Archive for August 3rd, 2009

Post thought extended.

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

I hope my last post doesn’t come off as “I’m better than thou because we live within our means.”

I suppose part of it is the fact that we live within our means and by doing so we pass up many opportunities to have nicer things so when situations come up that it seems like we don’t have enough it’s somewhat embarrassing. I often feel bare to the world by our simple circumstances. What we have is what we have and what we’re able to pay for with our money and not what we’ve credited to a card. What we have is not only what we can afford but also what we’ve chosen to pay for.

I am happy that I have a husband who works hard to not only provide for us now, but works hard in budgeting wisely now so as to provide for us later.

I often feel humbled to have such a loving, caring, and wise husband, especially one who is so conscious of money and the way we spend it. I tend to be on the spending side side in some situations  and Jon helps to balance me, then he tends to be on the spending side in other situations and I balance him. Together we are a very good match, in more than just the financial side, but we help one another and trust each other. Since we do trust each other to make wise financial choices and we try to keep that trust we continue to make wise financial choices. There are times that I’m surprised Jon doesn’t tell me to return things, and he might be weary of why I spent money, but he is never condescending or tight leashed because he makes the money. We have the same allowance and large purchases are discussed.

It takes a lot of self discipline to set aside for tomorrow and not spend because you have it today. It’s something we’re constantly working on and I praise those who also are money wise or are trying harder to be money wise. Baby steps. It’s all about baby steps.

Is the Lord trying to humble me?

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Lately I’ve had several instances when my credit and debit cards have been declined. One store just doesn’t like my credit card, and it has been declined on three separate occasions. The third time I mentioned how this happens but I know that I have credit and the clerk swiped it on the main register and it was fine. Today while at Costco my debit card was declined twice and and I had to use a second debit card.

When my credit or debit cards get declined I can’t help but feel like the cashier or people around me think that I’m one of the many people who are struggling at this time or even worse, is someone who doesn’t know how to control their spending and spends out of their means all the time. I then have to try a different means of credit or debit and hope those work, which they always have. (Understand that I know there are times that people need to spend out of their means, it’s when people continually frivolously spend out of their means that I have a hard time, though I’m trying to be better at not judging.)

After I have the worry of what people think, I then worry about identity theft. We never use even close to our credit limit and we always have money in our checking. I’ve had Jon check our credit card when it’s been declined and today after my debit card was declined at Costco I came home and immediately checked our account and we had more than enough to pay for my $42 visit, none of which included school stuff.

I admit that I’m happy and I find pride that we’re able to live within our means. In some ways we are easily able to live within our means, but in other ways it’s hard because we have a goal to save quite a bit and invest a lot of our income into retirement since we started investing later in life, at least later in life for Jon, I’m still really young.   Jon has some very high expectations for our savings and I am trying to help meet them. We both trust each other in our spending and have rarely had disagreements on how money should be or has been spent. I feel sympathy for couples who struggle with finances and how to spend money.

I joke that maybe the Lord is humbling me because I am proud that we live so simply. It can be hard and at times I do desire more, and at times I do spend more, but overall we are very secure compared to those struggling around us and I’m happy that we are secure, at least at this time. I do know that at any moment things could go terribly wrong and we might really be struggling once again.

Maybe I need to be more compassionate and thoughtful towards those around me and the Lord is trying to tell me to be less prideful. We try to be giving and charitable, but we also are very blessed with so much and I am grateful for that.

Do you ever feel ashamed when your cards are declined?

Do you ever judge when you see someone’s card being declined? Truthfully I rarely judge as harshly as I described above when I see this happen in public. I feel bad for those whose cards are declined and I hope that they’re not struggling too much.

Am I just totally narcissistic to think people care a hoot about me and my finances?

Post thought: I hope this post doesn’t come off in that “we’re so secure and having my credit card declined is so humiliating.” We’ve had times of unemployment and underemployment and I’m sure that those days may come around again. Luckily we had been wise and saved money even when we were poor college students and then were able to make it on our own for those months of not earning enough income. At this point of time we’re now secure but we continue to work hard at saving money and living within our means, something that I think has lost it’s value as we have credit extended to us and credit card debt is seen as no big deal. I know some people need assistance and that is nothing to be ashamed about.

Quick update…

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

On my toe. I did fracture it, and on my child’s sandal of all things, and I have to wear shoes for 4 to 6 weeks. Knowing I fractured it makes going to the doctor and needing to spend money on the x-rays a lot more acceptable. ( Did you know that mothers are notorious for not going to the doctor and neglecting health care, especially during economic hard times.)

I’m sad that I have to wear shoes, but happy that I don’t need to return the cute ones I just bought since they’re now a necessity and get to be taken out of miscellaneous, though I think they may have come out of medical, spending rather than my allowance which I need to save for my girls night out this week, ( Anyone else up for line dancing Thursday night?) and then save for my girls weekend because us Mama’s are gonna go wild like good Mormon Mama’s always do when they’re not taking care if their kids, though their will be babies there.

Anyways, I’m not happy about wearing shoes and my cold sore is all but gone, since I still have just a small scab and my husband won’t kiss me till the scab is gone.

Things are almost back to normal. Almost.


Monday, August 3rd, 2009

I’ve realized I have two weaknesses right now.

The first is I love, love, love finding school or teaching related things. The whole back to school season has made the stores full of cool learning things and I find myself filling my carts with flash cards, puzzles, glue, pencil box holders, notebooks and workbooks.

I’m just excited to find things that I feel my girls will be excited about and find things to teach them. I may not be the most consistent homeschooler, but the idea is to make my house a learning environment and then all by themselves they’ll be interested in what’s around them and the cool stuff mommy bought to help them learn. My girls love learning and I love watching them learn and right now is the time to get cool workbooks and glue really cheaply. ( They go through glue rather quickly and I fear my 9 bottles that I bought rather cheaply won’t last till the end of August at the rate they love to make crafts. )

My second weakness is sewing. I’ve been sewing a lot. For the past three weeks  I’ve been sewing everyday or night, except weekends, and for the most part I love it. I’ve been able to make some great things and I’m even looking at making a dress for me. We’ll see how that turns out and if I get to it anytime in the near future, but I’m excited to be sewing and creating.

My next project will to fix the slightly to small top of Eden’s Jasmine outfit. (I’m happy I made it a size larger than her measurements, but still disappointed that it fits so perfectly.) Then I get to make some more aprons and bags. JoAnn’s is having a sale on outdoor canvass, 60% off, and I’m so tempted to go buy a lot of fabric for my bags. It’s just that I don’t buy fabric because it’s on sale so have it for when I need it. I don’t have the storage space to do that and even though I have a very specific reason for buying it, I don’t know where I’ll store it till I can use it, though I have an idea where I might put it if I clean out some other things.

I admit my house is holding up, but I need to spend more time on certain things. I feel like I am accomplishing a lot at the same time. I’ve had great cleaning days and great sewing days. I’ve been spending more time with the girls and I’m figuring things out with what I want to teach them and how I want to spend our days. I’m no where near the organizational level I want to be, but it’s baby steps. Just take baby steps.

I’m just going to need to stay away from Target, JoAnn’s and Costco till I can put a rein on my spending. (Costco has great back to school stuff and it’s cheaper and it’s only there for a limited time and too tempting for me.)

So don’t be alarmed if you come to my house and find the ironing board out, sewing machine on my table, a slightly to very messy house, and children reading Brain Quest cards. It’s just how it is around here nowadays.