Tuesday, May 28, 2013

20 tips to keep from spending money

Recently I have had people ask how they can keep from spending. It’s hard to say no to yourself when the urge to spend strikes. Here are 20 tips to stop spending:
  1. Don’t shop for fun. I don’t go on big outlet mall trips and when I am low on cash I stay away from Barnes and Noble. Make a list of fun things you can do for free or low cost and post it. Keep away from places you tend to spend money.
  2. Play with getting your needs met. Get enough rest, fun, and quiet time so you don’t need shopping to satisfy you.
  3. Have at least one goal – financial or otherwise that you can focus time and resources. One of my readers wants to visit her grandchildren more. Remembering that goal can keep her from overspending.
  4. Print out the Wallet Buddy PDF from New Dream, which has questions to ask before buying. I have a list of questions wrapped around my debit card, but this looks neater.
  5. Use cash. It’s more painful to watch it go out from your fingers.
  6. Get out a week’s worth of money from the ATM. $20 here, $20 there doesn’t seem like much. But, take it out all at once and it does.
  7. Input your spending into Quicken or look at your checkbook every other day so you know exactly how much you have.
  8. Pay bills before the weekend eats up money for entertainment.
  9. Think of yourself as rich – hot water, a place to live, access to the internet makes you richer than most of the world. Volunteer in a homeless shelter or help rebuild homes for a week. Quit comparing yourself to the wealthiest 1% of people.
  10. Always use a shopping list.
  11. Wait at least a day before you buy expensive, impulse purchases. Most likely you will find it is not worth a second trip out.
  12. If you have trouble with auction sites or online catalogs, block the addresses using a blocking software like Block Web Site Buddy 2.0
  13. Keep track of your spending for a week to see what your spending holes are – maybe magazines, coffee, dining out, home accessories, or books. And each week plan to spend a little less on those items.
  14. Remind yourself that if you are buying on credit it is probably not a necessity . If it is, bigger actions are needed, like moving to a smaller house or selling a vehicle.
  15. Keep your credit cards on ice in the freezer, in a drawer or locked up. (Ours are locked in our fire safe.)
  16. Look at your reactions to the people around you. If you are jealous or envious, ask yourself why. Something may be missing in your own life – but trust me, it’s not stuff.
  17. Remember, the thrill is in the hunt of finding the “perfect” thing. Once you buy it, the thrill is gone. Try new games – Can I make it through the checkout line without buying that magazine? How little can I spend today at the grocery store? Can I find something more creative to do with my friends besides go out to eat?
  18. Read Can Money Buy Happiness? from Money Magazine. Once you have the basics more things and more money doesn’t make you happier. And in some cases it can make you less happy.
  19. Talk with frugal people or visit frugal blogs. Many people are as happy with the challenge of spending as little as possible as others are who love to blow all their money.
  20. Join me this May as I do another Spending Fast. The goal is to only by the necessities for the month.
From "My Simpler Life"

Sunday, May 19, 2013


As I write this, I am watching the live tornado feeds coming from KFOR in Oklahoma City.
my heart goes out to all those affected by the force of Mother nature.
I pray for our family and friends.  Kenneth left for SE Oklahoma to go camping this morning.
Be safe. Heed the warnings.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013



Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Buried treasure...

the dirt pile that was left by the driveway was full of grass and rocks from the old driveway.
so Kenneth built a screen and we have to work the dirt thru it, but we have been able to fill  in a lot of the low areas in the front yard with the cleaned dirt.

I remembered that the original driveway was lined with bricks, which had been buried over time.
So we dug them up to reuse later... 

 we ended up finding about 40 bricks...
All these plants we also transplanted from where the fence was removed before they did the driveway...Purple  Iris, blooms early spring,  Orange Day lilies, blooms all summer, Red Spider Tulips, blooms october and the greenery last through the entire winter, yellow Daffodils, blooms early spring.  So this bed will have something blooming all year round. 
*** I am so excited to see everything bloom!
 we moved hundreds of bulbs!  This whole bed was basically planted for free.
(we sprinkled the path with rock salt, to also kill  out the weeds/grass from this area)

 finished off the front porch path with one more concrete slab...

covered the front bed with black plastic to try and kill out the weeds which have taken up growing there. Built the second set of planter beds which will have a path between them. 
I have been saving our newspapers for the last 14 -15 months which were reused to lay down under the black garden fabric which goes under the planters...

Note: I just wanted to say that the trees I pruned in February, and the hydrangea are coming back and have blooms on them.  But, this area gets too much sun for now and am trying to come up with some way to shade/protect it from the summer sun.  it's supposed to be a "Shade Garden".

the bed on the south end of the house, This is going to be a "Full Sun"  garden. We added the flag pole and a sitting area. Reused the "Found" brick to line the path.We did purchase some red/orange lantana which will fill the front edge and bloom all summer.  I wanted to also mention that everything planted in this be is a perennial... so they will come back every year. I also planted some White Daisy seeds between the Iris which will bloom in the summer.

Note: I just wanted you to know that most of these things I have been stock piling over the last 4 - 5 years... that's how long I have had a vision for this whole area, which we actually started working on in 2004.  Its actually coming together!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

It's Been Awhile...

But we have been busy...

We're doing our part to cheer on the T-Ball Team


We help watch the other two...

We have also stopped working on the kitchen for now,
 and have been working on the front yard again.

we did get doors on the pantry before we stopped.

just a sneak peek for now...

TxDOT is upgrading the highway in front of the house...
so we decided it was time to put in a new driveway.

 first section completed

 second section completed Friday.

We started by removing the front fence section 
and spreading salt all over the area that was to be the new driveway.

this was to kill out the weeds where the driveway was going in.

the grading begins...

two layers of hot tar and pea gravel and four hours later...

we have a new driveway...