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Karl and Heather's Journey:

A Week of Firsts

This has been a week of firsts for Team Duncan. Heather and I kicked it off with a live interview on NBC15’s five-o’clock news. We were the first of Project Money’s four teams to talk about our progress and learnings with Leigh Mills. As each week passes, the once uncomfortable feelings of openly talking about financial challenges, budget and money smarts is getting easier. Hopefully you are becoming more open to these discussions with family and friends as well.

We then sent our eldest daughter Shannon to Whitewater for pom & dance camp with her West High School Dance Team. There were added expenses to supply her with snacks, provisions and a little spending money for the four-days away from home...hopefully we will get some change back! Kudos to the team for placing first in their routine competition! We believe the benefits of experiences like this (building confidence, teamwork and physical activity) are worth the expense.

So with one daughter away, you’d think we could sit back and relax. Not Team Duncan. We instead embarked on the overdue chore of repainting Shannon’s room. For anyone that knows Heather, there is one thing she cannot stand and has never done (until now)…painting a room white. Of Course that was Shannon’s requested color, so white it is. Here is our tip: shop first at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. We bought paint, rollers and brushes for a fraction of the cost at home improvement stores, and the money goes towards an awesome community-focused initiative.

We like to joke that Hadley is our ‘cheap’ daughter. Never in the sense of being frugal, but due to the fact that she does not ice skate competitively. Well this week has been a big one for her in the form of braces! We’ve known they were coming for a few years, and now they have landed. Thankfully we are able to spread-out the payments over multiple months, but it’s still money out instead of money into savings. This week is also the first time I’ve seen spaghetti, sausage and pancakes cut into mouse-sized bites, but still chewed like they are a tough steak…we are promising her it will get better!

And last but not least, was our first attendance since I don’t know when at Concerts on the Square. We packed a yummy picnic basket, a cooler of drinks and blankets for a free evening of spending time with friends and great music. Unfortunately we under-packed kiddo food and Phoebe called us out on it. After a trip down food-cart lane, we jointly decided that Subway was our cheapest and healthiest option. True to form in what we’ve learned through Project Money, Phoebe & Hadley made good on the fact that they were eligible for a free cookie! It required them voicing this fact to our sandwich artist…first time and likely not the last for this type of request!

Karl Heather August 2 BlogKarl Heather August 2 Blog 2

As we come to the end of July, our August horizon promises back-to-school, end of summer and large ice skating expenses. Sounds like a blog for next week!


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