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March Frugalistas

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59 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

Dh and I really wanted a 15 year mortgage but couldn't swing the numbers.  Instead we just round up the payment to the next even $50 amount (so about $32 extra each month) and then pay extra when we can.  We have our savings goal on track, our vacation for next year looking to be planned by Sept, and he's already retired with a second retirement account being maxed out for us. 
We figured out that our usual extra each month is saving us about $14,000 over time in just interest.  That takes a full year off for the price of a night at the movies for dh and I.  We'd like to also add an extra full payment each year so that we're sitting at about a 20-22 year mortgage.  It's slow and steady, but our goal is to be able to use this place as a summer rental unit in our old age and use it to pay for our travels later.

 

Wow, you guys are really on track.  Your dh is already retired?   Amazing.  And another account being maxed for you?  That is so lucky.  Congrats    And you have next years vacation planned?  Amazing.  I marvel at people who can plan vacations that far in advance. Where are you going?  Decide and not go back and forth.  Yep I am bad at decision making. 

Hmm.  you are getting me thinking about spending extra to the Mortgage.  That little bit sure does add up fast. 

Edited by mommyoffive

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3 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Wow, you guys are really on track.  Your dh is already retired?   Amazing.  And another account being maxed for you?  That is so lucky.  Congrats    And you have next years vacation planned?  Amazing.  I marvel at people who can plan vacations that far in advance. Where are you going?  Decide and not go back and forth.  Yep I am bad at decision making. 

Hmm.  you are getting me thinking about spending extra to the Mortgage.  That little bit sure does add up fast. 

Dh retired from the military. 🙂 It's some, but not as much as we would like for the future. 

I should admit that our planning is WDW.  Once we finish one trip we start planning another. 😄  They're about 5 years between, and dh really wanted to go this year but we had other priorities first.  He had already done all the research, though, and we're rolling with those numbers to start to plan our next one.

2021 we have planned, too, but that one to a different country.  We don't often take two big vacations in a row but we really want to do this as soon as we can.  Usually we take small trips like a local theme park or camping or hit up state museums.

That little amount really does add up. I figure the less we spend on interest, the better, and goodness knows we'll have better places to spend that money than to line someone's pockets!

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12 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

Dh retired from the military. 🙂 It's some, but not as much as we would like for the future. 

I should admit that our planning is WDW.  Once we finish one trip we start planning another. 😄  They're about 5 years between, and dh really wanted to go this year but we had other priorities first.  He had already done all the research, though, and we're rolling with those numbers to start to plan our next one.

2021 we have planned, too, but that one to a different country.  We don't often take two big vacations in a row but we really want to do this as soon as we can.  Usually we take small trips like a local theme park or camping or hit up state museums.

That little amount really does add up. I figure the less we spend on interest, the better, and goodness knows we'll have better places to spend that money than to line someone's pockets!

 

I am thanking you right now about the mortgage advice.  I am going to set that up.   It really isn't my goal to pay it off early.  I am more with the advice that says your money is better of being invested.  And with the mortgage % deduction.  I am not sure that applies anymore.  Does it?    Anyway we could pay a little extra on it even though that isn't my goal.  It would be nice.  I think I had read so much of people paying an extra 2k or more on it every month.  We could do that too, but I would rather spend some on life right now.   I am going to call and get that figured out. 

Again you guys are awesome for having things planned so far ahead of time.   I wish I was able to do that.  I see why so many people go back to WDW over and over.   Where are you going in 2021? 

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I know the debate over prepaying mortgages vs. investing gets heated at times, and I understand the math, but I grew up with housing insecurity (foreclosures, evictions, etc) and still struggle with the anxiety and after-effects of all that.  I think we're going to move forward with paying off the house early for my own peace of mind.  We have a smaller-but-adequate house in a working-class neighborhood with really low property taxes and a very affordable payment, but I still live in fear of lost paperwork or a clerical error.

Still tracking expenses here this month, but I haven't added them up yet.  LOTS of kid-related expenses, and although I have a list of non-consumable things we need to buy in the next couple months, I haven't spent any money outside of food, activity fees, a few books for the kids, and cough drops (I go through big bags of them, because allergies and reflux).  We're working on eating everything in the freezer and pantry before vacation, so hopefully the upcoming food bills won't be as painful.

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24 minutes ago, BarbecueMom said:

I know the debate over prepaying mortgages vs. investing gets heated at times, and I understand the math, but I grew up with housing insecurity (foreclosures, evictions, etc) and still struggle with the anxiety and after-effects of all that.  I think we're going to move forward with paying off the house early for my own peace of mind.  We have a smaller-but-adequate house in a working-class neighborhood with really low property taxes and a very affordable payment, but I still live in fear of lost paperwork or a clerical error.

Still tracking expenses here this month, but I haven't added them up yet.  LOTS of kid-related expenses, and although I have a list of non-consumable things we need to buy in the next couple months, I haven't spent any money outside of food, activity fees, a few books for the kids, and cough drops (I go through big bags of them, because allergies and reflux).  We're working on eating everything in the freezer and pantry before vacation, so hopefully the upcoming food bills won't be as painful.

This was our thoughts, if our income was drastically reduced we wanted less bills so staying where we are was not so much of a concern and with worries over the years w/ employment I'm glad to be debt free but everyone's situation is of course different.

I've not been here in forever! Sorry ladies, not keeping up with everything. We're off school this week and then 2 more weeks and we are out for the summer, yipee! Maybe I can finally get caught up. As I posted elsewhere we are going to Europe this spring but are working to do it on a budget.

BUT we found out Monday that dh is being cut back to 4 day weeks until July, is off the week of Memorial day and 2 wks in June or July (I forget which). These will be just with unemployment pay, which is of course a fraction of regular pay. Again, we're hoping to not touch savings if at all possible and squeeze the budget down. It is just 3 months, we've squeezed tight for longer, thinking good thoughts and trying to focus. 

We have a nice chunk in savings now and hope to keep as much of that saved as possible. I know I'll have to pull out some next month, but hoping that it is only 1500 or so and leave the rest alone. I'm ok if we need to use bits of my checks to help pay vaca and bills when he is on some unemployment but want to keep it as little as we can. Dh would still like to build a shop this year and if we can keep our savings up we'll have more than enough for that but I think we'll probably sit on that a bit with all our vacation planning and him finishing the spring semester of classes there is not a lot of brain energy to devote to the plans. 

Anyway, I just paid bills and worked on the budget. Next, I need to clean and work on the grocery list, my grocery spending has been a bit up and down but must put more focus into it. As I said, thankfully, we are nearly done with school, that will make it much easier to focus on saving money. 

Today I have to take the girls to get a bday present. I also need to buy some underwear for 2 kids and me (I have 3 pairs!). They want Easter dresses but I think only dd1 needs one, I need to review closets.

On the plus side, I also have most of my school supplies for next year bought.

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4 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 

I am thanking you right now about the mortgage advice.  I am going to set that up.   It really isn't my goal to pay it off early.  I am more with the advice that says your money is better of being invested.  And with the mortgage % deduction.  I am not sure that applies anymore.  Does it?    Anyway we could pay a little extra on it even though that isn't my goal.  It would be nice.  I think I had read so much of people paying an extra 2k or more on it every month.  We could do that too, but I would rather spend some on life right now.   I am going to call and get that figured out. 

Again you guys are awesome for having things planned so far ahead of time.   I wish I was able to do that.  I see why so many people go back to WDW over and over.   Where are you going in 2021? 

We actually weighed it against the deduction.  The thing is, though, it's a deduction, not a credit.  It can adjust the amount owed, but not enough to off set the cumulative payments.  A 4% interest rate on a mortgage can add up to about 3/4 of the purchase price over the years.

And I only wish we were awesome. 😄 Sometimes our life looks better on paper than in our account.  But dh and I started a commitment to changing fiscal habits about 12 years ago, when we were underwater on a car loan and couldn't even meet all our expenses each month.  We moved to a place were we were forced to reexamine our habits and started celebrating little goals: a car paid off in 2 years instead of 6.  No credit card payments*.  A real emergency fund that was actually used for an emergency and we didn't have to stress...some years we do great, some years we don't.  Some of our decisions don't always make a whole lot of sense but we try to keep the risks minimal now.

Our next trip is probably Europe.  We want to take the youngest when he is old enough to remember and comfortable with the languages but young enough to not be bogged down by teen commitments.


*we spent a long time avoiding credit cards because we knew our habits and responsibility level.  Now we use one for gas and pay it off weekly, and it did come in handy when the atm ate my card.

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1 hour ago, soror said:

This was our thoughts, if our income was drastically reduced we wanted less bills so staying where we are was not so much of a concern and with worries over the years w/ employment I'm glad to be debt free but everyone's situation is of course different.

I've not been here in forever! Sorry ladies, not keeping up with everything. We're off school this week and then 2 more weeks and we are out for the summer, yipee! Maybe I can finally get caught up. As I posted elsewhere we are going to Europe this spring but are working to do it on a budget.

BUT we found out Monday that dh is being cut back to 4 day weeks until July, is off the week of Memorial day and 2 wks in June or July (I forget which). These will be just with unemployment pay, which is of course a fraction of regular pay. Again, we're hoping to not touch savings if at all possible and squeeze the budget down. It is just 3 months, we've squeezed tight for longer, thinking good thoughts and trying to focus. 

We have a nice chunk in savings now and hope to keep as much of that saved as possible. I know I'll have to pull out some next month, but hoping that it is only 1500 or so and leave the rest alone. I'm ok if we need to use bits of my checks to help pay vaca and bills when he is on some unemployment but want to keep it as little as we can. Dh would still like to build a shop this year and if we can keep our savings up we'll have more than enough for that but I think we'll probably sit on that a bit with all our vacation planning and him finishing the spring semester of classes there is not a lot of brain energy to devote to the plans. 

Anyway, I just paid bills and worked on the budget. Next, I need to clean and work on the grocery list, my grocery spending has been a bit up and down but must put more focus into it. As I said, thankfully, we are nearly done with school, that will make it much easier to focus on saving money. 

Today I have to take the girls to get a bday present. I also need to buy some underwear for 2 kids and me (I have 3 pairs!). They want Easter dresses but I think only dd1 needs one, I need to review closets.

On the plus side, I also have most of my school supplies for next year bought.

 

You guys are totally debt free?   Amazing.  Congrats

How do you guys get out for summer in 2 weeks?  When do they start?  I haven't ever heard of anyone getting out in Mid April.  Is it year round school.  

Bummer to hear about dh's job.   I am glad they let you know so far ahead of time and that you have a plan.  

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2 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

You guys are totally debt free?   Amazing.  Congrats

How do you guys get out for summer in 2 weeks?  When do they start?  I haven't ever heard of anyone getting out in Mid April.  Is it year round school.  

Bummer to hear about dh's job.   I am glad they let you know so far ahead of time and that you have a plan.  

Yes, totally debt free, we paid the house off 5 yrs ago I think.

We started in early July.

Yes, at least there was notice. Word is that the cutbacks will likely continue off and on. Rumor is that one of the other plants is gonna close, it is between dh's plant and this one and it looks like it will be the other. That will be horrible for them but good for us but nothing is guaranteed until the chips fall. Dh is trucking along with school trying to increase employability and maybe even a promotion at his current job, but who knows. I'm of course keeping my job, putting money towards savings, projects and extra expenses, or the general budget if we have to.

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4 minutes ago, soror said:

Yes, totally debt free, we paid the house off 5 yrs ago I think.

We started in early July.

Yes, at least there was notice. Word is that the cutbacks will likely continue off and on. Rumor is that one of the other plants is gonna close, it is between dh's plant and this one and it looks like it will be the other. That will be horrible for them but good for us but nothing is guaranteed until the chips fall. Dh is trucking along with school trying to increase employability and maybe even a promotion at his current job, but who knows. I'm of course keeping my job, putting money towards savings, projects and extra expenses, or the general budget if we have to.

 

Holy smokes you guys are amazing.   How did you do it?   You guys are so crazy far ahead of the game.  That has to feel so good. 

Are you guys in the south?  That seems so crazy to me to start in early July.  Wow. 

 

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Holy smokes you guys are amazing.   How did you do it?   You guys are so crazy far ahead of the game.  That has to feel so good. 

Are you guys in the south?  That seems so crazy to me to start in early July.  Wow. 

 

Midwest but it is HOT (90+) in July so we might as well start. I'd rather have off when I actually want to be outside!

Re: house - small house and loan to begin with, we had a fire and were under insured but put the money we did get to infrastructure and making house bigger. We then finished the house as we could afford it over a few yrs time with dh doing all the finishing work. We had a twenty year loan but paid it as a 15. 

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How did the month end up for everyone?

$500 out of $800 for grocery

Dh's raise took effect and it is better than I estimated.  So that was a nice surprise.

We haven't spent any money on summer plans or travel yet.   

 

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12 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

How did the month end up for everyone?

$500 out of $800 for grocery

Dh's raise took effect and it is better than I estimated.  So that was a nice surprise.

We haven't spent any money on summer plans or travel yet.   

 

Nice on the grocery budget!  And yay on the raise!  Do you guys have specific plans for that extra money?


For us:
We managed to throw an extra $1K at the mortgage instead of the amount we anticipated.  It was a good feeling.  I started making out my budget for schoolbooks since there's a used curriculum sale coming up and I'd like a final list sooner rather than later.  After scrounging my shelves for supplies we already have, it looks like I'll be spending about $200 if I buy the rest new.  I have math, science, history, reading, and handwriting in full.  I need spelling, language arts, and French, plus an art book I have my eye on.  On the flip side dh is going to training this month and found out yesterday that the attire for the class is different from his normal work clothing.  He'll be getting a few pairs of pants we hadn't quite budgeted for.  If I have time this week I'll drive out to the outlets to see if they have anything his size otherwise we'll have to pay full price. 

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March was expensive, but controlled if that makes sense.  No mindless or unnecessary spending, just a lot of kid expenses.  Groceries were high, but my monthly average is still only ~$675.  April should be lower as we try to eat everything on hand before vacation.

A frugal funny:

Me, to DH, who was wearing one of his old conference freebie t-shirts: “That shirt makes your arms look really buff.  Like you’ve been lifting weights.”

DH: “Why are you buttering me up?  What do you not want to spend money on now?”

He knows me so well, lol.

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4 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

Nice on the grocery budget!  And yay on the raise!  Do you guys have specific plans for that extra money?


For us:
We managed to throw an extra $1K at the mortgage instead of the amount we anticipated.  It was a good feeling.  I started making out my budget for schoolbooks since there's a used curriculum sale coming up and I'd like a final list sooner rather than later.  After scrounging my shelves for supplies we already have, it looks like I'll be spending about $200 if I buy the rest new.  I have math, science, history, reading, and handwriting in full.  I need spelling, language arts, and French, plus an art book I have my eye on.  On the flip side dh is going to training this month and found out yesterday that the attire for the class is different from his normal work clothing.  He'll be getting a few pairs of pants we hadn't quite budgeted for.  If I have time this week I'll drive out to the outlets to see if they have anything his size otherwise we'll have to pay full price. 

 

We haven't talked about what to do with the $$ from the raise.  We should.  Maybe this weekend. 

Ha the grocery savings didn't happen on purpose.  We just got lazy and stopped going to the store.  We actually would be fine for a while longer, but dh is going shopping today.   Lots in the pantry, the freezer is half filled.   We are back to all the kid activities so we need portable food for meals. 

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