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Posts by Knittin' in the Shade

that NYT chart is from 2005....a lot (A LOT) has changed in personal income and finances in that time period!
is it at all possible for you to get up before everyone else and workout early?  I've been the most successful ever with getting up before 6, and going to the gym (in the winter) or hitting the pavement (in the rest of hte seasons!) and getting home by 7 before everyone else in my house is awake.
we have several checking accounts, for various things (one is the main bill account, like mortgage, utilites, etc, another is the monthly variable stuff like groceries, gas, clothing, and then one is the yearly variable like car maintenance, gifts, etc.)  For the bill one, it's never less than the total of one month's bills.  The monthly variable doesn't go below $150, and the yearly variable never drops below $500 or so, mainly because we're putting money into it each...
Ours is $225/wk for 6 people, 5 of which are athletic, active male (ie: BIG eaters) Youngest is 5, then 8, then 10, and 12.5.  They eat a ton, because they never stop moving.  We do whole, healthy foods - tons of veggies, nuts, fruit, yogurt (I make it), hormone-free meat + dairy as much as we can (always on milk), and organics when they are available grown locally and (relatively) inexpensively (we're in Philly) (I'd rather buy local conventional than organic trucked...
homeaway.com and vacationrentals.com are ones we've used for 1-2 week long trips; they often quote monthly rates.
If you go with the laptop, you'll also need to get something like this car adapater so you don't run the battery down halfway through the trip.  We use a laptop inthe car on really long trips (like the 16 hour drive to Florida we did a few years ago!!), and it's nice for the boys to be able to watch a movie or play games.
henry's attic has a few - you can't order from them directly without a wholesale account; but there's a few place online that sell it retail.  here's a reputable one: http://www.fiber2yarn.com/catalog.php?category=Henrys%20Attic
we've budgeted $500 for gifts (for our 4 boys, and my niece/nephew) - $100 of that will be for our boys to select a charitable giving opportunity for.  We're doing a joint giff for all 4 of them (wii rockband) and then they all need new sneakers (except the youngest, he needs snow boots) so it's a bit more than usual since we'll be getting that as gifts.
My kids are always swiping my hot water bottle, so I just ordered one for each of them; cheapest price ($5.55) I've seen on them so thought I'd share :)  I'm going to sew some berber fleece or sherpa covers for them so theyre super cozy http://www.amazon.com/Mabis-Healthcare-Rubber-Water-Bottle/dp/B000BHDLQM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321570039&sr=8-1
This is an interesting comment to me, and I think it signifies how a lot of people look at frugality - like it's a complete denial of any luxury.  IMO, that's not frugality that's miserly.  I budget, and save money and am "frugal" on many things, so that I can indulge in little luxuries like a good haircut.  I don't think that makes me not a truly frugal mom...it's all about balance :) 
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