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Let it Settle

3 Dec

My life so far this year has been utter shit! You know! You have read all about it! There are some things that I didn’t really share because I was embarassed, but to hell with it! I am an open book! I have had some extreme hard financial problems this past year. I haven’t been able to keep up with pay roll taxes, so now, I owe them for a whole year! Yay! This kind of thing just sits on your shoulders with a weight so heavy that you feel like your neck is going to break. I still feel that stress, but it feels a little different now. I have done some real heavy looking into our financial well being. It is not good. The last year at the bakery, I have not wanted to be there. I wanted it just to be run on its own. I wanted my staff to just take care of it. Needless to say, any small business needs the owner/operator to be within reach at all times, or it kind of fizzles out. Thank heavens I had Shanna. She really stepped up and ran things when I wasn’t there. She knew all the troubles I was having and even though she may have hated me for it, she held down the fort for me. I am sure she understood. She knows my whole story, probably truer than anyone else. She was the first person who I told everything to, all of it, even how I felt and she saw first hand how it all effected me. We are close. And I am forever in her debt. Anyone who hires her on next, is getting an exceptional employee! Anyways! ha ha! Love fest is over!

So, as I was saying, I needed to be present. Even though things were being handled, there was just as much stuff that wasn’t being handled. I am totally at fault. My head was under my covers. It was heating up and turning to blobs, like a lava lamp. Not on fire, and not buzzing with little anxiety bees, it was melting and not knowing which form to take. I was a puddle.  So, when I didn’t work as much, someone had to, which means that there is more money paid out. I wasn’t picking up the slack. And, by the time that I was ready to get back into it, I wasn’t into it. I was over it! Not only are my parents not at 100%, but my mental health is lacking right now, and my kids need me to be myself. Not wounded and stressed mommy. By the time I was ready to get myself in order, and take back being in charge of the business, my financials were lacking, to say the least. And guess what? My oven cacked out on me! A little part was needed, but that little part could cost up to $200. And even though it isn’t a bundle of money, its more than I had. I needed to pay people left, right and centre! I still owe people!

With that being said, and so many people being owed money and a part needed for my oven, I had to take it as a sign. A giant, huge, blinking neon sign, that says……STOP. Just stop and breathe. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that we must play with the cards we been dealt and find the silver lining on every cloud. (Enough cliches for you? ha ha) So I took it as that sign. So, I stopped. I ended up panicking hard for a day wondering if  I had done the right thing, rethinking situations and calling my mother for advice and the “its okay” reaction. And, it was okay. I have been dealing with coming off of this stress bus. Without putting all of the sexual assault stuff into view, I needed to find a level field where my brain could function. I have had to let all the dust settle so I can see the destruction that is left from the bumpy ride on the stress bus!

You know what it looks like? It looks like a hotel room that has been trashed by Keith Moon for petes sake! There is alot of clean up! I have had to go through all of our finances and find out what we owe, what we make and how we can fix it all. Budget here we come! Now, I can see a tiny sliver of light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel is very very very long. Every day, things get better, but I can tell you this…..it is hard! I have to pinch every penny I have. I have to focus and take time to tidy up this mess! Not fun, but it is at the same time! Weird, right? I am enjoying baking the snacks for the kids lunches, I am home every day to make supper, and now I have to be more creative with meals in order to use what we already have. Oddly, I don’t feel restrained or stuck. I feel a freedom of sorts. I am not relying on anyone to do anything for me, I am taking control, I have the wheel. I am feeding my children healthy meals with food that we have either grown or have froze from fresh. I am up for this challenge I have got in front of me. As long as I can get the odd bottle of wine…..I’m going to be just fine! Ha ha!

Soaking in the Rays

12 Jul

sunshineAs of late, I have had an overwhelming need to be outside. I normally hate the heat….I am a furnace! I radiate heat like no one else! So, with the extra padding that I have acquired, it is grotesquely uncomfortable. But, I think that my body knows what it needs, and right now it needs the sunshine, and the hard work that has come with it. If I am in the sun, I have to be moving and working. I look around the house and the garden and I see everything that has to be done, and I just do it. My husband has learned to expect things to be different when he comes home from work now! I just can’t help myself.

I have noticed a calming effect that being outdoors and working hard and sweating has had on me. I am more relaxed and happier. I can take the time after working outside to sit down with a beverage and a book for an hour or two and not feel guilty because I am not doing anything. I even sometimes forget to take my crazy pill! I end up remembering, but I kind of like that feeling of forgetting it because it tells me I am doing okay. I am not obsessing over it and thinking that I really really need it! It’s good right?!!

I was actually okay the other day when I caught up on laundry. I spent from 10 am until 3 pm doing laundry and putting away clothes. And, cleaning the house too. But at 3 when I was done, I needed to go outside. I really HAD to do it!

The outdoors is something that I didn’t know was missing in my life, but now I love it, I live to be outside! And on hot sunny days like this, it is a chore to be inside. I walk through my house and think…ew! I wanna go outside! ha ha!

The other pros to being outside and doing work, is that it is free! I love free stuff! I also love the fact that we get the kids into doing the gardening and lawn care with us, and they learn how not to be lazy asses! I hate when they spend time in front of the tv during the day, or they want to be on their games all the time. Those of you with kids, do you ever notice how your kids become Mr.Hyde when they get off their games? Ugh, I can’t stand how they act afterwards! I limit the kids to a half hour a day of play…..unless their rooms are cleaned, they have done a chore, and it’s raining or hailing!

I wish that I had a country home with some animals and a huge veggie garden. Not only kidsbecause the environment is comforting and beautiful, but because the kids would learn the values of doing your own gardening and work in general. I was raised in a small country town and then moved out to the country later on. I learned what hard work was. What it felt like taking down dead trees in the field and planting new ones. I learned how to shovel corn out of an old corn dryer that is 50 degrees hotter inside than the already sweltering heat outside! I know how damn heavy those rubber tarps are that they put on top of semi trailers….ugh! I had my share of hard work, and I didn’t learn it all in the country, my mother showed me what work ethic was early on in my life. She was a single mother who sometimes carried 4 jobs at a time! And…..she came home and made suppers, did laundry, gardened, did peoples taxes and still had time to take me places, see some friends and lots of family. Honestly, I don’t really remember my mom relaxing. I remember her lying on the couch watching tv at night sometimes, but mostly, at night, she would be in her chair, hands busy with knitting or crocheting something for someones baby, or gifts for Christmas.

hard workI want my kids to know that kind of work ethic. I mean, not to that extreme, my mom was overworked. I want them to not care about getting down and dirty to get the reward of a job well done.

If I keep up with what I am doing, I think the kids will be alright. They are 7 and 9, and they do dishes every once in a while, and the oldest knows how to do laundry. I refuse to raise a boy into a man to rely on others to do things for him. My kids help with dinners and baking and know how to use a knife properly. My oldest son likes to cook himself eggs for breakfast! He amazes me!

All of those who suffer from the never ending inside beehive in your head, try to work hard outside. Soak up the rays, drink lots of water and revel in what  you have accomplished! You will feel better for it! A little vitamin D never hurts!

Have a wonderful day!

Busier Than A Bee!

18 Sep

Whew! I have been busy! Now that my student employees are back off to school, that leaves me and my manager to do everything, and for some reason everyone’s birthday is this month! Ha ha! I have new co-op students coming in and I have just hired a new part time baker, which will work out perfectly! I can train her the way that I want her during the slow months so that she will be up and ready for the battle come next spring! The lulls in the bakery are November until mid February, although, I am trying to drum up more business for Christmas….. we shall see!

So, not only am I working my behind off (I really wish this statement had some literal truth to it!), or rather, I am working alot of hours and really hard, but I am working hard at home as well. I put my family on a budget. I was so tired of having to borrow from other places to pay bills or buy groceries. I kept wondering where all of our money was going. So, I did something about it. Through a lot of research via internet I made a system that works for us. We are in our first month, but it is working like a charm already! I have cash envelopes! I budgeted $400 per month for groceries, I figure $100 per person in our family no matter the age. This has been proven as an immediate benefit! We have been buying fresh fruit and veggies to store in our freezer for the winter months when cash is a little tighter. When I leave work at the bakery, I go straight home to work in the kitchen. I have been roasting veggies for soups, blanching veggies to freeze and preparing for meal planning and meal freezing. Between my husband and I, we have almost filled our freezer! We have frozen tomatoes from my dad’s garden, squash, cauliflower and broccoli. In the summer we were freezing fruit and the veggies that were cheaper at that time. I was very proud and giddy when we walked out of the grocery store having only spent $20, and we purchased almost a whole cart full of cauliflower and broccoli. Cauliflower is 97 cents right now! I think we have purchased about 12 heads so far! I made cream of broccoli soup last night as well! We made a roasted pear and carrot soup….YUM!

So far, we have about $60 left in our grocery budget and we only need to buy more milk. I am hoping to be under  budget for the first month, and try to beat it the next month. We write down all of our spending and we are only allowed to spend cash wherever we go. The card is off limits. We do our bill paying twice per month which coincides with my hubby’s pay week and this is done on line. I have separated the bill paying to twice a month and since there are more weeks in a couple of months, we have a full month worth of bills free once or twice per year. I try to save this time for near Christmas. It really helps to have a free month worth of utilities at this time!

Plan ahead! This is a hard lesson that I have learned! I hate being broke near Christmas, it really really sucks hard! This year, I am keeping within budget for presents and I am making most of my gifts. I am working on a cross stitch that I will give my sister-in-law and I also have some other things that I would like to do that I can make for just a few dollars. These gifts tend to mean more anyway. I have started saving money for Christmas, and I think I have some gifts that I had bought earlier in the year for this as well. I know that I have started saving for Christmas a little late, but that was not in my mind in the summer time. Cake was always on my mind then, not my budget!

Now I am a different person and I am so dedicated to this! I am teaching my children now as well! We have money jars. They do chores for their allowance and then they have to put some money into each jar.money-jar-300x250 One for each, college, vacation, toy. This way they can learn how to save money and the reward that comes when you work hard and save. My hubby and I contribute to the college and vacation jars, and to contribute to the toy jar, they have to do a homework page that I have printed out for them. They get 25 cents per page. Its up to them how much money they want towards their toy! I love this method! They can actually see their money grow, and once a month, we will take it to the bank to deposit in to their bank accounts. My oldest son is very proud to buy his own things now. He has a wallet and he loves to buy his own books. It gives him the freedom that he so desires! As long as he saves some, he can buy all the books he wants!  I will never complain about my 7 year old wanting to buy books with his money!

My husband and I also have jars, one for the roof repair we will need next year, and one for the addition that I would like to put on the house in some years from now. I put money into the envelopes about once per week and I go through our budget binder as well, seeing what we have spent our money on, and how much we have left for the month. I am always researching on how to save money as well. I have been riding my bike or walking to work, which saves on gas and gives me more exercise. With winter coming, I will still walk, but I will be using the vehicle to take the boys to their swimming lessons and sports activities.

I feel so much better now that I am learning how to handle my own money, and I am at ease knowing that my kids are learning how to handle money as well!