Hey everyone! Happy Monday. This past weekend was a very busy one. We left early on Saturday morning and drove to Chicago. We stayed in a hotel near the airport and then drove back on Sunday night.
We went to Chicago to finally see family members that I haven’t seen in a very long time.
First, we had lunch with my Aunt and her family. I last saw my Aunt at my father’s funeral, which was around 5 years ago. My cousins and their family were there at lunch as well, which was great because I literally have not seen them in 10 years!
Then, the rest of my weekend I spent time with my mom and grandma which went well (some of you may know the back story – we definitely went through a rough patch which took me a long time to forgive).
I am so happy that everyone was finally able to get back together.
After my father passed away, everything really went downhill with family relations. However, I really wanted to reconnect with everyone, even though it was hard. I am so happy with how everything turned out! If you are hesitating on doing the same, please start laying out a plan to reconnect with family members.
We plan on going on another road trip to possibly somewhere in Florida. We also might be bringing one or two of the dogs as well. Where should we drive to?
We spent a little bit in the past week. We have been spending some money on maintaining the house. We bought paint last week and scheduled a consultation for carpet, which we hopefully plan on getting installed within the next couple of weeks.
We also plan on painting our dining room table (that will be cheap), and having a new garage door installed. We are still stuck with whether or not we should pay someone to install that. What do you think?
We could buy a garage door ourselves for probably around $500, but if we have them install it then it will be in the thousands most likely.
Driving to Chicago was a very cheap trip. I think we spent around $80 on gas, and we found our 4 star hotel at a deal of only $89 (and it was a two room-suite!). We spent around $30 on food altogether as well.
Business income is still going very well. This is my third week of self-employment now, and it’s still going great! I did an early update of my self-employment last week on Diversified Finances.
If anyone needs any help, check out my Hire Me page and let me know what services you are interested in. Lately, a few other website owners have asked me to help run their website while they are gone for just a month or two, so this is a new service that I am also offering. If you are starting a new job, about to have a baby, want to do some long-term travel or something else, please let me know.
Articles from Making Sense of Cents:
- I’m 100% Self-Employed – My Plans For the Future – I have so many plans for my business and where I want to take it. And oh yeah, I’m finally full-time self-employed!
- The Evolution of My Emergency Fund – This is a post written by Jordann about emergency funds. How much do you keep in your emergency fund?
- Attending College as a Non-Traditional Student – This is a post from Femme Frugality. W is planning on going back to school very soon, so this article came at the perfect time.
- Success Stories (and the People Who Hate Them) Get Rich Slowly – There are so many people who criticize others and claim that things cannot possibly be real. Instead of making people feel bad for their accomplishments and success stories, and claiming that everything in the world is impossible, why can’t people be more positive? I use success stories as a motivation, not as a deterrent.
- Fear: Fight, Flight, or Opossum? Planting Our Pennies – Love this post. How do you respond to fear?
This area of my life has been pretty horrible the past couple of weeks, however, I plan on changing this soon. Our plan is to work out for around one hour each weekday.
Even though working out has been non-existent lately, we have been eating much better than usual.
The wedding is in a little over seven months from now, and I just realized last night that I haven’t really done anything. All that I have done is buy the dress and pay for the photography. My plan for this week is to finally make the save the dates, and work on the guest list along with gathering all of the addresses (and boy, are there a lot!).
We counted and typed everything up quickly the other day (just the names of everyone), and came to around 200 of just family members. I think we will just be doing family and very close friends (mainly just the wedding party), so hopefully our number will be around 250. Having a relatively smallish wedding with those that we talk to on a regular basis is more important to us.
My goals for the next couple of weeks include finishing the save the dates, and looking for a caterer. And a DJ. And find a tent, chair, and table rental company. The other things can wait a little bit longer.
Have you been doing well with your extra income, spending and being healthy?
MMD @ My Money Design says
That’s great that you are making an effort to do this . Re-connecting with family you haven’t seen in a while is not always the most easy or pleasant thing to do. But its one of those things you’ll look back on and say you were glad you at least tried to do it. Hope you had fun.
Thank you MMD! I am so happy that I did it, even though it was a tad scary at first.
Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies says
Thanks for the mention, Michelle. I thought the GRS post was pretty pessimistic since for the most part I see people being supportive and encouraging of success in the pf community.
You’re welcome! I really enjoyed the post, but that is probably because I have had some “haters” come out lately for my own site….
250 was around the amount of people we had at our wedding. The expenses add up real quick as we went over budget, and our MC sucked.
We definitely want a good MC!
DC @ Young Adult Money says
I’m glad you’ve been able to travel a bit. Florida sounds like a nice trip. We went to Tampa last Spring for our cruise and I really liked it, even if we were there only for a little over a day. Best of luck with the wedding planning, definitely a time-consuming thing to have on your plate.
Thank you DC!
FI Pilgrim says
Being healthy seems to be nearly impossible for me in autumn, but it’s so easy in spring and summer! Not sure why that is… glad to hear you had a good trip to see family.
Yes, it is hard! I just cannot get the motivation to work out.
I’ve fallen behind my goals slightly in all categories, so I’m going to start publishing all my goals on my site to keep me even more accountable and motivated in the future. Glad things are going well with the self-employment.
Yes, publishing goals to my website helps motivate me as well. I hate it whenever I have to mark “FAIL” next to a goal.
Matt Becker says
Glad you were able to re-connect with family members! I love a good road trip. I actually find them really relaxing.
Thank you Matt!
I understand how difficult reconciling with family can be, but the rewards can be great also.
Regarding a trip to Florida, I recommend this area if you want an unspoiled “old Florida” vacation: http://www.visitgulf.com/cape-san-blas?gclid=CIa_qa_NuboCFSEV7AodwjUAsQ.
I can’t pronounce Cape San Blas but we have enjoyed it immensely.
Thank you Carol. It was a great time!
I remember reading some of your posts with problems you’ve had with your family. I have had some similar situations and it did take me time to fully forgive my mom, but I’m glad I did. It’s hard to face your family when you feel like they’ve done you wrong so it’s a huge accomplishment that you were able to do that. I hope everything goes great in that regard from here on out! And, congrats on everything else.
Yes, it has taken me so long to forgive her, but it was just too much work to not forgive as it was eating me alive. Thank you so much Alexa!
Connie @ Savvy With Saving says
That’s great that you were able to reconnect with your family. I’m very close with mine and they are a huge part of my support system. Hopefully, you can keep in touch.
I have never done a road trip but it sounds so fun!
Thank you Connie!
Jason B says
I have been slacking at the gym. I went from 3 times a week to just 1. I have to fix that soon.
It’s just so hard to start back up again!
Thanks Kelly! I definitely fell off the workout wagon. It’s hard to get back on 🙂
My husbands’s business had a good week, so we’re really catching up on the expenses we had to make and which ‘broke’ my budget. Looks like we can salvage my initial plans and even save some more. Happy to see you’re doing fine with your freelancing job. Keep up the great work.
That is great that he had a good week. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Debt and the Girl says
I am glad you were able to reconnect with your family. I wondered what happened to your mother. Will they be attending the wedding?
I am inviting all of them to the wedding. If you want to know the backstory about my mom, you can email me 🙂 I deleted most of the things from my site.
Practical Cents says
Spending on home maintenance is something we have been doing as well since buying our home. It has been quite an adjustment especially since we have always been apartment dwellers and did not have to worry about home maintenance costs. But we do enjoy the freedom with have with owning our own home.
Luckily we don’t have too much to do. Most of the things that we are doing are just improvements. And yes, having your own home is nice 🙂
Garage doors need balancing when they’re installed, which is definitely above my skill level. I’d personally have someone else do the install.
Very true. We might price it out and see what the installers say.
Deacon @ Well Kept Wallet says
Glad to hear you enjoyed reconnecting with your fam, that can often be tough to do after many years have passed. As far as the extra income and spending, I think it is time we stepped up our game. I have been OK with the status quo too long, we need to start being more like you Michelle 🙂
Thank you Deacon!
That’s great that you reconnected with your family. It’s even better than things went well. In the end, no matter what they are still your family and in general it is better to have them in your life than not. I’m still on the fence about trying to find my birth mother (I’ll never find my birth father since he has no idea I ever existed), but now that I have a son of my own I almost think maybe she would want to meet him, but then again maybe she is better off not knowing what happened to me.
Yes, I am glad that I reconnected. However, I’m not sure if you know the backstory, but a lot of people think I am crazy for doing what I did this weekend.
Reconnecting with family is great…I go and visit my grandmother pretty every year on her birthday (she turned 91 last summer) and it is a big gathering of family. Even family that live close to me, but I rarely see. Time really flies, but being with family and seeing them is very special.
Yes, it is great!
I am so glad that reconnecting with your family went well. I am not as close to my aunts (my mom’s sisters) as I would like to be, and my dad’s brother lives near my parents, but I was finally able to see him when I visited last month. Great score on the hotel room, too! Good luck with the rest of your wedding planning.
Thanks! And that is great that you were finally able to see him.
Our grocery budget went to hell this month ($75 over!) because we’re moving in a week and haven’t wanted to buy groceries. We ate Subway 8 times this month!
Wow that’s a lot of Subway!
Budget and the Beach says
Glad you got to reconnect with your family. I’m sure that wasn’t easy given all that you’ve been through! I’ve been doing great with the eating well and working out. I think fincon was a low point for me with that, so I’ve been really motivated. I haven’t been spending much either…again…fincon.
Yes, it was hard, but I am so happy that we reconnected.
Todd @ Fearless Dollar says
Congrats on getting fully full time!! I’m sure you’ll do great 🙂
I feel ya on the healthy piece. I was working out and eating so strict leading up to going to Cabo this June for work. I just have gone off the rails since then, and I’ve got the flu bug twice in the past 6 weeks. Combined with traveling and road trips it’s tough. Hopefully getting back from Chi-town re-energizes you!!
Thank you Todd! That stinks about the flu 🙁
Glad to hear everything worked out with your family Michelle! Cheers to new beginnings 🙂
Thank you 🙂
Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt says
I’m really pleased you managed to reconnect with your family Michelle. 🙂 Sometimes it’s hard to move on from issues with family members but life can be too short. Sounds like most other areas are going really well, enjoy your wedding planning tasks this week! So much fun. 🙂
Thank you Hayley. And yes you are right about family.
Family is everything! Good health is an ongoing effort and going well.
Ha I have like no family. It’s like 95% W’s family!
Glad the family stuff went well! That can be so tricky.
We were engaged for 6 months, so you definitely still have time! 🙂 And even though you’re inviting 250 people, they probably won’t all come – we invited 120ish and only 60 attended.
Thank you Amanda!
And yes, they won’t all come, but we are still expecting at least 200 of them to come (most have already said yes).
Tushar @ Everything Finance says
I didn’t realize that your wedding was coming up so soon. How exciting, you must be looking forward to it. I love Chicago. You are fortunate that you have family there. I don’t know what is involved in installing a garage door, so I can’t say whether you should get somebody to do it, but I feel like it would be difficult.
Thank you! 🙂
Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans says
That’s so great that you got to reconnect with family!
Thank you Lisa!
Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says
Glad you are reconnecting wit your family. In my family on my dad’s side, family relations are actually getting worse sadly, but on my mom’s side they’re getting better. I think a big part of family relations improving is a desire on both sides to reconnect… if one side doesn’t want things to get better, it’s not worth trying.
Hope the vacation goes well!
Yes, I agree! It was very hard, but I’m glad I did it.
Betsy @ ConsumerFu.com says
It’s wonderful that you are reconnecting with family before the wedding. You can definitely finish the planning in seven months. I hope you will update with the planning progress…especially if you find new ways to save money on wedding essentials.
Thank you Betsy!