Woo hoo! (Budget progress and new curricula!)
You may remember me blogging about our new budget, and the serious economizing going on in our household right now. You may also remember that the amount of shortage we were having each month would totally be erased if we “only” tithed, and didn’t give any extra to missions or other charitable giving, above the tithe. We considered that… but, rather than decrease our charitable giving, Martin and I decided to keep it the same, but cut back on other spending, especially eating out, in order to recoup our losses.
I’m happy to report that that’s going really well. We’re using Mvelopes through Crown Financial Ministries, and my husband is managing it with a higher degree of detail than I ever would have.
The only “bummer” is that my husband is saving like a mad man, tucking away every penny he/we possibly can, and has intimated that our yearly family vacation may end up as the sacrificial lamb that enables us to meet our savings goals. Hmph. Not sure about that one; we’ll see. Other than that, we have had absolutely no disputes about altering our spending habits; we’re both totally in agreement, which feels great.
We decided to file our taxes as early as we could; they were done in early February. My mom is an accountant and did them! We paid her; she didn’t do ’em for free. 😉 Anyways, it turns out that our refund — which we’ve already received — was WAY higher than we anticipated, which enabled us to pay our credit card down to $ZERO, plus have money left for other needed purchases.
Now… it may be that, even if we had chosen to reduce our giving that we would have had the same refund. However, we choose to see the refund as God blessing us our decisions, as Him taking care of us, and providing for our needs.
One major purchase that were were able to make was Core 4, the next level of our homeschooling journey. Woo hoo! I can’t tell you how happy I was to make that purchase. It’s one of the least expensive Cores, since several of the books from Core 3 (which we already have) carry over. We already have Science, Math, English and a few other “extracurricular” subjects covered, so we just ordered the Core, which is History, Readers, and Read-alouds. I also ordered a devotional they suggest, Starting Strong.
I debated whether or not I should order; a new Sonlight catalog is due out in the next few weeks. Ordering now enables me to lock in the 2008 prices, and I can get it within a week or so. Waiting to order means that my Instructor’s Guide will have any updates that may be made, plus possibly some new content and/or changes in books… but, I’d have to wait another month or so. I decided to order now. 😀
It’s always GREAT fun when a new curriculum arrives… And, it’s a fun problem to have to say, “HEY! Bring that back! You can’t read that yet!!!” I used to not care if anyone read a book in advance, but I got tired of hunting down a book that had “gone missing” when the time came when we really did need it, and each boy’s response to my request to produce it was something like, “I think he read it last and forgot to put it back in the book case.” Now, all current curricula and their accompanying books are off limits until we’ve finished that particular book, as per the Instructor’s Guide. 😀 Plus, I put a numbered sticker on the spine, denoting the Core to which it belongs, and I cover each book with clear Contact paper, which has kept even our paperbacks looking… well, not new, but at least not thrashed. So, I have to keep an eagle-eye on the books, once they arrive.