Category Archives: friendly finances

Little Swimmers

I know that I’m a biased water lover, but I think that swimming is a skill every child should learn, and the earlier the better. So we sign up for swim class on Saturday mornings from fall through spring.

It’s a relative bargain at our local community center for $40.50 per child for 9 classes. We can walk there, and we often sign up with friends to make it a play date too.

My only real tip for signing up for class is to make sure that the class time works for your current routine. I once made the mistake of signing up as our nap time was shifting, and we missed several classes. I’ve heard from several friends about how challenging summer classes can be when they are scheduled for every afternoon. Swimming is exhausting, and it could be too much unless they are used it already. It’s probably an age/experience level thing though, because I vividly remember wanting to swim every single day of the summer as a kid.

Yet, secret extra bonus for me is that Hubby usually uses this time to clean, and the kiddos are always tired enough for a nice nap when we return. So in reality I get multiple benefits from a simple swim class.  I certainly think it’s worth the “investment.”

What classes do you do with your family?

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

Shopping Spud

As I’ve mentioned before, Spud has become part of my weekend ritual. I enjoy it so much more than packing two kids in the car and blowing at least twice as much at our local Whole Paycheck. We literally can buy all of our produce, plus milk and eggs for $33 to get free week delivery. The best part is that you can quickly set preferences and weekly/monthly orders.

Yet, I’m surprised at how many people I’ve surprised by how many people I’ve chatted with who haven’t heard of Spud. So I’m compelled share more about them. They also have a new online video giving a demo of how easy it is to order, see below. I would add a few more tips though to help make the most of your order:

  • Create a “Standing Order,” which will allow you to order things like butter monthly, eggs bi-weekly, and milk weekly. It means you never forget the essentials!
  • The bonus of a standing order is that they’ll give you a 5% discount on lots of items.
  • Create personal shopping lists for different needs – I have lists for my pantry, dinners, and everyday foods. It’s super easy to edit and order.
  • Always remember to update your order by 9 AM the day before delivery, or two days for fresh breads and meat orders.
  • Again, always remember the Submit Order button.

If you want to play around a while, there’s more fun too:

  • Check out the kid-friendly meals under the recipes tab.
  • Keep track of your food’s carbon footprint. 
  • Follow Spud by Facebook/Twitter for more fun stuff.

If you want to give Spud a try and get $25 free after your first 4 deliveries, use my promo code: CR5-147718.

Tell me about your Spud experience!

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

Much To Be Done

It seems every week and weekend is ongoing effort to do all I can, and hope for the best. Most projects (at home and work) are a work in progress. It’s all a matter of perspective though, and my goal lately is being happy and satisfied with my best.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to hold myself accountable. I have to admit that I’ve slacking lately on updating my own budget template and managing Mint . 

The good news is that many of our bills are now managing themselves through autopay. Despite somewhat routine setbacks of unexpected bills, we’re still managing to save money and are on track with family goals.  While it hasn’t given me a magic wand, this blog has given me a voice to share my thoughts and try to keep sight of my  long term family goals . So even when I feel know there is more work ahead, I can still see the progress better.

My question is, if you’re reaching your goals, do you still need a budget?
What do you think?

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


Just a friendly reminder to turn in any flexible spending receipts by Sep 30th.  I know I should have really sent it in by July 1, but  I’m proud to say that I didn’t procrastinate to the 11th hour this year. I’m looking forward to my last sixty bucks being reimbursed.

As a follow-up on my post about Maxing Benefits, I have really been enjoying my flexing spending reimbursement credit card. It’s been as easy as I imagined, and I smile to myself every time I use it knowing that I’ve reduced my tedious paperwork.

Unfortunately, I’m home with my Big Guy for the second day of full blown strep throat. All night fevers are not my favorite way of expressing my motherly love. Sadly, any illness always reminds me of the true benefit I have of being able to take my kiddos to the doctor and buy insurance covered tax-free meds.

Do you feel grateful for your benefits?

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

Income Gap

After our abysmal family leave policy, the thing that ruffles my feathers most is the income gap for working Mamas.

A new study by the University of Chicago shows that working mamas earn $.73 for every dollar a man earns, compared to a $.90 for childless career women. 

Moms’ Rising was interviewed on Good Morning America about pay discrimination for working mothers. The founder talks about the need to transform our 1950s workplace policies.

I was really excited to see the Moms’ video, so I searched to see what other coverage there has been recently. The Atlantic had a pretty disheartening article condoning paying men more because they care more about their careers, while working mothers are busier as caregivers.  I don’t dispute that mothers still have more parental responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean I deserve to be paid less.

In our household, I earn less money and I know somehow Hubby feels good about earning more. Yet, I do like to point out that I earn more than he did at my age, but there is a seven year age gap. I’d be very curious whether there is the same gap between comparable professionals in our graduating classes.

Do you feel the income gap?

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