What February looked like:

Financially. We had a master list of expenses that look like this:

  • 850 for rent (or 892 if I incur a late charge for not paying by the 10th)
  • 10 for our low income internet program through ATT
  • 9.73 for Netflix (we pay for viewing on one screen only)
  • 35 for debt in the form of a student loan for me
  • 78 for cell phones for myself, son, and daughter
  • 80 for orthodontics (the full bill is 155 but my ex pays 72.00 of that)
  • 90 for my husband’s cell (non negotiable he is on an account with his sister and this arrangement was in place long before we ever met)
  • 24 for Planet fitness (hubby is not ready to cancel despite the fact we cannot make it and he would have to pay a buy out fee to quit anyway)
  • 164.00 for a traffic violation my husband was cited for and they charged him a 12.00 fee for paying over the phone
  • 123.00 for electricity
  • 9.99 for a membership that is non negotiable for my husband.
  • 12.46 for tithing we accepted a challenge at a church we attended with extended fam but only gave one percent instead of 10 percent

We began the month with a total of 6.52 in change, I had a total of 173.92 in my accounts left over from the month of January. I used Swagbucks to earn a $10.00 amazon gift card which allowed us to buy toilet paper * the middle of this month. (We had previously, before all extra income stopped, purchased toilet paper from amazon spending 27.00 and it lasted a month and a half. We used to buy toilet paper 1 dollar a pack here .60 there and it added up to over 30.00 when i tracked it. Amazon is for us a better deal) My husband got a refund from our car insurance company for 23.00 and had $201.00 left over from the sale of his car. (He used that money to pay his traffic citation and related fees as well as take a driving course in an effort to retain his license. )

We also receive a 25.00 OTC benefit from my children’s insurance provider. This month we used it to obtain 2 bottles of Pert Shampoo, Toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and Outlet Covers ( whichare an attempt to try and reduce electric bill. (tip from )

We also mostly air dried our clothing ( I do a short cycle of 15 mins in the dryer to avoid that crunchy stiffness, and the rest of the time they hang on hangers or lay on chairs or towel racks to dry.)

I loathe doing laundry, like I loathe doing dishes, but I do love the people that wear the stupid clothes and dirty the dishes.

Neighbors gave us wood that we used for our fires inside and outside of the house. We also use sensitive documents, empty toilet paper rolls, and dryer lint as fire starters. Used cooking oil helped once in a pinch.

my favorite part of our living room!

Unexpected expenses were $3.00 for early dismissal pizza day at my daughter’s school, and $2.00 for cat food to feed the ferret. (Paid out of my change) We have adapted a homemade recipe for dog and cat food from pinterest so we don’t have to spend out of pocket money to feed our other pets. We treated ourselves, during the two day power outage, to Taco Bell using Grub Hub, I had a 12.00 credit and the teenager that spent the night with my son paid $10.00 for the rest. I personally spent zero out of pocket. The other unexpected expense we had was using Lyft so my son could try out for track at school but my ex husband paid the 19.12 for the multiple rides my son took.

My husband in the month of February transferred 659 to me, and I recieve 115.00 a week in child support. Above is me showing you our stewardship of said funds good or bad. This is about me being real. We did also spend 20.00 on rechargeable batteries for a medical device we occasionally need, and we likely spent $35.00 on medical related expenses not covered by our insurances. I spent $5.35 at Dollar Tree for items we needed like body wash, laundry detergent, hair dye, and Dawn dish detergent.

Yep I sure do use Dollar Tree hair color, my best friend told me about it. Works just fine, there is no in box conditioner but I usually have something that will work for that around the house somewhere.

As you know my car was totaled so we have no car payment, and no car insurance payment. We also do not pay out of pocket for groceries. The rent was paid on time this month, so I did not incur a late fee but I am presently 1042 behind on the rent and 200 behind on my student loan.

In an attempt to make money we launched this business.

I have joined two affiliate* programs. Amazon, which is a link in this post in the talk about toilet paper and Lume. (when you purchase from an affiliate link, I am compensated by the company at no additional cost to you.)

Scanned receipts using Fetch Rewards, Used I Money app (for iphones only)

To be better stewards, I sewed three pieces of clothing, I really though about getting rid of them, but we really need them and can’t afford to replace them. I also sewed up a tear in my daughters comforter.

My son wanted a haircut, and I told him he would have to use his own money left over from Christmas, and I would bike with him down to a barber shop on the corner. Instead when we got a day out with extended fam, he let them do the hair cutting 🙂 Liz at Frugalwoods would be so proud of us. By the end of the month my husband finally gave in and cut his own hair at home too.

Afterwards my nephew blew everyone clean with his leaf blower ….we had a great time!

We gleaned from the curb some great items pictured below. My daughter picked up some baby accessories for her dolls.

I have been using the large purse as my daily one now, holds lots of weight and books good for those long waits for medical transport

Neighbors gave us some beads and buttons when they found out we create things.

We retained some containers that yogurt, lunchmeat, frosting came in for food storage (note: I would never heat up anything in any of these containers, I may have kept a few glass jars too)

I buy Hillshire Farm lunch meat when I don’t feel like waiting on the underappreciated deli workers at WALMART…the container is a nice bonus!

There was one other way we got created to fill a want. My daughter’s tv in her room was really a tv gifted to her brother for his birthday. When his very large tv broke he took the little one from his sister’s room because he is after all a dedicated gamer and he stays held up in his room all day. I have been taking my daughter to therapy. He had suggested that she find 10 things in her room she could sell for 5 and that would likely allow us to replace her tv. I came home and talked it over with my husband. It dawned on him that I have a perfectly good desktop computer sitting on the bookshelf in the living room that we never use. It is equipped with the ability to stream Netflix and play DVD’s. (It must be like 7 or 8 years old) Perfect solution and no cost out of pocket. We never sold any of her clothes anyway. We are actually just about to donate them on a local buy nothing group. I was super proud of us for using something we had. We are trying to make her space something she likes using what we have.

She is watching Santa Clause * I saw our Dollar Tree has started selling movies, since she has not had a new one in quite some times, I may treat her to one this month. Could make it a good behavior motivation as discussed in her therapy which I will share more about another time in the Mental Health section.

I ended the month with 1.87 left in change, and I still have 5.00 from the Grub hub payment the teenager gave me. My bank account currently holds $115.00. My husband’s check was cut for the month of March and will stay at 704.00 for the next 8 months. The SS administration claims previous over payment, he will not call to find out why, and I am not upset about this, as the only person I can work on is me, and God is providing thus far. Maybe not in the way I want, but every bill was paid this month. March will not contain any fine payments or hidden fees that I know of. We will see. I look forward to letting you know how we do.

Hiding in Plain Sight,

Masquerade Jade