Thursday, November 5, 2009


hum.. I have missed blogging and it IS that time of the year-- where money gets soooo tight and spending gets crazzy. I was thinking I had something to say....
1) 9 months is a long time to be away.
2) I am not truely sure I have time to re-start this.
3) Christmas is only 50 days away!!

I will try to write some articles up this weekend and we'll see it I can re-start my Frugalness on-line.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Why I hate Winter....

Well I don't HATE winter so much as I only need winter to last about 4-6 weeks and then I've had enough! When I was in 10th grade I diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but as I have dealt with it and researched it, I think I have S.A.D. (Seasonal Affect Disorder). Which is an illness that basically says we need sunlight to stay awake- some need more than others- and my body, when winter comes and we have only a few hours of sunlight- decides to hibernate. I can get 10 hours of sleep and still be tired. I have no interest in doing anything. I just feel very mopey. Once the days get longer and I can get out in the sun- I am fine. I can sleep 5 hours a night and not be tired. I have more energy, and I can always think of fun things I would like to do.

This winter seems to be worse than past winters. I think it has to do with alot of other factor, but the winter is not helping. This winter has been soooo cold- all I want to do is sleep. And for all the snow we have had, it means less sunlight, due to the clouds being overhead. I think my finances are not helping matters, as I have gotten 2 pieces of bad news lately that will make our financial situation worse (and it wasn't so good to start off with). And I am beinging to feel a sense of "deprivation" from my very frugal ways. Many frugal blogs say that there is a big, black line between frugal and miserly. Frugal people use their money and resources to get the most for each dollar. But a miserly (stingy) person does this to an extreme and do not allow for personal pleasures and a feeling of deprivation can take over. This is where I am at....

But with my finances in ruin.. the deprivation is setting in....
Simple things, like a school party, a friends b-day, or ANY 'extra' just has to be told NO at this point-- we just don't have the money. My daughter wants her ears pierced but I am afraid to even find out what it costs to have your ears pierced, buy 1-2 "good" pair of earrings (so her ears don't turn green) and whatever "supplies" you need to clean your ears and earrings... I just can't afford it! and it sucks! My vaccume died months ago and we have made due.. but really we desperately need a vaccume- but can't afford it! My daughter's dressers are falling apart- and i found one for $40 at Ikea to replace it- but I can't afford it!

So between the weather, my finances, and S.A.D.-- I love to just hide under the covers and wake up months from now... when the weather is sunnier and maybe, just maybe, golf balls will be selling again on ebay. Maybe by then my taxes will "just go away".. but probably not!

Ok- the rest of my posts won't be whiney... I may be a bit down but I also have to figure out some solutions.... so maybe others have ideas to help.

Been Gone too Long

Sorry friends. It has been quite some time since I last posted. We had a battle with a stomach bug that took about 5 days out of my life. But everyonr is better now and all the laundry and cleaning that needed to be done has more then gotten caught up. SO, back to blogging. I hope to anyway... but life always has a way of sneaking up on me and I find I have no time to do anything.

I have a few posts I am hoping to type up today... one on how S.A.D. I am lately, one on how I think I have become my mother, one on how my 30 days of nothing challenge went, and lastly I hope to write up how my financial new year's resolutions are going. If I don't get it all typed up tonight- I hope to post throughout the weekend. Hope you stop back to see what I have been up to.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh no... closet cleaning at midnight..someone stop me!

I just posted my notes on what I cleaned this weekend and figured that I would see what Zone the FlyLady was working on this week (to keep my motivation) and low and behold.... on Fly Lady this week is the GREAT CLOSET CLEANOUT! Oh my!

One of the things I was tempted to work on was my linen closet-- somehow we have a ton of towels and a ton of bed sheets (yet I can never find any twin sized ones for the kids beds when I need one- go figure!) If you go and check out scroll about half way down on the home page to read this week's zone, if you look at the week's sneak peek- you can see the plan for the entire week. Which is what I did... and was thinking... I should really go clean out that linen closet- I know exactly what I want to clear out and what I want to organize in there. But I think I should wait- it is almost midnight and tomorrow is our first day back to school after the 3-day weekend. I should really get some sleep!!

So I will head to bed in a minute and leave the linen closet until next weekend. (I'll let you know how it goes when I get it all done!)

Good Night! ;-)

Mid-Winter Cleaning

I was getting nervous that I wouldn't get my usual mid-winter cleaning started... but I have hit my stride.

I got alot accomplished this weekend. I cleaned out my dinning room from all of it's new piles that came back after Christmas. I also caugh up on all my dishes and laundry. I swept and mopped the dinning room, kitchen, hallway and front steps. Then I hit the kids rooms. In the girl's room I cleaned it up and vacuumed. Then I went through all their clothes to pull out any that are a bit small. They received alot of clothes for Christmas and now it doesn't all fit in their dressers! I am thinking of buying a dresser at Ikea ($39.99 for a 3 drawer dresser) to add to their room for more storage. But not until after my 30 Days of Nothing.

Then I cleaned the bathroom. About a week ago, when I was hoping to be inspired to clean, I checked out The FlyLady. Her plan is always to do just 15 minutes a day of cleaning. And she has a zone-by-zone approach. The day I checked it out the 'zone' they were working on was the bathroom, and although I was inspired... I find it hard to find 15 minutes a day and would rather do about an hour on Saturday. So I did her whole Zone: Bathroom plan over the weekend. I dusted the ceiling and corners for cobwebs, then got on a stepstool and dusted my light fixtures (boy-were they dusty)! Cleaned the counters and all the items on it, the sink, the toilet, swept and mopped the floors. Then I grouted the tiles I had been putting off doing for months. (They had been covered with plastic so the area wouldn't get wet). I put up a new shower curtian liner, and cut a "good section" out of the old one to cover the window in the shower. I gave the shower and tub a good scrubbing. Whew!

I then went to my son's room and started cleaning. Then we decided to put up his old bed in his room- so he would have two beds. One for a sleep-over or for dad to sleep on, or his sister to sleep in there from time to time. He is always so upset that the girls get to sleep in the same room and he has to sleep alone. So now if the timing is ok- someone can sleep in there with him. This meant moving around some other furniture.. but in the end his room looks all clean and put together.

I also sat down and straightened out some paperwork. I did the last of my 2008 FSA submissions and the first one for 2009, and faxed those in. Then I wrote 2 letters I needed to get out. I balanced the checkbook, paid some bills for the end of January, and got all of that stuff in the mail. Whew! Whew!

The only room I didn't touch this weekend was the living room- which now looks horrible- since everyone was in there while I was cleaning the rest of the house all weekend.

So, onto the school-week, and next weekend I am hoping to finish up a few more things. I am relieved that I got so much done this weekend, and made good use of my 3-day weekend!

30 Days of Nothing- Lessons Learned

Well my 30 Days of Nothing is over. It was a very interesting "experiment". I learned alot.

I realised there aren't too many times I "want" to spend money. (I think this comes from my frugal side, and my we never have any money side).

I realisesd that the times I wanted to spend money (team photos, candy, soda, a few extra snacks) that in almost all cases- just waiting, and knowing I had to wait until Feb 1st- made me realise I didn't really want it, or at least I knew I could wait. With the one exception of team photos.

I realised that as frugal as I try to be- had I not been on this challenge I would have spent money. Especially since we had a little extra this month.

I had set aside $100 for gas- of which, I only spent $83 - mostly due to 2 snowdays and taking a sick day- which meant 3 days less commuting.

I had set aside $150 for groceries but spent $210.

It was a interesting month, an experiment I may try again some day. But for now I am hoping to loosen the wallet-strings a little- just to not feel so restrcited (not really to run out and spend any money).

It was intresting.. will have to try it again some time. It is a good exercise in will-power and self-control.

Flexible Spending Account - OOPS!

Last year, was the first time I used a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to help cover expences. For anyone who is not familiar with this, you choose a set amount of money that goes Pre-Tax into an account for you to use to cover medical expences and daycare. Medical expences can be co-pays, balances due, Prescriptions, and other OTC medicines.

I set mine up to equal $500 for the year. Which was a good amount for us for the year. We used ours to cover the kids mostly. But this year we are hoping to get myself and my husband back on track with our own preventative medical examines. By this I mean it has been 4 years since I have been to the doctor for a check-up, it has also been 3.5 years since I have been to the OBGYN. I also know I have very high cholesterol and the doctors want to put me on meds for it- but you can only take it if you are not pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. So until 3 years ago, I couldn't take it. Now that we are done having children I need to get on that medication. So this year I raised our contributions to total $600 for the year.

Now about my OOPS... last year as of Dec. 31st I had about $30 left in my FSA spending account. I have found a few reciepts (small ones) to put in for reimbursment, but still have about $25 in the account. My oops is that if you don't use it you lose it. So that $25 is like throwing money down the drain. My mistake. I thought I was closer to $0, or else right before 12/31 I would have run to CVS and brought a bunch of cold medicine, children's tylenol, advil etc.. so that I could have put that reciept in for reimbursement. But I didn't ... so my money is BYE-BYE!

Bad organization is not Frugal!
So is letting $25 get away from me.. if anyone has a reciept from December that has OTC medical stuff on it-- let me know, I could use it.