Friday, May 30, 2014

Thrift store finds

I didn't quite follow my rules on this shopping trip, but I did fairly well.  I passed up a figurine of Kristen (American Girl) that I normally would have thought seriously about buying.

I bought 6 dress shirts for Isaac, 1 skirt for Melody, 4 pairs of shorts for the girls, 1 pair of dress shoes for Isaac, and 1 top for me (that wasn't on my list) for $31.  That wasn't too bad.

Isaac bought himself two games at the Norway thrift store.  The girls found birthday gifts for each other.

We went to the Dollar Tree and I bought a couple of things not on the list.  I spent $4 for things for the girls birthday party on Monday.  I was going to try to not buy anything extra for the party, but I'm not too upset about $4.

I didn't buy any groceries that weren't on my list, which was quite remarkable.

I'll write more about the birthday party on Monday after we have the party.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Switching the seasonal clothes

The warm weather is finally here to stay!  It is so nice to be outside after the long, cold winter that we have had this year.  

I have started switching the winter and summer clothes out.  My son has grown so much that none of the shorts that I set aside for him last fall will fit again this year (maybe 1 pair does).  I am able to get rid of all the clothes that my youngest daughter has outgrown.  This is an easy way to pare down and eliminate things!

However, Isaac needs dress shoes (size 13), shorts (see note above), and dress shirts (several for doing Summer Missionary Assistant work with CEF).  So I'm off to the thrift stores today with all four children.  They are also hoping to buy birthday presents for one another and great-grandma.  The girls could use some shorts to wear under their skirts as well (good way for active girls to stay modest while on the swingset behind the church or up in the top of the apple tree).  

It will be a challenge to stick to the "Only buy it if you need it" rule.  Especially at thrift stores.  Especially with four kids.  When you can get something cute and fun for a dollar, it is easy to justify it.  I'm not going to. I'm going to buy what is on my list.  

While I'm in town, I'm going to check out the greenhouses for heirloom or open-pollinated tomatoes and peppers.  With the late spring, maple syrup season started when it usually ends.  I plant my tomatoes when I get done syruping, which means they are about two inches tall right now.  I didn't even plant peppers this year.   So I'll go to several local greenhouses and see what I can find.  I know the prices at Slagle's Greenhouse, but they are 20 miles out of town.  However, they are very competitive prices and they offer organic, open-pollinated plants.  So we'll see what I can find in town and there may be a trip to the country planned in a few days.  I hear they have chickens, pigs, and other critters, so it might be a fun field trip for the kids.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Oops! Spending without thinking

I just spent money without considering that I don't need what I bought!  It is too easy to spend money on Amazon.  Now I didn't spend a lot, only $.99 for an e-book that won't take up room in my house.  Therefore, I didn't put enough thought into it.  It looked like an interesting book that I could learn something from, so I bought it.  Then I went to YNAB to record my purchase and thought, "I didn't need this book.  It is not essential that I have it.  I was not supposed to buy it!"

I'm going to have to be very careful about looking at Kindle books on Amazon.  I have my number in the system, so one click buys my books.  If that continues to be a temptation, I may have to temporarily close that account.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What about Homeschooling?

What about spending money on homeschooling curriculum and supplies?  Do they count as essentials or non-essentials?  

I have been homeschooling for nine years.  I have a lot of books and resources.  My dad is a retired teacher.  He lives nearby and has a lot of resources that are available to me to use.  We have the internet with its tools and videos and printables and research materials.  

On the other hand, I've never had a high-schooler before.  I need to have a good curriculum for my son to use.  I will need to research and see what I have available before I make this decision.  

So, I want to homeschool without spending any money.  BUT I will not do anything that will jeopardize my children's education.  So, I'm not ready to make this decision yet.  

I'll keep you up-to-date as I think about this.  

Why am I starting this blog?

I have made a conscious decision to simplify my days.  I have more than I need, and I spend too much time taking care of what I have.  I am a wife, a mother.  I want to enjoy my family, not take care of my stuff.  Because of this, I am setting two goals. 

  1. I am going to get rid of things that I don't need (my things, not my husband's or children's, though I'm hoping that will follow).  
  2. I am not going to buy anything for the rest of this year that is not really necessary. (This means I'll pay the bills and buy gifts for holidays and birthdays, though I'll try to keep them small and creative)
I am starting this blog as a way of keeping myself accountable this year and recording the journey.  I've been working on getting rid of things for a while now.  I'm collecting things for a rummage sale and bringing them to my parent's house to store until our sale.  

In this blog, I am going to record my triumphs and my defeats.  Hopefully, my life will be simpler when the journey is over.