<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
You are viewing: Main Page
 

Christmas Gifts, Dungeons and Dragons, Insurance and More

November 7th, 2019 at 01:00 pm

I've purchased several Christmas gifts this week. I have bought two items each for our daughter's. I also made a photo book for my husband through SnapFish. It is full of pictures of him and our daughter's. I originally planned to do the photo book for Father's Day but I didn't stay motivated and focused. I finally made the effort and got it done. It will be delivered by next Saturday and I paid $27 with shipping.

Our youngest daughter is starting to play Dungeons and Dragons with some new university friends. Does anyone have experience and point me to a book or something that might be helpful as she learns the game? I thought it would make a great Christmas gift.

Our renters and auto insurance payment made it on to our credit card yesterday. I do have the full amount saved, $2,616. I recalculated how much I need to save monthly in order to have enough to pay future bills and the registrations on all three cars and came up with $366. I had increased our savings after we got our daughter's car in May, but didn't quite start it soon enough, so I had to play catch up this last month. I'm primarily posting this for my own record.

With Veteran's Day coming up, the stores are offering all sorts of discounts. Amazon is offering their Prime Membership to military affiliated individuals for $79, which is $40 off the regular price. We actually just renewed in September, but I went ahead and took advantage of the offer. This extends our membership until September 2021.

I think we will do some clothes shopping this weekend for a few needed items we need and want before the holidays. We will attempt to take advantage of some discounts, but at the same time not spend too much money!

Big Goal Savings: October

November 5th, 2019 at 05:25 am

While we continue to pay ourselves back for the car down payment we continue to send money to our savings goal. As of last month we are 35.2% complete.

October Big Goal Additions
Paycheck 10/1 $175.00
Paycheck 10/15 $175.00
Total Interest $188.52
Total $538.52
New YTD Big Goal Total $8,032.22
New Big Goal Total $71,017.67

October brings us to 35.5% of goal. Still heading in the right direction!

Paying Ourselves Back: October Update

November 5th, 2019 at 05:18 am

We are paying ourselves back for money we put down on our daughter's car in May. I am putting all sources of extra funds towards that goal. Here's what I found in October:

US Bank $12.52
Chase Rewards $11.45
Amex Rewards $70.38
Boxed Amex Offer $15
ATM Rebate $3.00
Coop Rebate $8.99
eBay Sales $10.36
Pinecone Surveys $3.00
Extra travel funds $28.72
USAA Reward $1.00
Total $164.42

I think I earned a $25 Amazon gift card through Swagbucks, but it looks like I didn't add that to YNAB as a deposit. I will let that slide. I need to be a little more careful, making sure to put the equivalent into savings when I earn one of those!

Prior Payback Balance: $1,724.18
New Payback Balance: $1,559.76

Progress has been a little slower recently. Our auto and renters insurance is so high here and we had to adjust our sinking fund so that could get paid on time. Otherwise I might have had some extra funds to through at it.

October 2019 Interest Earned

November 5th, 2019 at 05:01 am

Here's the interest we earned on our cash savings last month:

FNBO $63.76
NFCU $124.73
USAA $0.03
Total $188.52

This money is saved towards our Big Goal. I will update that in another post. I think back to when we earned very small amounts of interest each month. I never once used that interest to pay debt, it has always been saved. It's a great habit that I am glad we established!

Are you tracking your interest? Do you save it or spend it?

We Were Boozed: Update

October 25th, 2019 at 04:43 am

I loved all the replies on my post about being Boozed!! It is interesting, odd, yet a little fun all at the same time! My post may have sounded a bit negative, but I am all about being neighborly. We live on base, so these are coworkers and fellow military members and families. We support each other in fun and work.

This is what we received.



Note this

Text is flyer and Link is https://www.misterretro.com/boozed
flyer, which is what you put on your door once you have been Boozed, so people know not to hit your home again!

Originally, I was just going to do one basket, but decided I would rather pass on some of what was in our original basket. The flyer stated to give two baskets, which I found a bit odd. I don't think that is what the other neighbors had been doing.

I purchased a bottle of red wine for $6.49 at our local exchange on base. I also bought a small fall themed candle, a Halloween themed pail, a 3pk of purple glow sticks, and a 2pk of orange curly ribbon. Each item was a $1 at Dollar Tree, so I spent $4.37 with tax. In total I spent $10.86.

I purchased the above items with a specific family in mind, a coworker of my husband, his wife and three daughters. They had not been Boozed yet. The glow sticks were for the kids. The wine and candle for the couple. I added candy to both baskets from two large bags I bought last month and have had in my freezer.

The second basket, was made up of the pail and the bottle of wine given to us. I changed the tissue paper in it and added the candy. I wrapped the wine in the brown bag the other wine came in and wrapped it with a ribbon. The reason I put it in the bag is because some neighbors are posting on the group Facebook page and I didn't want it to look like the one we received. I have decided NOT to post our basket, but I think I will post a thank you for the one we received.

So after dark, I went out and dropped them off. I did purposely ring the doorbell to alert them, so that no teens would have the opportunity. I know for a fact both were taken inside rather quickly!

The family of my husband's coworker posted a picture of the basket we gifted on Facebook with a huge thank you for the treats. That alone made the effort and a little money spent well worth it. Who knows what the other family thought!

Here's the two baskets:

Ultimately, I know this activity was to promote community and bring smiles to faces. It wasn't intended to upset or cause anyone to spend a lot of money. I feel okay about passing on the wine and the bucket, as I knew we wouldn't use them. The vodka shot is up to my husband to use, and I stuck that spider web decoration up in the transom window on our front door. Maybe someone will notice on Halloween that I 'decorated'!

Except for the Halloween trick or treaters that is the extent of our celebrations! Although, I'm tempted to make a costume for that night consisting of a sign I wear that says 'mosquito bait'. The mosquitos were so bad last year we came in early by nearly an hour from handing out candy. And from what we can tell they are bad again this year!! Help!!

We Were Boozed!

October 24th, 2019 at 05:17 am

We are living on base and our circle of probably 50 homes is playing that game where you drop off a basket of alcohol (thus the term boozed) for Halloween. We were boozed last night. I'm not sure I'm really a fan. This sort of reminds me of the pressure to do work gift exchanges. The Facebook post said there would be instructions to opt out if you were boozed, but don't want to participate. That was not the case. Only instructions on how to pass it along, which I guess technically could mean I could pass the basket we received to the next person.

Our basket was a purple Halloween themed plastic bucket, probably from Dollar Tree, with sweet Rose wine and a mini shot bottle of vodka, along with about ten pieces of candy. Oh there was some crinkle paper in there for stuffing and a huge (also plastic) spider web decoration (also probably from Dollar Tree). I don't decorate for Halloween, so the bucket and the decoration are basically not something I want to keep. We also don't drink sweet wine OR vodka!

Part of me wants to just play along and spend the $10 to buy some alcohol. Another part of me wants to figure out how play along on the cheap. I wish I could pass on the basket and decoration without feeling guilty. I know for sure our gift came from our direct next door neighbors. I saw her walk up to the porch last night. I feel like I could find something to wrap around the bucket to make it look a little different, but probably not on the decoration. I could also just buy beer and put as many as could fit. No one said it has to be wine! I could also put an orange ribbon on six pack of bottle beer and call it good.

So...play along with me. What would YOU do? Would you participate? Would you go out all out? How would you make it frugal?

(Oh, and I'm think we might just pass the sweet Rose wine to a coworker of my husband's at Christmas, assuming she drinks alcohol)

A Razor Story

October 22nd, 2019 at 12:50 pm

Over a year ago I found a deal on the razor blades my husband likes. He only started using them in the last six months, and recently mentioned he didn't think they were good. He said he kept cutting himself. Darn, maybe they sell production seconds off in bulk for less?

He had seen those Harry's razors at Target awhile back and seemed intrigued, but was still using up the bad batch of razors. I should clarify the blades worked, but wouldn't last as long before he started cutting himself.

Harry's blades can also be found online and I think I had a MyPoints or Swagbucks deal to try them for free (plus shipping). So they sent a blade, razor handle and small can of shaving gel for about $3 in shipping. He really liked the blades and the handle. We decided to let them send a batch of 8 blades for $16. And because he liked the gel too, we added that to the order for another $6. No shipping costs added this time.

I'm not usually a fan of these subscription services, so we will see how this works in the long run. I thought I'd mention it in case anyone wanted to try Harry's out.

Text is This link and Link is harrys.com/invite/wmjkx7
This link is for $5 off your second box. We also will get $5 off our next box, if you use our link.

What do you buy on subscription service? Do you have a favorite razor blade?

Some Good Money News

October 20th, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Almost done with the FAFSA, just waiting on my daughter to give me some information so I can complete it. I know she's busy with a visit from her sister and my parents today, so later today or tomorrow we should be done! And it wasn't quite as bad as I remembered. It helps to import the information from the IRS.

I redeemed over $70 in American Express rewards towards our Big Savings Goal.

And the best news is that YNAB did offer us an extended trial period of four months for the new web version that I have switched to. I didn't see their email until now, but they responding to my military discount pretty quickly with this offer. So far I seem to be able to adjust to the new version. I still don't use it exactly like intended, but it still helps us track what we want.

My husband travels some this week, so groceries should be a little lower. I don't have a lot on hand so I will need to stop at the store mid week.

College Next Year? FAFSA Time!

October 19th, 2019 at 07:46 am

As of October 1, anyone who will be attending college or higher education next year (Fall 2020) can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Schools often have deadlines for you to complete these in order to be eligible for some type of aid.

I always dread it for some reason. Up until this year we took out zero student loans. Technically, our daughter took it out. It is a bit of a mute point if you don't even intend to use them, but we did find out with our youngest daughter's college that they use the FAFSA to determine grant money the University offers. Our daughter received $1200 her first year and $1000 for this school year. It will be interesting to see if that goes away since our FAFSA info will reflect she is our only student in college next year.

We are grateful for not needing to take out very many student loans. Will you fill out the FAFSA for yourself or your children this year?

Same. A Few Snowflakes and A Large Bill.

October 17th, 2019 at 07:31 am

I also haven't felt as compelled to write here, although I don't think it is directly related to the recent hack. I'm starting to focus on other areas rather than financial as the year comes to a close.

I have had a couple small eBay sales, with the one yesterday resulting in me under charging for shipping. I must not have weighed correctly or at all. I still made a couple dollars, but it was a bit disappointing as I had accepted a lower offer. All is good though, less things in my home!

There was a capital credit for $8.99 that we received from an electric company from two homes ago. Glad I updated our address so we could receive it.

Our electric bill has been under the average so sometime in the next month we will get a refund of $60+. It's been a few months since we received on, and I can't remember how long it takes the money to arrive.

Our insurance for all of the three cars we own plus the outrageous renter's insurance for this location is going to be charged to our card at the beginning of November. The charge is over $2,600. Luckily I had $1900 already saved, but I think I had not adjusted quick enough when we added our daughter's car in May. I add more, but I'm still a bit short, but will get it all adjusted and paid by the credit card due date. It just feels like so much money it makes me sick and is probably one of the top two reasons, I'm ready to move as soon as possible. And yes, I have done some checking on lower rates to no avail. There are a few other places to check, but I don't feel hopeful so I keep putting it off.

So that is what is going on from a financial sense. Keep moving forward right?!

Stocking Up At Boxed

October 3rd, 2019 at 03:58 pm

I really don't stock up on things when I shop. Occasionally, if I see a really good deal, I will pick up extras. I guess I just like to know that I am only spending what I need, and not any more, and not any less.

This time of year I often stock up on personal care items and household goods to cut down on the need to keep up on having these things on hand during the busyness of the holidays.

I already bought the Halloween candy that we will hand out when Target had a 40% off Cartwheel offer last week. It's in the freezer and I haven't been tempted once!

Today, I bought quite a few things at the commissary. Toilet paper, tissues, Vitamin C, bar soap, dishwasher detergent, trash bags, dish soap, Bar Keepers Friend, toothpaste, laundry detergent, hair mousse, shaving cream and toilet bowl cleaner. The commissary has pretty good deals on these things, as general prices are 30% less than retail. I was able to use coupons which took $10.75 off the total! I spent $74.32.

I also went online and stocked up on even more toilet paper with

Text is Boxed.com and Link is https://www.boxed.com/invite/QV6LX
Boxed.com. I was motivated by a $15 off $75 purchase if I used my American Express card. In addition to toilet paper (64 rolls), I picked up 5 sticks of deodorant for my husband, and liquid hand soap refill. I added on a six count package of those small tissue packs (stocking stuffer) to get my total with tax just over the $75 mark at $75.97. The
Text is Boxed link and Link is https://www.boxed.com/invite/QV6LX
Boxed link above will give you $15 off your first $60 order, if interested. Or check your American Express card for their current offers.

It's a big outlay of cash, but it feels good to stock up and know that I don't have to add in these extras to the grocery list to an otherwise spendy and busy season!

Welcome Back!

October 1st, 2019 at 10:56 am

Well, it seems the site may be up, but posts only updated through mid April 2019. I haven't looked around much to see what is missing.

I had about given up! Some of us have been connecting by email and Facebook to figure out a new plan. More work to do to figure out where our rendezvous point is if the site goes down permanently.

I had made a financial blog on Blogger quite a while back, called Our Money Blog. I put some posts up that may have even been duplicates from here. But over time I stopped. Today, I posted a revival post.

I'm just going to send you

Text is there and Link is https://ourmoneyblog.blogspot.com/2019/10/the-end-of-saving-advice-starting-over.html
there for an update on our interest, big goal and down payment repayment goals...check out how I was able to recreate the starting points without this blog available to help!