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Friday, May 29, 2009

Financial Woes

In the past we have had our share of financial woes. We have made poor decisions that have cost us more than we expected and we have also had times when no matter what we did we just couldn't get ahead.

When we were first married, my husband was in the military (Navy) and we lived below the poverty level and we had some financial woes.

If you are going through a financially tight period, it is very easy to get depressed and frustrated. I hope to give you a few tips that will help you make it through those times with your sanity intact.

1. Remember God is in control- He will bring you through the hard times. He will provide your needs. Ps. 37: 25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. Have faith in His word.

2. Get up-It is really easy when you are not working to stay in bed for a little while longer than usual. Don't fall into this habit. Get up at your normal time, get dressed and start your day. If you don't it will get easier and easier to get lazy and idle. When you get lazy and idle depression has a way of creeping in.

3. Keep your house clean-I know this one sounds odd-but even if I didn't have money, my house was going to be clean. Nothing is more depressing than a dirty, cluttered home. I think this is especially true for women. This is a time when extra things can be done (deep cleaning, organization, etc.)

4. Listen to music that makes you happy-Do this every day even if it is while you are cleaning the house. Music speaks to your soul-happy music=happy soul.

5. Get some sunshine-Take a walk, do some yard work, just sit in the sun. I believe that sun warms the heart. I never really thought much about that until I moved north and went for weeks in the winter without the sun, now I know how much the sun can change your mood.

6. Play-Spend some time every day playing. Yes I know you are an adult, but even adults need to play. You can play a board game inside or play outside with the kids. It is important to the children to get all of their energy out during the day. This will help keep them from getting on your nerves.

7. Find free things to do-I use to take my kids to "Story Time" at the library, then we went to McDonald's so they could play in the playground. They would get a small ice cream cone (not free, but still cheap) and that was at least 2 hours of fun. Take a picnic to the park and let the kids play as long as they want and go down the slide or swing yourself. Get in the kiddie pool in the back yard with your kids. Have some fun.

8. Eat well- I realize that food is one of the things that can cost a lot of money, but you still need 3 squares a day. It doesn't have to be expensive, mac & cheese, beans, pbj, eggs, there is a lot of things that you can eat that doesn't have to cost a lot.

9. Get plenty of sleep-Keep to your old schedule, go to bed as early as you would if you were going to work. It is very easy to get irritable if you don't have enough rest.

10. Look for ways to make extra money-If you are out of work, look for work. If you are laid off, look for jobs that will tide you over until you are called back. If you've lost your job, look for a new one. Don't get down on yourself if you have to look for a long time. In the times that we are living in, it is going to take a while to find a new job, and you will be competing with a lot of people. Just remember if a company doesn't hire you at least they hired someone and that is one less person you have to compete with for the next job.

11. Remind yourself daily that you are doing the best you can, that you are a worthy person, that God loves you and will take care of you.

12. Give your family (each member) 7 loving touches every day- We all need 7 loving touches every day. If you are giving to your family they will be giving them back to you and if you are dealing with depression and frustration, you will definitely need them.

13. Remind yourself if you have young children that they are not going to remember these hard times, unless you make them miserable during it. And if you have teenagers, pull them close, let them be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem. They will more often than not step up to the plate and help the family out.

14. Love yourself. Love your family. Love God. (not necessarily in that order)

15. If you have a specific need let people know about it. I am not saying you should ask for handouts but there are a lot of people in your life that are willing to help, if they know you need it. There are also real prayer warriors out there that can and will help you pray for that need.

16. List your blessings-every day try to list at least one blessing, one thing that you are thankful for. Look on the bright side, even when it seems there isn't one, there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

Have a blessed day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

It has been a really nice, busy weekend. We managed to get most of the garden planted, the pool is open, flowers are planted and laundry is done.

We drove to Frankfort on Saturday evening for dinner with Greg's brother and SIL. It was a nice ride and we really enjoyed the visit. Sunday was church. We had nursery duty and that was fun. Then we came home and planted the garden. It was so hot we thought we'd get in the pool. We made if for about 15 minutes but the water is still pretty cool. Maybe by next weekend it will be warmer.

I am trying to do some un-cluttering. I am a clutterer at heart. I do get emotionally attached to things. I have a hard time letting go. But I am showing some progress. I have 2 things from my kitchen that I am going to get rid of. I can't believe it. I am also going to go through my china hutch and get rid of some of the stuff in it. At least 1 set of dishes has to go. I think it will be the china that I bought at a yard sale years ago. It is a nice set but it just isn't my style.

I hope you all have a great Memorial Day. Thank the military that you come in contact with. Go Navy!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Few More

Believe it or not I thought of a couple more.

25. If you do use the dryer and you use fabric softener sheets, cut them in 1/2. You want be able to tell the difference.
26. Cut back on laundry detergent. If you fill your washer with nothing but water and let it agitate for 5 minutes and there are bubbles, you are using too much detergent. I usually use 1/2 of what is suggested. The same for liquid fabric softener.
27. Make a menu for the week and stick to it. I try to include every thing that we will eat. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks. If they are planned ahead of time you make less trips to the store and really do tend to stick to the menu. You can be a little flexible after the menu is made. Maybe on Wednesday you decide to cook what ever you planned to cook on Thursday, just make sure you cook on Thursday what you were going to cook on Wednesday. If you plan to eat out one night, put that on the menu too.
28. Make your shopping list after the menu is made. Check to see what you have in the pantry before you make the list so that you can use what you have on hand first. Then only buy the things you need.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More Money Saving Tips

I have thought of a couple of more tips today. I am going to keep this list going for as long as I come up with more tips. If you have any to offer please leave a comment.

22. Kick the habit: the disposable habit. Paper towels and garbage bags are two of the things that absolutely hate to buy. You buy them with the intent of throwing them away. What else do we buy just to throw away? I haven't figured out how to live with out them yet but I am steadily working on it. Now instead of grabbing a paper towel I reach for a good old rag. I still use paper towels but a roll will last me more than a month now. Garbage bags last a lot longer too. Things that don't have to go in a bag, don't. 2 liter bottles, milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, and the like take up a lot of space in a garbage bag. I just put them in the outside can now, no bagging.
23. Fix leaky faucets.
24. Use it all. Shampoo, body wash, ketchup, anything that can be, turn it upside down to drain it completely of it's contents. I washed my hair 3 times this week from a bottle that I thought was empty. This is one reason I dislike bar soap. You have all these little pieces that you just throw away because you don't know what to do with them. Little, rubber spatulas will help get all the mayonnaise and other condiments from the bottle or jar. Wooden Popsicle sticks will get some pressed makeup from the container after you get all you can with the sponge.

That's all I have for the night.


Monday, May 18, 2009

For Daniel

Daniel is my son who lives in Florida. We are really proud of him. He has been a licensed plumber for at least 5 years. He works for a large construction company and his hours have just been cut in half. This is going to be difficult for him and his family. I am attempting to post some ways to cut cost. Some will be ones that I use and some will be some I've only read about, but thought they would be good to practice in hard times.

1. Use coupons on everything you can find them on
2. Turn down the heat/air
3. Eat at home
4. Use leftovers
5. Don't waste anything (even garbage can have a purpose, compost, recycle, re purpose, get creative)
6. Place a 5 gallon bucket under the tap in the shower, while you are running the water waiting for it to get warm. Use this water to flush toilets, water plants, wash the floors, etc.)
7. Use a slow cooker (you can cook a complete meal in one pot without adding very much heat to your home)
8. Buy meat that is on sale and stock up (if you can only afford 2 pounds of hamburger, buy two and freeze one for later)
9. Look for ways to get food for free (neighbor has a peach tree and has too many peaches for his family, offer to make jam and give him a couple of jars, pull weeds in a farmer's garden for a some corn, in the south blackberries grow wild, pick some)
10. Make meals that will have leftovers that can be reheated
11. Don't pay full price for anything
12. Shop yard sales, consignment shops, thrift stores for items that you need (something used can get you through until you can afford to buy it new, if you decide to)
13. Only wash full loads of clothes
14. Use a clothes line
15. Keep things clean and in good repair (yes cleaning can make things last longer, motors run better when they are clean, air conditioners are more efficient when the filter is clean, things last longer when they are cared for)
16. Change your own oil in your cars (old oil can be used to paint fence post with to protect them from the weather)
17. Wear clothes more than once before washing them
18. Buy large cuts of meat and then cut them for whatever you want to use them for (The meat dept. at your grocery will cut most meats to your specifications without charging. I usually buy whole pork loins for $1.78/lb and have it cut into 1 inch boneless chops, these usually cost considerably more. A whole chicken is $.88/lb, chicken parts are $.99 for legs and thighs and up to $3.00 for boneless skinless breast. learn to cut up a chicken. A cheap roast can but cut up for stewing, etc. I have even had the meat manager cut a turkey in half so I could freeze half for later)
19. If you have empty space in your freeze, fill it up. (milk jugs full of water work well, it cost less to run a full freezer than one that isn't full)
20. Try as hard as possible to pay your bills on time even when you are struggling, late fees really add up. If you do get charged a late fee, call the company and ask that it be refunded. Most companies will refund one in a 12 month period.
21. Use your computer to pay bills on-line (this is one that I am just starting to implement. I saved $1.32 tonight by paying bills on-line and $1.68 last pay period, that doesn't sound like much, but over time it adds up and the post office has decided to raise postage annually.

I will post more as I think of them or learn them. I am always looking for ways to save money. I work to hard for it to give it away.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


It's been a really long time since I have posted. I guess I have been busier than I thought. We made our trip to Georgia to visit the family and had a wonderful time. It is always great to spend time with my sisters and nieces while our husbands take a fishing/camping trip. Everyone has a really good time.

We have been redoing the living room, taking down the old wall paper border, painting, and we bought new furniture which arrived yesterday. It is really nice to have the new sofa and chair.

I hope we will get to plant the garden next weekend. It has been too wet here to plant and the hay is getting ready to mow. Hopefully we will have a dry week this week. It suppose to get down in the low 30's tonight, so I guess it's not a bad thing that we haven't planted yet. I must remember to bring in the tomato seedlings tonight.

There is a turkey breast in the oven for Sunday dinner, the washer and dishwasher are busy at work. I must get to work myself. I have to get ready for church.

I will try not to wait so long between post, but we have lots to to in the summer.