Filed In: life
My goal for February is to focus on our financial wellness by implementing a new budget.
Money is just not my strong suit. I’ve been “working on” making this right for us and figuring out how to pay of our debts for years. In fact, if we had actually committed 100% when David and I first got married, all our loans would be just about paid off by now.
But I can’t do anything about the past. All I can do is keep making progress.
Using a Commit30 planner (No, I’m not sponsored – just passionate about meeting my goals and helping you if I can.), I’m dedicating each month to a different goal. I will share my intentions and progress as I work towards a healthier, happier, more balanced life.
Because this month is just about over, I’ll give you my goal and what I’ve learned. 🙂
January has been all about health for me. My goal was to get my body in balance with regular exercise and healthy eating habits.
God is a huge part of who I am. But He wasn’t always. I haven’t shared that piece of my heart with very many. It just doesn’t come up that often. It’s a good story, though, I think.
Typically, I need to be clobbered with something before I actually realize what I’m supposed to do. I need lots of teaching and lots of practice. Sometimes I need my intuition to scream at me before I’ll listen. My God story is no different.
I love all things Fall – the crisp smells, the sounds of crunching leaves and falling rain, the cozy clothes – but I especially love the spooky movies. I’m a sucker for a good thriller. Of course, now that we have littles, I can’t exactly indulge in all my typical haunts. I’ve put together a list of Halloween movies everyone can enjoy!
*There are 7 movies total, but 2 of them are a little scarier and probably more appropriate for older kiddos.
I am not a medical professional. This is what I experienced during my most recent miscarriage. Please seek medical attention if you are concerned about your pregnancy. Call a doctor immediately if you are soaking through more than one pad an hour or losing large clots.
The whole experience is sad and scary, but I think the not knowing what to expect or what the hell is happening to your body makes it worse. The pain and what your body goes through is shocking and a kick in the teeth after finding out your baby died. It’s traumatic – mind, body, and soul.
Plan on that. Make space to grieve. Let people help you. Be alone if you need to be alone. Scream. Cry. Laugh. Grieve however you need to. It all sucks. There’s no need to pretend that it doesn’t. You’re in pain. Allow it.
WARNING: What follows is detailed. I don’t want to scare you, so maybe don’t read it unless it’s relevant. Feel free to bookmark, pin, or share.
It has been a crazy few weeks – weeks full of family and colds and fevers and fear and realizations and stress. There is a lot going on in our little family right now. Mostly, we’re finding that the next few months are going to be pretty rough for us financially. We’re okay. We will be okay. But I need to find a job.
This is something I’ve been looking into for quite some time. Nothing has really panned out, but, truthfully, I haven’t been putting 100% into my job search because my kids and my blog are my bucket-fillers. And, of course, caring for my babies and my writing and my readers is pretty time-consuming.
Because of our financial situation and my need to find some kind of job ASAP, I’m going to have to take a little hiatus from the blog. This breaks my heart. Writing has been really good for my brain. It also makes me so happy to reach a reader and help her realize she’s not alone, even if it’s just for a moment. That being said, this is what is best for our family right now, and I will be back at it just as soon as I possibly can. I’m hoping things will fall into place and settle down a bit sometime in October. Of course, I know I have absolutely no control over that, but I’m going to pray and try really hard to make it work!
Glennon Doyle talks about how the root of the word crisis means to sift. We will be sifting through our life to find what’s truly important, to be left with the only things that really matter – the things no one or situation can take away. This is our beautiful mess, our blessing, our joy. We’ll choose joy.
And, in the meantime, know I’m thinking of you, dear readers, and will be back. I’ve put together a list of some money-saving apps we have put to good use, too. You’ll find it below 🙂 I will see you soon!
IBOTTA – Ibotta has saved us over $150 this year, and I could’ve earned way more. It’s a rebate app. You find rebates for the products you buy and then submit your receipt. This can really be an excellent deal, especially when you can combine it with the coupons and sales offered by the retailer. The money earned can be used to purchase gift cards or transferred to your PayPal account. I save up our rebates and use them when the babies need new clothes or for Christmas. The link is connected to my referral code, which means I’d receive a bonus. You get a $10 bonus with your first rebate by following my link, too!
RECEIPT HOG – I’ve just started using Receipt Hog, but it’s kind of fun! You just upload any receipt from stores or restaurants, and you earn coins that can be redeemed for gift cards or PayPal credit. Each receipt also earns you entries into various drawings and/or contests.
CHECKOUT 51 – This is a rebate app for your groceries. Once you earn $20, you can cash out and they send you a check. There’s usually a contest you can enter to win $500 by uploading any receipt over $60, too. Bonus!
EBATES – eBates offers money back on online purchases through their app. You can catch some really good deals! I believe they issue checks quarterly. They also offer bonuses.
MPERKS – If you live near a Meijer, I highly recommend using mPerks. You can get great deals on already reduced prices and earn bonuses, like money off your next shopping trip. The primary focus is groceries, but they have a good selection of general merchandise, too.
CARTWHEEL – Cartwheel is part of the Target app. You can scan the products you purchase to see if there are any additional discounts. You can also search for items prior to your shopping trip. I’ve saved quite a bit of money using this app and my Red Card (Target’s debit card that saves you 5% off everything).
OFFERUP – OfferUp is an app for selling/buying similar to Craigslist but more localized. We’ve had some luck selling and buying on OfferUp. I prefer it because I seem to get more offers here than on Craigslist. Plus, the listing doesn’t automatically expire after 7 days.
JET – Jet sells groceries and home goods, like cleaning supplies. You can find some excellent deals, and you get 15% off your first three orders when you sign up.
At the end of any in-between (and maybe at the start, too), it’s scary. It’s unknown. It’s something you have to start. Maybe if you’re lucky (or perhaps unlucky), it starts for you. But even then you have to figure it out, begin, take action, develop a system, take that first step. It’s overwhelming. And it could easily cause one to run away, filled with all the fear and insecurity and self-doubt and uncertainty.
There are MANY pregnant women in my life right now. With that in mind, it seemed appropriate to put together a list of my favorite baby gear. These are things I am glad we bought, even if it was a bit of an “investment”, things that saved us over and over and were worth the purchase.
I get stuck when I’m worrying about something. I pause everything in my life (or as many things as possible – can’t pause the kids, unfortunately) until whatever I’m worried about is resolved. This is a terrible way to live. It’s unnecessary and fruitless. And a HUGE waste of time if my problem is a long-term issue.
God says we should not worry. We should trust.
Harry Potter has been a safe haven during ALL of my in-betweens. It is a shelter in the storm, something I can count on time and time again. I’m sure that sounds a little silly, but, really and truly, I have read and re-read, watched and re-watched, and listened to and re-listened to the entire series over and over and over and over.