Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Consideration

I am working like a mad woman.  Last week, I turned out 3 quilts, this week, I will turn out 2.  Still have 5 sitting there waiting and one is a doily applique quilt.  I am excited about that one since it is a new item. 

Aaron is graduating on Friday morning EARLY - too early for me.  We have to get up in the 5 o'clock hour.  I am Mrs. Grumpy if I get up before 8 a.m.  I know - spoiled, but my hours of sleep are from 2 to 3 am to 8. 

However, I want to talk about what we are considering.

As you know, we are paying off some Income Taxes.  We had to charge it in order to pay on time and I would rather pay the interest on my credit card, than the IRS.  My quirkiness.

BUT, I cannot stand paying interest on the credit cards either!  This debt is freaking killing me!  It is all I think about day and night.  It why I am working so hard mainly.  Darrell is more relaxed about it - he knows it will get paid, we cannot get it done much faster than we are right now.  Sigh.

So, I expressed feelings of despair really on saving for retirement and how difficult it will be - we can never retire, etc, etc.  Then I started talking about the Dave Ramsey plan with him (again).  So, when this debt is clear - Augustish, we have college tuition to cover and the emergency fund to get going.

At the rate we are going, I am super down on how long it will take to save it!  We are no longer getting raises or bonuses, and we should be thankful we have a job, but our expenses are increasing (with college), but our income is going down.  We are living on less now than we have in over 10 years.

I could go on and on about the coulda shoulda woulda's but I need to let that go and just look forward.

An idea came to me very clearly.

At the beginning of March of next year and continuing for the next 6 months, we are considering cutting our budget to bare bones.  I don't believe in no spends - you are just putting off the inevitable, but I am game with the low spends. 

We have not worked out all the kinks, but here goes.

1.  March because no college tuition is due from that point until the end of the 6 months.  This is why we are thinking March instead of now.  Also, we have a tripped planned in October that cannot be cancelled and I need to cash flow that - another reason to start in March.

2. All blow/allowances/any slush money is forfeited for 6 months.

3. Grocery budget cut by $200 to $500 a month for a family of four.

4.  No saving for Birthdays, Christmas, Charity, or any gift type events. No gifts will be given during this time.

5. The kids' cell phones will be turned off and we will go to basic service for 6 months.

6.  Netflix will be cancelled.

7. No Maids

8.  No spending unless it is budgeted - we will do no home improvements, buy anything other than absolutely necessary.  No clothing buys or personal care items during this time - we usually have enough of a stock pile.  The only personal care that will be purchased is necessary ones - toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, feminine care products etc.  BUT again, these are things we stock pile usually, so I am not expecting to need to purchase them.

What we will NOT cut out:

1.  Obviously, all bills will be paid on time.

2.  I am not going to cut the electric bill or auto gas budget.  The library is going to be key as will visits to the parks.

3.  We will celebrate birthdays with a cake and home made gifts or poems.

4.  We will continue to save for repairs for home and autos, and yearly bills.  Only the flexible things are going to be cut.

5.  Having friends over.  It is going to be more pot luck than ever, but we will not cut out social lives.

The reason we want to do this is to save our emergency fund as quickly as possible.  I am tired of constantly draining it for auto repairs and anything else that pops up.  I feel that this will do two things for all of us.  a) give us our emergency fund very quickly and b) bring us back to the more simple way of life - cooking as a family, getting creative for entertainment, etc.

My hope is when we are finished, we still use some of the newly re-found skills to keep expenses down.

We are still NOT committed to this whole-heartedly, it is just a thought.  Obviously,  however much we can manage to do between now and then, might shorten the length of it. 

I just feel the need to do something drastic to jump start the savings. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Be careful what you ask for

I have a killer headache right now - the kind where you start feeling a bit nauseous.  I think it is from clenching my teeth at night and while I work.  I have to consciously think about relaxing to ease the tension.  Seems counter intuitive, but I have to do three part breathing and will myself to relax.

We went to San Antonio for the day this past weekend - pix are still on the camera and I am in no mood to get it, so I will leave that for another day.  It was interesting though - we went to two missions and the most famous one - The Alamo.  We ate tex-mex on the riverwalk and then came back home.   Yes, little man got his vaccine, so this was his reward.  He has been wanting to go for 2 years now.

It was a struggle for me to take a day off, but I did.  Darrell got a little upset with me because I checked my phone a little too often.  I have to find balance.  I am trying to make as much money as I can before I have to back off, but it is starting to affect our relationship.  We are going on a week vacation - just him and me in June, so I think we will get back on track then. 

Right now, I have 7 quilts and 3 pillows sitting in my shelving area waiting to be worked on.  2 appointments made for additional quilts. 

I feel a little overwhelmed. 

I took it one little thing at a time today.  Patch season is busy right now because of cross-over ceremonies.   So, today, I got up a little early, showered, had a cup of coffee in relative quiet, answered about 10 messages and emails, the first unannounced customer showed up right when the customer who had an appointment showed up.  Luckily, it was only patches, so a quick thing.  The appointment was for a quilt pick-up - she loved it.  Then off to the store for a pillow form, missed a customer call, so returned it while driving (I know bad) - had to leave message - no call back.  Got home, stuffed pillow in cover, customer #3 came for a pick -up.  I gathered a cut up quilt to puzzle together, answered 2 customer calls during the layout.  Took pictures and sent to the customer, came back in office, talked to DH, started sewing the 30 patches. Finished right as Customer #4 came to order a quilt.  Got the OK about the quilt layout right after C#4 left.  Customer #5 came for a pick up.  Had to tell Customer #1 that I could not finish hers because of the badge magic she used - it did not go over well. I rearranged my shelving to put my work in order that it needs to be made.  I labeled each shelf and put each customers notes in a folder with name tabs.  Then, I pulled out rough cut shirts to iron on interfacing.  Thought I was going to throw up from the pain by the time I got done.  Did a little yoga for headaches and then sat still until DH got home.  He gave me a little massage, I took some migraine pain relief and used the tens unit with heat.  Couldn't go to my son's award ceremony for tech because headache is still bad, but I won't miss his academic award ceremony next week for anything - he made magnum cum laude.

Now, I am trying to relax and just take it easy tonight.  I will close up the pillow, but probably nothing else. I am hoping I get a little sleep tonight.

So the saying goes - be careful what you ask for....

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Morning Down Time

Last night was the worst night of sleep in such a long time.  I was thinking at 90 mph and I could not stop for anything.

My youngest is getting vaccines this Friday and normally I would not think much of it, but these are ones that were required last year, but he fought them too hard.  Now, we have to get them or he cannot go to camp.  I am more anxious about it than he his.  Darrell is coming this time to help hold him down, so I think it will happen.  I usually sit behind him and hold him with my arms and legs, but his arms have to be out for the shots.  Darrell will probably hold his arms.  Just get it done.

I am trying a new technique for him.  We are going with the 20 seconds of the most intense courage and strength.  Just 20 seconds.  I will count it for him knowing full well that I won't make it 20 before the shots are done.  20 seconds, just 20 seconds. 

I am so glad this is my last child.  I just don't have enough energy to go through this again. Between my oldest being bi-polar and this youngest one have sensitivity issues, I am done - no mas, por favor!

Money/Work - hand in hand

I have been pushing the business a bit this week - having friends and customers spread the word.  It has worked, but orders are not orders until the deposit has been paid.

So far, here is the list of what MIGHT come in: I am marking those who were told by a previous customer - referred.

1) Always patches - it is patch season, so I expect an uptick this area.  I am getting calls daily almost.

2) Sorority Tshirt Quilt  (referred)

3) Baseball theme Tshirt Quilt  (referred)

4) Memory Pillow (referred) - just came in!

5) 3 Tshirt Quilts for Christmas

6) 1 King size Tshirt Quilt w/ matching pillow (referred)

7) General Tshirt Quilt w/ color block border

8) Quilting 2-3 tops that a grandmother made, just need to be finished into quilt

9) Additional 4 Memory Pillows

10) General Tshirt Quilt

11) High School Senior Tshirt Quilt

12) Senior Tshirt Quilt

13) College Tshirt Quilt

If they all come in, I will be good to go!  Hopefully, not all at one time though.  I expect that I will only get about 4-5 of these however, it is my experience that people get very excited and then forget or decide that they cannot afford it.  This are the not the inquiry people though, these are people that we discussed details and soft dates.  I really HOPE they come through.

About to pour my 3rd cup of coffee and may play a little game before I get back into it.

My foot pedal ankle is sprained from use, so I have to use my defunct left leg.  LOL - better set the stitching to the slowest level - that foot has a mind of its own!