Life Insurance-Part 2

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Today’s post is one that some people are not going to be comfortable with. I’m going to talk about life insurance, a topic near and dear to my heart. If you’re at all familiar with me then you’re aware of my story. I have been a single mom for almost 23 years now. My husband died of a heart attack at the age of 35. You can read more about that here if you want.

My husband and I had a minimal life insurance policy that was provided through his employer when he died. We were young and, we thought, healthy so we assumed that was sufficient. We were soooo wrong. If I remember right, it was around $56,000 or maybe $58,000. That might seem like a decent sum but when you factor in paying for a funeral and burial plot and raising two very young children (6 months old and 2 1/2 years old at the time) when you’d just lost more than half of your household income then I can tell you that the money didn’t stretch very far. Continue reading

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Let’s Pretend-How to Get Shi* Done

to do list

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I really admire disciplined people. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to tell you otherwise, I am not one of those people. It seems weird to admit this since I am all about setting goals and such but it’s true. I even tend to be a bit lazy if I’m not careful. As a result of this awareness about myself, I’ve learned that I need to do some ninja-mind tricks on myself to stay on task at times. Let me give you an example. Continue reading

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Living Life Like Betty White

person looking at horizon

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This is not going to be a post like most that I write. Nothing in here about budgets and New Year’s resolutions and killing debt. I’m sure my 25 loyal readers are devastated to hear this. 

I have some weird fascinations and/or borderline unhealthy knowledge about several random things in life. They include Hallmark movies, Little House on the Prairie, House Hunters and My Lottery Dream Home, and Betty White. Continue reading

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2021 Wrap Up

dock at sunset

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2021 was nearly as rough as 2020. That’s all I’m going to say about that because I decided that despite some really tough challenges and situations that occurred this year, I’m going to choose an attitude of gratitude going into 2022. I am thankful for being able to spend more time with family and friends this year.

I’m not even going to go into too many details on my 2021 resolutions like I normally do. There were a lot of items on my 2021 list that I didn’t accomplish. A few I did though.  Guess what? That means I’m still further ahead of where I was in 2020, and for me, that’s what it’s all about…continuing to move forward. Continue reading

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25 Great Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Young Adults

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Christmas is less than a week away.  I go into every Christmas season with the best of intentions of wrapping up my shopping early. I’m going to let you in on a little secret…that never happens. To be fair, my kids are weird. I try to ask them what they want and they say, Oh, we don’t need anything. Weirdos, right? Most young people are like, here’s my list, I double-spaced it for you so it’s easier to read and numbered the pages….

I am further along this year then I normally am though. The last physical gift I ordered was supposedly delivered today. I have another gift that I don’t technically need until New Year’s and other than that I just need some cash, a couple of gift cards, and stocking stuffers. Oh yeah, stocking stuffers. Sounds easy doesn’t it, but every year I’m pondering what to include in my boys’ stockings.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas-Food and Treats

  1. Candy (this works for one kid but not my diabetic son)
  2. beef jerky sticks
  3. tea bags, cider mixes, cocoa mixes
  4. miniature liquor bottles (if they’re 21 or older)
  5. coffee or tea pods
  6. miniature flashlights (grab one for their home and one for their car)
  7. air fresheners
  8. nice pens
  9. highlighters and dry erase markers
  10. flash drives
  11. socks
  12. lotions, deodorant, shower gels, etc
  13. body sprays/perfumes/colognes
  14. ear buds-my one son has an expensive pair of AirPods but you can get cheaper ones that are great for backups. I like to keep a pair at work and in my gym bag
  15. bath bombs 
  16. Tile trackers (we swear by these)
  17. chap stick/lip balm
  18. card games
  19. hand warmers
  20. gloves/toboggans
  21. charging cables-because let’s be honest, we’re all completely dependent on these and who doesn’t need backups 
  22. lottery tickets-the most anticipated stocking stuffer for our family
  23. gift cards-restaurants, gas stations, gaming subscriptions book stores. I guarantee there’s a gift card out there for everyone on your list!
  24. journals/notebooks
  25. scrunchies/headbands

Hopefully I’ve included a few ideas that will work for you. What other suggestions do you have? And please let me know if you’ve wrapped up your shopping or not. I’d love to know that I’m not the only one out there still braving the crowds.

 

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Christmas-Frugal Style

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Christmas is now less than 5 weeks away. Wow! I’ve not bought the first gift. I am a horrible procrastinator and my family is horrible at letting me know what they want for gifts each year. The combination of these two things is chaos nearly every Christmas season.

It’s also been an especially expensive year. I probably should stop saying “especially” because I honestly feel like I write that every year. I guess that’s the downfall of having an older car and condo. The good news is that my kids are grown and although I still buy gifts, I don’t go as overboard as I used to. That takes a bit of the pressure off.

Frugal Ideas for Paying for Christmas 

I save up my various rewards points through the year. I have a credit card that pays some cash back every month, I have shop kick points that can be turned into gift cards that I use to buy Christmas gifts, and a couple of other smaller survey sites I can cash in. My insurance company usually pays out a little holiday dividend every December that is also earmarked for Christmas gifts. Continue reading

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2021 Sprint to the Finish

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How is it that there’s only 7 weeks left in 2021? This year has really flown by. 2020 was such a crazy year that had us all so isolated and stressed. I think many of us really had big hopes and dreams for a better 2021. And as life has opened back up a bit more with the loosening of Covid-restrictions, I do think it was a better year in a lot of ways.

My Current Situation

I am currently sitting in a hotel room on a mini-vacation as I write this post out. I’ve been working crazy hours. Although our office never closed, there was initially some schedule shifting so that we were isolating from each other. Between alternating days in the office, catching Covid in March, and a lot more work created because of various Covid-relief funds coming into our office, it has put me WAY behind. Between a scheduled day off this week and a holiday closing the office one day, I decided to take a personal day on top of those and enjoy a 5-day weekend.

I’m splurging on a hotel for myself for 2 days and then I’ll stay with my son at his apartment for another 2 days before headed back home Sunday. My hotel splurge is being used as a mini writing retreat and for some overall relaxation. I have access to a gym, pool, my laptop and plenty of stuff to read. Most importantly, it gives me some quiet time to reflect on how this year went on a personal level for me and think about what I want for this next year.

Reflections

Part of my reflection process is looking at the goals I set for 2021 and see how I’m progressing towards them. I won’t lie, it was a bit of a rough process.

I set some lofty financial goals that I am not going to meet (unless that Powerball hits in the next 7 weeks). I’ve increased my emergency fund a bit but made negative process on paying down my credit card debt. An expensive air conditioner repair, new tires for my car and several other pricey car repairs killed me this year. And honestly, although I plan on reduced Christmas spending this year, I’ll probably still be dipping into the emergency fund a bit to avoid any more damage to the credit cards.

Progress on my writing/blogging goals has been abysmal. I have less than a third of the views I wanted on my blog this year and less than a quarter of subscribers I was aiming for. This post will be the 13th post this year, a far cry from the 48 I was shooting for this year.

Hmmm…seems like a year of failures…or was it?

I will easily meet my reading goal of 24 books. I did submit 4 pieces of writing for publication consideration. I’ve taken a couple trips to see Michael at his new place, I’ve been able to tag along on a friend’s camping trip, had a couple of dinners out with friends again, and I’m enjoying this miniature writing retreat. My boys have both graduated from college and they’re working hard on their careers.

The Take-Away

Life is all about balance. I’ll be honest, this is something I struggle with constantly. I could have kept up my crazy work pace and skipped this vacation and saved quite a bit of money but what would that have done to my mental health? My father-in-law died unexpectedly a few weeks ago and there’s nothing like losing someone you love and adore to put life in to perspective. So I’ll take this time for me, and I’ll enjoy my visit with my son, and I’ll keep making big goals for myself. Maybe one day I’ll get to the end of the year and look back and think, Wow, I hit every goal I set for myself this year! I hope I don’t though because if I do then I probably lowered my goals/aspirations and I’m not okay with that.

Are any of you reflecting on this past year? Are you getting ready to set next year’s resolutions or goals? 

 

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Dream Homes

dream condo

If you’re at all familiar with me, you’ll know I love HGTV…almost as much as my Hallmark channel. One of my favorite shows on HGTV is My Lottery Dream Home with David Bromstad. It’s basically House Hunters for recent lottery winners.

Part of the fun is watching a random episode and trying to guess which season it is by the different number of tattoos David Bromstad has because he’s added quite a few over the 7 seasons that it has been on. The best part of the show for me though is imagining the type of house I would shop for if money was no option. I also like guessing who is going to blow through their lottery winnings and who won’t. C’mon people, if you were about to be evicted from your 1 bedroom apartment and you’re shopping for a $900,000 home with your $1 million dollar lottery ticket….guess what? You’re going to end up right back in that 1 bedroom apartment sooner rather than later because you still have no concept of how to budget your money! Continue reading

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Making Time

Busy lady

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Life is busy. I think more of us than not live lives filled with crazy work schedules, tons of extra-curriculars (especially if you have kids), and lots of stress because of these crazy schedules. Being asked how you are and responding Crazy busy, used to be a badge of honor almost. I think society is shifting a bit though. I’m not sure if it’s because of Covid or something else but I think it’s good that people are wanting to slow down the pace of their lives.

I have lived a crazy busy life for just about as long as I can remember. I blamed it on being a single parent for awhile. Working full-time and then juggling in all the kid responsibilities was hectic. This got even more crazy once the kids got into sports and other extracurriculars like junior firefighters. It seemed like I lived at either the office, in my car, or on the sidelines of a sports field for several years. Continue reading

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My Fall Bucket List and Hygee

hygge

Fall starts in a little over 3 weeks…September 22nd this year to be exact. I can’t even express how happy this makes me. Fall is my very favorite time of year. Jeans, boots, sweaters, bonfires, roasted marshmallows, colorful foliage, hot lattes and cider. I think you get the drift. Fall is also a great time to practice Hygge.

What is Hygge

First off, if you’re not familiar with hygge then you’re most likely reading/saying it wrong. It’s actually pronounced Hoo-gah. 

But what is hygge? I couldn’t find just one definition that seemed to fit so I’ll give you my definition. It’s a Danish word that basically describes a way of living that embraces being cozy and calming and living more simply. Fall just seems to be a perfect time to slow down and start appreciating a slower life pace. Continue reading

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