Archive for money

Jul
08

Moms Rock

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Today I saw a post on facebook from an old co-worker.  I haven’t seen her in years, but thanks to facebook, I know she has a little girl and lives in Ohio.  She seems super happy.  I always liked Kerri, and enjoyed working with her.  (We also had fun on her 21st birthday, but we won’t talk about that now).

So, Kerri actually left the bartender life to become a pilot.  But now, here she is, at home with her little one.  What does she do?  She starts her own at-home business (becomes a MOMtrepreneur).  She started making hair clips and bows.  They’re so cute! And definitely something you can’t find just anywhere.  As they say,  a picture is worth 1,000 words:

Flamingo Hair clip

Strawberry Hair Clips

Aren’t they cute? I’m a little jealous, though.  Why?  Well first off, I’m not that crafty.  Not in real life, anyway.  I can be crafty on my handy dandy laptop, but not with actual MATERIALS.  Look:  I made this ninja over the weekend:

Cute, huh?  But I digress……

So, I’m jealous that she’s crafty.  And I’m jealous that her daughter will actually wear hair clips.  Not mine.  Not for longer than 30 minutes, anyway.  But, I’m not very much into accessories, so I guess I can’t expect my kids to be into them.

But I think it’s awesome that she started a business.  So, you should check out her blog, Elle Belle’s Bows! And us moms?  We’re like that.  I’ve been a virtual assistant, hocked my t-shirts online (still do that), and done all the boring paperwork gobbidy-gook for the restaurant from home.  Oh, and gone back to school.  My friend watches kids for extra cash.  One of our waitresses also bakes cookies on the side.  You can’t keep a mom back.  The internet has opened up all sorts of opportunities for moms, and I love to see a mom start something new.  Or finish something they started.  Or go back to school.  Or keep on working outside the house.  Anything but that whole stereotypical fifties mom wearing an apron and having a martini and dinner ready for her husband as he walks through the door.

Nothing against the boys.  They’ve been starting businesses forever.  But to juggle the kids, a business, the house, the laundry…you get the idea.  Moms really DO rock.

And that’s all I have to say about that :-)

Categories : life, money, motherhood
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Jul
23

Baby Steps to Money Management

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You know I have a big family.  Nieces and nephews out the wazoo.  I think that having a Prepaid Visa MasterCard for a teenager is an awesome idea.  I mean cash is really so 1990′s.  You can pay everywhere with a debit card, even on the web.  I’m already planning for the girls.  I think when they get allowances (which will be when they start doing chores, which could possibly be never) I’ll put part of it on one of those cards.  You can set them up to put a certain amount out of each of your paychecks right on there.  Those cards might even be good for me…If I load a certain amount on when I’m going shopping, and leave all the CREDIT cards at home, I won’t spend more than I’ve planned.  Whaddya think?

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Apr
18

Attitude Changes Everything

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Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days. I went through a little bit of re-discovery. Tuesday I was happy to get back to normal, but the next day I did absolutely NOTHING. (Although I managed to beat my high score on Scramble over at facebook.) I had a big ol’ case of the ‘blahs.’ There was no particular reason I had these feelings. There’s the possibility that it was the crappy Pittsburgh weather. But I woke up on Thursday morning, and my attitude changed.

The sun was shining, and I had a new peace. As I was drinking a cup of coffee that morning in my kid-less house (they were at school), my brain started thinking what my life would be like if I had all the money I ever needed. I imagined my bank account just overflowing with cash. You want to know what I figured out? My life really wouldn’t be much different.

Sure, I would buy more stuff, and possibly go more places. But my daily life would be pretty much the same. I would still be getting up in the morning. I would still be getting the kids to school. There would still be toys to clean up, laundry to do, birthday gifts to buy and dinner to make. I would still live in this house, drive my car and drink the same coffee. Yes, if I had a crapload of cash, we may not own the restaurant anymore, but I’m not so sure about that. I mean, it’s like our child right now. Most likely, I would still have that hour or so in the morning to catch up on restaurant work. Yeah, I could hire somebody to do the grunt work. So I might get a couple more hours to myself each day. But what would I do with that time? I’m sure for a month or so, I would just enjoy the fact that I HAD some time. But I would start some project and get involved in something.

And I’d be back to the same place.

So, I’ve reached another plateau of happiness. Acceptance is good. I’m really not a worrier. So, if we’re low on cash one month, I actually handle it pretty well.

That’s not to say that I wouldn’t take some cash if it came along.

Mama doesn’t NEED a new pair of shoes, but I sure wouldn’t mind a few. And hardwood floors. Ooooh, and a maid to do the scrubbing. (Yeah, I don’t scrub all that much. So again, money wouldn’t really change my life, but it might make my house more clean!). I think my kids have felt this new calmness. They’ve been great the past couple of days. We’ve had fun, and we haven’t really done anything special.

Yup, it’s all about the attitude :)

Categories : attitude, life, money, parenting
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Well, today is day 2 of spring vacation for Becca. I’ll tell you, it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Or maybe the timing of my vacation was wrong. Either way, let me tell you what’s been going on.

We all had a great time in Florida, and it was a week of family togetherness. We got home late on a Tuesday night, and Becca had school the next morning. I think she was still asleep as I got her on the bus that morning. When she got to school, she found that her regular teacher was out, and she had a substitute. When she got home that day, she cried that she didn’t want to go back to school. I knew she’d have a bit of an adjustment getting back into the groove, and figured she had a little bit of extra troubles because she expected to see her regular teacher. Thursday came, and there were more tears when she got to school. There weren’t any in the car that day, but lots of complaining. Friday, she stepped on the bus with big ol’ tears of drama. Monday and Tuesday, same thing. Tears. Lots of them.

She’s tried saying she has a stomach ache. She misses me. She misses her blanket. I gave her an old necklace of mine, and told her to hold it when she missed me. Helped a little. But now we have this week of vacation, and I think it’s going to start again on Tuesday. Ugh. So, that’s my update on Becca. I’m sure all will be fine, but it will be another week of complaining and fake stomach aches.

As for the title of my post, I want to talk about Aldi. I think I’ve mentioned the store here before. I love that store! And no, this isn’t a sponsored post and I’m not getting anything to post about this store. Yesterday, I took the girls and did a grocery trip. I got an entire cart full of groceries and it cost 85 dollars. The cart was pretty full, and I even spent $10 on those
vaccuum space bag thingies
and three bucks on some fresh flowers. I’ve never had a problem with any of their groceries (Well, scratch that. I did have a problem with some hand soap – the pump didn’t work. But that could happen anywhere). Even though they don’t have a bunch of name brands, their cereal, snacks, frozen items and produce suit me just fine. I feel darn proud of myself when I come out of that store. Saving money makes me happy. But the kids have to shop with me when I’m there.

I have to say, they were VERY well behaved yesterday. I think they may have reached the point where I don’t have to yell at them the entire time, and they stay close to the cart. Chloe has her job of putting things into the cart, and Becca helped me decide what to buy. Just six months ago, though, it would have been a different story. They would be grabbing things to put into the cart, begging for toys and candy, and getting in the way of the other shoppers.

And that’s the strength of the Eagle’s Nest. If you’re not local, I’ll let you know that Giant Eagle is one of Pittsburgh’s large grocery chains. My store (and many others) has a child care center called the Eagle’s Nest. It is a room for the kids set up with video games, toys, crayons and tv’s. One wall is all windows, so you can peek in, and they always seem to have enough adults for the number of children. Putting the kids in the Eagle’s Nest is almost like having a ‘Calgon, take me away!’ moment. Drop them off, grab a cart, order a Starbuck’s and leisurely stroll through the store. I can read prices. Look at ingredients. Take recipe cards. Be picky about my fruit/meat/veggies. It’s actually relaxing. Until I get to the check out.

I literally pay twice as much when I’m at Giant Eagle. Really. Now, there are some things that I will only get at Giant Eagle. Steaks, fresh seafood, bakery goods. If I need any of those things, I stop in quickly and head right back out. But sometimes, just sometimes, it’s nice to have an hour to myself to do my shopping.

I’ve been very, very good about getting my groceries at Aldi. Because Chloe is at preschool two mornings a week, I can sometimes even sneak it in while I’m all alone. Giant Eagle knows what they’re doing with that thing! I think I’ll save that for the summer. When they’re both here. All the time. For three months.

I’d better start saving my cash!

Space Bag Combo - Set of 6 (1 XL, 2 Large, 3 Medium)

Categories : kids, money, motherhood
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Mar
13

Show Me The Money

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You know, the past year has been crazy for us…especially financially.

It all worked out OK in our heads. Tony will quit his job, we’ll still have one more paycheck on its way. We’ll turn the restaurant around in 2 weeks (which we did!), open up and get right back into making money. We tapped ourselves out in order to get the money to purchase the restaurant. A second mortgage, emptying out the 401K, plus another small loan got us our money to purchase Downey’s House.

There were a few things that we didn’t really factor in. Like new signs. And deposits for the utility companies. And, oh yeah. The first food order. Most of these things ended up on our personal credit cards. Some of that stuff is still on there. Plus, we really had to live off credit cards for about a month. But hey, you’ve got to take a risk to get where you want to go sometimes.

Well, I’ve decided that I need to get that credit card stuff in order. I have amounts on four different cards, just sort of floating around. So, I went to this site I heard about, and you can get instant approval credit cards right online. It’s nice to see all of the different deals, right there on one site. Me, I’m a fan of zero percent interest. I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles like cash back or airline miles. I’m gonna get all of this in order – and paid off (hopefully) quickly. The restaurant has been doing well, and Tony is happier than a fat kid in the Twinkie factory.

So, now that it’s been almost 1 year, I’m feeling settled. Not so crazy and scattered. And I’m takin’ care of business.

Categories : Downey's House, money
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