Monday, June 1, 2015

Steps Toward Financial Fitness Volume Eleven

I have been so terribly negligent in both focusing on being financially fit and documenting those ways in which I have been successful.  As stated before I find it hard to be super focused on two areas simultaneously and I have been quite focused on sorting, purging and organizing as of late.  I have made some mental strides in that area and believe that I can do both simultaneously with more consistency.  Here is some of what I can recall having done recently...

-I used a Shutterfly coupon to get a free 8x8 book.  I have decided to finally do something with my photos from Seoul.  My intent is to make a small book for each day of the trip.  I will wait to order each one until I have a really great deal.  For this first book I used a Mother's Day discount code and a $20 coupon.  I did pay for shipping but, wow, what a discount.

-I had $10 in Kohl's cash and a 20% off coupon.  I purchased a "just because I love you" gift for Keegan, a really cute little shirt.  I paid $4 for it.  I think she's gonna love it.

-We have been taking advantage of a lot of free or inexpensive community activities.  We went to ArtsFest (I even remembered to buy the discounted tickets in advance.  I paid just $3 and Maceo got in free because he performed).  Bishop and I took a hike with an ornithologist and learned about warblers.  We attended an outdoor fair that was created specifically for homeschoolers.  We took advantage of our city's amazing parks and the beautiful weather.

-I have been enjoying the irises blooming in the flower bed in my backyard, the one that I began working on last year.  Someone had culled these from their garden and had left them in a brown bag for someone to claim.  They were free and they are beautiful.

-I was finally motivated to do some work in the yard.  I am digging up an entire flower bed, removing everything that is difficult for me to maintain or that doesn't fit my style.  I am also removing every bulb, every daffodil, every iris from this bed.  These will be planted in the aforementioned flower bed.  I probably already pulled a hundred bulbs from that bed and still have more to go.  This time next year that back flower bed is going to look even more amazing and will have only cost me my labor.

-I received a Shutterfly coupon in my Kohl's statement that I utilized to get the second of my series of photo books on my trip to Seoul.  Again, I paid very little for the book.  Now I must go ahead and make the next book or two in the series so that they will be ready to order when I get a great coupon.

-I am learning to say yes.  Although many times frugality requires us to say no it can also require us to say yes.  I have long been good at saying yes to a neighbor sharing their abundance of produce or flower bulbs but I find it much more difficult to saying yes in other situations.  Recently I got it into my head that our history group should come over to my house instead of our regular meeting place to make fairy houses (fairy houses get you into the Renaissance Faire at no charge) and that I would treat them to a garden tea.  When I have such ideas as this I find it difficult to accept offers from others to bring things but this time I did.  Another mom brought drinks, yogurt and blueberries and a veggie tray.  It was very helpful and, as a sweet bonus, she left the leftovers with me.  I am learning to say yes.

-I have been terribly off track with eating at home and using items from my pantry but I am getting refocused.  Wednesday's meal was a roast with potatoes, carrots and green beans and a peach cobbler.  The roast was taking up a lot of space in the freezer and cooked with it I used carrots that were in the veggie tray mentioned above and a can of green beans just sitting in the pantry.  I used two cans of peaches and a can of evaporated milk from the pantry to make the cobbler.  We have lots of leftovers.

-I ate the cobbler for breakfast several days.

-I boiled a number of eggs that were on the verge of turning bad.

-As the temperature has been unusually low recently I have been able to keep the a/c off for the most part.

-I have purged a great many things from the property and have documented the donations and secured a tax receipt.  This will be very helpful when I do taxes next year.

Christmas Jar of Change:  The previous balance was $94.31.  I will add $14.15 to that for a new total of $108.46.

Home Emergency Fund:  $0

52 Week Savings Plan:  I have been so negligent in documenting my progress in this area.  I have made a total of $627 worth of deposits into this account.  They account for the months of March-June 2015. The previous balance was $206 and is now $833.  The amounts deposited were $14, 16, 20, 24, 35, 36, 37, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, and 49.  Totally making progress!

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