Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 2017 Update: $69,229.70

After the whirl of December, I was hoping that January would be a little easier in terms of expenses. Nothing major came up, but we had to purchase some homeschooling curriculum, vitamins, a carbon monoxide detector, pay for a headlight that went out, and buy a last minute birthday gift. It all adds up, but thankfully we were still able to pay our planned payments toward our loans. This month, our total debt dropped to $69,229.70. 

It may not seem like our debt dropped as much as it should have given our regular payment, but let me explain why: at the end of the month, I pay off our credit card, but even with that I continue to use it for groceries, gas, or whatever else we need. These accrue as new pending charges that I am not allowed to pay off until they are moved over to actual charges. This month, the "pending charges" were around $69. We have money in our bank account to pay for those, but we can't. To me, they aren't really debt, but because they are on a credit card I want to count them as debt for transparency's sake.

One of my favorite deals that I got this month was a bed for our almost six-year-old son. He was still sleeping in a toddler bed, but I found a twin bed, with mattress, bedsprings, frame, and headboard, for $25 on a local private Facebook group. It is a group of friends who sell to other friends, so I know that it's come from a good, clean home. I've also gotten another number of good deals on there - two matching wingback chairs for $10 (I need to recover these!), a media stand for $10, and even a creme brulee set with torch for $3! (And yes, I consider creme brulee to be a necessity in our house!)

We have been doing lots of projects on our home lately and I hope to update you on some of them this coming month. We have tried to keep costs down as we go along, so many projects involve painting or other inexpensive improvements. We turned a wall off the entry from our garage into a mudroom, and I'm putting the final touches on that his week before I share what I did, but here's a sneak peek:

I have been working on a console for our living room sofa. It is approaching being done - I just need to add some x-details at the end and then have my husband sand it. I love building, but hate sanding! Thankfully, my husband likes the sanding! Poor guy, he worked for two hours on this coffee table last weekend too!

I have also been into making homemade bread lately after my mom surprised me with a Zojirushi bread maker for Christmas. I have been very impressed so far with the quality of the bread turned out by this machine. I've made homemade bread before but the texture was always crumbly and dry. This has a beautifully moist texture and light, airy crumb. I'm hoping to slowly work my way into making all of our family's bread.

Another thing we've been making is homemade pasta. I don't know why I got the itch, but for some reason I felt like I needed to work with dough. I own a pasta machine, but lately I've just been making the dough and rolling it out by hand and cutting fettucine noodles out of it. My kids love to help me pull out the noodles.

This week I am hoping to start some seeds for winter sowing, including parsley, Swiss chard, leeks, and marigolds. What are you working on?

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