Emergency funds

Do you all have an emergency fund? I am so new to this and have really got to make budgeting my job, or return to work………Snip

I like that phrase “budgeting is my job” – Can I borrow it? Yes we have an emergency fund, and I am soooo protective of it–heaven help me when we really need it–I’ll be in pain twice–the first crisis and then depleting my lovely emergency fund. So weird–and I was the one who used to think it was a successful month if I ended it with a few dollars left over in the checking account–and who needed a savings account, when there was “always” another paycheck coming? Scary.

The envelope system is the only thing that has ever worked for me to start saving anything. It’s visual and I “get it”. When I’m saving for something in particular, I create an envelope for it (Dave Ramsey calls it a “sinking fund“) and any money that I’ve saved, found, cashed in change etc goes in that envelope. It’s rewarding to see it fill up bit by bit and it is incentive to save a few dollars here or there from another category because I get to add those “saved” dollars to my savings envelope. Of course at a certain point, it should go to a bank but only into a special account.

Money just disappears in our checking account.

Oh and I saw a cute thing at the store–thought about copying it at home. It was a mason jar that had been outfitted with a harness type thingy that wrapped around the jar and had a cover over the lid with a tiny padlock locking the harness shut and the lid on. There was a hole/slit in the top for money to slot thru. The side of the jar was mark and labeled – a little bit up the jar, the label said “Movie and Dinner” Farther up the side of the jar the label said “A weekend on the town” and so on. I think at the very top was something like “Hawaii Vacation”

Lis in AL, who needs to go figure out something for dinner.

My day today was kind of frugal

Well, my day today was kind of frugal in some ways – I bought a lot but could have spent a lot more!

i had to take my Ds down to vineland NJ to meet his best friend and his father – my son ( 12 ) was then going on with them to their shore house and staying till Saturday when they come home

PROS- less arguing between him and his 9 yo sister with one of them gone (we are ready for school to start here LOLL!! and he gets to spend time at the shore with his friend and get some shore experiences (he loves the shore ) and i don’t have to pay for the whole family to go

CONS- i had to give him $30 (well didn’t have to but i wanted him to have some money so they were not paying for everything – especially playing games or rides on the boardwalk – then again he actually is owed 2 weeks in allowance ($5 a week ) so $10 of that is from his allowance $20 from us ) – but again its cheaper than even taking teh whole family for teh beach for a day.

We got a little lost and i found an area that had a salvation army- a good will – a super Mart a bradlees and a Walmart (which i have non near me !!) so after i dropped DS off i figured we could do a little shopping for a few needed things – I was bummed because i didn’t have any of the goodwill $10 off $20 clothing coupons i had cut out of the newspaper : (

SO we stopped for lunch at BK – the three kids split two kids meals — I got a DBL cheeseburger (I am such a piggy now that I am eating for 2 LOL!!) i got a milk for ds and youngest DD to split and drank the one kids meal soda .

CONS- cost about $6 – would have been cheaper to back something if i had planned ahead

PROs- it sure satisfied a BK craving I had been having for the past few days (LOLL!) and while looking at a free publication they had in the lobby I found a coupon for goodwill like I had at home ! YIPPEE !!!

SO off to good will we went – it was a huge good will was nicely laid out- I ended up spending $22 total but here;s what I got:

5– ” cool ” shirts for DD 9 ( 2 from gap one from limited- one two name )

For Ds 12 : 2 t-shirts ( dark colors- seems the freebies from the Internet seem to be white a lot of the time and get stained so easily) in fact while he is gone I am going thru his drawers trying to get the stains out of his tees and trashing those beyond hope !) a nice gray polo style shirt that says ESPN ( he wil love this!!)

a nice- flannel one piece PJ set ( womans large ) with pooh and piglet pattern all over it – will use the material to make a doll blanket for my 3 yo pooh lover for Christmas and maybe a small doll pillow etc. or nightgown for the doll

a pooh game for 3 yo DD

A nice sky blue satin material bedskirt pillow sham and full size sheet (which I may see if I can make into a cover for her twin comforter )- all like new in beautiful condition !!

PROS- great stuff for low prices
CONs – haven’t thought of any yet LOL!!

Then i was onto Walmart where we found a dress for DD for her first day back at school – it was 10$ but will get plenty of use as a church dress too – I got a few new bras (outgrowing them) undies ( no comment LOL!!) a belt for my youngest Ds for school and a slew of bargain school supplies – then we went home very very tired !!

CONS”s – spent $71 at Walmart and put it on my charge (UGH) PROS- if i bought bras at a place like MACY’s etc i would have paid $71 for only the bras most likely – already wrote out the $71 ck to cover what i charged – and everything i bought was something needed to buy and at least at Walmart i got a good deal

Car payments

I, too know the joy of paying off my car this month…also the memory of what happened the last time I paid off a car and,foolishly dropped the collision coverage only to be driven off the road by a 4×4 coming over a hill in my lane and totalling my Geo….the cause of the car payments I just finished !!

So WILL NOT drop my collision and will continue to pay the pmyt. into my credit union account since I’m already used to not having that $245 a month anyhow.

The account is out of town and a pain to get money out of so will be my emergency fund. With the help of this list and all the frugal sites out there my DH and I are actually getting a real handle on our finances after 34 years of ups and downs.

I have to say this is the parents fault

I have to say this is the parents fault -WHY did they let her buy a new mustang- there is a HUGE difference between a job for a little extra spending money some fashionable clothes and allowing a child to have an adult lifestyle ( new car etc) because they have a job –

I worked PT from 9th grade thru nursing school my grades never showed the difference (A’s) because I put school not work first — again IMO that is the parents fault if they let their kids grades fail and continue to let them work — when I was growing up working was considered a privileged and grades – attitude had to be kept up to keep the job.

I can tell you that when i was in nursing school i could point out which kids never ever had a job of any-kind- very little responsibility for anything – from leaving their stuff all over the schools kitchen to not taking clinical as id it was a ” job” in itself ( which it was )

Plus many kids have no choice if they want some extras- IMO it is much worse for a Mom to leave teh family so teh kids can have these extras than for the kids to work a few hours a week

I think the # 1 thing is doing al things in moderation- i bet 99% of kids who work ~ 10 hours a week will not have problems with grades etc. as compared to those trying to pay off cars etc. ( which IMO a new car for a teen is absolutely ridiculously a WANT not a need – a safe reliable car is a need and even that is questionable- i used my moms car until i got a used Toyota at 19 yo to drive to and from nursing school in )

Teens working

Felt compelled to reply when I heard about a teen wanting to work on a farm…farm work is one of the most dangerous jobs there are. Many farmers are killed or maimed each year and often these are young people who may understand how to drive a piece of machinery but don’t have the maturity/judgment to be around such dangerous equipment.

Even adult don’t always think/remember what they are doing. Remember taking care of a woman who had been partially scalped/one ear lost when she was working around a corn picker without her long hair under a cap and it got sucked into the machinery. The law says kids can’t work around dangerous machinery but it happens all too frequently…like slicers in deli’s and fast food shops…a neighbor kid cut off 4 fingers and lost his dream of joining the service using this kind of machinery; all to keep up his car.

Another girl was nearly killed falling asleep on her way home from her Walmart job all to keep up the payments on her new Mustang. I personally don’t think teens should work –their education should be primary interest with time for family, friends, church and community service. Studies have shown that the majority of teens who work have lower grades.

Plenty of years when you’ll have to work. DEE

When our son was born

When our son, Chucky was born, DH didn’t have a whole lot to do with him…DH was an only child and had not really been around kids….he was scared of Chucky. He made some comments to me one time about having to “babysit” Chucky when I went to a bridal shower…or something like that. I told him that you can’t “babysit” your own child…etc. I think I made him feel really bad, because after that, he made more of an effort to get to know his child. (Plus seeing how my dad and my brothers interacted with their kids helped)

He grew up without really knowing his father, so I don’t think he really understood the father-child bond. I have to say…he is one terrific father now and has been since Chucky was about a year old. In fact, he deals better with the kids in alot of aspects then I do, even though I’m around them more. He is better with them when they are sick, deals with emergency situations better and is more of a pushover too..LOL He is one heck of a guy! He is still nervous around babies, especially ones that aren’t ours…but he’ll have to get over that again..come November..


I know DH’s who would rather their kids be in daycare than they have to do things like this !!!

Budget Blown!

We have had a very expensive summer. Building a deck (saved for but cost more than we figured), truck died need to get a new vehicle, vacation, and now next week my daughter will be getting braces.

Thank God for that emergency fund. Anyway I wasn’t going to buy any groceries this month to try to replace the EF but then SuperK and Safeway have such great sales this week.

I just went and spent about $100 on tuna 3/$1, coffee $3.99/34 oz, $1.69/ BLSL chix breasts, .29/# leg quarters, .99/# hamburger, .99/ribs, BOGO waffles. I won’t need meat for about 6 months. Maybe next month I can start with the EF again.


This is an interesting issue

When I taught, I had a lot of kids in my classes who worked. I can’t imagine how some of them did it! I knew students (I also was director of the flag corps) who worked mornings, went to school all day, went to track or volleyball practice right after school, went to flag or band right after sports, and finally made it home after practice, which ended at 9:30. Poor kids. I could hardly keep up with my OWN schedule.

I think a lot depends on the individual kid and how he/she responds to the responsibility. I had an interesting situation…siblings whose parents didn’t work. The girl got a job when she was a sophomore, and worked all through high school. I was so impressed with her initiative. By her senior year, I knew that she was working at least 30 h per week, plus going to vocational school in another town. That year, my teacher’s aide and I paid her car insurance for her…$25.00 a month…her parents wouldn’t help her (in fact, they were known to steal her $$!!). Her father wanted her to quit school and either work ft so that she could give them $$, or quit school AND quit work, so that they (the parents) could get public assistance for her again. (I guess they lost it, or some of it, when she started working.) Anyway! Long story short…she graduated, got a decent job immediately, and has been a hard worker ever since. I am so terribly proud of her, one would think she was my very own!

So in contrast, her brother…got a job in the fields the summer after his sophomore year, got a big head because he could make such great money, and QUIT school. I have talked to him since and he literally cannot see any further than the numbers on his paycheck. He makes okay money when he is working, but he doesn’t understand that he may well be tossing watermelons and detassling corn and living with his parents for the rest of his life, because he has not earned his GED or any other equivalent, and has no skills and no initiative. I have utmost respect for ANYone who works in the fields or any other type of work like that, don’t get me wrong! I just know that this young man settled for the quick fix and has never gotten past that point.

I don’t know what I will do with my boys. We too live in a town with lots of opportunities for young people. (Most of the restaurants seem to be managed by college students. ;->) I know that they will want to work, and I am leaning toward summer jobs and maybe something like paper routes. I am not willing for them to work very many hours, though, at least during the school year. I agree that kids need time to be kids…they will have years and years to worry about earning a paycheck! Unfortunately, they want motor-scooters and the like, and Momma’s budget does NOT allow for stuff like that. 😉

So… I guess I am in a quandary too! I will be eager to hear what everyone else thinks about this one.

Hugs, karol

I would love to see schools going to a program

I would love to see schools going to a program where kids keep the same teacher for a minimum of 3 years, regardless of grade. I taught Special Education for 10 years, and I can tell you that this was one of the most important contributions to having a smooth year and helping kids achieve to their ability. It was SO nice to start the year out already knowing most of the kids, what to expect from them academically, socially, and behaviorally.

And for the kids, the payoffs were great…no need to test the new teacher, no call to prove yourself, and a real sense of ease right from the start. All we needed was a brief reminder about rules and expectations, and we were off.

My oldest son had a terrible year in Kindergarten. He left school that year having decided that he hated school and he was NEVER gonna read books, EVER.

Poor guy. He was so sad, and I was heartbroken to see my bright, optimistic little boy with such a negative experience. When I enrolled him (in a different school district) in 1st grade, I had several options to choose from. I picked the one that would keep the same teacher for at least 2 years, and what a great experience that was for my son! It was the best thing that ever happened to him in school. He had a wonderful teacher for 3 years…one who understood his kind of quirky learning style and could find ways to encourage and help him with his learning.

Anyway, that is ONE of the things I would like to see. Of course, this type of program would require 100% of all teaching staffs to be GOOD, above-and-beyond, dedicated teachers, and that is sadly not often to be found in any school.

When I have worked with really troubled kids, I have found that the most effective tool is consistency. If I had had things *my* way while I was teaching, I would have taken the 12 most troubled kids in the program, put them in MY room for a minimum of 4 hours a day, and taught them all the core subjects there. It would definitely have been different from a run-of-the-mill class…I wanted to teach in a therapeutic classroom, one where we worked on more than just the basic academics.

I also think that an awful lot of kids (not all, but quite a few), would do very well with a year round schedule. Not more than the 180 days that is typical, but perhaps 9 weeks in, 3 weeks out, or something similar. I ran into soooo many kids who would do great for the first 9 or 18 weeks, then just NOT be able to maintain behaviorally or academically. They burned out, and ended up losing the last 1/2 of the school year.

*sigh* If ONLY we had the resources to teach every child in a program that would best fit his/her needs in the truest sense. 🙂

Okay, off the soapbox and off to bed now.

I know some women who can’t handle having only one child

I know some women who can’t handle having only one child, but won’t go into detail about it. If I describe it, somehow someone out there in cyberspace might see themselves in that category and be offended by it. It’s too bad there’s not a course offered and mandated before marriage that requires a couple not only to discuss if and how many children, but how each is going to contribute to the care of one or more. I have a feeling that quite a few divorces could be prevented. It’s one thing to keep your thoughts and dreams to yourself, as well as your partner’s dreams in check.

It’s another to be faced with the brutal facts of how time consuming, hard, even aggravating it is to raise children. It’s not to be taken lightly. It’s not like marriage, where you can just jump off the boat. Well, I guess you can, but not without a great expense to little human lives. It wouldn’t hurt prospective couples to do something like volunteer in a church nursery. Our church is big enough that couples often do just that, but not just young couples. All ages help out. It’s a really nice situation.