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Hope’s Actual Spending – Week of 9/21


Our A/C went out Thursday night. I am SO GRATEFUL I rent. That’s the 3rd it’s gone out this summer. And I haven’t had to pay a dime to get it running again. In addition, my landlord has had to replace the back wall of our laundry room, a section of the roof due to leaks and so on.

It just continues to show me, how wise it is for me to just rent a home at this stage in my life. I’m also very grateful for a landlord that jumps on these types of maintenance issues. I have not waited more than a single day for A/C repairs and the other issues were contracted out as soon as I reported them.

I have heard horror stories of what other tenants have had to deal with. We have been really blessed to never have been in those types of situations.

This Past Week’s Spending

Overall, I am happy with this week’s spending. As anticipated there were some unexpected/unplanned for costs with History Buff moving in. But even with those, I didn’t end up too far over for the week and they really were required expenses.

Income *after taxes$464$450
Volleyball - entrance fees($5)($15)
Sea Cadet Insurance$50$100
Insurance Payment($100)
Furniture for History Buff??($352)
History Buff Driver's License($32)
Medicine Co-pay($2)
History Buff ACT scores($26)



  1. History Buff, Gymnast and I attended an unexpected and previously unscheduled volleyball game for Princess. That’s why the cost was higher than expected.
  2. Sea Cadet has decided to pay his insurance on a bi-weekly basis rather than weekly, which makes sense since those are his pay days. I immediately put that money toward our auto insurance.
  3. After shopping around for a couple of days, I decided the best option for History Buff’s bed was the same place I got all of ours last spring. But the cost for the exact same bed is almost a $100 more now! Ugh! But as I’ve told the kids, they each have a bed they can take with them when they move out. I know kids do not need full size beds, but with them all being so close to spreading their wings and leaving the next, my logic is that this will save me from feeling the need to help them purchase an “adult” bed when they move. This is the bed I purchased him from Sams Club.
  4. I also paid for History Buff to get his GA Drivers License and wanted to get that done as quickly as possible since we will want in state tuition when he goes on to get additional schooling (after he finishes high school.)
  5. We needed to send his ACT scores to the local colleges where he will be dual enrolled which also had to happen as soon as possible since registration opens in just over a week.

I believe I’m done with the unexpected moving in costs for History Buff. He has already begun schooling and will take the placement tests at the local community college to confirm his acceptance for dual enrollment next week.

He is looking for work, and has two more paychecks coming from the two jobs he left in VA. Hopefully he will have enough to cover his bills until he gets a job. I’ve not decided what I will do if he doesn’t. He has a monthly car insurance bill and cell phone bill to keep up with.

One Caveat to No Spend Month

I/we are ready and committed to No Spend Month which begins for us today! Yeah! I’m excited to see what my buffer looks like at the end of the month. And still haven’t worked out a budget for our Texas trip over Thanksgiving, but it’s rolling around in my brain.

I have decided to allow one splurge during the month of October. We are going to do a small family celebration. Our blended family was formed on October 5th, 2011 when the twins were placed with us by the US Foster Care system. They were 12 years old, two weeks from turning 13. Their adoption was finalized in October, 2013 just before their 15th birthday.

History Buff and Sea Cadet at 13th birthday party

The twins at their first ever birthday party. It happened a couple of weeks after their 13th birthday and I didn’t know many kids their age, so we filled the part with family friends and a few neighborhood kids they went to school with. History Buff (L) and Sea Cadet (R)

Hunt kids in sweatpants, being silly

Within weeks of the twins arrival, the kids were bonded and always had a good time together. Here they are trying on some exceptional large but comfortable sweats that were donated for the twins. (Sea Cadet is next to Gymnast and History Buff and Princess are behind them.)

We used to celebrate every year by going to the local paint on pottery place and each making a piece with the number of years we had been together, and then out to eat. We haven’t been able to do that in a number of years. Between financial problems and then History Buff moving out, well, we haven’t celebrated much at all in regards to our family.

But What to Do…

I have decided that we will do something this year. But I’m not telling the kids. And haven’t decided what. There is a paint on pottery place a town over. And it would be nice to carry on that tradition. But it can be pricey based on what you choose and we really don’t need any more coffee mugs (typically the cheapest option.)

I don’t want it to just be a meal out. I want it to be memorable and I want them to have something to hold on to afterwards, a momento to help them remember this. It’s important and it’s our first year back together after almost 2 years of living apart.

Give me your suggestions, any and all are welcome. Price is a factor, I don’t want to break the bank especially since this is a splurge during No Spend Month.







  • Reply Angie |

    What about gathering some small momentos to paint from the craft store? It would fill in on the tradition without having to pay for the commercial aspect of it. Politely ask to put away the screens and phones for a few hours. Make some splurge appetizers or grill out at a park or something so it is “different” than a normal day. Infuse with some of your favorite or quirky memories over the years.

    Happy family day!

    • Reply Hope |

      This is a great idea. All of my kids lean toward artsy and it’s a great alternative to the more expensive paint on pottery option. Not to mention, we don’t really need any more dishes at this point. Thank you!

  • Reply M.V. |

    What about having the family photo you had taken printed on canvas (lots of deals) for each kid and then getting paintable wood frames to put them in and you can decorate them as a family and order pizza or some other takeaway in and celebrate in your home.

  • Reply Juhli |

    When we needed inexpensive fun family outings we packed a picnic and went to a state park to hike and enjoy the fall scenery. Also did this on Mother’s Day but stopped at Krispy Kreme for donuts on the way. Or we had board game competitions. Or dance parties in the living room. Spending time together having fun is what makes memories IMO.

    • Reply Hope |

      We love Krispy Kreme. Outside picnics aren’t something we can really do. Princess is HIGHLY allergic to just about everything outside. Thankfully we are able to manage it with daily allergy pills, inhalers and an emergency inhaler. But we don’t ever “choose” activities where we will have to sit in the grass or be around trees much when she is involved. (I also limit her outside chores alot more.)
      We do alot of board game nights and the kids are tired of watching me dance…but I love your ideas. Just trying to do something outside the norm to celebrate this 7th year together.

  • Reply Ashley |

    I don’t know how this would work in terms of your desire for a “memento”, but the first idea that came to my mind was doing one of the “Escape Rooms” that have been popping up all over in recent years. It’s a super fun event, relatively cheap, and you could do it as a family so you’re all working together toward a common goal. Most places will take pictures afterward, so that might fit as the memento you’d like to keep to look back on to remember the day. You could do the escape room and then maybe out for frozen yogurt as a cheaper alternative to having a full meal out??? Just a thought.

    • Reply Hope |

      I LOVE this idea. I’ve never really looked into them, but I’m going to now. Thanks for the suggestion. And it would be perfect for us as far as what we are celebrating!

    • Reply Hope |

      Exactly. I often long for the security of owning my home, but for maintenance issues…renting and a good landlord are wonderful! So renting it is for me!

  • Reply Megan |

    I love the idea of an escape room someone shared above. They often have a photo op moment at the end to commemorate it and I think experience gifts are really lovely when you can swing it. Something like that followed with making ice cream sundaes at home or cake could be really nice.

    I think the most important part honestly is that you make a point to celebrate in some way and that you talk a little bit about how important each person is to you. Reflect on how thankful you are for them and how far your family has come. There are so few moments where that sort of emotion is given a moment to shine in our busy lives but I know I always hang on to those memories most in my own life.

So, what do you think ?