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December Frugalistas

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Ugh went to return $30 worth of stuff to TJ max that I don't want.  I didn't know their return policy is 30 days.  So now I am stuck with stuff I don't want.  

 

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38 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Ugh went to return $30 worth of stuff to TJ max that I don't want.  I didn't know their return policy is 30 days.  So now I am stuck with stuff I don't want.  

 

Oh no 😞 Maybe it would make you feel better if you could gift it to someone? Perhaps a nursing home angel or someone you haven't shopped for yet.

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

Ugh went to return $30 worth of stuff to TJ max that I don't want.  I didn't know their return policy is 30 days.  So now I am stuck with stuff I don't want.  

 

If it's women's or kids' clothes, is there a DV shelter nearby that will take donations?

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My beloved old lap top wouldn't turn on today.  Booo  Maybe dh can fix it? 

I have a newer one that we bought and has been sitting around for a year not used.  I don't like it though.  Much smaller screen.  Oh well. 

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I hope you can fix your laptop! 

I just totaled up all the medical bills we are paying on. Ugh. But at least we know the ones from this point forward all go on the flex card. 

They are building a dollar store near my house. It's been under construction a couple months? The weather keeps delaying it I think. They are definitely making progress, though. Once it is built that will save me gas money when I just need a few quick items. Normally I have to leave town to find a Dollar General, Family Dollar, grocery store, etc. They might sell milk in the local gas stations, but I avoid them like the plague. People are always loitering in front of one and getting rowdy. The other you nearly get in a wreck trying to pull up to a pump and there aren't really designated parking spots. So I will be thrilled to be able to go pick up milk or cat food without hassle. 

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Sorry I haven't been keeping up with everyone. Life has been crazy.

 

Frugal goal of the week: Somehow make my home look like a home and not a demolition site for Christmas. I think I will be able to move back Tuesday!

Currently, there is a gaping black spider web hole where the brick chimney decoration ran to the ceiling. We also had to rip out sheetrock and paneling in my room to reach floir joists to jack up house and fix the wall.  Most permanent cosmetic fixes must be done in the future. I will be happy with structural fixes for now.

So far my mom is loaning me a quilt to hang over fireplace (after a lot of vacuuming and making sure there are no nails or brackets sticking out) so that will help a lot. Hopefully I will come up with more ideas like that that are pretty much free.

Other than a lot of cleaning the bedroom will probably be ignored for awhile. 

 

 

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Have been reading but not posting.  My brain is like "SQUIRREL"   I read and while reading it triggers a thought of something I need to look up, add to a list or go do.  And there goes my brain.

I am trying to be frugal as possible.  It would help if I would remember to use ebates.  I usually remember sometime AFTER I have ordered.  Not good.

 

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Dd spilled a soda that was in the office. I personally try to avoid drinks in the office but Dh has one and it may have ruined his keyboard. This is not an ordinary keyboard. Supposed to be mostly waterproof but not everywhere. He’s going to test it again tomorrow but feels like he’ll need to replace it. We had a spare one I think but he wants one like this... mechanical, responds quickly to keystrokes and has macros set up? Like short cuts. 

I’m investgating Macaroni Kid. I bet it wouldn’t even work in my territory. You pay like $59/mo and earning potential is like $500/mo according to my googling. You have to blog about and share local community events, get advertising and subscribers. It’s an online work from home thing. Probably too much involved but $500/mo (give or take) could potentially influence me. 

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One week before Christmas!

Frugal wins:
-ds(8yo) is actually a savvy shopper!  He knew how to get the most bang for his buck when I took him out to buy presents. 
-my kitchen has been in full use, with trays of candies, cookies, and fudge across my table to put together plates for our friends and neighbors today.  I did not make the one candy I wanted to, but I think I'll try that this evening.
-I managed to put together a dinner plan last night that used leftovers and excess.  And pleased everyone, which is hard to do.  Oldest ds works around meat all day and is slowly becoming vegetarian because of it. 😄  The rest of us crave fat, carbs, and heavy food this time of year.  Finding a balance is always going to be tricky.

Fail:
-ds had a busy weekend at the rink.  We signed him up for the hockey session, and they started off with a practice, followed by a game at a neighboring rink, and then back to the home rink the next day for another game.  Dh suited him up one day and I took the next, but when it was my turn I couldn't find ds's second sock. This, in a locker room full of children and their parents and all having similar gear. I ended up running upstairs to the store and buying him a new pair. After he was all dressed I had him stand up, and, right under his butt was the other sock. Ugh.  Well, I was tired of darning them.  LOL  The last time was with green thread.  I just didn't expect to have to buy a pair so soon.

 

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1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:

One week before Christmas!

Frugal wins:
-ds(8yo) is actually a savvy shopper!  He knew how to get the most bang for his buck when I took him out to buy presents. 
-my kitchen has been in full use, with trays of candies, cookies, and fudge across my table to put together plates for our friends and neighbors today.  I did not make the one candy I wanted to, but I think I'll try that this evening.
-I managed to put together a dinner plan last night that used leftovers and excess.  And pleased everyone, which is hard to do.  Oldest ds works around meat all day and is slowly becoming vegetarian because of it. 😄  The rest of us crave fat, carbs, and heavy food this time of year.  Finding a balance is always going to be tricky.

Fail:
-ds had a busy weekend at the rink.  We signed him up for the hockey session, and they started off with a practice, followed by a game at a neighboring rink, and then back to the home rink the next day for another game.  Dh suited him up one day and I took the next, but when it was my turn I couldn't find ds's second sock. This, in a locker room full of children and their parents and all having similar gear. I ended up running upstairs to the store and buying him a new pair. After he was all dressed I had him stand up, and, right under his butt was the other sock. Ugh.  Well, I was tired of darning them.  LOL  The last time was with green thread.  I just didn't expect to have to buy a pair so soon.


 

Oh, hockey, lol.  Last year, DS9 played hockey, while DS10 was playing the fall baseball season and DS5 was in soccer.  It was chaos and I don't recommend it!  DH usually handled hockey, I usually handled soccer, and we split baseball duties (or dropped off, or delegated to grandma).  One night while DH was out of town, I had to take DS9 to practice and thought his bag felt a little less bulky than usual, but was sure I'd checked the bag.  Opened it up and... his pants were missing!  I accidentally left them in his closet!  Our rink has an "oops box" of extra equipment for these situations, but he's so scrawny that none of the pants were going to fit.  Fortunately, we were way early and I had time to run home and get them, and he only ended up missing about 7 minutes of practice.

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21 hours ago, frogger said:

Sorry I haven't been keeping up with everyone. Life has been crazy.

 

Frugal goal of the week: Somehow make my home look like a home and not a demolition site for Christmas. I think I will be able to move back Tuesday!

Currently, there is a gaping black spider web hole where the brick chimney decoration ran to the ceiling. We also had to rip out sheetrock and paneling in my room to reach floir joists to jack up house and fix the wall.  Most permanent cosmetic fixes must be done in the future. I will be happy with structural fixes for now.

So far my mom is loaning me a quilt to hang over fireplace (after a lot of vacuuming and making sure there are no nails or brackets sticking out) so that will help a lot. Hopefully I will come up with more ideas like that that are pretty much free.

Other than a lot of cleaning the bedroom will probably be ignored for awhile. 

 

 

 

I hope you get to get home this week. 

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3 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

Dd spilled a soda that was in the office. I personally try to avoid drinks in the office but Dh has one and it may have ruined his keyboard. This is not an ordinary keyboard. Supposed to be mostly waterproof but not everywhere. He’s going to test it again tomorrow but feels like he’ll need to replace it. We had a spare one I think but he wants one like this... mechanical, responds quickly to keystrokes and has macros set up? Like short cuts. 

I’m investgating Macaroni Kid. I bet it wouldn’t even work in my territory. You pay like $59/mo and earning potential is like $500/mo according to my googling. You have to blog about and share local community events, get advertising and subscribers. It’s an online work from home thing. Probably too much involved but $500/mo (give or take) could potentially influence me. 

 

Ugh about the keyboard.

I have heard about MK before, but I don't know anyone that has worked for them. 

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1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:

One week before Christmas!

Frugal wins:
-ds(8yo) is actually a savvy shopper!  He knew how to get the most bang for his buck when I took him out to buy presents. 
-my kitchen has been in full use, with trays of candies, cookies, and fudge across my table to put together plates for our friends and neighbors today.  I did not make the one candy I wanted to, but I think I'll try that this evening.
-I managed to put together a dinner plan last night that used leftovers and excess.  And pleased everyone, which is hard to do.  Oldest ds works around meat all day and is slowly becoming vegetarian because of it. 😄  The rest of us crave fat, carbs, and heavy food this time of year.  Finding a balance is always going to be tricky.

Fail:
-ds had a busy weekend at the rink.  We signed him up for the hockey session, and they started off with a practice, followed by a game at a neighboring rink, and then back to the home rink the next day for another game.  Dh suited him up one day and I took the next, but when it was my turn I couldn't find ds's second sock. This, in a locker room full of children and their parents and all having similar gear. I ended up running upstairs to the store and buying him a new pair. After he was all dressed I had him stand up, and, right under his butt was the other sock. Ugh.  Well, I was tired of darning them.  LOL  The last time was with green thread.  I just didn't expect to have to buy a pair so soon.

 

 

Ugh about the sock.  I am sure it is annoying right now, but it made me laugh.  I can see how that stuff gets lost all the time.  It is like that with my 6 year old and her dance shoes.  I get how she can lose them or another person takes them when she is in a combo class, but it doesn't make it any better that I am buying new ones.  

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32 minutes ago, BarbecueMom said:

Oh, hockey, lol.  Last year, DS9 played hockey, while DS10 was playing the fall baseball season and DS5 was in soccer.  It was chaos and I don't recommend it!  DH usually handled hockey, I usually handled soccer, and we split baseball duties (or dropped off, or delegated to grandma).  One night while DH was out of town, I had to take DS9 to practice and thought his bag felt a little less bulky than usual, but was sure I'd checked the bag.  Opened it up and... his pants were missing!  I accidentally left them in his closet!  Our rink has an "oops box" of extra equipment for these situations, but he's so scrawny that none of the pants were going to fit.  Fortunately, we were way early and I had time to run home and get them, and he only ended up missing about 7 minutes of practice.

 

That is such a great idea bout an OPPS Box.  One studio my kids danced at sort of had that.  It was a box where you could leave old shoes and anyone could take them.  But hey it helped out in a pinch. 

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That stinks about the sock but at least you know extra socks are useful to have. 

Yesterday I managed to get my dental cleaning in — whoo before the end of the year. Teeth got cleaned and a tooth I somehow chipped this week got sanded down a bit. No cavities. I took so long partly because I wanted to find a new dentist. The last place got rude with me. The hygienist I saw is very thorough and I imagine I’d be just like her lol I already rebooked with them 6 months out. 

Dh got his keyboard working again!! He let it dry out and he followed his friend’s advice to use rubbing alcohol on parts of it and he cleaned it up with a-tips or something. It was left to dry out from like Sun night to yesterday afternoon. Then he tested it and it worked. He was back to gaming last night. 

We open gifts here among ourselves on Friday before we travel to see family. I bought extra cat litter and may make a switch to Worlds best. I bought that plus our usual. I think WB costs more but sounds like might be better for the environment. Or maybe it lasts longer? I will test it out with kitty after we return. 

We’ve spent more on eating out this week. Dh is on vacation and doesn’t care so I’m not going to stress. He asked me to pick up pizza last night. Otherwise I would not have. The prices weren’t bad though. Pizza Hut special?? Medium $5 each. He prefers to the Little Caesars though I know LC is larger. 

On the coupons dot com app you can clip a coupon for free (up to certain value) eggs. I don’t need eggs right now but I may do that. 

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$5 Amazon credit when you order $25 or more in digital (email delivered) Starbucks gift cards. Enter code SBUX at checkout. 

There are also several more with codes, all email delivered cards, like $5 off google play $50 digital cg with code GOOGLE. 

And $7.50 off $50 App Store and ITunes digital gc with code APP750

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Library win!
I took ds last night to his book club.  The oldest has been asking me if I could find any children's books in Spanish for him, so I thought I would try the kids section.  I stopped by the 'free' bookcase on the way in (anything the FOL doesn't think would sell in the bookstore goes there to take) and found the Dave Ramsey dvds for dh and I to watch again PLUS 3 brand new Choose Your Own Adventures in Spanish.  They were still shrinkwrapped!  I also found a slightly worn copy of the first Magic Treehouse book, in Spanish.  Oldest ds was ecstatic when I got home.  The Magic Treehouse will be a good refresher before he jumps into the CYOAs.

How are you all doing this close to Christmas? 

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On 12/14/2018 at 10:24 AM, mommyoffive said:

Ugh went to return $30 worth of stuff to TJ max that I don't want.  I didn't know their return policy is 30 days.  So now I am stuck with stuff I don't want.  

 

Bring it back in without the receipt. 

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1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:

Library win!
I took ds last night to his book club.  The oldest has been asking me if I could find any children's books in Spanish for him, so I thought I would try the kids section.  I stopped by the 'free' bookcase on the way in (anything the FOL doesn't think would sell in the bookstore goes there to take) and found the Dave Ramsey dvds for dh and I to watch again PLUS 3 brand new Choose Your Own Adventures in Spanish.  They were still shrinkwrapped!  I also found a slightly worn copy of the first Magic Treehouse book, in Spanish.  Oldest ds was ecstatic when I got home.  The Magic Treehouse will be a good refresher before he jumps into the CYOAs.

How are you all doing this close to Christmas? 

 

Score!!

 

 

It has been a week.  One of the kids (most likely) cut the cord to the blue ray player.  So we don't have one now.  It is maybe 2 years old.  Nice. 

I lost something else in the house that I can't replace.  I am sure that one of my kids hid or moved it.  They always do this.  Although just last week one my kids found one of my really expensive necklaces in her room.  It had been missing for months.  

A friend who is moving gave us 2 carloads of books, clothes, and toys.   Now I don't need all the bigger clothes I bought my older kids.  So I shall return things. We will give away some things because we have so much.  My kids love the clothes and they are nice brands.  

Dh got his present from his father.   Which is the same thing every year.  So funny.  It includes a really large check so score. 

I still need to pay our taxes.  Escrow wasn't enough so I need some more money.    I have a bunch of little checks I need to deposit too.  

Found out one of our ballet teachers teaches at another place that is so much closer to our house.  Instead of 1 hour each way it would be 20-30 mins each way.  Plus it would be tons cheaper.  Only problem it is only one class a week.  The oldest takes 7 ballet classes a week.  The next will be at that level in one month.  I wish he taught more classes there so it woud be an even swap. 

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Well our Universal trip is over, we're about 300 miles from home. Sometime tonight I'll look at the credit card bill and see how much we spent total on the trip, I'm sure it was more than I planned but that's ok. I'm not gonna stress about it. 

When we get home we still have to hit the liquor store to get fil, his husband, and mil the rest of their gifts. We have to pick a few ingredients up for the kids presents and then we're done. I ended up getting dh a gift at Universal, nothing big or expensive but something he wanted but didn't buy for himself. I was even able to do it secretly so he'll have something to open on the 25th.

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8 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Score!!

 

 

It has been a week.  One of the kids (most likely) cut the cord to the blue ray player.  So we don't have one now.  It is maybe 2 years old.  Nice. 

I lost something else in the house that I can't replace.  I am sure that one of my kids hid or moved it.  They always do this.  Although just last week one my kids found one of my really expensive necklaces in her room.  It had been missing for months.  

A friend who is moving gave us 2 carloads of books, clothes, and toys.   Now I don't need all the bigger clothes I bought my older kids.  So I shall return things. We will give away some things because we have so much.  My kids love the clothes and they are nice brands.  

Dh got his present from his father.   Which is the same thing every year.  So funny.  It includes a really large check so score. 

I still need to pay our taxes.  Escrow wasn't enough so I need some more money.    I have a bunch of little checks I need to deposit too.  

Found out one of our ballet teachers teaches at another place that is so much closer to our house.  Instead of 1 hour each way it would be 20-30 mins each way.  Plus it would be tons cheaper.  Only problem it is only one class a week.  The oldest takes 7 ballet classes a week.  The next will be at that level in one month.  I wish he taught more classes there so it woud be an even swap. 

We just get money from our fathers every year.  I don’t mind it from FIL, because he’s somewhat interested in our lives.  My dad isn’t.  I’m considering not cashing his check this year.  It always feels like it’s some sort of fee in lieu of actual relationship, and I’m done with it.  We already “spent” that money on new bikes and accessories (helmet, pump, etc.), so the kids will never know if I cashed the check or not.

Sorry about the cord cutting!  My kids have really never done that, but they are bad about getting stickers and tape stuck to things that are very difficult to remove them from.  Like windows and the floor.

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Just now, BarbecueMom said:

We just get money from our fathers every year.  I don’t mind it from FIL, because he’s somewhat interested in our lives.  My dad isn’t.  I’m considering not cashing his check this year.  It always feels like it’s some sort of fee in lieu of actual relationship, and I’m done with it.  We already “spent” that money on new bikes and accessories (helmet, pump, etc.), so the kids will never know if I cashed the check or not.

Sorry about the cord cutting!  My kids have really never done that, but they are bad about getting stickers and tape stuck to things that are very difficult to remove them from.  Like windows and the floor.

 

Yeah he gets more than the check in there.  But it is the same items every year.  

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1 minute ago, Michelle Conde said:

Well, we were doing well, but then I blew the budget out of the water with ER and Dr. visits and gallbladder surgery this week.

 

Oh no.  I am so sorry.  I hope whoever had the surgery is doing ok. 

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We ended up not going grocery shopping this week.  We were just to busy over the weekend and dh was gone all week.  So saved $180-$250 bucks.  We just ate out of the pantry and freezer.  

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Got home from our trip not too long ago and I took some time to evaluate the budget.  Our spending at Universal was over what I budgeted but still within reason.  So, that'll get paid off easily and quickly. Things will be a bit tight until dh's next paycheck, which will be the first week of January because of his overspending on gifts and the fact that we still have to shop for his dad and dad's husband. It'll be an interesting two weeks because dh is off work and he tends to overspend when he is on vacation.

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I'm sorry about the surgury Michelle. Hope the recovery is going well. Had to laugh that Christmas pushed the frugalistas thread to page 7.

 

We are all happy to be home and we managed to get moved back in before Christmas so now I can use my main computer and will start catching up on receipts. Yikes!

I'm thinking that other than eggs and milk I may get away with no groceries for the rest of the year. I have frozen veggies for when my current fresh are gone. 

I need to buy my daughters Geometry but I'm going to try the local curriculum trade in business first. Maybe some of my other items sold so I can not pay! 🙂

Since I still need to alphabetize books since the earthquake I will see if I can bring a box or two of used stuff for consignment.

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5 hours ago, frogger said:

I'm sorry about the surgury Michelle. Hope the recovery is going well. Had to laugh that Christmas pushed the frugalistas thread to page 7.

 

We are all happy to be home and we managed to get moved back in before Christmas so now I can use my main computer and will start catching up on receipts. Yikes!

I'm thinking that other than eggs and milk I may get away with no groceries for the rest of the year. I have frozen veggies for when my current fresh are gone. 

I need to buy my daughters Geometry but I'm going to try the local curriculum trade in business first. Maybe some of my other items sold so I can not pay! 🙂

Since I still need to alphabetize books since the earthquake I will see if I can bring a box or two of used stuff for consignment.

 

I am so glad you are home.  That was great you got back before Christmas.

 

Christmas was below budget, which was nice.  We did spend $40 on Christmas eve eating out.  I think prices went up from last year as it isn't normally that much.  It wasn't even that good, but it is our tradition.  Maybe I will change that. 

Nutcracker just ended last night, so the tons of trips and parking are now done.  Except all my kids are moving up a level in ballet which means more $$.  Oldest is going on pointe.  AHHH.  Spent some money on gifts for everyone.  

We still need to give the kids our gift which is a trip. We just haven't decided where yet Africa (again), Japan, China, Thailand, or Australia are all the top ideas right now.  We have another round of Christmas with extended family. Ugh.  To much stuff. 

I am going today to return about $200 worth of stuff.  I have more to do after that too. 

I need to get the property taxes paid.  

Still thinking of applying for VipKids, now that Nutcracker is over I need to decide if I am going to try for it. 

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

 

We still need to give the kids our gift which is a trip. We just haven't decided where yet Africa (again), Japan, China, Thailand, or Australia are all the top ideas right now.  We have another round of Christmas with extended family. Ugh.  To much stuff. 

 

My vote is Australia, but that is because that is number one on my travel list.

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2 hours ago, hjffkj said:

 

My vote is Australia, but that is because that is number one on my travel list.

 

Ha.  We were about to pull the trigger on it because there are amazing flight deals to it.  But I just can't get excited about it.  The same reason we passed on a free trip to Hawaii (at least the airfare would have been payed with miles) The flights would have been $77 total for our trip.  And I am sure it is pretty there, it just doesn't interest me. Probably should have done it just because it was a good deal.   Australia doesn't either.  Hide.   It was on top of my dh's bucket list a few years ago, but I don't think he is into it anymore. 

 

Returned $206 worth of stuff.  I have some more to do, but that was nice to get that done. 

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It's been crazy here but now we're on break I feel like I'm at least catching up on household tasks. 

The budget can be summed up with- could be better, could be worse. 

Dh is still working on selling his truck he has a guy that is supposed to come Sat. , seems legit he offered to paypal money to hold it, dh being as he is turned him down. Dh is putting the "new" truck in his name today. Then I've got to add it to the insurance. I'm a bit annoyed b/c as it is it looks like the old truck will show as ours at the beginning of the year b/c the license office will be closed Monday and he won't be able to get the transfer done, yet dh was all laissez faire about it, at least hopefully, it will soon be done and we can get that money to his Mom and finish paying it off w/ income taxes. 

Dh also has to have a CAT scan done (in the new year) which will be thousands of dollars out of pocket, we just hope that is all it is and there is no bad diagnosis with it, his last test for his gallbladder showed some things that needed to be examined further. We will have some in our HSA but I'm not sure how much, dh was supposed to do a wellness visit but did not, we can earn up to $1200 but didn't earn the full amount due to him not getting the visit in, at least that will help and hope all is well and that is that.

So, nothing quite to plan as it goes but with me working we are staying with our head above water at least. We still have socked away some savings and this month tax bill is not touching it. Next month is car insurance and I'll take that out of my VIPKID money before transferring the rest to savings- or to the hospital for tests perhaps! 

I did make a grocery budget today, go me 🙂

I'll finish out this month at 150 classes- 1550 dollars w/ my Christmas incentive. $1500 is my monthly goal, I made more in Nov but I also worked every single day, I've been taking off Sundays and would like to keep it that way, maybe just work 1x a month to pull in some extra but that's it.

 

A new year is coming, I'm hoping for a good one! 

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1 hour ago, soror said:

It's been crazy here but now we're on break I feel like I'm at least catching up on household tasks. 

The budget can be summed up with- could be better, could be worse. 

Dh is still working on selling his truck he has a guy that is supposed to come Sat. , seems legit he offered to paypal money to hold it, dh being as he is turned him down. Dh is putting the "new" truck in his name today. Then I've got to add it to the insurance. I'm a bit annoyed b/c as it is it looks like the old truck will show as ours at the beginning of the year b/c the license office will be closed Monday and he won't be able to get the transfer done, yet dh was all laissez faire about it, at least hopefully, it will soon be done and we can get that money to his Mom and finish paying it off w/ income taxes. 

Dh also has to have a CAT scan done (in the new year) which will be thousands of dollars out of pocket, we just hope that is all it is and there is no bad diagnosis with it, his last test for his gallbladder showed some things that needed to be examined further. We will have some in our HSA but I'm not sure how much, dh was supposed to do a wellness visit but did not, we can earn up to $1200 but didn't earn the full amount due to him not getting the visit in, at least that will help and hope all is well and that is that.

So, nothing quite to plan as it goes but with me working we are staying with our head above water at least. We still have socked away some savings and this month tax bill is not touching it. Next month is car insurance and I'll take that out of my VIPKID money before transferring the rest to savings- or to the hospital for tests perhaps! 

I did make a grocery budget today, go me 🙂

I'll finish out this month at 150 classes- 1550 dollars w/ my Christmas incentive. $1500 is my monthly goal, I made more in Nov but I also worked every single day, I've been taking off Sundays and would like to keep it that way, maybe just work 1x a month to pull in some extra but that's it.

 

A new year is coming, I'm hoping for a good one! 

 

I miss seeing you here.  I am glad things are going ok.  I am sending some good thoughts to your husband.  Hoping things go well with the CAT scan. 

Wow you are killing it with VipKid.  That is great. Do you have anything more than a Bachelors? 

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I'm currently finishing up 2018 budgeting and looking forward to 2019.  December was brutal, but I upfronted some expenses that should help the budget going forward in 2019 - new phone to switch to a new plan, reusable items to replace consumable items, a decent food stockpile with the new freezer and fridge, discounted gift cards to stores where monthly budgeting doesn't always work (Target, Lowe's, Kohl's), baseball registrations already complete.

We are going on vacation in May, so I'm setting a few goals for the months in between - rock-bottom sale and perishable grocery items only, zero non-consumable purchases (unless replacing broken, necessary items), and continue working on reducing trash and switching to reusable items.  I used the brown packing paper from Amazon to wrap several Christmas presents in this year, which worked well, and I'm saving the rest for birthday wrapping paper.  I am trying to use washable containers instead of baggies for as many things as possible.  I'm going to start making a "free/low-cost fun" list for this year - places to go and things to do that aren't very expensive.  I live in a city with a TON of excellent but cheap or free family activities, and we're pretty bad about utilizing them on a regular basis.  After vacation, I'll evaluate how we did and what we need around the house and set another 3-4 months worth of goals.

Off to dig through the fridge full of leftovers to cobble together a dinner.  We had SO MUCH FOOD over the holiday that I can barely think about cooking.  My mom got each kid a big box full of their favorite junk/processed foods as their Christmas gift, and I feel like I could get by with just feeding them spinach and apples for the next week. 🤣

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4 minutes ago, BarbecueMom said:

I'm currently finishing up 2018 budgeting and looking forward to 2019.  December was brutal, but I upfronted some expenses that should help the budget going forward in 2019 - new phone to switch to a new plan, reusable items to replace consumable items, a decent food stockpile with the new freezer and fridge, discounted gift cards to stores where monthly budgeting doesn't always work (Target, Lowe's, Kohl's), baseball registrations already complete.

We are going on vacation in May, so I'm setting a few goals for the months in between - rock-bottom sale and perishable grocery items only, zero non-consumable purchases (unless replacing broken, necessary items), and continue working on reducing trash and switching to reusable items.  I used the brown packing paper from Amazon to wrap several Christmas presents in this year, which worked well, and I'm saving the rest for birthday wrapping paper.  I am trying to use washable containers instead of baggies for as many things as possible.  I'm going to start making a "free/low-cost fun" list for this year - places to go and things to do that aren't very expensive.  I live in a city with a TON of excellent but cheap or free family activities, and we're pretty bad about utilizing them on a regular basis.  After vacation, I'll evaluate how we did and what we need around the house and set another 3-4 months worth of goals.

Off to dig through the fridge full of leftovers to cobble together a dinner.  We had SO MUCH FOOD over the holiday that I can barely think about cooking.  My mom got each kid a big box full of their favorite junk/processed foods as their Christmas gift, and I feel like I could get by with just feeding them spinach and apples for the next week. 🤣

 

Wow!  You go girl.  You are so organized and ready for this new year.  I need some of that to rub off on me.  

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24 minutes ago, BarbecueMom said:

I'm currently finishing up 2018 budgeting and looking forward to 2019.  December was brutal, but I upfronted some expenses that should help the budget going forward in 2019 - new phone to switch to a new plan, reusable items to replace consumable items, a decent food stockpile with the new freezer and fridge, discounted gift cards to stores where monthly budgeting doesn't always work (Target, Lowe's, Kohl's), baseball registrations already complete.

We are going on vacation in May, so I'm setting a few goals for the months in between - rock-bottom sale and perishable grocery items only, zero non-consumable purchases (unless replacing broken, necessary items), and continue working on reducing trash and switching to reusable items.  I used the brown packing paper from Amazon to wrap several Christmas presents in this year, which worked well, and I'm saving the rest for birthday wrapping paper.  I am trying to use washable containers instead of baggies for as many things as possible.  I'm going to start making a "free/low-cost fun" list for this year - places to go and things to do that aren't very expensive.  I live in a city with a TON of excellent but cheap or free family activities, and we're pretty bad about utilizing them on a regular basis.  After vacation, I'll evaluate how we did and what we need around the house and set another 3-4 months worth of goals.

Off to dig through the fridge full of leftovers to cobble together a dinner.  We had SO MUCH FOOD over the holiday that I can barely think about cooking.  My mom got each kid a big box full of their favorite junk/processed foods as their Christmas gift, and I feel like I could get by with just feeding them spinach and apples for the next week. 🤣

Those are great goals and a good inspiration, we need to evaluate we're were at and where we're going.

25 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

I miss seeing you here.  I am glad things are going ok.  I am sending some good thoughts to your husband.  Hoping things go well with the CAT scan. 

Wow you are killing it with VipKid.  That is great. Do you have anything more than a Bachelors? 

1

Thanks! Nope, just a Bachelor's degree. I'm making more than I planned so I am pleased, here's hoping that things continue on.

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Frugal win for the end of the year:  I have three brothers, and two are still growing teenagers (13 and 17).  My dad mailed us two boxes full of good condition, mostly name brand hand-me-downs that they’ve grown out of.  Pants and shorts, sweatshirts, a couple coats, some snow gear, athletic tees, and a hideous beach-patterned shirt that my dad must have picked out but my 9yo loves it!  I wear a boys size 12-14 in pants (my legs are too short for petite sizes!), which are plentiful in the boxes, so I might pull a pair of the athletic pants out for me in case I end up coaching soccer this spring.  Definitely won’t need any kids clothes these next few months!

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6 minutes ago, BarbecueMom said:

Frugal win for the end of the year:  I have three brothers, and two are still growing teenagers (13 and 17).  My dad mailed us two boxes full of good condition, mostly name brand hand-me-downs that they’ve grown out of.  Pants and shorts, sweatshirts, a couple coats, some snow gear, athletic tees, and a hideous beach-patterned shirt that my dad must have picked out but my 9yo loves it!  I wear a boys size 12-14 in pants (my legs are too short for petite sizes!), which are plentiful in the boxes, so I might pull a pair of the athletic pants out for me in case I end up coaching soccer this spring.  Definitely won’t need any kids clothes these next few months!

 

Score.  We got a ton of hand me downs this month.  It saves so much money 

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1 hour ago, BarbecueMom said:

Frugal win for the end of the year:  I have three brothers, and two are still growing teenagers (13 and 17).  My dad mailed us two boxes full of good condition, mostly name brand hand-me-downs that they’ve grown out of.  Pants and shorts, sweatshirts, a couple coats, some snow gear, athletic tees, and a hideous beach-patterned shirt that my dad must have picked out but my 9yo loves it!  I wear a boys size 12-14 in pants (my legs are too short for petite sizes!), which are plentiful in the boxes, so I might pull a pair of the athletic pants out for me in case I end up coaching soccer this spring.  Definitely won’t need any kids clothes these next few months!

 

I love getting hand me downs.

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I spent some time the other night evaluating my financial goals for 2018 and I knocked them out of the park!  I was able to max out both Roth IRAs with a portion of what we got from selling the house.  On top of that, I was able to save just under 50% of dh's take home pay. The extreme savings is mostly socking money away for a down payment and partly playing catch up from a few years of not being able to save much at all. We are nicely set to start 2019 off right.

I'll post a long post in January about 2019 goals and how we'll accomplish them through frugality.  But for now, I will just bask in the accomplishments of this year. 

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Well, I just finished wrapping up going over my budget from this year.  Besides my surprise surgery last week, dh slid off the road and busted two tires (thankfully he was not injured!) but that made him worry about us on snowy roads, so he unilaterally decided to get full new sets of tires for both cars.  I think mine could have made due for a while longer, but I can’t be unhappy with him for it.  And my car’s battery went out and had to be replaced.  Also, the electric scooters I got secondhand weren’t running properly.  I am pretty handy and will probably be able to fix them, but as I have been incapacitated the past few weeks, that did not happen before Christmas, so dh went out and bought some things for the kids.  So that was extra expense, but I guess we already have the main birthday gift for the three older kids for next year.

All told, I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to just cover everything without carrying a credit card balance (except the surgery bill which has not come yet).   Hopefully we will be able to pay that off fairly quickly in the new year and get back to trying to save up a down payment for a house.

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2 hours ago, hjffkj said:

I spent some time the other night evaluating my financial goals for 2018 and I knocked them out of the park!  I was able to max out both Roth IRAs with a portion of what we got from selling the house.  On top of that, I was able to save just under 50% of dh's take home pay. The extreme savings is mostly socking money away for a down payment and partly playing catch up from a few years of not being able to save much at all. We are nicely set to start 2019 off right.

I'll post a long post in January about 2019 goals and how we'll accomplish them through frugality.  But for now, I will just bask in the accomplishments of this year. 

 

Congrats!   I hope 2019 is just as good for you. 

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1 hour ago, Michelle Conde said:

Well, I just finished wrapping up going over my budget from this year.  Besides my surprise surgery last week, dh slid off the road and busted two tires (thankfully he was not injured!) but that made him worry about us on snowy roads, so he unilaterally decided to get full new sets of tires for both cars.  I think mine could have made due for a while longer, but I can’t be unhappy with him for it.  And my car’s battery went out and had to be replaced.  Also, the electric scooters I got secondhand weren’t running properly.  I am pretty handy and will probably be able to fix them, but as I have been incapacitated the past few weeks, that did not happen before Christmas, so dh went out and bought some things for the kids.  So that was extra expense, but I guess we already have the main birthday gift for the three older kids for next year.

All told, I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to just cover everything without carrying a credit card balance (except the surgery bill which has not come yet).   Hopefully we will be able to pay that off fairly quickly in the new year and get back to trying to save up a down payment for a house.

 

That is great.  Give yourself a huge pat on the back.  It sucks having all those expense pop up, but such is life.  You are doing such a great job taking care of your family and living smart if you can handle the those things without taking on debt. 

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