What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, March 07, 2014

Finances on Friday

Some inspiration (financial and otherwise) by the great Booker T. Washington (since I happen to be on a Booker T. kick in my recreational reading these days.  WHAT an extraordinary man!) :

“Character, not circumstance, makes the person.”  

“Great men cultivate love and only little men cherish a spirit of hatred; assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong; oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak.”  

“Among a large class, there seemed to be a dependence upon the government for every conceivable thing. The members of this class had little ambition to create a position for themselves, but wanted the federal officials to create one for them. How many times I wished then and have often wished since, that by some power of magic, I might remove the great bulk of these people into the country districts and plant them upon the soil – upon the solid and never deceptive foundation of Mother Nature, where all nations and races that have ever succeeded have gotten their start – a start that at first may be slow and toilsome, but one that nevertheless is real.”  

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”  

“In my contact with people I find that, as a rule, it is only the little, narrow people who live for themselves, who never read good books, who do not travel, who never open up their souls in a way to permit them to come into contact with other souls--with the great outside world. No man whose vision is bounded by colour can come into contact with what is highest and best in the world. In meeting men, in many places, I have found that the happiest people are those who do the most for others; the most miserable are those who do the least.”  

“No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.”  

“Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”  

Some financial efforts for the week:
Photo by Mattie
* gave all the boys (even the big one) haircuts

* boiled a hambone for bone broth

* boiled a bunch of chicken bones for bone broth too.

* hung quilts and bedding washed by woodstove (on nails in rafters) to dry.  Jeans and heavy things too. 

* replaced our OLD computer with a more updated, new-to-us-but-still-used model.  BEFORE tragedy struck, not after.

* were given 10 buckets, hangers and spiles to use for our own (super small scale) maple syrupping this year.  With this two day thaw, guess what we'll be doing this weekend?

* called my BIL who is a head chef at a restaurant where I could get some large surface area pans for boiling sap on short notice and he is getting some for me to use, no purchase necessary!  yay!  (This totally made my day!)

* picked up a few free buckets from the bakery department at Price Chopper.  I wished they had more but I'll stop in again next time I am in that way. I'm going to use them to hold sap for now until I find something better.

* worked on a crocheted Easter dress for Adele' using yarn I already had on hand.

* Matt and I had our Booze and Budget meeting for the month.  We talked about last months' finances, where the 'excess' money is going to go THIS month and made a few goals for the month.

1) make a list of every fluctuating monthly bill so that next year we can compare usage/costs more easily with the same month.
2) figure out how much principle needs to be paid toward the mortgage to see how much is necessary to pay to get the house paid off in 10 years. (For giggles more than anything.)
3) keep track that we are indeed saving the amount we are supposed to be saving every month.  I have a number of excess dollars that SHOULD be there every month but that I can never really "find" or notice in the bank account, so I need to get on top of that and make sure it is happening.
4) pay property taxes.  
5) Make a list of all unbudgeted expenses for the year so, at the end of the year, we know WHY the savings isn't happening if it isn't and where the excess money went.
6) Try to find a cheaper source for telephone/internet as this is a huge bill.

* Made a batch of homemade orange extract.  I need to go out and buy more vodka because I need more vanilla extract one of these days too (and it takes several months for a batch to be ready to use)

* Went to Lowe's to finally (I've been waiting for months!) buy the meat/cheese slicer I saw in the fall there (using, in part, the $60 in change that Andrew wrapped up last week) only to find that they no longer sell those sorts of appliances.  Bummer.  This is one kitchen purchase that I have been planning on because I consider it an investment.  I hope to be able to make Matt's own lunchmeat/cheese for work lunches instead of buying (or, in most cases, NOT buying) from the deli.  Now, I think I will buy it online.  And I will use one of my own affiliate links to see if this whole affiliate link thing actually works!  ;-)

I've narrowed it  down to four:
  1. Continental PS77711 Professional Series Deli Slicer
  2. Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer
  3. Kalorik 200-Watt Electric Meat Slicer with 7.5" Blade, Silver
  4. Waring Pro FS155 7.5 in. Food Slicer
Matt can help me choose which we should get by I lean toward #3 myself. 

And that's all folks!  Hope your week was wonderful and your weekend is even better!

What about you? 
Do you have anything financial/inspiring to share this week? 
 Link up!  
As always~ PLEASE link to your SPECIFIC blog post, not your entire blog. It could be ways you saved or stretched or strategically spent those pennies...or, if you prefer not to be so personal, even inspiration you found online, articles or quotes... but please link to a post about SOMETHING financial! Lastly, please link back to my blog and maybe others would like to share!


Tracy said...

Several years back I was contacted by CSN and was asked to link to something that they sell in exchange for a gift card. A NICE gift card. In fact, I believe they gave me $100 to spend, and I put it toward my grain mill. You may want to do a little digging to see if they still do this for bloggers. You just might be able to get that slicer for free.

Here's a link to the post I wrote: http://5redhens.blogspot.com/2010/07/july-is-flying-by-with-days-full-of.html

Terri said...

I cut everyone's hair which saves me $60 plus the tip. Hey, in hindsight, they should be giving *me* the tip! lol I also make my own vanilla extract but will have to try my hand with others.

Thanks for the inspiration, Rebecca!

...they call me mommy... said...


J Ridgway said...

You can cut 5 years off your mortgage if you split your payment and pay twice a month. I am not sure if you are already aware of this trick.

Veronica said...

I cut my hubby's hair before he left for a conference this week. (I always cut his hair...but it was a busy week, and we were having a hard time squeezing in an "appointment.") I need to give my little guy a haircut...but I'm having a hard time convincing myself to cut off those sweet baby curls!! :( But, at 2 years old, it's probably time. :)

Courtney said...

Wow, being able to harvest your own sap for syrup-that's awesome! I always just end up buying the cheaper sugary-not-good-for-you stuff since the kids can use a whole bottle of maple syrup for just one or two breakfasts. I have been able to find it a little cheaper at Sam's but still expensive and not as great as making your own!

Jenn in Indiana said...

I know you frequent The Prudent Homemaker, and somewhere on her blog she has the meet slicer that she uses. Thought you might find this helpful.

JenniferM said...

In case you didn't know this already, you can't use your own Amazon affiliate link. IIRC, your purchase will show up on your orders report, but not on your earnings report. So, you can see if it "worked", but unless you slide under the radar, you won't get anything for it.

Perhaps you meant a different affiliate link, in which case, never mind. : )

Mari said...

I have a 10 year, 2.75%mortgage that is a refi from my previous 15 year, 4.5% mortgage. The 10 year loan had lower beginning balance because I didn't take any cash out and between that and the lower rate, my 10 year payment is $25 less per month than my old 15 year payment. You might be surprised, especially if you can refi at a lower rate.

MJ said...

how do you make your own cheese...i have done yogurt...but lunchmeat and cheese is a big expense for us to...we have gone through alot of changes lately. i have 485 for groceries per month right now but I need to cut it down to 200 or less by June. Lunchmeat and cheese is a big expense for me for my husband.
If you are willing to share any tips my email is luckygirlj2005@yahoo.com

Rhonda said...

I always like your FOF posts.
your maple syrup project really interests me and I look forward to seeing your photos when you do it.

My husband has an electric slicer, when he smokes pork loin in bulk or buys a ham or turkey breast for sandwiches, he slices them and we freeze them in small bags. It is a huge money saver over buying ready cut lunchmeat.
I think he bought it years ago at a local farm store.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the internet/phone bill, I've one idea for ya: when we were in a similar predicament (humongo bill for both), we did some research and found a free dial up connector called "No-Charge" (google it) but I don't know if you guys do a dial-up connection or wifi for internet- but hope this helps! Thanks for sharing what your needs are- because there is so much more wealth in a community of wisdom-

Rebecca said...

Tracy- a good thought. If only I could be so lucky! ;-)

J Ridgeway- no, I wasn't. Why is this so? Because more goes to principle?

Veronica- If I had curly locked kids, I would totally relate. My children have only wisps and that first cut is STILL hard.

Courtney- easier though!

Jen- very helpful! Thank you!

Jennifer- RATS. Here I was trying to beat the system! ;-)

Mari- we didn't go through a bank for our mortgage so I don't believe refinancing is an option. If it were me, I would keep paying the same price as the old financing with the excess going straight to principle. Too bad for me. Good for you though!

MJ- I haven't made my own legitimate cheese yet. The only thing I have tried was yogurt cheese (like cream cheese). I will be cheesemaking soon enough though- as our cow will be ready to freshen this summer.

I don't know how large your family is- if it is just you and your hubby or if there are children involved-but you can ABSOLUTELY get down to $200 a month. That is how much we spend on groceries per month for our family of six- so it is doable. We sacrifice some things, for sure, but I think we still manage to eat wonderfully well and have plenty of delicious food on hand.

Instead of lunchmeat and cheese from the deli or prepackaged- buy your cheese in large blocks and slice it. Walmart has a 5 lb. block of cheese for around $14 which is cheaper than most cheese that I have found per pound. You can go with cheaper lunchmeats or replace them with tuna or chicken salad or better yet, leftovers! Or check out Rhonda's comment!

You can do it!

Anonymous- thanks for the tip! I have thought the same thing- It has been nice sharing the changes that we need to make. The input from you all is so helpful!