How To: Easy Money Every Month

Yes, our country is in a recession. Has your family's lifestyle has changed in response to this? We made a few changes in our home that I want to share with you. Maybe one of these will save you a few bucks a month:

  • Cancel your newspaper. I never read it, Seth only read it on the weekends, and we both check our newspaper's website on a regular basis to keep up-to-date. $ saved = $30/month
  • Join a family cell phone plan. I upgraded to an iPhone, got the data package, and still pay less. $ saved - $10/month
  • Shop at local thrift stores. It's not always a jackpot, but you will occasionally find a good deal. $ saved - $25/month (approximately)
  • Cancel your satellite/cable. This was a biggie for us. We weren't sure how we or the kids would react to this, but we decided to go about it like a band-aid - rip it off fast, and it only hurts for a minute. We still have the local channels, so we're not really missing that much. $ saved - $45/month
  • Cut your dog's hair at home. This was an easy change. We bought the clippers online, and found a diagram that showed how the hair should be cut. $ saved - $30/month
  • Shift to bi-weekly grocery shopping instead of weekly. This was a surprise to me. I didn't think we could go that long between shopping trips, nor did I think this would save money. I was wrong on both counts. I do occasionally need to stop by to pick up milk or bananas, but for the most part I only go every other week. $ saved - $50/month
  • Turn up the thermostat 2 degrees during the day. The kids and I are outside for the majority of every day, which means the house doesn't need to be as cool as in the evenings. I do turn it back down around naptime. $ saved - $10/month
  • Total amount saved - $205/month

Are any of these ways you could cut expenses at home? Are there any other ways your family is cutting costs? Let us know!


Lisa: The Sequel

My oldest child is just like me.

There, I said it.

I see myself in her smile, her personality, and even in her habits. The older she gets, the more I am convinced that she really is “little Lisa.” As frustrating as it is to argue with “myself,” I am thankful for her tenacity and her sense of adventure.

Maya’s introduction to this world was precarious, to say the least. As I’ve mentioned before, she was born very prematurely. She was only 25 weeks gestation, 15 weeks early from the “normal” 40 weeks. She was a fragile little thing, weighing 1 lb. 11 oz. at her birth. Her skin was pink, almost translucent. She didn’t open her eyes for weeks. She “ate” through a feeding tube. There were nights we were afraid to go home or answer the phone.

At 3 days old, 1 lb. 7 oz., she had her first surgery – on her heart. To put this in perspective, at this time, Maya’s leg was the size of my index finger. Because we are told that the human heart is roughly the size of his/her fist, Maya’s was about the size of a blueberry. We spent over 3 months in the NICU, with many heart-wrenching moments, and many that made our hearts soar.

Maya was almost 3 months old before she took her first breath independently. But once this feat was overcome, her departure was inevitable. 97 days after her unexpected birth, Seth and I brought our little baby girl home. The Lord has blessed us 6 ½ years to enjoy Maya Jo, and we are looking forward to many more.

We now know how blessed we are that Maya was born a fighter. A baby with less resolve, with less fight would never have survived. And it is this fact that makes me thankful for her stubbornness. My mother did not have a premature baby, but she had one just as stubborn. :)

As I matured, I grew independent and loved to try new things. My mom taught me by example that if you want something, you have to work to get it. I am thankful for my mom, and thankful that I have her determined spirit. I rarely ask for help, and because of that I appreciate what I have even more.

With that being said, I know God’s plan included my personality. Without an independent nature, I would have never moved to Lexingon, met Seth, or experienced all the wonderful things that have happened since then. I am so very thankful for God’s providence, and look forward to seeing Maya work hard to accomplish the goals she sets for herself as she grows.

I hope to remember this as we delve into parenting older children and teenagers. Oh my goodness…driving lessons??? Her Daddy will have to take that one! :)