My Laundry Schedule

Cleaning, DIY
(Update 2018:  We still do this laundry system. It works really well for us.  That is saying something for 5 years!)   Back in 2012, I asked about how others did their laundry and heard several different responses.  In December 2013,  I asked my friends on Facebook how they handle all of their laundry and the responses got me on a mission.   I had to figure out a new system for my family. Step 1:    I got everyone in my family a laundry hamper that fits ONLY 1 X-large load of laundry.   This is key!  If the hamper is too big then the loads get overwhelming.  If they are too small then it just seems like a waste of water and time.   The Jall hampers from IKEA…
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What is a Traditional Spousal IRA?

What is a Traditional Spousal IRA?

Financial
Yes, it is deductible! No Personal Income needed! My world turned upside down when I learned about the Financial Independence community.  I have mentioned briefly about it.  More to come.   One of the biggest benefits to the community is learning about the Traditional Spousal IRA.  I had no idea! I'm a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) so I personally don't have a 401k plan at this time, my husband does. Yes, the Traditional IRA contribution can be tax deductible and no you don't need personal income to contribute to it. What?! Really?  Yes! I have mentioned the Spousal IRA in my post  Financial Independence - Step by Step Guide on Contributing to Retirement Accounts: What is a Traditional Spousal IRA contribution? Let's look at the source the IRS.  Per their website…
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What if your 401k plan stinks. What should you invest in?

What if your 401k plan stinks. What should you invest in?

Financial
When I started investing in my first 401k I was so excited.  I couldn't believe it.  I had the opportunity to invest.  I was young 21 years old and I couldn't believe it.   I knew that a 401k was a big deal and I knew that investing is ...scary!  My parents didn't know about investing and I wasn't taught in high school or college.  Personal finance was not taught.  That first 401k had very few options and to this day I'm not sure which ones I picked I think I did Large Cap, Small Cap and even the company stock?!  Oops!  Bad idea!   I want to teach others the lessons I learned. The first steps to remind everyone about saving: Pay yourself first! This is key. Automatically invest.  Make it…
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You don’t need $10,000 to invest at Vanguard

You don’t need $10,000 to invest at Vanguard

Financial
VTSAX - What is that? VTSAX is a common term heard around the Financial Independence community. It is an index fund called the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares and many believe it is the best index fund to own. I have to agree. Per Vanguard's site "since 1992, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is designed to provide investors with exposure to the entire U.S. equity market, including small-, mid-, and large-cap growth and value stocks." It holds over 3,000 stocks.   Yes, you read that right it has over 3,000 stocks.  It is one of the most diversified index funds out there. What are index funds? Why index funds? In short, an index fund per Vanguard's website:  "Instead of hiring fund managers to actively select which stocks or…
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Financial Independence – Step by Step Guide on Contributing to Retirement Accounts

Financial
Welcome!  So, you want to gain financial independence but don't know where to start investing your money. A question you might have includes: Which retirement account should I contribute to first? What should I do with this money that I have saved up?  Roth vs. Traditional vs. Taxable? The amount of information out there can be daunting so I thought I would put together a simple introduction. (Standard disclaimer: This is my opinion. Consult a financial advisor to discuss your specific scenario.) Look closely at your budget and decide how much you can cut back to fund your investments. Common wisdom is to pay yourself first. This means put money into savings or investments before it sits in your checking account and you spend it on something. Live on your…
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Finance Goals 2012-2016

Financial
What happened since 2012? If you go back and look at my Financial posts you will see my goals for 2012 and prior.  I enjoy looking back and seeing what I did.   So I thought I would write up a short description of what we did since then. Financial Goals 2013 In 2013, we succeeded in maxing out my husband's retirement accounts.  We also continued to save in our emergency fund.  We also made a decision to find an hire a financial advisor.  At the time it seemed like a great idea and it seemed like a good match.   Later, I will explain that wasn't exactly the case.  That was a financial mistake we made.  Please be warned! We decided to update our kitchen and replace the floor, and replace…
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Lidl has come to Northern Virginia

Grocery Savings, Uncategorized
I'm a huge fan of Aldi, the german discount supermarket.  I have been going to my local one for over 11 years and most friends that know me, know that it is my favorite grocery store in the area.  It is one of the closest stores to my house and it has 98% of what I need.  I have written a couple posts about Aldi in the past.  I plan to write some more.  I adore Aldi and I know you will too. If you already know Aldi then you might have heard that Lidi - Aldi's competitor is now in the US.  Lidl is a German global discount supermarket chain, based in Neckarsulm, Germany.  It now has arrived in the United States and in 2017 will establish over 20 stores…
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Holly’s Challah Bread – Easier then you can imagine!

Holly’s Challah Bread – Easier then you can imagine!

general, Recipes, Uncategorized
I've been making this Bread as a tradition in our family since 2004. Yes! 10 years! I'm feeling old typing that. It was shortly after I got "my" bread machine. This recipe came from my bread machine cookbook and I have adjusted it so it works for me. I'm happy to share this with everyone! This is the best bread! I like to make a large loaf as you can see from the picture above. Ingredients: 2 Eggs, room temperature plus enough Water 80 degrees to equal 1 1/2 cups Oil 1/4 cup (I've used all types of vegetable oil and it all works great.) Sugar 2 TBL Salt 2 tsp Bread Flour or All purpose Flour 4 1/2 cups Active Dry Yeast 2 tsp OR Bread Machine Yeast 1…
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How we are dealing with Mosquitoes this year!

How we are dealing with Mosquitoes this year!

DIY, Recipes, Uncategorized
Homemade Mosquito Repellent Thanks to a friend last year introduced me to this awesome recipe for a Homemade Mosquito Repellent.   I can spray this on my clothes or on my skin and I won't be bit.    It is amazing stuff.  Materials: 15 drops lavender oil 3 Tbsp of vanilla extract 10 drops of citronella oil or lemon-eucalyptus oil 1/4 Cup lemon juice Spray bottle Directions: Combine above ingredients in spray bottle. Fill remainder of bottle with water, water/vodka or water/witch hazel mixture. I used water and vodka and it worked great.   I purchased this Essential set from Amazon it is perfect for this application. If you would prefer to purchase a good insect repellent I strongly suggest this AVON skin so Soft with picaridin   This has worked very well for me. Prepare…
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Biglot: Cheap Makeup Finds

Biglot: Cheap Makeup Finds

Beauty Products, Uncategorized
  Thanks to G from Nouveaucheap!    I love G's blog because she has some great tips and tricks on drugstore makeup.   She found out that Big Lots has some Loreal lip gloss, Wet N Wild eyeshadow and Revlon Lip Butters for a half the price or less than at the drugstore.    I also found the new Covergirl makeup for $4.   That isn't a bad price.  I don't think I could get it for that price with sales and coupons at CVS. Most of these items are seasonal, which means it was in the drugstore for a couple months then returned to the manufacture who sold it to Big Lots  or sold from the retailer to Big Lots. What impresses me is I can do my makeup…
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