I finished the burp clothes today while Karsyn was down for her morning nap, completed the baby quilt last night but I might make some changes to the quilt. I top stitched the quilt edges then hand tied instead of quilting the top, not sure I like the top stitching, gonna give it a few days to see how I feel. The shower invitations went in the mail today, now all I have left to do is decide on a simple but yummy menu of snacks. I found the instructions for the burp clothes on line for free (If it's free it's for me), used flannel diaper material for the back doubled for a little more absorbency then finished them off with decorative top stitching, the end result are 8x12 cloths. These are so much cutier than the old dish towels I used with our Grands!! We are past the burp cloth stage around here the little girls just eat, go and burp like old men headed in diffrent directions
Now for the savings...For us the biggest step was waking up to the financial fog we had been in for a few years. When our Daughters were younger, then in school and college we had to watch the dimes, nickles and pennies. As the girls graduated from college and finally got off our payroll we began to get sloppy, what the heck we had it, so we spent it but thankfully we took on NO debt. I hate debt with a passion!!!! We have always had a little something put back in savings but not as much as I wanted, and we have funded our retirement account from the beginning 37 years ago. As the economy tanked a few years back we took a beating in our retirement account, just when we thought OK, we will be in pretty good shape come the rocking chair days we were watching it dwindle away, some day's a heck of a lot more than dwindling!! Too many people we knew were losing jobs, houses were in foreclose, prices were on the rise and the Government continued to make political speeches instead of addressing the real problem in our country. Time to stop playing around here at home and get busy being smarter. Have you ever filed your income taxes and wondered where in the world you spent all that money, that was happening to us more and more each year.
How can you go from saving what's leftover from your paycheck to putting back over 40% of your pay? Once you are wide awake!! track your spending for a month, no cheating!! Don't hold back, do what you normally do and see where your money is going on a day to day basis. Keeping track of your spending is a pain in the butt, I didn't keep a notebook and write it all down, that was to much trouble. What I did do was hang on to receipts, I had a cute little freebie makeup bag that I just shoved the receipts in, at the end of the month I totaled it all up. I was disgusted by what I saw, we had money flowing out of our hands like it was water, like I said before we weren't taking on debt but we were spending like there was no tomorrow.
After I figured out where we were out of control I put a stop to that spending and I mean a stop! the brakes went on fast. No more eating out just because it was faster or easier than cooking at home. The reality is in our area the wait time can be 30 minutes or longer to get seated then longer yet to be waited on and receive your food that ended up making me sick anyway. I love pasta, if I got to pick where we were eating it was always somewhere that served pasta, folks a d... noodle shouldn't cost $14.95 plus the drink and tip! Little quick trips to the grocery store was crazy. I always ended up with more in the buggy than I went for. I had been couponing for several years but it was a hit or miss deal. I got serious and made it my job to get food in the house that we eat as cheap as I could and stock up so we would never pay full price again. As we began eating at home more I noticed a huge improvement in my health that I didn't expect, more money saved in medical bills that was unexpected. The money saved in the food department went into savings a little here and there began to add up.
We did a check up on our bills a little at a time, as I have said we don't have debt other than our home but I hadn't realized how much extra we were spending that we didn't need to. Insurance was one area I did a check up on. We were paying almost double in homeowners insurance than we should have been. Each year our insurance company increased the value of our home thus raising the price, I wasn't paying attention to a few dollars extra each year but it had really added up over time. Also vehicle insurance got a look over, we have WAY to many vehicles and stuff on wheels around here (Rambo man's deal) after working with our agent and going over each item we found even more savings. Don't bother doing this over the phone take the time and go to your agents office!!! Once I totaled up our savings each month on insurance that money went into savings. A little here and there same as with food.
Eventually each and every bill got a check up. Don't try and do this all at once, you will pull your hair out working with company reps who's job it is to continue to upgrade your service for just a few dollars more a month. These people don't know what it is to lower bills, I even had a few things cut off and went with other companies because the companies we had been loyal to for years and years only gave the better rates to new customers. Here's a tip, if you decide to have a service cut off make sure and prepare your family ahead of time. Rambo man was out of town when I had a few things cut off around here. I thought I could have the new service up and running before the weekend when he returned home. NOT, service people don't always show up on the date and time they say they will. M&M cookies normally soothe the beast in my house, that and the fact Rambo man knows I am prone to hissy fits, representatives who can't think for themselves makes me nuts. Each time I found a little savings I made note of it, then that money went into savings a little more here and there.
OK, so it is getting late and both babies will be here tomorrow, I will continue this post then. As I was thinking about this post today and watching the little girls play I realized saving money was just like watching them move around. Karsyn gets on her hands and knee's then belly flops forward with such force she grunts. Kara has learned to crawl finally, so darn cute!! She makes little bitty dainty steps but the kid can move. Getting money put back is the same, little tiny crawling steps and sometimes belly flops to move forward.