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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.

UFM and updates

January 29th, 2017 at 09:28 pm

I am closing the books on January today. I expect not to have any expenses for the next two days. I went over on the budget on groceries (-$58.38), gasoline ($7.08), and heating oil ($22.37). I'm not mad about it because there is a surplus on several of the other categories to offset the negative amounts. On the savings category, we also had a great month and I will continue the Uber Frugal Challenge next month. It is our 27th wedding anniversary next month but I have that covered with a movie and dinner using gift cards from credit card rewards.

My Seasonal Affective Disorder has been much under control. I've been using light therapy and a low dose of the medication. I also try to take advantage of the sunshine by seating outside whenever I can. I'm still counting the day 'till Spring.

I hope you had a good month.

CC rewards and other stuff

January 20th, 2017 at 01:24 am

Inevitably and as expected, home heating oil was ordered at $2.019 a gallon. The tank tapped at 209 gallons but it's been 40 days since we last ordered oil. I'm thanking Mother Nature for temperatures in the 40s this week and apparently into the next.

(Warning: Not money related)
Even with unseasonable weather, my Seasonal Affective Disorder has affected my mood tremendously. I thought I could survive this without medication, but I'm afraid I cannot. I am headed to the doctor's office for help tomorrow. I can honestly say that I don't recall being happy during the months of January and February since early adolescent. I feel that it's getting worst as I age, which is the reason we will not be able to stay in New Jersey much longer. I am just so very sad in the winter months and tired of it.

On another note, I've managed to earn $165 in gift cards this month without costing us a penny. We just charge our monthly bills (the ones we can charge) and pay them off at the end of the month. I used the gift cards to go on monthly dates with my hubby.

UFM Challenge Update: 12 days of no spending so far

UFM and date night

January 14th, 2017 at 11:29 pm

We've had 10 No spend days (whatsoever)but yesterday I had a weak moment and ate out ($8). The food was mediocre and I was regretting my decision almost immediately Frown. Oh well..done and over with.

Hubby and I went out today to see the movie Hidden Figures. What a powerful movie! We went to Applebees after the movie (date night). No money spent. I used 2 AMC Theaters gift cards and 2 Applebees gift cards for dinner. I still have a balance on both cards for our next date night. It was a very nice change of pace and we enjoyed immensely. We are going to try to do the same once a month.

Watching the Seahawks vs. Falcons game.

Payday and UFM

January 12th, 2017 at 05:22 pm

Somehow, someone at the board office made a mistake and we were paid two days early. I'm glad we did because the last time I received a paycheck was December 23rd.

We were able to put 55% of our net income this pay period in the bank for savings. I am really pushing to save as much as we can hoping to be able to pay cash for a house where ever we decide to move to in a few years.

The UFM challenge is going super! I believe we've had 9 days of no spending whatsoever and yesterday was the first day I spent money on groceries and gas for my SUV. I hope not to have to shop for groceries until February 1st.

Did I mention that I was gifted a treadmill for Christmas? We got on Monday and hubby put it together for me yesterday. I'm going to make a habit of using it on a regular basis. I really want to lose some weight for our Spring break vacation.
Wish me luck!

P.S. I also contributed $350 to the Roth IRA. I'm slowly getting close to funding it in full.

First week of UFM

January 8th, 2017 at 07:03 pm

We ended the first week of the Uber Frugal Month Challenge with expenses of outside of our normal bills totaling $11.35 and 5 days of no spend days whatsoever. I will have to make a run to the supermarket this week to buy a few essential items we've run out of but nothing big.

It is super cold in my neck of the woods and the furnace has been going non stop so I predict a home heating oil order soon. Frown

I spend a lot time in the kitchen today and end it up making a big pot of potato soup, banana nut bread and Italian gravy (sauce) and meatballs.

On another financial news, I think we will be able to meet one of our financial goals before the anticipated set date and I'm super excited about that.

We are watching the NY Giants vs. GB Packers today. Go Giants!

UFM and Epiphany

January 5th, 2017 at 10:57 pm

Five days of No Wants, four of them with no spending whatsoever. Yesterday my hubby had a doctor's appointment with a $10 copay required and I spent $1.15 on an international stamp for a sympathy card. Yay me!

On another note, we are having a little bit of trouble with the tenants occupying the cottage on the investment property. They pay the rent but it's late all the time. I find myself shifting money to pay the mortgage on the 10th. I don't mind if they are late one or two days but we are already five days late. The tenant told my husband that she'll have it by tomorrow but I've heard that before. We've been very patient but I'm starting to get a sour taste in my mouth and very uneasy about it. Hopefully she'll have it tomorrow, if not we will be force to ask to leave.

Tomorrow is a special day because we will be celebrating the Epiphany. It is a beautiful tradition and refuse to let go of it although I've spend the majority of my life in the mainland. I bought a gift for my nephew's son since he is the only little one around us.

Besides, all of that, I'm angry about the new government ending funding to Planned Parenthood. A major setback in women's health care.

First Day

January 2nd, 2017 at 01:42 am

Happy New Year to all of you!

We took advantage of the milder weather and removed all of the Christmas outdoor decorations and stacked tons of wood on the front porch. I feel relieved that the house is free of clutter before going back to work.

Right before the Christmas break, I went to the doctor because of an achy ear. As it turns out I had an ear infection. I felt some relief but I am still having trouble with the ear. It's very itchy, it hurts and it's definitely throwing my equilibrium out of whack. If my doctor is not working tomorrow, I'll have to Urgent Care and try to take care of it. I hate feeling light headed.

I did well today on the first day of the Uber Frugal Month Challenge. No spending whatsoever today.

Well that's it for today. May you have a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous 2017.

A question

December 30th, 2016 at 04:00 am

A question to ponder:

Financially, are you in a better place than you were 365 days ago?

My answer is NO!

365 days ago, we were completely debt free including the house. Now we have a $100K HELOC debt that we used to purchase the investment property.

I don't regret the decision to buy the house(s) next to our house. This house generates about $500 worth of income and will eventually generate double that amount.

So for 2017, our goal is to continue saving like crazy and pay down the HELOC as much as we can. Aiming for $15K-$20K.

Update

December 27th, 2016 at 01:49 pm

We had an awesome time on Christmas day with my hubby's family. We laughed a lot; we played the candy cane game, ate lots of food and the drinkers had lots of Coronas and Coquito (a Caribbean coconut drink made with Bacardi rum). My husband made a great effort this year and got me 2 sets of pajamas that were badly needed and gave me money. It's indeed a great effort for him; he usually sends one of the kids to get me something. He actually bought the pajamas himself. Smile The money will be going back to the savings account for our Spring break annual vacation.

I have this whole week off. I am making inventory of what we have on stock to make a meal plan for January. I am taking the Uber Frugal Month Challenge next month at frugalwoods.com. I also have to send a sympathy card to a friend who lost her father in early December and shred lots of paper junk this week.

Well, that's it for today. Enjoy the last week of 2016!

I made these bottles of Coquito to gift this year:





Christmas and pay day

December 17th, 2016 at 02:36 pm

So far I've managed to decorate our home for the holidays with things I have; no extra purchases for home decor. So far, I estimate that Christmas will cost less than $400. I sent my Mom $50, hubby and I decided not to exchange and save our money for our annual Spring break vacation. My son's will each get a $100 gift cards, pajamas, underwear (this is an area they always seem to neglect)and a few candy bars and gum for the stocking. I spent about $75 on other gift for my niece and nephews.

We've made nice progress with our savings as we have been very careful about spending these days. I'm taking another "NO SPEND" Challenge in January from another blogger I follow (frugalwoods.com). I hope to be at a certain amount of savings by July, 2017.

Five more days and I'm off until the new year. /

Updates

December 14th, 2016 at 01:42 am

Starting this post with really good news; my DS#2 has officially completed the course load and today is his last day of college. Graduation is in May; not so shabby for a kid that had no intentions of going to college after high school graduation. There are no student loans to pay as we have cash flowed our sons' college education. We have much to be grateful for.

Thursday is payday and I've already set up a Roth IRA contribution. This electronic contribution will officially bring me down to under $2K to fully fund it. If I am able to fully fund it, this will be the first time ever since I opened the Roth.

We also had to fill the heating oil tank a few days ago. That was a $360 fill but I'm not complaining since the last time we filled the tank was late March. Hoping and praying for a milder winter this year but predictions state otherwise. We will also have a little break from paying car insurance. I'm making the last policy payment December 21st. The policy renews again in March. Auto insurance is our highest bill at almost $800 a month for 8 months of the year. We still have a risky driver but he is now contributing the whole amount to ensure his car.

I have to buy a few things for Christmas as we are hosting my hubby's family on Christmas Day. Another 7 workdays and off until January 2nd! (much needed break)

Well, that's it, I hope you have a great work week.

End of November Challenge

November 30th, 2016 at 11:43 pm

I wrote a lengthy post and lost it all! I should've copy the content before I tried to post it. I can't stand when that happens.

Long story short, we had a $1,076 budget surplus which I swept to the savings account as well as a $350 still remaining in the checking account. I will not attempt to do another challenge in December but I will try again in January. Overall, a great month for savings. I had 7 no wants spending. I really wanted to have just 5 days but I guess that's not too shabby.

Help us make a decision

November 29th, 2016 at 01:21 am

My husband's truck, a 2008 GMC Canyon, it's worth about $10K. It has very low mileage (about 35,000 miles). We are paying full coverage insurance for this vehicle. Do you think it's worth keeping full coverage on an almost 10 years old truck? When is it appropriate to just pay liability insurance? The truck has been paid off for quite some time and it's in excellent condition.

Any advice?

Update on November No Wants spending

November 22nd, 2016 at 02:26 am

No spending Sunday nor today. It looks like Tuesday will be another no spend day. Wednesday, however, I will be spending money on some "wants" about $35. I got off easy this year in terms of Thanksgiving. I'm in charge of bringing the sodas as well as cups and dessert. Everybody likes my cupcakes, not sure why, I make them from a box. I do use eggs at room temperature and I do not over bake (over brown them).

I already set up an electronic contribution to my Roth IRA to meet my monthly goal of $650. Feeling really excited about reaching the full contribution this year.

That's all for today. For those of you in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I'm definitely thankful for all of you!

Days #16,17 No Spend November

November 18th, 2016 at 01:15 am

No spending whatsoever yesterday but today I bought breakfast. I was so lazy and tired! Frown I also bought a book of stamps but I consider this a need; bills need to get paid and Christmas cards need to sent. I still pay some bills with a check.

Total savings between Roth IRA and savings account: $850, I could've done a little better but we changed the back door and the screen door last month and yesterday my brother-in-law came to pick up the check for his labor, $575. He also did some plumbing repairs in the kitchen.

Looking forward to a 2 1/2 work week next week.

Day #13/14/15 November No Spend

November 15th, 2016 at 06:28 pm

Days 13 and 14 were "needs" days (gas and groceries). Today, I'll have to go to Aldi but hubby and I also went out to eat breakfast together. I'm down two days of the five days allotted for "wants" spend days. Overall, I feel it has been a successful firs two weeks of this challenge.

It was also pay day for our family. I contributed $300 to my Roth IRA and allocated a nice amount to savings. I also paid a credit card in full.

How's your week going?

Day #11/12 November No Spend

November 12th, 2016 at 05:52 pm

As mentioned before, I knew that day 11th of November No Spend Day was actually a spend day, but I'm happy to report that I only spent $16.45 after using the credit card credit.

Day 12th today will be a no spend day. So 10 No Spend days this month so far.


Day #10, No Spend November

November 11th, 2016 at 02:11 am

No spend day at all.

I have a plan for tomorrow which will definitely will be a spend day. I have a $125 credit in my Chase Slate credit card and I will be using it to buy some groceries, beer and parking at the airport. I think the $125 should cover all of it.

I am recording the $125 as added income this month since the credit card was paid in full last month.

One last thing, I am worried that we've not heard from ImaSaver and Laura (Nebraska).

Day #8/#9 of No Spend November

November 10th, 2016 at 02:14 am

No spending, no wants and no needs on Day 8 and 9 of No Spend November. I expect Day 10 to be the same but on Friday I will have to buy some food items, airport parking and beer for hubs. I decided that his beer will have to be purchased because this is the only money he ever spends. He is such a low maintenance guy and helps me out so much that he is deserving of at least have something he enjoys. As it is, he compromised on drinking some specialty beers he had on hand to help me gain momentum.

Is anyone having problem with TickerFactory.com? It's not updating my information for a while now.

Day #6 of No Spend November

November 6th, 2016 at 11:27 pm

No spending today at all. Tomorrow I will not be home until late at night so I left dinner prepared in the fridge to avoid eating out. This week I know I will have at least one day of some spending ($20 for Lottery Club at work. The goal is 25 or more days of NO WANTS out of the 30 days in November. The less the better, of course.

Day #5 of No Spend November

November 5th, 2016 at 11:06 pm

No spending whatsoever today, Day #5 of No Spend November (only needs, no wants). I almost blew it but I decided against buying Chinese food for dinner. Tomorrow should be another no spend day.

I'm attending a rally tomorrow sponsored by two candidates running for our district's board of education. They'll be food and music; both my husband and I will be supporting them on November 8th.

How's your weekend going?

Day #4 of No Spend November

November 5th, 2016 at 02:31 am

Another No Spend day today!

On another note, I'm excited to have a three day work week and a four day weekend next week. I'm also looking forward to daylight savings on Sunday and getting an extra hour. It's the time change in the Spring that I dread so much.

No one in my husband's family has mentioned anything about Thanksgiving so at this point, I'm planning on
making a dinner for my family at home.

Day #3 of No Spend November

November 3rd, 2016 at 10:02 pm

A successful third day of No Spend November. Just to clarify, my no spend November means avoiding wants at all cost and just needs. In my household budget a
"Wants" category has an allotted amount of $600, this includes gifts, liquor, eating out, clothing,etc. I hope to have at least $500 left on it. Remember, I'm aiming for 25 days of no spend days this month. I already know that I'll have to spend a little bit of money at least 3 days this month.

On another note, does anyone care about the net worth of any celebrity on this site? I just think there are more important things to talk about rather than net worth of a celebrity.

Day #2 November, No Spend Month

November 3rd, 2016 at 01:48 am

No spending whatsoever! Shooting for 25 or more days of no spending in November.

November

November 1st, 2016 at 03:43 pm

November is my experiment month. I'm trying to save as much as I can for the next couple of years. I want to see if living on my husband's income may be an option for us until I figure out what I'm going to do when I decide to resign from my job. There will be little spending, eating from the pantry and freezer as much as possible and no eating out.

Today is the first day of the gas hike in New Jersey. It's increasing 23 cents per gallon. I read that voters can vote this down on election day by voting No to question #2 on the ballot. Morally, I feel terrible voting it down because I know there are people who will lose their jobs because of it but how much more can tax payers can shoulder the burden?

Let's see what happens!

Frugality

October 29th, 2016 at 01:42 am

Frugality by choice has enable us to do many things we never thought possible, but for us it is a "choice". It is a practice run for the unknown; it is a practice run that will help us through in the years to come. I'm okay with that!

Some updates

October 27th, 2016 at 09:18 pm

Pay day is tomorrow. I plan to sweep $300 left in the checking account and added to the savings account along with the savings budgeted amount. We just had a storm door and a door replaced in the rear entrance of the house. We hope it'll eliminate a lot of the drafts coming inside the house in the winter time. The door were paid for so we will just have to pay for the labor ($250). My car will be stored in the garage for the winter and the insurance will go down significantly because we just find out that we can purchase storage insurance (covers damage due to fire,flood or storms). I am also adding $100 to my Roth IRA.

On another note, I am really contemplating on resigning from my job in June if nothing changes. I'd been having these horrific headaches due to the stress and anxiety the job causes me. I'll try to save as much as I can to prepare for the loss of income. Fortunately, we are in a good place financially and DS#2, who still lives with us, will start helping us. I'm not saying I will not work but I need a little time to find what I want to do.

Weekly update

October 15th, 2016 at 12:48 am

It was payday today. A ton of money went to pay credit card bills in full. $400 went to Investment Property Slush Fund, now at $6K of the $8K goal, and deposited $650 to savings. I'm a little anxious to get the savings to a comfortable level. I still have to pay the electric bill and cable bundle. I can't believe we are half way through October already. I have a love-hate relationship with November. In November, we have to pay for our quarterly property taxes which is a pretty hefty amount for New Jerseyans, but I love that I have quite a few days off from work and Thanksgiving is coming.

Well, this is it for today. May you have an awesome weekend.

Roth IRA

October 13th, 2016 at 05:55 pm

I met my Roth IRA contibution goal for this month! $2800 more to go😜.


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