Friday, May 2, 2014

Finances on Friday

I'm going to be joining the Finances on Friday linky over at Renaissance ...again. We will see how it goes - I think last time I completed MAYBE all of three weeks? 
I had a birthday party to put on this week and it had to be done "on the cheap." Zac and I are saving for a down payment on a home, hopefully for the summer of next year. That being said, scrimping and saving is a necessity. We had a talk with our kids a couple weeks back about how we will be doing all birthdays and holidays this year "simply." Meaning - clearance racks, thrifts stores, handmade and coupon deals. 
For Finn's birthday I made him cupcakes with ingredients I already had...found the cupcake paper thingy ma-bobs on clearance for .72 . I used old gift bags and the last of my dollar bin birthday wrap - used old shoe strings for ribbons. :) I have a $25 dollar budget for each of the children's birthday gifts - we try to buy them two gifts and then usually Gran Jan sends something through the mail so that is VERY nice - it kind of "makes up the difference."
 I used 3 of my beeswax candles (a gift to me last year) for his "Celebration of Life" table. I used an old frame for his baby picture...the party plates I found on clearance a few months ago - a dollar a pack at Target. 

It has been very windy here for a few days. When I say "very" I mean "if you go outside you will be blown away." Since I don't care to lose any of my children, we have kept them in. Good for us in the way that our kids have remained on solid ground, bad for us because their energy has been through the roof (hmmm, maybe I should have just let them out.) We splurged and took the kids to MacDonalds for breakfast just so they could play - Finn's favorite activity is going to the park. Our children were shocked...eating IN a restaurant, fast food for breakfast, AND crazy loud play. It was like they had found the Promised Land - complete with egg mc muffins and hash browns - a lovely preservative packed breakfast. I'm being flexible. Total cost? I have no clue -  my husband paid. 

We stopped by a thrift store on the way home to look for an old couch for our basement - preferably one with no bed bugs or cat hair. We have fallen in love with the Goodwill Outlet - we have found chairs for $5.00 bucks there, a very nice $10.00 table - the Outlet pulled through again. Zac found a leather loveseat for $18.00 dollars and bought it - now we can have a place to sit in our basement during the warmer months. 
We came home to cupcakes and ANOTHER rather unhealthy meal of Papa John's Pizza (lets just say mommy was taking the day off.) My Grandma sent Finn some cash so we contributed it to his birthday meal - pizza is his very favorite. Our family shamelessly orders pizza at least 2 times a month - this is one splurge I'm not giving up. I enjoy it too much, the kids enjoy it - and as long as we can keep them busy AFTER eating it I tend to not notice that their hyperactivity levels have raised about  120%. 
Oh, I had exactly four party hats leftover in my "party bin" and also a bag of balloons. Score. 

All in all it was a good day. Our baby enjoyed himself immensely - I may have shed a tear (or 20) that my little 9lb13oz infant son is now a 35 lb 3 year old. I no longer have a baby - probably will never have another one. It's bittersweet.
 We gave Finn his name based on a passage of scripture - we found out that Brayden had Aspergers Syndrome a month before Finn was born. We had a lot of those lovely unwanted comments "wow, is there something in the water?" and "don't you guys know how babies are made." I know it's teasing and all meant in fun, but when you are "GREAT with child" as I surely was, and you find out that your oldest has autism, it can be easy to start thinking "why didn't we space the kids apart more?" Simply meaning "maybe we should have waited because if we would have known that our sons have autism we wouldn't have had any more kids." We would have never had our beautiful Finnian Arrow. Instead, we chose to believe that "Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior's hands." God doesn't make mistakes - he doesn't say "only children who are neurotypical are an asset, are a gift." He simply states "children." Finn is an arrow. 

Zac and I "made over" our basement later during the afternoon with items we already had. I just moved stuff around, as I do on a monthly basis. it's a hobby of mine ... making over my house with what I already have.  We now have a clean cozy spot that will be nice for warm summer days - a perfect place for Zac to perch himself during the World Cup. 
Other ways I "saved" money this week....
~ used the library for school resources
~ made a weekly menu and stuck to it
~ made most of our meals from scratch
~ got a coupon flyer in my mailbox with coupons for things I buy weekly
~ found some summer items for the kids at the thrifts store

Ways I blew my money this week :
I lived life. There were no extravagant purchases and thankfully no unexpected bills. I ordered Zac and I both a book off amazon (you know...the marriage kind...) and we have been reading those and enjoying them. It was not in the budget but was needed and has been enjoyable. :) I also had Super Cash at Old Navy and found TONS of kids sweaters on clearance in the 3-5 buck range. I bought ten items for the kids for fall, then used my super cash and got about 30% off the clearance price. I already have them all folded and in a big rubbermaid in the shed. 

If you want to link you blog up to the Finances on Friday go here


  1. Oh I hear you on the crazy caged indoors children. Oh man, do I hear you!

    And what you wrote about the Finnian Arrow (so sweet) was so beautifully put. And so true. Happy birthday to your boy- who had a lovely birthday and is way too young to think birthdays are anything but amazing no matter the amount of money socked into them! :-)

  2. Somehow I've been missing your posts in my blog feed - just caught up. :) Love that you had a fun celebration for little Finn! And I'm glad you're back to posting - I was missing it last month!

  3. Amen. Every child is a gift! I usually do "simple" birthdays for my kids, with something extra every once in a while. I think they are happy just to be celebrating, especially the younger ones who don't realize about the dollar amount.