Kendall’s Glass

I have already shared how we spent much more than anticipated in the month of January. So far we are starting the month of February off with a bang as well.  On the way home from work, Friday afternoon. I get a text from Kendall that said “I broke my glasses at school today.”  I asked for pictures and got the followingAt this point, I knew four things. 1. These probably were not fixable.  2. Kendall’s prescription for her glasses expired in March. 3. I did not plan to take the kids to the eye doctor til at least July, when my new vision insurance starts. 4. Kendall only has one set of glasses with her current prescription.

I did some quick research and called Matt to have him meet us in Winston- Salem at the closest Vision Works store. I was very fortunate that Vison Works currently had two specials. The first is a Buy One Get One Free and the second was 2 pair of kids glass for $99.  Unfortunately the $99 special was for frame that cost $69 and did not include transition lens.  We decided to purchase two pair for Kendall with the transitional lens for $299.  Ouch but at least now we should be able to make it to July or later without new glasses. Kendall is also requesting contacts so this may be a very long term pair of glasses.

Lily and Zach both have multiple pair of glasses but they both located $69 frames they LOVED and did not need the transition lens since they already have several pairs at home. I did purchase the additional pairs for $99.

$400 and 4 pair of glass later… all I could say is welcome to February!

Shutterfly Success

To be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with Shutterfly. I LOVE pictures and I LOVE products made out of pictures. Shipping cost is the problem with Shutterfly. I should not have to paid $7.99 shipping  for a book that cost me $15.99 to make.  I knew I wanted to get a couple of books made, a couple of calendars and of course some prints made from our family photo session last week.  So off to Shutterfly I go. I am so excited and pleased that I was able to get free shipping! The code is SHIP49.  I also had a “free” book code from Coke rewards that I had stored on the account.  Their current sale of half off books also made this a much better deal.  I was able to purchase a total of 3 books, 8×8 size, and 2 11×14 prints and 1 8×10 print for a total including shipping of $53! Two of the books were of this handsome guy!And the third was a book of the best pictures of our family session. Including this one

I am hopeful to be able to get a couple of calendars made in the next couple of weeks!

Not so Wordless Wednesday

This past Saturday prior to the huge, historical, massive snow storm we had family pictures done. I scheduled these several weeks ago. Here are some of the tips I have learned and a peek at some of the pictures.

#1 I have learned over the years that we need to have these done at home or someone’s house we know to save stress and headache. We had an awesome photographer who was as happy as we were to do pictures inside and outside the house.

#2 Prepare food that can be eaten the entire time, no one makes good pictures when you are hungry.#3 Coordinating outfits make awesome pictures. I was luck enough to find us all coordination outfits at Old Navy this year. Unfortunately, Zach decided he did not like the “feel” of his matching shirt but I also had matching ties for him and Braxton which he liked better.

#4 Some times you need causal pictures just to keep it real

#5 Christmas pajamas are a must

#6 Babies make awesome pictures when they are asleep

#7 Black and white pictures make me look better

And finally this is my absolute favorite picture so far

Lily’s Birthday

Birthdays are always a big deal around here. Lily’s 13th was no exception. I always think/assume that her birthday will not be as special as the two that she has spent at Disney but she tells me differently. One of the best traditions we have around birthday is picking your favorite restaurant and the entire family going to eat. This year Lily chose Olive Garden. Granny was not able to go with us on Lily’s birthday, so Lily decided we would wait until Friday to eat out.

Lily did get to chose her favorite food for dinner, baked ziti. She also started the day early around 6:30 opening her last present. She received and used a make up travel bag prior to our trip to Michigan.

She open an Lego advent calendar. It was a huge hit, every morning is up to finish the piece for the day.

A fun filled Birthday Celebration!

Spending Week

This is a totally different post than I usually blog about.   I feel like all I have been doing this week is spending money. I figured at least I am shopping the sale some what so I guess that counts right?

First, I have been using Ebates for the last several months, for my online shopping. I received one check in late September for $8 and have another schedule for November 15th that should be around 15. I will point out  that at least one of my purchases did not credit but overall it has been super easily and I only buy what I would be purchasing anyway so this is definitely free money.

With the sudden change in weather, I realized we needed some new shoes and clothes. I purchased the girls both 2 pair of boots at 40% off last weekend at The Children’s Place . In addition I purchased Lily two pair of pants and Braxton 2 pair of pants for $80.  Old Navy had a great sale on leggings so I purchased 8 pair for myself and 2 pair for Lily. On Sunday, we stopped at Walmart to get Zach a zip up jacket and found Kendall another pair of boots for a total of $40 spent.  Unfortunately, the boots I ordered online, were slightly too big, today Lily and I headed to Hanes Mall to exchange them.  Another shoe sale at 40% off caught me, both the girls ended up with an additional two pair of shoes. Yes, Kendall has received 5 new pairs of shoes in one week. I also purchased Lily a Christmas dress.  I can at least say that everything was on sale.  I don’t see that we will be needing any more shoes or clothing until Spring.

In addition to all this clothing spending, I ordered a new fryer and Roku box from Amazon this week.

On Monday, we had the oil changed in one van and Zach also had a doctor’s appointment with our new copay of $40.

WOW this month has become really expensive. I am hoping to gain a couple of weeks of no or limited spending prior to Thanksgiving.

September in Review

Whew… we made it.  September was another busy month with lots of money being spent.  You can read about out budget reset here.    To be quite honest, I am glad to have all the spending and buying hopefully behind us.  I actually paid bills twice this month as we move to paying most bills with my paycheck, we are paying a month ahead so it is much easier and quicker. My goal for both October and November is to have more days of no spending than spending days.  We still have not settled on a final budget as I have not started my second job via Skype yet.  At this point, I am even becoming doubtful if this is going to materialize. If I do not being this job it will me a reduction in our budget as I will need to cover our two remaining credit cards from regular bill money. I will definitely keep you posted. But now here is what our month looks like.

Financial- We have moved toward a cash envelope system with most of the budget. We are continuing to use our Costco credit card for the HUGE rewards (total of 8%) in the form of cash back but otherwise we have no plans to acquire any more debit.
Grocery budget $500- Total spent $500 for September and $440 of our October budget. Because I was paid on Friday, we went ahead and shopped at Costco for the month in addition to I have been stocking up at Food Lion during their quarter back sale. I do not anticipate spending more than $60 in October and it is in cash so when it is gone, I am done!
Gas- We are currently around $75 over for the month. I was initially very unsure about the exact cost with both Matt and I traveling at least 30 minutes to work each way. I did increase our gas budget to $400 for the month of October. I may have to continue to monitor and adjust this as time progress. The good news is that I will be earning mileage which should cover at least part of this expense.
Kid/Summer expenses :Lily is participating in youth theater and including tickets for the show so far we have spent $200. Remaining cost include several items for her costume and at least one silent auction item. Zach is playing baseball- $90 sign up fee, $25 on new uniform and around $5 a week for game entry fees.
Earned $75- We are continuing to use this money in different ways. This month it was to purchase items for my building including a light. We are planning to put at least $50 a month for the next three months toward Christmas gifts. Every little bit helps!

Personal-
Blogging-10 for the month.  I have been sick for the past week and we have been incredible busy over the past two weeks but I am going to hopefully stay above this number in the future.
Exercise- 3 total days for the month. I am going to again blame my cold on part of this but I know I can and need to do much better in this area!