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My thoughts about life and money.Keeping It Frugal
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10 Years (Belated)

January 9th, 2020 at 03:24 am

In January 2010 I was single and woefully underemployed. I was working for minimum wage at a small local health club - I'd started the job over a year earlier, a few months before being laid off from my oil and gas job. I was renting a room in a lady's home - loved her pets! She was jealous I think of the attention her pets gave me (sorry, but dogs tend to gravitate to those who consistently walk and play with them ...)

I was also taking classes towards my Master's in Library science, and mostly living on savings. My networth was approximately $45k.

Fast Forward ten years.

I bought a used car, had three different main jobs (plus the tutoring in 2010/11), earned my Master's, moved to two different states, lost my dad, got married, and bought a house! (Mom got divorced, married, divorced, married and finally widowed.) Oh, I am again taking classes towards another degree.

Our networth is approximately (not including house or cars) $350k. A good portion of that though comes from the stocks I inherited from my dad. (Go figure, they are up nearly $100 from when I sold them a few years ago. Could've gone the other way.)

2020 Goals

December 31st, 2019 at 08:32 pm

Here are my goals for 2020. I found a Google template which I used to break the goals down further, and to be able to track them on my phone. There's two sheets - 1 with the goals, and one for tracking my chore cards (part of one of my goals.)

For some of these goals I actually chose a number that is 40-50% less than what I'd really like to achieve. However, in an effort to actually ACHIEVE these goals, I made them for a lower amount.

Here is a link to my goals spreadsheet -
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_pqIPMk0x2svMftBFBiL_-XLa8Zk26y_3GRwoX3hHZk/edit?usp=sharing

Health:

1. Win my HealthyWage bet (Approx. 3.5lbs/mo) (Ends Sept 22.)
2. Eat healthier -
a-Reduce dairy intake to 2x a week and limited amounts.
b- Reduce processed food products to 2x a month i.e. Amy’s or store bought veggie products.)
c - Reduce junkfood intake to only stuff others buy. IOW - no money spent on chocolate or other overly junky food products.
3. Run for 30 continuous minutes at a 17 mpm pace.
4. Win 5 Stepbets.
5. Win 5 RunBets.
6. Do a weight routine 25 times.
Personal Enrichment:
7. Fund Ireland Trip by April. Go on trip in May.
8. Read 25 books - at least 5 non-fiction.
9. Memorize two complete songs on the piano from the simplified Hymn book.
10. Complete Lead Sheet 1 and Classical 1 in Simply Piano app, as well as at least 2 stars on all songs up to those levels.
11. Complete three classes with an A or better.
Home / Financial:
12. Complete 3 Chore Cards each week.
13. Scoop the litter boxes 150 times.
14. Digitize 250 slides and upload to FB group.
15. Finish basic financial info backup system for DH - including a binder putting all important documents in one place. (Possibly use The Big Book of Everything as a guideline.)
16. Clean out - sort, shred, file, one file drawers worth of stuff in home office.
17. Dishes - Go to bed with an empty sink, or a dishwasher full of dirty dishes being washed, AND no dirty dishes or silverware anywhere upstairs but the kitchen - 120 times.
18. Write 3 real letters - handwritten, not email.
19. Make the office into a “homey” space - i.e. look like someone who knows about homemaking lives here. (i.e. purchase and hang artwork or other decorations, clean off, sort, organize bookshelves so they look neat and organized, keep desk clear of stuff, maybe replace dad’s 13+ year old office chair, make the makeshift monitor stand look less makeshift …)
20. Make 10 real recipes I have not made before.

5 Weeks In

December 21st, 2019 at 08:24 pm

About 5 weeks in to my new job, and I'm still quite happy. I spent a day at old job training my replacement last week. They made a really good choice.

We're not going anywhere for Christmas, per our usual. I purchased and sent mom our Christmas gift already. She sent us a check - which is what I had asked for - money towards my Ireland trip. She specified that some of the money was for DH which I think made him feel good.

I was approved for the BOFA $200 bonus card. I'm also debating about the Chase savings/checking bonuses.

I won a RunBet on Thursday - $8.87 profit.

Not much else to report.

Updates

November 29th, 2019 at 07:00 pm

Not to much going on.

I'm loving my new job. and getting used to being a bus commuter. I've had my warmer clothing be useful several times.

DH and I ate at IHOP for Thanksgiving .... we were going to go to Golden Corral, but we left too late. DH wasn't a happy camper. But he did get his turkey. I didn't really care one way or another.

I spent part of Thursday updating the budget. At our budget DH had $200 to play around with once all our baseline categories were funded. He divided it between car maintenance and medical - which is exactly what I would've done too. Smile

I might go to Aldi this afternoon for some groceries, but otherwise this is a no spend day for me (well, I do need to pay a car registration renewal)

So far today I got a load of laundry and dishes done, vacuumed, and got all my warm weather clothes put away and put out my cold weather clothes.

I still need to get in a 30 minute run, but otherwise, I'm ready to relax. Smile

4 Days On New Job, ETC

November 20th, 2019 at 01:45 am

What can I say? Smile So far, so good!

Best thing so far - I have my own office!!
Next best thing - once I get trained on the databases, I will be BUSY!
Next best thing - my new supervisor seems easy to get along with so far
Next best thing - people seem happy for me to be there - very friendly so far
Next best thing - Flex time!! I worked an extra 15 minutes on Friday, so tomorrow I get to leave 15 minutes early. This Friday I'm going to my former supervisor's retirement party - and am able to use my two breaks plus work an extra 30 minutes - so I don't have to use vacation time.

I've taken the bus every day. So far the weather has only needed a light jacket, but I think that will change on Thursday. Brrr!

---
I made my deposit for the Ireland trip! I have u7ntil Dec 16 to make the first installment payment. I'm going to be looking into a credit card rewards for that. Maybe BOFA - $200 after spending $500 I think. Then maybe a second one with a bigger spend requirement / bonus for the remainder.

---
My DH has been sick this last weekend. I told him to stay home. That our budget would be fine next month if he misses a few days. He wouldn't do it. He wanted to know how we could afford it, if I'm bellyaching about finding $90 / month for parking downtown. Ugh! Not the same thing! Even after close to 4 years, I'm not sure he gets the whole budget thing.

He did finally agree to go to an urgent care place where he got antibiotics for his issue, and is now feeling better.

I really wish he had paid sick days.

Last Day!

November 14th, 2019 at 02:21 am

Today was my last day at the bus company. So weird! Some people stopped by especially to say bye ... others not so much. Oh well. I got to say bye to those I really wanted to.

I *think* I left it to where the new supervisor and whoever is the new me will be able to be successful. The new supervisor has my email and permission to email me if needed. Smile

Something seriously funny - I was on my afternoon break and had just finished my Lara bar when an important trick hit me that I hadn't told J. I ran to her office to tell her before I forgot ... C was in there and had JUST finished telling her the same thing! (Essentially the trick is how to forward calls to the answering service - esp. for route questions. At least until she gets more familiar with it all.)

I had a lot more at the office than I realized - took two trips to get it all out!

DH is going to drop me off tomorrow so I can take a box of stuff with me - which would be a bit impractical on the bus. Smile I'm going to have to be much more organized ... no more leaving my purse or phone at home ... or waiting til morning to make my lunch or decide what to wear ...

DH asked me if the hassle was really worth saving $3/day ($90/mo parking garage) -- I asked him where exactly that $90 would come from? Date night? Vacation? Where?? With my last paycheck increase we are just now hitting our basic budget. (We had enough to cover the essentials before, but now we have enough to cover the essentials plus the basic funding level for sinking funds like pets, car repair, medical, etc.)

So .. the bus it is, plus DH willing to drop off once in a while. Smile

The temperature has seemed to get better today, and the forecast looks decent (high of 40 tomorrow) so a good way to start my bus adventures. Smile I ordered some high waisted silk long johns that should be here tomorrow. Smile

--
OOOHH!

I saw this on the YNAB forum and signed up for it - took a few days to get it, but I used it today and it worked!!

If you use Synthroid and have insurance, sign up at this link (synthroid . com before breakfast club) They'll send you a membership card which makes your Synthroid only $25!! (I've been paying $38 .. and it seems to be a little more every month.)

If you don't have insurance, I think there are other prescription savings cards you can sign up for. But this is the first I've seen for someone with insurance. (I take that back, my DH has a couple meds we were given a coupon for which lasted a year.)

Two days Left!

November 9th, 2019 at 03:36 pm

I only have two days left working at the bus company! It's been a busy time trying to prepare information for my successor. I wouldn't be so concerned about it if it wasn't for the fact that one week after I'm gone, my supervisor is retiring. So the lady who got my supervisor's job knows little about the bus company or about buses in general. The big kahuna has said he might try to arrange with my new supervisor for me to come back for a day to train my replacement once they've hired one.

The application closed on Friday, and apparently LOTS of people applied. We had several anxious people call this week wanting to know the status of their application. Obviously never applied for a government job before. Smile I'm kind of curious to meet whoever gets hired. Smile

---
We had a day this week where the morning temp was 12 degrees. So I decided to test out my new coat and hat/muff thing. Toasty warm! And not too bad hat hair.

I still need to work on keeping my hands warm though ... That's always an issue though, so nothing new. Sigh.

---
I won $10.45 in my RunBet which finished on Wednesday. Then turned around and started another one! Big Grin The treadmill sure is coming in handy (for me at least ...) My current Stepbet closes this Sunday, and it looks like about a $6 profit.

I'm still doing Intermittent Fasting (from 8 pm to 12 noon approximately.) The scale is moving SLOWLY in the right direction, but even better is my stomach seems to be going away too (again, SLOWLY.) I do think I;ll need every bit of a year to win my Healthy Wage bet at this rate ...

----
Anyone who is a member of the original YNAB forums - they are shutting them down on November 30. Check the forums for an alternative solution people have come up with.

------
In case you are a The Crown fan ... the new season starts on the 17th!! Smile

I'd also like to recommend Holiday in the Wild. Sweet and not too sappy. Smile

Netflix + treadmill = RunBet WIN!

Wonderful Sunday

November 4th, 2019 at 03:48 pm

My day started with luxuriously enjoying a little extra sleep. Then I got up and got the budget updated and ready for our belated November budget meeting. I was very happy to note that we were actually able to meet ALL the basic budget funding with $20 left over. Smile

Our medical fund got very low though because we ran out of FSA money in September ... but now we have a new influx so we can rebuild the fund.

November will have a 3 paycheck month and 5 weekends for DH, plus one paycheck for me from my new job. So .. I think December is going to be FLUSH!

After playing with YNAB, it was time to get ready ... to go see Phantom of the Opera with a friend from church! She arrived right at 12:30 and we found parking for only $5!

The Phantom was phenomenal as expected. Smile

When I got home DH was awake and working on the CRV trying to fix a melted headlight wire (
I think ...) Once it got dark, he gave up on it, and then we did the feeding of the cats. (They get the special treat twice a week - canned food with supplements ...)

Next we headed to the restaurant I'd chosen for my celebratory dinner - a sushi place we'd been to before. I ordered the vegetable sushi plate and DH got the mongolian grill. I used the chopsticks to eat Smile and didn't make too much of a mess. We splurged and ordered a piece of cake. Yum. A couple of the sushi rolls have slices of mushrooms. After the first time we went there, I bought some dried shitake mushrooms and tried to replicate .... not so much. I still have half a bag of dried mushrooms I need to figure out how to cook so they aren't like rubber ...

When we got home I checked my grades to see if anything new was graded - my teacher takes FOREVER to grade things. My midterm was graded! I got a 97% which put me at a 97% average. Sweet!

Our evening ended with DH and I spending a few hours doing our budget meeting and just hanging out.

All in all, a very wonderful Sunday. Smile

(Made all the better by having taken Monday off work so I could fully enjoy my Sunday.)