beginning of January, we have been able to pay for Bandit’s surgery, a new faucet, and a new garbage disposal without any problems at all!  Not too shabby!

We started the year with $97 in our savings account and no money in our Christmas fund.  We had a very tight January and have been really sticking to our budget this February.  I can’t believe we have made it this far!  Once we get to $2,000 in our savings account, we will try to completely fund our Christmas fund early (I am hoping for between $850 and $1,000 in there… we are traveling and getting a hotel room this year, so it will help cover those costs), then go back to adding more to our savings account.  If things work out perfectly, we will have both of those goals met by the time school starts back up in August.  I don’t know if it will actually happen, but so far so good!

How are your finances looking for this year so far?

Thankful Thursday on Sunday

This week has been very busy, with lots of things going on at school and after school.  I didn’t get things posted this week that I typically get posted each week.  So today is a day of catch-up for me!  (I will be back with a Friday Finances post and then the regular Sunday Night Chit-Chat.)  For now, here is a look back at some things I have been thankful for this week…


This picture has nothing to do with Thankful Thursday, although I am always thankful for this goofy dog.  I just think it’s funny. 🙂

Friday, February 7: I am thankful for routine.  We had 3 snow days off from our routine, and I was more than ready to get back to our normal routine.  I am definitely a creature of habit.

Saturday, February 8: I am thankful for long dinners with good friends.  I met up with a very close friend of mine for a yummy dinner at Chipotle on Saturday evening.  We ended up spending almost 2 hours eating and chatting.  (Let’s not kid ourselves, we are teachers who have to eat lunch in 25 minutes… it did not take us long to eat at all.) 🙂  It was lovely to catch up with her, since I don’t get to see her every day anymore.

Sunday, February 9: I am thankful for long nap times.  I was supposed to go to lunch this day, but the little missy had a very wonky schedule, and her nap ended up messing things up.  She did end up taking two very long naps this day, so I was able to get quite a bit done… and able to take my own little nap.

Monday, February 10: I am thankful for coupons showing up in the mail!  I used a few of the coupons today at the grocery store, and they definitely help!

Tuesday, February 11: I am thankful for a fun night out.  You have to know something about me… I hate social events.  I dread every social event I ever have to go to, but once I am there, I end up having a great time!  This is exactly what happened this day.  Hubs, Miss C, and I went to a local high school basketball game, and I was definitely not looking forward to it.  We ended up having a blast!  Miss C seemed to enjoy it quite a bit too, and I was worried all the loud noise was going to scare her.  That was not the case at all!

Wednesday, February 12: I am thankful for flexible clients.  Sunday we got some snow (that we were not really expecting).  I had to reschedule a photo shoot from that day, and the client I was working with was totally ok with it!  Makes me love my photography job!

Thursday, February 13: I am thankful for our teacher’s union.  I know this might ruffle some feathers out there, but I am a proud member of NEA.  I sit on our local committee’s negotiations team and am proud of the work we do!  We are starting to negotiate our salaries for next year, and we had a meeting this evening.  It is nice to be part of a team who stands up for what we deserve!

So that was my week last week.  I should be back to my regular schedule this coming week!

What have you been thankful for lately?