2012 Free Printable Calendars

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Need some help saving, paying off debt, and being inspired in 2012?  Keep yourself on track with these free printable 2012 calendars.

About.com

About.com “Best Time to Buy” Calendar

Free 2012 Calendars and Planners

Best Time to Buy Calendar

What’s In Season Calendar

Free Printable Weekly Planner Pages

Free Meal Planners

More Free Printable 2012 Calendars

Redstamp.com

RedStamp.com on Facebook (2012 Calendar)

Free Printable 2012 Calendars

2012/2013 Year at a glance Calendars (Facebook)

JoyceMeyer.org
Free Inspirational 2012 Calendar

Enjoying 2012 13-month Wall Calendar

Smilebox.com
Free Personalized Calendars

Personalized Smilebox Photo Calendar

GraphicGarden.com

GraphicGarden.com “This and That” January

Free 2012 Monthly Calendars (VERY Cute!)

Year 2012 Country Living

Year 2012 Small Teddybears

Year 2012 This and That

MrsJanuary.com (Frugal Living)
Free 2012 Calendar

Horizontal and Vertical 2012 Calendars

Cozi.com
Free 2012 Printable Calendar

2012 Calendar with Holidays

Rkrichardson.com
Free 2012 Calendar Downloads

Rkrichardson.com “Faith, Hope, and Charity” Calendar

“Route 66 Bridge” 2012 Calendar


“Let This Mind” 2012 Calendar


“Faith, Hope, and Charity” 2012 Calendar


“God Put the Music In Me” 2012 Calendar

“My Piano” 2012 Calendar


“The Leaning Birdhouse of Grand Rivers” 2012 Calendar


“Sweet Reverie” 2012 Calendar

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Debt Elimination Progress

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We’re making progress! I really can’t believe we’re making any progress in the month of December. Normally, we go a little overboard around the holidays and get in the spending mood.  But, since we’ve chosen to opt out of all holiday party gift games and exchanges, we only have our children to think about.  We’ve spent $30 on each of our older children and about $10 on our younger ones who don’t really know what’s going on quite yet.

So, with all of the cutting back, we’ve been able to make an accumulative payment of $300 toward our credit card debt.  Plus, we’ve paid off the midwife!  So, next month we should have an additional $250 to poor into our high credit card balances.  And, once we file our taxes, we should be able to pay off a big chunk.  If we keep sticking to our budget, we may be able to pay off all credit card debt much sooner than expected.

Now let’s just pray that Jesse gets a huge raise in February!

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Cheaper and Faster Internet Service

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So, about a week ago we got a flyer in the mail from Time Warner Cable.  I’m sure you get these almost every day like we do if you don’t have any of their services.  We normally just throw these out, but for some reason I looked twice before throwing this one away.  It turns out, they’re running a special holiday promotion for broadband internet.  So, we called to find out more. 

We now have broadband internet for $19.99/month!  It’s almost 10x faster than our DSL and $15 cheaper!  Plus, they came the very next day and did the install for free!  Of course, this offer is only for 12 months.  But, there is no contract.  So, we can cancel at any time with no penalty.  I believe the offer is only good until December 21st, so you’ll have to call Time Warner soon if you want to get in on this deal.  Might be a great Christmas gift for those in your household that always complain about the internet being slow.  Merry Christmas!

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Quick, Easy, and Free Christmas Cards

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Well, if you’re anything like me, you haven’t sent out your Christmas cards yet.  Yes, I know there is only one more week to go.  I’m using the excuse this year that I just had a baby a week ago.  So, here’s what I’ve done to let my friends and family know that I haven’t forgotten about them.

Top 5 Ways to Easily Send Free or Low Cost Christmas Cards


1.  Vistaprint: I ordered from them last month and got 25 photo cards for $6 (includes shipping) that my kids will hand out to friends and family during the holidays.
Red Stamp Free Christmas Card
2.  Red Stamp:  This is a free iPod,  iPhone, and iPad app that you can use to send beautiful modern photo cards by e-mail, post to Facebook and Twitter, or send by mail (cost of postage.)
3.  Sincerely Ink:  Here’s another free iPod, iPhone, iPad, and also an Android app that you can use to send Christmas cards by mail (cost is $1.99 per card.)  I have played around with this app and it is very user friendly, quick, and low cost for last minute Holiday cards that you want to send by mail.  
4.  Of course, there’s always the free ecards at eGreetings.com

5.  Create your own Christmas cards with MSWord or if you’re crafty, make them with your kids!  Make it a family Christmas tradition to make your own cards and hand them out to family and friends.  Kids love to deliver mail themselves!

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Contentment is Key

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But godliness with contentment is great gain: for we brought nothing into the world, for neither can we carry anything out;
but having food and covering we shall be therewith content.
But they that are minded to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and hurtful lusts, such as drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: which some reaching after have been led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.   – 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Over the years, I can see all of the purchases we’ve made out of discontentment.  Of course, what is past is past, and we can only move forward choosing to be more mindful of what drives us to make unneeded purchases.  Just recently, I had to talk my husband down from making such a purchase.  He has been wanting a big flat-screen TV for quite a long time now.  We don’t have a TV and have not had one for years.  We’ve simply chosen to be content watching shows on Hulu and blue-ray movies we borrow from my family on the PS3 we got from my husband’s family last year.  The kids also have a portable DVD player in their room that they can watch their own movies on.  I’d say we have it pretty good.  But, then we go over to my parent’s house where my father has a huge plasma screen in his basement.  That’s when it is hard for my husband to be content with what we have.

Now, I realize that I’m picking on my husband here.  So, I’ll pick on myself for a little while now.  My area of discontentment is food.  I’ve confessed this in an earlier post, but I think I need to bring it up more than once.  Maybe putting it on this blog will help me be more frugal when it comes to food.  I love convenience foods.  I didn’t grow up in a house where dinner was made from scratch by Mom every night, so I was used to just throwing in a pizza, making mac n cheese, or even cereal for dinner.  So, when I go to the grocery store, I tend to be drawn to those types of food, even though I know that it would be more cost effective for our family to purchase ingredients and make meals in bulk to freeze.  It would also be more cost effective to make my husband’s meals from scratch, since he needs to eat gluten-free foods and the gluten-free convenience foods are twice as expensive.  So, this is where my discontentment lyes.  I am not always content with our food budget and grocery list that I have to stick to in order to save money. 

This is where God’s Word helps us to be content.  Those that followed Christ in the Bible were content to just have their needs met.  And, sometimes, they didn’t even have the essentials.  Some were thrown in jail where they had nothing, and yet they were still content in just knowing Christ. 

I like to step back every so often and remind myself that we are truly blessed above and beyond most when it comes to material possessions.  I also try to remember that my husband could lose his job at any time.  We take so much for granted when we are not truly content with what we have.  But, when we finally find that place of contentment, the Bible says we will have great gain

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Saving on Phone Bills with Skype

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In my last post about how we save on our phone bill, I talked about using Magic Jack Plus for our home phone.  Another service I thought would be worth mentioning is Skype, a free calling service that connects you with other Skype users.  We chose to get a Skype number so that we can call anyone and anyone can call us, even if they don’t have Skype.  We are charged a whopping $3.04 per month.  With this, we are able to use our computer, Android, or IPod to make calls whenever we’re in a wifi spot.  And, since my husband is a web developer and is always connected to the internet, I can almost always reach him on the Skype number.

I know what you’re thinking.  “Don’t you guys have cell phones?”  No, we don’t.  We have one cell phone without a cell phone plan in case of emergencies.  Other than that, we use our Magic Jack home phone line and Skype to make and receive phone calls.  And, since I’m home most of the time and my husband works from home twice a week, this makes sense for us.  For those who are on the road a lot and need a way to call out without connecting to the internet, this plan may not work.  But if you can make it work for you, you could be saving hundreds of dollars a year on your phone bill like we are.

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Cost of Midwife vs Doctor

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We’ve been using a midwife from the very start of our journey as parents.  Our main reason for using a midwife is because I’m more comfortable giving birth naturally at home than in a hospital where they’re more likely to administer drugs.  But, there is an additional perk, which is the cost.  We do not have health insurance, other than the individual insurance my husband gets through work for only himself.  So, saving on the birth of our children was a must from day one.  Just take a look at the chart below and you’ll see what a difference using a midwife can make in the cost of giving birth.

As you can see, the cost of a hospital birth is almost 10 times the cost of using a birth center or midwife at home.  We’ve never paid more than $2500 for the midwives we’ve used for each of our 4 children.  Our fourth child is actually due any day now and we’re almost paid in full, which gives us an extra discount.  So, we’re only paying $2000 this time around. 
I’ve used the money I earned from doing childcare in our home for 8 months to pay cash for our midwife and ultrasound cost, which was only $100 for the 2D ultrasound and pictures we got along with that.  We’ve never had to use funds from any source other than my work income for each midwife.  We never let our monthly expenses exceed what my husband’s income is.  So, whenever I make an income, it always goes into savings for health costs and emergencies.  I’m never pressured to work, which allows me to be much more content with my duties as a stay-at-home mom (SAHM.)  I thank God every day for my husband’s steady income and the blessing of being a SAHM.  

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Get Free Stuff on FreeCycle

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We’re on to baby number four and we could really use a new bassinet.  So, what do I do?  I go into my local FreeCycle chat group and send out a wanted e-mail to everyone in my area that’s a part of FreeCycle. Within a matter of a couple hours, I get two responses.  One woman offers to lend me her bassinet and the other offers to give me hers absolutely free (one that she never really used!)

I love FreeCycle!  I check my e-mail throughout the day to see if anyone has posted something we could use or if we have something that someone needs.  A couple months ago, my husband and I were talking about what we would do to the kitchen if we had the money to remodel.  The number one thing was to get new cabinets.  And, what do you think showed up on FreeCycle within days?  An entire set of kitchen cabinets!!!  I couldn’t believe it!  I responded to the post immediately and we now have an entire set of nice wood kitchen cabinets waiting in our garage (hopefully basement soon) for us to start our kitchen remodel. Now, all we need are the countertops to go with them.  But, I have a feeling nice countertops aren’t going to come cheep.

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