May in Review

This has been a long EXPENSIVE month. I am so excited to say goodbye to May and hello to June. Matt and I both are still working on increasing our income and hopefully we can start to see increases in the month of June.

Financial- This is the worst month this year in regards to finances. The good news is that I receive an “extra” paycheck in June. My goal is to reset and hopefully get our feet back on steady ground. I blogged here  about most of the expenses. I was not able to cover them all but we are still eating and floating so I am so thankful to head to another month.
Total paid to credit card debit $1173 total, however this did not produce an reduction Instead we increased our overall debit by almost $600.
Grocery budget $475- Total spent $608.08. Yikes, It happened again and this does not include our cow purchase. I checked and we have been over budget in this year for 5 out of 6 months. I need to take a good look at this for the next 2 months and may in reality need to increase this to a larger more realistic number. We are well stocked and I would love to say we are planning to spend much less this month but I honestly think the kids are growing and we are eating more.
Gas budget- $280- Spent $285. This does not include the inspection, or tags on Matt’s van.  I also plan to re-evaluate this during the next two months and may increase if needed.
Kid/Summer expenses : Camp deposit, swim team, baseball games and we are not even going to talk about the medical expenses.
Earned $75-this is the lowest month to date. I am somewhat frustrated but extra is extra so we will continue to attempt to use whatever we can get.
Personal-
Blogging- 9 for the month. No goal met here either
Exercise- 0 total days for the month.

This is real life and just because we have a bad month does not mean we stop working. I am super disappointed but I lived the real struggle this month.  I am praying and holding steady for better times ahead.

5 Things Friday 5/25/2018

  1. I have a 3 day weekend! WOO HOO I am so excited to have at least one day to stay at home!
  2. Our square foot garden is thriving. I am so very hopeful at this point. We have enjoyed lots of lettuce and some basil. I am excited to watch everything grow but even more excited when we start eating out of the garden.
  3. Our freezer is once again full. Matt picked up our 890 of beef on Tuesday. Our chest freezer was a great fit. We have spent several hours cooking, so far we have 13 bags of cooked grounded beef.  32 beef and bean burritos, 12 meals of Salisbury steaks and 5 meals of sloppy joes (minus the buns).
  4. May has been a slow and expensive month. I am holding on tight to make it till June. We are definitely over budget with both gas and groceries for the month.
  5. Lily has not had an episode in almost 2 weeks (Sunday). This is a huge praise in our books.

June Update

June was certainly not the month I expected it to be. We did not increase our income and we ended up with two major house repairs that have definitely knocked up back a bit with our debit reduction. We still are living very comfortable but July-October are going to mean some serious belt tightening.

Debit Reduction:  Failure
Due to the things stated above we actually have increased our debit by close to $1000 at this point. Ouch

Blog Post: Fail
I had 9 total blog post for the month. I can honestly say that June was an extremely busy month, including 4 afternoons for swim meets and a week long trip to Michigan. I have some very good intentions and plan so I hope to at least hit 15 this month.

Days on Treadmill: Zero
Water walking days-7  In addition to a full day of walking on Mackinaw Island.
I am actually documenting improvement in this year!

Groceries- Goal Met!  We spent a total of $405  for the month of June in groceries! This is a huge win as the past several months have been over budget!

Gas: $355 for the month. This is about $50 over budget but does include our entire trip which was 5 tanks of gas!

Earnings:  June was a positive month in this area as well. I am expecting some changes starting in July but our earning is consistently increasing. Total $220
Swagbucks: $100 for Me, $75 for Matt
MPlaces/Cricket Rewards:  $15
Shopkicks: $5
Ibbotta: 24.75

 

Saturday Update 5/27/2017

As predicted, this past week has been busy. I have struggled this week and realized that I NEED to “Count my Blessing” more than I need to worry. So my plan for this update is to “Count my blessing, name them one by one, to PROVE what God has done.”

  1. The extra hours at work do mean extra pay. We are slow regaining financial ground and extra pay is always helpful.
  2. We scheduled a trip to Disney World for this November. I actually booked the trip almost a year ago. Because of the struggles we have been experiencing, I was considering changing/postponing the trip. However, God has provided a very unexpected but concrete method to ensure we can pay for  this trip. In the morning, I will be making dinning reservation.
  3. We are very blessed to be able to travel to Michigian this June to celebrate Matt’s father 90th birthday. This blessing is so much more real and important with the lost of my dad.
  4. Our square foot garden is growing and thriving, I have frozen several packs of broccli, made a squash side dish and the kids enjoyed a handful of snap peas. The plants all appear healthy and relatively bug free. I anticipate a good squash harvest this week and we should actually start with cucumbers in two weeks or less.
  5. The kids and I got to spend 6 hours at the pool today. We really enjoyed the time with friends and I was able to just sit for several hours.
  6. I somehow got a screw in my tire last Saturday. My brother was able to patch it on Sunday. The patch worked until Wednesday and then Matt was able to take to the dealship to have fixed.
  7. I will NOT be working on Monday. Instead the plan is to spend most of the afternoon/evening at the pool just enjoying life.

Seven is the perfect number and the number of completion so I will stop there. Do you have any blessing to share?

Counting My Blessings! 03/13/2017

Both Lily and Kendall participate in competition cheerleading. This continues to be a choice that we make as a family to participate and pay toward. Matt often works events at the Coliseum to help fund this activity. I will be the first to say that it is EXPENSIVE. Just as an example, we pay $110 tuition in addition to competition fees, chorography fees and of course the cost of uniforms. The above fees are paid directly to the cheer gym but they do not include the cost of travel, food and admission to events.

On Sunday, we planned to attend an event at UNC- Charlotte to watch Lily compete, in the normal budget this is a relatively cheap event. First off the travel is less than an hour. Next the advertised admission price was $10 for adults and kids under 10 are free. Usually  we pay $20 for adults and $10 for each kid that is not in the competition. Parking fee run around $10. Finally, I have been saving gift cards for the past 4 months to pay for meals while we travel. Our plan was to stop at Applebees and use gift cards to pay for the meal.

I ended up spending a total of $5 yesterday, this is a HUGE blessing!  First no fee to park, next up was no cost for spectators!  This is highly unusual and  amazing even to save $30 made me smile.

After the completion, we headed to Applebee which was very close to UNC-C. The experience was BAD!  Waiter with his underwear showing, our table need to be refilled with both Ketchup and Sweet n low, no knives to cut food with, wrong food or food not cooked correctly, used kid’s menus and sun directly in my eyes. Needless to say not a good experience, I spoke first with the manager and then with a area manger who after hearing our experience, covered our meal. I count this as a BLESSING!   I did not expect or anticipate the entire meal being covered but it was a BLESSING!  I left a small tip because the waiter did refill glass but his serves was equal to the setting.

An estimate of the total BLESSING we received yesterday= $100!

February

This month has been hard. I miss my dad more than I ever thought possible and have found myself crying just because. I can honestly say, I have spent most of the month in a fog just existing.  I am starting to regain my balance so I wanted to at least have a written record for this month. I did achieve the goal of filing our taxes in February and have actually already received our Federal Refund.

Debit Reduction: $850 . The only downside to this number is that I paid over $2100 toward debit but I did not acquire this in a day so as long as it is being reduced that is progress.

Blog Post: 10
Days on Treadmill: 2  This was actually spent out side walking but at least I can say I was consistent.

Groceries- $454- Below my goal of $500 so a HUGE success for us. I am actually expecting this to be lower for March and April.

Gas: $187 spent. Again under budget
Earnings:  Matt and I combined for a total of $160 this month from our apps and Swagbucks. Considering my brain function for February, I am pleased with this number. .

In February, we were able to hold the course in the wind and rain. I am very proud of our progress this month.

I am optimistic that March will continue us on a positive financial note. I am so grateful to know I am shield by prayer for the other needs.

Emotions

Sad                                                        Exhausted
Frustrated
Sad                                                            Tired
Upset
Unbearable                                              Peaceful                      Exhausted
Strange
Sad                                                               Quiet

Relieved                                Sad
Exhausted

Last Friday morning the unthinkable happened, my father had a massive heart attack and passed away. This was totally unexpected and unacceptable. We are all struggling to make sense of this. Today is Tuesday, I know that I can’t change what has happened and things are being to make at least a little sense. We have accepted that we are not going to be fully functioning for a long time. We also have realized the need to love and support each other. Today, my mother is able to live alone and thanks to God’s provision which is nothing short of a miracle, she is financially able to continue with a “normal” life. I am fortunate enough to have two additional days out of work. I will return to work on Friday, never returning to normal.  I miss my dad, I miss the time he should have spent with his grandkids. I am sad for myself and my mother.  As you can probably tell my emotions are all over the place but above all I am EXHAUSTED. I am not sure when or how much I will blog over the next weeks or months. I am certain we need to continue to work toward a more steady financial place but not sure what that place will look like. Random words on a page, seems to fit my life right now.

Mime Team 01/22/2017

Lily and Kendall are on the left side of the screen. I am going to share a few things before you watch. Kendall is the youngest of the group. The other girls are seventh graders, Lily is in sixth grade and Kendall is in third grade. They started learning this song in November and with holidays and illness have missed several weeks. I am so proud of both girls for just sticking with it!  If you don’t see the video below here is a direct link to it on YouTube  here, 01/22/2017.


5 Positive Things Friday-10/21/2016

Our family has received several blessing and/or positive things are happening this week but instead of me shouting from the rooftop, I am still sitting in the pile of life is not fair. So I am going to be very intentional in being positive and thankful this week.

  1. My mother’s health is continuing to improve. She received good news this week and has started taking small steps on her temporary new leg. She probably has another 8-10 weeks before things are “normal” again but definitely improvements this week.
  2. Kendall has been tolerating her new braces for the past three days without needing medicine. In fact tonight she is eating chips which is a huge step for her.
  3. Matt and I both received a small increase in wages this week. I have to keep reminding myself any increase is a good thing.
  4. Matt and I have both been earning extra money with several apps. So far this month we have received an additional $110 this month so far! In addition to a box of food items and a box of dog items.
  5. A very sweet friend offered to stay at cheerleading last night so that I could “experience” an entire baseball game in person. I got to watch Zach get a hit and score a run with this team WINNING!

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Thursday Thoughts with Pictures

img_0048Kendall received her first set of braces today. Based on her mouth and the way her teeth are coming in way early, this is the best options. She will be wearing this set for 9-12 months and then a second set will go on in high school when all her permanent are in place. She chose blue for her color today. Kendall is excited to change colors several times!  We are seeing an orthodontist in High Point, he is very informative and goes out of his way to explain and make everyone comfortable with this process. The office staff was also very willing to work with us on payment. My insurance should cover approximately half the cost of these braces. I made a down payment today and they will wait until January for my remaining portion so that we can use our med flex for next year.

This is Lily completing her science lesson today. She is actually listening to a lecture at the same time. Nothing like multitasking at a young age.

img_0047I really was in the mood for Chinese food today. After Kendall’s braces, Matt had a couple of meetings for work so we decided to meet for lunch. This was Matt’s fortune, we needed a reminder that God’s is in control and this is what we are supposed to be doing.

img_0051I need a change so this afternoon, I went to the hairdresser and came home like this! Next on the agenda is cheerleading and baseball!