Hanging in There
How are you doing today?
I’m hanging in there. I won’t lie, it is Monday and it feels it. I’m currently sitting at my computer with the bills spreadsheet up, the checkbook on the desk, the aging iPad on silent running through swagbucks videos, and my cup of coffee that I’ve only reheated three times (I think) today? My brain is honestly trying to come up with ways to do more than I likely can in a day.
Behind me there are stacks of library books from two library systems that we are using this year to pull off the literature intensive curriculum that we have chosen. More on that in the another post. But there are books there the kids have chosen and the ones I have gotten out. As well as the spines that I have been trying to purchase little by little in preparation for our year.
I felt like I needed to write a few things down so I am. Recently these questions have come up again as they have many times in the last seven years. Yes it has been that long. Wow.
How do you do it? The driving back and forth? The living so far from work? Homeschooling?
The Why We Do It.
Living so far…
We live a distance from where my husband works because the housing prices there are a lot higher than where they are where we live. If you have ever bought a home you know it is not as simple as just picking up and moving. You have to sell your house, you have to find a house that fits your needs, and most importantly is in your budget. I discussed this some in a Facebook post on my personal page. Some thought it would be simple. But without substantial savings, which we do not have due to the recession in 2009, it is virtually impossible. I just realized I had a whole post written from April on this and I apparently did not hit post fearing how others would view it. Maybe I’ll get over that fear and update the numbers and post it.
Homeschool all the kids…
Whelp, once you start it is hard to put one in school and keep another home… for me anyways. We started because the first year (2010) we began my husband was only home during college breaks and on weekends. I could not imagine trying to tell my Daddy’s girl, that she had to got to school the days he was home. So we started homeschooling.
We have continued because it works for our family. This year, 2018, I have three different levels of curriculum going on as we expand the topic of Around the World and Ancients for girls aged 4 to 12.
Why Don’t You “Get a Job”?
I haven’t worked outside the home full time in 16 years. Yes I have a Master’s degree. But after having kids, having surgeries (remember four in four years) and still not being healed jobs that will hire me for more than minimum wage that would then enable any type of day care possibilities do not exist in this area.
How Do You Do It?
Financially? Homeschooling? Being with my kids each day? That question can have implications of sooooo many things. Today I’m going to just focus on the first.
We honestly do it because this is our only choice. We make it work but it is tight. At times I feel like complaining when I cannot do more to help financially. But I do try to help by doing the following.
The following do have referral links. So if you click on them to sign up I will get a small bonus for referring you.
Swagbucks is a website where you can do survey’s watch videos, answer questions and earn points essentially for those things you do. I do not like spending lots of time on surveys and the privacy concerned part of me dislikes answering too many of the questions sometimes. When I have the ability I will setup my iPad to answer a quick daily question, and watch the videos. There is a limit on the number of swagbucks you can earn on the mobile doing this (videos). If I don’t mind having the video play on the second monitor now, I will often set it up on my computer and have it run in the background on one side to earn some more from watching the videos.
There are also swag codes that get announced on Facebook or emails at times and if you enter those codes in the allotted time you earn those points.
Your swagbucks, or points, you can then trade in for gift cards to places like Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Old Navy, etc. Usually it is $5 for a 500 SB amount but at times there are sales on a gift card for example 2200 SB giving you a $25 gift card.
Ibotta is a grocery app that I know is essentially tracking my shopping habits. The biggest problem I have begun to have using this app is because we have to be brand specific and often make a lot of our food from scratch I cannot earn money from this app as quickly as I could when food intolerances/allergies were not an issue and we could just buy what was cheaper or gave me more money back through the app.
I love the buy any brand items because then if it is “buy any brand of eggs” it won’t matter if I purchase the store brand vs the Land-o-Lakes brand of eggs that costs $2 more.
I will often periodically check the app to see if anything we need is on “sale” because by using the app to scan in my receipt after shopping I get a certain amount for purchasing an item. I do use this ap lot when I’m purchasing from eBay, which I have done often while searching for our book spines.
As far as a physical store Walmart is the easiest store to purchase from directly because you can just scan the QR code instead of having to take pictures of your entire receipt. But you are limited in the physical stores you can shop at and get the funds for your purchase. We have a more local store, an IGA, that is not included in the app but popular stores like Walmart, Price Chopper, Target and Hannafords are.
I make our bread, when I have enough energy will make any sweets we have. This part is getting a little more complicated as I now have one who is gluten free, dairy free and soy free so I’m currently having to purchase her bread until I figure out a good recipe and can start making it for her safely by purchasing a new dough hook for my mixer. A friend has suggested a bread maker. I know they have come a long way from ours that we received for our wedding 23 years ago and has long since died. Some even have a gluten free bread setting. So I’m likely looking into this before Christmas.
If you are interested I can do a post with my go-to bread recipe, the wheat bread recipe we love that comes from an old cookbook and any of the sweets (like almond brownies) that I do. Let me know!
Years and years ago we used to drink soda, a lot. We have gotten ourselves off the soda habit – yeah! – but instead have a seltzer habit. This is where the sodastream comes in. If I can keep the bottles in a rotation of getting cleaned and we have the CO2 cartridge we can keep from buying seltzer at the store. I enjoy vanilla so once we have the carbonation cartridge I can just use regular ole’ vanilla extract to flavor it.
There are flavors and I know there are extracts on Amazon that we thought of getting at one time, but as of yet we haven’t.
Some Other Ways
We have WIC for the youngest, we do apply for HEAP. I use Subscribe and Save whenever possible through Amazon for purchases.
I’m trying to get more into my blogging. You have likely noticed from some of my other posts that I have been using a program called Fit2B to try to become stronger over these last few years. A few of the posts… Fit2B More Than a Fitness Membership, My Review – Fit2B Girls Course, Fit2B Gives Me Hope … all give you my thoughts on Fit2B and yes they do have affiliate links in them.
Pssstttt…. Next week there will be the 8 year Birthday Sale.
Through my blog as I look into the future posts I’m planning: I’m excited to share a little more of …
- how we are going to use Fit2B as a part of our homeschool this year.
- how I’m using Fit2B, especially as the days are starting to turn cooler and going outside for longer walks will become a bit treacherous as winter sets in.
- how I’m still learning about my body even after almost 40+ years.
Thank goodness for libraries. We are actually using two different library systems to get the books we need as I alluded to above. I will share more on my organization process in another post. Trust me my brain hurts sometimes trying to keep this straight, but being able to school in a way that works better for my kids is worth it.
How do you save money?
How do you save money when the paychecks seem too far apart? Have any other ideas for me that might work? Don’t worry this won’t become a money saving blog and tips and tricks. That is not where my thoughts and passions lie. But the questions have come up enough lately that I wanted to answer some ways we do it.