A Blog Epiphany

I just had a blog Epiphany! I am super organized in almost every part of my life except my blog! So I thought it was high time I sit down and have a good old-fashioned talk with myself and ask myself where I wanted this whole blog thing to go.

I want people to be inspired by my blog the same way I am inspired by others’ blogs.

What am I going to do about it?

I’m gonna get organized.

How am I gonna do that?

A schedule.

Monday= Meckaniky Monday. if any of you have read my very first blog post you would know that my husband is a mechanic and I am constantly learning new things from him about cars and I figure it’s about time I share my knowledge with everyone.

Wednesday= Something Crafty whether it is sewing or a yummy dinner or decorating or just a little craft I would like to share my cool crafts with everyone and hopefully get back into my crafty side (I’ve been on a craft sabbatical since I got married)

Friday= The Friday Journal. This is where I will give you a the low down on my week and hopefully something inspirational.

Saturday/Sunday= Whatever, Whenever Weekend. I will do the occasional saturday or sunday post with some interesting and random content/pictures.

I’m also looking to soup up my blog with some new fonts/pictures/guest post/ideas so keep viewing to see the evolution.

-Jane

Advertisements

Gourmet In a Can

This is what Doc and I had for dinner last night and as I put it on the plate I thought about how fancy it looked. A lot of it had to do with the new plates my brother and sister-in-law gave us the other day. And I started thinking about making meals that are cheap and easy but look nice. So I thought I’d share my recipe.

First are the ingredients (This recipe is for two so you may need to increase the serving sizes)

2 Chicken Breast

2 Cups uncooked rice

1 Can Cream-of-Chicken soup

1 Can Green Beans (the French Cut beans look fancier)

1 Green Onion, Chopped

Directions;

Cook chicken breast on medium high heat. Meanwhile add 2 Cups uncooked rice with 4 cups water. Once boiling cover with lid and turn to medium heat and continue cooking for 15 minutes. In a sauce pan empty the can of Cream-Of-Chicken soup, then fill the can half way with water and add to the soup, whisk together and heat on medium. Empty can of green beans in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave until warm. sprinkle chopped Green Onion on the top.

This is probably one of my favorite meals because it is fast and easy and it still looks nice and it is fairly healthy its only 308 calories for the whole meal and it is really filling with the rice and the chicken on the same plate.

Thanks for reading,

Jane

Married with Roommates

So this past week my husband learned that his best friend was being kicked out of his current living quarters to make room for another tenant. So of course being the ever-loving and wonderfully charitable man that he is. He told this friend that he could move into our spare bedroom (you know the one that I put all of our random possessions in, affectionately call ‘the island of misfit toys’). So my initial thought was “Heck NO!” I mean we just moved away from his parents house so we could have our privacy and now he wants to bring another GUY to live in our house INDEFINITELY But, he kept telling me “it’s the right thing to do” so of course I caved and he is moving in as soon as we get approval from our landlord.

And I had to break down and tell my mother (bracing myself for the storm of disapproval) not that I was necessarily scared…. I mean my mom was always the cool mom that let us do whatever we wanted as long as it wasn’t illegal or immoral. But she does have a way of letting us know of her ever-so-humble-opinion (which I guess is where I get my voice from) and lets just say I am all nervous again. I know K is a good guy, he’s clean, friendly, he has the same values as Doc and I so we know he wont have strange girls sleeping over, and he really has had a hard time lately. So in the end I think this will be a good thing. after all he’ll pay a third of the rent and utilities and possibly let me borrow his car (Doc and I are still sharing hence the awesome chance to save up for a car) every once in a while so we actually have food around to eat. So I’ve decided to be okay with this and just roll with the punches, not excited by any means but okay.

On a side note, the manager at our apartment complex asked me to apply for the assistant manager position. Which means I don’t have to go job hunting after the school year is over (which is in 21 days…. but who’s counting).

Thanks for reading,

Jane

Budget is not a four letter word

My mother is a financial counselor, so while I was growing up my siblings and I learned a lot about budgeting debt and how to avoid bankruptcy. I though this was normal, I thought that everyone knew how to budget because it was just so simple and easy that, well, everyone should just be able to do it. Then I found out that budgeting and planning financial futures is like a foreign language to most people and if you don’t grow up learing about this stuff, it can be really difficult. So I thought I might share my little bit of knowledge with you all especially if you are just starting out and trying to balance your budget.

First of all if you are just starting out and you don’t know how much things cost (like when I tried to spend only $20 per week on groceries for two people…. just FYI, it’s impossible).

I got this table from irs.gov it shows the national averages of what people/families are spending on basic living needs.

Expense One Person Two Persons Three Persons Four Persons
Food $300 $537 $639 $757
Housekeeping supplies $29 $66 $65 $74
Apparel & services $86 $162 $209 $244
Personal care products & services $32 $55 $61 $67
Miscellaneous $87 $165 $197 $235
Total $534 $985 $1,171 $1,377
More than four persons Additional Persons Amount
For each additional person, add to four-person total allowance: $262

These are not exact numbers for every single state and your house may spend more or less in each of these categories.

Now for actually setting up your budget I recommend actually sitting down and writing down each of your bills and how much they cost.

Here is a list of my household expenses to help you create yours. (The values are for a 1 month period)

  • Tithing/Charitable/religious donations
  • Saving (10% generally about $280)
  • Rent (864, including water, sewer and garbage)
  • Gas ($160  for our one car)
  • Utilities ($50 for 1,180 sq.ft.)
  • Groceries ($300 )
  • Prescriptions and over the counter medications ($50)
  • Car maintainance (We use this money to either do little repairs on our car or save the money in case we run into a larger repair) (about $100)
  • Car Insurance ($33 our car is still insured under his parents)
  • Cell Phone ($120, we share a family plan with his parents to keep costs down)
  • 401K/Health Insurance (This may be taken out of your paycheck by your employer)(130.36)
  • Life Insurance(Is absolutely necessary!!)($9.00, for $180,000.00 incoverage)
  • Entertainment ($50)
  • Tools (Unless you or your spouse is in a trade you may not have to include this in your budget)($150)
  • Renters Insurance ($16)

(Remember this is my personal household of only 2 people, your budget amounts may vary.)

I would like to mention Life insurance and Disability insurance for just a second. the average cost of a funeral in the U.S is

According to the National Funeral Directors Association an average funeral will cost about $7,750 not including a head stone, burial plot or obituary.

Also depending on your age and marital status you might want to decide on how long you want your family to be able to live on the insurance.

Also disability insurance (especially if you are the major money-maker) is important because if you are seriously injured or disabled you will need to be able to pay medical costs and possibly in home care costs depending on your injuries.

Whew! now that you have all that stuff worked out, you have to do the math.

so add up all your expenses and deduct this from your NET pay (Net pay is how much money you get after taxes)

now look at the total, if the number is more zero or above, you are in good shape if your number is below zero you might want to consider adjusting your budget.

If you need some help or advice I would like to recommend my favorite financial counselor.

Sherri Overby, AFC

Here is her contact info incase you need it and she gives free advice over the phone.

Globous Financial Relief

   info@financialvitalsigns.org

 1775 West 1500 South

 Salt Lake City, Utah 84104

   (866) 977-0555 (toll-free)

 (801) 977-0555

  Fax: (801) 977-3999

or you can visit her website financialvitalsigns.org

Thanks for reading.

Jane

Evil Cable Company

It has been a crazt week and I haven’t had a spare moment (well at least none where I had access to internet) to blog. Hubby and I are still looking for the right internet provider. speaking of wich. I though I would share with you all my recent run-in with a “Dish Network” representative.

This is how our phone call went

Him: “Hello this is —- (I don’t remember his name), how can I help you”

Me: “I just got this mailer this morning and I was wondering about your $19.99 plan”

Him: “Oh, that’s just our basic local channels. What channels are you looking for”

Me: “Um… we were thinking about AMC, TLC, Life, HGTV, ESPN and Fuel”

Him: “Well then you’ll want our $24.99 plan it has all those plus movie channels for free for three months”

Me: “Hmmm… I’ll have to think about it, thank you though.”

Him: “So you don’t really care about what you’re watching as long as it’s cheap” -click- he hung up on me.

totally uncalled for. I was being very polite. I know that they work on commission but I wasn’t about to pay for something that I couldn’t afford just because he wanted me to and I ended the conversation as soon as I knew I wasn’t going to purchase.

Now after having that conversation there is no way that I am going to purchase anything from them and I am going to tell all of my friends and family about it so they don’t purchase anything from them either.

I know that I can’t single-handedly make everyone not want to purchase anything from those people but hopefully my voice can make a difference.

Life in emoticons

Today has been pretty sucky and my emotions have been up and down. So I though to best illistrate my feelings I should use my facvorite emoticons.

4:30 am = o_O (only half awake and too tired to take a shower)

5:00 am = 😦 (time to wake up and in seriouse back pain)

6:00 am = :-/ (at school not to bad way tired)

8:23 am = >:-( (unhappy, someone stole the topic I was going to use for my paper so my professor made me change it.)

10:00 am = :’-( (I got another ‘D’ on homework and just about cired)

10:30 am = 😀 (super happy becaus I got a ‘B’ for the first time in this class)

10:51 am = >:-( + :’-( (I asked my professor for some help getting my grade up, his response was to try harder.)

11:00 am = :-/ (skip my public speaking course to run to the library)

11:15 am = :-! (I forgot my wallet so I don’t have my drivers license or student ID card)

12:00 am = 😛 (Totally fried and it’s only noon)

This has been an incredibly long day. and I still have papers to write one class to attend.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Jane

Baby Dream Book

Recently I was checking my e-mail and found a note from a website that I had used to help keep me organized while I was planning my wedding (theknot.com), It said “Congradulations! You’ve been married for 6 months! Now we would like to introduce you to our sister site thebump.com dedicated to all things pregnancy. I laughed out loud when I saw this (and I thought my fellow mormons were pushy when it comes to having kids).

But after a while of thinking and a few days of talking with my husband we decided that in fact it was time to add a little guy (or girl) to our little family. Besides now that I’m not working I have a TON of free time. So because… well…. because I am me I have started to obsess.

Yesterday Afternoon I went over to my mother’s house for some hot cocoa after sledding and found a box of my things that my grandmother had put together for me. I found the binder I used while planning my wedding, I went back and forth on it but in the end I brought it home. My mother had mentioned that even though it had “brideacess.com” plastered all over it I could cover it in fabric and reuse it for something else.

I loved this ideas because I was so attached to this binder and you could tell it had been well loved becuase it was dirty and the spine was ripping off. So after she left and my husband passed out on the floor I decided I am going to make it into my very own “Baby Dream” book.

I havn’t started just yet but I have an old t-shirt that has lip gloss stains all over it that I plan to use to cover the binder. I’ll post pictures when it is all done. Plus it has “Made With Love” on the front that I think is perfect for this occasion.

So hopefully this weekend I will be able to get an internet connection at my apartment this weekend so I can post when I’m at home too.

Thanks for reading.