Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hurricane Update

I have another blog where I post updates on our hurricane Sandy story. Today is 3 months since the hurricane hit, so I just added a new post. Please check it out, read it, pray for us, share it, and if you can make a donation to help us get home. Thanks


Monday, January 21, 2013

My budget has been a mess since the hurricane. I have lost my source of income (my in home daycare) and have all kinds of new and additional expenses (like expenses to stay in another place and extra gas for the car since I am driving all over everyday.)

By the grace of God all my bills are paid in full. But all my funds are now exhausted. It can be a bit stressful (on top of the stress of being displaced, and trying to rebuild my home.)

Right now I am waiting on insurance settlement so I can finish fixing the house. I have used all the donation money and the advance I got from the insurance company to get started. I have already had  the floor joists fixed and have had most of the walls replaced. I also paid for the furnace, ac unit, and ductwork. I still need to pay for the labor to install it. 

I never knew how expensive home stuff is. The cheapest kitchen cabinets (stock) are $2,500 (for my kitchen space.) Forget about countertops that start at $1,000. Ahhh. It is all making my head spin. I have spent no less than 40 hours at home inprovement stores in the past few weeks. I actually have to go back in the am to get white ceiling paint, and paint rollers. Then in the next few days to get tile for the bathroom. 

I have more debt now than ever and hopefully can pay it back with insurance money, but I have to spend money to fix stuff so I can go home. 

And that is all I want to do, go home. I want to not think about money, or paint, or kitchen cabinets. I want to take a nap on a Sunday afternoon, and read a book. I want to take a hot bath (ok so I never really did that before, but maybe I will in my new regular size tub.)

But until then I am grateful to have all my bills paid, and even today when I had nothing left and an empty gas tank God provided and the tank is full again.

He never ceases to amaze me. 


Thursday, January 3, 2013

How to save $1,000 this year / REPOST

Some of you may already be doing this sort of stuff, so the savings will not be as much, some of you may think I am too extreme. But by doing all of these things I saved over $1,000. I have been doing these things since 2008, so those savings are for each year.

1) Make your own laundry soap. Cost about $20 for 20 gallons. Get the recipe I use here.
Savings about $160 a year (if you spend $15 a month on laundry soap.)[Bonus the homemade stuff is free of added scents that irritate my son's skin.)

2) Use cloth paper towels. Chances are you have plenty of cloth towels in your home that will work just as well as paper towels, if not better. Savings about $240 (if you spend $20 a month on paper towels.)

3) Use cloth napkins. Again chances are you have some nice washcloths or a set of cloth napkins already. These work better than paper napkins. Savings about $60 a year.

4) Use cloth tissues. Use some of the washcloths, towels, etc., you already have around the home. One of my cloth tissues works way better than about 5 paper tissues. Savings about $60 a year.

5) Use cloth menstrual pads or a Diva cup. Switching to cloth menstrual pads has been amazing for me, read about it here. In 2008 I bought a set, so in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 I have had no costs (yes I am still using the same pads I bought in 2008.). Savings over five years, at least $600. Buy from a great work site here.

6) Use cloth toilet paper. I just cut up old clothes, see hereSavings about $120 a year.

7) Line dry your clothes. Did you know it cost .30-.60 cents per load to dry clothes in the dryer. If you wash 4 loads a week, that is about $2.00 to dry your clothes. $2 x 52 weeks is $104. I actually do about 6 loads a week, so for me that would cost $156 a year. So I line dry my clothes from March-Nov. Saving about another $100 a year. [Bonus it works out my arms to hang the clothes.]

8) Clean with only baking soda and vinegarSavings about $100 a year (or more.)

9) Use white vinegar as fabric softener. Savings about $20 a year.

10) If you need something, look around and see if already have something similar that will do the job before you buy something new. Savings can really add up.

11) Join Freecycle.org. This site was created to keep good items out of landfills. Join online for free and post things you need (and want to give away as well) before you go out and buy something new. I have gotten rugs, toys, clothes, and so much more. Savings can be very high. [Bonus you can give away stuff and declutter while not feeling guilty that it will be in landfill.]

Leave a comment with a great money saving tip you have. Thanks!