Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from my family!
 I am so very thankful for the life I have been blessed with. I am also thankful that you took the time to read this post.

We are hosting Thanksgiving with my side of the family today and have really enjoyed taking on the challenge of cooking for 9 adults and 2 kids. As most of my family is currently napping, I am reflecting on how beautiful life is.

I hope your day has been just as blessed as mine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

30 Gifts for Turning 30

I'm as frugal as they come (unless you are comparing me to the people on Cheapskates, then I am not really that frugal), but when my hubby is turning the big 3-0 I can't stop myself from having some fun. He is, hands down, the one who gets the most money spent on in our house. What can we say, he is very spoiled.
My husband insisted he didn't need a surprise party after having me spring one on him a few years ago (he learned then that he doesn't like surprises) so I had to get really creative. Last year, we kept it low key (see here). After lots of thought, I decided why not give him 30 gifts to match his new age.

Because we don't have a ton of money in the budget to spend on birthdays and holidays, I had to plan early. I also like to get the best deal which also entails planning ahead. I started in September. Yes, in September, I started shopping for a November birthday. It depends on how you plan as to whether you perceive this as early or late shopping, but to my husband that was waaaay too early.

Since I was going for quantity this year, I wasn't nearly as focused on the quality of gifts. Most were inexpensive but each and every one was picked out especially for my husband and individually wrapped. Take a peek:

Nothing's better than surprising the heck out of your husband! After gift opening, we did have a small gathering of friends and family to help us eat the ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. It was as delicious as it looks.

So, what were my 30 gifts, you ask? I would be happy to share my list with you:

1 & 2. Shampoo/conditioner (each wrapped separately)
3. Hunting Shirt
4. Dewalt drill set
5 & 6. Socks (2 packages)
7. Personally Designed Christmas Ornament (I got for free using a coupon from Shutterfly)
8 & 9. Soda Stream flavors 
10. Coffee mug (clearanced out at Target)
11. Hat with favorite football team logo
12. Toy plane that launches across the room 
13. Chapstick 
14. Sled 
15. Orbit gum 
16. Shirt with favorite football team logo
17. Custom Designed Magnet (also got for free with a coupon from Shutterfly)
18. Engraved knife
19. Multipurpose knife
20. Lighter especially made for the fireplace
21, 22 & 23. Pajama bottoms
24. Electronic Helicopter
25. Coat
26. Decoy holder for hunting
27. Box of Cheezits (his favorite snack ever)
28. Bottle of our favorite wine
29. Cupcakes
30. Dairy Queen ice cream cake

Overall this birthday was a huge success.

How do you plan to celebrate the next birthday at your house?

Monday, November 17, 2014

You Are 6 Decisions Away From Being Homeless

My mom came to visit for a long, much needed 3 day weekend! While she was here we kept busy shopping, cooking, and playing with my child. It was so good to see her, but the time went too fast.

While we were leisurely drinking coffee one afternoon my mom mentioned someone telling her that most adults are really 6 poor decisions away from being homeless. As I think about this, I can't help but wonder how true this statement may be. As a mental health counselor (therapist, if you prefer), I have seen many individuals reach this point or become close to being homeless. This statement even hits closer to home as I have watched family members struggle with a combination of health issues and unhealthy spending habits spiral out of control. 

Here is a hypothetical, to illustrate, how we could be 6 decisions away from becoming homeless. Sally is very unhappy with her full-time job and after an intense fight with a coworker, she gives 2 week notice of terminating her employment. She decides she will use some of her savings and go on vacation (which she's never done before) for a few weeks before job searching. After returning relaxed and rested from her vacation, Sally starts looking for work. She unfortunately does not find a job immediately, as she thought she would. Her car starts to have engine issues and she doesn't have enough money in savings to cover the month's bills plus repair her vehicle. She doesn't think she can get a job without transportation though.

As you can see, this is how easily one can start facing the real possibility of being homeless. Although, some decisions could be made for you that contribute to you losing everything, like being layed off.

I guess it's just something to think about, we could all easily become homeless. I have a tendency to worry a lot in life and this seems to be on my mind heavily today. Thankfully, we are working on strategies that will help us if our life situation changes drastically.

First, we are working to become debt-free. We only have our mortgage left to pay off. While paying off debt as quickly as possible, we always keep money in the savings account.  Since becoming a family with the birth of our daughter, we realized how important it was to us that we have money to cover unexpected costs that arise. Lastly, we have a back-up plan.  Since I work part-time (at home) now in order to spend more time with our child, I am always prepared to go back to work full-time (and outside of the home again) if I have to in order to support our family.

What are our thoughts about being 6 decisions away from becoming homeless?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Uh, it's November!

I can't believe it's already November! The holidays will be here before I even get a second to think! We also have had some of the most amazing weather for November!

Today, we decided to make an impromptu lunch in the park date! It's definitely a great way to spend some time outdoors before the cold weather comes (it is coming this week, supposedly). Our little one loved looking at the ducks and playing with so many children at the playground.

Hope your weekend is going well!

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