Category Archives: Life

Mortgage Pay Down March 2012….and other things

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We are down to $116,9xx on our mortgage as of March 2012. We are on track as I had planned. I was looking at the numbers some more and I thought wouldn’t it be a nice goal to go down 10K every 6 months (which our kids birthdays are exactly 6 months apart). So the goal is to still pay down at least $1,250 extra a month for the mortgage. However, the expanding goal is to decrease our mortgage by 10K every 6 months. That means by June I want our mortgage to be 110K then by December 100K. I have 3 months of at least $1,250 is $3,750, but I still need $2,500 to pay out to get down in June. That would be an extra $800 each month! Which I know I can’t easily just pull something like that out, but nonetheless that is our goal and if we don’t reach it, we will be super close to it and that would be fabulous. 😀 We started just a couple months ago at $122 so we are moving along somewhat nicely.

We did open our IRA’s for both of us and have set up an automatic investing. It isn’t much but we were able to do $100 for each of us each month. I could throw that on the house, but I wanted a little something for our IRA’s at the very least. It feels like I haven’t sold anything as always, but I made over $250 for just a few items. The problem is we have a TON of nice stuff that I don’t just want to throw away b/c it is either brand new or like new. I have a ton of jeans and pants from places like Banana Republic and The Limited that I bought with full intentions of wearing, but had 2 babies in a row and there’s no way I can fit into those pants today. Nor do I want to save them as I want everything out of my house! They are new with tags, but I haven’t got a chance to list them anywhere. The few things I have sold have been related to cloth diapers and the such.

We now have figured out our ‘main’ cloth diaper stash and pretty much happy and settled with what we are doing. We have about 10 pocket diapers (6 BumGenius 4.0, 3 medium Perfect Size Fuzzibunz, & 1 off brand I got free in a trade :D). We use the pockets at home for hubby to change. In addition I have 17 prefolds (most are GMD red edge, but the other 7 were kinds we tried). The prefolds are for daycare and we also use at home when out of pockets. I now have 6 Flip covers & 4 Weehugger covers to use with prefolds or with ‘sleeves’ to put our hemp/bamboo inserts at nighttime for the 2.5 yrs old to sleep in as a nighttime diaper.

This week we will begin sending our Gerber training pants to daycare with our boy. He’s been doing pretty good with potty training, although we haven’t had the #2 situation figured out, but the peeing is doing really good. Except he won’t go at daycare for them. One day he went all day for them but they had a new teacher that day who thus quit after a day. So we are hoping with a new classroom and another new teacher, maybe he will want too.

I’m still readily looking for other jobs. I have another interview set up but I really need to push my boundaries and apply for non government positions. I know the for profit world, I would really excel. My skills I do have are very valuable and are more for saving money/making profit than in the setting of the ‘oh wells’ and where the government has the money to spend, so it’s not like they care in the sense where for profit businesses care…this is from my experience. However, my view of contracts and government is different than how it is practiced, but moving on. 😀

I’m really hoping though something good comes along. If not, I’m really trying to get our finances set up where we could potentially refinance if need be and have a lower payment on the house whereas if I did quit my job for a few years, we could make it. This is very extremely scary as I do carry the health insurance and am the breadwinner in our household, but I having hard times mentally working where I do and not having the meaning or at least the people who are enjoyable to work with. I need one or the other and right now both have died out since I began there. :/

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Trying to get better and selling stuff

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Somehow my baby girl and I both got sick last week again, baby girl had croup and I had a horrible ear infection. That took us out for a few days and then being so busy with family coming over and just living life.

I’ve done good selling almost $200 worth of baby, nursing items this weekend. Since we stopped nursing in Jan., which we made it 13 months nursing baby girl 🙂 I have a lot of nursing items I don’t need anymore. Also trying to sell some of our cloth diaper stash to get more items that we really like to use instead. We are really liking the prefolds and covers or certain pocket styles. I like the Fuzzibunz perfect size compared to the one sizes. Those weren’t working for us so I’ve sold a few and trying to sell the rest. I’ll be purchasing more prefolds this week hopefully in efforts to gain a half day NOT doing laundry. :/ I’m doing it every day or every other day bc we run out, so if I had a few for bumper for daycare that would be nice.

Potty training is still in process but seems like it gets worse than better. Our boy still isn’t going at daycare and we don’t know if it’s them or him or a combo of him not liking his teacher and not wanting to go. If fact I just got done cleaning up poo on the floor bc he didn’t like dirty underwear on. :/ The joys of teaching your child where and when to poo & pee.

Both hubby and I jobs are becoming static and boring. Mine has been that way for awhile but hubby’s has gotten that way recently. We have ideas of what we could start as side gigs and see how they develop. I would prolly help with his since I could further develop my skill in that area. Mine would focus on a small business venture online with the hope of growing into a brick and mortar store, which has always been my dream. I’m trying to narrow down and figure out the logistics while still being something needed to serve and fill a void.

My goals for this month is to continue selling and trading baby items on the swaps to free up space and to get items we could use instead. Ive also toyed with the idea of ‘no paper’ towels. Now I think it would be silly to spend much on buying more items, but a few more extra towels. Also I want to make no tissue tissues out of some flannel blankets. We could at least see how we could do on it. It would save about $20 a month for paper towels and kleenex cost a month. We go through paper towels like crazy.

I’m trying slowly to even cut more from
our budget even though we have it pretty slim to begin with. I have done really good not going and buying kids clothes bc I haven’t been actively looking or watching for good deals.

Btw, our state is trying to pass a bill in the house of reps to make it where it’s illegal to even get birth control (called the personhood bill). This is another reason we are seriously tossing the idea of moving. These types of illogical ideologies are just absurd. The views of our state aren’t with our personal beliefs or values. Also the education and health systems lack greatly compared to other states, which is a reason we are almost always dead last in most things that are important. The only bonus we have is a cheap cost of living, but that is only good for so long. I want my kids to grow up and be able to think for themselves, to learn lots and not be pressured to only believe one way and not question the answers they are given, and for them to be who they want to be.

For those reasons, we would to move to the western coast, Colorado, maybe Austin TX. I think we just would like to be an area that is more of what we stand for and has the values we like. As well as isn’t Oklahoma, heh. My biggest scares are 1) finding 2 jobs at same time 2) finding an area in those places where the COL is reasonable and by reasonable Austin is prolly the closest to that I would imagine, 3) good schools, good small community, and the place just makes you feel welcomed. We like small towns but more like suburbs, so small town but close enough to the city.

Why we don’t stockpile or use much of coupons

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I have to tell myself sometimes why we (or I) don’t/do something to remind myself and make sure my reasoning, logic, and mindset is still in the same place and I still believe in what I practice and say. We don’t stockpile much, if any. When we first started dating and got married, I got all crazy into the CVS/Walgreens/drug store ‘game’ and would ‘impress’ my husband with what all I could buy for nothing. Needless to say still here in 2012 I have a good amount of that stuff left in my bathroom cabinet that hasn’t been used. There lies problem #1. I would buy 8 boxes of cereal for free with the intention of eating it, but I think most of that even went to waste. We don’t stockpile b/c we aren’t good about keeping up with stuff. It’s not that we aren’t organized or just ‘don’t care’ about wastefulness, it’s that we were and are a small family and the need for months of supplies on end isn’t necessary when we have a discount retail store around the corner literally. In Oklahoma, our biggest threat is tornados and regardless of how massive a stockpile is, tornados don’t care. Now I do prepare a ‘safety kit’ (this is basically when it’s tornado season I get stuff together that we might need and have it ready). Now I do own a Mr. Buddy or some type of mini propane heater thing that cost $100+ a couple of winters ago when we had our son and already were scared of the crazy snowstorms Oklahoma has sporadically and I was in ‘freak out’ mode.

Side note: My ‘freak out’ mode is when a ‘disaster’ such as tornado watches/warnings, snowstorm warnings, flood warnings, ice warnings (you get the hint) are around and regardless of my reasoning or ‘planned attack’, I get freaked out and do crazy stuff. Now mind you this is all very STUPID things to do in these situations, but that’s another post. I’ve done some really REALLY STUPID things in freak out mode and it will mostly involve me and a vehicle and the media doesn’t help….but anyhow…

Back to stockpiling…while I LOVE to get a good deal and walk out making money from a store with coupons and sales, I don’t need the stuff. It’s more ‘stuff’ to fill spaces at my house and for me to stress about either using or cleaning up or going to waste. This is especially true of food. The stuff that I would love to stockpile (aka veggies and fruit) doesn’t stockpile. I don’t like canned veggies/fruit and stay away from that already so frozen stuff would go to waste. And when it comes down to it, if we had some of the big ol’ stockpiles, like the stuff in 5 gallon buckets that won’t expire for years, we don’t have the space, money to invest, or even mindset to want to deal with it. It’s almost fatalist in that if it gets THAT bad, then I’m pretty sure food is the last of our worries and last time I checked, although appealing, zombies won’t attack…well, not all at once anyhow at the beginning 😉

This leads to couponing which stockpiling and couponing go hand in hand. I use to coupon like nobody’s business. Yes it took time and was very stressful and filled up my entire Sunday trying to figure out the absolute best deal and which coupons and running to 5 stores, but I liked it at the time BEFORE KIDS. 🙂 Nowadays I would rather pay an extra few bucks each trip vs. taking that time away from my kids and adding on that stress again. Plus, currently my husband does the majority of our food shopping since he’s the cook. He goes to the store, gets the stuff ONLY on the list, and gets out. Nothing crazy, nothing extra, nothing that takes more than 20 mins to get in and out of the store. This I find saves us a LOT of money as I like to walk around, look around, see something cheap I want to try, then go looking at other things and end up spending more money than if I just let him go alone. It saves me time, saves me a ton of stress of buying newspapers, cutting coupons, finding the coupons, finding the deals, going to all the stores. If calculated out, I would probably lose money if I did coupon again just b/c of the cost of the newspapers (which isn’t much I know), but alongside the time I have to ‘work’ at figuring it out out. Plus the cost of buying stuff that is not on our list but we want to ‘try’ b/c it’s free or almost free. The majority of the items we buy don’t have coupons. Rarely is there a milk/bread coupon or fresh veggies/fruit coupons. If I find a coupon for something we already use in our lives, I will send it with him, but I don’t go out of the way to do this.

I know if we had a bigger family, different income, further from the store, these figures would change…but for us and our family, this works best right now in our lives. Maybe someday my kids will be interested and want to do this with me (if they want all the fancy drugstore cosmetics and shampoos, etc they will have to do it to get that stuff :), but this works for us.

What do you think? Have you tried it both ways with and without in your life? Which way works best for your family?