How I Find Time to Read

It’s no secret I love to read. I have loved to read since I learned 30+ years ago. For me it is not a question of if I will read, it is how I will find time to read?

I firmly believe that if you want to do something badly enough you will find a way to do it, within reason. No matter how badly I may want to play professional basketball (I don’t) I will never find a way to do it.

I have a lot of things I want to do in my free time, but when push comes to shove there are some things that I MAKE time for. This is how I know what my favorite past-times are – reading always, exercise sometimes.

Look no further than my Goodreads account to see how much I love to read. Last year I read 64 books, and this year my goal is 75.

Yes, I read 64 books, and I work full-time, have this blog, raise two children and find time to exercise. How do I do it all? Well, first of all, there are a lot of things I don’t do, and second I can’t stop myself from reading.

As my seven year old niece says, “I have the reading disease.”

It’s a disease I can’t get rid of, which is fine by me because I sort of love it. The only way to treat it is to read A LOT.

So if you too have the reading disease, but you are struggling to find time to “treat” the disease, I have some ideas you will want to try.

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A Few of My Favorite Things – February 2018

February is here, which means we are one month closer to spring. Overall, it hasn’t been a bad winter, but it has been a bit unpredictable. One day we wear all of our winter gear and have inches of snow, and then a few days later it’s muddy and feels like the first days of spring. It’s hard to adjust to the back and forth precipitation and temperatures.

We are ready for spring around our house, in fact, I’m so ready I skipped over decorating the house with snowmen this year.

To brighten things up around here in this dreary February (well at least for those of us living in the Midwest) I’m bringing a few of my favorite things.

Alright, so my first two are going demonstrate what a huge nerd I am.

Post-its

It’s true, I love Post-its. I’m not sure I could live without post-its in my life. I use them for everything including notes, to-do-lists, to mark pages I want to hold in books, and even as entertainment for the kids.

In my book, all post-its are great (small, big, with lines, without lines, fun shapes, tab post-its, etc.). When it comes to post-its, I am completely brand loyal. Post-it brand is by far superior, and I don’t even waste money on the other brands.

 

The post-it tabs are great for marking chapters in textbooks, or where you are in a bible study or journal.

One particularly long car ride with the girls Amelia was melting down. I don’t blame her, six hours in a carseat for a two year old can be pretty tough. There isn’t much to entertain them, and we don’t do movies in the car. One day at home, we had discovered her love of post-its. I had some post-its in my bag (doesn’t everyone have a variety of post-its on hand for an emergency?). I pulled out the little tab ones and handed them over. The cost for those was approximately $3, which was well worth the whole hour of quiet we got out of Amelia when she started playing with them. They were stuck all over the car and herself, but the best part – they are easy to take off and throw away.

Did you know that post-its were created in 1968 when a scientist failed at making a super strong adhesive? They were marketed as post-its in 1979. Proof that great things can come from failures.

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Simple Ways to Make Extra Money

  • Money

Need a little extra money?

I know there are a million ways to make extra money, but these are a few of the ones we have done to get our debt snowball moving.  I’m usually on the lookout for more, but I have also discovered that time is money, and I have to consider the return on investment. Meaning: is the amount of time I invest worth the money I earn?

It would be easy for me to say that I should do everything that I come across that earns or saves money because we still have debt to pay. I’ll be honest, it is very difficult for me to say no to some money-making and money-saving ventures, but it is necessary. I am, just like all of you, given 24 hours in a day, and I cannot run myself ragged just to save a dollar. Our debt snowball is a marathon, not a sprint, and I need to treat it as such. My time is worth something, and therefore I carefully consider the money making and money saving ventures I partake in.

Below is a list of the things that I have done and am still doing to make extra money. Getting a smartphone changed my ability to deal shop. I think my deal shopping now will pay the additional price per month for my phone. I can’t believe I had a flip phone until December 2015, seriously even the Baby Boomers are more tech savvy than me.

Coupons:

This one ebbs and flows. It depends on how much time I have. We do a lot of grocery shopping at Aldi, which doesn’t take coupons, but prices are so good there you don’t even need them. For more information about how to organize your coupons check out Coupon Clipping for Ordinary Moms.  I do not spend much time organizing or cutting coupons at all, and I do NOT (usually) buy things we don’t need.

Ibotta:

This is super easy to use. Some items you have to scan the item and the receipt and for some items you just scan the receipt. Then once you earn $20 you need to send the money to your PayPal account. The more friends you have on your team, the better, plus you can earn referral bonuses. You refer a friend to save money, and you get money too. Win-Win.

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One Easy Way to Save Money on Diapers and Pull-ups

One of the single largest expenses you will have after welcoming a new baby into your home is diapers. You will find yourself wondering how in the world one little person can go through so many diapers in a single day.

You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to save money on diapers.

There were times that I looked at my daughters and told them (not that they understood a word I was saying) that I was going to take the 25 cents per diaper from their college fund. It was most frustrating when you had just changed them and they dirtied a new diaper before you even finished putting it on.

You will start by buying newborn (or preemie if your baby is born early or just small like Amelia) then onto size 1 and 2 and 3 or even larger. As they get bigger the price per diaper or pull-up increases.

You’ll play the game of how much longer do I have to buy diapers. Okay, I’m going to stock up one last time and then I’m sure they will be fully potty-trained and I won’t need anymore, right?!?

Wrong.

As my girls got older I tried to rationalize with them.

They needed to be potty trained so that we could stop buying diapers and save money for our next vacation. It never worked.

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