Tuesday Thoughts

Technically I am enjoying the final two days of my spring break. I am very thankful to say that I have been able to catch up on the majority of things that I have fallen behind on during the month of February due to illness. We have to finish installing a couple of pieces of trim work and the kitchen/dinning room will be completed. This was a major goal prior to the summer. I am planning to get outside this morning and get some planting accomplished including starting several things outside and I also plan to start some seed trays inside as well. Tomorrow, Wednesday is actually a pay day for Matt. I am going to plan to spend the morning, working on our budget and paying bills. I also need to get a trip to Costco to purchase several things accomplished. I am hoping that Wednesday afternoon is much less crowded than a Saturday but I can not be sure.

The governor announced yesterday that schools in North Carolina will remain closed until May 15th. I am not sure what this will look like for us. Because I work in a different school district than the kids attend, things are getting a little hairy. I will admit that I have been a little snotty about things and really did not want to return to work. But in reality, I am very fortunate to be able to continue to work. The kids are currently able to all three complete school work via the internet. They will all three have a week of Spring Break during April which will cause a bit of complication. I will have Friday and Monday of that week off as well. We are just going to have to set the expectation that they complete their school work and remain civil to each other while Matt and I work. A huge plus is that currently our school district is providing a lunch meal delivery service. The kids will be able to have a lunch provided daily without the need to cook for the entire time they are out of school. I may be able to work from home on certain days but this is so new and different that no one is sure.

On the financial front, with both Matt and I continuing to work we will not see much impact. I will loose at least a month of my income from Guam as school are closed there as well. I am hopeful that once schools reopen there I will be able to schedule and make up for missed time. I have started looking at refinancing our mortgage to get a better interest rate. Otherwise, the only huge expense for us during the next several months is purchasing meat. I am going to start placing money in saving but wait until prices return to a more normal level before attempting to make a huge purchase.

I have been able to enjoy Braxton for serval days during this break. By allowing him to stay with us, his mother is saving the cost of daycare. I am hopeful to be a lot more helpful this summer in this area.

Quiet Christmas Budget

I have finally managed to do it! This year, I successfully reduced both the number of gifts and the amount of money that we spent on Christmas. The result has been even better than I anticipated! We have spent the entire Christmas day, enjoying some quiet time and new activities. The kids are not fighting and even more surprising is the fact that I have not heard one single time “I’m bored or Is this all we are getting for Christmas.”

The big girls got 6 presents under the tree!

The little kids got 5 gifts under the tree and one big gift from Santa

Five Things Friday

  1. We have enjoyed two entirely free meal out this week. On Thursday, we used the gift card that was earned and planned for Halloween combined with IHOP customer appreciation to feed our entire family for the cost of the tip! Friday night is always a hetic night with piano. Matt used another gift card earned via Swagbucks to pick up three large pizzas! We have already enjoyed one pizza and left-overs will be for lunch on Saturday and Sunday!
  2. Kendall is growing. I realized this week that she had only 2 pair of pants that were actually long enough for her. We decided to go to Old Navy to try and find her some pants. We actually found what they call “Ballerina” style pants that fit both length and her waist. We grabbed 4 pair along with 2 pair of boots for her. Lily ended up with a sweater, Zach and Braxton have matching Christmas shirts, I got a dress and Braxton has several new church outfits to wear. Total spent $225!
  3. I knew that I was going to be way over budget this month for Groceries. In fact I am at $882 for the month with a goal of staying under $950. I was a bit concerned until I read this :
    “According to the USDA monthly report for October 2019, the average couple spends $617 per month on groceries alone.
    A family of four with young kids on the Moderate-Cost plan spends $894.40 a month on groceries. Families with older kids spend $1067.50. ”
    Matt and I both are working and make it work with an additional 20 or more hours of paid work each week. Our budget is really enjoying the boast and I am very comfortable with setting and achieving budget related goals for the next year. I am planning to share our new updated budget toward the end of December after a second month (December) to tweak it. I also am anticipating that I will have to only purchase one Christmas present in the month of December along with a birthday present for my mother!
  4. The car that we are driving has significantly reduced our gas spending. Currently, we have spend $268.23 in gas. Because we will be at home more next week, I would guess that we will stay under $300 in gas this month. I can not honestly tell you the last time this happened!
  5. I am anticipating a three day work week next week. Sunday night in Guam. Monday and Tuesday at Davie County. Followed by a four day total vacation! I am excited not only for the break but to finish out our budget for November really strong.