Category Archives: Uncategorized

Consciousness Check

Most wake up calls don’t feel very enlightening at first, but I was lucky enough get a reminder in the mail about how unconscious I used to be about our family finances. 


Over the weekend I got a letter letting me know that I never cashed a $208.33 pre-tax reimbursement check for child care tuition. Ironically, the check was issued 1/19/2009, just 6 days before Girly’s birth! I was obviously busy with better things, like planning for a home birth. I guess my “mommy brain” kicked in a little early 😉


But don’t really have an excuse, I used to simply be really unconscious about our finances. My old self would mentally celebrate any possible avoidance of dealing with our finances, and there was always something more worthy of my time and energy. 


I don’t claim to be perfect these days, but both Hubby and I are making a sustained effort to keep our finances in order. Over the weekend, Hubby spend some time filing everything from our recent mortgage refi. I wrote a request for the $208.33 check to be reissued, and started to dive into our post-holiday finances! 


Then we all went out on a bike ride to the park to test out Big Guy’s new tag along bike


Have you ever been lucky enough to find money you didn’t realize you lost?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Family Finances

While I was a natural born environmentalist as a child of the seventies, motherhood has brought out my own focus on eco-friendly finances, supporting both my family and the earth.


After a whole year of blogging, I realized that I have close to 250 posts (another 40 topics in the queue already too). I’ve tried to do my best to categorize things along the way, but that’s easier in theory…so I thought I’d compile some my favorite themes.



Frugal Family Fun
Okay, first the fun stuff.  Check out tips on frugal family fun, everything from winter kid-friendly activities, frugal fun tipsfamily camping, family camping gear, free parksbeach clean-up, Burgerville, and family outings.


Kids
childcare expenses, eco-healthy childcareswapping kid related stuff, practical advice for dealing with head lice, Children’s Book Bankfavorite green kids’ books, Business of Being BornHealthy Child Healthy WorldAnother part of children, is deciding how much is right for you, as we are leaning toward sticking with two kids. Plus Grandma’s gift policy and green birthdays, and saving early.


Spouses
Money Honey, that’s what I call our time together to discuss our finances and goals. Making time for our partners outside of “business” or family matters, whether you are lucky enough to benefit from Flex days, or work close enough to enjoy lunch once a week together as we do.  Finding cheap getaways, though sometimes that also means opting to take solo vacations.  Also remember heartfelt ways to celebrate your marriage.


Nitty Gritty Family Finances
Integrating our finances, including choosing a community oriented bank, maximizing family healthcare coverage, managing our finances with Mint.com, money saving tips interview, middle class meaningDealing with student loan debt, including looking at the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and applauding new regulations in student loans. Frugal lessons.


Home Economics
EcoMaidsgardening, extra cargo space, grocery shopping, shopping Spudopting out of cable, honing your yard sale savvy, finding alternatives to basic sack lunches, getting the most of shopping online, frugal lessons, groupon, treebate, plus other simple ways to safe money…in contrast to Affluenza.


Pets
Doggy Debt, Building a Poop Composter, and Building a Worm Bin.


Protecting Your Family
With as much as we do to support our families, it is also essential to take steps to protect our family.  While it is important for individuals, having a Just in Case Plan, including updated Wills, life insurance, and keeping an eye on your credit is essential. Last year this included developing an emergency kit and plan for our family in case of emergencies.


Consumer Culture
Conflict-free camera, Story of Electronics, Story of Bottled Water, Story of Cosmetics, Story of Stuff,  


Green Family Transport
Taking public transportation with kids, Baby Biking, Sunday Parkways, Bicycling Culture, and Zero Dollars Per Gallon.


Books
Get a Financial Life by Beth Kobliner, Living in Bliss by Eric Weiner


More Fun Stuff
What I Am Sesame Street music video, Pop Culture by Ben Lee, We’re All in This Together by Ben Lee, Green Police, and The Majestic Plastic Bag.


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Minimalist Mamas

I’ve become hooked on a blog called Becoming Minimalist, where she shares about her family’s journey toward simplifying life. She just had a guest post from Minimalist Moms on the practicalities of needing some essential stuff to succeed at modern motherhood. I’ve also been following Making This Home, and her personal experiences with trying to simplify.


These minimalist bloggers are inspiring me to take baby steps toward simplifying our lives further. They have lots of great tips, and the most important is just to start taking action. Voluntary simplicity isn’t just about being frugal, it’s about feeling abundance no matter what you have.


We certainly started out with simplicity in mind, but as our kiddos are quickly out-growing clothes and toys and stuff, I’m starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. While our community yard sale was fun, it sure didn’t make a dent in getting rid of kid stuff. I definitely need to get it together to start being a swap mamaI wish that I had a week to go through everything, but I’ll have to be happy with a day: this Friday. Wish me luck!


Are you a minimalist? 
Does the notion intrigue or inspire you?


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.