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Posts tagged with: valentine’s day

Valentine’s Day Kid’s Craft

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We have a long history of using homemade kid’s crafts as a way to give gifts to friends or family in an affordable way, while still having a personal, meaningful touch.

This year, we decided to make some homemade Valentines for the kids’ class. To be fair, we did still buy some Valentines because the twins are in the same preschool classroom so we didn’t want to be giving identical/duplicate homemade gifts. But doing one fully homemade (and the other store-bought), we still saved 50% of the money!

Better yet, our craft used all things that we already owned so we didn’t spend a single penny on any of these!

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For Halloween we had bought a giant Costco-sized package of mini playdoughs to give out for kids who needed/wanted a non-candy treat. They ended up not being very popular among our trick-or-treaters (go figure! lol) so we still have a pretty good sized pile leftover. I decided to use those instead of a candy for the basis of our Valentine’s Day “Card” to give to classmates (last year, one of our daughters came home and promptly threw up from the candy/sugar-overload, so I purposely emphasized non-candy treats this year).

I helped the girls to cut out the hearts. I wrote the message on the front and the girls signed their names on the back and decorated with heart-shaped stickers (every valentine was different and unique). Finally, I was able to fold over some tape to affix the playdough to the card. They’re little mini-sized ones, so the tape held just fine.

I think my hand-writing could have been neater and we could have decorated a little better if we’d spent more time. But for 4-year-old Valentines, it’s not half bad. ; )

If you want to check out last year’s home-made Valentine’s Card (+ a bonus homemade idea I “borrowed” from a classmate), check out this post.

Do you ever make homemade Valentine’s for your kids’ class exchanges? Have you seen any other good homemade Valentine’s card ideas? 


Weekly Debt Update #5- V-Day and B-Day

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Good afternoon everybody!

Thanks to everybody for commenting on how they spend their typical Valentine’s Day on last week’s post.

For this V-day I budgeted $52 for a pair of concert tickets to go see a band (Milky Chance) that both me and the GF really like. The concert itself isn’t until April, so my plan was to get a hotel room and dinner for us that night- I would have paid for this as her birthday gift, which happens to be around the time of the concert.

Well…it turns out the night of the concert is her last final exam and group presentation for one of her graduate classes.  So unfortunately, it didn’t work out as I had planned. I’m going to sell the tickets (the concert is already sold out, so I should get face value for them) and plan on using that money to do a small weekend trip in April to a B&B we both really like (which has been less than $150 for the room and dinner when we stayed there before). Not the idea I originally planned, but still something she seems really excited for.

For my gifts (v-day and b-day combined), I got some very sweet (and inexpensive) items that I love but never buy for self- a bag of beef jerky, sour patch kids, gold fish crackers and ‘coupons’ (20 minute massage, 3 hours of uninterrupted guitar playing, etc…) which really made my day. And Sunday I got to spend all day doing whatever I wanted (played guitar, played with the dogs, nap) while she did all the chores normally assigned to me. It was wonderful. Despite what she paid for the gifts (couldn’t have been more than $20) I couldn’t have asked for more.

Edit- Here’s my card that she made (I wanted to show everyone):

Homemade Card

Edit- Here’s the homemade bag she made:

Homemade Bag

Ok, so on to my financials! I finally took the juicer back and received store credit! (Edit- I asked for store credit but the amount showed back up in my checking account!)

Here’s what my monthly budget looks like so far this month:

Weekly Update #5 (1)

My electric bill for this month ended being $11.04 less than expected, which was nice. The misc costs is a total of the concert tickets ($52.00) and my EZ-Pass bill ($25.00, I don’t have a line for this since it’s so irregular. I only get charged when my balance drops to below $10.oo and it automatically refills to $35.00 from my checking account, maybe once every 3-4 months).

My slush fund total increased by $9.00, to 0 out my checking account, to a balance of:

Slush Fund: $2,587.78

Here’s my debt totals to date:

Loan NameInterest RateOriginal Balance- May '09Current BalanceTotal Paid Off
Sallie Mae 015.25$27,837.24$24,462.48$3,374.76
Sallie Mae 024.75$22,197.02$19,189.15$3,007.87
Sallie Mae 037.75$20,692.10$655.99$20,036.11
Sallie Mae 045.75$10,350.18$7,723.61$2,226.57
Sallie Mae 055.25$6,096.03$5,356.99$739.04
Sallie Mae 06 & 074.75$6,415.09$0.00$6,415.09
Sallie Mae- DOE 015.25$5,000.00$0.00$5,000.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 025.25$3,000.00$0.00$3,000.00
AES6.8$9,000.00$0.00$9,000.00
TOTALS$110,587.66$57,338.22$53,249.44

I was able to pay $653.46 onto the balance of my smallest student loan, bringing that to a balance of $1,153.01. I should have this paid off in only 2 more weeks! To think, this was the loan that scared me the most (balance plus interest rate) not 1 year ago.


Craigslist Tips?

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I put my 5’x5′ square dining table that seats 8 on Craigslist with the matching buffet asking $750.  I’m willing to take $500.  I had a couple of inquiries but no follow up.  I have to watch myself because once I decide it is time for something to go, I can put it on the curb and let someone take it away.  Obviously that isn’t in my best financial interest and I recognize that it is way too early to think it won’t sell.  I am observing those thoughts in my head and sharing.  I do not want to pay to move that table and then store that table so someone might end up getting one heck of a deal if they just take it off my hands.  I haven’t posted my bedroom furniture yet.  That’s on the weekend “to do” list.  I also plan to use this upcoming kid-free weekend to declutter closets.  Thankfully we did a major clean out about 2 months ago so I can count on being able to see what is IN the closet and be better able to pack it to move and or pack it to be donated.  I can’t believe how my thought process has changed from totally overwhelmed with the very thought of moving to looking so forward to tackling the move!  I have some girlfriends coming over on Saturday to help and that always ends up being great fun as we see those items that somehow have survived the previous clean outs!

The house is officially on the market.  I really liked the sellers’ real estate agent and that says something b/c I’m not going to lie… Realtors are sometimes challenging for me to like.  That’s a VERY broad statement so don’t freak out on me (after all I am of the most hated profession).  I know there are great agents out there but my past experiences have been less than pleasant.  The sellers continue to be delusional listing the house at $259K.  Their own agent expressed frustration with the price they decided upon and believes they’ll find more motivation after my rent stops.  I’m not bothered by the showings really as the constant threat of having people in my house is a great motivator to keep things picked up!  I will be shocked if the house sells before I leave.

And finally–Happy Valentine’s Day–the most absurd holiday of all in my opinion.  And no, that isn’t because I am single.  It has always been silly to me and the commercialism of our culture really shines with this one!  I like to tell the kids they are my Valentine every single day of the year and this day should inspire us to just be kinder to one another.  My two bickering children were kinder to each other this morning so that’s something I will take as a gift from this silly holiday!   Have a kind day!

 


Happy Valentine’s Day… STOP SPENDING!

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I was watching the news over the weekend and it seems all anyone can focus on is Valentine’s day date ideas. The anchor said, ‘I know we are all planning to spend a couple hundred over the holiday, so let’s talk about ways to save.’

A COUPLE HUNDRED!?!?

What planet are you living on!?!?

Then I realized… a lot of my friends drop a couple hundred on Valentine’s Day between dinners, romantic outings, and flowers. Hubby and I haven’t spent that much since… well… ever.

Is it just me? Or is everyone nuts?!? What will you be spending for today’s festivities?