Sinking Funds vs Emergency Fund

money piles

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

This used to be my favorite time of year because I was preparing to get a large tax refund. Now that my kids are grown, it’s not so fun because those big refunds are gone. This year I there’s a $3 difference between the small amount I owe to the Feds and the small amount Kentucky is giving back to me. I know, I know, this is what all the money experts say I should have been aiming for all along. Don’t want to give the government a tax free loan, right??

Here’s the thing, I liked knowing a big refund was coming in because I earmarked that money for some annual expenses I owed at the beginning of the year like my life insurance premium, car tags and vacations.

So what do I do now that I still have those expenses and my now grown man-children are no longer financial benefits to me? (I still love you boys!) Sinking funds are my favorite tool now to save for these random expenses. Continue reading

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50 Before 50

Tomorrow is another birthday for me-49 years old. It really doesn’t seem possible. Despite a few minor health setbacks recently, I feel much younger. Of course, realizing my kids are 24 and 26 is a good reminder that maybe I really am as old as I am.

Since the number 49 is already stressing me out a bit, I’m quite sure I’m really going to struggle with 50. An anecdote to this I felt was to create a 50 Before 50 list. 50 things I would like to achieve in the upcoming year. I think my biggest issue with the idea of 50 is that there is still so much I want to do. Devising a list of things to keep me busy and moving forward will hopefully ease the “growing pains”. So without further ado, here’s what I’ve come up with. Continue reading

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Hello March

February is a short month but this year it was especially whirlwind. My youngest son bought a home and I left for a 5-day cruise the following day. The eldest man-child came into town for a brief visit and then I blinked and the month is basically over. My February challenge for myself, which I’m not sure I announced, was to read 4 non-fiction books. So far I’ve only completed 2 but I’m part way through a third so it’s still possible…

March Challenge

What am I doing for March? I think I’m going to re-visit my decluttering challenge that I failed at in January. I’ve seen several people post about a 40 bag challenge for Lent. Basically, they’re getting rid of 40 bags of clutter during the Lent season (is season the right word??) Continue reading

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Vacation’s Over

Cruising Fun

Back to reality. 6 days of fun in the sun and woke up the morning after vacation to snow on my car. It’s warming up a bit again now though so I’m not going to spend any more time complaining about it. Our trip was great. My next post might be an in-depth post about my thoughts on cruising. For now, I’ll just say that I didn’t go hungry, love a good Miami Vice drink, tried a few other drinks that were quite good as well, and had lots of laughs with good friends. I will definitely take another cruise but since neither of my guys seem too keen on the cruise idea, I think I may look at all-inclusive resorts for my 50th birthday celebration next year. Continue reading

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Dream Life

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs

Recently I wrote about Dream Jobs. Today I’m going to write about your dream life. It’s a favorite topic of mine because I think everyone deserves to be able to live a dream life. Please note, NO ONE has a perfect life. Life is full of challenges and pivots and that’s okay because learning to respond to those is what makes us stronger.

I was looking back through some of my old posts and found this gem from 2017 where I had set some goals for my life in 5 years. Most of those goals have come to fruition.  My boys have both graduated college and working full-time and my car is paid off. Michael is living about 2 hours away but I’m able to visit him several times a year. I just took a vacation with Michael to D.C. and in a short few weeks I’ll be taking by dream vacation of a cruise. I’m living in a condo and technically now I have a room that can be dedicated as an office even though it’s not set up great yet. I also ended up changing jobs and although I really miss my old co-workers, this has been great for me career-wise and financially. Continue reading

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Finding Your Tribe

group of friends

Photo by Ashford Marx

How many of you have a tribe in your life? How many of you know what I’m talking about when I ask this? Your tribe are YOUR people! They’re the people you call when you have a crappy day or a great day. They’re the people who love your kids almost as much as you do. It’s the people that you’re just as comfortable laughing with as you are crying with. Your tribe is quite simply a support system!

My greatest fear when I lost my husband is that I wouldn’t be able to raise our boys by myself. Guess what? That was a legitimate fear. I have two awesome young men now and it’s because I had such a crazy, large, awesome tribe over the years. I certainly could never have raised them without the support of these people. Continue reading

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January…Out with the Old

Photo by Darina Belonogova

We’re a full week into 2023. How many of you have dumped your New Year’s Resolutions? Not me! I’m still excited about my 2023 goals. Several things to look forward to this year, including my first ever cruise. I set sail in 34 days and I’m super excited. I’ve also really turned a corner in my recovery from my foot surgery. The foot is looking and feeling good. I’m able to get out and about more independently now and it’s done wonders for my mental health.

So I said in my last post that I was thinking about doing some monthly challenges this year. 30-day challenges are great for a couple of reasons. Sometimes the things we really need to do are not the things we really want to do. 30 days is a finite amount of time and it’s not a crazy long time period so your odds of being able to complete the task are good, even if you lack some will power. 30 days is also a long enough time period to create a habit. Continue reading

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2023: New Year and New Goals

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

It’s 2023 and I’m excited. I love the New Year’s Holiday, it’s honestly my 2nd favorite holiday of the year. It would probably be bumped to the number one spot if it weren’t for the fact that I don’t generally get to spend it with my kids now that they’re grown. The idea of a new year and an opportunity to set new goals for the year is exciting to me.

Anyone that reads my blog knows I love setting goals and resolutions. It’s my thing. I know a lot of people think New Years resolutions are a waste of time (GASP!!). Okay, I guess if I’m being fair that’s a legitimate complaint since I read that 43% expect to fail at their goals by February and 25% quit on their resolutions the first week in January. Continue reading

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Surgery, Going Crazy, and a New Year

new years resolutions

Photo by Polina Kovalevahttps

Foot Surgery

So it’s been a little over 5 weeks since my foot surgery. My doctor made it very clear that I would be off my foot completely for around 6 weeks and limited weight for a few weeks after that. That wasn’t going to be fun but I was sure I could handle it. I would just rest a little more, read some extra books and catch up on my writing.

Guess what? I totally underestimated what a TERRIBLE patient I am.
I am not good at sitting around with my foot propped up. Not driving, and depending on other people to get me where I need to go is driving me crazy! Leaving my second floor condo means scooting down on my bottom. Getting back up the stairs is done on my knee. The simple task of taking a shower is another ordeal in itself since my foot is still wrapped up and can’t get wet. And I feel like a terrible mother because I don’t have enough Christmas presents for my boys because you know…online shopping sucks and I can’t drive to the store. Sigh! Continue reading

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10 Frugal Ways for Self Care

Self Care

Photo by Natasha Fernandez

Self care is something that I’ve discovered is sooo important and yet something that we (especially women and moms I think) tend to neglect. I don’t think I’m the only one that finds myself running around like a crazy woman between my job and running a household, and trying to have some semblance of a life. Living life this way can create some serious burnout. I can go a thousand miles an hour for just so long before I find myself snapping at people and often ending up semi-sick.

Okay, so we know self-care is important but maybe you’re thinking, I don’t have the time or money to spend on myself. Or maybe you’re thinking it’s selfish to spend time and money on yourself. Well guess what, it’s not selfish and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are 10 frugal ways I practice frugal self-care. Continue reading

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