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Get together and updates

June 17th, 2019 at 04:54 pm

My coworkters surprised me with a farewell get together. I felt special and overwhelmed at the same time. I don't like having all the attention. We had delicious cake and I was gifted a beautiful necklace from the Staff Club and a few other individual gifts. The education association gifted me $100. I also received a certificate of appreciation. It was indeed a very nice day for me. Three more days and that's it for me. I'm sure I will work in a school setting again but I'm not sure at a teacher capacity. That is, unless something changes in our lives. Never say never!

I'll get my last check on Thursday and sick time payout next month. I'll be joining the Uber Frugal Month Challenge for the month of July at Frugalwoods.com as I will have to be super resourceful from this point forward.
I also joined freecycle.com and I already put a "wanted" post for a compost tumbler and cloth napkins. Someone already responded and I'm getting a free compost tumbler on Sunday. My husband will be picking it up for me because I'll be away come Friday.

P.S. On my second month of no electric bill. For some reason (maybe too many calculated bills)last month we had a $69 credit and this month a $16 credit. Feeling excited!

Work/Retro Pay/Dad's Day

June 14th, 2019 at 10:09 am

Today is my last Friday at work. Last night two of my coworkers took me out to dinner and today another coworker covered my lunch. Smile I feel loved!

I've also been getting notes from students telling me how much they will miss me and thanking me for being kind. Smile

Today is also pay day and it turns out (after some inquiry) my husband received retro pay today. That added a nice chunk of change to our savings. This is our last ditch effort to boost savings as much as possible. One more payroll check and my job after that is conserving and living with our super reduced income. I'm okay with that; I've noticed how my stress levels have gone down significantly after I gave notice at work.

For Father's Day, we are grilling outside (ribs and steak). We are also buying my husband good beer as a treat. My husband is a low maintenance guy who gives everything to us and all he asks is for a few beers here and there.

Happy Father's Day to all of the Dad's here.

Stretching our money

June 9th, 2019 at 04:25 pm

I make most our meals from scratch, but we buy a lot of prepared snacks and those tend to be pricey. I am now force to reduce/eliminate them from our grocery budget as I really need to stretch our money. Today, I made homemade granola and banana bread muffins with chocolate sprinkles in the batter. Initially, the intention was to make granola bars but it did not work out. I opted to have it as granola crumbles. It is indeed delicious. I have chocolate sprinkles sitting in the cupboard for a while and I decided to add about half of a cup to the banana batter. The muffins are amazing!

Snacks for this week will be: apples, bananas, homemade granola and banana with chocolate sprinkles muffins.

Allergies and change of heart (hubby)

June 7th, 2019 at 11:27 am

This is the second round of horrible allergies for me. It took me over a week to feel some relief the first time. I can honestly say that I feel horrible. I placed a refill order of the nasal spray. I am tired of taking allergy medicine though. It makes me feel loopy and I feel as dry as a dessert.

Eight work days left for me. Husband confessed to me that he is having a real hard time leaving the boys (men) behind. I understand him, but I reminded him that for me is a quality of life issue as I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder during the winter. We came to a compromise that I will make several trips to Florida during the winter months
and he will have to get use to me not being there all the time and he agreed. He just needs a little more time to come to terms with it. He is a tough guy, but a softy when it comes to his kids. Besides, he may change his mind about it later on. I'm not worry about it at all. Unless he changes his mind, he will work another year.

Short/Long term planning

June 2nd, 2019 at 11:35 am

As of July 1st, we will have to make do with a substantial income reduction. We are going from over $7K to less than $3K. Somehow, we managed to prepare somewhat for these changes. Technically, we have about three years of bare bones expenses covered and I can always go back to work if need be. I'll enjoy the ride until it ends. It helps that we are accustomed to a simple and frugal lifestyle and we probably won't be missing much. Yet, I feel so very blessed.

We pretty much do most of the home maintenance ourselves with the exception of major repairs. Heck, my husband has managed to even replaced a sewer ejecting pump with the help of our DS#2. That was a very "messy", backbreaking and tedious job. All car maintenance is done by husband and son as well. As I write this, my hubby is power washing the winter grime from the siding and the windows. He really does it all!

The plan is to pay off our Florida home within the next 5 years by selling one of the rental properties. I will seek temporary employment the months that we are not in Florida. Any extra earnings will go to retirement funds, savings and to boost our monthly bottom line. I'll be 50 years old in late summer and husband is 60 years old.

Goal met and payouts

May 30th, 2019 at 08:31 am

Today, we met our savings goal. I have two more paychecks to go and I'll be in the "poor" house. As it turns out my husband was not eligible to receive retroactive pay after the contract was settled. It stinks but we are not bummed about it. He will get his health insurance opt out money on June 30th. I will get my sick time pay out on July 15. My payout will go to the following: vet fees for my dog, the purchase of a patio set and grill. I think my husband's payout will go to advancing 4 months of mortgage payments.

Pure vanilla/laptop/ and a little more

May 25th, 2019 at 07:07 am

I grabbed a bottle of pure vanilla at Costco without looking at the price. I paid for the things I bought and left. Three days later, while cleaning my purse, I came across the Costco receipt and I noticed something. I paid $29.99. for the vanilla; that's right, $30! It's funny, it's the same product I always buy at Costco. I am not sure if $30 is the price I've been paying all along but never noticed. It could also be that I am scrutinizing all receipts lately. My husband will be returning it today. I love the taste of the real deal, but not for $30.

I have my 50th birthday coming up at the end of the summer. Originally, my boys were talking about a big 50th birthday bash, but I do not like any attention on me. I thanked them and turned it down. I then proposed that they buy me the laptop and take me to my favorite coal oven baked pizza and meatball restaurant with my best friend. They agreed! Honestly, it is way more economical to do this than to throw a party. The reserves in my laptop fund will not go to other things I need. Win, win situation for all.

I opened an account with Vanguard on Friday and I will be rolling over my 403B to a traditional IRA July 1st.

Well, that's it! To all my fellow Americans, have a great Memorial Day.

Laptop fund

May 20th, 2019 at 03:58 pm

I wrapped all of the coins in my coin jar. I refuse to let the bank keep 5% if I use their coin machine. My husband helped me and it did not take long at all. In all, I had $73. I will add that to the laptop fund.
$258 saved, $452 to go.

It is a short work week for me since we have an extended weekend for Memorial Day. I am pumped! We are attending our town's Memorial Day Parade on Monday.

Savings update

May 18th, 2019 at 05:08 pm

I am excited to say that we are only $760 away from meeting our savings goal. It is our last effort to save as much as we can as our income will be reduced drastically at the end of June. We should be able to meet the goal next pay period. We returned a big ticket item to Costco because we were not satisfied with the product and we got $850 back. We buy a lot of things from Costco from food to household items, mainly because of the excellent customer service and no hassle returns.

I started my garden and I hope it goes well this summer. Just some tomatoes and romaine lettuce. I may add some peppers and cucumbers.

Payday update/Murphy?

May 15th, 2019 at 08:37 am

We have $1610 to go to meet our savings goal. I have a written game plan that I am following religiously and it's paying off. Three more checks to go and I am done with work. I'm already submitting applications for substitute work.

We got an estimate to screen our Florida house lanai. That's going to cost $800 but it's worth it. I am also purchasing a Dyna Trap (mosquito and insect trap). It covers an acre a property which is a lot less than we need but I guess our neighbors will thank us. I'm buying this at Costco for $120. It has many positive reviews and I hope it works.

On another work news, my husband should be getting some retroactive pay since the contract has been finally settled. I know it's not much since he is a low wage earner, but every little counts. He will get retro pay for any overtime pay as well. This money will go to the laptop fund. By the way, I added $100 to the laptop fund and it now sits at $175. $525 to go.

My allergies are taking a toll on my well-being. I may go to the doctor on Friday if nothing changes.

MURPHY MAY BE VISITING AGAIN! We may have to replace our washer if my husband deems not worth of repair. I'm not going to complain; we bought it used for $200 and we've had it for 10 years or so. This year so far, we've replaced two water heaters and now the washer(maybe).

How's your week going?

Laptop fund

May 11th, 2019 at 07:02 am

I've establish a Laptop fund. I'll need to buy one as I am losing my work one at the end of June and all we have is a mini iPad at home. I don't need anything fancy, but I want to get something that will help me make a bit of money (word processing).I am going to try to create resources for Spanish teachers and sell them on Teachers Pay Teachers. I am also thinking on making money translating documents since I have experience doing this. If I get any cash for Mom's Day, I'll put that money toward this fund.

Laptop Fund Goal: $700

To date: $75

Weekly update

May 10th, 2019 at 08:46 am

I paid our quarterly property taxes today since it was the last day to pay without incurring interest, $1,850.00. Yes, I live in New Jersey (high property taxes). It used to be more, but we sold our house and moved the the neighboring town with lower property taxes.

Payday is next Wednesday and I should be able to bump our savings a bit more. Still working on meeting our savings goal. I am going to start applying to sub from September-December. As it turns out, the paperwork for subbing is lengthy.

Is anyone else suffering from horrible allergies? Mine are through the roof, watery eyes, congestion, scratch throat and low energy.

Well that's it! To all the mothers (or anyone playing the role of a Mom), HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Quick update

May 6th, 2019 at 09:22 am

Quick update: We received our tax return refund which I immediately transferred to our savings account. As of today, we need to save $3,060.00 in order to meet our savings goal. The savings deadline is June 30th; I am crossing my fingers that we can meet the goal by then. ;=)

It's Teacher Appreciation Week, please thank a teacher!

Update and Gratefulness

May 3rd, 2019 at 09:32 am

Three more paychecks to go until the end of my work contract. I submitted my resignation letter back in December in order to receive the contractual sick time payout of $60 per day and to be fair to the district as it is very difficult to find replacement for the subject matter I teach. The other day, a student told me that she's really going to miss me and I felt special. : )

Things are going to according to our plans with a few financial setback but nothing that we cannot handle. I'm actually glad that those setbacks are actually happening now when I am still producing an income.

We should be getting a health insurance payout at the end of the year since my husband opted out. I am not sure how we will handle the insurance and sick time payout. I am either paying a few mortgage payments on our Florida house or partially fund my Roth IRA.

$9K Savings goal:
As of today: $4,335.00

Lastly, I will say that the older I get the more grateful I've become. I am grateful for our frugal lifestyle that has allowed us to financially do many things I never thought possible. Our frugality was never perfect, but steady enough to keep us navigating choppy waters and persevere. Frugality is not for the faint of heart; it is a difficult journey full of sacrifices, but surely worth it.

Savings Goal Progress/Murphy

May 1st, 2019 at 05:12 pm

Savings Goal by June 30th:

Savings to date:

Amount needed to meet goal:

Murphy is making its grand entrance lately. We had to replace the water pump on my car, which cost us over $400. It would've been double that but my husband called the dealer and managed to get the pump warranty because the car has low mileage and it should not go bad so quickly. Now the water heater in one of our rental apartments is faulty and it needs to be replaced. This is the second water heater we replace this year (different units). That's probably going to set us back about $800. Oh well!


April 28th, 2019 at 05:53 pm

I am slowly adding to our savings account in order to meet our savings goal before I stop working at the end of June. We need to save $9K which seems a lot to save in such a short time but I have a plan and I'm going to fight like heck to achieve the goal.

Goal: $9K
As of today: $8,326.00

Pay day is on Tuesday so I will be adding some money then.

We had to turn on the heat today since it is a cold and rainy day. My car's water pump had to be repaired because it was over heating. It cost $450 to fix it.

I hope you have a great week

Carelessness Stinks!

April 22nd, 2019 at 11:32 am

I can kick myself in the ass if I could. I've been paying $20 every month for a service I have not used since 2018. How can I let this go so far and take pride of my money managing skills? I finally cancelled along with a Hulu Live TV free trial subscription that was due to be charged to my credit card tomorrow. I vow to never do this again!