Challenges and Goals

Every year I read about some CEO of other head of something or other doing a “retreat” about January 1 or so to evaluate the previous year and set new goals for the coming year.

I always read these with interest and a certain amount of cynicism. For the past 30 years my  goal has always been: Be the BEST mom I can be.

All the other goals and challenges have been subservient to that one. To take the 10 three-blade razors in the pack I bought in January through the whole year (and yes, I am on track with this one) is just me managing the limited dollars that come into the household in a given year. Spend less than $420 per month on food for the four of us–same. Identify 2-3 sources of financial aid for college for each kid–same.

I want to thank each of my regular readers for your attention to my rambling thoughts. I hope that those of you who have stumbled onto the blog from some other place have found some nugget to take home.

This is my farewell blog. I have exhausted my thoughts on the topic of single-mom-enough. If you want to read more on frugality, I recommend

and if you want to read more about minimalism go to

Goodbye all–and thanks for the fish. :).

Completing the Count

The count of Stuff I Share With The Kids finishes with what is outside the house: garage and front and back porches.

Outside/Garage (19)



Chairs (3)

Lawn mower/gas can


Rake (2)

Snow shovel


Yard tools (4)

Ladders (2)

Bird house


Nineteen items outside, total of 174 items that I share with the kids for 2012.

More Fun, Less Money

Entertainment costs are as big or as small as you want to make them. They could be a big black hole if you decide you must have the luxury yacht moored near Los Angeles, or have your kids take polo lessons in Connecticut, or your life is not complete without a private rocket trip to the space station.

Most of us don’t have that kind of money to spend on entertaining ourselves. Lucky for us, it doesn’t have to cost much at all.

In the past month we have done all of the following for free or little money:

Bike ride in the park.

Walk in the rain in the park with a friend (especially fun as this rain ended our summer long drought.)

Made a drawing for a gift for a friend.

Read a bunch of library books and watched a couple of library movies.

Watched a movie at a friend’s house.

Had friends to dinner.

Breakfast beverages (coffee and diet soda) with a friend.

Volunteer for school organization and got to watch play for free, plus got free soda and popcorn.

Rock band rehearsal (the instruments cost money to start out, but then are hours of pleasure/frustration afterward.)

Assisted in production of local  film.

Celebrated a family birthday with a pot luck meal.

Overnight and gaming with a friend.

And that doesn’t even count the things we wanted to do but couldn’t get to because we were so busy.