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Sick-time payout

July 18th, 2019 at 08:21 pm

I finally received the check for sick time payout from my former employer. I am using some of it to pay the remainder of this month's credit card bill (which we pay in full at the end of the month), some will go to savings, $150 to a Roth IRA contribution and about $200 will remain in the checking account.

Payday update

July 15th, 2019 at 09:20 am

Today is payday for my husband. I did a sweep of what was left in the checking account. No much left ($50) and added what he earned in overtime pay and transferred that to savings ($330). I want to continue saving money even though our income is a heck of lot less now. I don't want to lose the saving habit. Smile

I also made a Roth IRA contribution of $150 and a credit card payment of $700. We have just enough to cover some small bills.

I have an interview a week from Thursday for a part-time Special Education teacher's aide. I don't want to be a teacher (if I can help it). Let's see how that goes. We are returning home on Sunday and after that my time will be spend taking care of my Mom as she recuperates from surgery. I'm so glad to have the time to care for her.

Grocery budget and other things

July 8th, 2019 at 07:27 pm

The grocery budget is $50 a week, excluding cleaning supplies and dog food. I spent $46 at Aldi today but I have to get bread. I have plenty of dog treats and food, cleaning supplies and laundry detergent in my stock pile.

My husband and I will be away for a little over a week soon. I bought plenty of food the last time I was in FL, so food purchase will be at a minimum as we plan to do all meals at home. We will be spending a bit of money getting home and going to the airport on Uber. We arrive late and will leave early and I don't want to bother my brother. He works two jobs and asking him to pick us up would be selfish.

Savings/Roth/UFMC

July 4th, 2019 at 07:17 pm

I (we)have $200 to spare this pay period and I'll put this money in our savings account. I am grateful to be able to put something in our savings and increase it even if it's smaller amounts (smaller than we are used to). I scheduled a contribution to my Roth IRA for July 15th. Fortunately, my husband has worked overtime and I felt like we could spare some of the extra money to fund my retirement account as much as we can.

Uber Frugal Month Challenge:

July 1st-Spend day
July 2nd-Spend day
July 3rd-No spend day
July 4th-No spend day

Midweek update

July 3rd, 2019 at 05:45 pm

I have a friend who is sells a specific product on Facebook. I've purchased only one time because it's not something I would use regularly. She keeps sending me offers and I was really honest with her and told her that my budget is super tight and I am not able to buy anything. She replied by saying that she understood. When your financial situation changes it is best to tell people and be honest. I am hoping she won't send me any other promotions.==

I took all the paperwork/application to a neighboring town public school. I am hoping to have something set up for September. The mortgage on our primary residence is paid until January of 2020. DS#2 is paying the property taxes. I am also taking advantage of lower summer heating oil rates to fill up the tank.

I hoping to be able to harvest some tomatoes by early next month. I'm on my second romaine lettuce harvest. We also picked up the tumbling compost bin that we got from freecycle.com and it's so nice. Nothing wrong with it!

More trimming

June 29th, 2019 at 07:22 am

I am still on the quest to trim some expenses from our budget. It occurred to me last night to check if Spectrum, internet provider of our Florida home, provides seasonal suspension of services. I was pleased to find out that for a $4.99 fee, I can suspend services temporarily. I already set it up for a $45 per month savings during the time that we are away.

We are going with creditcardfree suggestion of getting an antenna. Our cable and internet bill is truly out of control. I am reevaluating all of our negotiable expenses to trim as much as we can.

I also realized that I really need to stop cooking as if I was feeding an army. Too much food waste!

Trimming the fat from the budget

June 28th, 2019 at 01:18 pm

Trying to trim the fat off our budget. No more Amazon Prime, don't use it enough to keep it. I can buy milk, bread and eggs for a month with the nearly $14 I spend on that. Some may say that it's chump change but to me it's not. I asked my husband to call Geico and see how we can save some money on auto/HO/Umbrella Policy. My son's car is under my husband's name. Next week, we will turn the title over to him and he will have to secure insurance under his name. He pays us for his portion but we don't need a liability especially now that he is 25 years old and can get insurance at a reasonable rate. Next, is the ridiculous cable bill.

Done

June 20th, 2019 at 12:17 pm

Well, I'm done. My last day at work was today. I received a "live check" as they want to make sure I returned the school issued computer, keys and ID card. I am not going to lie, I cried a bit on my way home. I spent 13 years of life there. I do feel a huge relief and a weight off my shoulders. Financially speaking it will be tight but I feel confident that we will make it work.

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.