Monday, November 8, 2010
Finances and Fun
My cousin and I discussed the situation at hand. Seems like we are in the same boat more often then not with our families and both of us being married to Army guys. Money is tight and family is always a distance away.
I have to admit that I'm pretty good with the pay. Even today I was printing out my husband's credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com
I had printed out my own report last month but had to get another ink cartridge for the printer in order to print his report. Every year I print them. I like seeing who has been looking at our credit report under the inquiries section. I feel as though its a wise thing to do because of so much identity theft and fraud my friends have been reporting.
To make our small income, I'm disabled and don't work, stretch each month I've learned to plan meals. Tonight we are having tacos. With the planned meals it means we can splurge once in a while like last week Friday when we went on a date to La Creme Brulee'.
Bargain hunting, shopping with coupons, waiting for sales, looking for clearance deals all help with stretching the military budget. Better yet, think long and hard about that major purchase. My husband has been wanting a new vehicle since he got back. Just this Saturday we had to have a major brake job done on our SUV. $800.00 later the car will stop like it should without fear of hitting something or someone. I knew that we'd be needing that brake job later this year so while he was deployed I saved up for the work. Its all about rationalizing spending. I could have done like so many other spouses when their husbands were deployed and gone on shopping sprees but I knew that the temporary rush of having something new just wouldn't help later on when I needed something repaired and couldn't afford it.
Kudos to me! While my spouse was deployed I saved enough to pay off our SUV loan. I still had enough left so that when he got back home we could go on vacation without having to worry about how we'd pay it off. Even now with the brake job I still had enough to cover that expense and another emergency should it arise, of which I really hope it doesn't.
It can be done. Its not easy. But I like knowing we don't owe out more than we can bring in each month.
Over the weekend we did a fun, free, family building event here at home. Though we aren't Christians it doesn't mean that we don't decorate for the Winter holidays. We celebrate Yule which does come before Christmas. Construction paper, printer paper, glue sticks, and scissors are something I usually have on hand. I've learned that if I decorate with my own hand made decorations I can make my house really something special. This year with my husband home he wants to add color into the paper chains. Last year I did all white chains and snowflakes. I tore the paper and he glued together chains while watching movies on the television and chatting about what we wanted to get done in the near future.
Below are the photos of how I decorated last year at my house.
I'm hoping this year with the addition of color to the chains it looks even better. The first year I started the paper chains was when I was living in the hotel off-post for five months. I purchased a potted tree, later it was planted in the ground, and made chains and snowflakes. It doesn't cost much to make your own decorations and it can be fun for the family, who knows you might bond over gluing chains.