<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
You are viewing: Main Page

Always thinking!

March 30th, 2018 at 01:52 pm

Hi all! It's been awhile since I've posted. I have financial things running on autopilot, with my usual maintenance. Other life things have kept me ridiculously busy. I just concluded a work project that took about 8 months to complete, along with my extremely heavy normal workload. So thankful it's over! That was really tough. It had me evaluating my life goals (which I do anyway), with some serious thought. I dream of retiring in about 8-9 years, and we are prepared for that. We have diligently saved for retirement, at times 50% of gross income, which was really easy to do before kids. The % has reduced in the last 10 years, but our income has steadily risen. At this time, we contribute 25% of gross to retirement, it has never been less than that. I absolutely love my job. But it is stressful at times. So I'm looking for ways to have it all and be happy...chill out about work, stop the all-or-nothing attitude about work...I can enjoy my life and still work! I think it takes a change in mindset which I've been working on. I used to dream of being bored 😂 I don't even know what that is! But do I really want that? Is it ideal for me? Probably not, as I enjoy being busy, productive, talking with people, doing things I enjoy. Just doing a lot of self reflection lately.

We just recently purchased another residential rental property. We've finished the repairs and upgrades and it's ready to rent. I strongly believe in multiple sources of income, now (to prepare for the future) and into retirement. I also started a fun side business that I'm thoroughly enjoying, but the extra income will be put to good use!

Happy Easter everyone!!!

Midweek update

June 7th, 2017 at 05:40 pm

The last several weeks have been really crazy...a whirlwind of work, boys sports and lessons, end of school year stuff and get togethers with friends. I think I've only been home in the evening one or two nights a week. But it allows no time for shopping, which is good. Only groceries and necessities. We're even low on groceries, which is unusual for us. I have to stop at the grocery store tomorrow to buy after game snacks for my son's baseball team tomorrow night. Next week, things should slow down a little. I certainly hope so.

The minor home repairs we needed to have completed are almost all done. I'm behind on updating my financial records so once I've done that I'll post totals. The good news is, I don't foresee any other home repairs the rest of the year. I might paint and re-carpet the living room, but it can wait.

I'm happy to say we didn't spend as much as previous years on outdoor flowers and such. I really cut back, mostly because of time constraints and cold weather. I planted 4 big flower pots (2 for the front and 2 for the back), bought 4 ferns for the front porch, and planted basil, parsley and a green pepper plant. The boys also planted sunflower seeds. It's enough. I got all of my porch furniture out and I'm so happy! I try to sit out there every day, even for a few minutes.

Well, I'm off to do more laundry and clean up after dinner, my one night home this week!

Groceries, take two

May 7th, 2017 at 08:08 am

Boy, this is really bothering me. It seems the last 10 days of April were heavy grocery shopping days. We ate at home, gave some food to a neighbor, and DH cooks from scratch. The prices at our local grocery store are higher than average. My boys eat a lot...DS1 eats way more than I do, and DS2 probably eats a little more than I do. I will start over as of 5/1 and see what happens this month. So, groceries from 5/1-5/6 was $115, plus $38 at Penzeys Spices, but the spices will last several months. Grocery shopping today, for food this week, was $103. DH will be going to Costco later this week. I know he's treating the boys to steaks on Saturday while I'm out for the birthday party I'm attending. He'll also stock up on fruit at Costco, as it's so reasonably priced there.

Groceries, observations and other expenses

May 6th, 2017 at 05:36 pm

Groceries...We've been extremely diligent about food...the only eating out the last 2-1/2 weeks was $25. DH bought the boys a few things while they were out. Other than that, every meal has been eaten at home or taken from home. DH buys his lunch every day, business expense, because he usually meets clients, but he's very frugal. Most of the time he'll eat at the grocery store cafe. With that said, our grocery spending was about $725 the last 2-1/2 weeks. We still have some stuff in the freezer, of course. But wow, that's more than I thought it would be. That amount does not include household supplies/toiletries. Groceries only for a family of four. We eat organic meats, a lot of vegetables and fruits, and never buy processed items. We shall see what the monthly amount is. I'm hoping it's a timing issue and will even out.

This month, I have a mom's get together on Monday (will take cookies or something), a concert to go to (will use cash for refreshments), a birthday party (restaurant and drinks out which will come out of the household budget; the gift will come from the gifts category), and a get together with my high school friends that will entail middle eastern takeout food (household budget).

We also had a bunch of home repair items taken care of in the last two weeks:
Annual exterminating $275 (they will come back out unlimited times as needed)
Annual HVAC maintenance $225
Electric repair $115
Refrigerator repair $150
Roofer came out to look at minor second floor ceiling stains and will repair-TBD
Called for screen door repair-TBD
Called for quote on porch floor painting and exterior painting and minor touch ups-TBD
Called for tuck pointing to porch column and brick stairs-TBD
I set aside $4,000 this year for maintenance and repairs. The only other item we will do this year is painting the living room and new carpet, which we can cash flow if necessary.

The summer camp reserve is fully funded. It's funny, because I'm always funding some kind of reserve in advance. So the funds go to one bucket or another! For instance, my reserve for estimated tax payments needs $1,905 to fully fund it through 1/2018. So, instead of directing the funds there, I funded summer camp. The tax estimate will be fully funded by the end of June. It's all good!

Oh, and our village has an annual Memorial Day carnival and parade, which we always celebrate with friends. We'll bring food and beverages! Wristbands for the boys will be about $25 each. Oh well, it's once a year and tons of fun!

If the rain ever stops, I'll get my porch furniture out, hopefully tomorrow!

Recap of the week and weekend doings

April 22nd, 2017 at 04:42 pm

The last couple of weeks have been busy! Between an extremely heavy workload, baseball games and practices, guitar lessons and just normal household stuff, it was crazy! I was able to take off work on Friday, it was heaven! I did laundry, cleaned and took a nap! And today was a lot of the same. I haven’t had two consecutive days of no outside home commitments in forever. It’s been wonderful. I’m completely caught up on household and laundry. It certainly won’t last, but it’s fun to have these few moments of bliss! Work this coming week should be a little more low-key than it’s been recently, so I’m looking forward to that.

Budget wise, we are doing well. I was able to pay the down payment for the boys’ summer camp of $410 out of the grocery/household budget. It will be close, but we will do it. The remaining summer camp costs are about $3,000, which I will save for or cash flow. We were able to pay the $410 by not eating out much and not purchasing items that can really wait. There were only a couple of take outs or lunches out this month, but no dinners out at all. When we go out to dinner, it’s a minimum $100 for the four of us because the boys eat off the regular menu…they eat a lot! So with a couple of drinks or beers, plus tip, it’s usually $100+, which is ridiculous. It just takes a great deal of planning in advance, as you all know, to avoid eating out. The challenge is getting home from a baseball game at 8:30 pm, or later, and having dinner. We’ve managed, but it takes work. Also, DH made many dinners this month that produced leftovers, with my prodding, so that really helped.

As far as working out or walking, that did not happen. My Spring allergies have been brutal, but with the additional rest, I do feel better. Baby steps. I think I can swing a Tuesday workout.

We have a baseball game tomorrow with a 10:00 am arrival, 11 am game, which usually lasts at least two hours. I bring plenty of drinks, snacks and lunch if necessary. I refuse to eat out! We will make dinner at home and plan meals for the week.

I hope you’re all having a great weekend!

Weekend recap

April 9th, 2017 at 04:27 pm

It was a rough work week and busy, but fun, weekend. We ended up getting take out on Thursday because DH's work appointments prevented him from cooking dinner. We had another family over for dinner on Friday, and DH cooked. The only other takeout was sub sandwiches on Saturday for lunch because of baseball practice. So, takeout was pretty minimal. DH cooked dinner all weekend. I didn't go to lunch with my mom friends this week. We may do it this week.

New baseball clothes for the boys amounted to $220 on Under Armor .com and that included new slide shoes for the boys for the summer. I need to purchase two new chest guard compression shirts. I think DS1 still needs pants, however, I don't have the detail yet on what needs to be purchased.

Two bags will be dropped off at Goodwill this week.

I laid out my work clothes 3 out of 5 days! When the weather is warmer, I typically wear dresses everyday because it's only one item I need to choose and so much easier! There will be several days this week I can do that.

We are doing well on the grocery budget so far, we shall see! I'm hoping to have several hundred dollars to divert to the summer camp costs.

I'm hoping to go to my workout class on Tuesday late afternoon (depends on work because I would need to leave early) and on Saturday morning. I'd like to walk a few times this week in the morning before I get the boys up for school. I'm trying to get a couple other moms to join me.

It was a beautiful day today! I sat on my porch in between laundry and chores.

Getting ready for the week

April 2nd, 2017 at 03:48 pm

Looking forward to the week ahead! Hoping it will be low key but there's always a lot going on.

Dinner Meals Sat through Thurs:
Sat (last night) - Chili and cornbread (beef from freezer)
Sun - Beef tenderloin, asparagus, baked potato, caprese salad (beef from freezer)
Mon - leftover chili and cornbread
Tues - grilled chicken, salad, twice baked potatoes (baked potatoes left over from Sun)
Wed - Beef vegetable soup (beef from freezer) and any leftover potatoes (leftover from Tues). The soup was made Sun and we had that for lunch.
Thurs - grilled shrimp, seafood risotto, salad (seafood stock from freezer)

This will get us through Thursday. It's definitely more beef than we usually eat in a week (or two!). We ate a ton of seafood on spring break, so the beef will balance that out! I found out a lot of the stuff in the freezer is stock (seafood, chicken), so we'll continue to use that up. The good news is no eating out or takeout for dinner this week. I have a tentative lunch out on Friday with my mom friends. Other than that, I will pack my lunches for work. We are having our friends over for dinner on Friday night.

It will be a very busy work week. I've laid out my work clothes for tomorrow morning. I really need to do that every day. I usually have a vague idea of what I'm wearing, but it just creates more stress in the morning if it's not decided.


March 29th, 2017 at 04:34 pm

I'm really looking forward to starting April. The last few months have been spendy with Christmas, two family trips to FL, DH to FL to visit parents and me to FL to visit my dad, paying for travel baseball, and other sports, etc. We did it all pretty economically. We had funds saved for all of it or cash flowed it, but I still cringe when the funds are spent! At least we had the money set aside, or we obviously wouldn't have done those things.

We get home from our Spring break trip on Friday, and I told DH we are in major frugal mode for the next few months 😉 I want to see how much we can reduce our grocery spending so we can put those funds to other things. DH is going to plan our meals with what we have and clean out the freezer. I don't believe there's a huge amount of stuff in there, but we'll use it up!

I also want to set aside funds for summer camp now, if possible, rather than cash flow it during the summer. It's a mental thing, I like having the money set aside early.

We are on track with our investments for retirement for the year, it's all automatic. But I also save for short, mid, and long term annual expenses and I feel better if those are funded for the year as soon as possible.

The other thing I'm excited about is Spring cleaning in April! The weather is finally getting warmer and I can't wait to do a major cleaning and have windows open!


March 26th, 2017 at 06:20 pm

I'll get the hang of this eventually! After 11+ years of lurking, and prodding by Thrifty Ray and Creditcardfree, here I am. I've enjoyed reading all your blogs! I love personal finance! More to come!


March 26th, 2017 at 05:53 pm