Hello BAD Community, I apologize for my long absence. I’ve visited often, with the thought to write an update, but never seem to focus on something to write about. We are fully settled into small town life in Georgia, our lives in Virginia settling into mostly fond memories. I think Gymnast still struggles the most. Change is hard for everyone, but I know the kids are resilient and in time will find their groove here.
Not much has changed as far as busy-ness from my last update (you can read it here .) I’m still working all my jobs and continuing to pick up odd jobs (primarily from previous customers – websites, etc.) Since we had gotten rid of EVERYTHING over the last couple of years, it took a little while to fully furnish our home. The last big purchase was a used washer and dryer with a one year warranty for just at $500 for the set delivered.
It’s been nice to be in our own home again after 2 1/2 years of tiny living and then glamping. I certainly do not miss either of these living spaces, but there are a number of things that linger. First, we are still very much minimalist. There is nothing in our home that is not used every day. As a result, our approx 1200 square foot home feels large because it is not cluttered.
We spend a great deal of time in one room – our eat in kitchen. I know it’s always called the heart of the home, but I think we take that to the extreme. We school in there, eat in there, I work in there and we hang out in there doing crafts and playing lots of board games. So much so that I’ve decided to divide the boys (Sea Cadet and Gymnast) from the bedroom they are sharing and move Sea Cadet into the living room (it has a door) when Sea Cadet returns from his summer away working at summer camp.
The frugal habits that we were forced into because of being completely broke are now in our nature. While I do grocery shop once a week, I typically spend less than $100 and just purchase fresh produce and milk, etc. (We buy meat in bulk at Sams Club and keep it in the freezer. The 20lbs of frozen chicken breast, 2 family packs of pork chops, 1 roast and 10 lbs of ground beef I purchased in April have lasted us and we will probably go another month or so before we need to restock.)
We are spending our “free” time visiting small towns around us, free festivals and lots of live music. I say free time loosely as I still work the bulk of every day between my full time job and my part time jobs. The kids are asking more frequently when I will slow down, but as of now, I haven’t made definitive plans. I keep thinking/saying the end of the summer, but I’m not certain I will. I just don’t ever, ever want to go through what we’ve been through again – ever! The money is nice but even moreso, the security of knowing if one jobs fails, I have the others.
I still have not sat down and come up with a budget…I keep saying I’m going too. And I am. Soon. I’m continuing to save 10% of all income in a hard to reach account. And I guess most impressive to myself, is that I’ve continued to control my travel bug. I think fear more than anything is guiding my financial decisions. Which I’m sure is not healthy, but right now, it’s working.
I promise to write a more finance oriented post soon. We are doing well. Sea Cadet leaves this week for the summer (returning to the camp in VA where he will work as a Senior Camp Counselor through August.) When he returns, he will be attending the local community college under the GA MOWR program for his last year of high school, focused on pursuing an EMS certificate. Princess continues to work hard at her academics, and is ready for collegiate classes in some subjects, but not old enough to attend the local community college. I will have to address that soon. Gymnast continues to train and will move up another level this fall. The two littles are looking forward to going to camp this month for two weeks. I am looking forward to that as well, no kids, two weeks. I may even treat myself to a day off, but have made no plans for that yet.