A couple of years ago, I realized that I am not allowed to die. Seriously. Heaven forbid (not that I’m presuming I’ve earned my place beyond the pearly whites yet), something were to happen to me, I don’t think my spouse would be able to go on. Not in the completely inconsolable way (which he would be, I mean, I’m worth missing), but in the “where do the forks go” sense of going on. We’ve been married 8 years, and to this day, this preeminent military professional doesn’t know where we keep the toilet paper.
Today you can find me over at the Military Saves Blog sharing my tips on how you can save money on a limited budget. Military Saves Week kicks off on Monday, Febrauary 25 and goes through March 1. Join them on their Facebook page and on Twitter to get connected to an amazing week full of information, tips, and tricks to help your military family save money and secure your financial future!
You Can Afford To Save…And Here’s How To Do it!
“I don’t have/earn/make enough money to save.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this line as a financial counselor. It always stops me in my tracks, no matter who it’s coming from. I’ve heard it from clients when I worked in personal financial management in Airman and Family Readiness. I’ve heard it working with clients facing the decision whether or not to file bankruptcy. And any time I hear it, my first thought is, “Yes, you do. You can save. It’s all a matter of choice and perspective.”
Potty training day one was, well, a wash. Literally. I scrubbed the carpet four times, La Rubia went through 5 outfits and 5 pairs of underwear, we lost one pair of bedsheets, and Homeskillet’s resolve was starting to waiver. After missing potty-palooza 2008, due to a deployment, he had no idea what he was facing. The disappointment, the patience, the frustration, the boredom, all the pee-pee…he was caught a bit off guard.
Today is the day that we chose to start La Rubia with potty training. Honestly, I haven’t seen any signs from the heavens that she’s ready…we get the occasional disappearing pooper and the announcements of “I pee pee,” I poop,” and “I stink…gross,” but nothing truly concrete.
From day 1 La Rubia has been a different little cookie. Totally different than La Grande. La Grande is quiet, compliant, and independent. La Rubia is loud, defiant, and a cuddler. I love each of them for their difference. I love the “rule regulator” I have in La Grande and the “woo girl” I have in La Rubia.
Our parenting style has been mostly consistent, particularly when it comes to routine and acceptable behavior, but our approaches to yield the results we desire are like night and day. I expect that potty training won’t be any different.
A friend of mine just posted on Facebook about feeling like a “mean mom” because she’s taking a hands off approach to her child’s school assignment requiring him to make a Valentine’s mailbox. I immediately responded to her, 100% supporting her decision to not over-help her child with the project. And then I realized that maybe it is time for a PSA about overly zealous parents.
That old adage “time is money” isn’t just advice for business owners or financiers…it’s great advice for us busy women, too. One of the most time consuming part of my day revolves around meal preps. I plan these elaborate meals and I burn myself out. I’ll get on this awesome kick and then…boom. I’m toast. I start talking crazy like “let’s order out” or “let’s go out to eat.” And there goes the money.
Oh boy. I did it. I’m resigning from my steady, predictable part-time job and jumping full force into my latest project, NextGen MilSpouse. For those of you who totally missed my shameless plugs for our January 2013 launch, NextGen MilSpouse is an online magazine geared towards empowering and connecting our diverse military spouse community that puts a fresh spin on what it means to be a military spouse today. The tagline is, perhaps, one of the coolest, if not THE coolest things that has ever hatched out of my brain: Because the last thing you are is dependent.
If you’re a military family, I hope that you’re making the Post 9/11 GI Bill a part of your college saving plan, whether you’re saving for yourself or for your children. When you talk about getting the biggest bang for your buck with college savings plans, nothing holds a candle to the higher education opportunities provided by the GI Bill.
Have I ever told you how much I love shopping at the Commissary? For my non-military readers, that’s what we call the grocery store located on base/post. Sometimes, I don’t even realize the savings until it slaps me in the face. To make matters worse, I’m a horrible coupon clipper, so you wouldn’t imagine my delight at being contacted to share a special program brought to you by General Mills to help military families save even more at the Commissary! [Read more...]
Parenting is a lot like investing. Think about it. Your kids are like little bank accounts. You regularly deposit your time and love into them and watch your investment grow and mature. Sometimes, you have to reassess your investment strategy…maybe you need to diversify your portfolio by targeting piano lessons or hiring a tutor (awesome metaphor, no? <takes a bow>). And as important as it is to nurture our kids, sometimes, we want to give them something a little more liquid than love and support…like…well…money.
When a good friend of mine tagged me with the now viral 52 Week Money Challenge, I got so excited, I knew I had to share this with everyone (thanks, Dawn O.)! According to my bloggy friend, 4HatsAndFrugal (go check her out), the 52 Week Money Challenge originated via a facebook group called “Kassondra’s 52 Week Money Challenge“. This ridiculously easy savings schedule is the perfect way to set aside money…like $1378… for just about anything you can imagine. [Read more...]
I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me feel more crafty than wielding a hot glue gun. I’m not a crafty mama, but sometimes I do like to look like one. These cute and easy-to-make Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer candy canes are just the ticket to make you the crafty-mom you’ve always wanted to be…or am I the only one with crafty-mom envy? I didn’t think so.
Supply List for Rudolph Candy Canes:
- Candy Canes
- Pipe Cleaners
- Googly Eyes
- Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
It’s that time of year again! 2013 BAH rates finally published and some of you might be dancing around thinking about how you’ll spend that extra cash, if you were lucky enough to see an increase. Maybe you’re thinking about moving or finally grabbing that premium cable, or maybe you’re considering saving the extra cash for a rainy day (my vote).
Oh, and don’t worry. If BAH for your area decreased for the area you’re already residing in, never fear. You’ll continue to receive your same rate…phew! Regardless, this is a great time to reevaluate your housing expenses and make sure you’ve got your budget in check! [Read more...]
I am seeing it everywhere….so many of my friends don’t feel safe after the events at Sandy Hook Elementary. And right now, half-baked, reactionary measures that always emerge after a tragedy are cropping up, like “let’s arm teachers” or “let’s outlaw firearms”…because we all know that when tragedy strikes…the pendulum begins to swing. We start trying to cling to whatever illusion of safety we believe we can create.
The recent unspeakable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School shook me to my core. As a mom, my heart immediately cried out for my own school-aged daughter. I couldn’t wait to scoop her up from school and smother her in hugs and kisses. And when Monday came, and it was time to return to school, somehow, I sent her off to school with hugs, and kisses, and a reminder to be safe…as I always do. But I didn’t send her off in new-found fear. [Read more...]
How many presents were bought? Gift wrapped tight. Stacked under the tree. How many children counting down the days until the start of their Christmas vacation? How many roadtrips planned to Grandma and Grandpa’s house…that came to a screeching halt?
I can’t imagine…only I can. I can imagine this event because it freaking keeps happening! Over and over and over again. How? Why? What goes through that person’s mind?
Children…children for God’s sake. And always a suicide. Why?!
So many whys…I can’t even bring myself to point a finger. Is it guns? Is humanity really depraved? Are we missing the boat on the importance of therapy? Who the hell can I point the finger at so we can get to the bottom of this?
I’m so sad. So sad. And disappointed. I hate when something happens that makes me doubt my faith in humanity. And I hate when something like this happens and then we all pour out our hearts and my faith in humanity is restored…but then we start to forget…and we get lost in the immaterial…and it happens again and again and again.
Just pray…to whomever, whatever you choose. Pray for those families affected by tragedy in CT. Pray for that community. Pray for those children.
And hug your children tight.