Holly’s Favorites

Today I’m borrowing an idea from one of my favorite bloggers, Andrea Dekker, and sharing a few of my favorite things.

The items below are things I use all the time and make my life so much easier/happier. It’s an eclectic bunch but that’s how I roll… Continue reading

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Stimulus Checks: What Can You Do With It?

Well, for most of us, things have been a bit crazy over the last couple months. I think it’s safe to say that Covid-19 has changed life as we know it for all of us in some way or another.

My family has been fairly fortunate. I am still working full-time, although my schedule is a bit wonky as we alternate hours in my office. We’re attempting to only have one person working in the office at a time to minimize contact.
Continue reading

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Social Distancing Activities

Update-Pandemic Craziness

So it’s been one month since my state (Kentucky) confirmed their first Corona-virus case. Now we’re up to approximately 831 confirmed cases and at least 37 deaths. Colleges have shut down the campuses and switched to online classes for the rest of the semester. Restaurants can only be open if they can operate through drive-thru or take-out. Most businesses are closed to the public. Our governor has gained a cult following. Crazy times.

Although government offices have been shut down for around two weeks to the public, my job is essential and I’ve been working my regular schedule for the most part. My office is working with a skeleton crew to ensure we’re doing out part with social distancing and keeping everyone safe. Continue reading

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When the World Seems Like It’s Collapsing

Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

Wow, this week has been crazy. Unlike anything I’ve seen in my 46 years.

Confession time…when talk of the Coronavirus started up about a month ago, I did not take it too seriously. In all honesty, I should have, because I do have a son that is immune-compromised. I also have a co-worker who is highly immune-compromised. So although I’m still not concerned about myself getting too sick if I were to contract it, I am now concerned that I could make someone around me very sick.

This post is going to stray a bit from my normal personal-finance topics. This is going to be some personal observations and maybe a few tips. That’s the glorious part of having a blog, I can write about what I want. You may be interested, you may not be. Continue reading

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How To Cut The Cord And Still Watch Your Favorite Shows

tv in living room

Photo by David Švihovec on Unsplash

Less than 5 years ago, about the time my oldest son was getting ready to graduate from high school, I took a hard look at our finances. Once Michael graduated from high school, the Social Security payments we’d received since my husband died would be stopping for him. Two years after that Nicholas would be graduating from high school and we would lose his Social Security payments as well. This was a nice little chunk of change out of our household income. It was time to start tightening up the budget.

The first line item that instantly jumped out at me was our internet/cable bill. Were we really paying $182 a month for internet, cable, and Netflix? I surveyed the boys to see what was important to them regarding TV channels. They were already primarily just watching Netflix on their gaming consoles. It really wasn’t a big deal to them if I wanted to cut cable. Nick’s only request was that we find a way for him to access ESPN. Continue reading

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Substitution Not Elimination

Do you know why most people are resistant to budgets? They think budgets are going to restrict them from everything fun in their life. That’s not the idea behind a budget. A budget, call it a spending plan if that makes you feel better, is a written plan to show you where you’re spending your money. Read this post if you need help setting up a budget. Read this if you need help tightening up your budget a bit.

Maybe you’ve set up your budget and you realized that you’re spending more then you are bringing in each month. Now you’re mad at me because you think you’ve just proved to me that a budget is going to suck all the fun out of your life. Nope, the budget just showed you that you need to tweak some things so you can still live your life but not at the cost of your financial future. The trick is to find a substitution instead of eliminating things completely from your lifestyle.

Here are some easy substitutions when you need to cut back. Continue reading

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Living Intentionally

woman walking on beach

Photo by Brady Knoll from Pexels

Life is tough sometimes. Money gets tight, you worry about your kids, your parents, your friends, your job, the state of the world… Yeah, I’m a worrier. I always have been and I always will be. When I feel life getting a little overwhelming then I have to focus on living intentionally.

What’s that even mean? Living Intentional? To me, living intentional means not sleepwalking through life. Life gets crazy busy sometimes and it’s easy to get lazy and settle into mindless routines. Living intentional means being more aware of what I’m doing on a daily basis to achieve my life goals. It’s focusing on the things I want in my life and not those that I don’t. Here are a few categories I’m focusing on being intentional about in my life. Continue reading

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Lottery Dreaming

I’ve done one or two posts on the lottery before. It’s a little guilty pleasure of mine. I live frugally; I don’t smoke, rarely drink, and I don’t have a shoe or handbag fetish like so many women. So throwing $2 a week down on the Powerball or Mega Millions or the occasional scratch-off ticket comes out of my entertainment expenses on my budget. It’s fun to dream about winning the big one and being able to contact David Bromstadt to help me find my new Lottery Dream home, am I right?

My last post on this was about 4 years ago when the Powerball was insanely large.  Wednesday night’s drawing will be approximately $343 million.

The nerdy accountant/dreamer in me has a great time thinking about what I would do if I won though. Cash option for Wednesday’s drawing is $233.3 million, assuming a deduction of about 40% for various taxes taken off the top, that would leave around $140 million. Disclaimer, I’ve never won the lottery so I’m just doing some educated guesses. Please don’t send me comments correcting my figures; go write your own blog post if you want exact numbers, I’m just daydreaming here.

Holy Cow!! What would I do with that much money? Continue reading

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Living Your Ideal Life

I guess I’m still in that Hey, it’s January, let’s change our whole life for the better rush that I get every year. That’s just me, I can’t help it. And honestly, I’m always looking for ways to improve myself/my life. That doesn’t mean I’m not happy with my life or even myself, I just feel like there’s always room for improvement. So I’ve jumped on the Rachel Hollis train over the last few months (last year it was the Jen Sincero train). Most of the time I really like Rachel’s message and her motivation and enthusiasm.  Some days I’m like…let’s dial it back a thousand, chic. Continue reading

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Stop the Bleeding!

Stop the bleeding! This is a favorite expression of mine. In years past, when my boys were younger and wilder, I used it often. One kid in particular loved to bang himself up, enough so that our favorite immediate care knew us by name. Today though I’m using it in a different context. I’m using January to jumpstart my efforts to stop the bleeding in my budget.

I’m going to take a wild guess that I’m not the only one who tends to overspend, especially this time of year. Maybe some of you need to stop the bleeding as well with your finances. If this applies to you then read on! I’m going to detail a few steps I’m taking this month to get back on track with my finances. Continue reading

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