Gain Financial Confidence in 2017

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“Happy 2017! I feel so old thinking Y2K was 17 years ago…goodness. How was your Christmas? We traveled some, ate a lot, and spent so much quality time with family! This year I think my favorite moment was baking a birthday cake for Jesus with Chickadee. She has really gotten into celebrating people this year, especially around their birthday. So it was really special for her to want to go all out for Jesus’s birthday party! It’s sad to think the Christmas season is once again 11 months away. However, just because the holiday season is over doesn’t mean a season of giving cannot continue! 

I am once again teaming up with SunTrust and their #onUp movement to talk about financial confidence as we raise a family on one income. I am happy to say that we stuck to our Christmas budget as we shopped for those we loved this December. As we begin a new year, finances are again on our mind as we plan out house projects, preschool, family trips, and other changes coming in 2017. III and I sat down during naptime today to talk about what we need to do to hit our savings goal for 2017. What is a reasonable about to spend on groceries? How much will preschool cost if we send both Chickadee and Sprout? Is it a reasonable decision to buy a new car? So many things to think about in the new year. Thankfully, SunTrust is again here to help.

First, take this Mental Wealth Quiz. I just completed it, and I’m feeling pretty good about the results. One suggestion SunTrust had about my mental wealth was to “step back from your financial flow and examine what matters the most to you.” I agree. Prioritizing our spending is important. They also suggested writing down a “long-term savings goal & one thing that we aren’t doing that we could to start achieving that goal.”

One goal that we have for our home is replacing the flooring downstairs with new hardwoods. We need to have an estimate done so we know exactly how much money we need to save. Then maybe we can designate a specific part of our savings to this project, making sure we don’t dip into the money we are saving for other purposes.

A few other areas we are planning to start saving for are college funds, adoption, a new car, and retirement. Financial resolutions are part of the top five of resolutions every year. Let 2017 be the year you reach those financial savings goals! Need more direction for where and how to start. Let SunTrust be your guide by using their TOOLS page. Here you can crunch some numbers and assess your money choices. Start making a difference today!

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you.  

The onUp movement was created to guide millions of people one step at a time towards a more financially confident life without ever losing sight of the moments that matter along the way.

Join the growing number of people transforming their stress into positive motivation to move onUp.

Join the movement

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Best Kept Secret in Christmas Cards!

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Do you send out Christmas cards? This time of year I absolutely LOVE going to the mailbox each day and finding love sent from friends near and far. I love seeing how they have captured their family during the year. How far away friend’s children have changed. It brings me so much joy each day.

I’m really proud of myself this year. I actually ordered our Christmas cards BEFORE Thanksgiving and was able to address them as we travel. Granted I didn’t make it to the post office for stamps until Thursday, but they are in the mail now and have started arriving in mailboxes.

I’ve ordered my cards from several places over the years, but a few years ago I found a hidden gem. WALMART. Did you know Walmart prints stationary stock Christmas cards for more than half less than traditional Christmas card sites (and no they aren’t paying me anything to say that!) This year I ordered 75 stationary stock 5×7 cards for $45.00 including shipping. I consider that a STEAL! There are pictures on both sides & they added my return address to the envelopes!

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Just wanted to share. If you haven’t ordered your cards, it isn’t too late! If you have…tuck this little nugget away for next year :) Merry Christmas!

Aaron’s Big Score for a Big TV Social Sweepstakes!

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September is FINALLY here and that can only mean one thing…pumpkin spice lattes! Just kidding, it’s still 90 degrees here….no, it means FOOTBALL IS BACK! And in this household we take it seriously. In the fall I would almost say it’s a way of life. Weddings are planned around it, Saturdays are devoted to it, team colors fill our closets, & having a BIG television to see the game is top priority! And I have some good news for you. During the month of September, Aaron’s will be adding to the overall excitement by giving away four 75” TVs to celebrate their #BigScore promotion. It doesn’t get much better than that! Enter here 

Here are my two favorite Auburn fans :) Chickadee has started to learn the fight song, and hearing her sing “Power of Dixie Land!” might be the cutest thing ever. Sprout is a sucker for Aubie the tiger. We are raising them right! War Eagle! 

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Now that we have kids we usually stay close to home to cheer on our Auburn Tigers, but when we do make it down to the loveliest village on the plains we tailgate in style, RV style! And the food spread is like nothing you’ve ever seen. 

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 Tailgates are such an awesome time to come together with friends new and old and celebrate your friendship while cheering on your favorite team! We are actually getting together with our Sunday school class this Saturday to tailgate and celebrate the kickoff of football season.

So do you have a favorite team? What are your plans to watch the game this weekend?

Make sure and head over to Aaron’s to enter to win that BIG 75″ TV. Then next week the party can be at your house!!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Aaron’s Inc.. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Preschool Prayer

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Preschool has been one of the first experiences where we’ve sent Chickadee out into the “real world” without us. But what she does take with her is our influence and the love of Jesus we are trying to plant in her heart. It’s a big deal sending them out…praying they are kind, empathetic, good helpers, and respectful. 

One small thing we do each morning in the carpool line that I pray will impact her day is say a prayer. The idea was actually shared by a friend at church and she shared the prayer they used every morning before school. It was perfect and I should have written it down. However, years have passed and I couldn’t remember it. So Chickadee and I came up with our own and have been praying it each morning since her first week of preschool. 

She helps recite words here and there. She always remembers the last line and says it with me wearing a BIG smile on her face. It’s absolutely precious. Over time I hope she plants these words in her heart and they stay with her throughout the day! After our prayer she bolts out of the car and I continue praying that Jesus’s light shines BRIGHT. 

How are you planting the seeds of Jesus into the hearts of your children? What an important job the Lord has given to us!

Sprout | 11 Months

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And just like that…it’s here. Your last “month” post. After today we only have one sticker left little man. I can’t believe the next time I sit down to write an update you will be ONE YEAR OLD! Such a bitter sweet time. The baby stage is coming to a close, and toddlerhood is just around the corner. We are just soaking up every second with you buddy!

We haven’t had a doctor’s appointment in about two months, but I think you are about 19lbs and somewhere around 29 inches. You are wearing size 3 diapers and both 9 & 12 month clothes.

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You are growing like a weed little buddy. And now with your eighth tooth, you have really started shoveling eating everything you can get your hands on. We have stopped pureed food (outside of an occasional pouch which you can suck out yourself) and you pretty much eat anything we are eating. You love meat and cheese…strawberries are always a hit and I think you would be okay living on sweet potatoes. You don’t turn much down, except for avocado! Although you’ve been eating puffs for a while as of February 16th you started eating them out of a snack cup by yourself. Stud. You’ve started taking a little bit of formula, since my supply can’t keep up with what you are wanting to drink…however I plan to start moving you to whole milk soon (as soon as I can get you to drink from a sippy cup!).

 You are DEFINITELY on the move lately. Starting February 13th you began consistently crawling up on your hands and knees and we haven’t seen the army crawl since. You crawl quickest when you are going for small crumbs on the floor or when you are coming in for a hug. You also like to cruise around the furniture (Feb 29). The walker has become your next mode of transportation. Around the beginning of March you began cruising and giggling, and making all kinds of progress towards your walking learner’s permit. Oh, and March 1st, you summited the stairs for the first time (and not the last!).

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You are very interactive lately. High fives started February 17th, waving March 9, and clapping March 10. Little baby babble might be one of my favorite things in the entire world and you are full of babbles. Lots of “dadadadadada” is heard when daddy walks through the door at the end of the day! As I mentioned before you love hugs and snuggling. You give the best hugs and your smile is soooo genuine.  

 You spent a lot of time at the park this month as temperatures began to heat up. You mostly climb the stairs, but with a little help can go down the slide. You love going for walks and riding in the stroller or beeping along in your little blue car. You really enjoyed the zoo for the first time and loved getting close to the glass and fences to see the animals.

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So here we are…less than 30 days from you turning ONE. How can it be? We knew this first year with you and your sister, 2 under two, would be crazy…we knew we would be tired and feel like we didn’t have it together. We knew we’d probably be late most places and went and dinner wouldn’t always get made. And all of that is true. But buddy this year has also been the absolute best. You are such a blessing to our family and it is hard to imagine our life before you made us a family of 4. Your sister absolutely adores you (as long as you aren’t stealing her toys). And we are totally smitten. We see God’s faithfulness with your every breath. You bring us so much joy little one.

We love you.