I know this is way off topic but I need some advice

My husband and I have opted out of 10 year old from state school testing. He’s in 4th grade and we opted him out last year as well.

We had no issue with the this last year and I just took him to school at noon on those days. Legally the school is required to find something for him to during the time he would be testing. But last year we just decided to keep him home and have him work on another project since it was a few hours. It seemed to work best for everyone and since I am a stay at home mom, I didn’t have an issue with it.

Well this year the school is making a big deal about it and the writing testing is two days and all day long. So the advice I need is about how to handle the all day testing. I don’t feel I should keep him home, but I don’t want him to be sitting in the office all day either. I haven’t contacted the school yet. I want to have options to give them when I call and at this point I don’t have any.

Any ideas?

I’m so sorry, I meant to write to you offline and sooner, but I deleted the post

DH pays $20 a month to be put at the top of LinkedIn’s search engine. He is a marketer by nature, and has really honed his LinkedIn profile to maximize job opportunities and references, both of which are equally important (I’d give the edge to references, since they can make or break the job hunt.) He has had three companies approach him due to his LinkedIn profile.

If you need/want help with it, please contact me off list.

Resumes: I won’t even be modest, I write resumes that sell. I’d be happy to help you with yours if you still need it. Email me offlist.

You mentioned you were thinking of paying a job service $1k for this? Yeah, hope you didn’t do that. Email me offlist, I’ll help you for free–I consider it Paying It Forward in good deeds.

All too soon baseball season will be over and I’ll have a solid state of mind!

I absolutely believe in the steps RD has outlined. It works. It got us down to minimum CC payments of $120/month plus the car pmt ($390 but that is down from close to $500). We are in BS2.

HAVING SAID THAT: when DH was let go, his severance amounted to 3 months worth of minimum living expenses (rent, utilities, car pmt, CC, food, gas for car, car insurance). For us, this comes to about $4k a month, $3k if I forego gas for car, food, CC pmts (our rent alone is $2k).

I don’t know what I would have done without that 3 month cushion. I have never had ANY cushion before (we have built and used our $1k BS1 so many times I can’t even count). So when DH gets another job, anything he makes above and beyond our bare minimums is going to go into a FFEF.

Now, it may mean that I put it into a FFEF, and once I hit the total payoff amount for a CC or whatever, I take that $ and pay that debt off, (the car debt for example, which is a huge monthly bill) but I’m not going to onesie-twosie it like we were doing before when we were totally focused on BS2. Having $12k in the bank is way more important to me given what we are currently going through.

But that is just our house. YMMV, and most likely, will 🙂

So we have done two full months of unemployment and are heading in to Month 3

We are doing ok $ wise until the end of May. Come June 1 I may be singing a different tune…but for now we’re good.

DH has gone on about 8 interviews (so, that’s one a week, which is pretty good I guess.) They love him and want to hire him, but not at the money we need. It’s ironic, you’d think it would be better to be employed than not, but that’s actually not the case. I worked the math, and astoundingly:

$60k a year means I can pay the rent, utilities, car, insurance BUT NOT gas for the car, CC pmts, or food. It also means that the services from the county we get now, go completely away (food, medical insurance, presumably a new company would pick up medical insurance.)

$65k a year means I can pay all of the above BUT NOTHING left over, not even a dime.

$70k a year means all of the above with a dime to spare, lol.

anything above that means we can build up a cushion, pay off debt, etc. lower than $60k is not even an option…we can’t do more than rent and utilities and would lose ALL assistance.

I had told him early on that my gut feel was our minimum job acceptance was $65k, but it was just really startling to see just how true that was. So far, his quasi job offers (2) (worded “we’d like to hire you, but can you move on salary? we only slotted $55-60k for that position).

The other good news is that the job I wanted him to apply for when he first was let go is STILL OPEN. It’s the same exact job he had, working for their direct competitor, same or more rate of pay. When DH “applied” I told him it was a two step process, and he needed to double check he had done the two steps. He blew me off, largely IMO, because he wanted to go find a “fun” job.

Well after two plus months he finally listened to me, found out he hadn’t done the “two steps” (and did them) and has been humbled enough that if this company calls and offers him the interview/position, he will likely take it, even if it isn’t his idea of “fun.”

Homemade yogurt and kefir recipes

I’m currently doing research on using my dehydrator to make yogurt. I know Karen has used hers to do so after I told her how mine would work to do it. Ds and I are eating a LOT of yogurt lately and I’m of course working on a blog about making our own and using it. While doing my research I came across this website with recipes to use your yogurt and Kefir I’ve not cruised it a lot, but I have subscribed to their newsletter and so far what I’ve seen I’ve been pleased with. So I thought I’d share the website with you and if you would like me to forward you their most recent newsletter email me off list.

More great utility news:

Gas (heating, hot water) dropped from $68 to $32 this month (20% discount, washing in cold water only)
Cell phone went from $188 to $153 last month when we changed service, to $73 this month where it should stay. That’s huge.
on top of electric which went from $123 to $62.
So that’s $212 I DON’T have to come up with this month or hopefully going forward.
WOW. Grateful for small blessings.

We are having nice weather in Washington

So I listed my Alfa Romeo on Craigslist hoping a cheap convertible will sell quickly. I went to show it to a potential buyer on Friday and the Fuel Pump went out. So $500 later I have it back from the mechanic and am ready to sell it again. The money that I get from the sale will wipe out the last of my fast payday loans. So excited for my Debt Free scream!
I was talking to a family member who was thinking of changing to a more expensive hairdresser. This family member is in need of FPU but hasn’t made that leap for themselves. After talking to them for awhile I realized that living on a budget is starting to feel normal since starting on October 1st. My son and I feel like we’ve splurged if we go to a matinee. Our excitement is coming in $10 under budget at the grocery store and using that money to treat ourselves to frozen yogurt on the way home.
It’s nice having a new “normal” where I feel like I’m in control of my income rather than wondering where it all went.

So many productive things accomplished this weekend!

1. Took out grocery/dining/gas money in cash – $240

2. Made grocery list and planned all 21 meals plus snacks for the week.

3. Budgeted that the groceries would cost aprox $125 – bill came to $114!!!!

4. Filled up gas for car in cash – $50

5. Paid for Cinco de Mayo drinks/apps in cash! – $47

6. Still have $30 leftover for misc food/kid stuff (just in case)

7. Had a budget committee meeting with DH. Very productive and the first in a very, very long time.

8. Planned week’s worth of expenses and funded checking account.

9. Found $178 in a savings account labeled Replace Furniture and paid off couch! $240 It will feel much more comfy tonight.


I had to laugh at my horoscope for this morning:

“You’ve got to take care of your bills or whatever other financial issues are pressing, but you can’t just throw money at the problem. Get organized and create something sustainable.”

We’re STILL trying to have a month where we start with a fully planned and discussed zero-based budget, in advance, then stick with it on all line items through the whole month. We’re still trying to figure out how to boost income, cut costs, and carry the farm forward into fully optimized production. Some days it seems like we aren’t making much progress, and there’s still the ever-present reminders that friends and family are still living with borrow-now-pay-later philosophies. And we’re STILL trying to figure out how to buy a combine, that particular item proving to be a very elusive quarry.Yet, somehow this weekend we felt like we made progress on all fronts. It also occurred to me this weekend that we haven’t had a major financial blowup in months around here. Just more and more instances of good constructive conversations about how best to manage what we do have. We’ve focused for years on sustainable agriculture, so I suppose it was only natural that after DR, we’d start to really focus on sustainable household/business economics. And we’re wrapping our brains around ‘when’ we’ll be debt-free, rather than it feeling like a fantasy. I can work with that.