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A Healing Cruise – I’m Feeling Like Me Again

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I’m back from another cruise escape and I’m finally feeling like me again! Yesterday, I woke up happy, had a productive day with pet sitting and my online work, hung out with a few friends for several hours each, and was still chugging away at 4am.  I’m nearly caught up with everything from last week…so now I’m only as behind as I was before we left!  😉 I haven’t been able to go this long on 5-6 hours of sleep in more than a year.  I won’t make a habit of it, but I had almost forgotten what energy felt like.  Grief and depression are real bitches. Our Recent Cruise We sailed out on the Carnival Breeze from February 5-12, 2017.  It stopped in Jamaica, the Grand Caymans, and Cozumel, Mexico.  We got off in every port for just a little souvenir browsing, but mainly, we spent the entire cruise relaxing. Our days were spent watching movies, playing 2 person board games like Patchwork and Jaipur, playing “Burger Shop” on our tablets, lounging in the adult-only, Serenity section of the ship in huge chairs, eating Guy’s Burgers (and anything else we felt like munching on), and just enjoying having no … Read more…

The Luxury of Minimalism

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I’m away from the online world this week, so here’s an awesome post from Revanche at A Gai Shan Life.  She and I have only met in real person once so far, but I consider her one of my closest friends.  If you don’t already read her blog, open it right now in another tab and check it out after you’re done here.  Revanche lives in constant pain, she lives supporting others, she lives for her family and friends…key word here…she LIVES.  And she’s been blogging about it all in heart-wrenching and uplifting detail for more than 10 years. Our Spring Culling I maintain a strict policy on JuggerBaby’s (JB’s) toys. I refuse to break my neck in an unintentionally hilarious pratfall dancing over the seemingly inevitable mountains of two-year-old appropriate possessions. The one challenge to this rule is one that I can’t, in good conscience, say no to. We see my aunt twice a year and without fail, she has a pile of used toys, books, and clothes, carefully cleaned and curated for JB’s health and education. She’s not wealthy, she’s the self-described “poorest of the whole family”, so she’s gotten good at rescuing abandoned things at the church and … Read more…

January 2017 Self-Employment Income of $7300 (Net Worth $546,320)

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Working from Home is a REAL option! This lady earns a full time income from home.

It’s that time again!  I like to use monthly income and net worth updates for motivation. It pushes me to try harder, I am forced to look at our numbers, and I started blogging so I could share with all of you and get feedback. I would also like to inspire more people to create income streams out of something they truly enjoy. My Backstory for New Readers I worked in a dead end cubicle job from after college in 2005 through July 2011. It wasn’t possible for me to grow in the department I enjoyed, and the rest of the company would have sucked my soul out through my ears.  My highest salary there was $35,500.  My original plan was to stay there for 30 years and retire. Thankfully, that plan went to crap. The company was in a slump in late 2009, so they told me to “look busy”… That led me to creating Budgeting in the Fun Stuff in February 2010 even though I had zero professional writing or blogging experience.  It grew faster than I expected (thank you!), and I have been fully self-employed since July 2011. My husband joined me very willingly in 2012 (he … Read more…

Week 4 – The End of Our Epic Food Budget Challenge – Four Couples, $50 a Week, Money Saved!

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Food Budget Challenge | Grocery Savings Tips | Food Budget Tips | Save On Food

Please understand that I know that $50 a week for food is totally doable and many people survive on way less.  My hubby and I have simply been overspending.  This challenge is meant to motivate, not to create friction.  Thanks! My friend, Dee, had a tumultuous end of 2016.  She approached me with a food budget challenge she found online, we made a few changes, and we convinced our husbands to participate too.  Then two sets of our friends joined too!  Our challenge was born – $50 a week per couple for all food for 4 weeks straight from January 2-29, 2017.  THIS IS THE LAST WEEK!!! Our Exception In our challenge, we can use all of our pre-existing food.  That means using any perishables in the fridge, pantry goods, and our stocks in the deep freeze.  All of the challengers started with some reserves we needed to clean out.  We just weren’t allowed to stock up in December for this challenge. Our general goals of this challenge are to spend less, waste less, spend consciously, and make healthier choices than regularly eating fast food and restaurant offerings. The Challengers Dee and Vee have been married about 1 1/2 years.  Dee is a teacher, 5 months pregnant, and is lactose intolerant (but ignores … Read more…

Logbook Loans – Your Quick Alternative To Ample Liquidity

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When you need to borrow money the first thing you think about is going to your Bank Manager.  Sadly, you remember what happened last time.  The endless paperwork, the endless queues, the endless meetings and the endless people saying ‘Sorry, we cannot help you.’  Loaning money can be an incredibly demoralizing and depressing process. You have no choice, though.  You have to pay the food bills, the electricity bills and your child’s school fees. You have a house but the mortgage is high.  And times are bad. Logbook Loans can help you in such a way that you don’t need to sign away your entire life.  They have a system where you can monetize your motor vehicle.  And as long as you have a motor vehicle that you own or semi-own, you can get a loan. Your motor vehicle, therefore, becomes your collateral while the ownership remains with you.  There are restrictions, of course, and requirements, which ensure the process is legal, safe and a win-win for both.  You need to be able to prove what your income is by having pay slips or a bank statement, have proof of ownership of the car with all the paperwork that comes … Read more…

Our $5500 Monthly Budget

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Real Budget | Couples' Budget | Spending for Two | $5500 Budget Plan

It’s been a while since I took a close look at our budget here on BFS.  Here is an updated version for 2017! Here is how our budget looks right now: Income Taxes – $1000 Home Mortgage – $1250 (we’re overpaying $260 a month) Home Insurance/Property Taxes/HOA – $850 Rent House Home Insurance/Property Taxes – $400 Food (Groceries and Splurging Out) – $400 Liberty Healthshare – $300 Honda Fit Car Payment – $275 Electricity – $100 Gasoline – $150 Car Insurance – $120 Cell Phones – $75 Internet (DSL) – $60 Cable (our part) – $40 Lawn Care – $50 (average over the year) Water – $50 Natural Gas – $40 Life Insurance – $30 Netflix – $10 Other Entertainment – $100 Miscellaneous and Cash – $200 Total Expenses = $5500 Those expenses are taken out of the $5750-$9,500 a month we make through our online business ($2500-$4000), rental income ($1250), pet sitting income ($2000-$4000), and sports officiating income ($0-$3000). Taxes eat a chunk, our two homes eat a chunk, and we splurge a chunk. But we save a nice chunk too – about 25% of our gross income is saved to our two Roth IRA’s and our SEP IRA. Unplanned expenses that pop up on the … Read more…

Week 3 – Our Epic Food Budget Challenge – Four Couples, $50 a Week, Finding Our Rhythm!

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Food Budget Challenge | Getting into a Frugal Food Groove | How to Save Money on Groceries

Please understand that I know that $50 a week for food is totally doable and many people survive on way less.  My hubby and I have simply been overspending.  This challenge is meant to motivate, not to create friction.  Thanks! My friend, Dee, had a tumultuous end of 2016.  She approached me with a food budget challenge she found online, we made a few changes, and we convinced our husbands to participate too.  Then two sets of our friends joined too!  Our challenge was born – $50 a week per couple for all food for 4 weeks straight from January 2-29, 2017. Our Two Caveats In our challenge, we can use all of our pre-existing food.  That means using any perishables in the fridge, pantry goods, and our stocks in the deep freeze.  All of the challengers started with some reserves we needed to clean out.  We just weren’t allowed to stock up in December for this challenge. Also, I’ll make a note or point it out when any of us use a gift card.  It technically won’t count, though Len and I are acting like they do for us just to see how it works out by including them. Our general goals of this challenge are to spend less, waste less, spend … Read more…