Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Beefing Up on Savings

Remember when I mentioned that I had been making 2 car payments a month?  While I think that is good for us, I've decided instead to beef up our savings.  Our savings is better than it used to be but woefully short of where we need to be.  I am concerned, not overly but still concerned about the next recession.  You know one is coming, right?  I mean they are cyclical.  It really doesn't matter who is in office.  It will happen.  Now some presidents handle the situation better than others but we won't go there will we?  I'm staying out of that one.  LOL.

I have a goal to saving an additional $4000 by the end of the year.  That is $800.00 a pay check.  I hope I can do this.  Nope, I am going to do this.  We need this cushion like yesterday. 

I wish I had been more like Meg B.  Her head was screwed on right from the get go.  Me, not so much. 

The hubster has over 30 years at his job and if a recession hits, he could be one of those folks who are asked to "retire".  Just another reason I want to pay off the mortgage as early as possible.  Even when meeting my $4000 savings goal I will also overpay the mortgage to get it paid off by the end of January 2017.  That will free up a lot of money for us.

Once our savings account gets a better cushion-then I will attack the car payment again. 

image:  paydayr.com

Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Mumblings

Every work week starts the same for me.  Sunday flies by and before you know it it is time to go to bed.  Then that wonderful alarm clock goes off to remind me that once again I have to get up and get ready to work.  Work according to a schedule that I'm not that fond of.  Work when I am growing more and more discontent with what I hear and what I've been told.  I so want to be in charge of my time.  How about you?  Are you in charge of your time or do you dance to the beat of your employer?  My employer is a good place to work.  I just want out.  And right now I can't get out due to poor financial decisions made in the past.  Poor money handling skills.  Stupid money handling skills. No discipline.  It didn't seem so odd because so many others were doing the same.  Get up, go to work, come home, go to bed.  Do it all over again.

Now I am almost 55 and I want off of the hamster wheel.  That feeling gets stronger and stronger.  I will accomplish this goal.  I don't know when it will happen but I will accomplish this goal.  There is so much more to life than clocking in.

Oh well.......I must go now.  Have a great Monday!

image:  lovethispic.com

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Homesteading-My Final Frontier?

Homesteading seems to be all the rage right now.  So many people are fed up with their lives that they want to do something completely different.  Many of these people have left the cities and gone rural-farm animals and all.  They are the modern day equivalent of Green Acres.  Now I am NOT belittling them because I find myself drawn to blogs and magazines that speak to these ideals.  No I do not want to go off grid.  I love electricity and running water.  So I will never be one to go off the grid.  But I do like the idea of self sufficiency.  Doing what I can on my property to help my family and hopefully others.  Trouble is we live in a subdivision, in a town that does not allow chickens much less goats or cows etc........So what's a girl to do?  Do we sell the home we have now and move out in the county?  Well the hubster wants to move to downtown Raleigh.  To a condo.  Kind of hard to be a homesteader in downtown Raleigh, ya know?  Myself?  I would love a tiny tiny place maybe out in the county on maybe at the most 1 acre of land.  I really want chickens.  I even have the names picked out already.  Do we stay where we are and start what we can within the confines of our town?  The most we could have is a garden.  We could start to cook from scratch for every meal and also for personal care products.  That could be my own little corner of the homesteading world.  

Do any of you homestead or have the homestead dream?  Do you make as much of your products that you can?  Are you as self sufficient as you want to be?

image: rurallivingtoday.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Save on Medical/Prescription Costs

So today saw me at my 6 month follow up at my dermatology office.  I have Rosacea plus very sensitive skin (as I've mentioned before).  I have using Cetaphil to cleanse and moisturize along with Soolantra to help with the redness.  This works really well however I find Cetaphil can be a bit heavy and make my facial skin feel oily.  I asked my provider is there is something that isn't as heavy but also won't strip my skin of oil.  She gave me several tubes of different types of prescription washes to try.  I am so thankful for those samples.  That means I won't be wasting money on something that doesn't work.  I mean, you can't return prescriptions.  This can be a great way to save money on prescription costs.  So don't forget to ask if you can try some samples to see if you like a medication.  It never hurts to ask.  What is the worst that can happen?  Your doctor says no.  Oh well.......give it a try.  Also, sometimes it is cheaper to get a 3 month supply of your pills instead of 1.  Check to see what is cheaper for you and go that route.

See these amazing tubes of generosity?  I will try and see which one works best!

I also made a trip to my Penzeys store.  I got the Italian Herb and Tsardust free.  I think I need to step away from Penzeys or build a cabinet to hold all of the containers I have.  It's a problem folks.  What are your favorite spices?

I love how spices smell and add so much flavor to meals.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Paying Off Debt Faster

Much faster.  I've been doing something the past month or so that I totally forgot to share here with ya'll.  Remember..........I want my freedom and I'd like to have said freedom sooner rather than later.  So.............I decided to make a car payment every time I get paid.  I get paid twice a month, on the 15th and last day of the month.  I was so tired of seeing how long it was going to be until the car is paid.  We only have our car and our mortgage.  If we are blessed and can continue to pay extra to the mortgage then that debt will be paid at the end of January or perhaps sooner.   It will still be over a year until the car is paid for-yes I know Dave Ramsey would not approve of buying a new car.  Well when we buy cars we keep them for a very long time.  Long after the loan is paid but I digress.  Paying 2 payments each month will obviously get the loan paid twice as fast.  I am looking forward to the day that I can tell ya'll that the balance is zero.

Now I will still be putting some money in savings.  I have not been putting every. single. dollar. to debt.  I don't feel comfortable doing that.

Making 2 payments a month kind of hurts.  It sure would be more fun to be able to spend that money on other things but we have no one to blame but ourselves.  Hopefully a year of extreme frugality will pay off-pardon the pun-in more ways than one.

After football season we will be able to cut expenses even more.  It's a 7 hour round trip to see our college play.  Yes I know that some of you don't understand why we do that.  Well it is the ONLY thing the hubster really asks to do.  We put money aside to pay for tickets so they are not charged.  But it still puts an extra strain on the budget.  He likes to tailgate.  Me?  I would be happy with a sandwich but not him.  I can't tell him no.  So add up the extra gas it costs on top of the money it costs to have tailgate food.  We don't go crazy on the tailgate either but I'd say it does add about $15-$20 to the grocery bill for that week.  Maybe not that much but you get the idea.  So like I said, after another month or so those expenses will be gone until next fall.  Whew!  I am looking forward to that.
I watched a movie last night.  It is a Christian movie.  I think the title is Stand Strong.  It was about a family who lost everything, the husband's job and the family home.  This family was used to living way above their means.  The husband's mother refused to bail the family out again.  She told her son he had to stand on his own two feet and get his finances under control.  He had to swallow his pride and ask his brother if his family could move in with them.  His brother's family lived in your basic ranch.  Nothing fancy but a warm environment.  They had a garden, chickens and a stockpile of groceries in the basement.  At one point in the movie, the 2 sister in laws were not exactly seeing eye to eye.  The sister in law that moved in was not appreciative at all that they were living rent free, with a roof over their heads and good food to eat.  All she could see was what they had in the past, what they lost.   She belittled the friendliness of her sister in law,  the hospitality that was being shown to them.  She made fun of their garden, chickens and stock of food.  At this point, her sister in law overheard them and it hurt her feelings.  Here she had opened her home to her family to help them in their time of need and they were just plain rude.  Her response to their ungratefulness was to tell them that her garden, chickens and food supply allowed her to help them.  To feed them.  Well you pretty much get the point.

Whether or not you are a Christian, this movie, even with bad acting,  made an impact on me.  Would I be so open to having a whole family to live with us?  Heck-would we be open to having one person live with us?  Would our stockpile be able to absorb the extra demand?  What have I done to show hospitality to others?

Have you ever opened your home to someone who fell into financial difficulty?  If so, for how long?  How were you able to accomplish this?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The North Carolina State Fair

Remember how I was lamenting working fulltime?  Well I did something about it.  Naw...........nothing like putting in my notice but I did take Friday off to attend the State Fair.  The hubster and I went and it was really nice to just walk around, relax, look at all the sights.  Smell the wonderful food and of course we had to do some taste testing.  I mean a fair isn't a fair unless you eat some of the food.  Am I right?

Here are some pics of our time there:

huge pumpkins

beautiful plum rose with darker rose around the edges


yummy goodies

beautiful garden flowers

I love piglets.  What can I say?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Are We as Unhappy as We Seem

Today I noticed something when I was out at lunch.  One of the employees behind the counter was making faces and clearly looked annoyed while taking a customer's order from the drive thru.  Bam!  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  Do I look like that to someone who may see me at my workplace?  and why are so many of us unhappy with our jobs?  Do we have unrealistic bosses?  The coworker from Hades?  Do the hours suck?  Are we getting paid what we think we should?  The questions could go on and on.   Then these questions got me thinking even more.  What can we do about this?

Of course, we could look for other jobs.  That sounds easier than it is though.  Sometimes the grass is NOT always greener on the other side.  What can I do to improve my attitude?  Will my attitude improve IF I were in another position?  Can we financially afford to take a lesser paying job or to simply leave the workplace?  Am I part of the problem or part of the solution?

Our mortgage will be paid off very soon.  Once that occurs I am more free to make workplace decisions.  Believe me, I have these thoughts on a regular basis.  I've worked full time for over 30 years and I am tired of it.  I've spoken of wanting freedom before and I want it even more. 

I really like some blogs out in the blog world that speak to these situations.  Caitflanders.com is just one that I admire.  She's young, got out of debt, works for herself and is living her life on her terms.  Not her company's terms.  She makes intentional decisions from how she spends her money to how she spends her time.  She's decided that minimalism is for her.  Minimalism may not be your cup of tea but you see my point.  It IS HER cup of tea and she is making it a priority. 

What is my cup of tea?  If I get a new cup of tea, will I be happier?  Will the new cup of tea help me achieve my dreams of being free from the workplace?

Cait said in a podcast........change your money and you can change your life.  I think Dave Ramsey is kind of along those lines as well but for some reason it really spoke to me when I heard it on her podcast.  Change. my. money. Change. my. life.

I live that thought.  Perhaps others would be happier as well.


Need Advice-Winter Boots

I am looking to buy winter boots. Any suggestions?  We don't have terrible snowy winters but I am tired of wearing my regular shoes.  I need something very comfy as I've had foot surgery in the past and I am looking for something that is not so outrageous in price.

Give me your ideas!

Something along these lines is what I am looking for.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Cash is King

As you've probably heard Hurricane Matthew made his way through North Carolina yesterday.  We had tons and tons of rain, high winds, flooding and the prerequisite power outages that goes along with such storms.

Although we live over 2 hours inland, we felt it here as well and let me tell ya'll cash, is. king.  Some stores were open however their credit/debit card systems were down.  They were only taking cash or checks.  Well Friday afternoon, after work, I went to the ATM and got extra cash out.  Best move.  I like to pay with cash for the most part anyways but it really comes in handy during times like these.

So my lesson is this-try to keep some cash on you at all times.  You never know when you will actually NEED it!!