Inside: Choose from one of these Mom approved most durable backpacks for your student. Buy once and save year after year! These bags hold up to the toughest kids.
(Not all links here are affiliate links. I wanted to give you good shopping options without limiting this list to only affiliate links.)
When my oldest was going into kindergarten, the explosion of internet ideas for doubling coupons and getting free stuff all the time was in its heyday. We had just switched houses and were still adjusting to losing my income (I became a stay at home mom when the third child was born). So when I saw ads for free backpacks, I jumped at them!
You could get a free backpack by spending $10 or $20 at the store you were buying them from. That was no trouble, because I needed groceries anyway.
Sometimes these backpacks even had my 5 year old’s favorite characters on them! That made me even more excited for such a fantastic deal.
But by Christmas break, that backpack was nearly ruined. The cheap material wouldn’t stitch back together. (Not that I’m much in the seamstress department to begin with.)
After a hectic May and early June, I’ve been on a mission to reclaim my home. It’s hard to keep up with the daily mess when you’re so busy!
Every time I try to clean and organize, I start to feel frustrated by my house. It’s a 1950s built home, and let’s just say that closet space wasn’t a priority for people in those days. My vacuum cleaner doesn’t really have an “in its place” place. Same for several other essential things.
Yeah, I let myself have a minor pity party about that for a while. Then I decided to take action. For starters, I went into my disastrous attic and emptied the entire thing. Then I sorted through everything and put things back in an orderly fashion. That gave me a bit of attic space to use as a closet.
I also took 7 trash bags of stuff (as well as several big items) to the Goodwill. I sent another 7 bags to the trash. I got rid of several baby items. (Which is kinda sad, but even if we do have another baby I won’t be using that pack and play anymore. It’s worn out!)
Inside: Are your kids always bored? Let’s talk about kids these days…and it isn’t about screen time. Here’s an idea you might not have considered.
Summer is here, and the battle with boredom has already begun. Life these days is hectic as we try to keep up with busy schedules and bucket lists. So when there is down time, kids aren’t sure how to handle it.
If you’re like me, you love the idea of having a slow summer. And you regularly tell your kids that it’s ok to be bored. But in reality, when the kids get bored, they spend more time bickering with one another.
I think there’s a solution that’s easy to overlook in today’s times. I’m so thankful to The Humbled Homemaker for letting me share my thoughts on this subject today! Be sure to click here to read Why Your Kids Are Bored At Home (And It’s Not What You Think).
Welcome to Medium Sized Family!
Are you new to the Medium Sized Family blog? I’m so happy to have you here! I’m Jamie, wife of one and mother to 5 kids. We’re digging out of debt and have implemented a #yearofno that helped us pay off thousands so far.
Here you’ll find money saving tips (including a popular series every Friday called The 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week).
Some posts you might like to start with:
I’d love to learn more about you! You can leave a comment here or join us on our Facebook page (where we’re ALWAYS chatting about something!)
Inside: Considering renting a car from Hertz? Read this Hertz review to learn everything you need to know, from payment to pick up.
While I was not compensated for this post, the links here are affiliate links. Thanks for helping us get debt free!
One way we save a ton of money is by renting cars for long trips. Does that sound strange? We drive an 11 year old minivan. It’s getting up there in mileage, but I love the monthly payment ($0).
In the past, I might have looked for a reason to upgrade to a newer van. Taking a trip would be the perfect justification!
But the math doesn’t add up. New cars always cost more than you think they will. Then you have to add on extra insurance and tax costs. In the end, you spend thousands trying to avoid a bill of hundreds. That’s what Robert Burton called “Penny wise and pound foolish.”
We’re back from one of the more relaxing family vacations we’ve taken, and I’m so happy to be sharing another 5 Ways post with my favorite readers!
I spent the entire vacation reminding my family (and, let’s be honest, myself!) that this was a #yearofno style vacation. We’d already paid for the rental van and the vacation house (which we split with two other families to make it one of the most affordable stays possible for a family of 7). That left us with travel, hotel stays both ways (an 11 hour drive with 5 kids is too much for one day for us!), food, and fun to cover. I had cash ready to cover those expenses, and when it was gone, it was gone.
You might expect that to be stressful, but it was actually quite the opposite! We were more content this time, with less pressure to fit everything in to a one week trip. We ate out less, and that meant less guilt and more appreciation for the fresh seafood we were able to get.
Inside: No one wants to have a life of regrets. So should you take a vacation if you’re in debt? Take this quiz to help you find the right balance.
When my family proposed that we take a vacation this year, I was immediately against it. A vacation right after such a successful #yearofno? We’d corrected our bad spending and were doing so well paying off debt. It didn’t make sense to postpone our debt free date so we could have a family vacation.
Then again, I’m a pretty boring person. I’ve always been the type to set goals and bend over backwards to reach them. And while my more playful husband aggravates me sometimes, his viewpoint is an important counterbalance to my own. It keeps me from missing out on the fun things in life, and I usually end up appreciating it in the long run.
Inside: Occupy everyone with these fun things to do as a family all summer long! They’re all cheap, and many are even free. How many will you cross off?
A 1970s style summer seems awesome in theory. Keeping things slow, simple, and (of course) cheap is a must. But don’t worry, I’ve got a ton of ideas to try. I may have even
bribed asked my kids to help me put this list together. That makes this list both kid and Mom approved!
Be sure to pin this one for later, because you’ll want to see how many you can try out this year.
We’ve been spending our nights in Rodanthe this week, and it’s been wonderfully relaxing! So today’s post will be short and sweet. When we return home I’ll write up all of the ways we made vacation for our young family work, even in the midst of serious debt repayment.
The following is a special guest post from The Dollar Stretcher.
“I don’t really have a debt problem. Right?”
We all know the story about the frog and boiling water. If you turn up the heat gradually the frog won’t pay attention and will eventually be boiled. The same thing is true of debt. You’d never borrow $10,000 with nothing to show for it. But adding $100 or so to your credit card balance each month doesn’t seem like a problem. Until the water starts to boil…
Over the weekend we attended a birthday party with a few family friends. It was such a good time! The kids spent hours in the pool not fighting while the grown ups enjoyed good food, a few drinks, and fun conversation (at each other’s expense). Inside jokes are the best, because it means you’ve got good people in your life. 😉
No one spent a fortune on the gifts or the food. And while our host and hostess have a beautiful house and backyard, it made me think again about scruffy hospitality. It really is more about spending time together than making sure everything is perfect before you’re willing to host others.