The Swan Life: September 2016

Swan Life

The Swan Life: September 2016

Hello internet friends! This is Lucy… aka Mrs. Green Swan. Remember me from the BS Support Group?! I’ve been behind the scenes for quite a while now. Sometimes I act as an idea bouncer when Mr. Green Swan comes up with post ideas, sometimes I’m a blog editor proof reading the posts and each week I’m the design director (all the title pictures are made by yours truly). Today I’m stepping outside the norm and am actually writing the post myself. No, Mr. Green Swan didn’t request the day/week off, he actually asked if I would be interested in writing something from my perspective. Disclaimer: I’ve never found myself to be much of a creative writer, but this will be fun!


The main intent of this post (and possibly subsequent ones… if you guys like this) is to switch things up a bit and give an update on our last month. What trips did we take (work and personal), what new ideas did we come across to help save money, maybe even an update on how smart our son is getting (seriously he surprises me all the time, I have to remind myself he’s a little boy and not a baby anymore). You all know we have lives outside this blog. That includes full time jobs, daycare pickup/drop off and for me a bit of work travel.


The month of September started off with a Labor Day trip to St. Louis for Mr. Green Swan’s brother’s wedding. It was one of those trips that was on the books for a while and we took a couple extra days to spend time with family. The trip included airfare (for three, our son is over two now… ouch!), a hotel for four nights, wedding gift and wedding apparel (both Mr. Green Swan and our son were in the wedding which meant 2 tuxes… and trust me just because it’s a miniature version doesn’t mean the price drops drastically). There were multiple large expenses, but when you look at a wedding for a close family member like this, it’s all worth it. We cut costs by packing some food for a quick meal in the morning and scheduled our flights according to what was economical.

Other travel this month was my work trip to New Jersey. This actually took place right after the bombings that were in NJ and NYC and when the unrest in Charlotte came to a head. My mom texted me and asked if we were all ok here in Charlotte… I responded and said “yea no worries, I’m in NJ.” I didn’t put her mind at ease. All is well for us though and I was happy to be home after this long work trip. Of course a work trip like this doesn’t require financial critique… it was all expensed. On the other hand when I travel for work I usually get some amazing food (for free!) Score.

Right after I returned home from NJ, Mr. Green Swan flew up that direction to attend a college football game. Did I mind he went without me? Nah, I was offered to join, but turned it down. Sometimes when you’re on the road and away from home you just want to go back to what is comfortable. He had a great time though and our team pulled out the W. Even better… he stayed with a friend which meant no hotel cost. And you all know Mr. Green Swan, he researched flights well and got a great deal.

The iPhone

Remember the post about Mr. Green Swan’s journey to replace his cracked phone screen? I felt like he made it sound like everything went so smooth. I also like the fact that when he has an idea for a project it somehow gets put on my list too. Oh, you want to clean out the garage this weekend? Well I suppose that means I’ll be joining you. What, you bought a screen replacement and will watch YouTube videos for a “how-to?” Guess I better watch those videos too. Well in the end it all worked out well so I guess I should stop complaining.

Fall Clothes

You’ll hear more about this from Mr. Green Swan, but one other highlight from our month was a killer clothes shopping spree at the consignment shop for our son.


Like I mentioned earlier, our son is growing up before our eyes. He forms complete sentences, tells us what he wants and how he feels (with the exception of the times he’s so worked up or mad he can’t communicate it). He’s been such a joy.

Can I share a complete parent fail we had this month? As Mr. Green Swan touched on in The Frugal Millionaire post, we commute to work together (great to save on parking and gas!) We chose a daycare near work so we could swing by after and not get anxiety that we’d be late due to bad traffic or whatnot. In essence daycare is nowhere near our house.

Well one day this week we both thought the other one had grabbed our son’s socks and shoes. Nope, neither of us did. The daycare ladies we dropped him off to seemed like it would be no big deal, but Mr. Green Swan got a call a couple hours later from the Director letting us know he needed shoes. Mr. Green Swan had to actually take an early lunch and run by a nearby Walmart to buy a cheap pair of shoes. We both agreed that would be a better option than running all the way home and back (would probably take an hour!) Not even sure my son actually likes these shoes… You live and you learn.

So that is basically our September in a nutshell. You know what, this was kind of fun to look back and remember where we went, what we ate, what we did this last month. Thanks for being an audience that allowed me to ramble on.

Let me know what you think of this type of post. Should I continue? Who out there had some fun trips this past month?


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Jon @ Be Net Worthy

Thanks for posting Lucy, nice to hear from you again. I for one, enjoyed the fresh perspective and would love to hear from you more often! As for the shoe incident, I remember when our kids were small and getting everyone dressed and out of the house on time is a major challenge, so don’t feel bad!

My wife is also the design director for my site – I prefer to call her the VP of Design, but I have been unsuccessful in getting her to write a post yet. Maybe soon!


Glad to hear I’m not the only one to sometimes struggle to get out of the house in one piece. I also like the VP of Design title. Thanks! -Lucy

Dividends Down Under

Hi Lucy! It’s great to hear from you. I think it’s wonderful to read your point of view, you’re half of the blogging & financial team 🙂 My wife does a similar role, she does all the pictures, pinterest and things like that.

I really like JW’s posts, but it’s nice to read your insight into what everyday things you guys get up to. The only similar incident I can think of is when I thought I’d lost my public transport card so my wife brought me a spare one (turns out it was in a different section of my wallet that I NEVER EVER use – I’d always put it in the same spot before, except then). It was nice being with her though.



Thanks Tristan! Yea we thought it would be a fun way to mix things up a bit, but also reflect back on the month. Life passes so fast (especially when most of it is spend chasing a 2 year old). I may not normally be the one writing these posts, but believe me, I hear all about them and feel so close to the action. -Lucy

Apathy Ends

Welcome back Mrs. Swan!

I like the Swan family updates – classic move by Mr swan to get some help on the projects 🙂

I ran around the neighborhood without shoes all the time – they are just a formality


Yea I thought the same thing about shoes and figured he’d be just fine… but daycare thought otherwise and thought of it as an injury risk. Glad you liked the update! -Lucy

Full Time Finance

Ive done similar things to your shoe experience but the worst was one time my killed spit up on me on the day of a big work meeting. Like you work and day care were close at the time but home not so much. Ultimately I just went around with a spot all day and explained to my boss afterward. He said he use to keep a spare set of clothes in his car for such an occasion.


Oh man that does sound bad! It wasn’t full on spit up, but I did get what I consider “baby goobers” on the shoulder of my suit jacket one day. Luckily I do keep multiple of those in my office for convenience. I also like to think of it as a badge of motherhood. -Lucy


Ha! That’s a great post – the “truth” takes flight…!

I say “truth” because that’s the way it is in the Libre household. There’s my version, and then there’s the truth. Which happens to be Lady Libre’s version. And, like you, the Lady gets invited to join me in half-baked schemes like garage cleaning. Which simply means she’s there to fix everything I screw up.

Glad I’m not the only one, and glad she’s not the only one! Great job, by the way, on the pictures/designs. Very professional!

(P.S. I like this type of post, and hope there’ll be more in the future. Great work!)

Mrs. Mad Money Monster

I love reading these kinds of posts – keep it up 🙂 I always find it super interesting to see how other people spend their time and money. Family weddings are always a worthwhile expense. We’ve been fortunate in that we haven’t had to travel too far for any weddings recently. We do have a mini-weekend getaway planned for October. We’re heading to Salem, Mass (road trip) to show our daughter a little piece of New England. It will be an expense – but one we’ve prepped for and one that will provide us with lasting memories. Score and score!

Good call on buying the new shoes for your little guy at daycare. Sometimes the hassle and the time/money spent on travel isn’t worth the expense of a few dollars out-of-pocket.

Cheers to an awesome October!

Mrs. Mad Money Monster


You’re exactly right, family weddings are so important and worth the spend. We actually had 2 family weddings this year so we joked that we broke the budget when it comes to travel and gifts 🙂 Enjoy your Salem trip! -Lucy


Hi Lucy! These types of updates add a lot of character to blogs. It’s nice to get to know the people behind the posts. I can sympathize with the shoe story. We’ve had an issue with leaving a cherished blankie or stuffed animal at daycare, over the weekend, when it was locked up inside. It’s actually happened a couple times and I may have seriously considered breaking in to rescue the captive animal or blanket. But, miraculously, the kids survived the harrowing ordeal.

Looking forward to hearing about a fun October 🙂


Thank you, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this post! Oh my that does sound like a disaster. I would consider ourselves lucky when I say our son has never gotten attached to a blanket, stuffed animal or anything. The one thing he’s attached to is the Minions Movie. Anytime we let him turn on the TV it’s always that darn movie! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great movie. I just wish he could branch out a bit… -Lucy

Financial Panther

Great to hear from you Mrs. Green Swan and great to hear that your last month went well. Those wedding travel costs definitely probably added up. We got a bit lucky on that front this year. We had a ton of weddings to attend in 2015, but for whatever reason, 2016 has been a slow wedding year for us.

Stefan - The Millennial Budget

Hi Lucy! Definitely a nice switch up and different perspective on what is gong on with the Swan family.

Love how you pointed out how you have to get involved with any of his DIY projects. My girlfriend complains about the same haha. Think you two made the right decision just buying a pair of cheap shoes nearby than taking a one hour trek to home and back. Sure you won’t be forgetting the shoes anymore!

Looking forward to your October update.


Thanks Stefan! Oh yes it’s inevitable for me to get pulled into DIY projects. It’s to the point where I don’t even ask, I assume and add it to my list too 🙂 -Lucy

Maggie @ Northern Expenditure

OH man… the amount of last minute things purchased for my children because they lost a shoe, forgot a swimsuit, burn in 30 seconds in the sun, etc. is LONG and they don’t even go to daycare… so don’t beat yourself up about it. I firmly believe the biggest money suck of children is the immediate purchase needs (oh, you need XYZ for school… TOMORROW?! no planning ahead for that!)


Ahhh yes the last minute requests for school is a good point. Something we haven’t gotten to quite yet (meaning no school supplies, costumes, etc.) Good to keep in mind, thanks! -Lucy


Ha! The toddler shoes story is classic. We do what we have to do under the circumstances, don’t we? Sometimes frugality flies out the window with other priorities and practical considerations. It gets better with two kids. More minor dramas. By the way, congratulations ! So exciting.


good idea to switch it up. I love your story about the shoes. we have 5 kids and have stuff like that happen all the time. we often show up at church and our youngest doesn’t have shoes – thankfully people have been understanding. To our faces at least 🙂

FF @ Femme Frugality

September is a great month for travel! Glad you guys are okay, though. I have a cracked screen… Might get me in on that goodness, too. 😛 It’s good to hear that someone else has a toddler that sometimes mutes themselves with emotions, too!


Yes please do share when you fix your phone screen. Toddlers bring great joy and frustration… sometimes within the same minute. But we love them!


Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions

I love these kinds of posts Lucy! It’s great to see “typical” life stories and expenses – helps when connecting online. Congratulations too! Such an exciting time. We just had a wedding this weekend (my step-daughter) – stressful but a beautiful event too!

Martin - Get FIRE'd asap

Jeepers, hasn’t the world changed when a kid can’t run around without shoes on anymore. I recall, as kids, we didn’t wear shoes at all, even to school, until we finished primary school aged around 10 or so. Not even in winter.

Nice to hear from you Lucy and hear your own perspective on living the Green Swan lifestyle. Helps keep that JW honest too hehe.

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