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Simplifying/Streamlining/Confession

June 4th, 2015 at 05:15 am

Since the school work is winding down, I'm finding more time to tackle problematic areas in the house (yesterday was organizing my cookbooks/transferring out winter boots/coats from closet/tackling year end papers and supplies from the kids). Consequently, lots of things are going into the trash or donate boxes. Very satisfying to see progress with less.

That said, we're tending to value experiences over stuff. We don't need more stuff. I don't think we want more stuff. DH and I talked about a trip to FL in December as birthday/Christmas gifts to the kids (5 birthday from 8/23 to 12/22). Factoring in what we receive as gifts (cash from parents) it is probably do-able. Excited about that plan and putting it into action.

Streamlining: Just trying to work smarter, not harder. Tomorrow is payday and there isn't anything exciting or mind blowing about that. I was down to my last $8 (this appears to be the theme "Running out of money the Wednesday before Friday's payday". My mom lent me a trash sticker (cost $3.82 weekly for trash pick up) and three eggs. The kids ate left over and DH and I had scrambled eggs.

Confession: In going through my closet I found a black patterned tunic my husband bought me for Christmas. He let me know that the sales gal helped him out. I don't exactly like it very much. At all. My mother loved it and bought herself the exactly one. Twinsies with your mom who is nineteen years older than you: Not gonna happen. Good news is it has the tags on it, and I have the receipt. I can return in for a store credit. Back it is going, and is will be forever a distant memory, until I see my mother wearing it. Right? Wrong? It cost $73 with tax. (Side note: DH did get me beautiful earring, too, that I love and wear with regularity when I get a bit spruced up!)

And I'm going to see about selling two rings and diamond necklace. Rings were from the dating days when I wore them (and I believe DH purchased them from MILs friend who had her own version of a pawn shop) and the diamond necklace was a hand-me-down. My children have their own nice jewelry and these aren't sentimental items - in the least.

Tomorrow is first full day of summer when I won't have to be a responsible parent to get up and say good-bye to a school-bound child. Last day of finals for younger daughter. She had a tough, tough time with Spanish -- thinking about dropping it for next year and doing Latin.

ETA: $4.81 impulse purchase (shirt from Sam's) going back. Will count that in my "smart money" too.

13 Responses to “Simplifying/Streamlining/Confession”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I like that you are selling off items you no longer desire to keep. A little cash back for those is great! And returning something you won't wear is the right thing to do. My husband bought me a scarf for Christmas, I returned it within a month when I realized it wasn't my style.

    I also like the buying of experiences plan you have as well!

    My youngest has her last day of school today, too. We will definitely be going through the backpack to determine what needs to be tossed/recycled. She's keeping her German binder in case we find a German class for her to take. Otherwise she may be picking Latin over Spanish at her new school (her only two choices).

  2. NJDebbie Says:

    I am sorry your daughter had such a hard time with Spanish Frown If I lived near you, I'd tutor her for free.

  3. laura/deacon's wife Says:


    @ NJDebbie! That is so kind of you! Smile My older daughter had the same two years of 7th and 8th grade Spanish in Jr. High. She went right into Spanish II as a freshman, and now as a Senior is in AP Spanish V (also a member of the Spanish Honor Society!) Younger daughter, not so much a star in the foreign languages. After her third go at Spanish I (in 7th/8th grade, 9th grade at the first high school, 10th grade at the transfer school), it is time for something else. I think Latin is right up her alley. Smile

  4. CB in the City Says:

    Both of my children had a hard time with foreign languages, although they came fairly easy to me. I've taken Latin, French, German and Russian, and enjoyed them all!

    I think returning the tunic after a decent period of time is fine. He tried. It's very hard to pick out clothing for someone else, I think! I gave my DIL a beautiful Talbots sweater last year that I'm pretty sure she got rid of in some way. Lesson learned!

  5. laura/deacon's wife Says:


    I am feeling much less troubled about the return now. Thanks for making me feel like it is the wise economic decision. Smile

  6. mimaki Says:

    Hahaha I love your confession about the twinsies with your mom gift! My DH can be similarly hit-and-miss with gifts... It's great that you've found some things that you don't have any attachment to or need for to sell to help you meet your goals--well done Smile I hope you have a fun summer with your kids home!

  7. snafu Says:

    What a wonderful plan to offer Florida in December as an experience for the whole family as the birthday, [possibly Thanksgiving] and Christmas celebration. Will this encompass Epcot and DisneyWorld? Will researching things to see and do in FL be tasked to DKs for a late summer activity when the plan firms up and they are bored?

    Have you read the reviews of Marie Kondo's book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? With the school year about to end, it may be helpful to have DKs inventory school/home office supplies to form the baseline for August's school supply sales.

    I'm reluctant to mention most people are disappointed when wishing to sell quality jewelry. The retail mark-up is extreme and the value is in the troy weight of gold and a complicated formula for gemstone.

  8. laura/deacon's wife Says:


    @ Snafu, I have an Eagle-Scout aspiring son, and this could be major project to fulfill the Family Life merit badge. I've asked him if he'd be interested in pricing things - mostly Universal. We do Disneyland at least once a year when we visit my grandma, and my oldest daughter is at Harry Potter today! I think they will all be onboard once we start talking/planning more. Smile
    I can't say that I've read Kondo's book, but I should! I did have the boys set aside anything that can be used next year. One is going to be using a purple religion notebook because it is labeled/in new condition. Smile
    I am aware that my potential income selling jewelry is most likely going to be disappointing. If it is totally unreasonable, I'll pass on a sale. I only know what my MIL paid for the necklace ($500). Not sure what I should expect on that.

  9. My English Castle Says:

    We still have another week of school here in Cheeseland. I'm glad they'll take the top back after six months. I have one from two weeks ago that should go back too. I'll put that on tomorrow's list. Here's to experiences!

  10. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I have made more money than I dreamed selling stuff and I'm not done yet. Some of the stuff left is pretty high value items.

  11. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    The combined birthday/Christmas trip sounds like a grand idea! So much more memory building than yet another object that might or might not last a year or more ...

  12. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Nothing wrong with deciding as a family how to spend money I think. Some kids might want something different and they should speak up. But you also get to tell the kids limits and reasons why things are being done for financial reasons. I am telling our DK1 whose 5 everyday why we can't afford x, y, or Z. And how it's affecting us. I think your kids are old enough to understand your choices laura and tell you. I think Disney a great idea by the way.

    To each his own. Besides it'd be more valuable to sell the second home and pocket that cash equity for investments and not have the second home risk than not go on vacation I would think. lol.

  13. Joanne Says:

    Every family has their own unique way of doing things,and enjoying birthdays in my opinion. i don't think there is any wrong way, or right way for everyone. I think that there are many ways to make a child feel loved, and valued as an individual . Every family has their own value systems. I think that a family enjoys being together in many ways. The family sounds very loving. As someone who wet to parochial school, at the time I didn't value it as much as I do now in my memory, and life experience. and , we sent my child to parochial school. I would say to each their own, and hope that I don't sound silly.. Plus, Laura's family is thinking of adoption if I remember correctly. Such a loving example, of sharing, and having open hearts.

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