Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Frugal Challenge - Keeping It Real

Ok, so we aren't even through the first month of our Frugal Challenge 2011 and I wanted to get a progress check yesterday. I believe I stated earlier that I'm now recording every single penny we spend in my new phone with the app "Daily Expense Tracker." Chris gives me receipts for everything he spends, too, so this should be an accurate accounting.

I went to my phone yesterday and added up every single thing that wasn't a "necessary" expense. Gas, bill payments and groceries were all necessary, of course, but some of the things that weren't were eating out a couple times, a babysitter so Chris and I could go out to dinner by ourselves, new pants for Owen (killer sale - less than $7!), having my friend color my hair, etc. I truly felt like I had been watching EVERY. SINGLE. PENNY. and if you would have asked me to guess how much the non-neccessities added up to, I would have said around $100.

It was closer to $300.

O.M.G.!!!! How the heck did we spend almost $100 a week (on average) on things that ARE NOT essential to life??? This is not even taking into account the fact that we in no way plan meals, clip coupons, etc to save on our grocery bills! Seriously, the act of recording every purchase has been a TREMENDOUS eye opener for both of us and will hopefully lead to us being a lot more aware of where our money goes.

I highly recommend this exercise for everyone, but beware: you may hate yourself in the morning!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Life with Just Two

Nothing new to post, really. It's the long cold winter up here in Wisconsin where we just hole-up and watch TV (well, mostly football - GO PACK GO!). Oh, and I've been watching the new American Idol and am becoming a bit of a J. Lo fan. She just seems so nice, doesn't she? I watch The Bachelor, too, but mostly for the laughs. I'm REALLY excited to watch the new Survivor that starts next month. I'm a HUGE fan of Boston Rob so will be rooting for him all the way against the EVIL Russell.

Anyway, we pulled all our old pictures off the laptop and loaded them onto the new computer and I came across lots of fun pictures from when we only had Owen and Sammy. They were so cute (and so chubby looking!) and I was fondly recalling the relative peace and quiet of a house with just two boys. Enjoy!
Owen and Sammy are 19 months apart. They've been best buds from the start. The above picture was taken right around Sammy's first birthday.
This one is from our first Christmas in WI, so Sammy was around 18 mos old and Owen was 3.5.

Our first summer in the new house. Owen turned 4 and Sammy was 2.5

Our first Halloween in WI. I love how Sammy was "double-fisted" with his candy.

Their hair looks ATROCIOUS! This was back when we used to pay for their haircuts so it got really long in between. Thankfully, Chris cuts their hair now. We'd go broke, otherwise!
I saw that Daylight Savings Time starts around March 12 this year, which means spring will be here before we know it! What about spring do you look forward to the most? For me, I just love to open the windows in the house and smell the fresh air. I am also REALLY looking forward to cleaning out the GARAGE! What a MESS!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Christmas Pictures - REALLY late, sorry!

My mom just reminded me recently that I hadn't put up a single picture of Christmas on my blog and I had forgotten all about it, actually. Christmas already seems so long ago! At any rate, I like to do what my mom tells me to do (only since I reached adulthood, mind you) so here are some pictures from Christmas of 2010...

Luke got some new pj's from his Nana and Pa. Cute, huh? You can see William in the background of the 2nd picture with his new Batman pj's and a Captain America mask from one of his new costumes. Nana snatched up a few for the little boys on clearance after Halloween and they were thrilled, as playing dress-up NEVER gets old around here.
Nana and Pa arrived on the evening of Dec 25 and since Chris worked all that day, we celebrated our Christmas morning on the 26th.

Ah, the chaos! The boys love Imaginext stuff and this castle was a favorite. All four of the boys play so nicely with this and the Batcave they got last Christmas.

The "Air Jams" guitars were a big hit with the 3 older boys. Luke grabs them whenever he gets the chance.

Chris and I got new phones with all the bells and whistles, so we've been trying to train ourselves to take more pictures and videos with those. Work has been insanely busy, so I haven't had much time to blog about anything. Hopefully that will change soon and I can post something more current.
Sorry to both my followers (ha ha!) for being so late with this one. Back soon?