Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cost of Living

One of the things Howard likes to do once in a while is do a search for houses. We're living in a studio apartment right now, and there is absolutely no space. When people ask us whether or not we're having a baby yet, we tell them we have no space. They tend to say that babies are small, and we'd only need room for a crib for the first year. We have to tell them that we don't even have room for a crib! We really don't! If we did add that, it would be smack dab in the apartment, and we would have to fly over it to get anywhere. We also tell people that we can hear arguments that our neighbors have or music/TV shows too, so that means they'd definitely hear a baby cry throughout the night.

My preference would be to move closer to my parents. I would love for them to be close by when we do have kids because I'd like them to have a close relationship. I grew up near my dad's parents, but there was a language barrier. My mom's parents were a drive away, so even though we visited often on the weekends and had family gatherings there, there was never the close bond that I know my mom will have with my kids. I think proximity provides the opportunity for a natural relationship to form based on communication and trust as opposed to the typical "grandparents-spoiling-grandkids" thing. I think my mom will definitely spoil my kids in terms of reading them whatever books they want to read and taking them to the zoo.

But when it comes to all the other things that I would like, getting a place near my parents just seems impossible. It would be nice to have three bedrooms so that if we were to have kids, they wouldn't be squished in one room. Even if that's not possible, the one thing that would be a requirement is to have two bathrooms. My parents have two full and one half, so for someone who was always sick, it was reassuring knowing that there was always an available bathroom! The price of those places isn't that great for the amount of space or the location.

However, when we change our search location to be Lancaster, Pennsylvania, instead of New York, it just baffles our minds that the same amount of money that would be spent on a small space here would get us a beautifully spacious house with three or four bedrooms and two or three bathrooms along with sitting rooms or sunrooms or offices. What?! It's insane to think that it's possible to see that same cost get so much more in a different state.

I mean, I could actually have a craft room! I wouldn't have to move stuff aside just to craft and then move my crafting stuff aside when I have to plan or grade. I'd be able to have a table designated specifically for making cards so that I wouldn't have to move projects out of the way when I need to move on to something else. The houses also have tons of windows, so the natural light entices me too since I can only craft with my Ott-Lite in our apartment right now.

The houses we were examining yesterday were even better because they are near schools that actually exceed standards as opposed to just meeting standards. I could definitely imagine having a family there. The only downside I imagine would be not being around grocery stores, but with all that space, I would insist on purchasing another freezer to stock up on things when they're on sale! I could actually be a couponer with a room just for my stockpile! Right now I just have things in the pantry (food, baby toys and clothes as gifts because I can't pass a good deal considering now we have to do Christmas and birthday gifts), in our clothes closet (shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, lotion, mouthwash, cotton swabs, cotton balls), under the bathroom sink cabinet (tissues, feminine products), under the kitchen sink cabinet (sponges, dish detergent), and under the bed (cereal and tomato sauce in storage). Once those spots were filled, I couldn't really coupon any longer! It would be crazy if we could store boxes and boxes of things like pasta and paper products without worrying about not having room to actually live!

Oh why oh why does the cost of living in New York have to be so high? We wouldn't have to think about that if we were in Pennsylvania. Plus, we'd be closer to the wolves at the sanctuary, haha.

Monday, November 10, 2014


I did a ton of crafting lately due to raising money for my school's walk-a-thon and my church's bake sale. I raised $200 for my walk-a-thon, so thank you to all who helped me out by sponsoring me! Those of you who don't live near me will hopefully receive your cards soon; I need to make envelopes to put the cards in before I mail them. For my church's bake sale for the Lottie Moon Mission fund, I was able to raise $233! So in just a short amount of time, I raised $433 just from crafting! That's so much fun for me even though none of the money went to my own pocket.

Two years, I started toying with the idea of selling cards to donate money to World Vision. Because of the few sales I made, I was able to purchase 2 chickens! Initially I thought I'd continue doing this to get every animal at least once, but then I stopped crafting for a long time. Being a teacher and a wife leaves little time to actually craft. However, now that I seem to have a tiny bit more time on my hands because I don't work on Mondays, I want to pick this back up again but save money for something else. I'll mention what it is in a future post if I end up doing that.

If I do end up doing that, I will most likely keep $1 out of the $5 for myself to help me cover the cost of supplies. Don't worry though; I am very good at purchasing things at an inexpensive cost. I saw this online earlier and just had to include it because I love Lord of the Rings and I love Michaels!

I see that the Black Friday ad for Michaels has already been released, and the paper I buy is the regular sale price of 5 for $10. They are originally $4, so I never pay more than $2 per pack. Of course, because it is Black Friday, there are coupons that can be used on sale prices too, and there is actually a 30% coupon! That makes each pack only $1.40! I think if I have the energy, I will have to grab some more even if it's just stocking up on basics like white, kraft, and black. I like that even Howard agrees with this being a crazy good stock-up price! It doesn't get any cheaper than this. Paper and adhesive (refill tape for my ATG gun and Zig two-way glue pens) are two of the things that I go through pretty quickly, so when there's a deal, I feel as if I can't pass up on it. Let's see what happens in two weeks!