Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday, Happy New Year!

     Happy New Year to all of my blogging pals.  I hope 2013 will be a wonderful productive year for all of us!  I know I will work hard to make this a goal of mine.  Just a better year.
      Last year was some what of a bust but it was also good in many ways.  I really cut back on what I did for the school district and this helped with stress.  I also had D#2 seriously move away and make it on her own and this has helped although I miss her.  I have taken a newer better stance with my youngest one when it comes to expenses.  She is not perfect but more careful.  I know all of these changes were small but over all they made a difference.  I know that the kids noticed that my Holidays were a little less hectic.  Hubby and I are only cleaning the bank 3 nights a week instead of 6 and this has made our weekends easier especially when we are in rehearsal and performance mode.  So all in all other than the financial it has been a good learning year.

     I still have not worked out a budget for the new year or any real financial goals.  I think I am afraid to as last year I had such high hopes and I feel like I just blew it.  But the totals are down and I hope to be under $100,000 on the house by this time next year.  What I really really want is to just have a house payment, but I realize that will not happen this year.  I need to be more realistic.  But boy would I love to get rid of the credit card debt and the truck loan.  I know the smartest thing to do is to get rid of the higher rate debt first, but I want to get rid of that $500.00 payment in the summer when the studio is not making money.  We will see.  My dream is to have that truck paid off by the end of June!  Maybe I should just do one goal at a time and keep the rest of the bills paid.

     Anyway enough hard thinking (see how non committed I am right now?) B and I are headed to the studio to work all day at getting it cleaned up and organized.  Ugh!  I don't want to do this, but alas I must.  Then we are cleaning and detailing her car and getting it on Craiglist!  One less expense for me.  Yippee!

     Hubs and I are going to a movie tonight!

Have a Happy New Years Eve!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday, first small combined goal of new year

     I am going to try to live within my means, here are three small ways I will try.  Now they may not work, I may have to relent but as I am feeling so much better with the new meds I am going to try these.

1. My housekeeper moved and I am going to try to do this myself.  I will save 64.00 a week.
2. The family that cleaned the dance studio for scholarship also moved and I will be cleaning the studio myself.  This will save me $200.00 a month.
3. I was also able to lower the cell phone bill by about $50.00 a month.

Now these goals will have a net affect of about $500.00 less a month out of pocket.  That does not mean it can go toward debt it just means I am not putting the money out.  It will help.  Any time you do not spend money you save money.

Gas is down to $2.81 here but I hear it is going back up. Will ride the good wave as long as possible.

Just thinking of small ways to help myself live better and cheaper without killing myself.

I have already saved $300.00 toward next months house account and I need $500.00 so I am ahead of the game. Nice way to start the year.  I am in debt but I am not behind.  Now just to stay ahead of the game.  Maybe that should be the goal, to stay ahead of the bills. Ugh!

Have a great and productive day!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday, Changing my ways...

     Yes today I must get something done.  Like hem three skirts and fix a wedding dress and a flower girl dress.  I have been putting this off. I no longer can.  That is okay as I was a slug yesterday.  Hubs is home with a sore throat and cold.  So I am staying clear of him. 

     Had a nice long talk with my sissie yesterday.  She is doing so well with her debt reduction I am jealous.  I had to order marley tape and fix a computer yesterday all to the tune of about $500.00 all on a credit card.  I will be able to sit down soon and form a plan but not today.  I do have money put aside for debt repayment but just in a state of denial.  I promise to pull my head out soon.  I will set some goals and make a plan.  Blah!

     I would so like to have the CC debt and at least the truck paid off before summer.  Having that big truck payment is a drag even though it is studio debt. I still have two vehicle payments and I hate it. I am so happy that I can just pay my bills and not be behind constantly, but I really need to stop spending money.  Next week will be a new month and a new year. I will have to have at least $500.00 for the house payment.  So life just goes on and does not change.

  Unless  UNLESS we change it!  So I will be changing my ways come the new year.  Just a few small goals added to a few small goals that will build into big goals.  I have to honestly say when the sewer collapsed last summer and I had 6 weeks of eye surgery I went on a bender.  I was so discouraged and I just did not care, felt sorry for myself, blamed the world.  But that is over and I must grow up and take responsibility.  No one is going to pay these debts but me and I have let bad habits creep back in.  I am the Queen of justification.  I can justify anything.  Especially spending money.

     So I am off to think of some goals as I sew today.  Goals I can live with.  Goals I can keep. Realistic goals.

     Out My Window:  Cold but sunny!

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday, a do nothing day!

     I know I should be looking at next years budget and figuring out a plan to pay off all my debt, but right now I am just enjoying having nothing pressing.  I also feel like I made no progress last year and paid off all my cc debt and most of it is back, well not really but not where I want to be.  I just don't want to face it right now and really want to just be.

     I don't even feel guilty about it.  I just know that I will keep plugging along and with less disasters maybe just maybe I will win this war.  I do have some plans  that are brewing in the back of my mind concerning finances, but they are for another day.  Right now I have a roof over my head, food to eat and clothes to wear.  I have money in the bank and as long as I don't add to the debt I will be okay.

    D#2 went home yesterday and I miss her.  We packed her up and did errands all days yesterday.  Returned things, took D#3's computer in had her ipod engraved (cheap insurance) bought large plastic containers for the studio.  Actually I thought the stores would be crazy but they were relatively quiet.
D#2 is going to help me clean the studio before the 2nd.  But that also is for another day.

     Other than the customers that come to call I am off duty.

Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wednesday, lovely Christmas!

Christmas Eve: 
   The girls and I went and got our nails done, it was daughter #2's treat and then we all finished up last minute shopping.  I was home about 2:30 and started dinner.  Oyster stew, cheese and crab balls, relish tray, croissants, shrimp and lobster, steamer clams.  All washed down with sparkling cider.  The table was beautifully set with Christmas china and candles.  Hubby was home by 4:30 and started a fire in the fire places and then we ate.  Girls helped me clean up and we washed all the table linens.  Then we played games for about an hour.  We played a trivia game on hubs new tablet and it was so funny to see and hear all 4 of us try to beat this computer.  4 different generations shouting out answers just a riot.  I was able to get the girls really nice cotton robes that were originally $80.00 for under $10.00.  I also found white cotton tank tops for about .99 and pj bottoms with candy canes four dollars.  So I had them open their Christmas pj's and then we all sang Christmas carols while I played the piano.  Then to bed with many laughs.

     Hubs woke up first and took the dog for a walk, I got up and started orange and caramel rolls.  Girls were up around 9 and we did stockings, then opened presents.  Every one was thrilled with their gifts.  We all trooped down stairs with plates of home made orange and caramel rolls and had a Big Bang Marathon.  Laughed and laughed.  It is a little off color but the geeks are so much like my husband that the girls and I just roll.  The girls do not know what they like best the show or watching their dad and I look at each other and laugh.  They love to see their dad laugh at the boys antics.  We all dosed and ate and slept and watched movies, then ate and slept and watched movies... you get the drift.  It was a quite peaceful Christmas day.

     We have quite a few errands to run today.  Daughter #3's lap top needs to go to the doctor and we have a few a things to return.  Daughter #2 has to leave today, boo hoo I wish she could stay.  I need to get down to the studio and really clean before next week but I will think about that tomorrow, right now I am just going to enjoy my kids.

     Out My Window:  No white Christmas here but it is cold.

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday, Merry Christmas!

     I feel guilty for not posting, but so busy and tired all the time.  I finally got Christmas up and decorated on Saturday.  Usually our tree is up on the 1st.  It was like being back in college when hubs and I were first married.  We would have finals and frantically put up a tree on the 20 or 21st to take it down again a week later.  But all is up and it is beautiful.
     I still have to run out this morning and get a couple things.  The girls are home and we have had  lots of laughs and screaming.  Don't for get the screaming! I cleaned house for days I swear.  Just bag after bag of trash.  With the girls home nothing stays clean for long.  Drives me nuts!  But I am glad they are home.
     Cookie trays are delivered, outdoor lights are up most of the packages wrapped and all the food bought so I think we are ready.  Christmas is just too much work.  But I have cut back this year believe it or not and I am also looking forward to a new year that will be financially even more successful than this year.  I will be trying to give up a few things that will help with my goals, but right now I just want to concentrate on  Christmas.
     I wish my sissie was here to celebrate with me.  We had a long talk on the phone yesterday and it was so nice.  We will have a another long talk on Christmas day.
     Well I need to start yet another load of laundry, clean myself up and get to the store, get my nails done and start dinner preparations. I think I am actually getting excited!

Have a Merry Christmas and may the love of the Savior be with you through out the eve and day!

Love Kim

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday, baking, baking!

     Still behind in the sewing department, need to pay the rest of the December Bills and close the books on the studio, so what am I doing?  BAKING!

     Last night I made a batch of caramels, a batch of hay stacks, a batch of almond roca, and 5 lbs of fudge, with and without nuts. I will need to make another batch of each almond roca and caramels.

Today a good friend is coming over for Power baking with Kim!

We will make:
 Peppekakkor, rolled thin Swedish pepper cookie
Kokkokasser, cut thin refrigerator Swedish coconut butter cookie
Rosettes, made in oil off a mold
Krum kakke,  made on a griddle and rolled into a tube
Spritz, pumped out of a press
Thors Hammers, pumped out of a press and dipped in chocolate and nuts
Almond sugar cookies frosted of course
Kranz Hearts, double layer sugar cookie with jam in the middle
Dipped apricots

I will also make a few almond cakes, as these are everybody's favorites.  Right now I need to go do more laundry and get some cookie dough in the fridge.  We are taking hubby to the Hobbit  tonight for his birthday.  It will be a a busy day.

Out My Window:  yesterday was warm and sunny, just beautiful.

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday, recovering:)

     Thanks for all the warm thoughts.  I was a lazy daisy yesterday.  Went  up to University with D#3 and then went to Winco and bought much of our Christmas food and baking supplies.  Home to put together a party for dance kids at the studio.  Did no sewing or errands so will have to get to those today.  I have a big long list of to dos. Pretty much laid around yesterday.  I even watched 1.5 hours of TV last night!  Yikes!

     So today maybe just maybe I will get the Christmas decorations up. After I...

Put on some makeup so I don't scare people
Shorten the sleeves on a jacket
start some laundry
go to high school and return a cash box
go talk to high school band director
go pay printers bill
go pick up prescriptions
go fill out jury duty questionnaire so I am not arrested!

Okay so I will start with the make up and hair, but I really want a nap.  It is 9:37 and I got up at 9:00!

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday, The show is OVER!

     The Show is over and I am so relieved and happy.  Now I still have a mess every where I look and I have not been been down to the studio, but all in good time.  I need to run D#3 back up to campus to get books exchanged and I will do a little Christmas grocery shopping at Winco.  Then back down to sew.  We are also having a party at the dance studio for the dancers at 4:00 to watch the video of the show.  Then I have no classes for two weeks!  I really need a break.

     D#2 and D#3 were here for the weekend to help and then we celebrated Hubby's 62 Birthday last night.  I made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, biscuits and German chocolate cake,  All his favorites, but I think I used every pan in the kitchen.  We also used the Christmas china.  Yes, I got up early Sunday morning and put away all the Thanksgiving and Halloween things.  I then unpacked the Christmas china.  D#2 and I put up the tree and put china on the shelves in the formal front room, but that is as far as I got.  Maybe tonight after the party and we clean the bank I can get a few more boxes up stairs to finish.

     I have a lots of bookkeeping to do with the show and bills to pay and sewing to get done, Christmas shopping, it goes on and on.  Right now I am just basking in the feeling of relief that I have nothing super pressing for the next two weeks. 

     By the way gas is down to $2.89 here it is amazing.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims in Connecticut.  I have just wept for these people.  How do we stop this?

Have a good day in spite of the evil in the world.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday, a few things for which I am grateful...

-$296.14 personal
$1038.72 studio

     As you can see from the total above I am slowly chipping away at the deficit.  I was able to pay another $100.00 yesterday into the bank account.  Every little bit helps. Next week I will attack it even more. Even though I am busy and stressed I can still make progress and that makes me feel more empowered.

     Also there is a gas war on here.  This has never happened in the 25 years we have lived here.  Because we are the last fresh water sea port from the ocean we have most of our gas barged in.  Normally at least for 20 years our gas prices were a little lower than every one else in the state.  But since the recession hit we have had the highest rates.  I could drive anywhere 60 miles a way and find gas 35-50 cents a gallon cheaper.  So frustrating, we also have very high grocery prices because all trucks have to come in and dead head out.  But a new gas chain opened up and they have lowered gas from $3.69 to $3.09 in one week.  Can you believe that?  All the other stations have no choice but to match them.  Now if we could just get a Winco to open here for groceries.   Isn't this great!  It makes such a huge difference to our budget when gas goes down to around $3.00 a gallon.  I am so happy.

     Hubby is at a conference this week so he has the Sate pickup to take him back and forth.  No commuting costs this week at all. Yeah!

These are all little blessings but I am grateful for them. Still plugging away on the show.  Will finish costumes today, then it is just on with the show.

     Out My Window: Cold, foggy wet, typical winter weather.

I have a pile of alterations waiting for me, yippee!  Another blessing!

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

 $1038.72 studio

     Well a mom and I were able to knock out several costumes yesterday and I only have a few left that I am going to work on tomorrow.  I also had a dad offer to come move set Thursday so between Hubby and this great dad I should be able to get everything to the theater.  I just wish it was over.  Isn't that awful.  It is just so much work and I am so tired of being tired.  But for the sake of the students I should enjoy these moments.  I did get the tuition figured out and I am contacting individuals.  I should figure that out today.  I paid all of the big bills including rent and will get everything else after the show.

     I did purchase three boxes of candy canes for my non existent Christmas tree.  Actually it is in the garage, maybe I will just decorate it there.  It will save time.

     Lots of little sewing projects to do today, so I had better get busy.  This week can not go fast enough for me.

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday, survived weekend one more to go!

-$396.14 personal
$1038.72 studio

     We had two holiday parties and huge rehearsals all weekend.  We were able to get home early every night but I just went to bed.  I had visions of putting up Christmas and putting away Halloween last night but I took a two hour nap after church ate left overs and then played the piano for a couple of hours, only Christmas carols.  I just wanted to relax.  I did this with a jack-o-lantern staring at me from the corner of the piano.   I ignored him and continued playing:)

     This is hell week for me and I have a lot of odds and ends to tie up.  Just making a list and checking it twice.  I am not really worried about anything but getting everything to the theater and setting up.  This has to be done on Thursday night and so does the program.  It is hard heavy work and I worry about getting enough help to do it.

     Last week I sewed as much as I could so I would have most things done and not be  behind this week.  I have been able to scrounge together about $1100.00.  I paid the house payment with hubbies first check and then added my $500.00.  I put the other $600.00 into my checking to bring down the amount owed to overdraft.  All bills for the month are included in that -$396.14.  I also have a $346.00 water/sewer bill to pay by the 20th.  Why do they make these 1/4 bills due at Christmas?  I just decided that I wanted to know that the bills were paid this week and I could worry about earning the money next week to cover the rest of the month.  I will be able to earn $750.00 before the end of the month and I can do it after the 15th.  This way I can go into the show with no worries.

     I need to sit down and go over tuition and see who has not paid and I know I have many parent that have not paid their recital fees.  So this morning I will call them.  It is amazing always the same people.  I also need to get a parent letter ready with all costume details and next years dates to hand out this week.

Out My Window:  Hubby finally got all the leaves up, what a job!

Just got a text from a parent that is willing to help me with last minute costumes!  Yippee!  Love that!



Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday, what happened to Thursday?

     I think Sluggy stole my Thursday as hers was missing or she at least had a day missing.  I am so busy right now I can hardly think.  SO much to ask and tell you need advice but I am so behind and will be until Sunday so I am just checking in to say I am alive and will be back soon.

Have a great and productive day!  I know I will.........splat!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday, My pig runneth over!

 -$225.14 personal
$1899.12 studio

     I have had a hard time getting to the computer this morning as the shop is all about can I get this in an hour?  Can I get this by this afternoon.  Can I get these tomorrow at 10?  It is great but usually my turn around time is 2 days.  Most of these people are from small towns and are coming in for shopping or medical.  So I do try to get things out the same day but so much is hard.  This morning I have had to replace a zipper and hem a pair of pants all before 10 a.m.  But the gentleman with the pants was so thrilled to get them in an hour that he gave me a $20.00 although the charge was $12.00.  Anyway I know you are all anxious to hear about my pig.

     I saved $547.37 in spare change last year.  I only put my loose change at the end of the day in the pig.  She weighed in at 33 lbs and I had to carry the coin into the bank in three trips.  I felt like the Knox Bank. It was a pretty painless way to save money and kind of fun.  I would weigh the pig about once a month.  I will use this money for Christmas, so it is squirreled away in an envelope for when I actually start my Christmas shopping here in the valley.

     It is so nice to have my teacher back, last week was so tiring.  I was able to come home at 6:30 last night and just sit with hubby and watch a TV program.  Then we went and cleaned the bank.

     I have been in a quandary about a tree this year.  Last year if you will recall I purchased a very beautiful silk tree pre-lit on a good sale and it did not even last the season.  We had always purchased a Nursery tree from the Catholic Charities but they have gotten so expensive.  The kids always wanted the perfect dense nursery tree and I loved the smell of the fresh evergreen.  Now these trees are around $80.00 and they die before the 25th.  Then I thought, how stupid are you?  Your husband works in the woods.  Send him to find a tree while he is working.  Don't worry he purchased the $2.00 permit. Now this tree will not be perfect or dense like a nursery tree but I am sure it will be beautiful and it will be essentially FREE!  So that works for me.

     Out My Window:  Beautiful and sunny but soooooooooo Cold.  Cold snap moving in for the weekend.

     I have a lot of sewing to get done today, so I had better get busy.  Someone is at the door again.

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday, I opened my pig today!

    -$225.14 personal
    $1,899.36 studio

     I opened my Christmas pig today.  I have three large bags full of coins and will take them to the bank later.  I will have to carry them in one at a time because they are so heavy!  I am excited.

     I did finally get myself moving yesterday, but so tired.  Was able to get the last of the costumes ordered and purchased.  I also was able to get payroll done.  Did a lot of sewing that needed to be caught up and I am still behind.  Hopefully will catch up today.  We were able to get the Coda choreographed last night so we can work on that before Saturday.

     I have a conference call at 10:36 this morning.  Why 10:36?  I mean really so what if it occurs at 10:35? or 10:37?  Is that minute going to change the universe?

     I put a small roast out and am going to make a beef stew for tonight in my crock pot.  Judy will not come help me with my decorations so they will not go up until later!

Out My Window:  Hubby was raking leaves in the dark last night with a head lamp on.  He had cleaned the gutters on Saturday and the MESS!  So he is trying to get a few bags done every night.  It gets dark here now at 4 p.m. and will stay that was until about January 15th.  He looked so funny out there with his little light on his head!

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, December 3, 2012

December? Aghhhhhh!

-$225.14 personal
$67.18 studio

          Okay so it is December and I still have all my Thanksgiving crap all over the house.  I did not even spend Thanksgiving here.  Gasp, tired, go back to bed........  Judy if I get you a plane ticket will you fly out here and put up the decorations?  Because this is my list for today.

Get out of bed and face December (okay done but still in pjs.)
brush teeth (must go past bed to do this it might snag me and pull me in?)
Get out of bed......

Do you see my problem, I am stuck in an infinite loop.