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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!

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!

Update: Eating It All

April 4th, 2019 at 07:45 am

My husband has been out of town for work this week so I made a goal to eat primarily out of the fridge and not buy too many new groceries.

I've been eating green smoothies for breakfast consisting of 1c water, 2 c spinach, 1/2 mixed berries, and 1 TBS of chia seeds. Lunch and dinner have consisted of some sort of salad, a turkey sandwich, soup or some raw veggies. I'm not eating all of these in at one meal but two or three of them.

Today, I'm actually skipping breakfast to allow for a longer fast since I ate dinner last night.

In the past I've listed what I have in my fridge, freezer and pantry and then explained what I used up. This time I'll just explain what I have used and what I had to purchase.

I bought a small loaf of bread, four bananas, three small heads of broccoli, a red onion, green onion and spinach. These were bought on two different trips, so I think the cost had to be under $15, maybe even under $10.

I made broccoli salad which I was able to add two boxes of raisins from the cupboard and use up five slices of turkey bacon. This also used up the last in a jar of mayo. I ate this along with sandwich or soup for four meals.

I used up a slice of cheese on one sandwich, added three small slices of chicken to a salad, and ate some raw cabbage as a snack. Last night I put together a

Text is Smoky Quinoa and Black Bean Salad and Link is https://www.budgetbytes.com/smoky-quinoa-black-bean-salad/
Smoky Quinoa and Black Bean Salad which used up the quinoa in the pantry, the mini peppers in the fridge and some cooked kidney beans I had in the freezer. So tasty! I will eat that for lunch later.

There was a Vegan Lentil Stew in the freezer so I thawed that Tuesday night to have with my lunches and dinner. So that is used up!

I still have fresh produce to use up. I'm putting the last of the ginger root in my water for flavor. I also have some orange slices I could do the same with. I have two apples, two bananas a few celery sticks and carrots along with spinach. Oh, I did use up all the spring greens and half a tomato. I was putting these on my turkey sandwiches.

While I love the green smoothies I think the bananas are too much sugar. I will use them up, but I will not buy any more for awhile.

I basically have five meals left to make for myself. I feel like I still have plenty even though the pantry consists only of almonds, spices, nutritional yeast, pearled barley and lentils! I will keep my focus mainly on the fridge and fill in from the freezer if needed since there is a burrito and veggie burgers in there.

It feels good to not have to go shopping for almost a week and find that there is plenty in my house to keep me full and satisfied.

If you are eating it up this week or month, how is it going? Do you feel you have saved some money?

March Big Savings Goal Progress

April 2nd, 2019 at 11:33 am

Yay! Three months in a row I have remembered to update you on our Big Savings Goal progress.

$350.00 ($175 from each paycheck, two per month)
_$38.90 American Express CC Rewards
_$38.47 Discover Cash Back
__$5.33 Chase Freedom Rewards
__$8.55 US Bank Cash Bank
_$58.31 FNBO Interest Earned
$122.01 NFCU Interest Earned
__$5.61 USAA Interest and ATM rebates
__$20.00 Cash
$1,968.00 US Treasury Refund

$2,615.18 March Big Goal Total
$4,191.22 2019 YTD

$63,178.18 Previous Big Goal Balance
$67,369.40 New Big Goal Balance

33.68% of $200,000 Goal

We are very pleased with this progress! An unexpected tax refund is appreciated and makes a big difference. There is still a chance I will pull the refund (or part of it) back out depending on some upcoming expenses. However, I decided to go ahead and try to make it work without. I did not add any fuel savings this month, because we had $1800 in travel expenses in the last two months to cover. I simply needed that money to help make that happen. And finally, I marked $20 cash in my notes, so I'm not exactly sure where that money came from, but apparently I decided to add it to the goal.

March Interest Earned

April 1st, 2019 at 12:52 pm

Grateful for higher interest rates! The amount we earn each month keeps growing.

FNBO $58.51
NFCU $122.01
Total $180.52

Our interest earned funds our Big Goal each month!

Eat it All in April

March 28th, 2019 at 01:43 pm

My husband will be traveling next week. So I have a plan, just as I did earlier this year to eat up what we have in the fridge, freezer and cupboard. I have yet to decide exactly what my meals will be as we have several days until he leaves.

To be honest we don't have a lot in fridge or pantry. We really don't stock up ever. But as you know, if you buy a bag of rice you often don't eat it in one meal. So then you have a partial bag of rice.

My first goal will be to focus on using any perishables from the refrigerator. My second goal will be to use some things from the freezer. I know there is a lentil soup in there. I also have the equivalent of a can of kidney beans and some peas. The final goal would be to incorporate any items from the pantry. I have two small boxes of raisins, so I'd really like to make broccoli salad, but that would definitely require buying broccoli.

I'll report in next week and let you know how it's going. I figure I'll save some money buy limiting my grocery purchases for a week. Do you have food you could use up and sustain you for a few days before you go to the store again?

Home Inventory

March 25th, 2019 at 11:46 am

We have renter's insurance and have ever since we started renting. It is very expensive in our new location. I'm not sure now if we changed our coverages significantly. Our policy covers $50,000 replacement coverage. I think this is plenty as we are very pared down with our things compared to most people. I'm starting to question if it would be worth my time to actually inventory all of our belongings. The policy we have now also includes $100,000 personal liability coverage, with $5000 in medical payments. I'm wondering if our old policy even included this. I guess I need to go looking to see! Not sure if personal liability is worth having, as it appears to be nearly doubling our premium, which is $1,051 per year with a $1000 deductible. I did notice it includes flood insurance (which now that I have seen how easily that can happens is a very good thing).

Have you ever done a home inventory and included the replacement costs to figure your coverage needs? Any tips? If you didn't do an inventory, how did you decide on the amount to cover?

I know it seems like I should be savvy on this, but honestly, insurance has always been the last financial thing I tend to consider. We have always had auto and home/renter's. We have life and medical, but I'm no expert.

I'm currently reaching out to an agent to see if they can do better than our auto and renters policies with USAA. We have heard over the years that many insurance companies cannot compete with USAA. Although I do have one friend who did switch from USAA and found a much cheaper premium elsewhere on auto and home. So there is some hope.

Tax Refund Arrives Tomorrow

March 5th, 2019 at 07:58 am

Tax refund is pending in our second checking account right now. Somewhere I saw that it would arrive March 12. It's arrival is about a week sooner than I expected.

I really, really want to add this to the Big Goal. And I probably can, but then just back it out later if needed.

Another part of me thinks I should put it towards college tuition expenses since the refund can be directly attributed to taking the American Opportunity Tax credit.

I also know that I could send it various places too.

I think I'm conflicted about where to allocate it because of some bigger outflows happening right now. Spent over $800 on plane tickets for our daughters to come home for spring break. We need to pay the VA for the overpayment they sent the University (and University sent to us). I think there is something else too.

Once I work through my emotions and review our budget in YNAB a bit more, I think I can eventually make a decision. It's been several years since we had a refund and I wasn't expecting one...so I wasn't making plans on what to do with it!

I'll be back to let you know once I decide for sure!

February Big Goal Progress

March 2nd, 2019 at 06:23 am

In January, I wrote that I would try to update our Big Goal progress each month. I nearly forgot until I went looking for our interest earned in January because I needed it for my previous post. We'll see if I can remember all year long!

$350.00 ($175 from each paycheck, two per month)
_$66.71 American Express CC Rewards
_$48.94 Discover Cash Back
_$51.06 FNBO Interest Earned
$113.87 NFCU Interest Earned
__$0.01 USAA Interest
__$5.00 Class Action Rebate
_$25.00 Swagbucks
__$6.00 Pinecone Surveys
$200.00 Fuel Savings*

_$866.59 February Big Goal Total
$1,576.04 2019 YTD

$62,311.59 Previous Big Goal Balance
$63,178.18 New Big Goal Balance

31.59% of $200,000 Goal

*I'm calling this fuel savings as we are not using nearly as much fuel in our vehicles while living on base. In our last place we could easily have spent $200 more per month.

February Interest Earned

March 2nd, 2019 at 05:56 am

February was the first full month that our 3.25% CD was in effect. The interest earned is reflected in the total.

FNBO $51.06
NFCU $113.87
Total $164.93

To compare, in January we earned $147.20. Higher interest rates do make a difference!

All interest earned is added to our Big Goal.

A Higher Interest Rate

February 24th, 2019 at 07:03 am

When you are a saver you cheer when your interest rate goes up! Some of our savings was earning 2.10% and is now going up to 2.25%. It seems like a small difference, but I have enjoyed seeing the rates rise a little at a time after years of very low interest.

I was also notified of a CD maturing in March. This money will go to savings initially, but I think we will end up adding it to another certificate currently earning 3.25% until June of 2020.

Have you noticed the market has bounced back quite a bit since the drop in December? The S&P 500 is up over 11% for the year so far.

What is the highest interest you are earning on your savings?