Joni Smith

Joni Smith

Joni is a 38-year-old wife and mother in Kansas City. She started budgeting in 2013 and was able to quit her job as a computer programmer in 2017. Her family now has financial freedom, living successfully on only her husband's teaching salary. Joni enjoys finding simple ways to live the good life while saving money and the planet at the same time. Her hobbies include gardening, DIY projects, making self-improvement goals, and brainstorming ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Our Family Budget Results on My One-Year Quitting Anniversary

Our Family Budget Results on My One-Year Quitting Anniversary

My last day working in the corporate world as a salaried employee was August 31, 2017. I can’t believe it’s already been a whole year! That means I officially made it to my one-year quitting anniversary. My husband called it my “Quit-iversary” because he loves portmanteaus. 😜 He has also been the sole breadwinner for our family this past year because of me. As an elementary school teacher, he was pretty concerned about this situation, and the added pressure on…

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Transform Your Bathroom with Paint

Transform Your Bathroom with Only Paint

You can completely change the entire look of a room in your home simply by changing the paint on the walls. Conveniently, it’s also one of the cheapest things you can do to change up the look of your home! In fact, painting a room can often be just a weekend project! I was visiting a good friend over Labor Day weekend. She had moved out of state about a year ago and I was finally getting a chance to…

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Make your own farmhouse table - part 2

Make Your Own Farmhouse Table for $75 – Part 2: Finishing the wood

So you now have a farmhouse table with unfinished wood. (If you don’t and want to make your own, get instructions here. Or if you have any project with unfinished wood, read on for simple instructions to finish it.) That table wood definitely needs to be finished before use. Otherwise, you’re going to stain or scratch the table with things that you did not want to stain and scratch it with. Like food, crayons, water rings, milk, any liquids soaking…

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Make your own farmhouse table for $75

Make Your Own Farmhouse Table for $75

Our family dining table seated only 4 people comfortably. If we had any guests, it was embarrassingly small. We’d have to set up a folding table to make enough room. You can see what I mean in the image below.  That little dining table was bought for my first apartment after graduating from college.  I think I bought it and the dining room chairs for about $200 from Kmart nearly a decade and a half ago! So I did some…

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Trash to Treasure - DIY Patio Chair Transformation

Patio Chair – “Trash to Treasure” DIY Transformation

Do you ever pass furniture and random items that people have put out at the curb for trash pickup? Well, I recommend taking a closer look when that happens and you might find your next cheap and easy project! I’ve started doing this in the last few months and have picked up a coffee table (which just needed some screws tightened to make it like new again), a small desk (which I up-cycled into an entryway bench and garden supply…

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Save on all your online shopping with Ebates

Save on all your online shopping with this one simple tip

I was just recently reminded about a free way to easily get cash back on online purchases. I have been using Raise, Honey, Ibotta and Checkout51 to great success this year, and have saved more than $200 in the last 5 months. But I could’ve been saving even more that whole time! My sister actually sent me a referral for this other free cash back service nearly two years ago and I cringe when I think of how much money…

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Save on Salon Fees and Cut Your Long Hair Yourself

Long Hair? Save on Salon Fees and Cut It Yourself

Do you have long hair? Is it getting split ends? Does it just need a trim? Then cutting it yourself is the way to go. A few months ago, my long hair severely needed a haircut, but I wanted to save some money on salon fees. I don’t spend much time on my hair (or makeup, for that matter), partly because I don’t care and partly because I’ve never been able to figure out how to do it myself (ha…

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Never pay a late fee for overdue library books again

Never pay a late fee for overdue library books again

If you like to read and spend money on books, you’re going to want to read this post about the Overdrive app. I’ve been on a reading kick lately. It’s something I enjoy doing to relax and de-stress. I usually try to read self-improvement books. However, I’ve recently been reading a whole lot of books from my favorite genre: fantasy.  I’m hooked on the fantasy series The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. I’m currently on book 6- and that’s not…

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11 Facts that will make you want a cordless electric lawn mower

11 Reasons You Should Switch to a Cordless Electric Mower

Buying a cordless electric mower ten years ago has been one of the best purchases we’ve ever made!!! In fact, I feel that way about a lot of the electric items that we’ve switched to using over the years, like our electric car and robot vacuum cleaner. But back to the electric mower. Did you know that the average lifespan of a lawn mower is 8-10 years? If you have a traditional push mower, you’ll have all those years of…

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