Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting the blogosphere these days.  The job, post-promotion, has been taking up all my time!  Oh, and snuggling with my baby girl.  That takes up the rest of my time.
I thought today I’d update you all on some past posts:
  • The Shark:  We still love the new vacuum.  So far, it was definitely worth the money.  Since Turner will be crawling soon (we think…) it was a necessary purchase.  I definitely feel better about putting her on the floor now.
  • Working Out:  I don’t understand the question… I haven’t been doing so well in the running department.  As many of you know firsthand, winter in the Midwest this year was ROUGH.  We’ve had a couple nice days, so I plan to get on the move soon!  I even snared a running buddy (that’s you Brittany C!).   But let’s focus on successes.  I have been doing some squats and lunges to get ready to run.  Hope it helps!  Part of the working out post was also what I needed to buy to start running, and contacts were on the top of the list.  Walgreens now carries contacts, and they give some pretty good deals to get people on board.  My contacts were 1) cheaper than 1-800 Contacts (where I usually get them) and 2) 20% off with a coupon!  In total, I spent just over $70 (hello free shipping) for a 6 month supply (my 3 month supply was about that much before).  To you non-astigmatism people, count yourselves lucky.  Toric lenses cost about 50% more per box.  I really hope Turner lucks out and doesn’t need glasses (both for her eye health and our wallet!).  
  • Wedding Invitations: So, I think they turned out great!  The bride hasn’t seen them, so I suppose I haven’t passed the real test yet.  If you have no clue what I’m talking about, I offered to address my friend’s wedding invitations as a shower gift (part of tapping your talents to save money).  They took about 3 hours over 2 days, and I only had to throw away 3 envelopes.  Since there were 79 to address, I’m going to put that in the “win” column. The bride (hey Liz!) is pretty excited, so I hope they live up to her expectations!

  • Meal Planning: This one does NOT go in the “win” column.  We’ve had some extra busy nights lately, and sometimes we don’t even eat dinner.  I guess that saves money!  I’d really like to work on this one, though.
  • Tax Return:  I’m sure you know that we spent some of our tax return on the Shark (have I written enough about it?), but we didn’t tell you where the rest went.  Post baby, the doctor bills were through the roof.  We’ve managed to pay off all but two (including Turner’s bi-monthly doctor visits).  That left our emergency fund almost completely depleted.  Well, it’s beefed back up to $1500!  Dave Ramsey (we follow his plan) suggests having a $1000 starter emergency fund until you are out of debt, but Tu and I are currently uninsured.  Zach and I feel much more comfortable having that little $500 cushion just in case.  As soon as we’re covered (come on June 1st!), we’ll send that $500 toward debt.  As for the rest, well, Tu may have gotten some new clothes.  Girl is growing like a weed!

On tap for this weekend is some thrift shopping!  It seems silly to buy a whole bunch of brand new clothes for the baby when she’s in them for about 3 months.  Since that seems to be how long babies stay in once size, Mama and I should be able to find some good stuff at some local consignment shops.  I’ll report back!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Movin’ On Up!

Dave Ramsey constantly talks about increasing your income.  Well, with a baby at home and a husband that works constantly, I could not figure out how to do that.  When I hear him telling people to deliver pizzas part time, he is usually talking to men or single people without children (if you fit in one of those categories, by all means get your delivery on!).  What is this mama to do?  Turner already spends most of her awake time at my mom’s house (she very generously babysits for free).  I’m not about to leave her there even more so I can work some low wage job.  That’s not fair to Turner or my mom.  
I learned a valuable lesson at Paul Mitchel the School:  Never say no.  When I am at work, I never turn down extra work.  If someone wants to teach me to do something new or have me take over a project, I do it.  This is how you get promoted (I realize more corporate situations have very structured advancement ladders, but it’s still worth a try!).  If you decline extra work, your company assumes you can’t handle your current job, so why would they give you more responsibilities?  At my latest job, I took on any extra work they wanted to give me (that fit in my regular hours).  This resulted in a $1/hour wage increase after less than 2 months on the job and a promotion (with an additional $3/hour!) 1 month later.  That extra $4/hour adds up to over $690/month (I get paid weekly, so some months I get more than 4 paychecks)!  I would probably make about half that at a part time job.  And let’s face it, my part time gig would probably be in retail (LOVED working retail), and all of it would be given right back to the store.  I worked at the mall in high school, and I had an amazing wardrobe but no money.  So, I’ll take more work during my regular work hours to spend more time with my sweet, baby girl.  
This spring, we’re also working on selling some stuff.  I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to take some pictures and post them online.  We have a goal of getting rid of half the stuff in our house.  If anything is still in a box from our move (last July), we probably don’t need it.  Also, Turner goes through clothes super fast (not even 6 months old and already almost too big for 6 month clothes), so I have A LOT of her stuff to sell.  I think we might try a few different avenues and figure out which we like best (eBay, VarageSale, various Facebook groups, Craigslist, etc.).    
Do you have any ways to increase your income that don’t involve a second job?