I got my financial review post up and now I think I'm going to veer off course just a tad with my blog and try to focus posts just on ways that I find to save money on the things I do buy and other ways I try to cut costs. Whether it's something I buy because I need it or something I buy just because I want it. There are always ways to save.
When I started this blog in 2010 I was making $58,000 a year plus about $8000 a year from my side job. There was no bonus plan in place at work (due to the economy crash), so no opportunity for extra money for a few years. Now I am making $75,000 a year (plus an increase this month, if all goes well), plus $12,000 a year from my side job and a potential bonus of $7500 (or more). My 2010 tax return was gross income of approximately $64,000. My 2014 tax return gross income will be almost $93,000.
I am no longer struggling to make ends meet one our one income each month. I have money going into savings (most months, barring a big doctor or house repair bill) and money going into my 401k. I have some money for some discretionary spending now (which mostly goes to fix up our house and yard). If I want to spend $20 bucks to buy a few bath towels (on sale of course!) to replace some that are getting past their prime, I can now. In all the years up until now I have not been able to do that. It was a stretch to be able to afford extra's or to replace things getting worn out. Even just things as basic as bath towels. I had to hope I'd get them as a Christmas or birthday gift or hope I got a gift card I could use. And even if I got a gift card as a gift it usually just went buy only needs, never just something fun or just because I really liked it and wanted it.
I'll be posting much less about my personal finances in such detail and much less about my personal life. (Really, who needs to bare their soul or have a moment of venting, only to be told you should just blow your head off! No one can get the full picture of someone's life by a few words written in a blog. If I need to vent or share personal stuff I can do it in my weekly emails to my half sister) Unless something major happens that I want to share, I want to just focus my posts on what I enjoy doing - finding ways to stretch my dollars as much as possible. I also want to be trying some more DIY projects and to post about those..err.....attempts :-) I want to enjoy my life this coming year and I want to add things to it that enhance it and make me happy. Nothing major - just little things that will make me smile and make me comfortable. Hopefully I can find good deals and ways to save extra along the way.
Here's my first DIY post! These 3 Christmas items:
Two of them were in boxes in one of my cabinets at work and one was in my closet at home. They are given as a gift to each employee by one of the companies we rep. I had accumulated 3 years worth! They are really nice quality and super cute.....but.....they always have the company name plastered over the bases. Just not something I'd really want to display in my home, but too nice to just throw out. A lady at work mentioned she just painted the base. What a great idea! I picked up a small bottle of white craft paint for .97 cents at Walmart (DD already had the blue from one of her projects) and dug into my stash of various small paint brushes and painted all the bases. Easy peasy and now I have 3 cute additions to my decorations. They all light up and 2 of them also play Christmas songs.