Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meaningful Work Outside of the Home

I've worked in higher education, while earning my degrees, and raising children, over the last 15 years. Recently, I began to apply for full time positions. I was offered, and accepted, a terrific full-time job at an outstanding university! Full-time for me, Mom, is new to our family.

When I began this blog of Frugal Abundance I asked the question of more time or more money? Is it possible to be frugal minded when it is not a necessity to be so? Save, Share and Spend are the motivating factors for us when we are blessed with more. Avoiding the frivolous and wasteful spending of $10 a day lunches (which I have been doing) is something to focus improving on. Automatic savings deductions taken from the pay are also a great way to save. Setting up a scholarship, or other means of giving, will make you feel invested in the work that you are doing. Giving is its own reward.

Then there is the outstanding debt. For us it is student loans and what remains of the mortgage. Over the next few months we hope to make progress on both of them, with the goal to pay off both in half of the time.

Join us here at the Blog as we journey into Saving, Spending and Sharing responsibly in the coming months ahead.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rainy Days

Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain. ~Author Unknown

Rainy Days.  I've always liked them. Do you remember "bubble umbrellas" and galoshes? A time where a mud puddle meant Jump! Splash! and Giggles...

Maybe you've graduated to warm blankets, and hot tea, as the sound of the rain hits the ground outside. Isn't there something calming and soothing about a rainy day....

Saving for a rainy day is also a very good idea. Do you have a rainy day fund? A rainy day would actually be a great day to take a look at your "rainy day" account. How much could you save in a week to put into the "rainy day fund".... Grab a notebook and jot down some areas where you could save between $5-$50 for starters. It is easier than you think. Then put the increments into a safe account, and watch it grow.

Then you will have the extra cash for when the next rainy day approaches.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Satisfaction + Gratitude = Abundance

Getting back to the basics of abundant living. Satisfaction + Gratitude= Abundance

I really believe the equation above says it all. It matters not how much you have-whether a little or a lot. I have been contemplating purchasing a new car if I get a new job. Why? Do I have the cash for this vehicle? Or can I simply afford the payments now-and not the purchase price in total. Why not save for a new car with the extra money from my new job? Why not be satisfied, with gratitude, until I have saved for a new purchase? Why go in debt? Make payments? Why do we do this...

The reminder of what abundance truly is-never more important than when you have a small (or large) surplus. Let's look up the definitions according to Webster's online

a: fulfillment of a need or want b: the quality or state of being satisfied: contentment  c: a source or means of enjoyment  

a: appreciative of benefits received


An ample quantity

We are in charge of what is "enough". Save, Spend, Share from the abundance that we have been given. Take care of what we have been blessed with. Not begrudging it.

Satisfaction + Gratitude = Abundance

Friday, May 4, 2012


Have you ever been told to wait? Or Been in the situation where you had to wait? It conjures up feelings, that word, doesn't it?


The anticipation of what is coming gives one an uneasy feeling. Wait for what?

Even if we realize what it is that we think we are waiting for, it takes a certain amount of patience and faith to wait with grace. Often times we fill that space of waiting with distractions, frivolous time wasters, or worse. Is it possible to understand the true meaning of what it means to wait?

Take a conversation. One person talks, while the other listens. Then there is a response from the listener. The back and forth goes on in the conversation, and there is ultimately an understanding that happens.

What if one person continuously talked, never offered a response, and didn't listen? That person, it could be said, has never learned to wait. Sometimes the greatest gifts are discovered in the listening.

The waiting.

Don't be so quick to fill the spaces in between.

It is in the pauses between the notes in which great music is made, the empty spaces around the paint on the canvas that images in art are developed, and in the quiet moments of waiting where we are given direction in our lives.~

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Have you ever allowed time to slip by, just because you could?

Knowing full well that life would become hectic again, that things were currently unorganized, and that this was the moment to complete projects, downsize items, clean and streamline...yet still you remain on Pinterest thinking up ideas, frittering time away,  rather than doing something to create the space to actually accomplish what you see.

If you find yourself in the stage of " will get done tomorrow... I think I'll have a few more cookies and a cup of tea and then I'll get started..." STOP. Put down the cookie.  You don't have to get EVERYTHING done, but SOMETHING would be good. If you start, you will find that you may enjoy what you're doing. i.e. cleaning, exercising, cooking, errands, organizing, phone calls, etc.

So if one more cup of coffee has turned into afternoon teatime and you find that you are still in your pajamas at 2 pm. We all have had days like that. Time to get up and get started :)

"The best way to get something done is to begin. "~Author Unknown

Monday, March 19, 2012

Regional Food

Have you ever gone to a different region of the country and eaten something out of your comfort zone?

Most people associate peanuts with a crunch. On the other hand, we look forward each spring to trying some "boiled peanuts". An old Florida staple, boiled peanuts are a fantastic regional food. I had cajun spiced boiled peanuts this trip. They were great. You can see venders set up across the south at roadside stands. I once saw a person selling them from an old keg filled with boiling water and peanuts, set up on a burner along the road. I purchased mine from a roadside fruit stand along with honey stix and a sample of valencia oranges.

Our trip down to Florida is a relaxing and a much needed adventure every March. We drove out on Merritt Island near the Kennedy Space Center where we got to see dozens of Alligators sunning themselves along the road. My husband and son then golfed with the "gators" as they lay in the water on the golf course at the Cocoa Beach country club. They thought better of retrieving their golfballs from the tall grasses and water after seeing the first 8ft gator resting in the sunshine.

Cocoa Beach was sunny and 82 degrees when we visited. I remember the 1960's television show that was located on Cocoa Beach-"I Dream of Jeannie". There is a street located there with that name. Major Nelson's house was located there. Sitting on the pier one can sit and reflect with the ocean breezes blowing and the smell of coconut oil filling the air.

But mostly I loved the "boiled peanuts", an old Florida favorite. A regional food that is an aquired taste for northerners, or a staple of the natives. Never visit without trying honey stix and "boiled nuts"

What regional food comes from your area? What have you tried that is "different" while on the road?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Riding a Bull, Skydiving, Bungee Jumping and More

Have you ever wanted to ride a bull for 8 seconds, jump out of an airplane sky diving? How about bungee jumping? Do you think that these sound exciting or fun? I have friends who have done them all, and a couple of them a few times. I have not. I would not. I will not.  However this last week (The weekend really Fri/Sat) the $15 a day challenge had me wanting to do something "fun", maybe not as daring, but "fun"--and for me it felt just as daring.....(and silly)

A Road trip. Waste gas. Spend some money. Have fun at the expense of frugal. (What am I teen that doesn't know better? I felt like I needed someone to tell me NO! but I was the only adult in the room....have you been there?) We are talking about $80. Still. According to my self-imposed "rules" that is over 4 days worth of envelopes. Now remember that I am no financial expert, simply a wife and mother who is "trying" to balance out frugality and fun, fitness and food. I'm starting to realize that sometimes they lack in similarity. I seriously considered folding up this Blog. Why should I write about such things when I can't motivate myself to follow my own game plan.

Then it dawned on me. Just like FITNESS if you are doing exercise you are moving toward your goal. Walking is good, move the body and you are moving in the right direction. FOOD is a choice, choose clean and healthy and you will have more energy.....(it is easy to be daring and choose cakes, cheeses, and a high fat piece of is. I don't have the answers, as food and fun are my "sky diving") Lean towards the right choices. Energy and health need to become more important than instant gratification.

Choose well. FRUGALITY is not being cheap. It can be fun. I've successfully completed this challenge before. I know it can be done.  This is a new day.

Cleaning out the freezer, fridge and pantry this week. I started already this morning taking inventory.

Deep freezer: 2 months supply of broccoli and corn (frozen from last summer's farmer's market), Hot dogs (10 packages), Large Frozen Turkey, boxed pizza, bacon, 4 pkgs of chicken, chicken tenders, venison, hamburger, sliced roast beef, bagged vegetables:artichokes, brussel sprouts, green beans....

Pantry: Flour, sugar, baking supplies, packaged pudding, lots of noodles, canned soup....popcorn, bbq sauces...really everything that I need except speghetti sauce. :)

Fridge: Yogurt, Milk, Eggs, Water, Juices, Butter, Cream, Lettuce, Spinach, Condiments, and more.

We are blessed this week. Cooking from scratch. Beginning again.