No one respects people who set boundaries

They respect people who ENFORCE those boundaries.

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This goes for your kids, your family, your friends.

After almost jumping off the deep end before Christmas, I found myself in conversations with friends that revolved around me and my situation and how I needed to set boundaries and learn to say no and …and…and…

Funny.  I have boundaries.  Really. Don’t laugh. I have them.  I just bend them, break them, nudge them, and ignore them all too often.  I was actually accused of doing this out of fear someone would stop loving me. 

Ahem, let me make this clear.  I am not afraid anyone will stop loving me.  I am afraid of hurting someone.  I am worried that if I don’t do it or go or talk or be whatever it is I am needed to be at that moment that bad things might happen and I would feel guilty about it.

That the phone call I didn’t answer will be Nana sick, or Momma stuck on the road somewhere.

That if I had just helped you pick out the best item with the best reviews you wouldn’t have been taken advantage of by the electronics guy.

That… insert RIDICULOUS situation here….

I’m also afraid of making someone mad, or disappointed.  You can love someone you are mad at them. 

My goal for this year, since EVERYONE (even those who have enjoyed my “boundary breaking”) seems to be in agreement that it needs to be done, is to ENFORCE my boundaries.

 

My first step is with time wasters.  Mostly the phone.  Second is the interwebs.

I’m going to start with the phone.  I was going to change the message on our voice mail but thanks to a new plan to pay off some big debt this year I might be eliminating that voice mail all together.

(This is where I get to enforce my boundaries without hurting anyone’s feelings)

Hubby and I want to try and pay off two of our big debts in one year.  This is going to be nearly impossible.  But if we buckle down and don’t waste any tax refund we might get we just might make it work.

I’m going to post more about that plan later.  The part that is important here is that we are considering cancelling the home landline and reducing my cell phone from a Blackberry to just a phone…a dumb one.

That will save us about $75 which is pretty significant when you’re trying to pay down a $2400 credit card.

My family HATES to talk to me on my cell phone, ANY cell phone.  They have a hard time hearing me and with kids making noise in the background it is hard to hear them too.  But in an attempt to pay off this debt we really NEED to make these cuts.  This means the calls I do make with family/friends need to be quality calls.  We can always skype or IM if we want to just chit/chat.  At least I don’t have to worry about the noise the kids are making if I’m just typing back and forth.  Somehow it’s easier for me to say “I have to go” when it’s in print and not over  the phone.

Fewer phone conversations means fewer opportunities for me to be asked to help with something that I really don’t have to do.

Now, to figure out how to say “Sorry, that just won’t work for me”.

Coupons! An Organizing Challenge for a Thrifty Mom

One of the biggest black holes for money in our household is in our grocery bill.  We totalled up one months worth of receipts (back before there were five of us) and it totalled over $1200 for the month!  (We went a little nuts at Sam’s Club)
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That was a while ago, and we’ve added more people to the family since then.  Still at $800, which included toiletries and diapers and such, it was more then I wanted to spend.  With the help of The Grocery Game I have managed to bring it down to $600 or less, with much of that still going towards Domino’s and the occasional cheese wonton from China Xing.
The key to the “game” is couponing and using Teri’s List.  The list is easy, the coupons though…wow, they get out of hand fast!
First I tried a basic coupon sorter. You know, the kind you pick up from the dollar store.  Well, when you’re buying or acquiring multiple sets of coupons every Sunday those little sorters don’t last long.
Then I stole my husbands baseball card holders and recycled an old binder and created my GIGANTIC “WATCH OUT KROGER HERE COMES THE CRAZY COUPON LADY” BINDER.  He was never going to put his baseball cards in there anyway.
It’s sorted by aisle, because I always shop at the same two or three stores, with the bulk of my shopping being at Kroger.  So I formatted it after that stores layout and after a while, finding what I needed at other stores was a breeze.
The baseball card slots are perfect for most coupon sizes.  The others can easily be folded to fit and still show what the coupon is for.  This has made it so much easier in the store, even the Mr. is willing to flip through the book and look for the picture of his favorite pickles.
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Then came the holidays.  We actually lived off our stockpile for 6 weeks only buying milk, bread, and ‘I just want that now’ type items.  So I had SIX WEEKS of coupons building up that had not been cut, sorted and filed.  Not only that but I had a binder full of mostly expired coupons.
The pile was getting bigger, and I was less and less inclined to touch it.  So I met my coupons in the middle.
I took out a bunch of envelopes, just plain ones, and labeled them to match the dividers in my binder.
Doodlebug and I cut coupons, Taderbug and Bubbagirl played in the scraps.  We had a SEA of paper on our living room floor.  Then I simple shoved them into the appropriate envelope.
Every day for the next week, I made it my goal to empty ONE envelope into the binder.  By the time my usual shopping day rolled around my binder was back in business!
I’m keeping my envelopes to use as a ‘presorting’ place, so I can get my coupons in order in case they are needed for a quick purchase between normal shopping dates.
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Do you use coupons?  How do you organize them?
(if you decide to try the grocerygame.com , please help a momma out and use me email as a reference.  memrband3 at gmail dot com.  I receive no cash, but will earn a free week of the game if you subscribe AFTER your FREE trial)

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Looking for testers for Budgeting and Checkbook Balancing Spreadsheet

Becky BudgetImage by Hamden Alliance via Flickr

Morning friends!

I’m finishing up a Home Budgeting and Checkbook Balancing Spreadsheet and I’m hoping to find a couple moms willing to test it out for me.  It’s not anything I intend on selling.  Actually I’ll be giving it away right here on the Chaos Blog.  I’m just terrible with details.  I miss typos, or forget to change the color, or my directions don’t make sense to someone.  I also know that everyone’s situation is different (which is why I don’t like any of the budgeting sheets I’ve found online).  I’d like to have a couple honest opinions before I officially post it.

Any takers?  Just leave a comment below or DM me on twitter @TaderDoodles…. I’ll email you a copy of it as soon as it’s done. (Please specify Excel or OpenOffice Calc)

Thanks Ya’ll!

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