Frugal Friday

Frugal Fridays

As part of our journey to becoming debt free, one of the things our family has implemented is a fairly strict grocery budget (among other budgets). Unlike utilities and mortgage, the grocery budget is something that I feel we have much more control of. We are in charge of the meals we cook, the ingredients we pick, the stores we choose to shop at, and whether or not to use coupons, store discounts or take advantage of the promotions that are being offered. Continue reading

Frugal Friday

Frugal Fridays

As part of our journey to becoming debt free, one of the things our family has implemented is a fairly strict grocery budget (among other budgets). Unlike utilities and mortgage, the grocery budget is something that I feel we have much more control of. We are in charge of the meals we cook, the ingredients we pick, the stores we choose to shop at, and whether or not to use coupons, store discounts or take advantage of the promotions that are being offered. Continue reading

Frugal Friday

Frugal Fridays

As part of our journey to becoming debt free, one of the things our family has implemented is a fairly strict grocery budget (among other budgets). Unlike utilities and mortgage, the grocery budget is something that I feel we have much more control of. We are in charge of the meals we cook, the ingredients we pick, the stores we choose to shop at, and whether or not to use coupons, store discounts or take advantage of the promotions that are being offered. Continue reading

In the path of Hurricane Irma

Where were you when Hurricane Irma made landfall?

I was in South Florida – Broward County, to be exact, where one of the worst seen category 5 storm was set to make landfall. Never before had I heard of so many people fleeing for safety in other parts of the state or even heading out of the state, if possible. I had several friends who chose to evacuate for the sake of their family’s safety. Unfortunately, with my husband’s profession, evacuating too far isn’t often as option for us. Although, while preparing for this storm, I had numerous out of town family members reach out to us and often times beg us to evacuate. It was really sweet of them, and I was deeply touched. In fact, I remember, even my mother in law, who wasn’t planning to evacuate herself had strongly urged that I evacuate with the kids. I wasn’t going to take that chance. I knew the traffic conditions would be horrible, and taking the risk of traveling, for who knows how long, with three small kids and a nursing newborn, was impossible. If my husband wasn’t going, neither was I. We would hunker down, and make dua (prayer). I confess, there were plenty of times when I doubted myself. Was I making the right decision? I would do zhikr (pray) to calm my nerves and reassure myself that nothing on this earth can move without the will of Allah. If a calamity is destined for us, it will be to test our faith and make us stronger. Continue reading

Frugal Friday

Frugal Friday

As part of our journey to becoming debt free, one of the things our family has implemented is a fairly strict grocery budget (among other budgets). Unlike utilities and mortgage, the grocery budget is something that I feel we have much more control of. We are in charge of the meals we cook, the ingredients we pick, the stores we choose to shop at, and whether or not to use coupons, store discounts or take advantage of the promotions that are being offered. Continue reading

Financial Freedom Step 1 – The Family Finance

The first step, as suggested by Dave Ramsey’s book, is to record the monthly financial ins and outs. We are going to calling this, Maintaining the Family Finance. To do this, I have a worksheet that I have been using for the last six years. Prior to reading the book, I only kept track of the main expenses and their monthly due dates. Many of my monthly memberships that were automatically deducted from my credit card such as Audible, the kids’ after school activities, etc were not recorded. Instead, I calculated a monthly estimate of my credit card statement balance and kept account of only that. After reading the importance of knowing exactly where every penny is spent, I added in those expenses to my spreadsheet.

So here’s how to do it: Continue reading

Frugal Friday

Frugal Friday

As part of our journey to becoming debt free, one of the things our family has implemented is a fairly strict grocery budget (among other budgets). Unlike utilities and mortgage, the grocery budget is something that I feel we have much more control of. We are in charge of the meals we cook, the ingredients we pick, the stores we choose to shop at, and whether or not to coupons, store discounts or take advantage of the promotions that are being offered. Continue reading

Our butterfly garden

Earlier this year we began our adventures in the world of home gardening. There’s just something serene about planting, watering and then eventually watching the fruits of your labor grow (literally!). One of our plans for our home garden was to design and beautify our front yard.

After a few months of trial and error with different plants, potting mixes and tools, we decided it was finally time to tackle our front yard. The vision for the front yard was always to build a beautiful butterfly garden which would attract these gorgeous creatures and fill our entryway with amazing fragrance.

So, just like every other newbie gardener, I loaded up my 4 kids and drove down to to the only nursery I knew of.

Continue reading

Journey to being debt-free

After 10 years of living on credit cards, it was finally time to break free.

When my husband and I got married 10 years ago, we were both students initially living with his parents. As newly weds, we loved going out to eat, going to the movies and traveling. By the time my husband graduated, we were already on our way to becoming parents. Our expenses grew a lot faster than our income and we become dependent on our credit cards.

We used our credit cards for everything from groceries to paying bills. Rent was the only thing where cash was required so we saved our cash to make the rent and used the remainder of our monthly income to pay down our credit card. I was still in school and used student loans to fund my education.

Between my husband’s student loans, my student loans, groceries, rent and utilities, we had little or no money left at the end of the month. You would think we would realize the hole we were digging for ourselves. But no! Continue reading