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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!


April 20th, 2019 at 05:58 am

I am heading back home today after a very relaxed week in sunny Florida. I won't be back until late June. I am, however, looking forward to being back with my hub, children and fur baby. I missed them to pieces.

Income tax returns were filed with a week to spare before IRS filing dateline. I procrastinated since I really thought I would owe the Feds money with all the new tax changes. To my surprised, we did not owe the State of New Jersey like in previous years and we are getting $1,200.00 from the feds and paid $150 to have someone prepare and file for us. We will use that money to screen the lanai in our FL home and the rest will go to my ROTH IRA. I'm anxious to fully fund the Roth this year.

Thank you all who deterred me from rolling over my 403B to a Mangaged IRA. I am rolling over my 403B to my Roth IRA with TD Ameritrade.

I am going to look into substitute teaching as of September until December. After that, we are headed to Florida for the winter months and returning to New Jersey in April. I am nervously excited for this new season in our lives.

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it.

Car and Sun Oven

April 11th, 2019 at 06:50 pm

We were able to send my car to Florida Monday afternoon and it was delivered midday today. We used a broker to find us a good deal and it ended up costing us $450. Quite the bargain; the lowest quote received without the broker was $900.

About the sun oven...after much research, I opted to purchase the American Sun Oven from Amazon. Besides, wanting to save money on electricity, I really want to minimize my carbon footprint on earth. I am trying it for the first time next week and I'll let you know how it goes.


April 7th, 2019 at 03:53 pm

Six more paychecks left for me and I am trying to keep a good percentage of my money to transfer to savings. In all, I am $9K short of meeting my savings goal. I will post about it until mid July as I am expecting a sick day payout then. My husband is also expecting a health insurance buyout in July as well. Let's see how far I can get. If by any chance there is a surplus, I plan to throw all of it to my Roth IRA.

We are finally seeing some good weather and we're on the third day with not having to heat up the house. I am hoping this is the end of it. There is still half tank of heating oil and that should last us until next November or early December. (Crossing my fingers).

I embarked in some frugal doings this weekend. I stacked digital coupons with manufacturers coupons to get quite a few cleaning supplies, coffee and toothpaste. I saved $21 in all. I also scored a free nice unused grater from the Facebook marketplace. No hassle and easy porch pick up in my own town.

Spring break is next week for me and I am off to Florida but I'll be back for Easter. I used United earned miles to book this trip back in January. The cost? $105 round trip and that's because I wanted to fly Economy and not Basic Economy. This will be my last trip until the summer.

P.S. I am doing research on the "sun ovens" and I am almost positive it might be worth purchasing one for our Florida home. Stay tune; more to come on this.


April 3rd, 2019 at 02:50 pm

I reached out to the guy who manages my 403B retirement account as I will not be contributing to it as of July. He suggested a managed IRA. Does anyone here know anything about it. I tried to look it up and it felt like I was reading another language. Help!!!

Quick update.

March 28th, 2019 at 02:35 pm

After tomorrow, I'll have six more paychecks. I've run some numbers and I need to set a goal to reach by the end June. I have a certain savings amount in mind that I'll surely love to meet.

Our New Jersey home mortgage is paid up until November and the Florida home until October. This will make our savings goal much more achievable.

Hub should get at minimum $200 in overtime pay this pay period. I will keep that money in the checking account for a cushion. My weekend FL trip was very nice and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. I am going back for Spring break (in April).

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.