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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!

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!