Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scavenged Organization


The last week has been really crazy for me. We are in into our busy season at work, my internet has been very spotty and frustrating and it was my birthday on Friday! Sunday rolled around and while W was watching football I fixed a little problem that was driving me crazy with a quick DIY project.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lets Talk About Books Baby

Not sure how that song got stuck in my head. It makes for a good title though. Today's post is definitely a nod to my bookish self. My background and degree is in Anthropology I went into college knowing what I was going to major in and I loved every minute of it. The basic explanation of what anthropology is: the study of humans past and present. If you want to get more in depth there are different branches one of those being cultural. Cultural anthropologists look at social patterns and practices and then examine those across cultures. I know, I know sounds like a lecture right now but just bear with me a moment.

Within each area of anthropology there are more specific topics that can be focused on. I took a class in undergraduate school that I found extremely interesting, Anthropology of Reproduction. Now you see how the song go stuck in my head. The class examined the different practices of child birth, menopause, and the female body. I became so interested in this topic I did a lot of reading on it even today. The book I wanted to share today has to do with child rearing across different cultures. I should probably mention that I myself do not actually have children yet.

The suspense is killing you right?!? OK the book that I am talking about is...
How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm - And Other Adventures in Parenting by Mei-Ling Hopgood

Great title for a parenting book and the chapter titles are even more intriguing, here are just a few: How Buenos Aires Children Go to Bed Later, How Kenyans Live without Strollers, How the Chinese Potty Train Early and How the Japanese Let Their Children Fight. The chapter titles alone were the biggest pull for me to buy this book and it was well worth it.

Stepping out of our own cultural bulb to see how things are done elsewhere may be a helpful tool for you parenting struggles. Yes your right how would I know I don't have kids yet. Its not a matter of having or not having its the bigger picture of understanding that there is not a set way of doing something. Kids are a prefect example of this, you can have two children that needed to be raised in completely different manners. Maybe you don't agree with a certain "technique" of doing something when it comes to your child. Putting your nose to the books can sometimes be a good step to try and find a solution for that problem that will work for both child and parent.

I love reading books like this and I hope you can get your hands on a copy and see how insightful and entertaining this book is. I know that it will be a re-read once I have children of my own!

Happy Reading
Jenn

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thrifty Thursday #4

How many of you struggle to get your savings under control or just wonder where all of your money goes at the end of the month? I do have an issue with saving but mainly due to the fact that student loan debt kind of sucks the life out of my pay check. I have shared a few of my money saving tricks already but wanted to talk about one of my in your face money saving techniques.

OK its the end of the month all the bills have been paid and you may or may not have been able to put a few dollars into the savings account but where has the rest of the months income gone? I have created a handy Net Income vs Bills Paid spread sheet that I use to see how much I should have left over at the end of the month.

Start with four columns, month, pay check amount (total for the month) and bills paid (total for the month). The fourth column is where you figure out how much you should have left over, you will need to subtract the bills paid from the pay check amount. Once you have this fourth number you can start figuring out if you have any leaks in your monthly budget!

You have completed the spread sheet above and you have discovered that although you have a positive number in your left over column your bank statement is showing a completely different number. I have a few tricks that I started implementing to try and stop the leaks. The envelope system is my go to for knowing exactly where all of my money is headed. If you are not familiar with the envelope system check it out at Thrifty Thursday #2.

If the envelope system is too big of a step right out of the gate then start small the first month and save your receipts. At the end of the month take all of your receipts and figure out where you spend your money. Break the receipts into categories like your would with the envelope system, Groceries, Gas, Entertainment, Dinning Out etc. For the obvious categories figure out if you can cut down on how much you spend.

If you can't trim any excess off the necessary categories look at your receipts that don't fall into one of the necessity categories. This may be that latte you buy every morning our the take out you get for dinner on a regular occurrence. If you are serious about trying to save some dough you will find areas that you can cut back on and put into your savings.

Hopefully this little trick will help you aim your self on the right path to finding results with your hard earned efforts.

Happy Saving!
Jenn