Allowance

We’ve long struggled with the idea of an allowance for our Rooster. He is getting to the age where he really does need to learn about managing money and managing his wants. Until lately he never really was a “can you buy me something” kind of kid at the store. That to say, he has never, that I can remember, pitched a fit because I said that he couldn’t (we’ll leave that one for Little Chick I’m sure!)

We finally decided to forgo the charts and all that madness and just give him an allowance. It’s only $3 a week because that was easy for us to manage both financially and also with teaching him this new bank system. Larry Burkett used to sell these Giving Banks and I wasn’t about to go out and spend oodles of money for a fancy bank, so this afternoon I came up with this.

Giving bank

I printed a box template off about.com and then made these little pictures. Every week (Saturday morning) he’ll be given $3 and he will put $1 in each box. The only box he can shop out of will be the white box. So if we go to the store, no more “buy me that” but he’ll have his own money to spend. On Sundays, he’ll take his tithe money with him to put in the offering plate. He is about to become a communing member of our church so this is great timing to start teaching him what it means to be a member of a church. The save box we’ll have to figure out when he can have access to that. I’m thinking of asking him what a good goal to save for would be.

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Live Like No One Else

My husband and I started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University this fall. While we’ve tried our whole almost 12 years of married life to be on a budget, we’ve never attended a group study on it before. Listening to Dave Ramsey every week has been so good for us. I guess the biggest difference is that a) we are actually at this place in our lives where using a credit card truly does make us ill…even though we’ve done it often b) we are willing to give up more and more and take on more jobs in order to get closer to being debt free and c) he (DR) gives you such excitement and encouragement to stay the course so that you can “live like no one else” later. He says that quote all the time and it does grate on your nerves at times, but it’s so true!

Our son is five now and daughter is nearly 2. They are reaching those stages where traveling and going places with them can actually be “fun.” I want so much for us to be at that place where we have the money saved up for those awesome trips.

I want to go here with our kid (if you don’t know where this is, you are silly!)

and here (Oregon)

and I so long to go here for our 20th wedding anniversary (London)

and I really want to start doing this again in the next few years (ok I admit I never looked like that skiing, but I can pretend right?)

It may seem that I’m longing for things of this world and material things…but I’m really not. What I’m longing for is a sense of financial peace and stability that we’ve honestly never really had in all the years we’ve been married. I pray that we stay the course, keep our sights on the things we long for and pray daily for the strength to “live like no one else so that we can live like no one else.”

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I *heart* Fall

I love decorating for Christmas and even for spring, but nothing stirs my heart more than decorating for Fall. I was at Target the other day and totally got sucked in by this crazy pull all because of the Fall stuff that they had for sale. They had these awesome oval tin containers that I couldn’t resist to put in our kitchen for our fruit and to replace this horrible basket we had all our bills and coupons in.

Enjoy a little glimpse into our Fall home!

Here’s our dining table centerpiece:

table setting

They also had this little package of pears and a cornucopia for $2.50! You can’t beat that! I had these pumpkins from last year at Hobby Lobby that I got on clearance too. I was so excited to finally start putting out some of these decorations (who cares that it’s still nearly 90 degrees with 80% humidity outside…bring on the Fall!)

Here’s our foyer entryway:

entryway

And here is a close up of this little mirror from Ikea that I just love! (except for the reflection of me!)

entry mirror

This is our light in the dining room. These are actually little orange berries, lest you think that this is Christmas garland…you will see no red and green holiday stuff in this house until after Thanksgiving! 🙂

dining light

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Groceries

So my friend Christy has set a goal of cutting her grocery bill in half. She has read and researched all about the CVS and Walgreens games and did her first run this week. This has prompted me to start researching a few things and let me tell you that all of this makes my eyes wiggle and fries my brain!

The CVS and Walgreens games have always confused me. I have tried to read how this works and just don’t seem to get it. I guess overall it makes me wonder if I wouldn’t end up with a bunch of stuff that I would probably never use just to get the free coupons.

Then there are the coupon sites. Couponmom.com is actually really good, but as I start to go through the lists of things on sale, my eyes start to water and I just can’t sit there and do it (I’m not really good at reading lots of things online…I do much better holding it in my hands).

And then there is The Grocery Game. I want to try this because I just wonder how well it would work for us? But honestly, I don’t want to stockpile 15 tubes of toothpaste. Our grocery budget is tight enough just to buy the things we need to buy that I can’t figure out how stockpiling (buying 5 jars of mayo because it is only $1) would work for us.

Anyone have any tips or suggestions?

Our monthly “budget” (I say that lightly) on paper is $350. We probably spend at least $100 more than that on an average month. My goal is to get it to at least $300 for food and toiletries, but honestly I just don’t have it in me to sit at the computer searching for all these coupons!

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