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Archive for April, 2015

All-time high savings contribution

April 30th, 2015 at 09:37 pm

I checked the Where is my Refund link at irs.gov to get an idea as to when we will be receiving our refund. As it turns out it is supposed to be electronically deposited tomorrow. So I decided to go ahead and pay the property taxes with that money and put the rest in savings (about $250 left after paying the taxes). The refund left us with the opportunity to save an additional $1,350. We hit an all time high in savings this month. We deposited about 65% of our total net income. As I said before, we did not have to pay for heating oil this month and hoping to go at least half of May without having to do fill up the oil tank again. But I think that's pushing it!

Now, some of you may wonder why are we opting to get a federal income tax refund instead of having the extra money each month. Quite frankly, with a house paid for and the only deduction being our DS #2 college tuition, we much rather claim zero dependents and get a refund, rather than to pay the IRS at the end of the year. The element of surprise does not appeal to us, so for now the government gets an interest-free loan from us and we are okay with that!

No heating oil bill... a big help

April 28th, 2015 at 07:07 pm

We are two days away from payday and I'm happy to say that we are only $250 away from meeting our "living on one income" goal for the month of April. Usually on the 30th, we would deposit $1,250 to meet the goal. I am thankful that we did not have to fill our heating oil tank this month saving us $600. I am also thankful for that because our quarterly property taxes come due May 1st to the tune of $2,100. I think I can swing the remaining $250 but would not be able to do the $1,250 when taxes are due. So hurray for no heating bill and the heating oil tank is a quarter full. No more heat for us until October. We still need oil to heat our water.

My $200 Pottery Barn Canopy Bed

April 28th, 2015 at 12:03 pm

I belong to my county's Facebook Garage Sale and yesterday I scored a $1600 Pottery Barn Farmhouse Canopy bed for $200. I'd been looking for a used bedroom set since we moved to our new (to us)house for the spare room but someone else beats me to respond (first person to respond gets first bids on the item). Lo and behold I was the first one to respond and picked it up yesterday. The seller told me that her SIL bought it and used for two months and then bought a house and the bed did not fit in their new home. They paid $1300 but I checked the Pottery Bar website and a brand new one is priced at $1599. This bed is practically brand new. Now, I'm on the look out for a nice dresser and accent pieces and a new mattress.

Here is a picture of the bed from the PB website:

Just a thought

April 25th, 2015 at 04:09 pm

A few years ago, a coworker told me that I was cheap. I told her that I was far from being cheap and that she was confusing my frugality with being cheap. Granted this is a person who chose to buy Christmas presents rather than to pay her mortgage, so I never should've cared of what she thought of me. I learned the hard way not to talk about money with coworkers or friends, for that matter. I choose to do many frugal things in order to afford things that I consider to be important to me. Things like helping my Mom financially, paying for my sons' college education, vacations and things to make my house look presentable and organize. Believe it or not, small sacrifices can make a difference in one's finances and quality of life and it has paid off for our family in a big way. I decided that even though I will never discuss money matters with anyone (other than my fellow SA Bloggers) I will never be ashamed nor care about what people think of my frugality.

Summer Savings Goals Established

April 21st, 2015 at 01:14 pm

Every year during this time, I tend to set financial goals in preparation to the summer months. I am employed from September-June with summer months off. Luckily, my husband works year around and this year I chose to do summer savings at work. I will get a paycheck on July 15th and August 15th. I have set a savings goal of $6K by June 30th. This amount represents some big summer bills as well as a summer vacation to an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic with my sons. We also have to start putting some money aside to cover our sons last year in college (Spring and Fall of 2016). We have the next semester covered already and partial.

Refurbished bench

April 21st, 2015 at 12:50 am

So the previous owners of our house left behind a tattered patio bench. At first glance we thought of putting it on the curve but my hubby decided to refurbish it and I'm glad he did. I'm sorry though that I did not take a before picture of it. To give you an idea of its condition I took a picture of the wood slats. He replace the wood and spray painted the metal frame. It is now sitting in my porch and I love it!





Update and kitchen

April 18th, 2015 at 02:04 am

Our kitchen on a budget! Note: We replaced the appliances, granite, put a tile backsplash, replace hardware and bought the small dining table and barn starn. We were not able to replace the cabinets but I think they are okay. We still have to replace the ceiling, sand and polyurethane the wood floor, and other minor things. Overall, we are happy with the outcome but mostly because it was all paid using cash. The cost was a fraction of what we originally intended to spend on remodeling.











Pay day was a couple of days ago and we were able to cash flow some added expenses as well as saved hubby's paycheck. We are trying to replace the money we used to pay for the granite and the credit card. The kitchen curtains were purchased and I end it up paying more than I wanted but I used $50 in Amazon rewards to offset the cost.

That's it for today. Have a great weekend; we will be doing yard work.

Weekly update

April 7th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

I transferred $5,600.00 from our savings to our checking account to pay the granite counter top in full as well and the visa as well as the AMEX credit cards. I hate having such big bills lingering. We are steadily beefing up the emergency fund but needless to say the EF took a hit this month. We still have the kitchen counter top back splash to do. We will fund that with tax our tax refund.

Income taxes are done and we will get a total of $3,300 between the feds and the state. I seriously thought we would have to pay this year but I guess claiming zero dependents, both for me and hubby, is working in our favor. Next year, we will have $15K in college tuition to deduct so that should ease the burden since hubby will claim a whole year of salary in 2015. This year our income was less because he was unemployed for half of the year.

I'm feeling much better now that I got tons of Vitamin D on my Spring break and the weather is warmer. This winter was insane!

I'm back

April 5th, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Well, I'm back from my six day trip to visit my Queen (my Mom). I'm happy to say that she is healthy and still pretty lucid. Overall, I enjoyed sleeping to the ocean breeze but the roosters were pretty annoying Smile Island life is quite different and even though I've not lived there since I was 12 years old, it does not take too long to get used to it. I went over my budget about $120 but this was mainly due to the fact that I opened a bank account to which I will send funds for my Mom. I usually send her United States Postal Service money orders. Now all she has to do is use the ATM card to buy food or medicine.

Before I left, I made my usual deposits to the Emergency and Retirement Home funds. We managed to live on my income and bank my husband's income again in March. I am not sure we will be able to do the same in April since the kitchen granite happened to cost $1K more than anticipated and the credit card bill is pretty high. I'm okay with that.

I leave you with a late afternoon picture of my hometown beach.