Working from home is saving me a fortune

Working from home saves a ton of money! Below are just some of the ways I’ve saved over the last four months. Although I was unemployed part of the time after the March shutdown, I spent my workdays job hunting. Whether I was making money or job hunting, I was working from home in my home office. Check out these four money-saving items:

  1. More meals at home. Outside of the #COVID19 restaurant closedown where we haven’t eaten out for fun, I saved the money I would normally spend on breakfast and lunch.CocaCola Working downtown, I would drive through just about every morning for a #CocaCola and sometimes breakfast sandwich, so $3.00 at least three times a week. (x20 weeks=$180 for breakfast). Lunch downtown at the very cheapest, $10/day. While most days I took my lunch, on average I ate out twice a week. So multiply $20/week x 20 weeks, $400 savings! In total $580 saved, and I’m eating better by not eating out. After a couple of initial larger grocery runs, I’ve got my kitchen stocked and our grocery bill has evened out to about $80/week for our family.
  2. Less driving/lower fuel cost. Typically, I spent about $20 a week on fuel going to and from work. Staying #healthyathome, working from home that same $20 can last at least a couple of weeks. So, let’s say that’s about a $40 a month (x4= $160) saved.
  3. After having not worn make-up in four months, I’m not sure I will ever wear it like I did before. I’m a Clinique girl, so while I still have my skin-care regiment and have had to purchase moisturizer and cleanser, but make-up, I still have a bottle of foundation and eyeliner I purchased before Christmas. Savings, $45.
  4. Working from home has saved me in clothing and laundry. Let’s face it, wearing sweats/shorts, t-shirts, and socks while sitting in front of a computer doesn’t lend itself to creating a lot of laundry, or needing much of a Spring wardrobe.

Just from these four ideas, I’ve saved more than $1,000 if the clothes I didn’t buy are included. But the biggest savings (and most valuable) has been saving time. There is no getting up, struggling to put the perfect outfit together, make-up and hair, sitting in traffic, finding a parking space (in a garage I pay to have a space in). At the end of the day, I don’t lose 45 minutes getting home.

Officing at home, I get up about 30 minutes before work, check for immediate overnight emails from my supervisor that may change the priority of my day (this isn’t normal, but it helps to start getting my head into work), feed and let the dog out, brush my hair and teeth, shorts and a t-shirt, grab a coffee (or my Coke that’s only $.33/day), and turn on my laptop. The cadence into the day is smooth and quiet. At the end of the day, just like at the office, I shut down my machine, straighten my desk, and within minutes (that doesn’t include traffic) I’m in my kitchen thinking about my family and our evening.

What would you do with an extra $1,000? Look around, how are you saving money while staying home? Or have you found other ways to spend?

All the best,

KK

P.S. – Given my track record with making bold statements, upon the publishing of this piece I’ll probably get word that we are going back to the office. Just ask my sister, Gail. Being thankful for my job, and the fodder for writing that working downtown provides, I’m outta here.


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Happy #Earthday

In the first verses of Genesis, we read that the heavens and the earth were created. That which makes us think of eternity (heavens) and that which reminds us of the here and now(earth). The earth is the foundation upon which we build our lives and homes. Today we celebrate the earth.

#kitchentableIt’s April and in Kentucky, it’s a little bit early for planting flowers, but planting or rooting starts to plants seems to be on the list of things do during our #healthyathome time; and planting focuses our thoughts on what’s to come. This is a photo of my kitchen table. If we must #stayhome much longer, I may need another table.

The potential that lives inside a seed is worth considering in our recognition of Earth Day 2020. While it’s early, I did go ahead and buy some marigolds. They are a hardy annual that is bright, and some say keep the mosquitoes away. When I purchase flowers for container gardening, I don’t choose the plants that are in full bloom. I leave those for people who need instant gratification. I choose the plants with a few blooms, but more buds than flowers. Those buds remind me that there is a beautiful flower yet to come. What better way to participate with nature then to watch it in action? To participate in the process by planting, watering, and weeding.

#lilacbushI’m also working on rooting a lilac bush from our front garden because my dad bought and planted it for me. It’s finally matured to bloom and be fragrant. I’d like to add to the lilac garden so instead of#growlilac buying more bushes, I want to propagate this one.

The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. Climate change poses challenges for people and animals around the world. That’s about all I know about climate change. But what I do know about the climate and the earth is that we are accountable for being good stewards of the resources that result from each. While I’m not great at recycling, I do feel like every plant I put in the ground offers something back to the climate and those of us who live around that plant. That is my contribution.

What can you do to contribute to be a good steward of the ground we walk and build on? The earth that farmers plant in and provide our food. The world our Creator made for us to inhabit. How will you show your gratefulness for what our climate provides – air, water, sun, fertile soil?

All the best,

KK


#annualsorperennials

 

 

 

 


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Post-Christmas put-away

The gifts have been unwrapped, looked through, played with, and tried on. Within in the next few weeks (if not days if this unseasonably warm weather stays around), the decorations will come down, and we will put all our gifts away in their new home. This is a great time to go ahead and clean out a closet or two.

I’m amazed at the amount of stuff we as a society store. There are self-storage units being built like hives at every turn. What are we storing? I get the need for short-term storage, but we would not have what is now a multi-million-dollar industry if it were all short-term. I respect the family who keeps clothing for hand-me-downs. True confessions, I currently have three coffee tables in my basement that I’ve offered some of the young people in our lives who are planning their first apartment. But we have accepted living in abundance, to become living in gluttony.

Allow me to challenge you to clean out at least one closet (or one part of your storage area) a weekend in the month of January. It’s a month of post-holiday quiet and all the newness of a new year. You’re going to be making resolutions anyway in the next few days, here’s one that is easily attainable. A quick win in the first month.

Just my thoughts,
KK


Click to tweet: True confessions, I currently have three coffee tables in my basement that I’ve offered some of the young people in our lives who are planning their first apartment. But we have accepted living in abundance, to become living in gluttony.

Buying School Supplies

school suppliesMy name is KK and like many of you, I love buying school supplies. There I’ve said it.

Back to school is all about bleeding the funds for lunches, uniforms, after school care and yes, school supplies. Oh, the smell of pencils and crayons! They send the brain into learning mode. Scientists should study the brain’s response to these aromas. Doesn’t buying new notebooks and pens make you want to go take a class and expand your mind? True confession — I wandered the school supply aisle just doting over the clean canvases of lined paper, the sum of all potential learning and creativity. Yes, I purchased the items in this photo — but they were on sale and I will use the paper and well, the crayons smelled so good.

And then I got to take my son with me to float along the world of highlighters, markers, and one of my favorites — organizers! Ok, so he just wanted to fill the list from school.

Join me in this time of going broke but loving the adventure a new notebook and fresh ink can take us on.

KK

 

De-Screen

At least twice a month my husband and I have a date night. Yes, he calls me and asks me out for dinner or whatever I’d like to go and do. Our date nights are an important part of the success of our marriage so far. I’ve noticed on recent outings a phenomenon that seems to be growing. The restaurants we frequent all have television screens posted around or other screens with promotional messaging for the restaurant. One restaurant even had a television in the ladies room. Really, is all this necessary? Is there no place (within the dating budget) outside my home dining room we canscreen free escape for a lovely meal and some good conversation? Once when we were traveling there was a screen with a scrolling commercial on a gas pump!

I’m not convinced our attention deficit problem comes from video games. It comes from our constant barrage of messaging and tele-entertainment. We have phones, tablets, computers, tv’s all screaming at us. We come into the house and we turn on a television. Consider this exercise, eliminate half of your screen exposure for one day or one week (that’s after you finish this post and perhaps choose to follow my blog). The second thing I would challenge you to do is spend at least 10 minutes a day focusing on something positive, watching your children playing, watching a sunset, reading a devotion; or just be still and listen to the silence. Perhaps have a face to face conversation (in the flesh, not FaceTime) with someone.

How will this exercise change you? I say exercise, because for some, this will hurt. You’re going to feel it. After the initial twitching stops and you look around, I would imagine you will see things more clearly than HD can ever deliver. There is a freedom to letting go of trying to keep up with what the world is shoving at you and taking control of what you watch or listen to.

Don’t disconnect from your family or your responsibilities. But let go of uninvited intrusions and see what happens.

Let me know.

KK

Snow Day Projects

Four days ago our community had a foot of snow fall. Some areas south of us got upwards of two feet of snow. Yes, I know it’s checklistthe beginning of March. Winter was a little late in blooming this year. It tried to show up in November with our first five inches, but it shied away and tried to make a final stand a couple of weeks ago but decided a few days ago to go for broke before the first day of spring gets here.

The snow came and fell for hours. We woke to a foot of snow and the city practically shut down. For those who couldn’t go to work or school it was a prime opportunity to hit the list. We all have them. The list of projects or chores we save for “when we are snowed in”. These projects could range from sorting old photos into albums, cleaning out a closet or sitting in the big chair and reading all day long.

Unfortunately, we are so connected from inside our own homes to the outside world and have so many entertainment distractions at our finger tips, the snow really doesn’t keep us from doing much we would be ordinarily do. Short of a power outage, I could work and still do conference calls. My son could still watch a variety of cable or NetFlix shows. Our snow days didn’t look much different than a normal day off for the kids or a normal work day for me; ok, other than the initial excitement of a day of sledding and take-out pizza.

What will it take for me to hit the list and get it done? Sitting here thinking of two or three of my projects, I find one thing leading to another. Cleaning out a closet is going to mean sorting, organizing and more than likely a trip to Goodwill. But all of the closets need this, so do I sort and organize all of them and make a huge trip to Goodwill? How do I prioritize my list? Can I ever catch up with all of my projects? Or is this like eating the big salad? Since waiting for snow won’t get it done, guess I’m going to have to just dig in.

Here’s my challenge to you – yes, you can hold me accountable – today is March 8, 2015, Easter is April 5th, four weeks. How many of your snow day list items can we complete?

Are you game?

KK

A Girl and Her Shoes

There are many stereotypes about women and their shoes. To be honest, if I had a little more excess in my budget, buying shoes would be my guilty pleasure.

Admit it ladies, the right pair of shoes can finish an outfit and provide just the right amount of sass for an evening out. I’ve had these shoes for a couple of years. Over the last few months I’ve noticed my faithful black shoes are looking tired and ready to retire. I can’t do it without finding the perfect replacement guaranteed to set the tone for anyIMG_0122-0 event. They have the perfect combination of platform and heal height. This will not be an easy task.

IMG_0123The hunt will be a challenge and a little overwhelming for this non-shopper. In the meantime, I can’t wear these any longer. Part of what is holding me back is the disposal process. Shoving them in a stinky trash bag seems so drastic. Maybe I will give them their own trash bag.

Their epitaph —

Here in this bag lays a pair of fun (and comfortable) shoes, thank you for serving my wardrobe so well. Farewell friends — rest easy in shoe heaven. Kick your heals up a little.

All the best,

KK

Five years and counting

khr 0614 BOk friends, I’ve been posting and you’ve been kind enough to read my writings for five years. As I read back through all the different posts some are more my favorites than others. Below is a list of some that stand out to me (in no particular order). Let me know what you think. Or go through the archives and pick your own favorite. I’d love to hear which one you liked.

And if you haven’t clicked on the follow button yet, please do. You won’t want to miss what’s coming. Besides, in this vast world of the internet, it’s encouraging to know my words aren’t just flying around aimlessly. They have friends to visit. Thanks.

5/31/2009 Things not to miss — be in the moment

11/30/2009 Black Friday Gateway to the Dark Side

3/6/2012 ‘Tis the Season

4/18/2014 It’ Friday, Sunday’s Coming

4/8/2013 Say Please and Thank You

KK

Going on Vacation? Don’t forget to call the bank…

mickey on vacaLike many others, we planned a summer vacation. Being a list maker, I started the pre-trip to-do list based on our plans and how long we were going to be gone. The kennel was called, the days-off were requested, hotel rooms reserved, triple A was called for tour books and a budget established; all the things necessary for a fun few days away.

All of the items on the listed were checked off and in order to be fiscally responsible we decided to put our vacation cash in the checking account and use our debit card. About two days into our trip, my husband tried to use my debit card to purchase our tickets for a boat tour in Chicago. The charge was denied.  We called the bank.

We have to give kudos to our bank, Republic Bank & Trust, for putting us through to a service representative (live and English speaking) who was kind and understanding.  I went through and answered a half dozen security questions and took what felt like a quiz about my work history. After passing with flying colors, she informed me that by using our card to make out of town purchases, it raised security flags and since they didn’t know we were out of town, the charges were denied.

That’s what I forgot to put on my pre-trip list, call the bank!  The bank representative asked where I was and when I would return home. She then informed me that we have a $500 a day spending limit on our debit card. That wasn’t a big deal to us and our budget, but good to know. She then informed us that we can request the limit increase if necessary. We were fine with it. The bank lady kindly released our card so we could finish our vacation.

The whole ordeal cost a little time, but with the excellent customer service at the bank, and a lesson learned about banking security, we were back to having fun and had the funds to do it!

Next year’s vacation list will have “call the bank” as number one.

All the best,

KK

Everybody’s Busy

Everybody’s busy – this seems to be the thing to say when an invitation is declined instead of saying “I’m sorry you can’t attend”. While it is easy to get caught up in all the opportunities life offers today; it’s also easy to waste a lot of time with cable tv, mobile device games, and other internet surfing.

busy peoplePeople are as busy as they want to be.  There are times when work and personal activities collide and a little hustle is required. The hours of the day are full.  This hustle doesn’t last forever.

Adults can take control of their time to fulfill their responsibilities such as work and family.  If life becomes too hassled and full, it may be time to re-evaluate the “time-suckers”.  Do they fall within personal priorities?

If someone declines your invitation, it may not mean they are too busy, it simply means that event is at the same time as something else that day.

Just a thought,

KK