Monday, April 28, 2014

A Weekend at the Lake

This past weekend we spent our first weekend of the year at my parent's lake house.

We have only taken Annabeth twice before, each Memorial Day Weekend, of her life. The lake house is not really big enough for the three of us plus the three of them to all stay so we just haven't made a point to go. But this past weekend, my sister had plans, Mama was out of town, and Dad was camping so we thought it would be a great time to go just the three of us!

Mark worked all day and Annabeth and I packed up and were completely ready to leave when he got home. We made the three hour drive down with a pretty happy Annabeth which was great! We arrived at the lake past bedtime so she was ready to just go to sleep but Grandpa was already there so she decided she could play for a while! We gave Dad/Grandpa his birthday presents and helped him celebrate the last few hours of his birthday.

Fishy-Birthday Hugs for Grandpa

Despite getting to bed a bit late, Annabeth slept even less than usual. She woke up for the day at midnight and because the cabin is so small, there was no hiding from her. She and I laid in her room, our room, the living room, and finally I gave in and just sang songs and played with her. Around 4 am we headed outside and enjoyed our first Mama-Daughter-Sunrise. It was beautiful and special to watch the Lord rise the sun while we sang "Sanctuary."

The lake, around 4:30 am
"Annabeth's Moon" 

All bundled up to watch the sun come up

Sun Rise Girls 

Dad also had a hard time sleeping and came in from his tent around 6 so by 7 o'clock we were up, showered, dressed, and eating Mark-made pancakes. Dad and Mark headed out to a black powder shooting contest and us girls hiked and enjoyed lake views.

Swinging and watching the water
Just like her Mimi

LucyAnne brought us lunch and some fun outdoor toys. Annabeth loved playing with the big ball and blowing bubbles. She even helped "wash" Lu's car as a thank you. Mid-afternoon I crashed into a nap while Mark and Lu entertained Annabeth. We ended the day with a trip to the park and to town to pick out dinner at Bernie's Market. Annabeth finally fell asleep around 7:30! Praise the Lord! Mark and I enjoyed a nice evening on the deck and he even caught a couple fish.

Outside, past dark, loving the lake life!

We woke up early and enjoyed breakfast out on the deck. We watched the geese swim around and Annabeth had fun learning to use binoculars. We ended up making great time cleaning and leaving the cabin. We arrived in Kentucky hours early for a birthday lunch so we headed to another park and played. We also had a fun Starbucks date as a family thanks to an Easter giftcard from Mark's parents.

We love weekends at the lake. We love life without the temptation of internet or tv. We love the water, the geese, and the fish. Mostly we love the simple life.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Frugal Friday 36

Happy Frugal Friday #36!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made money creatively this week:

- We passed on a toddler picnic table to our Godson. We were given it a year ago by Annabeth's cousins and somehow have collected two more at our house since then. We thought it was time to pass it along since SJ will be one this week.

- We also passed along our breakfast room table to Luke and Cassidy for their new apartment. It was Mark's great-grandmothers and his grandpa and aunt gave us the table and four chairs from their houses when we moved into our first apartment. It was a fun thing to pass along for L and C's first apartment.

- I ordered our January - Easter pictures on Shutterfly using a "Get 101 Prints Free" code. Saved: $15.15

- Mark and Annabeth spent an evening refinishing a nightstand from his mom's family. With a bit of work they were able to make it shine again.

Teaching Annabeth to sand furniture
We pray it was a great lesson in taking care of items we already have

The finished product!

- I made cards for Great Beginnings, a store in Evansville, where I have been selling homemade greeting cards for 3+ years. It is a fun way to make a bit of extra money because I love crafting them.

Some of my favorites from this round of crafting.

- Annabeth and I made homemade pizza for about $2.50. A huge savings over ordering pizza.

- I trimmed Annabeth's hair at home. Saved: $12.50

What have you been doing to save money?

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

This Earth Day Annabeth was able to celebrate by helping her Uncle Luke plant flowers and trees. The flowers will go to his new apartment and the two pine trees were planted for Nana and PawPaw's yard. She really enjoyed digging in the dirt!

Uncle Luke or "Un Lu" is one of her favorite people!
She loves getting to spend time with him 

Hopefully she is learning early to be good to our earth!

"We don't inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children."
- Indian Proverb 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Happy Easter!

We spent the morning in worship, enjoyed lunch at Bob Evans with Mark's parents and brother/almost sister-in-law, and then went to tour Luke and Cassidy's new apartment. Luke just moved in this week and Cassidy will move in June after they are married. We are so excited that their big day is almost here! We spent enough time there that Brian and Kristi were able to get all of the eggs hidden at their house. We drove to their house and enjoyed a 96 egg hunt and a fun afternoon outside! What a wonderful Easter spent with family and reflecting on our Precious, Lord and His amazing, undeserved by us, gift of Eternal Life.

Beautiful flowers from our friends the Dobrinski Family 

Our beautiful girl with her doll in her matching dress.
They were admiring our church's flowers after service. 

The Riley Three
Happy Easter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Frugal Friday 35

Happy Frugal Friday #35!

Here is what we did to save money/spend money wisely this week:

- Annabeth enjoyed a FREE Hop and Bop Dance Session at our local library.

- I shopped OLG's annual Hearts for Haiti Kid's Sale. Most items are just $.50 so it is one of my most favorite sales of the year! I was able to find some really great things - fleeces, dance outfits, and my best find was a $100 Strasburg dress for just $2!

- We used some of our tax return to create a play area for Annabeth in the backyard. With careful planning we were able to get all of it done in just two days and came in $200 under budget! Since we came in under budget we used some of the money to invest in outdoor toys, including her new grill!
"Measure twice, cut once."
Helping Daddy build her play area

Her new play area!
We have a playhouse coming from Evansville in a few weeks!
Grandpa and Grandmama Kuhn found the playhouse and slide for FREE! Thank you!

Grilling with Daddy
(We had snow this week so we are keeping the grill inside until it's warmer outside)

- We ordered our first set of "official" homeschool curriculum for next year. We are using "Alpha Omega Publications - Horizons - Preschool for 3's." This month it was 20% off plus free shipping for orders over $50. We will spend $59.16 for one full year of preschool! That is less than one month of public or private preschool in our area.

- I did our bi-weekly grocery shop. Best deal was $.45 for two boxes of Barilla Pasta. Saved by waiting until they were 10 for 10 + a paper coupon for $1 off + online coupon for $.55 off. woohoo!

- And in non-frugal news... we broke a dvd that belongs to the library. Spent $19.99 replacing it :(

We are looking forward to sunny, warm weather this weekend!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Monday, April 14, 2014

First Homeschool Order

Last night we finalized a HUGE decision for our family.

We ordered our very first set of "official" homeschool curriculum.

We have been looking at preschools in our area and at homeschool resource websites and everything just felt wrong to me. I kept waiting and praying and then I stumbled across a link to Alpha Omega Publications. Suddenly, I had found something that felt "right."

We ordered the complete Horizons - Preschool for Three's set. It was on sale 20% off plus they were offering free shipping on orders over $50. We spent $59.16. That is far less than the average amount of public and private preschools in our area and we will have her home, learning with us.

We have homeschooled in quite the informal way this year. I make lesson plans and choose books but mostly it has been a go with the flow, winging it, type year. As she is only 2, I knew that she would learn and grow through any experience and lesson.

Now it feel so real though. We bought curriculum. We are official homeschoolers.

I love how this feels. So right. We want her to be home with us. We want her to be free to be who she is. We want completely Bible based curriculum so her focus remains completely on the One who really matters. The One who gives us everything we have. To Him be all the glory.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

7 Days of Dave: Day 7

Welcome Back to our "7 Days of Dave" Series! It is Day 7 our last day.

Baby Step 7: Build Wealth and Give

By the time we have all reached Baby Step 7 we will be completely debt free including no mortgage payments! What a wonderful day that will be!

Step 7 is about building wealth for the future generations of our family and giving to our church and favorite charities. Dave really stresses the importance of saving for children, allowing them financial support and help even after you are gone. We have been truly blessed with help from our families and want to make sure that we are able to do the same for Annabeth. We are blessed by the fact that we still have all four of our parents and even some of our grandparents but in case we pass early in life, we want to make sure that Annabeth will have the financial backing that she needs.

Baby Step 7 is also about giving to others. What is the point of having money if you aren't sharing it? In our minds, none. Even through the other baby steps we have chosen to give to our church and organizations that we believe in. While it is God's Will for people to be debt free ("Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8 (NIV)) it is also His Will that we would give to others. "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' " Acts 20:35 (NIV) We live by the Bible and believe it to be entirely true. We do not believe that one can pick and choose verses and thus we believe that debt free living and radical generosity are not "suggestions" or "nice ideas" or a "goal for someday" but rather they are what God expects us to be doing. 

While we have loved our journey with Dave Ramsey through his 7 Baby Steps as well as his books, our real journey is with the Lord. We strive to know Him better and to serve Him better. If you have further financial questions, Dave questions, or questions about what we believe/why we believe PLEASE leave them in the comments and we will get back with you.

Dear Readers, we are praying for you. Even without knowing your names or reasons for reading our 7 Days of Dave Series we are praying for you and for financial freedom for yourself and your family. We are also praying that each of you will grow in your walk with the Lord, realizing that all Good things come from Him. God Bless! 

Our Family.
We are so thankful that all of you read our little blog
and we pray daily for all of you! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

7 Days of Dave: Day 6

Welcome Back to our 7 Days of Dave Series - It's Day 6!

Baby Step 6: Pay Off Your House Early 

We purchased our second house, our hopefully "forever" house April 19, 2013. We purchased it with a 30 year mortgage so in 2043 it will be paid off. However, in that time we will end up paying for the house nearly two times thanks to interest rates! Eep! That doesn't sound very good. Our current goal is to try to pay it off in 20 years or less instead of the full 30.

At the moment, our family income is below $40,000 and that is with Mark's full-time job, overtime, and part-time job. I say this only to illustrate the fact that we are not earning $60,000+ a year or something. We are a middle-class family with one income and mediocore health insurance.

I will admit that in the first year that we have been here we have not made any extra payments on our mortgage. After paying two mortgages and two sets of utilities last spring while we were living at the old house and renovating this one, we had some work to do rebuilding our savings before we could begin paying extra on this house.

We also do not want to take money away from Annabeth's life right now. I know, I know, life is not just right now but choosing between Annabeth taking dance class or $40 extra on our mortgage we are choosing dance class. In the near future, we want to work to really begin putting extra down on our mortgage.

On thing we have discussed doing is putting an extra $112 a month on our principal each month. That would mean every six months we would really be paying seven months of mortgage payments. That translates to 14 monthly payments a year and every six years we would be making seven years worth of payments.

I think it is just like the debt snowball step, it really will be a matter of putting everything extra into our principal balance. That could include Christmas and birthday money as well as our tax return. Also, we could add money I earn from card/craft sales, consigning, and garage sales.

This step, our current step, is one that we really want to begin focusing on now that we have been in the new house one year. We look forward to the day that we own our house outright! What a day that will be!

Annabeth in front of her second house and hopefully our forever house!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Frugal Friday 34

Happy Frugal Friday #34!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- Annabeth and I stopped in Goodwill on a rainy day. Found six cute things for her including a new-with-tags UofL shirt! All for less than $18!

- We took one of our college printers and our old, broken microwave to community recycling day. On this day, we were able to recycle big electronics for FREE!

- We enjoyed a dinner out for almost free (we did have to pay the tip) thanks to a giftcard from Mark's parents for Valentine's Day. Thank you! :)

- Sunday I picked up our unsold items from the Spring Consignment Sale. Made: $65.50

- Monday Annabeth and I took our unsold summer items to a consignment store. Made $7 and bought Annabeth two new shirts from the rest of our proceeds.

 Cheering for the IPUI Jags!
A new-to-us shirt in honor of her Uncle Luke and Auntie Cassidy's school.

- We bought Annabeth's new Easter shoes/summer dress shoes at the Stride Rite Outlet. Saved: $20.01

- I colored my hair at home. Saved: $50

What a fun week of savings! We have REALLY been enjoying the beautiful spring weather and hope you all have been too!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference!"

7 Days of Dave: Day 5

Welcome Back! It's Day 5 in our Seven Days of Dave Series.

Baby Step 5: College Funding for Your Children 


If you have a child, go open a 529. This is the absolute best thing you can do for your child. It is a college-savings plan that has a great interest rate and is tax-free. Do it now! Go!

My grandparents opened 529s for us grandchildren right when they first came out. I was able to earn quite a bit of scholarship money and by finishing my degree in three years, I left UofL with quite a bit still left in my account. When we found out Annabeth was coming, we started adding to it again.

The night of my high school graduation.
18 and ready to see/take on the world!

When friends and family ask what Annabeth would like for her birthday or Christmas we happily reply "College money!" A few times a year we add money to her 529. While the cost of college is steadily rising, we know that every penny saved is one less penny that she will have to earn through scholarships or grants.

Mark graduated college with a great deal of loans and while we grew and learned a lot from paying them off, we would really like for Annabeth not to have that experience.

Money added to a 529 can only be used for post-secondary education and related costs (housing, textbooks, fees, etc) so we also made sure to open a seperate savings account. We add money to that account each month with the hopes of buying her first car or helping her make a down payment on her first house. We use extra money that I make from garage sales and consignment sales along with a designated portion of each of Mark's paychecks.

We set a certain goal for ourselves of what we wanted to have saved by her high school graduation. We tried to make it an amount that we really feel will help her without bankrupting us in the present. Also, we obviously, have an advantage over parents of multiple children in that we have just one college education to save for. One of the many joys of raising an Only.

See you tomorrow for Baby Step 6!

**This is my own advice, not Dave's. I am not a financial planner, I just believe this to truly be the best deal going!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

7 Days of Dave: Day 4

Welcome Back to our Seven Days of Dave Series! It's Day 4 and Baby Step 4!

Baby Step 4: Invest 15% of your income into Roth IRAs and tax advantaged retirement accounts

When I was 18, my grandparents helped me start my Roth IRA. During my college years, they added to my IRA, matching the amount that I earned working each year. At that time the maximum yearly deposit was $4,000 but you also had to make more than that to contribute that much. As I was working part-time at school and summers at camp, I never had that kind of income but we added as much as we could. I continued adding the maximum amount each year through 2011 when I left working outside the home to stay home with Annabeth.

Mark is blessed with a job in the public sector which means that he puts money into retirement two different ways. First, his job comes with pension after a required number of years of service and successful retirement. Mark also adds to a retirement fund through P.E.R.F. (Public Employees Retirement Fund).

Why does Dave say 15%?

At this point, people working through Dave's steps are debt free, minus the cost of where they live. Thus, they should begin looking to invest their income to grow their wealth. Too many people live in a "right now" frame of mind. That is all well and good right now, however, at some point we all will want to retire! And to retire, you have to have money. 15% is a fair amount because it is enough to really amount to something over the years. However, it leaves plenty to live modestly in the moment and work on Baby Step 5 which is "College Funding for Children." Dave discusses the fact that a lot of parents tend to want to save every extra penny for college but he argues that children can earn scholarships to help parents pay for school and that their degrees will not pay for the parents' retirement.

On our honeymoon, enjoying a day at Honeymoon Island
June 2009
We hope to enjoy retirement traveling as well!

Why is this important to us?

Although there are times when we would love to take a big vacation every year or own more than one car or do fun projects on the house, we really see the value in being able to retire comfortably. We would like to retire and travel, to have lots of time to spend with Annabeth, and maybe even grandchildren some day.

We know that life is, probably, not just right now. We want to be prepared for the future.

Our favorite Dave quote is:
"Now you must live like no one else so later you can live like no one else."

Anytime one of us wants something big, that isn't a necessity and doesn't go along with saving for the future we remind ourselves that this is worth it. We don't have a $200,000 house or two cars or a vacation home or a boat or... But we do have a solid start on saving for our retirement which feels, at least to us, so much better.

We thank, praise, and give all credit to the Lord for providing our family with the paychecks that allow all of these financial decisions to be possible. To Him be ALL the glory.

See you tomorrow for Baby Step 5!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

7 Days of Dave: Day 3

Welcome Back! It's Day 3 in our "7 Days of Dave" series.

Today we will be looking at Baby Step 2: Pay off all debt using the debt snowball
What does that mean?
Make a list of your debts (excluding your mortgage or rent payment) from smallest to largest payoff amounts. The smallest will be your first priority.

Here is a breakdown of our loans:

Loan 1: $3,500
Loan 2: $7,500
Loan 3: $12,500
Total Loans: $23,500

Loan 1 began billing us within 6 weeks of Mark's graduation. Because we had wedding money and enough money in our "3-6 Months Emergency Fund" we decided to pay that loan off in full. It had a very high interest rate and we really wanted to just focus on the others. Paid in Full: June 2009.

From there we began paying the monthly minimum on Loan 3 ($120.00) and making as large of a payment as possible on Loan 2. Some months we were only able to double the monthly payment on this loan but others (if I subbed a lot or during the hoidays/birthdays) we were able to sometimes pay as much as $1,000 a month on this loan. Paid in full: May 12, 2010.

Down to just that last big one! Because we had only been paying the minimum we had a great deal left. During this time, Mark used one paycheck to make our house payment ($561.00) and the other to pay entirely on the student loan. I used one paycheck to cover all of our utilities and groceries and the other to pay entirely on the student loan. I will say that once we were down to this one loan we did to choose to loosen up a bit. We began to eat out occasionally and even took a short trip to Georgia the summer of 2010 to visit family. However, in January 2011 when we learned we were expecting we knew we had to have the loan payed off before the baby came/I quit work to work at home. Less than 8 weeks before Annabeth was born we achieved our goal. Making that final loan payment phone call was one of the best days of our lives!
Paid in full: August 2011

Mark is listening to the automated system say 
"Loan is paid in full."

 "Now you must live like no one else 
later you can live like no one else."
Debt Free Rileys!

Why does Dave suggest to pay off smallest to largest?

The general idea is that small wins (ie paying off a loan) is a great motivator to keep going and working hard to achieve financial freedom. By trying to pay off the largest first, people have to wait longer, work longer, and may become frustrated or give up sooner. 

I will say that being able to work hard and pay off two loans in the first year of marriage was a great feeling! Yes, together, they equaled less than what we had left in Loan 3 but it still felt like a great accomplishment having two paid off!

This step (along with Step 7 - where we currently are) was, spiritually, the most important to us. As Bible believing Christians, we seek God's Will in all aspects of our lives and use the Bible as our handbook. In striving to be debt free we really sought to live out Romans 13:8 "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law." (NIV)

Be sure to check out Dave's page on Baby Step 2.

Hope to see you tomorrow for Day 4 and Baby Step 4!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

7 Days of Dave: Day 2

Welcome Back! It's Day 2 in my "7 Days of Dave" series.

Dave Ramsey's Baby Step 2 is to "Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball" and Baby Step 3 is "3-6 Months of Living Expenses in Savings." We, unintentionally, switched these two items. As I wrote about yesterday, in the months leading into our marriage I was employed full-time and living with my parents with minimal living expenses. I set a a goal early on to save $15,000 by our wedding day. I was well on my way to that goal until I was laid off that February. However, by watching my spending and saving my earnings from babysitting and subbing we entered marriage with $12,000+ in our savings account. We also were able to add money thanks to our generous friends and family who attended our wedding. We quickly realized that based on our apartment rent, utilities, etc that we had more than six months of living expenses saved! :) Step 3 Complete.

 One of our first moments as Mr. and Mrs. inside Old North's Chapel where we were married

Mr. and Mrs. Riley
For better or worse, Richer or poorer
All the days of our lives.

We have worked continuously over the years to always keep that much in our savings. As each of our father's have been laid off during our marriage we have really seen the value of having a good savings built up. Because Mark works in Law Enforcement we often feel somewhat safer than families that work for less stable fields. However, we are aware that things can change in an instant. After Mark's knee injury in 2011 and following surgery in 2013, he was not able to work his part-time job. While we don't require that money to live it is the money that we do our fun and extra things with. We were so thankful that we had that money in savings and that we did not have to worry about him returning to work before he was fully healed.

I think for peace of mind, this is probably the most important step. Knowing that if someone in our family has surgery, has a serious medical issue, or if we have a huge incident with our house that we have the money to cover it. The few times we have dipped into this fund we have built it back up as quickly as possible afterwards.

See you tomorrow for Day 3 and Baby Step 2!

Monday, April 7, 2014

7 Days of Dave: Day 1

We are a Dave Ramsey family. We are currently on Step 6 of Dave's "7 Baby Steps." A friend and reader has asked me to share more about our Dave Journey so I will take the next 7 days to talk about what we have done and how we did it.

Here is a brief history of how we came to Dave and came into our marriage:

My dad gave me a Dave book during college. I kind of glanced through it but was not really in a financial peace state of mind, I just wanted to buy textbooks each semester with cash and not a credit card.

I graduated college in 2008, right as the bottom fell out of the market. Suddenly everyone was looking for a job. After about 2 months of searching, I was offered and accepted a position at Macy's selling Ladies Shoes. It was a humbling experience as I had worked three years at UofL to earn a degree and still ended up at the mall where my friends had worked in high school. But, Mark still had a year left at VU and we were to be married that next May just weeks after his graduation. We did not really have the time or the money for me to be picky. I also lived at home that year. I love my parents and after being away three full years for school and summers at camp it was nice to sleep in my old room. It also was the best financial decision as between work and seeing Mark I was rarely if ever home and an apartment would have been a waste of money. I was able to divide my paycheck via the online payment system. I put 85% of every paycheck directly into savings and kept just 15% as spending money. This was possible because I was living at home with minimal bills and because we were paid weekly. I started at Macy's in September of 2008 and worked full-time until the company underwent major cuts in early 2009. I was laid off in February 2009. I spent the next few months job hunting, babysitting, and subbing.

The weekend before our wedding, Mark's aunt found a temp job for him at her pharmacy. Mark quickly took it and we planned our move to Greenwood. We were married May 23, 2009. About a month later, Mark was hired on full time at our county jail and a month after that I was hired on for about 20 hours a week. I spent the next nine months also subbing and babysitting in addition to working at the jail. I was finally given 37.5 hours in March 2010 but it was not considered full-time so no insurance or paid time off. March 2011 I finally went full-time until September of 2011 when I left to stay home with Annabeth. We have been really blessed that although Mark has worked a lot of jobs and shifts for the Sheriff's Office that he has been continually employed full-time with them. Mark has also worked part-time security at a local hospital since September 2011.

August 2009 - Newlyweds at The Creation Museum 

Dave Ramsey's Baby Step 1: $1,000 to Start an Emergency Fund

We often say that we feel like we got to cheat on this one. Because I was working at Macy's and living at home I was able to save a great deal of money before we were married. We realize that couples who are in school and marry right after may not have that same luxury.

I think for me, the key was dividing my paycheck so that it automatically went into savings and checking. We still do that. Mark's paychecks are divided automatically between his checking, our savings, and Annabeth's savings. We never even miss the money we put into each savings because we don't have to take it out of his checking account.

We have found it SO important to maintain at least a $1,000 Emergency Fund. We have had to use our savings for house and medical emergencies in the past and we are always glad to have that money there.

See you tomorrow for Day 2!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring 2014 Consignment Sale Wrap-Up

We have survived another sale!

My goals were:
1. Tag 50 Items - Tagged 95
2. Make $100 - Made: $65.50

I made more than I did last fall and was pleased with the results of this sale.

What sold well?

- Character Items (Dora and Hello Kitty)
- Dressy dresses
- Items sold as sets/outfits
- Summer shoes such as sandals and water shoes
- Toys
- 3T and larger items (we had some hand-me-downs that we were not going to wear)

What did not sell?

- Leggings
- Long sleeve t-shirts and long pants*
- 18 months clothing**

*Just as with the fall sale, I only sold items that are coming into season. I tend to shop ahead if I find items at these sales that I really like but I seem to be the only person. I now have to debate if I want to try to sell short sleeves at the fall sale or long sleeves at the summer sale

**This was most likely just a luck of the draw of shoppers. There was also a great deal of 18 and 18-24 racks so that size may have had the most competition.

I still have some very nice items left so I plan to head to the consignment store tomorrow money to try to make a bit more money. Anything left unsold after that will go to Goodwill.

It's always fun to shop these sales and to make a bit of money too! I made enough to cover the rest of May and June dance classes for Annabeth! Hooray!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Frugal Friday 33

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- I made extra money selling (on facebook) a candle warmer/candle as well as a ring. Made: $30

- We spent a rainy Saturday afternoon at the library. Annabeth enjoyed having the Children's Section to herself! She and Mark played puppets and worked puzzles while I got to actually browse and pick out books for our school week and for my fun reading.

- Monday I turned in our items for the Spring 2014 Consignment Sale in our area. I will post next week with how we did!

- Since winter is coming to a close and the warm months are close, Mark cancelled our Netflix account for the spring/summer/fall because we spend these months outside. Savings: $7.99/month

- We spent Tuesday at Camp Lakeview with our friends the Stairs. Annabeth and Bella enjoyed visiting the pony Thunder, hiking around, and playing on the tire playground. Free, outdoor fun!

Annabeth loves the tire playground! 

- Wednesday night I pre-shopped the consignment sale. Annabeth went with me and was allowed to pick out one toy. She pick a bag with Minnie Mouse maracas and tambourine. We also found three summer shirts, a sundress, and (most excitingly) a pair of Matilda Jane ruffle pants! (I have been wanting to get her ruffle pants and/or something Matilda Jane for months and I found sweet little pants for just $6! Woohoo!! What a bargain.) My budget for the shop was $30 but only spent $19.26.

- Starting next week I will be posting a "7 Days of Dave" series where I share how we have reached Step 6 in Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps to Financial Freedom. A friend and reader had asked for more about our Dave experience and I felt like this was the best way to organize the series. Stay Tuned!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spiders and Ladybugs

Annabeth is currently "SO 'fraid" of 'piders and lay-leebugs"

How did this happen?

We have no idea!

Around Mark's birthday, we got in from his parents' house around 10 pm. In the hallway, there was a tiny spider. Mark killed it. Annabeth cried and cried! We were certain it was a combination of no nap, too much sugar from birthday cake, and being out too late. But, the next morning it took forever to get her to leave her room. She kept saying, "Where 'pider? 'Pider gone, Mama?" I would say, "Yes. All gone. Daddy killed it." Then she would come back with "I 'fraid 'piders."

Since that night she slightly panics even at the word "Spider." Kind of funny, a cute little stage we thought. Then Monday night...

We have had beautiful weather so we played outside all afternoon Monday and had a picnic dinner. A ladybug landed on her shirt. We thought she would be so excited because a few weeks ago my sister gave her a pencil with a bug (not a ladybug but she has been calling it a "lay-lee bug") on it and she has been insisting on taking it everywhere. We pointed out the ladybug, now on the picnic table, and she backed away quickly. She looked a bit timid, a huge change from last summer when she loved all bugs, so I said, "Look! Mama will touch it. It's a nice ladybug." Before I could touch it she began screaming frantically! I have never heard such a scared cry come from her before. I picked her up to comfort her as Mark shooed the ladybug away. She cried for a good five minutes before calming down and coming inside. She would not go outside for the rest of the evening and kept just saying " 'Fraid lay-leebugs!"

Spiders and lay-lee bugs, oh my!