by Mrs Money
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I had to unsubscribe from the feed of one of my favorite home decorating blogs this morning. I’ve been reading it for years, but lately I’ve noticed that their pictures of beautiful rooms and neat projects was making me feel like my house was greatly inferior. Years ago I was embarrassed of my house, and while the feeling is still there sometimes, for the most part I am proud of how I’ve fixed up and decorated. It really feels like home now, and I love the size and layout. I have such a hard time reading blogs and looking at pictures online and not comparing them to my house. It’s hard to picture the houses not picture-perfect (and I’m sure that most of the houses aren’t immaculate all the time). I realized that by reading all these house blogs I was setting unrealistic expectations of my own house and had to change something. It was stressing me out when anything in my house was out of place or dirty. With Penny, it’s harder for me to do things than in used to be, and I’d rather spend time with her than spend all my days cleaning.
I’ve also noticed the more time I spend on Pinterest, the more I feel overwhelmed and not good enough. I see all these pictures of beautiful, perfect birthday parties for kids and think of how I want Penny’s birthday to be perfect. However, I know as long as we’re spending the day with her I know it will it be perfect. I really don’t need to spend hundreds on decorations for her to have a good birthday.
The fact is, I need to learn to be content with what I have, especially now that Mr. Money is unemployed. I need to stop making lists of everything in my house that I would like to upgrade and just be happy with how it is. I have to stop comparing things to others, because a lot of things online aren’t really how they are in real life. I’ve got a great house, beautiful family, and a lot to be thankful for. I’ll be focusing on that instead of thinking of all the things I’d like to have. That should help me find some contentment with what I have. At this point, as long as all of our family has all of our needs met, I’ll be happy. I can’t ask for much more than that.
by Mrs Money
So, this is a post I never thought I would be writing. After seven years of working for the same company, Mr. Money lost his job. I think we’re both still in shock and will try to figure out what is the best plan for our family. I am so thankful that we have always been able to live on not a lot of money, so it’s not like we’re going to feel a huge lifestyle downgrade.
I hope he is able to find a job quickly and that it is even better than the last one he had. Benefits would be amazing! Right now we have to pay for our really crappy health insurance ourselves and it’s expensive and doesn’t cover a lot. Better health insurance and a 401k plan would be amazing. While we’re at it, I’ll take good hours too.
I’m trying to come up with some ideas to make money from home for myself. I could start babysitting now that Mr. Money is home to help but after he goes back to work it may be difficult. I am sure I will come up with something that will help. For right now, we’re trimming our budget down to the necessities and seeing how we can save money each month. We had to stop our retirement contributions temporarily too.
I’m trying to stay positive. It’s scary when you are a one income family with a baby and your one source of income is eliminated. We’ve gotten through everything before, so I’m confident that we will come ahead out of this and things will all work out just fine.
by Mrs Money
We’re exactly three months away from Christmas. Yikes. I’m already planning because this is my first Christmas as a stay-at-home mom, and my lack of income is going to make it more interesting to purchase Christmas gifts. I’m sure we’ll be fine though, and it will just spur me to be more creative. Here are some things I’m working on to make our Christmas season a good one without over spending!
1. Make gifts. This is an obvious. I need to get a move on this because if I’m going to knit things, it is going to take time. And with an 8 month old baby, I’m going to have to find time first! My plan is to knit a ton of dish cloths while I’m riding in the car and when I have some down time. I think that will be the easiest. I’d also like to knit some socks for people and maybe some new cute things for Penny.
2. Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a great way to make a little extra money for me. What I do is use the search engine every time I need to search for something, and when I accumulate enough Swagbucks I cash them in for $5 Amazon gift cards. I am banking them right now to buy Christmas presents. I think I may also get some Target gift cards so I can do some shopping in person! I make sure to do some of the easy things to earn more Swagbucks too. Sign up and start earning.
3. Doing an activity versus purchasing items for people. One of my best friends has two girls and we were discussing Christmas and how it’s going to be different this year. We decided that instead of exchanging gifts (since our girls are going to get tons of things from other people any way) we’re going to do a special outing or make a nice dinner and spend time together. That will be very enjoyable, and will save us each money and clutter.
4. Stashing away a little extra cash whenever I’ve got it. $20 here and there adds up, and I’ve been taking $20 from each paycheck for months now and saving that in our Christmas fund. Also, when I sell things on Craigslist or online, I separate that money and save it for Christmas.
Have you started thinking about Christmas yet?