Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Money Matters

Here it is, the week of payday-- Brew & I both get paid this Friday. It's Tuesday. Guess how much is in my account? It's embarrassingly small. We'll just say, it's under $50. And the thing is? This is the norm.

Let me give you some background here. My husband and I both work. I'm a substitute teacher, so my income varies somewhat- but lately my checks have been averaging around $500-600. I get paid the 15th and the 30th. My husband makes $11.74/hr, before taxes, but he'll usually get at least 4 hours of overtime a week.

We do not have a mortgage or rent payment. Since our house is owned by my family, I only have to pay the property taxes, which isn't due for some time. Our expenses include- groceries/toiletries and such, utilities, gasoline, car and renters insurance, cell phone bill, cable bill (internet and basic cable- which I'm getting ready to drop the cable tv portion), jeep payment, gasoline for both of our vehicles, and two credit cards. We do not spend money frivolously. I try to save as much as possible at the store (buying generic, shopping at the cheapest store around here- Walmart). We only eat out about twice a month. And yet between pays we're scraping the bottom of our checking account and seemingly never have a "cushion" of any kind.

My husband and I want to in the very near future, start looking to buy some land to eventually build a house of our own on, but I don't know how on earth we're going to be able to do that. Any unforseen expenses we've had to put on a credit card because we have no savings really to speak of.

I know so many people live and live well on LESS than what we make. My question is HOW DO YOU DO IT? I'm open to any and all suggestions to build up savings anywhere possible. I already do all I can to cut back on utility bills. Our heat doesn't kick on till the house is 65 degrees and the air won't kick on until the house is 77 degrees. My husband and I take only one car when it's possible.

So I guess I'm asking for all you fellow poor people to share your secrets for saving money! I feel like I can barely stay caught up, let alone build any kind of savings whatsoever.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Snip Snip!

Hi everyone! Well-- I cut my hair! 10 inches off to be exact! Here's a before & after shot (my before shot was right before I went to bed, so that's why I look like that haha, and my hair had been up all day):

I really like it. It only takes like 10-15 minutes to do in the morning, which is nice since before I pretty much always wore my hair in a ponytail or messy bun since it took like a half hour to dry and straighten. I will be mailing my hair to Locks of Love very soon! (Since it requires a bubble mailer and so a trip to the post office, I'm doing that the same time as I go to renew my passport w/my married name)

In other news I also saw the hematologist & had a ton of bloodwork done. My gyno sent me there to have genetic blood clotting tests done since my mom has had a blood clot (in her lung) and there's also a family history on my Dad's side. My freakin arm was sore for days!!! But I go back Nov. 15 to find out the results and things. I'm on progestin-only birth control right now, and basically IF they do find a clotting issue then I won't ever be able to take estrogen birth control and when I get pregnant my pregnancies will be deemed "high risk" (basically, they'll be monitoring me more closely and I may have to be on blood thinners when I'm pregnant.) So we'll see, hopefully everything will be normal and I won't have to worry about it!

Alright I need to get off here and do the dishes and laundry that I've literally put off all day long. Blahhhh. I need a housework fairy...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hey! Just set up mobile posting & thought I'd see how it works out... Don't know how often I will use it but we will see! I will try & update tonight!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Little update

Hello world! Just thought I'd do a little update since I've been posting pretty regularly for once. First of all last weekend = great! :) Saturday I had to work at the Y in the early morning (blah) but then we headed down to my sister-in-law's for my niece's third birthday!!!

I just love her! ♥

And my other niece, Makalyn, started walking recently...

Love how she covered her face in this pic lol

Then after the party, we hung around w/Mandy & AJ (that's Brew's sis and her husband) and the girls for the rest of the day. We went to Big Lots, the park, then McDonalds for dinner. It was a lot of fun :)

Then on Sunday, after the usual church, lunch, clogging practice routine- we went to go look at some land for sale. It's 15 acres on Sam's Creek in Mineral Wells. We like it a lot, and when we have the opportunity we're going to go see what we can get approved for on a loan. The goal is to get some land relatively soon and have it paid off in about 5 years or so, then build or more likely, put a pre-fab home on the land. I'm real picky about location (I want to be in a good school district- out of town, plenty of room- but I still would like to have natural gas and preferably city water available. We'll probably focus our search in Mineral Wells and Belleville areas (for those of you who are familiar enough to the area we live in for that to mean anything LOL) But we'd like to get that ball rolling before we have kiddos.

Anyway, after that we came back home & last minute decided to invite my brother Matthew and sister-in-law Amanda over for dinner. So that was fun too :)

This week I've been busy working. I worked Monday, half of Tuesday (because I got called for jury duty AGAIN-- which thankfully I didn't have to serve this time), and then all of today. I have tomorrow off to get my hair cut and go to a doctors appointment.

Well-- I have to go to handbell practice-- like 5 min ago. LOL. So I'm off. I will probably update again tomorrow (about the hair cut-- I might go DRASTIC! :))

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Duke vid! :)

Some video I took of my puppy Duke playing in our yard the other day. The clicking noise in the background? That is what my digital camera does when recording. No idea why. Lol anyway, enjoy :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010


So I decked out the blog for Fall! It's my favorite season :) I will work on a different (wider) banner sometime soon!

Don't really have much to update on, so I'll leave you w/a couple things to check out :)

First, the video of our clogging performance at Bob Evans Festival :)

Annd a few Fall-ish pics from TWO years ago (2008) of me & my cousin Stefani!

That's all for now!!! ♥

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Busy Weekend

Well we had a busy [but fun] weekend! Tomorrow I'm not going to be working because it's an in-service day for teachers (no school for students-- or subs!) So I get a day to recover, my hubby has to go to work though, haha.

Anyway, Saturday we got up & ready, dropped Duke off at my brother's for the day, then headed to Morgantown! We ate brunch at Ihop (sort of a tradition- everytime we're up there we go to Ihop- in Parkersburg we are not fortunate to have an Ihop w/in an hour drive and we both LOVE it). Then we headed up to Cooper's Rock State Park/Forest for a little bit. We are just short of reaching the peak of fall foliage but it was pretty anyway!

Then we went over to the kids' I babysit's great-grandma's house (they let us park there, they live w/in walking distance of the stadium) and visited with them for a while. Emma & I had matching hats so we had to get a picture together :)

Then we headed to the game! It was really sunny/hot (thankfully I remembered sunscreen & a hat!) but we won by a landslide! :)

On our way home we stopped at Murial's, an awesome italian restaurant in Fairmont, then picked up Duke & headed home!

Today (Sunday) I was clogging at the Bob Evans Festival in Rio Grande, OH, so we headed down there this morning! Our shows went really well :) There are several clogging groups that perform there, and each group gets a 20min show for whatever, then there's a themed show where each group performs a song that goes w/the theme. This year the theme was Christmas (as you can see...)

All in all, great weekend. I've got some video clips in the works for later!

Now my hubby is hollering for me to come to bed so I'm off!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October is here...

Can't believe October is here already-- though I guess I can definitely feel it in the chilly air! It's gotten soooo much cooler here the last week or so. Insane. I don't mind the cooler weather, I just wish it didn't have to be rainy and gloomy. I feel like I forget what the sun looks like...

We FINALLY got furniture moved!!! My bookshelf, dresser, and Brew's old bed are now residing in the guest room/computer room where they belong :) I promise as soon as I get my house clean- I will take pics and put some before/after pics up here and facebook, of the entire house- in case you don't want to listen to my rambling video tour I did the other day haha. But I'm still unpacking stuff and cleaning the regular usual mess so as soon as that's done there will be pics!

I've been busy lately-- I had an interview last Thursday at Pleasants County Middle School for an 8th grade WV history teacher. I felt good about the interview, but I KNOW better than to get excited about it because I will most likely be trumped by someone w/a Master's degree and/or more teaching experience. Haven't heard anything yet so we'll see... But I've been getting regular subbing work, usually 3-4 days a week, which is good.

HOWEVER-- annoyingly I was summoned for Jury duty today (super fun right? LOL) so I had to cancel a job I had for tomorrow. That bums me out. I know you get paid for Jury duty but I don't particularly want to do it. Tomorrow is just the pre-screening thingy so I'm hoping I say something they don't like and can get out of it! Haha.

I was productive this afternoon too-- I made Duke's first vet appointment (yes- I've been slacking-- but he already had his first shots/deworming), so we're taking him there Thursday evening.

Annnnd guess what- Brew (and I) FINALLY have health insurance!!! wooo hoo! Mind you it's costing us $300/month which is ridiculous but hey it's insurance. So I finally made an appointment w/the hematologist I was supposed to go see last Spring. (In case you're wondering- my mom had a pulmonary embolism which they contributed to estrogen birth control, so when I got married, my gyno put me on a progestin-only pill, and wanted me to get further testing to make sure I didn't have a genetic clotting problem that could be caused/made worse by excess estrogen. If I DO- that means no estrogen bc for me AND when I get preggo, I might have to be on blood thinners and such. But that's like worse case scenario- I may not have anything wrong, but she just wanted me to get checked to make sure). So I have that in a few weeks, super fun (not). I'm not too much of a wuss when it comes to needles but I don't exactly look forward to it. I am going to have her type my blood-- because I don't even know my own blood type lol.

So that's pretty much what's going on in the Dean house now. I'm super pumped for this weekend. Saturday we're going to Morgantown for the WVU game :) WVU football games are always fun, but it's also going to be nice to get away w/my hubby for the day. Duke is going to stay w/his "uncle" Matthew & "aunt" Amanda and play with his new cousin "Gibson" (lol- my bro & sis in law got a dog this past week) while we are gone. So predictably this week is going slow!

Alrighty well I'm going to get off here and head to bed soon! Until later!!!