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Not much to report in the summer

July 19th, 2014 at 06:31 am

There won't be any savings to update, as I don't get paid in the summer and I live off of the money I put aside during the school year. I set up a separate summer account that I paid into monthly like any other bill, so this account is not part of my long term savings goal.

So many changes are in the works this summer, such is life. I'm almost done with my summer school teaching, it put a crimp in my summer plans. I don't mind working half-days, the real pain was not being able to go out of town for more than a weekend. I do still have about a month of summer left, so our vacation will occur in a few weeks. That has already been paid, except of course for what we spend on the trip.

One of my personal goals is to tackle my procrastination habit. I am going to start facing my "to do" list and start ticking things off of the list. I know that will make me feel a lot better and more in control of my life.

Mid month update

June 18th, 2014 at 04:31 am

I'd really like to get in the habit of using my credit card for everything and then paying it off in full at the end of the month. I'm hesitant to do that because I always hear how you end up spending much more when you use credit, but as long as I can cut myself off when I hit my monthly limit, it shouldn't matter. I can pay my savings first like always, and then verify what is left over. Technically whatever is left over can be spent in credit and be paid off at the end of the month.

I am still on track to meet my financial goals for the year, if all continues as planned. Things are starting to settle down at home, and that is reflected in my finances as well.

4.2 more days of school until summer vacation!!!

Here and now-long post!

May 11th, 2014 at 04:57 am

Last night we had a Mother's Day barbq. We figured we'd have it Saturday since on Sundays we have to wrap up early to prepare for the upcoming week. It rained in the afternoon but by the time our party rolled around the weather had cleared up. It was dry enough for the kids to play outside and the adults to hang out on the deck. We had a great time.

With so much activity I was really engaged in the present moment, something I struggle with. Especially under times of stress, I tend to ruminate on the future, what decisions to make next, what impact those decisions might have, the 'what ifs'. Lately I have also been thinking of the recent past, regretting decisions that we made that probably weren't the best for us, wasted a lot of money, etc.

And what do these thoughts of worry and regret cause? More stress, of course. There's that vicious cycle of unhappiness I cause in my own brain. Between worrying about the future and kicking myself for mistakes made in the past, I have not been enjoying the moment. But being at the barbeque and engaging with people in a casual setting, where we all just wanted to enjoy the time with no hidden agenda, it was so nice. I got to play with my kids, laugh with friends, and enjoy great food and drink, as well as a beautiful night outdoors.

I feel better when I am focused on the present moment, I feel refreshed. I guess I also feel that way when I exercise, if I don't allow my thoughts to fixate on what I'm "fixing"- if I'm burning enough calories or building enough muscle. If I just get in the zone of exercise without the interruption of my own thoughts, I finish refreshed.

I will work on staying in the present moment as my defense against the stress I allow myself to feel. Money comes and goes. Spending it all on crap won't make me feel better, but neither does thinking about it all of the time. With a clear head I can make good decisions that I can own up to. If they end up not being the best choices, well, I go on from there. No beating myself up over them.

Savings update and feeling the pinch

May 2nd, 2014 at 03:30 am

I added another $1,000 to the long-term account, and $25 to my short-term account. I think that my short-term account would be what some consider the "slush fund". That money ebbs and flows when things crop up, like an unexpected gift to purchase or big vet bill. Instead of separating my money into several little areas, I will just pull from this account as needed. My intention is to not pull from the long-term account, that's for wealth building. Yet it's available for big emergencies.

8 more weeks left of school, and so much to do in the meantime! I'm being as efficient as possible at work so that I don't have to bring much home. I have another stack of responsibilities at home and I want to focus on those, not carry over my day job.

Home life has been tense, relationships can be so much work sometimes...is it wrong for me to want my own little cottage in the backyard, all to myself? Smile I know things will get easier, life has ups and downs, but I'm tired of the struggles.

Slow savings

April 18th, 2014 at 05:20 am

Saving has slowed down and I need to ramp it back up. I've been funneling more money towards other expenses, such as trips, Spring clothes, and holiday expenses. I need to get the extra spending under control so all of my savings actually stays in my savings account.

For Spring Break we visited family for 3 nights, and stayed in a hotel. That was an expense, but worth it. We really enjoyed coming back to the hotel to relax and use the pool. While visiting we did some shopping for the kids, since we had the time off and the kids were with us. Today we are back home, and I have no plans for the day. I will exercise later on, but that is about it. I want to pick up the house a bit and work on Easter baskets for the family.

I have the money for the rest of the month mapped out, and renewed determination to do better with keeping more in savings next month. I am pitifully far from reaching my financial goals for this year.

A snowflake for me

April 1st, 2014 at 02:55 am

(I hesitate to even say "snowflake", we've had so much of that this year!)
I've volunteered a few times with DD's chorus and apparently that means I was automatically placed in a drawing for savings off of the Spring trip. I won grand prize, so I get a check for $100 to go towards my DDs trip to NY! I already paid off her trip so this can go towards spending and back in the family fund.
There's no savings update, the money hasn't transferred over yet. But it will be there soon.
I've got a busy week of work ahead of me, but I hardly spend any money during the week. So that's a plus! (I had a rather spendy weekend).

Back to check in!

March 23rd, 2014 at 05:09 pm

I've been off the radar for nearly 2 months, I'm finally ready to check back in to SA. Things have been rather stressful on the homefront, relationship stuff. With that on my mind I've been stalling on financial updates, in case I needed to change those. But I'm back at a point where I'm feeling stronger, strong enough to continue to make good decisions that will hopefully bring about more good things in my life. Wallowing doesn't make anything better, it's time to see the good in my life again!

I did contribute $5,000 to Roth IRA, however, that was for 2013. I may end up making my 2014 Roth contributions by April 2015. That will give me more time to focus on bringing up the savings in my long-term taxable account this year.

I'd like to find a church home. One that shares my beliefs and has a strong youth program. There are a couple of possibilities I've research, they are just a distance away. It would be nice if I could find a church nearby. I'm rather introverted and that includes at church, so I've always had trouble finding a place that feels right. I've never really been a steady church-goer, but I guess part of me wants to explore that possibility. (I started on this tangent because I noticed I haven't donated anything significant this year, that is something I was going to do through programs at church).

Work is going really well. Still non-stop busy during the day, but it is satisfying. This time of year is always exciting to me. The kids understand the classroom routine and programs, and they really start to show progress. This is the time of the year when the kids seem to be "growing" into the next grade. All the hard work slowly begins to pay off.

Lots of rambling, but it feels good to be back at SA!

Taxes are finished

February 8th, 2014 at 03:56 am

I submitted federal return online and I'm going to have to mail in my state return due to the different filing status I have to put, my state doesn't recognize my marriage. So I basically had to do my taxes twice- once as a married filing jointly for federal, that I actually submitted electronically. Then I had to create a "dummy" federal return that I wasn't going to submit, just to get my info into the state return. If it sounds complicated, it was! I couldn't figure out how to skip the federal component and just input my data directly into state. I think the only way I could have done that was if I went directly to my state's website, but it looked like filing there was only available if you were under a certain income? The whole process was a PITA. But it's done now.

I am in the process of streamlining my finances just a little bit more so that I have fewer accounts out there. Two should be taken care of next week.

Usually I love my job, but...

January 9th, 2014 at 04:45 am

when home and work collide unexpectedly, I'm really thrown off. When I'm home I am home, 100%. It's all about my family, my home, myself. When I'm at work I'm at work 100%. I have my cell phone in case a school nurse calls, but for the most part, I'm in work mode.

But today I'm home with DD again, she is still sick. A trip to the Dr. 2 days ago showed no strep or ear infection, and it was suggested fluids and pain reliever until the virus passes. She's still feeling miserable, now whenever she stands up she feels dizzy and feels like she is going to fall over. With the headache, ear ache and dizziness I'm sure it's related to her sinuses. Waiting it out isn't doing her much good right now, and OTC decongestants and pain relievers aren't helping either. Can a cold turn into a sinus infection in a few days?

So as I'm calling in for the second day this week, I'm feeling terrible. I have so much to do at work, I feel like I can't do my job right. I am very hard on myself at work. Not like I have to join 10 different committees or decorate my room like Martha Stewart, but I take my actual job very seriously. I'm hard on myself when I can't give 100%.

I'll get over it, my girls come first, I guess these feelings come with the territory. For now, my little one is back to sleep and I am researching cold remedies for children while I wait for the Dr. office to open!

Feeling good

January 8th, 2014 at 05:03 am

After a long and much appreciated winter break, I'm finally going back to work. Monday was supposed to be my first day back, but littlest DD caught a bad cold over the weekend, so I stayed home with her. Then yesterday schools were closed due to the weather, and we are delayed two hours today. I am really looking forward to getting back to work! It makes all the difference in the world when I love my job. I know that I will have a lot of work ahead of me, but I will power through it.

While at home this week I've had a couple space heaters going in addition to the central heat. The space heaters just make things more comfortable. The kids have also kept throw blankets on them when they are sitting. We've managed to stay warm and cozy this way.

I got paid for the previous month before winter break, so this check has to stretch 6 weeks, until I get paid again Jan. 30 or 31. I carefully check my accounts daily to make sure I am still on track.

I revisited The Automatic Millionaire site by David Bach, I need to pick up a used copy of that book again. I really believe in the concepts he presents about automatically setting up your savings/bills/retirement and then living off of the rest. Its what most of us do, anyway, but it is motivating to read about it in detail. I have some pretty lofty goals this year, and I need to be vigilant with my money to reach them. IF I set it all up automatically, then that is less for me to think about.

Pretty quiet over here

December 22nd, 2013 at 06:16 pm

I'm officially on winter break! I have been home alone this weekend, DW left early to visit family and the girls are with their dad. That leaves me here to wrap gifts, clean, work out, and generally take my time with everything. It has been nice, the quietness, but I'm ready to see everyone again!

I head home tomorrow to spend a few days with the girls and the rest of my family. Then I fly out to meet up with DW to spend New Years with her family. I get back home with a few days to spare before going back to work.

I took out cash to spend until the 15th, when I will replenish the spending money. I already got paid for the end of the month, due to the school holidays, but I don't get another paycheck until the last day of January, so I must be very careful to make it last!

Weekly update

December 5th, 2013 at 03:33 am

My bills have been scheduled to be paid, and by early next week everything left in the account should be what is left over for spending. I'm giving myself extra breathing room this month, because I will have additional expenses such as shipping for presents, meals out while visiting out of town, etc. I will finish my shopping this weekend, much of it will be done online, anyway.

I have exercised each day an average of 30 minutes on Dec 2, 3, 4. Today I will work out when I get home after taking my daughter to a doctor appointment. I am looking forward to those 30 minutes by myself!

I'm also planning to head to church this Sunday. My DW and I have found one that is welcoming to us, and that shares our beliefs. DW and I differ a bit in our spiritual beliefs and we've never been able to find a church that we both feel connected to, so this is a pleasant surprise. The kids program is a bit of a bore, though, according to the girls. I'm hoping as time goes on they will get something out of it, at least give us something to talk about as a family.

That's the plan for the upcoming weekend, anyway. Saturday night I want to take the family to the zoo for the evening holiday lights display I've heard so much about, and it's free! Church Sunday, and online shopping. Exercise. Easy weekend!

Healthy Thoughts for December

December 3rd, 2013 at 03:26 am

I ran 3 miles yesterday, it was so nice to get that runner's high again! I've started myself on a "3 miles or 30 minutes in 30 Days" campaign. I run 3 miles or workout for 30 minutes for the next 30 days, which brings me to Dec. 31. I tend to eat better when I exercise, so if I commit myself to the exercise I know I will make better food choices, even with all of the delicious goodies around! And 30 minutes of exercise is not that hard to do. I may not be able to get on the treadmill each day for 3 miles, but I can get creative and do 30 minutes of some form of physical activity.

I'm mostly focusing on my exercise and diet to keep me feeling good, I don't really have too much excess weight to lose. Depression runs in my family, and I already deal with anxiety, so I need to be super vigilant about my lifestyle choices. I don't like feeling sad and anxious. Except when I am, does that make sense? Sad and anxious are normal feelings, and it's okay to feel that way sometimes, but I don't want to be feeling that way all the time. I need to set myself up to have positive thoughts for myself. It's much easier to think positive after a good workout, when fabulous feel-good chemicals are flowing through me. And food also impacts how I feel. If I'm stressed and rushed and cram junk in my mouth, I feel lousy. If I start out calmer, and make good decisions about what I eat, I'm going to feel better.

Bottom line is that I'm responsible for myself, if I feel anxious or negative, those are my thoughts. I need to set myself up to feel better. No one else will do it for me, and no one else will feel what I feel.

Tying it all into money, obsessing over my numbers doesn't change anything. I am making the best financial choices that I can make right now, and I'm setting myself up for success. Obsessing isn't going to get me closer to my goals. Day to day choices will get me closer to my goals. Desiring less is an easy way to improve my finances- the simpler my lifestyle the fewer my wants. I'm grateful for what I have, I have more than enough, and I am making the best choices that I can to provide for the future.

Need to refocus

November 11th, 2013 at 03:28 am

Although my retirement is on track, my non-retirement savings is not making me very happy. It has been a super expensive year. Lots of great things happened, but it wasn't cheap- a move, a wedding, a newer car, a vacation booked. That explains the stagnant bank account... I put money into the savings account, but then take it right back out to pay for these expenses that I don't want on my credit card.

Now I just want things to settle down. I don't want to buy anything, I'm happy with what I have, no more big changes, please! Actually, I take that back. You never know what big changes can bring. I just want my family to stay safe and sound xoxo

No shopping plans for this week, I should be headed right home after work, love that. The only shopping we do is to the grocery store once per week, and we did move that to a weeknight to make the weekend easier. But that is already budgeted for.

My mom is coming down for Thanksgiving week. I will be at work for a few of those days, but I will look for some inexpensive things to do and show her around the area. We will drive down to see my mom and dad for Christmas break. It's only 3 hours away, fortunately.

I will check out my gift stash this weekend, or maybe one night this week. I know that I have picked up some sale items throughout the year for people so I need to see what I already have. I'm not budgeting a whole lot for presents this year, I might even do donations in the name of my family members and just attach a notification card to a small gift.

Shout out to all of the Veterans, I am truly grateful for what you have done for the good of your country!

Yay for Pay!

November 1st, 2013 at 03:32 am

Paydays are super exciting when they only come once a month, lol!

Once the check hits my account, though, it gets kind of boring. Everything is on autopilot, scheduled to go to this bill, that account, etc. In a week or so all of the payments and deposits should be complete and I'll have what is left over to live off of.

Tonight, after rush hour traffic has passed, I'll drive the girls to spend the long weekend with their dad. I'll head back home by myself tomorrow morning. He will drive the girls back home on Tuesday. 3 months since the move, and we are making it work.

Changes are coming up at work, ugh. One of my supervisors told me about it, as well as 3 other teachers, and told us not to mention it to anyone else yet. Umm, big mistake. The changes that are coming are not ones you just want to bring up in a 10 minute meeting before a long weekend, and expect everything to run smoothly when we return on Wednesday. I did warn the 2 staff in my room, because I felt it was the right thing to do. My mistake. I should have known better, when in doubt just keep your mouth shut. One of the staff told other staff, even after swearing to keep it to himself. Well, what did I expect? I feel stupid for saying anything, but I learned my lesson.

Looking forward to the weekend

October 18th, 2013 at 02:07 am

Right after work my family and I are driving back home. We need to check on our house that is for sale and visit with family. The hardest part about the trip will be getting out of this area tonight, traffic is a nightmare. If we can make it out of here in decent time we should be ok.

I've mapped out my money for the rest of the month. There is enough for groceries, gas, and some extra for activities that come up during the rest of the month. I should not have to touch my savings this month. If I don't have to go into the stores for anything I should be fine. And I will get creative with what we have in the house to keep me from unnecessary eating out.

I've started working out after school with a coworker. I'm usually a solitary person in my off time, but it is fun to work out with someone else for a change. There really is less chance that I will cancel.

this and that

October 11th, 2013 at 02:49 am

I will pick up some beverages for a house warming party at a friend's house Saturday, but beyond that, spending should be minimal. I'll fill up my tank, for about $30, and catch up on work at home. The groceries for the week have already been purchased.

I also need to go through my gift stash and see what I have already picked up for people for the holidays. Overall, if things go as planned, a cheap weekend. I have Monday off as well, I'm grateful for the day of rest!

My savings is much lower than I am comfortable with, but we have a lot going on right now. We are paying the credit card balance from last month's purchases (before I got my first paycheck), and school expenses that have cropped up: chorus, band, and supplies for my own classroom. Time to reign it all in and just make do with what is left. Once I pay off the credit card bill my extra money will go back to savings. Just in time for Christmas! I'm not going over budget.

Hot weekend anticipated

October 5th, 2013 at 04:50 am

It may get up to 90 here, woohoo! I am all for extending summer weather, the winters are long enough.

Today I meet up with my supervisor to visit some clients that I will be working with. I need this experience for the professional license I am working towards, really no way around it. It's only 6 hours a week, manageable since it will benefit the family in the long run, in the form of better career options for me in the future. It will also bring in an extra $130 a week. That will be auto deposited into an out of area credit union, to just build up as savings.

Later this evening the family will be heading to an Octoberfest. Free entrance, you just pay for rides and food as you want to. So I will probably give the kids a set amount of money each so that they can feed and entertain themselves. That way it stays within budget.

Sunday we don't have anything scheduled. We typically like to get ready for the upcoming week, chill out around the house, and cook. Sunday is the day we cook a meal that typically takes more time than we can give during the week. It's a relaxing way to spend the day.

Fundraising season

September 28th, 2013 at 03:08 am

After nearly 2 months of work, my first paycheck with this employer has been deposited into my account.
It was nice to wake up to the balance in my checking account. Now I have to make it all last until the end of October, when I get paid again. I will get used to getting paid once a month, eventually.

Oldest DD will be attending a chorus trip to New York in May with her school, so I will add those costs into my budget. $600 for a 3 day, 2 night trip that includes vocal instruction, some meals, lodging, transportation, and a Broadway show sounds like a deal to me!

The school of course is promoting fundraising for these activities. They are selling frozen pies for $15 each, and the students get $3 as their cut. I told DD she could help fund the trip on her own, doing additional chores, washing cars, etc. That way the money earned is 100% profit for her. And we don't have to pressure friends and family to purchase over-priced junk food!

Youngest DD is also fundraising for school, but fortunately they also promote the "easy" fundraising method where people just give the school money. Again, this method gives back all of the money to the school and not to a third-party. Children who raise funds in this manner also qualify for the giveaways and other incentives that encourage the students to earn money.

These fundraisers have really opened my girls' eyes to the value of money. The girls can either earn $12 for someone else and just $3 for themselves by selling a pie and dealing with that hassle, or they can keep the whole $15 by providing a needed service to someone.

long catch-up post

September 19th, 2013 at 02:56 am

I feel like I need to empty my head of my financial chatter, beware!

Just like too many food choices contribute to overeating, too many accounts are making me financially sloppy.

Right now I have several accounts opened- in my previous town, in my new town, one with SO, online, etc. I'm working to pare this down to a local account and an online account. I'm making too many financial mistakes trying to keep up with everything.

The problem is that I have to transfer all of the debits and deposits to the surviving accounts. My new paychecks are already scheduled to go to my new account, including the summer pay I'm setting aside to cover me for the months I don't get a paycheck.

I need to contact my current tenant with new account information so that he can start depositing rent into one of the remaining accounts. (I have a checking account in my online account that is devoted to my rental).

Then I need to verify one final time that I've stopped all automatic payments and withdrawals from my old accounts. Update automatic payments to reflect my new account.

THEN I can close my old accounts. By the middle of October those accounts should be gone. I'll have fewer opportunities to make mistakes!

Overall, I'm pleased with my new life out here. I've always been one who can find the good side of things. Out here, there are many career opportunities and chances to grow my income. Financially this is a huge boost for us. There are also lots of things to do with my family on the weekends, and a huge variety of people living here. It's great for my kids to live in such a diverse area.

Do I miss my old hometown? Yes, my family and close friends are there. The beach is there. It is more laid back there. But SO has to be in the D.C. area for 4 years, so I'm making the best out of it. If we do go back in the future, I will be in an even better position financially and career-wise to be more successful in my hometown. Sometimes you need to get away for opportunity. It doesn't mean you can't go back.

yay for the weekend

September 7th, 2013 at 04:09 am

I always get a cold after returning back to school. Too many kid germs at once, I guess, lol. Luckily I didn't start to feel yuck until Friday, so I have the weekend to recuperate so I don't get everyone sick. We have to be very careful at this school to stay home if we are sick, we have a lot of medically fragile kids who could wind up in the hospital from a cold.

My money will not be straight until probably the end of September, after I get my first paycheck from my new job. Until then I am living off of a 0% interest loan for new teachers, designed to get us through that first month of work with no paycheck. I figured that was smarter than taking my money out of an interest earning account.

I've decided instead of continuing my 457b I will instead do a Roth IRA, since I pay little in taxes due to my wages and deductions. The tax-free benefit might do me more good in later years, when I should be making a lot more money. Of course, I will be making more money at this job than my last job, so maybe the 457 would be wiser?

Does anyone know of a good calculator that would help me decide which retirement vehicle would be best for my situation?

yay for the weekend

September 7th, 2013 at 04:03 am

I always get a cold after returning back to school. Too many kid germs at once, I guess, lol. Luckily I didn't start to feel yuck until Friday, so I have the weekend to recuperate so I don't get everyone sick. We have to be very careful at this school to stay home if we are sick, we have a lot of medically fragile kids who could wind up in the hospital from a cold.

My money will not be straight until probably the end of September, after I get my first paycheck from my new job. Until then I am living off of a 0% interest loan for new teachers, designed to get us through that first month of work with no paycheck. I figured that was smarter than taking my money out of an interest earning account.

I've decided instead of continuing my 457b I will instead do a Roth IRA, since I pay little in taxes due to my wages and deductions. The tax-free benefit might do me more good in later years, when I should be making a lot more money. Of course, I will be making more money at this job than my last job, so maybe the 457 would be wiser?

Does anyone know of a good calculator that would help me decide which retirement vehicle would be best for my situation?

First Week back!

September 5th, 2013 at 03:07 am

I'm trying to catch my breath with everything that's going on. New schools for the kids, new school for me, and trying to find my way around this place has been challenging.I'm relieved that it's starting to come together.

First off, the kids are back in school, getting to know other kids, and seem happy. No complaints from them! I'm glad my oldest DD has adjusted easily enough to high school. She has met other kids and exchanged numbers with them. My youngest DD has met a few kids in the neighborhood and likes her teacher, yay!

I really like my new job. There is so much support at this place, I'm not coming home physically and mentally exhausted like I used to. Yes, the students have challenging behaviors (or else they wouldn't be in this program), but the support is there for me to help change the behaviors. There is a system in place to radio for back up if a student has a melt down and is becoming unsafe. There is a behavior specialist on staff who pops in throughout the day with support. I actually get my planning time! I know that it is only day 2 but I'm so thankful for even 2 days. It has never gone so smoothly in the past.

I will update my goals and savings plan soon, financially things are still a bit up in the air. I have a new local credit union account, my old one, my online one, and the shared account with my partner. I'm in the middle of cutting this down to half.

Stretching my money

August 23rd, 2013 at 03:26 am

I have one more paycheck from my previous job on the 1st, that will have to last me until 1 October. My new job only pays once per month. I'm looking forward to knowing what my actual paycheck will look like, so that I can develop a better budget. I have run a paycheck model so I have an estimate, and I should be able to save quite a bit more at this job, even with the higher cost of living. But we'll see when the final numbers come in.

I will also put money aside in a high-interest summer savings account from my credit union, as my job spreads my salary over the 10 months that I work, leaving July and August with no paycheck.

So lots of budget tweaks to consider as I wait for my first paycheck. It should be larger than usual, though, since the additional trainings I've had to attend these past 2 weeks will be added onto the first paycheck.

I'm looking forward to getting my savings back on track so that I can still make my investment account goal by the end of December.

Money around the Universe

August 20th, 2013 at 03:55 am

I've been thinking lately about money sort of "floating" around the universe. Many times in my life I've had occasions where financial emergencies have come up, and yet I managed to get through them. I had money saved in an account, I was able to not purchase something else, or a check came in the mail from an overpayment, etc. The money balanced itself out. I do trust that I will have enough.

Now that I am paying before school care for the first time in years (my kids went to the same school that I taught at up until this year), I think of my money balancing itself out in a broader sense. I have to pay $300 a month in before school care. But I have significantly increased my salary, so that this expense is well affordable. More than that, though, my $300 is going to bless the day care provider. She is a very caring, hard worker who cares for Alzheimer's patients at a nursing facility during the night shift, and cares for children before and afterschool when she gets home. Her husband had a stroke at age 42 so she has been doing whatever she needs to in order to take care of her family. My money is not in my pocket, but it is still balancing out, because it is adding to another.

well I "thought" I didn't have a lot of stuff...

August 8th, 2013 at 01:33 am

and then I moved!

Try moving from a bigger to a smaller house,that truly forces you to minimalize. Despite all of the decluttering that I did, we still have too much stuff in this new house. I have several boxes of non-needed or duplicate items that are going directly to Goodwill, I didn't even take them out of the box.

I have an alter table that carries my crystal and my grandmother's wedding china. I do use the crystal for entertaining several times a year, but grandma's wedding china is too delicate to use for anything. It's beautiful, but I just don't know what to do with it. It feels silly packing and unpacking the china whenever I move, otherwise it doesn't get touched.

I'm considering holding onto a dessert tier that is part of the set and selling the rest. I like to use the dessert tier for my girls' birthdays and other special events because it brings a touch of elegance to the table and it is a physical reminder of my grandma.

Has anyone had any luck selling fine china? Did you regret it?

Time for some better habits

July 30th, 2013 at 05:56 am

July has been the month of Mayhem, understandably so. A family vacation in the beginning of the month, temporary childcare gig for 3 weeks, a birthday party, and weekend commutes to pack. It is almost over! I am not complaining much, though, it was all by choice and for good reason.

August 1 we start the lease on the new house, though we don't get the majority of our household goods until next Tuesday. I am so excited to move in, I want to be settled again.

Priority #1 for August: get kids registered, supplies purchased, and school routine laid out. My kids like structure and I want to provide this for them so that they can get comfortable in the new town asap.

Priority #2 for August: get prepared for school myself: take all the trainings that I can, get all of my paperwork together, be on top of things. I have been using my phone to take notes and it's handy, but I miss my little calendar where I can jot things down and easily thumb through my schedule, I might go back to that again...

Priority #3 for August: get back to active and healthy. I haven't had my exercise habit for about a month and I feel it, I need to develop a new exercise habit again. I'm thinking I can't get on the computer until the exercise is complete and out of the way...

TGIF (long) update

July 26th, 2013 at 05:15 am

I met my savings goal for May-Aug ahead of schedule, mostly because of the unexpected summer job and selling things that aren't going with me on the move. I have to adjust my savings goals for the remainder of the years to reflect the salary increase- means my savings should increase, not just my spending!

I haven't been very consistent with my exercise, my schedule has been off for the entire month of July. With vacation, temporarily staying with SO during the week to take the nanny job, driving back home on the weekends to tie things up, I'm feeling very out of routine. Of course, that's just another excuse, I could always find time to exercise whether part of a routine or not!

Trainings for the new school district are set up, so August will be pretty full. At least we will be in the new house then. Next week I will be at home taking care of doctor appointments, gathering documents (SO mistakenly packed them all up, ugh!), and meeting up with friends one last time before the move. The kids will be with their dad for the month since he is off most of the month.

This year the focus will be getting my kids situated in school, school for me, and staying active. Recently I had the opportunity to work part time making very good money, to gain the required supervision for my additional professional certification. But I turned it down, because honestly I think the additional 15 hours a week will just be too much for me at this point. I don't want to be pulled in so many directions that I can't succeed at anything. And most importantly I want the kids to be well adjusted to their new home, which would be a lot easier if I was home after school and not at another job until bedtime.

So it means that my goal of the professional certification will be put on hold for the time being. I will need to find a supervisor within the school system somehow, work in the field full time to get supervision on the job, or wait until my kids are older and I can get the supervision part-time. This was tough for me to decide, because I can make a whole lot more money in this field, but right now my family needs the time more than money. And there will be other work opportunities in the future, especially in this new location.

UPromise pay out

July 24th, 2013 at 04:06 am

I'm not sure if many of you are involved with UPromise... I had signed up when it first started, about the time my oldest DD was born. Although at first I kept up with trying to get the rewards for everyday purchases, eventually I just got busy with other things and couldn't keep up with the participation companies, which cards to use, etc.

Now, ten years later, after getting an email from them I call them up and ask for help with my account, as I have long forgotten username and password. It turns out I had $128 credit with them, which I requested to be given to me in the form of a check. It arrived yesterday!

No, not the college assistance it was touted to be, but in all fairness I only really participated the first couple years. The $128 was a nice surprise, though, because I had forgotten all about it.

You may want to look into past programs such as UPromise and see if you have any credit remaining, I just assumed it would have expired, but was pleasantly surprised. I'll split this money between my DDs savings.

The hard work is paying off

July 23rd, 2013 at 04:00 pm

I was fortunate to receive an offer from the place that I wanted to work at. I have had 7 interview requests from different schools in this district. That makes me feel good because I finally feel like I am at a place where I have some experience and training to back me up. The classes that I have been taking and the experience I have been getting in the classroom is starting to pay off.

I will receive a 32% salary increase from my last teaching contract, super excited about that! Cost of living is higher out here, but SO's cost of living increase will cover the higher housing costs, the only significant price difference that I really notice. The plan is to roll the raise into the taxable investment account for now.

I am simultaneously continuing to work on my professional certificate, this is one of the reasons that I have been sought out for these jobs. It is the edge that many other teachers do not have. I'm not saying that to boast, but to just point out that those extra steps CAN help you in the long run. Developing interests within your career, getting extra training, taking on additional duties, these types of things will bring positive results eventually.

Not to say that I am guaranteed whatever I want in my career, but I do know that if I work hard with good intentions and a positive attitude, positive things are going to come my way. The whole law of attraction thing.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. I am thankful for the pay raise, thankful for the great job opportunity, and I will make this a good move for my family.

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