This week’s featured finance blog is called Mom’s Plans. Melissa is the mind behind Mom’s Plans and does a great job in sharing her experiences as a stay at home mom. If you are interested in learning how to live frugally while raising a family, I encourage you to follow her articles. Her blog is a goldmine of money saving ideas including budget friendly menus to getting the best deals at restaurants or clothing stores.
Mom’s Plans is also on facebook and twitter (very cool pages too) so be sure to join the conversation there. (She has some great giveaways every now and then, so you definitely want to stay connected!)
Melissa, why did you start Mom’s Plans?
I started blogging at the end of March, 2009. I was home with my second child on a leave of absence, and I wanted to share all of the techniques we were using to save money. I had always loved writing, and the blog gave me a good outlet for that.
What’s the best deal/discount you’ve ever had when dining out?
Dining out is our weakness! I can’t remember one deal that sticks out. We use several techniques such as redeeming rewards cards from our credit card to get a $50 gift card to using Groupon and Restaurant.com. I also complain (nicely) when it is necessary. I went to Applebee’s a few weeks ago, and it took nearly two hours to get my food because I am dairy intolerant and no one in the restaurant knew which foods were made without dairy. Finally, I was served the panko battered shrimp which the waiter and cook said was fine; by that time I had called the manager over to complain, and he told me not to eat the shrimp because he thought it contained milk. Uggghhh. Long story short, the manager gave us our food for free and also gave us $15 to use on our next visit. (Before I go I will make sure to look online to see what is safe to eat!)
I am actually publishing an eBook this spring on ways to save when dining out.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse about money?
I am now on a leave of absence with my third (and last) child. I plan to quit my job in June when the leave of absence ends. However, I have a great deal of anxiety about this because my salary currently makes up the bulk of our income. (My husband will become the main breadwinner when he graduates with his Ph.D. this August.) I take great comfort in Matthew 6:25-34:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
What are your goals for your site in the next year?
I plan to publish an eBook, “Never Pay Full Price to Dine Out Again.” I also have another eBook that I will be working on. In addition, I plan to run a few series on frugal families and families that have survived unemployment.
Besides blogging, what do you like to do for fun?
I like to read and write. I also like playing with my kids and helping them learn. My 2 year old is working on her ABCs, and I work with my son on his homework every night. (He is working on telling time right now.) I am trying to convince the little one (11 months) that books are meant to be read, not eaten! Beyond that, I enjoy cooking and spending time with my husband. (We love date night whenever grandma is in town).
Give us 2 Truths and a 1 lie about yourself – something interesting, serious, or fun.
(We’ll reveal the lie at the end of the article)
1. I don’t eat chocolate.
2. I have seasonal affective disorder. (I am so happy spring is right around the corner!)
3. I have been to Korea.
How many states have you been to? What was your favorite/least favorite?
I have been to almost all of the states except those west of Texas, excluding California. On the other coast, I still have to get to Maine, which is where I hope we can take our next family vacation. Honestly, I have enjoyed visiting most states; it is amazing to me how different places within the same country can be.
What’s the latest book you’ve read? Any favorite books you’d recommend?
Recently I have been reading Working Writer, Happy Writer by Sue Lapointe. I would recommend it if you would like to make money as a freelance writer. I love any book by Amy Tan. I wish she would write some more!
Well, there you have it! If you guessed #3 to be the lie…you were correct! She’s been to China and Japan, but not Korea. Be sure to say HI to Melissa in the comments and stop by her blog Mom’s Plans to see what’s new over there!