BUDGETING QUEEN.

I refer to myself as the (self proclaimed) “budgeting queen.”  I get confused when I hear people complaining about not being able to afford to live, and there are LESS of them in their household and MUCH more money.  At the same time, when someone else mentions how much they make per month, and its close to what I do, I cringe- I do it for a family of 5, but when someelese mentions doing it for just 1, it sounds crazy lol- not sure why…

I’m very open about our income amounts and how we do it.

First, “I” am a family of 5- me and my 4 boys. 3 of which go to their Dad’s about 10% of each month. (So, the other 90% if all me.)

Second, other than a school loan in deferment, we are basically debt free. (obviously excluding normal monthly bills like house, and utilities.)

So here it is- my total average monthly income to work with: $1200.00

That amount has to pay our house payment, gas, utilities, storage unit, cell phone, pet stuff-everything… Like I said, when even my single friends say they only have what I do to live off of, my gut is “HOW?!”

I was doing a bit better- was babysitting out of my house, and pulling ahead, feeling pretty good- til I got some sort of letter that stated we were eligible for food stamps-&as long as my income is $2800/mth- and since we are way under that, that notice was quite depressing lol…

Then, all at once, the families I was watching for all left for various reasons- no fault of mine. (moving, shift change, etc.) I only have one family left, who will be leaving any day(most likely without notice).  So, meanwhile, I’m trying for get my boutique up and running full time vs hobby income.

oh- to back up- I can not work a “normal job” because there a clause in our custody that says I can NOT leave the children for “4 or more hours”- this includes for work.  I can’t work “1st shift” as A- the boys are only in school 6hrs/day, then you must subtract from that driving time to/from “work”, and also all the Dr appts the boys have- as Drs are only open during those hours, AND I am called to “immediately pick up” a child by the school an average of 3 times per month. Yeah.. one obvious thing I cant afford to budget for is a lawyer. (& its not something I can get legal aid etc for)

So. where there’s a will, there’s a way, and I make it all work.  I try not to focus on things like “christmas is coming.” & “birthdays are immediately after.” & “the mechanic has no idea how my van is still running.” “its now impossible to babysit during the day due to all the appts& I cant babysit other shifts due to my children’s needs.”

& focus on what I DO have-  I FINALLY have a home computer. That obviously helps in running an online business lol!  I only have *1* 11mth old during the day, which makes it slightly easier to get other work done… note the slightly- lol- if you have/have had a toddler, Im sure you understand this. 😉

The biggest problem is certain Drs and other appointments saying I CANT bring ANY children/extra children & of course, they are ONLY available during the day, and I cant leave the child I am babysitting with a babysitter. Although, this may have to happen soon- I cant NOT go to the appts. Im barely making anything from babysitting after expenses- idk how I’ll handle trying to pay someone else(or even FIND someone who’ll except even close to what im paid) for what im paid. It will most likely come down to me paying my “sub” my entire day’s wage, to come while i go to a 2hr appt. But, its that, or lose 100% of that monthly income now(instead of when they leave for good at some unknown time lol.)

I survive by laughing about it. I do. I mean, I can cry & be depressed- which will not help in any way- or just tell myself that someday the kids&Iwill look back & just say “WOW. How did we do it???!” & “look how far we have come…”  And besides, it is truly laughable what I put up with. Until, you study the alternatives…

SO. meanwhile- I have a house, a van, and even a kayak(which I WILL find time to USE in 2013!) We are already richer than 99% of the world, right?? AND I have a child going off to private Christian college (to become a pastor- he cant go to a public school for that) in a matter of months. So, at least he will be eligible for FAFSA aid, right? 😉

ok, the little one here is DONE, with the many games of patty cake, etc Ive been doing to keep him busy… time to get “productive.” (& I plan to leave my SUPER POWERED BUDGETTING TIPS in my blog posts from here on out too! )

 

Tuesday Update

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The boys came home Sunday evening and we put up the Christmas decorations.  🙂

I take A LOT of photos so its really hard to just choose one…(& I seriously just accidentally figured out how to insert of photo into the text box lol.)

Yesterday was all day running my 8yr old to his appts. (thankful I was able to get a few on the same day.) He finally had his case manager intake! He starts next week! Meanwhile his Meds Dr referred him to Childrens Hospital to be officially tested for sensory issues as well. They want him to have specialized OT that they dont do at school. (When exactly do they expect him to be able to GO to school with all of this stuff going on?!)

Today was all about hiking around picking up Rxs, etc, after taking the school-agers to school. Tomorrow, more appts. 

The back of my van is full of donations already for The Healing Center, where we volunteer on Saturdays. More in the house that I cant take out til Friday night because I need to be able to put all the seats down.

I haven’t thought much aboput Christmas presents yet.  Black Friday was all about me getting the main supplies to get my boutique moving faster.  The 3 youngest will be with their Dad Christmas eve night@ 10pm, Christmas Day, & the 5 following days after. So, “Santa is going to DADs house this year…” And I told the boys the sewing supplies&LAPTOP! were dropped off by santa early, while they were away.

This morning, my 11yr old asked me… “if Santa came early for you… and Santa is going to DADs house… what about Michael??”  …..lol.

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Sunday

ITs the last day of the break… my 3 youngest come back home today!! I survived.

Started on my new pet line in the boutique yesterday. Cleaned. Skipped the shopping drive for the last sale. Skipping hte one for today too.

Today, spent hours doing laundry and then sorting fabrics/planning out my next set of AIO diaper, trainer, and bib designs.

Still trying to figure out this computer… :-/

Boys come home in about 2 1/2hrs and I still have soooo much cleaning and organizing to do!  Still need to get the Christmas stuff out. It is always an ongoing, never ending list to stuff that needs done…

Trying to get my oldest to help- not going well today- constant attitude, short cutting on jobs given, & disappearing…

Alright. Back to work!

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BLACK FRIDAY… TAKE 2.

So. Today has been a roller coaster…

I drove gthe hour round trip to the closest fabric store. 2nd in line. Got a ticket for a $500 sewing machine for only $190.

BUT. I talked myself out of it.  1st- I dont have the $$ to spend. 2nd- my current sewing machine still works…

I went home… I start to make some newborn diaper covers. BOOM. My sewing machine broke. Yeah… my $200 sewing machine that was actually $200.

Then, I checked my child support debit card- an arrears payment had been made- it was NOT on the card this morning.

So, I decided to call the store and see if by any chance they still had it..and.. THEY DID! hours later, it was still up front with my name on it lol.

I made the hour round trip AGAIN and got it.  Oh. And I have to make the trip again tomorrow morning for another product lol… yeah.. story of my life- but at least this time it ended postive.

& 6 more newborn diaper covers landed in my shop.

 

BLACK FRIDAY/ Thanksgiving Break

1st: I FINALLY HAVE A COMPUTER!  That’s right- I have been running an online business using only my broken cell phone and the 45min alloted time at the library lol…  NOW. Trusting God to pay for this thing. I just couldnt truely work my business full time- advertise etc- without a home computer.

2nd: Its Thanksgiving Break! Michael (17) is here, but off “hiding” as teens do, and my 3 youngest are with their father for the break- gone til Sunday evening.  It’s killing me. I’m so very used to them being here 24/7.  It’s too quiet.

I DID get Thomas(8) & Andrew(6)’s room cleaned out. It looks GREAT…. and will stay that way til about 6:05pm this Sunday… 😉 Bagged up toys to donate& put them in the back of my van til next Saturday when we go volunteer. (we volunter every sat, but its closed tomorrow bc of holiday)

OH! I got a DOG last Saturday. She’s a “Bagle Hound”- No, that’s not a mispelling- its now a recognised breed- mix between Beagle & Bassitt Hound. 6yrs old. Her previous family has a baby & about to have another and couldnt give her the time she needs.

Life is rough right now, and I really wasn’t thinking about investing in a dog.  But, I was told recently: “sometimes we get what we NEED, even if we don’t realize we need it.”

I got to admit, she has gotten me thinking about my weak pet line. I maybe have 2 or 3 listings? At one time, it was supposed to be nearly 1/3- 1/2 my shop. & I of course already made her a neckerchief- just quickly whiped something up in like 10mins, definitely not my best work/effort- but already gotten compliments on it, and a possible lead to sell some at a local groomer- all by “accident”…

Well, right now I am in the middle of making 6 newborn cloth diaper covers/AI2s.  When my boys were little, I found using a simple cover like mine(with NO plasticy stuff against baby) and laying inserts in the covers was the very best way to diaper a newborn. They go through so many diapers and it seemed that as soon as I’d change them, they’d immediately need changed again.  Well, with using these covers, and just layting in a newborn insert, I could just change the insert itself when just wet, instead of an entire diaper every time.  Granted, sometimes they would REALLY soak the insert, and I’d have to wipe out and hang dry the cover and use another awhile, BUT it cut down on the laundry quite a bit.  Another thing I experienced, is that every “newborn” diaper I came across was HUGE on my teeny 6lb babies. There was no way I could put regular pants over them- even the “popular” brands.  And that is what started me down the path to creating my own.  I pride myself in my brand and how SUPER trim they are- and yet still being amazingly absorbant.  But anyway, back to making these covers! 😉