Okay, I am back to my semi-regular life. I'll send out an update with more details later, but my g'pa is doing really well. Now if only I could get my house back in order! AYE AYE AYE! Laundry and dishes everywhere! That's what I get for being gone for the most part of a month! However, instead of getting any major cleaning done today I refinished my kitchen cabinets. My g'parents have DirectTV w/ a million channels, so I've been watching a lot of HGTV and DIY! I have so many projects planned now it's not even funny! The really great thing is that I'm nearly done w/ the cabinets! When I 1st refinished them I started when Allen and I 1st got married (7 years ago) and I never did get the refinish completed! All I need to do is buy a little more paint, decide which yellow I want for the walls, buy some bead-board, and buy some BBQ paint for the oven hood. I'll try to post some before, during, and later some after pics! One of these days I'll get my laundry done!
I did get a couple more important things done. I put a box of Ethan's trucks away (to get out later and he'll think they're NEW...he's not too bright!). I also put away a box of kids' books (left each kid one shelf of books, and put all the Chistmas/Winter books w/ the Christmas oranments, and still had a HUGE box left to put up for rotating later) and decluttered my sheet music and piano/flute books for the first time in over TEN YEARS!!!!!!!!! I got rid of about HALF my stuff! I had duplicates of almost everything and had books that I actually hate to use w/ my piano students! Why on earth was I keeping them!
We're having a yard sale the 1st Sat in April and I'm doing a MAJOR declutter. I plan to get rid of EVERYTHING I possible can! Then the money we make will go in our savings account!
I just recently read Robert Kioysaki's 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' and 'CashFlow Quadrant'. Excellent books...anyway. We decided to increase our cashflow by cutting down on as many expenses as possible. Here are the things we are doing:
Basic phone service - no call waiting, no caller id, no voice mail....screen calls with an answering machine if nessasary.
Lower Internet bill-we just switched to Cox's $29.99/mo internet, but we are actually considering switching to PeoplePC for $12.99.
NO CABLE-no ifs ands or buts.....it's just not nesesary if you're trying to pay off debt.
Decided EXACTLY how many times per month we will eat out (decided we would eat out w/ the kids once a month, and eat out just DH and I once a month).
Decided how cold we are going to keep your AC and don't change it. Buy some extra fans. We're going to keep our AC at 82 (and we have an old, non-energey efficient home, w/ sucky windows, and vaulted ceilings that make the living room hot!).
Don't carry a debit card, or more than $5 cash (should always have some emergency cash on hand).
Robert Kioysaki says if you want more money, donate more money to church or charity. His "rich dad" was a big believer in tithing. We always tithe 10%, but just recently upped our fast offerings from $20 a pay period to $40 a pay period.
Pay ourselves FIRST! Even if all we can save is $5 or $10 a month, we're putting it away and NOT touching it!
Any "extra" money that comes in (anything that we don't have worked into our budget) will go directly in savings.
Lastly, I make $125/week watching ONE daycare kid! So that helps LOTS!