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I think I need a raise

August 1st, 2007 at 08:39 am

I am having a REALLY hard time stretching our budgeted allotment for groceries/Wal-Mart (diapers, all household, etc). Our family of almost 11 budgets $700 per month for these items.

We're a week away from the next paycheck, but the fridge and pantry are rather bare. Plus, almost 7 yr old dd needs shorts.

Is this a "two steps forward and one step back" moment??

Selling Calves

July 31st, 2007 at 09:37 pm

It's calving season again on the farm. Dh starts working 70+ hours per week at this time of the year, instead of the usual 60 hrs. Interesting how we're due with baby right in the middle of this busy time!

Anyway, the farm keeps the heifer calves and we split the bull calves with the other full-time farm worker. Then after a few days to a week we get to sell them at auction. This is usually a good extra income for us, but we're not sure what calves are going for this year.

We shipped our first calf this morning, so I guess we'll find out how much they're selling for when we get the check in tomorrow's mail. How awesome it would be to be able to make some nice headway in paying off our debt! We've also put our 9 yr old dd in charge of morning feedings, so she'll be earning a bit from each sale, too. She's pretty excited to have a source of income. I'll be anxious to send an update tomorrow with the amount of the check!

Rummage Sale - Free Items

July 29th, 2007 at 12:29 am

I'm usually a huge rummage saler, but this year just haven't had time. Also feeling like if we're moving to China, I can't have extra stuff to have to get rid of later.

My 5 yr old dd and I stopped by a rummage sale on Thursday and found some nice stuff. The greatest find for me was a set of 4 Fictional Historical Christian books for $2. I've been told not to underestimate the need for English reading material when moving to a foreign country, so I've been trying to stock up on books that we've never read before.

I also found a couple of bikes (1 for a friend and the other for 9 yr old dd) and paid $15 for the 2 of them. When my dh went to pick them up, the lady gave me another set of books (5 or 6 books) for FREE! What a blessing.

Pregnancy Cravings - and using what you have

July 27th, 2007 at 09:14 am

I really don't get too many pregnancy cravings, usually. Early in this pregnancy I wanted Cheetos all the time! They didn't even have to be name-brand, just cheese puffs was fine. Fortunately, that craving went away several months ago.

Last night I was having a weird night. I didn't want to stay awake, but I didn't feel like going to sleep. I didn't want to lay around, but I also didn't feel up to doing any projects. I also felt like eating something, but nothing sounded good.

Finally after giving it some thought, the only thing that sounded good was a fruit smoothie. Of course it was about 10:30 and everything was closed. I remembered we had frozen strawberries and ice cubes, then also remembered that we had some apple juice in the fridge (juice around here is pretty scarce). My wonderful daughter blended those ingredients up for an awesome smoothie!

And the fact that it cost NOTHING was the best part of all!

Another Paycheck, Another Car Repair - And Life Goes On

July 25th, 2007 at 07:19 am

Paycheck today and I've paid the bills. I was able to put $200 toward debt. I know that seems like a good thing, but when you're trying to pay it all off by the end of the year, it seems that it's just not enough. We also have a car repair coming up on Friday. Why is there *always* something to spend money on?? LOL

OK, enough of the "glass is half empty" mentality!

How is my glass half full?

I have an awesome husband who loves us all so much.

We have healthy, great kids and the newest one is due to make an appearance in the next month.

Dh has a job that pays the bills.

We get to live in a cute farmhouse on 75 acres with a river running alongside the property.

Our extended families are wonderful and not difficult to deal with.

The sun is shining and I am healthy enough to do the work that I need to do each day.

What more can we expect? God is good! And even when things don't seem so peachy, He is still good. It is good to be content.

Waiting For Payday . . . .

July 23rd, 2007 at 09:35 pm

I so hate it that it always comes down to the last few days and the last few dollars. Paycheck comes Wednesday and we have NOTHING until then. I mean, we are almost there and I'm grateful for that, but why are we always just squeaking by?

Is it really that we *need* to spend that much to keep things going or that we spend what we have? That's what I'm trying to figure out.

Had an awesome weekend visiting with various friends and we actually didn't spend much money. Nice feeling!

Surprise Baby Shower

July 21st, 2007 at 05:41 pm

You'd think that with the 9th baby people are sick of giving you gifts. However, my daughter planned a surprise baby shower for me and asked that if people wanted to give a gift, they bring a meal or gift card to a restaurant.

Last night I walked into our renovated barn and saw many good friends (we don't live close to our families) waiting to celebrate the coming of our new baby (due 8/21).

We had such a nice time visiting, but then I was blessed to discover that we had meals in our freezer, gift cards, diapers, wipes, outfits, and more. It makes you feel so loved to be surrounded by friends who have conspired to make baby #9 feel treasured and welcomed already.

Bank Can't/Won't Help With SunRocket

July 19th, 2007 at 09:15 pm

Since the bank card is not a TRUE credit card, they can't (won't) do anything about the fact that we were charged for 1 year of service but only received 1 month. They "don't have the staff to check into whether or not a company follows through or goes out of business or . . ."

So, I told them that I've learned to use my debit/credit/bank card for ONLY local purchases. Any other purchases (online or via telephone) should be made using a TRUE credit card. Some SunRocket users are already getting their money back via a charge-back from their credit card.

I know $200 is a minor amount to many people. And I also know that other people have lost so much more $$ than we did. I guess the real frustration is that these businesses can do whatever they want, not even telling their customers so they can get another telephone service going, and then just file bankruptcy.

Oh well, I guess that's life. BTW, we finally got an email stating what was going on and telling about a couple of no-name internet telephone companies that would give us a "good deal". The other thing that I learned is to go with a well-known company, so I said "no thanks" to the companies that they recommended. I'm waiting on Earthlink to send their equipment so that we can make long distance calls again.

So mad I could spit!

July 18th, 2007 at 09:11 pm

If I was a swearer (is that a word??),I'd be swearing!

We have used Sunrocket for the last year and a half for our long distance VOIP phone. Two days ago they closed their business but didn't bother to tell their customers. So, here we sit without any long distance. Plus, you pay a year in advance, so "Bye, bye $200"!

So much for saving money by using their services. Hopefully I'll cool off in a day or two and just be able to chalk it up to a good lesson learned.

Car Repair Was Less Than Expected

July 17th, 2007 at 07:08 pm

I love a mechanic that you can trust. And that lives just up the hill from your house. You can bring your car there and walk home again. Plus, know that he's not going to do work that doesn't need to be done and charge big bucks for it.

Our A/C wasn't working in the car and I was feeling like it was a splurge that we really couldn't afford. We took it in this AM and our mechanic couldn't find a leak! He recharged it for $45 and it works great.

They also figured out what the "chirping" noise is that the car is making. They're going to fix it next week, after a new paycheck. So . . . some of the extra money that had been set aside for today's repair can go toward our CC debt. Yahoo!

It Pays To Call The Company

July 16th, 2007 at 01:25 pm

Last Christmas we exchanged names in our family and my son, Z, had my name. I needed a can opener and wanted one that would last. I picked a KitchenAid, thinking it would be the best. It worked well for about a month and then was lousy.

In April or May I finally decided to call the company and they readily agreed to send out a replacement, free of charge. I can already tell that this one is 100% better.

Just the other day I was at a friend's house and she had the exact same problem with the KitchenAid can opener she had purchased about 6 months ago. I encouraged her to call the company right away.

I am so impressed when a company has outstanding customer service - You can be sure that I will purchase from and recommend that company forever!

Living Paycheck to Paycheck - Good Article Link

July 15th, 2007 at 11:41 am

This is from a website I really like. I also enjoy their FREE ezine.

Here's the link:

Text is http://www.betterbudgeting.com/articles/budgeting/paycheck.htm and Link is

What's the best thing you ever spent money on?

July 13th, 2007 at 09:21 pm

Dh and I were just talking about our Sleep Number (Select Comfort) bed. We LOVE it!! We purchased it from the company more than 5 years ago and purchased one that had been returned for some reason (cheaper than brand new, but still has a 20-yr warranty).

Anyway, neither one of us regrets spending $600+ on it. It has been worth every penny. When we were on vacation, my back was acting up terribly. Traditional beds are too hard and have no "give". I was SO happy to get back to my bed.

So what have you spent money on that you have no regrets about, and why??

You Can Have Whatever You Want . . .

July 12th, 2007 at 08:04 pm

"You can have whatever you want, you just can't have *everything* you want."

A friend shared this quote with me some time ago and it's come to mind many times. Sometimes it has to do with my diet: "I can have the oreo, I just can't have the oreo AND the ice cream AND the chips . . ."

But it really fits when talking about finances. We all have those things in our lives that we're willing to spend money on. We usually all have different things that we're willing to spend our money on. One person has to have to have their soda. Others can't imagine drinking their money away, but are willing to pay more for a new car.

The point of the statement is: You CAN have whatever you want. You just can't have it all. You must make a choice as to what's really important. I choose to buy farm eggs, real butter and organic fruits and meats. However, I cannot afford to purchase only organic foods for the remainder of our groceries. I've made a choice based on what WE can afford.

And I must be happy with those choices. No one can make them for me and I shouldn't look to others for guidance. No more keeping up with the Joneses!

Back From Vacation

July 11th, 2007 at 07:02 pm

We had a fabulous time visiting family. I was able to attend 2 class reunions (1 was the class I grew up with from preschool thru 9th grade, the other I went to the last 3 years of school). Was so nice to catch up with everyone. One of the greatest thing was that our 15-pass van got better than expected gas mileage - 14.5 mpg. I was expecting that gas was going to cost $175-200. It was under $150.

My great-gramma was released from the hospital while we were there and we were able to visit with her each day for 3 days. She really is something else! One tough lady.

Glad to be back home and get back on the road of paying off debt. Time to get some things listed on eBay and Craig's List. Had a paycheck today and paid $100 toward medical. Not sure if we can afford to pay toward the credit card or not.

Next week we're getting the air conditioning looked at in the car. One of those wants (not a true need), but would sure appreciate if it was working.

Glad to be back here and look forward to catching with everyone's blogs!