10 Tips On Shopping For Kids: How To Buy Everything You Need, Without Spending A Fortune

As we prepare for the arrival of twins in May, we’re going to need to buy some “new” things.  And, it’s not just purchases for the babies (because babies don’t really need that much).  The other children will be passing down everything from outgrown toys and clothes, to their beds, so these items will need to be replaced.  We’re usually big fans of buying used things for the kids, but that means that some of the hand-me-downs are in rough shape.  In addition, it would be nice to have at least a couple of coordinating twin outfits, something we’ve never had to purchase before 🙂  Here are some great tips to keep in mind when shopping for kids, so you can buy everything that you need without spending a fortune.


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Milestones & Aspirations: Our Goals For 2017

January is all about making goals and getting motivated for an awesome new year.  It represents a chance to start fresh and focus on moving forward, instead of worrying about setbacks from the previous twelve months.  We all have tons of things that we would like to accomplish, but some things belong on a fill-the-bucket list, for some indefinite point in the future.  My plan for 2017 is to set a few specific goals, one for each quarter.  Then, we have a bunch of more-general, aspirational ideas for how to stay true to our top priorities throughout the year.


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New Year’s Reflections: Getting Back To The Why

This past week has brought me back to the beginning of our financial semi-independence journey.  Whereas short-term goals may help keep you focused, I find that the vision of achieving your long-term goals can light a fire.  The full picture may be somewhat unclear from this distance.  However, the confidence that something extraordinary is waiting for you in the future can provide all the motivation and drive you need to get through trying times.


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Financial Review Of 2016: Our Starting Point For A Better Year

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that all of you made some great memories during the holidays.  2016 was a rough one for a lot people.  The hateful goodbye messages on social media were proof enough of that fact.  We faced many challenges of our own, but survived and came out ahead.  Now that there has been some time for relaxing and the countdown is over, we’re reflecting on our progress and how best to channel the lessons from another year into making the most out of the next one.

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The Price Of Christmas Memories

As we count down the last few days until Christmas, the world around us seems a flurry of holiday activity.  Everyone is finalizing preparations and checking things off their family to-do lists. We’re looking forward to a break from school and work that will start on Friday, but the hustle and bustle of Christmas has been going on for weeks now.  Holiday spending isn’t limited to presents under the tree, but festive activities as well.  Parents are filling every possible moment with holiday cheer for their children.  Instead of feeling guilty for not buying fifty dollar, First Class tickets for the Polar Express, I’ve been thinking about what Christmas memories will actually stay with my kids for years to come.



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Tips For Keeping Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions

This time of the year tends to make us reflective.  We look back and assess what we’ve done well and what we’d like to change as we move forward. The clean break of the New Year gives us a great opportunity to make new goals for our personal lives, careers, and our finances.  Out with the old and in with the new.  We always have the best intentions for our New Year’s resolutions, but very few people have kept their resolutions by the time summer rolls around.  If you’re one of the many who plan to include financial goals in their aspirations for the New Year, how do you stick to this type of resolution? 


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Frugal and Festive: How To Keep Spending Under Control This Christmas

I love Christmas, but hate how it is always accompanied with messages of “Buy! Buy! Buy!”  The craziness all starts this Friday when the hoards battle to snag “good deals,” whether or not they really need everything piled in their shopping carts.  People seem to have accepted that it’s normal to have big credit card bills in January . . .  that the holiday spirit comes with a big price tag.  I want to tell you that with a bit of planning and creativity, it is possible to save money and still have a very Merry Christmas.



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5 Awesome Ways To Upcycle Fabric Scraps

In prepping to sell crochet items at an upcoming craft sale and being busy with work, I haven’t been able to find much time to upcycle or refashion my clothes.  I have a couple big bags of clothing that are destined to be transformed into new things to wear.  But, with everyone talking about Christmas already, I’m wondering if I can use the fabric to make some presents.



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Solutions To Help You Wake Up From A Financial Nightmare

Financial struggles can make for extremely trying times.  There are plenty of reasons why someone might end up in such a position, including job loss or medical issues.  Whatever the reason, it can become difficult to get by when there isn’t much money coming in.  You may even need to rely on savings or unemployment benefits to survive.  It is possible to wake up from most financial nightmares with a few, fairly basic, strategies.   



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Mr. Smith’s Guide To DIY Cleaning And Refurbishing A Wood Stove

We moved into our house in the Winter of 2013, and have never had our wood stove cleaned.  It was something on that had always been on the “to-do list,” but with Mr. Smith’s growing collection of wood and plans for lots of fires this coming winter, it became more of a safety issue.  We looked into the price of cleaning and Mr. Smith wanted to take on the challenge of figuring out how to clean a wood stove.  In addition, since the stove was already going to be disassembled, he decided to fix it up a bit too.


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