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Payday

August 15th, 2017 at 06:45 pm

It was pay day today. This payroll check concluded my summer savings paychecks (through work). I'll be back at work in three weeks.

I am excited to continue pushing to meet 100% of our lofty savings goal. As of today, we are at 83.1%. Quarterly property taxes are due at the end of the month ($1,807.00) but I already have $1,100 set aside for that. $100 went to contribute to my Roth IRA; 403B retirement fund will resume on September 15th.

Weekly Frugal Review

August 12th, 2017 at 01:29 pm

Weekly frugal doings:

1. I made 12 mini burritos (meat/beans/cheese) for my guys to snack on during the week.

2. I made refrigerator dill pickles with two huge cucumbers gifted to me. (4 quart size canning jars)

3. Line/Rack dried all of our laundry all week.

4. We've not spend any money on eating out since last Saturday.

5. I have two items in my Amazon cart but I am short a little over $6 to get the items for free using credit card rewards. Since, the items our wants and not needs, I decided to wait until the end of the month when I can cash in some more rewards and purchase the items completely free. I'd been so tempted to pull the trigger and buy them but I'm working on impulse control. I'll just wait.

Snowflake and more

August 9th, 2017 at 02:54 pm

We decided to hold off on refinishing the hardwood floors until next summer.

Yesterday, we received a check for $1200 from our mortgage escrow. I put that money towards the "lofty savings goal" which sits at 81.7%. Once we reach the goal, we will begin paying extra towards the principal of our house (once again).

We have quite a few tomatoes in our garden and I see that the cucumbers and squash are beginning to sprout. The pepper plants are also beginning to flower. We've been eating cucumbers and yellow squash given to us by friends. I love this time of the year.

I've been making some extra meals to freeze. The other day I put everything together for chili, I also made 20 Mexican flautitas with some leftover chicken, sweet and sour chicken and browned boneless chicken breasts for salads and pasta. Today I am making mini bean burritos and pickling some cucumbers.

Three more weeks of summer vacation and I'm off to work!

Snowflake

August 4th, 2017 at 01:50 pm

I am finally done writing curriculum this summer. I was allotted sixty hours at $30 an hour to write K-5th curriculum on my subject area. I am guessing that it will net me about $1,500. It was tedious work but I am grateful to make extra money this summer. I will put the money towards our "lofty savings goal" which by the way is at 78.5%.

The first estimate to strip/sand/stain and polyurethane our hardwood floors came in really high at $5500. It is double what we expected to pay but maybe we were unrealistic about the cost. We are waiting on a second estimate and then we will decide.

I am glad the humidity has eased up a bit on my neck of the woods. High humidity causes all kinds of skin problems for me and it makes me miserable.

Summer break is coming to an end for me pretty soon; a few more weeks and I'm back to the daily grind.


UFC/Updates

August 1st, 2017 at 02:35 am

I had really good intentions when I decided to participate in the Uber Frugal Challenge but I want to say that for me, it was a semi frugal fail. Too much eating out.

I did buy two comforters today for two of our beds. The existing ones are getting a little worn and it was time to throw one of them away. In all, I spent a little over $300, thanks to a 20% coupon at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I take a lot of pride on my home and I like to keep it clean, organized and looking nice. I am frugal with other things to spend the money on our home. We are going to get our hardwood floors refinished this month and we are in the process of gathering some estimates.

Our "Lofty Savings Goal" is now at 77.8%. It is, most likely, going to stay that way for a little while since we want to pay for the floors without having to tap into savings.

One more month and I will be back to work; I am certainly enjoying the time off but time off does not pay the bills. Smile

Weekly Frugal things/UFC/updates

July 19th, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Although, I am not a big fan of AC, it is by far what I missed most from our old house. The fact that we were able to cool the entire house during heat waves was priceless. We are going to look into installing central air next spring. For now, I'm keeping curtains close and cooking meals outside on the grill or crockpot.

July 12-18 edition of frugality:
1. No hamburger buns so I used flour tortillas and made quesadilla burgers. (mea culpa)I should've checked to see if I still had burger buns. Turned out to be delicious.

2. Ran out of sandwich bread for my daily breakfast so I used Naan bread instead as toast. I love Naan bread!

3. I've not used the electric dryer at all.

4. I've been slowly emptying the freezers by not purchasing food items except for perishables.

5. Swept hardwood floors rather than vacuuming.

Frugal Fails:

-I threw a whole cantaloupe away because I waited too long to cut it.
-There is still a little bit of food waste but not as much as we used to.
-We ate out a few times this week. I'm trying to cut this back to just once a week.

UFC- I don't feel that I've been as mindful as I should be, but I will keep on trying.

Savings- We are now at 76.3% on our "Lofty Savings Goal. My goal is to continue as gazelle intense to reach the 100% mark.

Weekly frugal things/UFC

July 11th, 2017 at 11:49 pm

Weekly frugal doings:

1. Continued to hang laundry on dryer racks.

2. Recycled and reused a graduation card.

3. Consolidated shopping trips

4. I'm still using items in the freezers to make meals. I've only spend money on perishables (fresh fruit, eggs, milk, bread, etc.)

5. Recycled a bunch of toilet paper tubes and newspapers to make starter for the wood burning stove for the winter months.

UFC has been a bit challenging lately since we've been invited to quite a few birthday and graduation parties. Today was definitely a bust because it's my first born 27th birthday. I plan to keep watching our expenses.




UFC/Savings

July 9th, 2017 at 02:24 pm

We had very enjoyable 4th of July. I'm so grateful for this great nation and I feel privileged to live here.

Our "lofty savings goal" is now at 73.5% and we will be able to add a bit more next week. On the Uber Frugal Challenge front, we've had two no spend days and just one eating out day. The other expenses have been on necessities.

I am going to start working on curriculum writing just to get it over with and I do want to get paid as soon as possible.

That's all the update I have for you. I hope you have a great week.

AncestryDNA Kit

July 7th, 2017 at 05:57 pm

I finally ordered an AncestryDNA kit. I saved $9.95 on shipping by using an internet code. I've been wanting to this for a long time. I know that a great percentage will be Iberian (Canary Islands) but I am most curious to know if I'm part Irish or Scottish. I cannot wait to get the kit and send it back to them. Smile

The shipping code is FREESHIPDNA.

Landscaping and UFC

July 1st, 2017 at 11:59 pm

Both hubby and I spent the whole day yesterday cleaning up a small patch of grass on the side of our house. It had been neglected when we bought the house and it remained in total abandonment in the two years (almost 3 years) we've had the house. The only existing plants were the blue grass and we had to dig them out and replant them. We used a bunch of Hostas from different spots of our property to minimize the cost. In all, the only things we bought for the patch were two hanging plants ($10), $10 for mulch and a garden flag ($11 but it was a want and not a need). We rebuild the stone wall adding another layer of rocks, dug out and replanted the blue grass and other plants. We also mulched the front and side yard and at the end of the day and $31 later, this was the result:







Today was the first day of the Uber Frugal Challenge. No eating out but hubby did buy beer. I don't mind, he is a low maintenance kind of guy and he is entitled to enjoy something. Hoping for a no spend day tomorrow.

Five Weekly Frugal Things

June 30th, 2017 at 01:00 pm

Some frugal money saving things I've done this week:

1. All laundry done this week was washed and put to dry in racks.

2. I vacuumed the bedrooms only once this week. I usually vacuum a lot just because I like to see the vacuum marks on the rugs.

3. I bought some things using credit cards rewards and gift cards. (no out of pocket expenses)

4. I used decorations already on hand to decorate for the 4th of July. Resisted the urge to buy more stuff.

5. Hubby and I went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and scored a lot of 11 Nutcrackers/Santas for $8. My hubby bargained with the cashier to get it from $12 to $8.



How about you?



Weekly Update

June 27th, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Today marks the third month without my sister. It is very difficult not being able to talk to her but I've come to accept her death. Grieving is a very strange thing; sometimes there is complete calmness in my heart and there are days in which the storm never seems to end. Anyway, she will always be in my heart.

I am also participating in the Uber Frugal Challenge in July (see details at Frugalwoods.com). I just want to force myself to make meals out of things we already have in the freezers and pantry. Way too many things in there that need to be eaten. I want to be able to reach 74% mark on on our lofty savings goal by then end of August. We're at 71% as of today.

We've been busy bees on the house front. We are cleaning windows and screens, power washing the siding and porch deck, landscaping, etc. I'm taking advantage of my hubby who is on vacation this week.

This is all of I have to tell you today. Patient Saver, Thriftorama, please know that I'm thinking of you.

Summer Work

June 22nd, 2017 at 02:54 pm

As it turns out, I will be writing curriculum this summer, 60 hours total at $30 an hour. This translates to about an extra $1,600.00 net income this summer. I applied because I can do this from home and I got to keep the work laptop for the summer. I am hoping to also receive the one time payment for changing health benefits from family to self/spouse next month.

Today is my first day of summer vacation and I am making a list of things I'd like to get accomplished during my time off. First thing today, my six month dental check up.

Yesterday, I was gifted an additional Walmart, Amazon and Home Goods gift cards from students and a colleague. Yay me!

Mortgage payment question

June 14th, 2017 at 02:17 pm

Quick question: I've always made mortgage payments by the first of the month, but I see that it will only incur late charges if paid after the 15th of the month. Let's say, I decided to pay the mortgage on the 15th, will this affect our credit score negatively?

Lots of money spent today

June 9th, 2017 at 11:19 pm

We went to Costco today and the bill was over $300, but we bought a ceiling fan for our bedroom to help with the upcoming hot summer days.

Then DS#2 and I made a trip to Lowes to see about purchasing a ride-in mower for hubby. He's been looking for one on Craigslist for about two years now with no luck. So after some questions, we spend $2500 on a John Deer tractor with grass basket attachment and warranty. We are splitting the purchase between DS#1 DS#2 and I. It is worth the investment as my hubby is getting older and struggling to cut 2 acres of land. The boys help but it is still a lot of work. This will be his Father's Day present. I had a 10% coupon and I used it towards the purchase.

I'll be limiting the big purchases for a while.

Job issues

June 2nd, 2017 at 12:19 am

Things have not been going that well for my husband at work. I am cautiously optimistic, but quite frankly my mission right now is to save as much money as possible to weather the storm in case of a job loss. We've been down the road before. Fortunately for us, he is able to get a state pension (23 years of service) in 16 months. It doesn't replace his current salary but we can make do if necessary. For now, I am hoping and praying that it lasts as long as possible. 2017 has been a tough year for me emotionally with the loss of my sister but I have to maintain the focus to keep it all together and remain grateful for the good things in my life.

Payday and this week's snowflakes

May 30th, 2017 at 07:00 pm

Payday today and I'm excited to tell you that we are at 67.4% of our lofty savings goal. I also made a $100 contribution to my Roth IRA. I'm sending $25 to my nephew and adding $50 to my "summer fun fund". I also received an email from our HR person at work informing me that I will receive a one time payment of $950 because our health insurance plan changed from a family to two adult plan. I should have the check some time in July. Smile Yay for extra money!

Snowflakes last week:

$85 (hubby's side hustle mowing lawns)
$200 (DS#2 groceries contribution)
Food (the type that takes a long time to prepare)
$30 for an extra hour of work
$40 for an hour of tutoring

Update

May 27th, 2017 at 02:26 am

Today was the first day of a four day weekend. I spent much of my day doing laundry, cleaning the house and making a run to Costco for much needed food items. Some items will last for a long time (soap, saline solution and facial towelettes).

DS#2 contributed $200 towards groceries. He is saving a lot of money by living with us and as long as he is doing that we definitely do not mind. He is a responsible young man who finished college while working full time. He already has a nice emergency fund.

We should be at the 67% mark of our lofty saving goal on Tuesday and if things continue as planned, we will reach the 70% mark by June 30th. I am also at almost half way mark on the summer fun saving fund. I am working 5 extra hours at work between now and June 9th and should net about $130. I have two more tutoring sessions for a total of $80 and a $313.00 refund from the bank for when we paid off the HELOC. All of it will be going to have fun this summer.

Well, that's it for today. For those of you in the USA have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Freebies/rewards/gifts/snowflakes

May 19th, 2017 at 03:37 pm

Freebies/rewards/gifts/snowflakes for this month

Five books (through a book exchange)

A gallon size bag full of homemade Mexican chicken flautitas from my Sister.

$25 Amazon credit card rewards

A pink toothbrush courtesy of our dental health provider at work.

Dinner at Chili's for Mother's Day

$125 cash gift

$180 for six extra easy hours at work

DS#1 paying for the liquor for his brother's graduation party (Yay me!)

Feeling grateful!

Any for you this month?




Pay day and "fun summer fund"

May 16th, 2017 at 12:53 am

It was pay day today and I'm excited to tell you that we've reached the 65% mark of our "lofty savings" goal. I hope to be at 75% by the end of August. I'm a 10 month employee so every September I reset goals for our "fiscal year". I am thinking of not participating in summer savings at work for the next school year. They take 10% of my income every pay period and I receive the money back in two installments in the summer (July 15th and August 15th). It is nice to get paid in the summer but I can do so much more with our money. I still have a little time to think about it.

I am also putting some money aside to have a little fun this summer. I started a "fun summer fund" with the $100 I got from DS#2 for Mother's day. I hope to have at least $500 saved by June 30th.


Weekly Update

May 13th, 2017 at 02:10 pm

I am starting to be able to talk about my Sister without crying. Some nights, I found myself looking at pictures I have of her and listening to messages she left me. One morning as I was getting ready for work, a thought entered my mind. I said, "Let her rest in peace, she is no longer on dialysis three times a week, no longer in the hospital every other month, etc." Ever since then, I think of her often but I am a lot less weepy.

On a financial note, we closed on our refinance loan Monday and just yesterday all funds were disbursed. I am happy about the HELOC is paid for now. The ARM on this loan was going up every other month and it was making me pretty uncomfortable. We do, however, have a mortgage now. I'm not worry about it as we don't have any consumer debt and we are done paying for college. we don't think we'll be paying off this loan quickly as I have in the past because I really want to have substantial cash in the bank to offset any life events.

We are also celebrating my son's college graduation with friends and family next week. We are catering most of the food for the event as I would really like to enjoy our guests and not worry about food preparation.

Well, this is it for today. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and for all of the mother's here, Happy Mother's Day!

Update

April 22nd, 2017 at 01:16 pm

Not much going on here; we are in the process of refinancing to pay off the HELOC which is on an adjustable rate and that scares me. We are using Quicken Loans and so far so good. The house appraised to more than what Zillow estimated.

Savings continue to increase but at slower pace this month. We are 62% of our 100% on the "lofty savings goal". I am hoping to be at 75% at the end of the summer. My mom is still with us but I see that she is itching to go home already. I wish she'd decide to stay here with us since I worry about her health and well-being. At 75 years old she is lucid but a bit frail.

I created a menu plan for this week because I've become very lax and lazy about cooking. A meal plan always seems to help me get out of the cooking rut.

This is it for today. Have a great weekend and a good work week.

Update

April 7th, 2017 at 12:54 am

Thank you all for your condolences on my sister's passing. It's been so surreal to think that she is gone. For now, I have to focus all my attention to my mother who is now living with me, hopefully permanently. I lost my sister but she lost a daughter and I can't imagine the pain she must feel. If you feel it in your heart to continue praying for us, I'd be so grateful.

I'm now back to work after 5 days of bereavement. We are getting paid tomorrow as spring break will be next week. I will make a savings deposit which will take us to 61% of our lofty savings goal. I will try to keep plugging along but May will be a rough month because quarterly property taxes will be due.

We hope to clean up our property next week which will keep our minds off of things. Meanwhile, hold each other tight, say more I love you's and don't take anything for granted.

Thank you and update

April 1st, 2017 at 09:17 pm

Thank you all for your sympathy messages. It's hard to believe that my sister is gone. For me the hardest thing is not talking to her on the phone every day. We saw each other maybe once or twice a year as I usually vacationed in her state. She was not able to travel due to her dialysis treatments. My Sis was a caring, compassionate and kind person and she was loved. She passed away due complications of her kidney disease. I am trying to get on with my life because I know the world does not stop for those of us who are grieving for love ones. I will return to work next week and fortunately will have a week off soon after.

On the financial front, we are about a little less than $600 away from hitting the 60% mark of our lofty savings goal. I'm putting some money aside each month to send my nephew (my sister's youngest son) who is in college. My sister took care of me while I was in college with spending money and I will do the same for her son.

Heartbroken

March 28th, 2017 at 11:33 am

My sister passed away yesterday from complications of kidney disease. Please keep my family in your prayers. This hurts to the core.

Update

March 21st, 2017 at 12:37 am

Finances are on auto pilot and we are $80 away from reaching 56% of our lofty savings goal. The goal is to reach 72% by June 30th. This percentage represents what we had in savings last June prior to paying off the HELOC. Once we reach 100%, we will start paying down the HELOC again. I mentioned that we used the HELOC to put a nice down payment on our investment property. The HELOC is our only debt. We have no car payments or credit card bills.

This weekend I went to see our high school's play; Hairspray. No fancy props but outstanding performances. What a group of talented kids, I loved it. It was only $5!

No word yet on our tax refund Frown. Hopefully we will have it soon.

Pay Day and Tax returns

February 28th, 2017 at 12:22 am

It's pay day tomorrow and I'll be making a deposit to our savings account. This deposit will help us meet a savings goal four months ahead of schedule. Feeling excited and grateful. I've already worked on what the next goal should be in order to keep on track.

Today was also a good "mail" day. We received the yearly Costco Cash reward in the amount of $86 and a $25 Chili's gift card and a $10 Dunkin' Donuts from our Chase Freedom credit card rewards.

It looks like we will owe the State of New Jersey close to $350 but our Feds refund will be $3700. The plan is to put the money in our savings.

Please keep a family we know in your prayers as they lost their 21 year old son in a car accident.

:)

February 21st, 2017 at 02:18 am

I am excited to tell you that we are $500 away from meeting a lofty savings goal. I was hoping to achieve this goal by June 30th so that's four months ahead of schedule. I just kept pushing to save every chance I got and push limits every pay period.

It's been unseasonably warm in my neck of the woods and we hope to have to fill our heating oil tank only once more until next winter. I will try to use the wood burning stove in late March or early April. Some big bills coming up; a credit card bill and auto insurance. March will be a tough month for savings but I am okay with that.

I really want Spring to come already. I just feel so much more alive in the warmer weather.

Trip and quick update

February 12th, 2017 at 02:12 pm

Last Tuesday, hubby and I decided to book a trip to Florida for this coming week. We both have a five day weekend. It was definitely not planned but I'm trying to be more spontaneous and live it up a little. SmileBesides, lots of sunshine for me!

Our tax returns should be filed soon. Our accountant is working on them. I'm hoping for a good outcome; I don't care if we nothing back, I just don't want to pay the IRS any more money. On the financial front, things continue to be on autopilot.

I am babysitting my great nephew this weekend. He is only 3 years old, super smart and a very loving child. His parents have had a rocky relationship and are trying to put their relationship back together and I hope they do. Anyway, this little boy went down to the basement with me and when we came up the stairs I mentioned to him that I'd forgotten to turn off the light. He said,"I did, we need to save electricity." I was so shocked and excited that the parents are teaching him to turn off the lights when not being used!

I hope you have a good Sunday.


Weekly update

February 3rd, 2017 at 11:32 pm

I' continuing UFM this month. I had 17 absolutely No Spending days in January and hope to do the same in February. We are filing our income taxes some time next week. Hoping for a good outcome!

We have decided to tell the tenant of the cottage that she has to move. I hate to have to do this but they are always late with the rent and still owe us the rent from the month of September. We have been very patient with them because she fell on hard times and we know how hard is to get back on your feet. We realized that we should treat the house as a business. If she fails to pay the rent, we have to take $600 from our household budget to make the mortgage payment. I know this is a chance we took but we just have to try to get someone in there that can make the rent. Let's see what happens. Frown

Not much going on here; just watching the Superbowl on Sunday.


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