Monday, January 28, 2013

{Singing} It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

{Singing} It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you “Be of good cheer”…It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!
No…not Christmas…it’s income tax season!! Lol! Seriously, this is the time of the year that single parents look forward to the most! All those months of working, childcare, medical expenses, daycare, etc. will manifest into a nice refund check!! But listen…please please please….don’t get “fabulous" with your refund check.

It’s your money and of course you can do whatever you want with it. But consider doing something that will set you up for success for the remainder of the year.
Here are some ideas:
1.       I set up family vacations with my extra money. While I may not pay for the entire trip, I’ll make the initial deposit and then set up a payment plan for the remaining. It’s nice to have something to look forward to!!
2.       I invest into my business. Invest in a business that can be another income stream for you throughout the year. I’m all about multiple streams of income!! In 2011 I was laid off TWICE {not a good year for government contractors) so only having one stream of income as a single parent makes me VERY nervous. So consider using your extra money to start a side business. If you already have a business, reinvest in it…get a website if you don’t have one, order some professional business cards, buy better equipment, hire a business consultant to help you map out a plan for growth. The best part about this….you can write it off next income tax season!
3.       Car maintenance! Get that tune up, buy those new tires, replace parts….whatever. I would be in serious trouble without my car as would most single parents who only have that one source of transportation.
4.       Car it up for the year or at least for six months. Now you don’t have to worry about that extra bill for the period of time you have paid it up.
5.       Emergency Fund – I’m telling you, 2011 made me so nervous! My father is always asking me if I’m saving money {insert hysterical laughter} How?? My paychecks JUST cover my bills….like barely…like….barely. This is a time when I can set aside that elusive “extra money” my father is always asking about. I think the standard emergency fund is supposed to cover 3-6 months of living expenses, but I save at least one month’s expenses and build on it throughout the year.
6.       Birthday and Christmas savings – some banks let you set up Christmas saving accounts that can be accessed after November. For me I have another bank account that I don’t use often {out of sight out of mind} and I’ll send a few dollars a month to that account every paycheck {auto payment so you don’t even notice that it’s missing} You can also use this to save up for Birthdays and not just for your kids…but for birthday parties they get invited to. I promise between my three kids they get invited to more birthday parties than I care for. And the party usually falls on a week that I’m in between paychecks…so now my kid shows up with the crappy Dollar Store gift...don’t!
So those are some of my ideas. It depends on how much you get back as to what you can do. Trust me…I pay a small fortune in childcare and medical expenses and while I curse profusely complain all year I’m always happy around income tax time!!
Here’s wishing you a Happy Income Season! LOL!
Leave me a comment….share your ideas with me!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Up for a

I should've been sleep HOURS ago! So what am I doing up? Working? No... Cleaning the house, getting things ready for tomorrow...doing anything productive?? No, No, and No....I'm just up...enjoying the quiet. No phones ringing, no computer alerting me of incoming work, no meetings....and best of all....nooooo kids. Just time. I can do whatever I want...or nothing at all...

I don't want it to end...but it will

Monday, January 7, 2013

I'd want me as a parent!

Do you like the type of parent you are to your kids? I mean honestly think about what memories you are making for them. Besides being financially stable..I think I'm the perfect parent for my kids! I mean hey...I'm pretty cool...I'd want me as parent! But seriously, would I like them to have a mother and father in the same household? Sure! (or better yet, a father that was present in their lives PERIOD and not just a check daddy) But overall I think I do a pretty good job..and not because of what people see on the outside (nicely dressed, happy kids) but because of what I know happens on the inside. I really care about my children as individual beings and how the things I do today could affect them tomorrow. I know some parents are more caught up with APPEARING to be the perfect parent and not actually being the parent their kids need. I love love love love love my parents....and they were the best parents they knew how to be...and back in their day it was more about how children were "seen" by other parents. I feel a lot of my parents concerns were how we "appeared" to other people. As far as taking the time to really know me as an individual I would have to say that wasn't a top priority and even today our relationship is a bit strained at times because of it. It wasn't important for my parents to get to know me as a person, an individual. It was more important for me to just "act right"...which were strictly by their standards of what was right. It makes me reflect on the type of parent I want to be for my children and the memories I want them to have of me. I don't remember playing and laughing with my parents much...but I love when I'm being silly with my hear that genuine laughter and happiness when my 5yr old daughter says "mom, you're so silly" I know these will be the memories she has of least I hope so...and not the fact that I'm trying to take her mind off the cable being off because it wasn't a "chosen" bill this month! Lol! I take time to talk to my children and not at them all the time....really get into those little minds and I love our daily conversations. Boy do I learn a lot! And I hope I'm building the foundation for them to feel comfortable later when they are older to be able to talk to me about things. To this day I don't feel like I can freely talk to my parents...a grown 30 something female who cannot talk to my parents as a grown adult. I'm sad sometimes they have no idea who I really am. I try my very best not to repeat this with my children because I know how empty it can feel at times. Now, there are times though I get caught up in the hype when my 5 yr old decides she wants to dress herself for the day and I instantly think "oh my goodness, what are people going to think when they see her looking like that??".....but then I have a drink think about her expressing herself as an individual and how I would've LOVED to do that at her age and I carry on...

I won't lie...I do take pride when people tell me that I'm a "good" mom....but not because of what they see on the outside....but because of what I know on the inside...