Monday Medley: Getting Going Again

We started off January with a lot of big goals for this year, then multiple illnesses slowed us down.  We’ve finally been healthy for a few weeks, increasing our productivity, and even finding time and energy for some side hustling and family fun.

 

 

Pregnancy & Prepping For Twins

I am just over 25 weeks pregnant with twins, but measuring and feeling like I’m in the third trimester.  Belly photos are not usually a part of my pregnancies.  I try to avoid pictures if at all possible.  However, I may treat all of you to a photo next time, since this is an anonymous blog and I kind of feel the need to document the absurdity of this insanely huge belly.  This pregnancy is completely different than the previous ones.  Fatigue and mobility seem to be decreasing on a daily basis.  My mantra right now is to just take “one day at a time.”  We have moved around some of the furniture, purged the house of extra stuff, and reorganized a number of spaces.  It’s about time to get out the baby clothes.

 

We are really fortunate to have some very generous friends.  They have given us all sorts of baby stuff, from an expensive swing to packs and packs of diapers.  When we decided to have one more baby, we didn’t expect to need much of anything at all.  Then, we were suddenly faced with needing a whole lot of duplicates.  Our friends have really stepped up and their help is appreciated more than they probably know.

 

The baby blankets are coming along.  I found a great crochet pattern that is working up really quickly – a good thing, since I have to make two blankets this time!  For anyone new around here, I taught myself how to crochet by watching YouTube videos, so I could make a blanket for my third baby.  It really is a great, relaxing, and frugal hobby.

 

Mortgage Refinance

One of our big financial goals for this year is to refinance the mortgage on our rental property.  We have started doing some research into our options.  Everything seemed great at first, with really encouraging interest rates.  Then, we get to the question of whether we’re living at the property.  It seems that our options are very limited because this is an investment property.  We should still be able to refinance, for a much better rate and shorter loan duration.  However, it looks like the process is going to involve some additional research and effort.

 

Side Hustles

My freelance writing has slowed down a bit, but I haven’t really been pursuing new work.  I’ve been keeping busy with my tutoring side gig and worried about about having too much on my plate.  Tutoring wraps up in the next couple of weeks, so I plan to start looking for new work now.  And, I have been contacted to help out with a cool new project.

 

I’ve been doing some writing for the PT Money site, and one of my posts was recently featured by Business Insider.  Pretty cool!!  You can check it out here if you’re interested:  10 Ways To Save Money Shopping At Whole Foods

 

I’ve been keeping up my goal of earning Swagbucks everyday.  It’s not that much money, but the Amazon gift cards will definitely help with purchasing diapers for the babies.  I’ve actually found myself running videos on InstaGC and Swagbucks, at the same time, and while working in a third window.

 

Job Opening

I recently discovered a very tempting job opening.  Now, I’m not even sure that my experience would qualify me for the position, but it would offer a ridiculously better work-life balance.  The problem is that this job also comes with a large pay decrease.  The change would prevent us from achieving financial semi-independence by 2022.  I decided against pursuing a career change at this point.  Instead, choosing to finish out my five year prison sentence.

 

Expenses

It has been a lot easier to track our expenses with Personal Capital.  Would anyone be interested on how much money we spend in a month?  I’ve never done a monthly expense report on the blog before, but can definitely post something if there in any interest.

 

We did make one recent splurge.  Mr. Smith likes to play video games.  He used to buy new games and systems all of the time.  But then, we got serious about our finances.  He had been using his Xbox 360 system for approximately 10 years.  For his 35th birthday present this month, we found a good deal on a refurbished Xbox One for him.  It was adorable how excited he was about this new system.  Yes, it was a couple of hundred dollars, but I know he will use it for years to come . . . and it has been, like ten years!!!

 

Mr. Smith recently performed two more DIY car repairs, saving us a few hundred dollars.  He replaced some broken hinges on my back window.  Then, I guess my “throttle body” was all “gunked up.”  My car was shuddering and it really worried me that there were some serious issues that were going to be costly.  But then my hero saved the day with a $5.74 can of throttle-body/air-intake cleaner.  He’s very handy 🙂

All gunked up
The front – what the inside part is supposed to look like

Family Fun

You really don’t have to spend a ton of money to have fun with your family.  We just had a great afternoon at a local college basketball game last weekend.  It only cost $5 for all of us five years or older, so a total of $15. For that price, we watched basketball, cheerleaders, dancers, and heard a band.  There was pizza to eat for lunch.  The kids even got to enjoy a bounce house.  What a deal!

 

I hope that everyone is enjoying February so far.  What’s new with your family?  Happy Valentine’s Day – may it be a frugal day of celebrating love <3

9 Comments

  1. Handy car guys are terrific, and who knows? he may have saved you enough to pay for his X-Box.Sometimes I wish my car guy had some expensive hobbies so that I could treat him occasionally…for Valentines Day this year he asked for a jar of peanuts.(We did go out on a coffee date yesterday while our daughter was at theater class.)
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…Karma and the Art of Home Maintenance: My Hot Water Heater AdventureMy Profile

    1. Good point Emily! Although we’re supposed to be saving money to pay off debt, between the firewood and car repairs he has definitely saved us enough to pay for a couple of video game systems.

      I have to drive a couple hours away for work today, so Mr. Smith is going to take me. We’ll have a whole afternoon for kid-free conversation while we take a drive through the country. That’s enough for us <3

  2. You know, I can identify with this and I have to say, when my prison sentence got to be too much, the pay didn’t matter. I’m coming up on 3 years at my “new” company and still happy every day I made the decision to leave. My mental health has been great and I don’t dread going to work every day.

    Conversely, Mrs. SSC left her corporate gig to teach – a dream she always had and she took a massive 6 figure paycut. Yep, it adjusted our FI date a bit because we don’t ahve the same income to save as much, but it’s been way worth it in SO many other aspects. Better family life, schedule, and all around happiness. Something to keep in mind if you get another opportunity like that. Money only counts for so much…

    I can’t believe your husbands 360 hasn’t died after 10 yrs. Mine lasted about 7 before I got the circle of death. That replacement is about 7 yrs old now – I still use it, but finally upgraded to an Xbox One thanks to a killer Amazon Prime deal this past summer. 🙂
    Mr. SSC recently posted…January 2017 Spending: Our Money Went Where?My Profile

      1. You two are right. Maternity leave complicates things a bit, but we can cross that bridge when we come to it. This job would allow me to keep up with, and maybe even do a little more, side hustling. That could help supplement the lost income.

    1. Thanks for making me reconsider whether to apply for the job. You’re right about happiness outweighing money.

      On the Xbox, it did get the ROD, but when it was still under warranty or something. He sent it back in and got a new one . . . totally forgot about that. He’s loving the new system – the one (used) game he got for it is Fallout 4.

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