I only received a few questions and we will start with the first few in this post and finish up the rest in Part 7.
A. We are pretty easy to please and it doesn't take much for us to have fun. We like playing board games (7 Wonders, Funglish, Rummikub, Made for Trade, 10 Days in.., Homeschoolopoly to name a few). My kids and I watch Netflix (my husband doesn't watch movies). Things we like on Netflix are educational, documentaries, cartoons, home & craft shows and some Christian films they have like Ace Wonder that are clean. We do things outside and sometimes go to the park or for a drive. Church is our big family activity - I guess you could say that is fun but more so, it is the basis of our family life.
Q. For retirement do you only fund one account in your husbands name or do you both have seperate accounts?
A. We have a joint retirement account - nothing separate because we are married and that ends the separate accounts when you join together.
Q. Ways you save on household goods!?
A. I'm not sure what you count as household goods but I'm assuming you are talking about cleaning supplies? I make my own all-purpose cleaner, detergent and hand soap and have for over 10 years now. Those are big savings. I buy the blue Dawn dish detergent or the generic brand of it and it does so many things in the house (dishes, grease, tub, laundry). I use a steam mop, so I don't need any floor cleaners as the steam is the best, in my opinion, to use for your floors and make them safe for children and it is easy, efficient and kills germs and only takes distilled water! I use SOS pads for our tubs and sink because they are very old plastic material that is frustrating to clean. I use a generic window or rubbing alcohol for my mirrors but a friend showed me how I could use a hot water and a microfiber rag to clean them and it worked! I use a piece of an old t-shirt as a dusting rag by soaking it in hot water and squeezing it out and then I wipe my bookshelves, tables and other surfaces.
Q. How do you plan for the unexpected expenses?
A. I plan for the unexpected expenses by actually planning for them in the budget. I usually plan $50-$100 a month for miscellaneous things that come up. If we don't use it, we put it in savings. I've gotten better at knowing what to expect each month, so eventually I can lower this because we are finding that unexpected expenses are more expected as I track our detailed budget.
Q. Tips on gift giving, please!
A. For our family we buy gifts on birthdays and Christmas. For outside of our immediate family, we only buy gifts as we feel led to do so. I believe the money that God gives us should be used as He sees fit and I just don't go out and buy everyone I know a gift all the time. I also limit my attendance to events that expect gifts. My tip would be to not spend money you need for your family to soothe your guilt in giving gifts as I know a lot of women that are stuck in this trap. It isn't really a gift anymore because you are giving it out of expectation or guilt. God does touch our hearts occasionally to give someone a gift and we do so - I love when He leads like that! It is His money and we want to do our best to use it wisely.