<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Home > Category: Uncategorized

Viewing the 'Uncategorized' Category

Thoughts on work

March 21st, 2019 at 06:07 pm

I have three months left to finally step down from my job. I am definitely glad the universe aligned with my plans because quite frankly, I am not sure I could have done this much longer. I don't want to be those type of teachers who are so burned out but yet have to stay because financially it would be a stretch to leave the profession. It is a disservice to the kids and self and I have integrity. I admit that my time as teacher has come to an end. When I first started working as a teacher, I thought I could change the world but that was quickly squashed to death. Yet, I hope that my students remember me as a kind and compassionate teacher. I would not mind working as a paraprofessional; do my job, go home and enjoy my life. Let's see what happens.

Finances are going as planned. My husband and I went to a seminar to learn more about applying for his pension. Mine is pretty straight forward since it will be differed until I turn 60 years old. I will take a 3% penalty for three years until I hit 55. Oh well! The presenter was very good and I'm glad we went. I am escaping to sunny Florida this weekend for some "me" time.

Help me decide

March 5th, 2019 at 04:59 pm

Two things I am pondering:

What to do with my 403B as of July 1, 2019 when I can no longer contribute through payroll deductions? Roll it to my Roth IRA? Is there a better option?

My husband's truck is a 2008. We still have full coverage insurance. When does it makes sense just to have liability insurance on this vehicle? We looked it up and it's worth between $5K-$7K.

Kitchen gadgets

March 3rd, 2019 at 01:54 pm

I admit it...I'm a really good cook but I am also lazy about cooking. I can make bread, dinner rolls, cakes, cookies, Italian food, typical American food from scratch and I'm sort of an expert when it comes to Puerto Rican food. Having said that, I cook from scratch most days because I don't want to spend my fun money on mediocre takeouts. We do go out to our favorite pizzeria once or twice a week. Food is fairly cheap and extremely tasty there.

I also have just about every kitchen gadget and my latest addition is Cuisineart Mixer. It was a gift from my DS#2. I think he got tired of hearing me talk about getting one but gripping about the cost of acquiring one. He Venmo me the money with a message, "Buy the darn thing already!" Having said that, my favorite kitchen gadget has to be my InstaPot. We eat lots of beans with our meals and today I cooked over 2 pounds of black beans in 25 minutes.

What's your favorite kitchen gadget?

March in like a Lion!

March 2nd, 2019 at 07:09 am

March came in with a vengeance. Two snow storms in the past two days and we are expecting a big one tomorrow into Monday. I am definitely looking forward to Spring like weather.

Pay day came and went and everything has been paid. I plan to double the mortgage payment this month on our FL home and the mortgage on our Jersey home is not due until November, 2019. It just gives me peace of mind to be ahead on these bills since our income will be greatly reduced in about four months.

Both husband and I will be attending a retirement (pension) seminar sponsored by the State of New Jersey. Since I will have my pension in deferment, I need to know if I can work as a substitute teacher in New Jersey when I am not in Florida. I think my husband's is pretty cut and dry. He is actually retiring with a full 25 years of service. I, on the other hand, have only 13 years in but fully vested. I am definitely looking forward to the end of my work contract. There is no way I could have continued working in that stressful environment.

Two week update

February 27th, 2019 at 04:42 pm

I am anticipating a much smaller paycheck tomorrow because of the four days off I took without pay to be with my Mom for her sister's funeral. I thought it would be deducted from my last paycheck. I am planning accordingly. Luckily, no big credit card bills to pay this pay period. I've been trying to amp our savings mainly because I've been slacking on that department.

Two things I've noticed since paying utility bills for our Florida home: water and electricity are rather expensive there, especially water. I'll have to economize once we are there. We are also shipping one of our cars there soon. We've been shopping around and it will cost us about $700 door to door service. We will be flying back and forth with our dog and leaving the car in the garage. We don't like long road trips and quite honestly highways cause me a great deal of anxiety.

On the bright side, weather wise, February is ending tomorrow and three more weeks and it will be spring. Goodbye SAD!


February 13th, 2019 at 07:49 am


I hope someone can help with this:

Does the $10K property tax deduction cap include just primary residence? We have two other rental property and in all we pay over $23K for all three houses.

We are doomed if that's the case. Frown

Trip and more.

February 7th, 2019 at 06:43 am


I just got back from an emergency trip to be with my Mom as her sister passed away and I did not want her to be dealing with that alone. Although very astute and bright, physically she is definitely showing her age and she has some health issues that need medical attention. She traveled back to the mainland with me. Not ideal in terms of weather, but necessary nonetheless.

Financially, it cost a bundle. I had to take four days off with no pay and airfare was super expensive. On the bright side, I haven't been to my hometown in three years and I ate so many awesome traditional dishes. The weather was also beautiful and oh the sun maid me feel so alive. Once more, I confirmed that for me, warmer weather does wonders for my spirit and body. Between airfare, food, days off from work and lots of miscellaneous the total was a good $3K. No regrets; I was happy to be home with Mom and take care of her.

I am now back to being frugal and back to saving.

Hometown Beach -West coast of Puerto Rico

UFMC#29 and more

January 30th, 2019 at 04:42 am

Day 29 was a No Spend Day and I for see not spending today.

I am on a delayed opening today so I managed to do a load of laundry before 8:00 which is before peek hours for my power company. I have managed to bring the electric bill down between $20-$25 every month by doing laundry after 8:00 at night or before 8:00 in the morning. As usual, I hang clothes to dry in racks.

It's pay day today and with my husband's overtime check and a $15 Home Depot gift card we already have enough money to purchase the BBQ grill. Yay for over time pay!

We will be below zero temperatures tonight and our boiler has been working non stop. We just had 220 gallons of heating oil delivered yesterday to the tune of $550. Oh well, gotta keep warm in this frigid weather.

UFMC Days 27, 28

January 28th, 2019 at 03:06 pm

Day #27 and #28 were both a No Spend Days.

I almost went out to eat today since I have a bad headache. I suck it up and made baked potatoes and London Broil with onions and it was delicious.

Just three more days and January will be gone. January and February are my least favorite months because of my SAD. I've been using my light box a lot to fight it.

UFMC Day: 24, 25, 26/updates

January 27th, 2019 at 07:22 am

Days 24: No Spend Day
Day 25: Spend Day (Dinner with hubby)
Day 26: Spend Day (Pizza)

I went over my intended grocery budget. I went to Aldi last night and we doubled up on some items we tend to use a lot but some will last us well into February. This month's grocery expenditures came to $131. Still a very good month for a family of three. I am going to continue doing this until the freezers are empty.

My husband worked some overtime this month and that money will be designated for the purchase of a BBQ grill for our Florida home. We love grilling and it's a must have for us. All we need now is a lawn mower but we will try to buy that used. Everything was cash flowed and I am extremely proud of our efforts.

Preliminary Budget

January 25th, 2019 at 09:23 am

I have a household preliminary budget once we move to Florida. My guess is that we will be living there full time after the first year. This will allow our DS#1 to find roommates to offset the cost of keeping and maintaining the house afloat until he can purchase the home from us.

So far we have a lean budget of $2500. This will cover all expenses including the home mortgage. The income will come from the two rental properties we own and my husband's small state pension. Once we decided to live in Florida permanently, I'll start applying for jobs and the budget will be less rigid. Any budget surplus will be funneled to the grocery and the miscellaneous categories (eat out, pet, beer, medical). I may add that our emergency fund is a very healthy one and any surprises will be covered.

UFMC Days #22 and #23/updates

January 24th, 2019 at 05:13 am

Day 22 Spend Day (ate out)and booked a trip to FL
Day 23 No Spend Day

Grocery shopping is still at $38.06
We've been eating from the pantry and deep freezers. I have to get some basic staples (potatoes, butter, milk and a few other little things. I'll try to do without them until the end of January but let see what happens. Grocery budget for this month is $75

We have to replace the water heater in one of the rental property. We cash flowed the expense to the tune of $870. I am happy to have a healthy emergency fund to kick Murphy's butt.

I booked a trip to Florida in February. My cost $100 since my thoughtful DS#2 paid for half of it. He is very much aware of how SAD affects my spirits and he told me that it was time to go and get some sun. Smile

October 2019 mortgage payment is scheduled to be paid on January 30th.

UFMC Days #20 and #21/SAD

January 21st, 2019 at 02:15 pm

Day #20- Spend day (we eat pizza on Sundays)

Day #21- No spend day

10/21 No Spend Days

I've been using my light box to try to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms. Today has been the worst I've ever felt in a long time living with SAD. Sluggish, sleepy, mopey, sad and feeling of helplessness. It doesn't help that it is so cold outside and I can't seat outside. Hoping and praying that some relief soon.

I am going to try to take a weekend trip to Florida but airfare is really high for Friday-Sunday. Frown

UFMC Days #18, #19

January 19th, 2019 at 08:01 pm

Both were no spend days. /

I was gifted a KitchenAid Mixer by DS#2 and I was able to make homemade pizza dough in about 5 minutes. I now have a homemade bacon buffalo chicken pizza kit in the freezer. We love to eat this but it is time consuming to prepare the pizza dough during the work week.

On another note, I'm so sad all of our posts are now gone. Frown

UFMC Days #16 and #17

January 17th, 2019 at 05:51 pm

Day 16:
$1 on a bag of chips

Day 17:
No spend day

September, 2019 mortgage payment has been paid. Goal is to have July, 2020 paid by June 30th.

Grocery spending so far this month: $38.06

UFMC Day #15

January 15th, 2019 at 02:56 pm

UFMC Day #15-No Spend Day

Groceries spending this month: $2.49

Tomorrow we will have to get some basic necessities: eggs, potatoes, milk and bread but nothing else as we are eating from the stock pile and deep freezers

Goal for the month on groceries: less than $75

I might be able to pay September's mortgage tomorrow with some surplus.

UFMC Days #10-14 and other things

January 14th, 2019 at 06:58 pm

UFMC Days #10-14 were a frugal fail. This is mainly due to a weekend trip to Florida. I will try to get back on track as of tomorrow. I figured that I should at least try to have as many days of No Spend for second half of the month.

I returned the washer/dryer pedestals I bought for the Florida house. I am of short stature and I don't really need the added height the pedestals provide. I received a $570 credit. I did buy an area rug as well as two additional chairs for my dining room table ($732) less the $570 cc credit. It is pay day tomorrow and I will be making a mortgage payment for the month of August of 2019. Feeling happy about that.

UFMC Day #9/Escrow

January 9th, 2019 at 09:18 am

Uber Frugal Month Challenge

I can pretty much count today as a no spend day. I know what I'll be making for dinner and I made a nice egg salad for lunches that will pretty much get us by until Friday.

Total 5/9 No Spend Days

I forgot to mention that I am putting a little bit of money here and there towards our mortgage escrow. One of our mortgages went up due to an increase in property taxes. The other mortgage went down $10 a month, but I am sending the previous amount and applying the $10 towards the principal. The two rental property income pretty much pays for our retirement home. We also keep a fund to repair or cover lost income from the rentals if need be.

UFMC Day #8/Roth IRA

January 8th, 2019 at 03:01 pm

Finally a No Spend Day!

4/8 No spend days so far.

I've already set up the first 2019 ROTH IRA contribution. I turn 50 late this summer which means I can contribute $7K this year. I plan to work a part-time job just to be able to contribute fully to the Roth each year.