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Posts tagged with: goodwill

Never Financing Furniture Again!


Remember when I came to you with my nitty gritty debt details post. I admitted that we had financed a bed last summer to the tune of $2500. Insanity. I know.

And yet the urge has struck again. No worries, we didn’t rush off and finance new furniture (we will NEVER finance furniture again!!!). But if we weren’t up to our eyeballs in debt right now, buying furniture would be on the top of the list! Specifically….a dining room table.

For those readers who have been around since my first post (hi!! *waves*), you may recall this little tidbit about us. Remember, my husband and I are originally from Austin, TX but had been living in Florida for two years so I could get my Master’s degree (this is also where we accumulated the majority of our $150,000 debt). When we moved from Florida to Arizona we left just about everything behind. The honest truth is we were too broke to even pay for the U-Haul (estimated costs were around $5,000), so we just left everything behind that couldn’t fit in our trusty Kia Spectra.

When we got to Arizona we spent about $2,000 refurnishing an apartment, mostly with stuff from Goodwill, Big Lots, craigslist, and the like. Our kitchen table, for example, was a floor model at Big Lots so we got it for a steal – maybe $75 if I remember correctly? But it’s a tall barstool style table that is only meant for two people. We’re now a family of four.

At first with the babies it wasn’t a big deal because they were in high chairs. When they outgrew those, we transitioned our high chairs into a kids’ sized table and chairs (we had bought this set from Target < NOT a referral link, just an FYI in case you’re interested because I’ve found that a lot of people have no idea that convertible high chairs exist). This worked fine for awhile, but now the girls are growing and becoming less satisfied with the scenario. Every night at dinner is a battle because they want to sit with us, which translates to sitting on our laps since we can’t accommodate them at the table.

This is certainly a want versus needs thing. Obviously a new table is, in our situation, considered a “luxury” item and not a necessity. But it hasn’t stopped me from longing for one. A quick online browse told me that even “modest” tables are in the $2,000ish range.

So we’ll continue to make do with our 2-person kitchen table + baby table combo. A new table is definitely not in our immediate plans. But I’d be lying if I said my wheels weren’t spinning to try to figure out how to fit a used one into our budget (maybe save money from our regular budget for a few months and find a used one cheap at a moving sale or on craigslist??).

Be honest – is it ridiculous that I’m even considering buying a new (or new-to-us/used) kitchen table? Does anyone have experience scoring awesome deals on a used table and chairs? How much did you spend and where was it from? IF (big “if”) we even get one, I’d like to stay in the $200 or less range. Is this still too much? Should I just learn to make do with what we have and put this out of my mind for now??? But we’ll still be paying off debt for years to come, so eventually (before our debt is all gone) we HAVE to buy a table that will accommodate our family, right? Am I just making excuses now? UGH!!! NO GOOD OPTIONS – SOMEONE GIVE ME A TABLE FOR FREE!!!! : )

On the road again…


I’m back on the road for work–this time for two nights.  Steve leaves for work the morning that I return and won’t be back until Friday.  As I talked about last week, these business trips can be helpful in several ways–like gas money. When we are on the road for work we aren’t filling up our gas tanks.  We rarely travel on the same week and actually my travel was light for April and May.  We also hang onto our spending money longer b/c much of what we spend on these trips are work related. That said, travel is still very hard.  We are fortunate that we can schedule well with our exes and the kids are well taken care of in our absence.  Although this week it will really only be Wednesday afternoon that they are with the other parents as Steve and I do the relay baton toss of parenting. 

I issued a new challange for this trip and am going to continue to try to eat “real” food only. WOW!  This is TOUGH when away from home but I’m having fun trying to do so.  In spite of my “need” for a bread machine, I DID make bread in my Pampered Chef loaf pan this weekend.  I also made granola, breakfast mini-casseroles in cupcake tins, breakfast bars and brought some with me!  Then when I arrived I went to Sprouts (I am in way, way South Texas and am so thankful they have a Sprouts) and stocked up for what I need for lunch tomorrow–peanut butter, fruit, nuts, plain yogurt…and while I can still pay for this as meals for work…this isn’t as much about saving money as it is about this experiment I’m running.  I am really curious if our bodies eventually get used to the whole foods and once again hunger will strike soon after eating.  I am amazed at how little I have eaten today and how very full I have felt.  I don’t want to beat a dead horse here but I do see the potential for major $ savings.  Oh I also left a teriyaki port roast with brown rice, chicken enchilada casserole, homemade wheat tortillas (this was my crowning moment this weekend!  I made really good, really homemade, really good for us tortillas…and please remember this family knows a good tortilla!)  I also made the BEST healthy refried pinto beans in the slow cooker so bean and cheese tacos will be a cinch for the family to have while I am gone.  Now THAT was a productive weekend of cooking!  Last night supper was made up of whole wheat banana pancakes and those little breakfast casseroles.  We ate at 6:30 pm and no one needed another bite of food before bed!  Steve and I said nothing to the kids just so we could observe and sure enough…everyone went to bed with no additional food.  That NEVER happens…and I am completely amazed.  Let’s see if it lasts!  Pardon the pun!

Thank you for the reminder about Goodwill and thrift stores for the vacuum and breadmaker.  I also LOVE Dream Mom’s comment re the shopping fix.  I have to remember that…to go to Goodwill to spend 5 bucks instead of hitting another retail store.  Great tip!  I’m not going to buy towels anytime soon…but the ones we have just never seem clean anymore. Maybe this ties in with the kids towel use–overused, overwashed? I don’t know but towels are not high on the priority list.  I will do a wash with vinegar soon and see if I can freshen them up! I am a resale clothing shop person–always have been–but Steve is not.  I’m open to goodwill on this too–and found out we have a boutique location too. 

I have to thank all of you for reading and making such great comments.  I look forward to seeing the emails come across and learning something new!  You give me much to think about and I am enjoying the changes we’ve implemented thus far.  Okay…now here is some funny timing…I’m typing this as I watch the local news and some story about a home invasion is on.  Apparently this bad guy broke into a lady’s house and went after her ramen!  Here I am typing about our food changes and ramen shows up on the television!  Now if that is not God’s sense of humor..I don’t know what is!  Look how far I’ve come!!!  I will never forget the Ramen Rage that I unknowingly evoked from readers and this reminder on television is cracking me up! 

To address the comment by a reader re: religion–yes, I am a practicing Catholic who loves my faith and my church.   Obviously I do not talk about it much on the blog but it is absolutely a part of every single word I type.  I get so excited to see God do His work–both for me and through me–on a daily basis.  I wake up looking forward to what God has in store for me! While I am certainly not someone who sees the Virgin Mary’s image in a tortilla and then refuses to consume it or dispose of it…EVER…I DO see God in the little moments throughout my day and like this ramen moment…I am usually laughing out loud as I get the message! 

Tomorrow I hope to update everyone on the job situation…stay tuned!