Goal Progress – September Recap

Oh hai, October!

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Goal Progress – September Recap

I’m working on a goal to drop down to part-time hours at my day job. I’d like to accomplish this by next summer..or tomorrow. Either way! Every month I write up a little recap of the month to document how I’m doing with this goal.

You can read my other monthly recaps here:

August

July

June

Overall September was a great month, and I feel like I’m on my way slowly but surely.  I’m not going to lie, a lot of the time I feel semi-overwhelmed and I battle between working on my blog/ business and cleaning my kitchen. I also feel like I could be a lot more productive with my time and that is something I’d like to work on for October. If you have any tips or advice, feel free to pass it along in the comments. 

September Side Hustle Income

Let’s get to it! My September side hustle income was…$87.50 

How’d you do it, Kara?

1. I’m a stellar writer and VA. Hire me, for all your staff writing and VA needs!

2. I sold a few items on Craiglist.

3. I’m back on my gymnastics judging side hustle, although it’s not reflected in September’s income total because I’m still waiting on payment.

Thank You!

It’s really the little things that bring me such joy. Like, the other day when Landon told me I was “the best girl ever”. Made my day!

Also, I get such a sparkle in my heart when I get a blog comment, new Twitter follower, mention, etc. So, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing. You make this slightly overwhelmed, side-hustling Mom SO happy and motivated to reach my goals.

Tell me about a goal you have for October. Are you a fan of Halloween? I sure am!

Budget Tales: We Bought a New Car

Budget Tales

Well, not new. She’s actually three years old. And, a girl if you couldn’t already tell.

Anyway!

A little background. We’re a two car family; we have a 2006 Dodge Durango, and up until this past weekend we had a 2010 Chevy Equinox. We bought the Equinox shortly after our son was born. It was the perfect Mom vehicle for me, and I had every intention of paying it off and driving it into the ground. I even purchased an extended warranty because I was serious about keeping this car around for the long haul. However, it wasn’t too long into owning the Equinox when things began to go wrong. Over the past three years our “new” car spent more time at the dealer getting fixed than our “old” car, and has undergone thousands of dollars in major repairs. The repairs have all been covered, thanks to the warranty, but it has still has been a giant pain in the ass to coordinate getting our car to the shop so often. It’s also been damaging to my nervous system having had multiple anxiety attacks when the car would stall at traffic lights and randomly shake going over 65mph. So, with the end of the extended warranty in sight we had been discussing trading it in for a more reliable car.

I didn’t want to buy a different car for a few reasons. One being that we didn’t owe much on the Equinox, and I hated the thought of going more into the hole for a vehicle. Also, I really hate the car buying process. And lastly, even though it was an unreliable car, I really liked it. It was the perfect size for me, great in the snow, and I liked the way it looked. It’s true! However, it became clear to me that we had to do something when this summer we chose to drive the Durango six hours to Maine over the Equinox because we just couldn’t trust it.

The Durango on the other hand is our beast. The gas mileage is pretty terrible, but it’s reliable, great in the snow, and is handy for all those truck-like needs. So, we’re keeping it around.

We spent months researching possible replacements. We had some good ideas, bad ideas, fantasy ideas (hello, Audi!), however decided on a pre-owned Jetta sportswagen. This, being our collective fifth Volkswagen, a brand we’ve had good luck with in the past. We went on the hunt for the right one, and found her this past weekend.

VW

Overall I feel like we made a smart decision for our family and finances. Could we have private sold our Equinox for more money? Yes, and I thought about that, but to be honest given the bad luck we’ve had with that car, I’d feel almost guilty selling it to someone. However, I don’t feel bad offloading it to a dealer who has the resources to fix it. Could we have been more frugal and purchased an older or more inexpensive car? Sure, but considering this car will be our main driver we decided to buy one that was a little bit newer as well as certified pre-owned with a warranty.

Do we have more car debt now? Yes, we do, but, really not that much more, and I have every intention of paying off this car in two years. I also have every intention of keeping this car as long as possible!

I’d love to know your thoughts. What would you have done in our situation? What’s the most or least reliable car you have owned?

Weekly Blend #5 + Recovery

It’s been a quiet week here at The Daily Whisk, as I recover from the ugliest cold I’ve had in years! I’m on day 9 now, and think I almost have it kicked….almost.

I loved reading everyone’s FinCon recaps this week. It sounded like a blast! I’m all pumped to go next year if I can get over myself and actually go through with it.

These posts aren’t in categories this week, but were a few of my favorite!

I just love this post and video from Michelle. Nuture those ideas, people!

Gretchen details her plans to become debt free and retire by 40! In awesome detail might I add!

We’re going to have some beautiful weather here in Vermont this weekend, and I plan on enjoying as much of it as possible.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

My Unproductive Weekend

Here we are, back at it on a Monday!

How was FinCon?! I can’t wait to read about it!

I have to say, I had a lot of fun being a part of the Frugal FinCon Fiesta! Thank you to Debs for setting it up! Although I haven’t responded to everyone yet (see more about that below) I was excited to have some new visitors and I can’t wait to add some new blogs to my reader.

So, remember how last weekend I was super productive? Well, I remained on my productivity high horse all last week expecting to be just as a productive this past weekend. Can you guess how that turned out? mmmhmmm

Things started to veer off course last Wednesday. Right after my kids recovered from a stomach bug, they both came down with a cold. Then, they passed that cold on to me and it wiped me out! I haven’t had a cold that nasty in years!

So, instead of be super productive McGee this weekend I was more like super snotty McGee. Now, I’m back to piles of mail and dog hair tumbleweed, but it’s all good. I’ll get there!

How was your weekend? What’s your favorite cold remedy?

 

 

Frugal FinCon Fiesta – Let’s chat!

Frugal FinCon Fiesta

I’m not at FinCon this year, but I love me a fiesta like no ones business, so I’ve joined the Frugal FinCon Fiesta! The fiesta is a 3 day blog party where you can ask me just about any question (today through Saturday) and I’ll respond right back here in this post. Don’t ask me math questions though, okay?

Party on, Wayne!

Questions

1. What is Brynn’s middle name? Harper!

2. What is my biggest fear? Dying, especially because I have young kids. ahhhhh

3. What was my first car? A 1990 Saab 900s.

4. What’s your plan for teaching your kids about personal finance? Good question! I’m still figuring that out, but I think just having open and honest conversations with your kids about money is important.

5. So, do you bake/cook because you like it, or because you have to? What’s are a couple of your favorite quick meals? Both! I enjoy cooking and baking when I have the time, which feels like a rarity now. I get a thrill out of discovering quick and healthy meals. One of my favorite quick meals: Pour salsa over pork or chicken and cook it in a slow cooker. Then shred the chicken or pork for tacos, burritos, etc. It’s so easy and so good! Also, check out my Black Bean Burritos! 

6. What would be your dream frugal vacation? I think a staycation at home would be fun. Every day we could go on an adventure in our area (corn maze, apple picking, ride the ferry, Ben & Jerry’s factory tour, etc.) Every summer we go to Maine and spend a week at a friend’s camp on the lake. It’s a frugal, but super fun vacation!

7. What’s your #1 piece of advice to people who are preparing to have kids? I mostly like to reassure people that life after a baby returns to normal (new normal). I know for me, it was important to feel like I had my routine back and eventually I did!

8. What is one thing on your bucket list? I really want to go a big gymnastics meet. Nationals, Worlds, or Olympics.

9. What is your favorite dinner to make? To eat? My favorite dinner to make is this roasted vegetable sausage casserole. My favorite dinner to eat is lobster bisque.

10. Once your out of debt what is the first thing your gonna do? 10 cartwheels in a row!!!!! Then, once the stars clear….I really just want more flexibility in my work schedule, so I would probably reduce my hours (however, I’m hoping to do that sooner than we’ll be out of debt completely).

11. Did you do gymnastics at some point in your life? I’ve been doing cartwheels and flips my whole life, however I was only a competitive gymnast in high school. Gymnastics makes me soooo happy!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile-Blogger-Award

The most awesome Kassandra nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks, Kassandra!!!

I’m going to share 7 interesting things about me and then nominate 7 other bloggers to do the same and keep it going. Mmk?

1. I get distracted easily. I also have perfectionist tendencies. Together, those qualities make me one unproductive person at times. I’m working on focused and efficient writing, so in the spirit of that I’ve set myself to a strict time limit for this post. I have 19 minutes left. Let’s see how far we get!

2. I’m a little jealous of people who can function on little sleep. When I’m tired I can’t think, I can’t function, and I get emotional. For those reasons I put sleep higher on my list of priorities. Also, sleeping is awesome (can you tell I’m tired and fantasizing about going to bed?)

3. I was a pretty average high school gymnast turned even better high school gymnastics coach. I coached a high school team for 10 years and it’s one of my proudest accomplishments. I learned a lot about myself and a lot about life through coaching. I hold that time very close to my heart.

4. In 10 years I only missed one meet. I had my son the night before our State Championship (I was due the day of our State Championship). Luckily I wasn’t the only coach!

5. I get homesick super easy. I’ve always been that way, even as an adult! This is probably one reason I have no interest in leaving Vermont….ever.

6. I have three different degrees. An Associates in E-commerce/business, a Bachelor’s in Psychology, and a Master’s in Health and Wellness. I’ve done some academic wandering for sure! And, now I’m paying for it!

7. Over the last year I’ve become a country music fan. I don’t know how it happened. I went from liking a few country artists to all of a sudden liking most country artists.

One minute to go! Let’s get to some nominations!

Tennille of 2 Kids and a Budget

Liz of Budgeting For More

Robin you Thrifty Peach!

Aldo of Million Dollar Ninja

High Five, Frugal Hound!

Crystal of Discovering Me in Them

Liz of Because Mama Needs a Hobby

I can’t wait to read your lists!

Weekend Battles

Oh weekends. Two days where I have the freedom (usually) to do my favorite things; hang with my family, spend time at home, and wear yoga pants all day long. Ahh.

This past weekend I hoped to catch up on laundry, update our meal plan, and do food prep for the week. I also hoped to go through my kid’s outgrown clothes and had plans to run The Color Run. Here’s how those battles (and more) shaped up.

In the battle of The Color Run, it’s safe to say the color won. Seriously, though the run was a total blast. Great energy, great running temperature, and a really fun experience. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It amazes me though how the blue cornstarch made its way into my shoe, through my sock, and all over my toes. It’s still there!

In the battle of Kara vs. the laundry, I’m pleased to report I came out victorious! Although folding almost took me out (it always does) I remained determined.

In the battle of our kids vs. the stomach bug, the bug took home an easy victory. It hit the first late Saturday afternoon and the second early Sunday morning.

Kara vs. a new meal plan came out a stalemate. I made slight improvements, but nothing too exciting.

In Kara vs. food prep, Kara got a big old goose egg. I didn’t even rinse off our fruit.

However, I had an unplanned bout with our family room / playroom. I took advantage of nap time on Sunday and mega cleaned the largest room in our house. I organized toys and weeded out a bunch for donation or sale, I scraped playdoh off the floor, and I even moved our monster sectional and vacuumed behind it. Oh the treasures!

Also, I got about a third of the way through my kiddos clothing.

You win some, you lose some, but at least I got to be in my yoga pants the entire time.

How was your weekend? Any battles?

 

Weekly Blend #4 + Weekend Resolve

Happy Friday!

My life this week revolved around one theme: hot hotty mess! Since we were out of town last weekend and didn’t get to do our normal weekend routine (mowing, laundry, etc.)  it felt like we were behind on everything all week long! I’m all sorts of glad we have very little going on this weekend, so I can play catch up on a bunch of things. I’ve resolved to catch up on laundry, switch up the meal plan (it’s been pretty standard lately), and do food prep for the week. Also, I really want to go through both kid’s clothes, but we’ll see! Plus, I’m doing a color run 5K on Saturday!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Okay, without further delay let’s check out some great posts from the week!

Baking

Okay, technically from last week, but how could I not share this delectable looking Lemon Drizzle Cake from Nicola at The Frugal Cottage.

Balancing

I was very excited to see a post from Kelsie! She shared 10 Changes Since We Paid Off Our Mortgage

Budgeting

Laurie (via Frugal Rules) shared Five Fun and Frugal Fall Activities. Bring on the apple cider donuts!

Check out my posts from the week!

The Simple Things

A New Financial Season

Have a great weekend!

The Simple Things

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The monkey and the fireman.

Lately, the highlight of my kid’s morning is watching the school buses drive through our neighborhood. Their sheer excitement from something so simple serves as a good reminder that the simple things in life can bring us the greatest pleasure.

I started thinking about the simple things that make me happy:

  • Going for a walk or run all by myself
  • Playing outside and sitting on the deck
  • Visiting family
  • Organizing and simple home projects
  • Cooking dinner for the family (when we’re not rushed and no one needs me to hold them)

What simple things do you enjoy most?

A New Financial Season

This past weekend Matt and I went out of town for a friend’s wedding. It was beautiful and we had a blast!

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This wedding hit our wallets hard though! Matt was a groomsmen, so there were the associated costs that go along with that (tux rental, bachelor party golf outings, etc.), the two night stay at the resort, gas, meals, you know the drill. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining. We were honored to be a part of our friend’s wedding and we’re beyond happy for the newlyweds.

But, now I’m doing a little celebration dance because we have no planned expensive events for the foreseeable future. Woot!

I feel like we’ve entered a new financial season and I can focus on some of our financial goals, including:

  • Increasing our emergency fund
  • Padding my student loan account
  • Saving/shopping for Christmas

Does fall feel like a new financial season to you? Tell me about a current financial goal of yours.