How to decide if it’s time to buy the teenagers a better car?

Welcome! Welcome! We have two teenage sons that have been driving a truck for a couple of years. They have expressed their desire for something a little more economical on several occasions. My husband and I have discussed the situation many times. How do we decide if it is a feasible financial choice, or if we keep on having them pour their money into the gas tank? They drive my car when they need to drive out of our little town for anything that requires more than a few dollars’ worth of gas. Is it time to get them a better, more fuel efficient car?

As I’ve mentioned before, one of our main financial goals is to get out of debt. So, when we sat down to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of getting our boys a more fuel efficient car, debt was at the top of the list of things to discuss. We got out the calculator and figured out how long it would take to make up for the difference in savings on gas. Based on our calculations they would cut their gas bill by more than half, which is substantial on a teenager budget. However, if they drive the car out of town every other week, in addition to their usual driving, it would take a little over three years to make it worth buying a $1000 fuel efficient car. We also have to factor in that there will be occasional repairs.

We decided that it would be better for our budget to have them continue to drive the truck.  They will get help from their parents a little here and there with gas money when they need it. This will keep us on track to get out of debt. This will also teach our kids a couple of things. First, they need to learn to budget their own money so that it stretches a little further. They don’t have to hop in the truck every chance they get to run a little errand during school or on weekends.  Second, it is also good for us to show them an example that it is not a good thing to be in debt. We really want our children to never get into debt. We plan to give our oldest my little car when he goes off to college.  It is our hope that he will get off on the right foot without debt. When we get out of debt, we will revisit the topic of another car. Hopefully, they learn from our mistakes.

I hope this little decision of ours helps you in your quest for financial stability. Thanks for reading!

Three Ways to Make Your Money Behave

Welcome! Welcome! As the New Year is already a fourth of the way gone, I have given a lot of thought to my money. I think this is one of those things that many people think about quite a bit after Christmas and for resolutions. There is always a big financial whammy that hits us in the gut and leaves us feeling a little sick after the excitement of Christmas wears off. Then New Year’s Day rolls around and we feel like we need to set goals and two things seem to always be on the list, finances and weight loss- the two things that we overdo during November and December.

I want to address the financial just a little bit. I get really excited about money and saving, especially when I can make my dollars do what I tell them to, so here goes. I want to give you my top three tips on how I make my money behave. I’m really excited this year because I spent some time with my budget and I am determined to get out of debt once and for all and also put some money into savings. Continue reading

New Name!

Welcome! Welcome! Well, as you may have noticed queenofhome.com has a new name. I have been doing a ton of thinking and the name just never quite sat well with me. Nothing is changing about the blog except the name. I just decided that I wanted to have a little more flexibility in what goes on in the blog. What if, for example, I want to have my husband or my teenage son write a blog post? They should be able to go around and brag about the blog they wrote for. I don’t think my seventeen-year-old, who is a talented writer would want to put his name on queenofhome.com. I could be wrong. Who knows?

Why livingwellandlovinglife.com? Also, I wanted something that sounded upbeat and inspiring, even on the days when someone might not feel so much so, including myself. Ha-ha! I want to provide content that is helpful and hopeful. So there you have it. Welcome, welcome. Feel free to comment with your thoughts on the name change as well as what you would like to see me write about. Thanks for reading!

Mixed Feelings on Mother’s Day

Welcome! Welcome! This year, Mother’s Day was so full of mixed feelings. It actually is every year, but it seemed so much more intense this year. My two oldest boys are getting so “old.” I’m starting to see the end of their time at home wither away. The time, as redundant as it is, has flown. It will continue to fly. I look back on their childhood with way too much regret. I pray that they never have to give a speech on Mother’s Day. They’ll have to either lie or dig extremely deep to find good things to say. I know that I am exaggerating, but the mistakes I have made pile up way too high. Continue reading

Do You DREAM of Financial Freedom?

Welcome! Welcome! Late this summer, Mark and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary. I have spent the last several months reflecting on our time together. We have had a great marriage. We get along really well. Seriously. We have an occasional fight and there are a lot of things that we don’t agree on, but we really do get along, and yes, he drives me crazy, in all the good and bad ways. I drive him crazy, too. Continue reading

Managing Facebook with Teens

Welcome! Welcome!

Facebook. I have a love/hate relationship with this awesome piece of technology.

Almost four years ago, my husband changed careers, and that meant that we would be doing a little bit of moving around. The first move wasn’t too bad. My oldest was nearly thirteen and he adjusted pretty well. We had been homeschooling until that point and decided this was a good time, for many reasons, to put them in school.

However, a little over a year later we were asked to change locations. By this time my second had turned thirteen and my oldest was fourteen and a half. This move was horrible. They were not adjusting. They missed their friends. A social life is extremely important at their age, and they were devastated. So, we decided to let them open up Facebook accounts in order to keep in touch with the people they dearly missed. Continue reading

I am happier in a clean house!

Welcome! Welcome! I happily admit that cleaning is not my favorite thing to do. However, I love walking through a clean house. I am happier when my house is clean. Also, when my house is clean, I have time to do some of the things I love, like writing, sewing, and scrapbooking.

When everything is going well and I stay on top of things around the house, here is what I do. Continue reading

We are the queens of our homes

Welcome! Welcome! Yeah! QueenofHome.com is up and running. For this first post, I just want to explain the name. Queen of Home has nothing to do with me. Well, okay, it has something to do with me, but not how you might think. I do not feel like I am the best at what I do, which is being a wife and mom. That couldn’t be any farther from the truth. I have a long way to go in that department. Continue reading