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Archive for December, 2015

Christmas and a little more

December 27th, 2015 at 03:35 am

We had a really nice Christmas with family and friends. I feel so grateful for everything we have but most important for having each other. On the food front, I prepared a ham and a big pot of Puerto Rican rice (typical rice mostly prepared for festivities). People were raving about both and we also had a tremendous amount of food as well as desserts. We still have a little bit of ham left and a small tray of scalloped potatoes. I begged guests to take food home. There is only so much food we can eat and I'm not a big leftover person, but my husband loves them. We lovingly called him the fridge vacuum cleaner. My sons gave me another North Face jacket (to replace the stolen one) and my hubby gifted me a KitchenAid Mixer ( a dream come true).

On another note, this is our third no spend day in a row. All credit cards have been paid in full and we hope to really cut down on credit card usage since we have to begin saving for our Spring break vacation. Airfare has been paid for a month now but we still have to fund a car rental and spending money. We are staying with my Mom so no lodging expense. Speaking of my Mom, I will be sending her some money as a Christmas/Epiphany gift. I will have to purchase a U.S. money order because it is actually the safest and quickest way for her to get the cash.

The ham I prepared before putting it in the oven:

Hence my electric bill

December 22nd, 2015 at 02:14 am

I force myself to be frugal just to do the things we consider important in our lives. We are blessed with a good income but we are also in a high cost of living state. Nonetheless, frugality and austerity helps us live a decent life. There is a frugal habit I barely stray from and that it using the clothes dryer the least amount possible. I read somewhere that the dryer is one of the most expensive household appliance to run.I use my drying racks 95% of the time. There are times when weather makes it impossible for me to hand clothes in the racks. Having said all that, I was excited to see that my electric bill was less than $44 this month. In a bad month, the bill is about $60.

Here is a pic of the two loads that I dried on the clothes racks. I have several and I hang them in the spare room and by the next morning they are ready for folding.

Update

December 19th, 2015 at 01:43 pm

I took a day off to do Christmas shopping. It helps that we are purchasing mostly gift cards for the very few people we have to buy for. I'm hoping to get a Kitchen Aide mixer. I'm also getting a North Face jacket to replace the one stolen from me at work. Yes, at work. I suspect it was a kid. It really stinks that the jacket needs to be replace since it was a Christmas present from DS#1 from a previous year. Frown

I am really hoping to keep the Christmas tree and decorations up until the week of January 6th. I somehow get tired of the decor and take things down soon after Christmas Day. January 6th has special significance in Latino culture because the Epiphany is holy and special celebration . The older I get the more I feel compelled to honor and celebrate my roots and passed them on to my children.



College tuition

December 15th, 2015 at 02:26 pm

After January 20th, I will only have one more college tuition to make in my lifetime. This means that we will have $15K a year at our disposal. We have cashed flowed both of ours sons' college tuition for the last eight years. Needless to say, I am so excited to be able to put that money towards "Career Change/Emergency Fund". I'll pretend that I still have to a child in college!

On another note, by the end of this month I hope to be at $27K on the career change/emergency fund. I hope to meet the half way mark ($50K) at the conclusion of 2016. Only $73K to go! Ha, ha Smile

Finding inspiration

December 13th, 2015 at 08:22 pm

I follow a couple who manage to save 71% of their income by being frugal weirdos (they call themselves that). I love their blog! They just had a TV appearance and just recently revealed their names and faces on their blog. I wish I had the personal finance knowledge I have now when I was much younger. Anyway...no sense on crying over spilled milk.

If you are interested the blog is www.frugalwoods.com and their TV segment can be watched here:
http://www.today.com/video/see-how-this-couple-plans-to-retire-in-their-30s-584912963941

Finance or Pay Cash?

December 1st, 2015 at 08:24 pm

So as luck would have it our 2001 Suzuki SUV needs about $2,500.00 worth of repairs which happens to be the market value of the car. We our opting to buy another SUV (GMC Trex LS) bare bones but AWD. We can finance it ($20,500)at 2.99% for 72 months. This price includes a $1,250.00 GMC Educator Rebate, the trade in for the Suzuki and state tax and plates. We can pay off this car using our saving leaving us with about $5K for an emergency. We have an equity line of credit with the our bank that we can tap into if need be. What do you think, should we pay cash or finance it?