Celebrating the True Meaning of Christmas on a budget

close up of christmas decoration hanging on tree

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The Holidays, even if you budget for them, have a way of putting a strain on your wallet.  While my kids were younger,  I worked very hard to make sure they didn’t notice our limited budget by keeping Christmas a fun and active time while remaining focused on the true meaning of this holy season.

In my latest book, Frugal Seeds Christmas Edition: 101 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays on a Budget, I share many of the ways we celebrated the Christmas season while keeping our focus on the reason for the season.

I would be greatly humbled if you would take a moment to check it out.  It is now available on Amazon in paperback and e-book and can be read FREE on KindleUnlimited.  Thank you.

FrugalSeedsChristmasCover

 

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.”

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

summer fun with kids

action beach boy child

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As many of you know I have written a book call Frugal Seeds  Summer Edition:  101 Ways to Enjoy Summer with Your Kids for Little Money.

This is can be read FREE at Amazon with KindleUnlimited or you can purchase the e-book for 99 cents.

From my family to yours……….wishing you a summer filled with blessed memories.

“Summer time is the best of what might be.” ~ Charles Bowden

 

summer edition

macro photography of black sunglasses on sand

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I am excited to announce that we have another book available on Amazon, Frugal Seeds Summer Edition, 101 Ways to Enjoy Summer with Your Kids for Little Money.  This was a true labor of love as the ideas inside this e-book are how I have enjoyed summer with my kids through the years.

I would be humbled if you would check it out.  Free to read with KindleUnlimited and 99 cents to download.

frugal seeds

 

 

person holding a green plant

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The title of my blog gives away the fact that I live with at least one chronic illness.  Now, I don’t want to brag, but I actually live with several, and as interesting as it sounds, it is not a whole lot of fun.  Unfortunately I am not the only one in my family who lives with such a burden.  Every person in my immediate family lives with at least one chronic illness.

As a result of all of our medical bills, we have learned to live on a tight budget.  Over the years I have had to learn to be frugal and about 6 months ago I decided to put some of  my frugal ways into a book,  Frugal Seeds: 501 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  It is now available in both paperback and e-book on Amazon.  The entire book can be read for FREE with an Amazon Kindle Unlimited membership.

You will notice it is written under a pen name.  This has been done as I working on additional books and I am determined to keep the lives of my children private.  Thank you for understanding.

 

 

free budgeting apps

money coins cash currency

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“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” — Dave Ramsey, financial radio host and best-selling author.

 

Everyone can benefit from budgeting his/her money, but having a chronic illness makes your financial life more complicated…….every dollar ( at least in my situation ) must be stretched in order to be able pay all the medical bills and their bill friends that come along for the ride!

Below are links to free budgeting apps, each a little different, so you should be able to find one that fits your specific needs.

 

mint

goodbudget

wally.me

everydollar

nerdwallet

pocketguard

dollarbird

honeyfi

claritymoney

fudget

spendee

expense-iq

“Beware of little expenses: a small leak can sink a great ship.” — Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers, inventor, diplomat, and the author of The Way to Wealth

~ wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds:  501 Ways to Make, Save, or Stretch a Dollar

free activities for adults

national museum of anthropology building

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Now that it is summer (and I am way late posting this), there are so many free activities taking place around the country.  Just in my small mid-west town we have a free concert series, library summer reading programs, free movies once a week and free lunches every weekday for anyone who is hungry.  So check out what is available in your location………you might be amazed how many free activities are available to you and your family and the free choices can be just as fun as the ones that cost money – without the guilt.

Below is a list of some free activities for adults:

 

Free admission into National Parks

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm

 

Free admission into museums with Bank of America credit card or

https://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/what-guides-us/arts-and-culture.html#fbid=WooO27LGd7d/hashlink=museums-on-us

 

Free classes for adults at home depot………yes, they offer free kid classes too

https://www.homedepot.com/workshops/#change_store

 

Free fishing days

https://www.takemefishing.org/how-to-fish/how-to-catch-fish/free-fishing-days-2018/

 

Geocaching

https://www.geocaching.com

 

Places you can volunteer

https://www.volunteermatch.org/

 

Free music app………..makes doing something not-so-fun, more fun with a personalized playlist

https://www.spotify.com/us/

 

Whole foods offers free classes in some locations

https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/events

 

Some Williams Sonoma stores offer free classes

https://www.williams-sonoma.com/pages/store-events/store-events.html

 

I have written a book, Frugal Seeds 101 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  I would be thankful if you would take a moment to check it out.  Thank you.

celebrate your day with freebies

 

purple and red balloons

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Here is a list of stuff you can get free on your birthday……….and in case you missed it, check out free food you can also receive on your big day!

 

Acme Comedy Company – free tickets

 

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – free movie ticket

 

AMC – free gift

 

American Eagle – 15% off coupon

 

Anthropologie – birthday discount

 

Banana Republic – birthday gift (possible coupon)

 

Bare Minerals – free gift

 

Captain Dizzy – free car wash

 

Colombia – free birthday gift & welcome gift

 

Container Store – free birthday & anniversary gifts

 

CVS – special offer on birthday month

 

DSW – $5.00 off

 

Famous Footwear – $10 off

 

Fresh – free gift

 

Harkins Theater – free $5.00 for concessions

 

House of Comedy – free ticket

 

J Crew – 20% off & free shipping on your birthday

 

Kohl’s – free gift

 

Lancome – special gift

 

Office Depot – special birthday offer

 

Old Navy – free gift

 

Out of Africa – free park admission

 

Payless – special birthday offer

 

Redbox – one free night rental

 

Sephora – free gift

 

Ulta Beauty – free gift

 

World Market – free surprise

 

Happy celebrating!

 

~ wendi, pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds: 501 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.

resources available from a small town library

 

bookcase books bookshelves hallway

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Here is a list of FREE things currently available from my Midwest small town library.  I have wanted to do a post on all the free stuff that is available to you at your local library as I believe it is an underutilized community resource, especially for those of us living on a limited budget.  Although I knew my small library had a lot to offer, doing research for this blog, I discovered even more resources……….so I encourage you to check out what your local library has to offer you!

FREE resources:

Museum passes

Books

DVDs

CDs

Audiobooks

Magazines

Newspapers

Free rooms that you can reserve for studying or meetings (has computer, white board, and markers)

WiFi

Charging stations for electronics

Links to two local newspapers through their website

E-books

Hoopla – movie, documentaries, TV shows, audiobooks, comic books and ebooks

Play-a-ways

Xbox & Wii games

Portable internet tablets that can checked out and used inside library

Faxing

Notary Public

Cynoculars – can be checked out for home use

Portable recharger – can be checked out for home use

WiFi hotspot – to check out for home use

Computer Lab

Monthly book club – adults

Monthly book club – homeschool grade school

Needle art group

Knitting group

Crocheting group

Ukulele classes

Paws to read – kids read to therapy dogs to increase reading skills

Story time for babies

Story time for toddlers

Saturday  crafternoons  – drop in crafts for school aged kids

Weekly teen classes

OverDrive – audiobook and book downloads

My  library rewards – receive points for checking out items and earn free food, classes and museum passes from the surrounding communities

RB digital – free e-magazines

Tumble book of the day – animated audio kids’ books

eSebco database – digital nonfiction childrens’ books

MyON books – digital childrens’ books

Exam proctoring

Genealogy room – Librarian to assist with your research needs

Childrens’ area – w/books, tables, computers and lego play area

Teen area – booths, tables, books, board games, coloring sheets

Inter-library loans

Bookmarks

Community events information

Paper recycling

Please take some time to see what your library has to offer you……..

~ wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of The Frugal Seeds: 501 Ways to Save, Stretch or Make a Dollar.

 

 

 

Until next time….

May money audit, or, just write it all down.

notebook writing pencil start

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Money………..there is never enough, especially when you have sooooo sooooo many medical bills.  I have had to live frugally for years now due to medical treatments and tests, medicine, supplements, special foods……….you know the drill.  One more illness, more crap to pay for.  It gets frustrating and sometimes downright scary as there can be not enough money left for the month.

One way I make sure I am spending money as carefully and wisely as possible is by keeping track of every penny that is spent in a specific month.  I always do a money audit in January and I decided to do one again for the month of May.

It is really simple but it takes commitment………..you must write down Every Single Thing you spend any money on ALL MONTH long.  If you throw a nickel into the wishing well, write it down.  Lose a dime through the drive-thru, write it down.  Send a check to your niece for her birthday, write it down.  All bills, yep, you guessed it, write it down.  Every, single, piece of money that leaves your money pool needs to be written down.  I have a notebook that is dedicated for this purpose only, allowing me to go back and compare previous spending habits and bills.

Although I consider myself frugal by default, (because I would much rather not have to be!) participating in a monthly study of our spending has shown me ways that I may be able to cut back even more.  My spending flaws tend to stand out at me when I have to write down $2.25 for the pictures I HAD to have at the Dollar Tree.

If you are also living a life on a budget I encourage you to take a month to take inventory of your expenses.  The process of writing things down seems to make them more real, more noticeable.  You just may find that you can save an extra 10-20 bucks a month and put it aside to go do something fun………..like get your hair done professionally, instead of your spouse cutting your hair with household scissors in the kitchen…..O.K.  maybe that is just me!?

Until next time…………..YOU are a superhero and I am pretty sure superheros have their hair cut by a professional?