The 6th day of 2018 has been semi-awesome!
In case you didn’t notice, what has become a nightly routine for me to post an update of my day didn’t quite happen last night. We had a massive family meltdown after our daughter revealed she had found a way around the parental controls we have set up on her phone. She actually ended up telling on herself because she thought I knew, when I actually didn’t.
Sadly, we pay monthly for two parental control services and it is still a constant battle to control her access without completely cutting her off. The good thing is that the controls are working. The bad thing is that she heard the hubby talking to me about how much he loves that he can send commands to her phone by text, saving him the trouble of logging into the app. She heard this and that very night started sneaking into our room and using the text feature to send unlock codes to her phone.
The big problem with this is that she likes to communicate with strange, adult men online and seems to really believe they actually care for her. We’ve been fighting this battle for a year now and we’re feeling so defeated. At first we had decided to take away her phone completely, but after sleeping on it we’ve decided that the controls are working well, we just need to make a few other adjustments.
We both enabled the passcode and fingerprint protection on our phones and we’re getting rid of the old devices that we’ve had in our room. If it wasn’t for her being homeschooled and using her phone as a source of communication between her friends we most definitely wouldn’t work so hard to allow her to keep her communication capabilities.
Probably not the ideal topic for a budget cutting blog, but here it is anyway. Funny thing is, it got me thinking. Why isn’t there a service for parents to go for help? I mean, if your car breaks down, you see a mechanic. If your sick, you see a doctor. If you run out of food, you go to a grocery store. Why isn’t there a place you can go to get parenting advice and help? Especially with today’s kids and their technical devices.
It would be so much easier if our lives weren’t so intertwined with electronics and the internet. With the hubby being an IT guy, our daughter homeschooled and her curriculum mostly online, and myself using the internet to help save and bring in a little extra money, we can’t just cut devices out completely.
I guess eventually we’ll figure something out that works in the way we need it to work. Until then, our home is on major electronic lockdown. It’s annoying having so many passwords and passcodes, but it’s a small price to pay to keep the disgusting pigs trying to talk to a 13 year old girl at bay.
I ended up going to bed frustrated and emotionally drained. On top of that I was disappointed in myself for not doing a blog update. Not matter what, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to get to my desk and get my thoughts organized enough to post something that made sense.
Today, things started off bad after she woke up and realized that she had no way to sneak around our blocks, including at her grandmothers house where she planned to go, and would have no way to reach out to these men. However, after talking a bit and her dad making reference to something in particular I feel like she had a bit of an epiphany. We’ll see how things go in the days to come, however.
So, after she went to stay with her grandmother for the night, we went out to run a few errands. It was nice to get out and do something distracting for a moment. Especially since we made some clutter money and scored some awesome deals. Keep reading to find out the details!
We managed to sell these brand new cell phones today for $100! Initially we bought them to use when we switched service to Cricket. However, due to some changes with the hubby’s work and a gifted phone from his mom and dad, we didn’t need them. We had decided to keep them as back up phones since our son seems to always bust our screens even with cases, but after the ordeal with our daughter, I posted those suckers online.
We still have more old phones that we need to go through and clean up, but the goal is to get them sold and out of the house ASAP. There will be no devices, old or new, laying around this house ever again. Besides, I’d much rather turn those unused devices into cash we can use.
At the beginning of the year when I was working out a budget, I added in a monthly clothing allowance for each family member. The sad thing is that I set this budget not because we have a problem with buying too many or too expensive clothing, but because we have a problem with never buying clothes, period. We wear our clothing until it’s down right ratty and keep on wearing it sometimes. In an effort to remedy this, and not go nuts buying clothing, I set a small $10 per person, money budget so that we can slowly get rid of or repurpose our sad clothing choices.
Tonight, I was pretty pleased with the deal we managed to get on some much needed lounge pants. The hubby works in the basement, which stays much cooler than the rest of the house since it is unfinished, and loves to wear thick pants. He has one pair in particular that was gifted to him years ago that he wears over and over. While out, we noticed a 70% off sale at one of our favorite stores, Bargain Hunt. After a little digging, he came out with two pairs of pants very similar to the ones I described for a grand total of $6.60.
At the same store, I decided to check out the women’s pants. My lounge pants are getting ragged and with me looking at a hysterectomy, which requires a vertical incision, during the delivery of our last baby I could really use some pants that are comfortable on my stomach. I was pretty excited to find two pairs of pants, one high waisted that I think will feel great over my incision, for a grand total of $7.50.
Together we spent a combined total of $14.10. Not too shabby for 4 pairs of new lounge pants, I think. Plus, from everything I’ve read, many women don’t feel comfortable in regular clothing for months after their hysterectomy sometimes. I have nothing that feels very comfortable now except for my maternity jeans and I hate laying around the house in them because they’re not really that comfy.
While still at the same store, I happened to notice a rack full of soft, velvety blankets like the one above. They caught my eye because I recently won a similar blanket during a wedding shower and it feels absolutely amazing. Problem is that my 13 year old daughter is always stealing it. She tries to claim it as her own, but that’s not happening, especially after today.
With her birthday coming up on the 8th and us without any gifts yet, I picked one out that I thought she might like and tossed it into the buggy. I budgeted $100 for her gifts and party and this item brought us down by only $10. Still plenty left to work with for the rest of her party.
Compliments for Coupons
If you haven’t tried it yet, get on the internet and look up the website to your favorite brands. Use the “Contact Us” links, typically found at the bottom in small text, to send them a message and let them know how much you love their products. Getting these coupons in the mail are one of my favorite parts of the day. The picture above shows what I received today. Now I just need to wait for a sale so I can pick some up.
The toddler ran out of diapers today so we had no choice but to run out and grab some. Before we left I hopped online to see if there were any good diaper sales and/or coupon deals. Lucky for us Kroger has an awesome deal going on.
I was able to get everything pictured above for a total of $17. Maybe not the greatest deal, but it’s great for us and took no tome to get. I don’t like spending my entire life searching for and organizing coupon shopping trips. I tried that years ago when I first discovered how cheap things could be bought with them. It’s exhausting. Never again.
Weekly Grocery Budget
After we left Kroger we stopped by my favorite store, the Dollar Tree. I am 100% addicted to this store, but I’m doing pretty good and not going crazy blowing our money when I go in there lately. I ended up spending $14 on this shopping trip. Would have been $3 less but the toddler was melting down due to thirst and the hubby requested 3 drinks. Two are not pictured.
I’ve actually never bought the little cheese packs before today. I’ve seen them before, but as I was walking by today I thought about the cost of the mac & cheese kits that come with the cheese sauce and noodles and realized that it would be cheaper to buy one of these sauce packs and a box of noodles. The toddler could live off that stuff. If I can save some money making it this way, I won’t complain.
Although I went over my $50 weekly budget, I don’t really count this as a fail. I budgeted myself an extra $100 a quarter for stocking up on staples. Most of my first shopping trip this week was intended to last us into next week, and possibly the one after that. I ended up spending $55 this week, but with my staples budget bumping it up to about $83 a month, I’m still good.
I don’t really remember what all was eaten throughout the day because we mostly grazed on leftovers and things like bananas, but dinner was a repeat from a few days ago. Homemade tomato soup. It was actually requested by the hubby and I was shocked. He hates having a repeat meal in the same month, let alone the same week. I wa shocked but perfectly okay with it.
I made it slightly different this time, however. Instead of a diced onion unused powdered and I added a large can of dices tomatoes. While I didn’t get the measurement of onion powder while right, it was still delicious and we have plenty leftovers for tomorrow.
Thanks to the addition of diced tomatoes in the tomato soup, I finally have a can I can start my first herbs in. I plan to save some of these, fill them with dirt and have seeds, and sit them in my kitchen window. If everything works out I’ll have my own little window herb garden before long.
Take for Tomorrow
Our main focus this weekend is getting out the old devices and reworking our parental controls. It’s no fun, but it’s got to be done.
And now that you have this really long post about my spending habits coupled with probably more than you need or want to know about my personal life, I’m off the bed. I’ll probably need a few days to fully recover from yesterday.
Wish us luck.