Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Frugal Check In #3...I think...

Hello everyone!!! I will post about my frugality today, but I didn't keep amazing track of everything because of how hectic last week was. (I do *promise promise promise* to jump back on the frugal band wagon this week and post better from now on). I'm pulling up my bank statement and my cash receipts right now so I don't forget anything...

Honestly, I think I did alright last week because I bought all of the things I needed for our Holiday party the week before. Wahahahahah!!

Yup, just as I suspected. Nothing on my debit card. Heck yes. I will mention that I did in fact buy coffee like 4 times last week, but it was ALL on starbucks gift cards. I know to some, gift cards seem impersonal, but if you want to get me a starbucks gift card I will love you to the moon and back. Jake's sweet little brother and his gf gave us a $50 gift card. That's love right there.

We did buy a couple of last minute gifts last Friday and Saturday. We spent $63 at the craft store and bought gifts for three family members. I know at some point we also went to the corner store and got some iced tea and a coke. That is ~ $3.50. That's it. I did pretty good last week (thanks to my starbucks gift card mostly). I guess I should mention that I had to return something to Fred Meyers and used that money to get the last minute dinner party things that I needed, so that helped also. And on a side note, I got a random $50 in checks in the mail last week. The universe still loves me. :)

Carly- I beat ya this week on spending! You beat me on the difference between random checks and spending though. Total spending: $66.50. Total random checks in the mail: $50. Total gift cards received (not so much random since it's the holidays): $86. Difference (not counting gift cards): -$16.50. Not too shabby my friends.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Busy busy busy busy!

Hello everyone! Very sorry I haven't updated you on my frugalness among other things. We are much too busy right now for me to sit and do too much on the computer. I will note that I haven't been very frugal at all!! I had to buy Christmas dinner for 15 people and finish up on gifts. I probably spent $300 for last week and another $300 this week. That's my best guess. I am still getting random checks in the mail though. Oh yeah, and we're about to win powerball ; )
I don't normally buy tix, but sis says that it's at like 60 mil right now. If I win, all of my family and good friends can quit their jobs and we can start a commune. More about that later, after I win our 60 mil.

I mostly wanted to post some new pics of my little mister for All to see. I know that my Carly misses him, and everyone should really just take time to bask in his glory.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I am grateful and I am blessed/ Part 1: December

So I've decided that it is very important to acknowledge The Good Things in your life. It's easy to not take the time to focus on the blessing that have been bestowed upon you, and rather, to pay attention to the stress and grief, and Things To Do in your life. I myself do not take time to write down what I'm grateful for. Carly once got me a gratitude journal, and I think I wrote in it once. I'm of the impression now that if you show the Universe that you are happy with the things she has given you, that maybe she'll send more happy things your way ; ) In either direction, if you are taking time to focus on happy things, that is time not spent dwelling on unhappy things, and that is always good. So, let's start! This month, I am grateful for:

*My beautiful son. Awwww. He is so smart and learns new tricks every day! ; ) He likes to pat me on the shoulder when I hold him and he looks up at me with big baby eyes when he nurses. He's too cute. Here is a photo of him painting for the very first time at Emma's 2nd birthday party this last Sunday:

*Random money in the mail. I've decided this is going to happen more often and the universe agrees. So far this month, I've gotten a random $96.30 in the mail (on three different occassions combined). Jake didn't realize you could get random money in the mail. Hee hee. (FYI- people aren't just shoving cash in my mail box- althought that would be pretty awesome. These are random refund checks and the such).

*Jake. I am going to start being nicer to him too, that's how much I am grateful for him. I still need to lose 15 lbs to be prebaby weight, but he's never said anything. He always tells me I'm beautiful. And he takes out the garbage. And he let me open a Yule gift early... it was really great makeup from Benefit. He remembered the things that I was pining over when we were there a couple months before, and he went back and bought them. And he's cute. See:

Be still my heart.

*The perfect Yule tree (I'm having a hard time saying Yule instead of Christmas. I know it's all the same traditions, but it belonged to Yule first dammit. And I'm going to say Yule. Or is it Yuletide? Hm.) Anywho, we got the perfect tree. It is the perfect height and it is the perfect bushiness.<-- Is that even a word?

*The perfect father time ornament for the perfect Yuletide tree. After walking around Fred Meyer in despair, thinking I would never find the perfect tree ornament, there he was in all of his father time glory. Yessss.

*Sarah and Abraham (Trippy, isn't it?) They are fabulous. I would lose my mind without them.

*Coffee. Everyday I am grateful for coffee. Everyday, coffee is there for me. To pick me up when I'm down. To put a smile on my face. Mmmm. I'll have some now.

More next month!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Frugal check in- Week 2

Hello everyone. I was horrible last week : ( Carly is going to blow me out of the water. Well, not as horrible as I could have been, but definately not what I would call frugal I guess. We are hosting Christmas at our house this year, and I want everything to be perfect. I have been trying to get all of the gifts together for everyone and make the house cute and festive. I certainly could have done a lot worse....

Anywho, here's the basic breakdown (not to the cent, I forgot to keep all of my receipts).

Monday: A gal on mothering sent me a gift card for $25 to Sur La Table. Hurray! That's basically money in the bank ; ) Except, I went over a couple,
Monday = $2.13

Tuesday: I bought my dear sweet Carly a gift (this shouldn't count! He he he > : ) I got part of it too though. We now each have super cute twin goddess necklaces! It was of the utmost importance that I buy them, so I don't feel too bad. My Carly deserved a gift. On a much sadder note, Tuesday I bought myself a starbucks. Oh the shame.
Tuesday = $19

Wednesday: $0!!! Heck yes.

Thursday: $0 (I'm on a roll.)

Friday: (Notice the downhill snowball starting on Friday...) Grocery shopping for everyone in my household: $90 (Not too awful for basically 5 people and I haven't really grocery shopped in a couple weeks. Please note also that I have to buy formula about once a week at $20 each or so).
Ordered a movie online/ The Secret $4.95 ( worth the $5! It doesn't matter that I wasn't the most frugal this week because money is on it's way!)
Friday= $95

Saturday: I bought myself Starbucks yet again on Saturday. I am shameless apparently. I did, however, buy a grande instead of a venti. At least there is some kind of conscious effort happening here...
Also Saturday, Jake went to Haggen to pick up more groceries. We needed coffee syrup and things to make banana bread for my sweet Emma's 2nd birthday! I don't know how this happened, but it was $21.50. I had a strong urge Sunday night to go to the thrift store (at least it wasn't the mall?). I bought three pair of fabulous shoes (I can never find three pair of shoes at the mall that I like, much less the thrift store!), and one bread machine (this will save money in the future, right???). $20 there.
Saturday total: $45.51

Sunday: (Please forgive me...) Sunday morning we went to Emma baby's 2nd birthday. All was well during that time and we had fun. We decided afterward to get our Yule/Christmas Tree! How exciting, right? Yes, but pricey. Hmmm. We stopped at the thrift store and got a tree stand and what we thought were strands of lights (all of my lights died last year and I'm not going to twist everyone of those bastards off trying to figure out which one broke it!). That and Jake decided to buy every episode of Starwars on video tape (wha?). You can't stop that boy when he thinks he wants something. I can't complain because he basically lets me have anything I want and doesn't ask for much. So every Starwars movie on vhs it is, even though I doubt they'll get any use. Total at Value Village: $20.31. Then we went and met sis and Abe to get our Christmas tree at Fred Meyer. I fell in love with a really cool Father Time/ Green Man/ Santa Claus type ornament. Ornament was $7. Our part of the tree was $12.5. FM total: $19.50. We get home and remove the lights from the lovely plastic bag that VV puts them in. These are icicle lights. These will not do. Back out to K-mart (what a trip that was! I haven't been to K-mart in at least ten years...). Kmart- we get 450 white lights for $16.99. We also get more bulbs, we did not have enough. 18 bulbs for something like $9. They didn't have a nice mix of the colors I wanted, so my lovely sis mixed and matched a box for me and I was the lookout. ; ) On our way back , I was thirsty for something bad. Had to get Jake something too. That was about $6 or so. So...I need about ten minutes to total up Sunday (hahaha).
Sunday= $72.73 (oh my)

Total spending for the week: $234.37

Frugal? Not so much.

On another note, however, I am also in the process of decluttering my house. During this adventure, I have sold quite a few things on my works 'for sale' page. I think I probably made about $20 last week or so. Not amazing, but better than no money. I am going to post our crappy Subaru Justy later tonight on Craig's List too. We should get about $1100 for it, it's a sought after car (Don't ask me why because I haven't a clue. I bought it on a fluke, not because it's a collector's car- hee hee).

So anyway, not a frugal week. I will try harder next week. : )

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Manifesting a Home....

Ok, so my dad always tells me that you have to manifest the things you want for yourself and that your focus determines your reality. Anyone that knows him is probably laughing right now, because that is basically his catch phrase. : )

I want to move soon. I keep almost jumping the gun, but I know everything will turn out better if we wait a bit. I'm thinking probably April or so. That will be just in time for Eli's first birthday! Anywho, I am now going to begin manifesting my home. If I start now, I think certainly by April it should happen. I would love to buy a house, but that's basically a joke in this area. You never know what might happen though...maybe something will come up? Either way, even if I have to rent, I'm going to find something I LIKE and WANT to live in. I'm tired of moving all the damn time because I can't find a place to be.

Here is a short list (haha) of the things I'd like my home to have/be -(keep in mind that some of these may be a little extreme, but a girl can wish, right???):

1.) They MUST take one cat, and one small dog. I have an Abyssinian cat that I absolutely adore, and he's been with my dad the last couple of years. I want my cat back!
(He looks very much like this guy, but grey. Fyi- if you want a cat- think about an abyssinian. By far the coolest most loyal cat I've ever had. His name is Oscar in case you were wondering.)

2.) 3 bedrooms, 2 baths.

3.) One of the baths should have a clawfoot bathtub, like this one (not a neccessity, but I'm having fun!):

4.) Room for a garden where I can grow red peppers, and herbs, and dahlias, and lots of other things! ( I would also like a smallish blackberry bush existing there already on that note...)

5.) Huge windows so I can have lots of sunshine and happy plants indoors.

6.) Rustic looking hardwood floors (I want them to be kind of older looking with some cool knots in them. I don't wants pefectly polished, fake looking wood floors).

7.) We must have at least one ceiling fan. Not because it's hot (it's not anywhere near hot in my book), but because my child LOVES to stare at ceiling fans. He will watch a ceiling fan for days in sheer awe.

8.) I would really love an awesome tree outside in the yard. We have a cool tree out back right now that I like to look at, and I don't want to lose that when we move.

This is it for now, but I will probably post a part two at some point : )

Monday, December 4, 2006

Frugal Check In #1

Alright- so this wasn't an entire week (remember, I started Wednesday!), but I feel like I did a great job for me!! I started out by removing all of the plastic out of my wallet (including both debit cards) and I also removed my checkbook from my purse (I'm one of those people that thinks if you have checks, you obviously have money. Shame, shame on me for that). I carried only cash, and I feel like I used very little of it. I'm almost positive Carly is going to put me to shame, but regardless I am still pretty proud of myself! Here's the break down:


Coffee creamer (saved me from buying starbucks)
Stamps (An essential really. Although, Carly informs me that if you do online banking, you save $50 a year in stamps).
Total: $10.15

Sunday: (notice no spending on my part between Thurs and Sat. Amazing!)

Starbucks (note: I have no drip coffee pot at my house and was going to die without coffee)
One drip coffee (very cheap- I did not get a venti flavored mocha!!)
Total: $1.47

Walmart (please forgive me- I do hate walmart, but their organic baby formula is half the price as anywhere else. And fyi, I don't formula feed exclusively- and certainly not by choice).

Organic Baby Formula
Free range eggs
Pepperjack cheese
Total: $20.62

Total since Wednesday: $32.34

Now, Carly and I have gone back and forth a few times, because we're not sure whether or not to track or significant others spending (please post a comment if you have a thought on this...)
I think it would be good to make sure that they're not eating up all of the money themselves, but I don't know if there's anyway for me to know how much money Jake is actually spending. I highly doubt he would bring me receipts for everything. From what I know this is Jakes spending:


Smoke shop:
Can of tobacco- this is equal to ten packs of cigarettes (much cheaper than a pack of smokes in the long run, however not as frugal or healthy as not smoking altogether.)
Total: $17.98

Raspberry iced tea
Total: ?? Maybe $3?

That puts Jake's total at $20.98. That puts our combined total at $53.32 in 5 days. That doesn't sound as good :(

Believe it or not, that's actually amazing for us. Especially being that we both had pay days on Friday.

And just to note, so far in the last five days (not counting today, Monday), I have saved between $20 and $34 from not buying Starbucks. That is counting that I bought a drip on Sunday, and I did deduct that amount. Go me.

On another note, Jake would have spent $60 on 10 packs of cigarettes, and spent $17.98, so that saves $42.02. We wont see that extra cash flow until about next week though.

So with coffee and cigarettes this week, we ended up saving a ballpark total of between $62 and $76. Wild!!!!!
My oh my, how vices will suck the money right out of you!

Stay posted next week and we'll see if we can do even better!

(If you have any great frugal ideas that pertain to me, please feel free to post them in comments.)