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Confessions of a Shopaholic on a Non-Shopaholic Budget

Hi y’all,

My name is Lindsey and I’m a shopaholic. Shocker? Not exactly.

However, I definitely do not make the money or have the savings to be a shopaholic. Now it is time to start saving my money instead of spending it. As an adult, I definitely have some “major” purchases coming up in the future that I will need savings in order to afford without a struggle.

We all just saw how bloggers posted left and right about the #nsale. I shopped it to. However, I will say over 3/4 of my purchases are going to be returned. I shop at Lilly Pulitzer, granted my shopping habits for there have changed drastically since I worked for a signature store. I shop at Loft, J. Crew Factory especially their sales when they are store/site wide. I’ve been a sucker for those “amazing discount codes” that seem to just pop up-every single day.

How many times have we been suckered into “sales” when the product really ended up only being like $2 less expensive, or worse you spent money to “save” money. Meaning, you spent more money compared to what you actually wanted to spend, typically so you can get free shipping. I’ve done it, especially if I thought the item might get returned because I knew the shipping wasn’t going to get refunded and then I’d be out that money anyway. Which, speaking of shipping, has your shopping habits gotten worse compared to when you only shopped in stores? Hands down mine has.

While, at this point, you’re probably using things like Rakuten (formally Ebates), Swagbucks, cash back credit card, coupons, etc. No amount of these things will ever put that money back in your pocket. Once you have spent that money, you’ve spent it (unless you return it). I use a mixture of the above mentioned “money saving” techniques. However, the money you get in return is always less than what you spent. I will say the plus side to these types of things, is you are earning something back when you need to spend money. For instance, I have a cash back credit card. I’m helping my credit score and I get a little something back (between 2 and 3%) on purchases when I need to spend money, like on food, gas, etc. I have to spend this money because it is on necessities. I have to eat, I have to go places. The fact I get a little money back (albeit not much) is a bonus. Now, I would suggest booking a trip though a site like these, because you are spending money (typically a larger sum of money) and this is a great way to get a “deal” and get some money back, but do your research first and make sure that you’re saving money.

One of those things is a house. I currently live in central Virginia, home of a major University. This means rent is really expensive. On top of that, it is now a major area for weddings thanks to all the vineyards and breweries. The average rent in my area for a 1 bedroom apartment (for just rent-no utilities, extras, etc.) is about $1600. This is not sharing with someone in a 2 bedroom apartment, just a single person looking for a 1 bedroom apartment. Houses typically start (in a good neighborhood) around $350,000. The sad part-that is an older home that has been around since the 1970s. The “bedroom” communities that surround the town are not any better. They have raised rents, prices, etc. to match what it costs to live in town.

I want a Master’s degree. I want my Master’s Degree to become a Reading Specialist. As a teacher, no one is going to help fund my degree except myself or some grants and scholarships if I’m lucky. Education does not have the same fellowships, etc. that other speciality areas have. I am very fortunate that I graduated from college and completed my teaching license debt free. I worked during college both on campus and my senior year had a job at home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring breaks. After graduation, I worked at this job for about 11 more months before leaving to start my career in education.

I want to have a solid savings. As a single person (and even thinking about my future family), I want to make sure that I have money to not only support myself but save for the future. As cliché as it is, you never do know what the future holds and I want to be prepared.

So, my confession is that yes I’m a shopaholic. However, I am working on changing that because the things I want are far more important than buying everything I see and “like”. You know, those things I will wear one time and then “lose” or not have a purpose for.

6 Ways to help the Shopaholic:

1. Hide or put away your credit cards. I keep my credit cards that I use frequently in a different credit card wallet that is separate from my normal wallet. These are the cards that have a relatively small credit limit on them, and I use them to buy gas, food, etc. I’m know going to suggest cutting up your credit cards because having credit is valuable, and if you don’t have them you will never learn how to use them responsibly.

2. Delete company emails. Delete all those emails that tell you about sales. You don’t need to receive an email from every single company you have ever bought something from. Plus, if they do have sale that you want to shop, you’ll hear about via social media.

3. Unfollow company social media accounts. Shopped at the place on time? You don’t need to follow them on social media. Only follow the companies that add to your life. I also put my Like to Know It app in my social media folder, and it is on the second page so I can’t see it.

4. Skip the blog posts on sales. I follow several bloggers that once a week they post a “sales wrap up” post. You know, all those posts about the sales for the week or weekend. You don’t need these! I skip these every week and I have spent far less money since I began doing this because I’m not tempted.

5. Create and stick to your shopping list. Create a list and stick to it by not buying anything you did not go into the store for. If I’m going to Lilly Pulitzer, I look online and look before going into the store so I have an idea of what I’m looking for, a budget for the trip, and have an idea of what I might need the store to order.

6. Follow the 24 hour rule: if you see it in a store, wait 24 hours before buying. You can always go back to the store or order online.

What do you do to prevent spending unnecessary money?

xx,
Lindsey

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Teacher Tuesday: Organization

Hi y’all,

Today’s post is all about organization for the teacher, but depending on what your career is, you might find it interesting as well.

My first step is to find an organization system that works for you. I had seen multiple teacher’s organization systems thanks to a year and half as a TA, student teaching, and subbing across multiple schools.

I was super silly and just thought I could handle the system of putting papers/task cards/tests, etc. all in file folders, labeling them with the skill and that being okay. Well, it definitely wasn’t.

Luckily, I’m actually switching content areas from Math to Language Arts (or that was the plan at the end of the year). Which means, I get a “fresh” start when it comes to organization.

This year, I’m going to be using binders, sheet protectors, and dividers.

I’m going to split my binders into sections based off the standards being taught. Writing and Grammar will be one binder. Then, I will have another for fiction skills, another for non fiction skills, and a student information binder. This way, I can keep track of the important data without looking online.

Task cards are separate and will be in laminated envelopes. This way, the envelopes stay year after year, and are much cheaper compared to photo boxes from Michaels or Walmart. They are easily kept by the table I’m using for small groups, which means I can pick one whenever I need them.

For my lesson plans, I’m going to be using Google Docs again, so I can share them with other teachers/assistants as necessary. I do print these out as well, and keep them in their own binder so I always have a hard copy should someone need it. Plus, it is super easy to look back on in future years when planning.

What is y’alls organization system?

xx,
Lindsey

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A Weekend with Me: Target and Rodeo

Good morning y’all,

I wanted to share a weekend in my life.

Saturday, I spent 3 hours at Target. Which, yes sounds like a lot of time. I did some shopping for my classroom for the upcoming school year. Target is giving teachers a 15% off one time coupon to use this week, so I jumped on it. Everything I bought for my classroom was $5 or under! I’m switching to Language Arts this year, so I knew I would need some additional storage compared to last year. I also bought some stuff for flexible seating. What really took the longest was I ended up buying Airpods, and I struggled to find someone to help me. Who knew Target at 9 am on a Saturday would be so busy?

After Target, I went home and hung out for a bit. Then, we headed out to the local rodeo in a neighboring county. The rodeo was so much fun! Growing up riding English, I can say that this was definitely different from the shows I rode in.

Little cowboys got their try on the broncs first. Their broncs were little and I believe the youngest cowboy to try his hand was five. However, this was not part of the “official” rodeo, but it sure was cute.

The host farm’s Drill Team opened up the evening with a showcase ride. Then, they did the first round of the Bronc riding. My dad joked with me that I should have just ridden Western instead of English, but he definitely said he was glad I couldn’t try Bronc riding. Only eight cowboys made the eight second mark to compete in the second session. After the first round of the Bronc riding, they did some Mutton Busting.

Mutton Busting is for little ones to try their hand at riding a sheep. It was adorable! The kids also got right up after falling off, and were great sports about it.

Next, came Barrel Racing. The fastest rider was just barely over 16 seconds at 16.125 seconds. It was definitely interesting to watch the Barrel Racers warm up. It seems so different from how I was taught to school prior to a show.

After the cowgirls rode, the eight bronc riders that made the time got their chance at the second round. Not all of them ending up competing, one hurt his knee during the first round.

Overall, it was so fun to go and enjoy! As a rider of the opposite discipline it was so interesting to see and learn more about it.

On Sunday, I spend the day doing some work on the blog and learning more about Word Study for the upcoming school year.

What did you do this weekend?

xx,
Lindsey

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Teacher Tuesday: 5 Must Haves for the Classroom

Hi y’all,

So, I’m starting my second year of teaching in August! I’m still teaching 5th grade which I’m excited about.

As I’m starting to plan things out for the new school year, I thought about all the things I really needed and the things I didn’t need.

The items I ended up not necessarily needing:

1. Expo markers in colors. I ended up basically having a chalkboard with special paint on it to make it dry-erase. Colors don’t show up on it!

2. Teacher planner. I’m so glad I did not buy a super expensive planner because I ended up planning using Google Docs. I had an assistant and SPED teacher push into my classroom for part of the year, so this way they could see the plans and know what was going on. I still have a regular planner to write things down in for personal use and to look at when I’m planning, but I don’t write lessons in it or activities.

Must Haves:

1. A place for “my” stuff. I ended up buying a shelving unit from target, and it was a game changer! I also got 5 cubes to put it in. The other cube is for my books and binders, so I didn’t need something to “hide” them. Mine is white so it will go with any future classroom.

2. Personal laminator. Y’all this is a game changer! At my school, I cannot laminate things myself so I often would have to wait. For things I know I’m going to use year after year, I laminate it myself. I bought mine at Target, but you can find them at any mass merchandiser.

3. Pens. Keep a stockpile of your favorite pens. I love both flair and the ink joy ones. I also had them in a place where my students’ could not get to them unless they went behind my “personal space”.

4. A nice pencil sharpener. Get yourself a nice pencil sharpener, and don’t let your students use it to keep it safe. I bought this one during Prime Day last year and love it.

5. A good stapler. I highly underestimated how important a good stapler would be. I bought one from the dollar tree thinking that I wouldn’t use it very much since a lot of our classwork is virtual. Alas, I needed a good stapler, and the one I bought broke after a month. I ended up finding one on Amazon and love it.

Bonus: 6. Good white out. I didn’t buy white out at the beginning of the year, and I wish I had. Our tests have TEI questions (or questions where students can drag and drop answers around the screen). Well, when you print a TEI question, it fills in the answer automatically. White out was a necessity. I ended up buying the tape kind and the regular bottle type. The tape kind has virtually zero dry time which is super helpful.

What are your teacher must haves?

xx,
Lindsey

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Last Minute 4th of July Outfit Ideas

Hi y’all,
I ended up being a little overwhelmed by the class I’m taking; however, I feel like I have it a little more under control.

For today’s post, I wanted to bring to you simple, last minute 4th of July outfit ideas. I live in central Virginia, so it has been rather toasty here for about the past two weeks. The hot weather isn’t going anywhere, either.

Striped Smocked Racerback Tank (comes in white, too!) | Scalloped Halter | denim shorts | 
I absolutely adore the Melle dress! It is one of my all time favorite outlines that Lilly Pulitzer has ever done. It is quick and easy and so flattering. I also found a few pieces at Loft (like the halter and the smocked tank). They are totally affordable and you can mix and match them all summer long. The last item was a cute white denim skirt. Again, it’s something you can wear multiple times and can keep switching things up! 
All of these items are Virginia summer friendly. 
What are y’all wearing for the 4th?
xx,
Lindsey