Jump to content

Menu

February Frugalistas 2021


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 254
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

My brother has been unemployed for some time, so he's gotten into doing more sweepstakes (he's always done them for fun). He just won a $250 Lowe's card that he is giving me to replace the blinds in m

Got my first pay from my new job and treated everyone to a breakfast sandwich from McDonald’s.  First eating out we have had in a very long time. The silence while they savored them was deafening haha

Frugal win for the weekend! Went snow tubing with discounted tickets through boy scouts. Packed a picnic lunch and drove past a potential college for dd3 to check out the campus sort of on the way hom

So my no eating out in January was blown big time!  We got take out SOOO much!  The end of January just had so much go wrong that no cooking was the only way to remain sane.  The sink is leaking, the new dishwasher is still sitting in the middle of the kitchen, dh forgot to set up an oil delivery and we ran out (there is a winter storm coming tomorrow,) and so many other things.  I'm not even going to try to say no take out but this month I'm aiming for once a week.

We have no financial goals for the family as a whole.  We are on autopilot with that and all but one sinking fund is filled. But I do have goals for  my reselling side hustle. In January, we netted $216, which is great considering we started two week ago. Our inventory is worth roughly $700 after costs, this doesn't include all the things my sister gave me today or the 2 games she gave us as gifts.  All of that is valued at $400 but it is going to take a while to list is because I have to make sure all pieces are in each game, take tons of pictures to show what defects they have, and some are hard to find good comps on.  

Business goals for Feb:

1. List 50 items this month.

2. Source items at least 4 days a week.

3. Net $400

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

My 4-week budget started Friday and I’m already in deeper than normal, so I’m going to need to work out some adjustments somewhere. Haven’t planned them yet though.

Our unplanned second vet visit ran about $130, and then our house call and euthanasia was $240 plus $240 cremation.  It’s a lot, but it actually isn’t a whole lot more than an emergency appointment plus cremation at the regular vet, surprisingly.

We got take out last night, too. I’m a little bit surprised by how emotionally exhausted we all were. There were afternoon naps taking place all over the house and no one wanted to think about making food. Except brownies. The kids did make brownies.


We were supposed to meet with a builder yesterday, but have to reschedule. I’ve been rethinking the decision to buy (build or existing) in this market, but I still want to get the leg work done. I’ve been waiting well over a decade for this opportunity, and I hate these second thoughts, but I just keep feeling pushed beyond the price point I intended to stick with and disappointed with the continued limited options. We technically could go higher at these interest rates, but I don’t feel great about feeling like I “have to”.  So I’m still doing all the work, but I’m reframing my mindset and trying to shake the urgency.

I have a grocery order placed for about $100. I even remembered to snag a Sunday pick up before our coming snow storm!

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't foresee anything exciting happening budget-wise in February. Charting a pretty steady course at the moment. 

DH expects slightly more than usual overtime this month.

College DD has a birthday this month. She'd like a bamboo cooling blanket, which is covered by a Swagbucks gift card I just earned. I'll get that shipped down to her closer to the 15th, and probably send her a care package as well. Youngest's birthday is right at the start of March, so I'll need to figure that out as well. 

Car registration tags are up for DH's car this month, so I've scheduled that into the budget.

I can start filling a Rx and supplement fund since we paid off the furnace last month. The majority of what was going to that payment will now be shuffled over to medicine expenses. 

I need to start saving some $ for outside classes for next year. Looking at last year, I paid for German in May, so that should get added to the next few months as well. I'll need to decide if I need Youngest to take Spanish online as well. If college DD comes home this summer (she is looking at an internship in Alabama), we'll have expenses to go and get her in May as well. 

We're snowed in today (7 inches of heavy wet snow), and we're expecting more later this week. I have nothing planned outside the house the week, so I'm actually kind of happy about not having to drive in the snow. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

We did our kids FAFSAs finally and found out they are getting about half as much as last year! The only thing I can think of is that both of them worked liked mad during 2020 when they had all this extra time and their savings accounts counted against them. Boo.

Because of this I decided to take the part time job. I don't know how I am going to get it all in. It feels very overwhelming. The part time job doesn't come close to making up the lost financial aid, but it will help I guess.

  • Sad 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, saraha said:

We did our kids FAFSAs finally and found out they are getting about half as much as last year! The only thing I can think of is that both of them worked liked mad during 2020 when they had all this extra time and their savings accounts counted against them. Boo.

Because of this I decided to take the part time job. I don't know how I am going to get it all in. It feels very overwhelming. The part time job doesn't come close to making up the lost financial aid, but it will help I guess.

Didn't the FAFSA change?  

Changes in FAFSA May Reduce College Aid for Some Families - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

 

I am sorry that really stinks. 

Edited by mommyoffive
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Didn't the FAFSA change?  

Changes in FAFSA May Reduce College Aid for Some Families - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

 

I am sorry that really stinks. 

It's behind a paywall for me, but in the 2 seconds I got to read it, it says something about taking away the multiple college student element. That might have something to do with it since we have all but one year had two in at a time. That rings a bell after seeing that, like we had talked about this before but I must have forgotten. I'm blaming covid brain.

Edited by saraha
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, saraha said:

We did our kids FAFSAs finally and found out they are getting about half as much as last year! The only thing I can think of is that both of them worked liked mad during 2020 when they had all this extra time and their savings accounts counted against them. Boo.

Because of this I decided to take the part time job. I don't know how I am going to get it all in. It feels very overwhelming. The part time job doesn't come close to making up the lost financial aid, but it will help I guess.

Ouch that is brutal!  This is one of the reasons I'm actually glad some of mine are choosing not to go to college (at least not directly from high school).  The costs are just too much for a family to cover when there are multiple in school (and even if there is only one).  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, we are trying to talk one who would be going from the community college this year to a 4 year state school next year to take a gap year, but we would then have 3 in college, so it only helps in that she can work full time for a year and save up. I don't know

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, saraha said:

It's behind a paywall for me, but in the 2 seconds I got to read it, it says something about taking away the multiple college student element. That might have something to do with it since we have all but one year had two in at a time. That rings a bell after seeing that, like we had talked about this before but I must have forgotten. I'm blaming covid brain.

We just did the FAFSA for our son (who only recently decided to go to college) and our EFC is more than any college would cost in a year so I assume we won't be eligible for anything. This will be interesting. Ugh. 

  • Sad 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Carrie12345 sorry about the loss of your pet.  If you talked about it previously I must have missed it.   In regards to house hunting,  it is smart to take a step back and reevaluate.  Everyone is going higher at these rates.  Most people focus on that monthly payment without thinking of home value.  These current values are just not realistic long term at least I don't think so.  

@historically accurate yay for paying off the furnace.  And thanks for reminding me I need to take my dad's truck to get reregistered for him.  Dh has a week off of work this month so I'll do it then.

@Thatboyofmine I'm jealous of your ability to do a meal plan.  For whatever reason I can not stick to one.  All things having to do with making meals is my least favorite responsibility.  In regards to my Goodwill trips,  I have found that with Goodwill you have the best luck if you go regularly. Most times you can find a generic thing you need like a mid quality pair of gloves, but to get specific items your looking for you have to go regularly.  For perspective, I went to the same Goodwill 7 times last week.  It is a mile from my house, it is on the way home from errands, and I was only there for a max of an hour each time but less most times.  I went twice in one day because I know the approximate times they put new things out and I happened to be out again around that time. I won't go that many times every week but some weeks I will.

@saraha that sucks about the FAFSA.  I am not looking forward to when I have multiple children in college.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Thatboyofmine said:

Spent $40 for niece's birthday.   
 

Dh is inquiring about a refi, so we'll see...    Would be nice to get the mortgage paid off faster.    🤞🏼
 

 

 

refi was the best thing about 2020.  good luck

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Picked up Monday's meals from the school. Sparse this pickup, but it's free food, so I won't complain. All 6 of the white milks expire tomorrow, so I'm changing my meal plan to serve waffles tonight. Maybe I'll get energetic and make cookies this afternoon and serve chocolate chip cookies and milk for snack?

DD agreed to try Learn Math Fast after looking at Amazon's samples. So, I bought one of those math books. She said she would prefer that over Basic College Math which I have here. I'll probably end up using both to cement the topics. 

I'm going to use up some Rice Krispies we have in the pantry and make granola bars today. 

Saraha, I'm pretty sure that the FAFSA change doesn't take effect for 2 years, so I don't think that is the reason for the decrease. Student's assets are included as "available" at a high rate - 20% after a minimum amount that is shielded ($5000? I can't remember the exact amount); student income is expected to be used at 50%. So, the jobs will count heavily against them as well as the savings accounts.  

I haven't seen Soror in a while. I hope she's doing well. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

January was difficult because of multiple birthdays, the necessary snacks for football watching (not necessary, but wanted).  Dd's senior pics were an unexpected expense. Pictures must be taken by the photographer or they are not allowed in the yearbook.

Today we made a donation to the memorial garden for our school, so I'll offset that by doing some intense meal planning using the store flyers.  I only want to plan out a few days at a time.  It feels like anything past that gets wasted or spoils.  

Historically Accurate, do you ask for meals for the weekends?  At our site, they create packages on Friday for the weekends. Last month, a family requested one but then changed their minds.  They offered it to some of the staff and my kids were knee deep in oatmeal, pop tarts, tortillas, a block of cheese, sandwiches, small snacks, etc.  They also gave us a full thing of chocolate milk that was set to expire within the week.  It's worth asking about for having something extra on hand.  

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, readinmom said:

January was difficult because of multiple birthdays, the necessary snacks for football watching (not necessary, but wanted).  Dd's senior pics were an unexpected expense. Pictures must be taken by the photographer or they are not allowed in the yearbook.

Today we made a donation to the memorial garden for our school, so I'll offset that by doing some intense meal planning using the store flyers.  I only want to plan out a few days at a time.  It feels like anything past that gets wasted or spoils.  

Historically Accurate, do you ask for meals for the weekends?  At our site, they create packages on Friday for the weekends. Last month, a family requested one but then changed their minds.  They offered it to some of the staff and my kids were knee deep in oatmeal, pop tarts, tortillas, a block of cheese, sandwiches, small snacks, etc.  They also gave us a full thing of chocolate milk that was set to expire within the week.  It's worth asking about for having something extra on hand.  

 

 

Senior expenses can be quite expensive. I lucked out with oldest as she has no need of any such trappings LOL. Her senior pic was taken at a scholarship interview - they had a photographer there and it's a great portrait of her. We had to buy the cap and gown and honors stole for her community college graduation, but other than that, she cost me really nothing. Now the next one in line is all in for all the activities, so I'll definitely have to budget for her. 

Our school doesn't offer any weekend or holiday meals; if they are closed, there are no meals. We don't need to order though; you just show up between 9-11 to pick up meals. Since the school district is now hybrid, they have stopped giving any extra. When they were virtual only, I would say 2 kids, and they'd always ask if you wanted an extra meal or two. I haven't been asked that at all since January started.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

We are snowed in so between playing in the snow and relaxing the older two and I are listing items.  We've listed 5 so far today and I'm aiming for another 5 with them and then hopefully 5 on my own.  We'll see.  I'm giving ebay a try because facebook marketplace takes too long to give you your money.  I'll still use marketplace also but I think certain things will be better suited for ebay

 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Went to go pick up meals and free crafts at the library.  When I was leaving I noticed that there a is missing part on our siding trim on our house.   Not sure if someone hit it while they were clearing snow.  I would think we will have to replace the whole piece.   Dh hasn't had time to look at it.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, historically accurate said:

Saraha, I'm pretty sure that the FAFSA change doesn't take effect for 2 years, so I don't think that is the reason for the decrease. Student's assets are included as "available" at a high rate - 20% after a minimum amount that is shielded ($5000? I can't remember the exact amount); student income is expected to be used at 50%. So, the jobs will count heavily against them as well as the savings accounts.  

That’s a bummer for us though, as they were both planning to use that money to pay the difference between financial aid and cost of tuition at the four year state school they would be transferring to. For our older two, financial aid paid for pretty much their entire two years at community college and we were hoping it would be the same for number three, but I guess not. Both of them feel like they are being punished for working so hard

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ds will fill out the FAFSA because all aid is dependent on doing it--even merit scholarships.  We need to get that done this week.

We have yearly car insurance due this month--$5k--but it's a sinking fund that is prepared to take the hit.  The only known budget black hole we have is doing whatever we have to do to get the electrical panel fixed for the hot tub.  It's on a separate sub-box than the main house. Other than that, it's budget as usual---still in rebuilding funds mode due to house stuff + medical from last year.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I can’t seem to make my brain reconcile financial statements. Any one else really hate this process? It doesn’t feel empowering at all. It feels boring.

You mean bank statements?  I haven't reconciled one in years.  I use quicken and enter my transaction (or if I'm lazy I wait till they clear the bank and download it) and it just auto reconciles for me.  Or are you doing something else?

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have all of my financial stuff siloed for security purposes. So, because they don’t auto post I have to make sure I haven’t forgotten a purchase in my budget software. I know I am making my life more difficult, but I can’t get over the hump. Dh has seen the inside of the IT departments of too many of these companies for me to feel chill about connecting them.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I have all of my financial stuff siloed for security purposes. So, because they don’t auto post I have to make sure I haven’t forgotten a purchase in my budget software. I know I am making my life more difficult, but I can’t get over the hump. Dh has seen the inside of the IT departments of too many of these companies for me to feel chill about connecting them.

My DH works in IT and is paranoid about security (the password for our home network is 42 characters long and that's only the first line of defense.  I know he has more layers than that) and he's never batted an eye at me connecting to download them.  He won't let me store them in the cloud though.  But I totally get about needing to do things to keep everyone feeling comfortable because security is a huge issue. 

Edited by cjzimmer1
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I can’t seem to make my brain reconcile financial statements. Any one else really hate this process? It doesn’t feel empowering at all. It feels boring.

Mine isn't downloaded either - it's my own Excel file. I just reconcile every morning to the website's numbers. It makes it really easy. I worked in a bank for my first "real" job, and I have an accounting degree, so know that I am a weirdo who likes playing with all the numbers.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

HI 🙋‍♀️ 

I’m having my annual February need to be frugal panic so thought I’d post.  It’s far more so this year because dh has taken a massive pay cut to do a job he loves.  In time the income will increase and he will also be able to do extra part time work but we need to get through till then.  And yes this is the time when I start regretting not having some kind of degree or workforce connections for work from home options!  
 

anyway, so far expenses were $250 for kids tennis coaching fees, and I paid $80 deposit toward swimming lessons.  Usually we do the government sponsored ones over summer that are really affordable but due to a kid injury we missed them so now having to pay full price to catch up.

Im also listing a bit of school stuff to sell.

Friends have a calf that needs butchering and dh will help with that so between that and wild game we will have meat to keep the grocery Bill down.  And it’s finally feeling safe enough to go to the open air market for green groceries which means I can buy a lot for $60, compared to the usual amount.  Hoping that will help us be healthier.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Spent $10 for the online drawing club that Wendyroo posted about here. She's excited about doing February's superhero month.

We went to the library yesterday, and I picked up the free craft kit for me to do. I was supposed to do it on a Zoom meeting last night, but I did it as soon as I got home because it was just too cute! I'm attaching a picture since I was pretty proud of myself (although it was a kit I just put together). Edit: I don't know why my pic is absolutely huge! Sorry.

I started planning for next school year. I think I am going to use up what I have here for history and literature. I think I will end up writing something similar to Build Your Library/Sonlight-lite myself. It should be pretty frugal as I can tailor it to what I own/can get from the library. I also found some Spanish resources, so I'll have a look at those the next few weeks.  

glass block.jpeg

Edited by historically accurate
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/1/2021 at 10:47 AM, mommyoffive said:

Anyone heard from Soror?   I am hoping she is ok.  

I needed a break and have cut back on my posting time.

_____________________________

The wins for January:

We have kept our noses to the grindstone. We had some irregular expenses last month (water heater, car repairs, college, another root canal) but cash flowed them and have continued growing our sinking funds. 

I'm more and more in love with YNAB, it makes it so easy to keep track of sinking funds and make plans and goals which I love. 

Because YNAB helps me track things better I got a new card for my account so I can start earning interest on those funds again. I used it as a savings account for a long while and didn't spend out of it because I found it hard to keep track of everything and would inadvertently spend from it. I will earn some extra interest now for the shop and vaca funds. 

I finally got my credit from Kroger for the pharmacy switch and an extra $20 for the hassle ($70 total). (that took 2x of talking to customer service in the store, one phone call with 3-4 transfers, 3 emails to customer service, and 1 FB message on their page- which finally did it in less than 24 hrs)

I've kept the grocery budget down. My average has been around $600 a month since October when I strictly tracked it, including splitting receipts. I track the money including that from Kroger, even though it wasn't cash out of my pocket to keep an accurate account of spending. I could go lower with it if I had to but I like this level. I enjoy being able to get some treats and snacks for the kids and having more fresh fruits and vegetables and cutting back more would require cutting those and I'd rather not. Menu planning, watching waste, and keeping to Aldi's and stocking up on loss leaders has made it relatively painless.

I had originally figured that we needed another $8k for building dh a shop but it will be $10k. So far we've got $1200 of that.

I got in another check from the homeschool consignment store making that a total of $78, I used that along with $36 I put back for homeschool expenses this month and have purchased most of our books/curriculum for next year. I think I only need to buy 1 more math book. I am reusing a lot that I had around here and making do. I will also have some printing costs and need to replenish art supplies but I am well in budget.

_______________________________

Due to dh working so much and so many call-ins our gas budget increased this month.

We also had $33 in eating out, we usually rarely eat out. $20 of that was meals out for dh when he got called in or had to stay longer than anticipated and didn't have enough food. $10 was for treats I bought the kids. Happy hour drinks for 2 after a dental visit and fries and drinks for the other 2 after a day of cleaning. I also took ds out before his root canal but paid for that with a gift card from Crowdtap.

I received another denial from the insurance and called for the third time. Yet again it is supposedly fixed this time. That is $410 I'd rather not have to pay OOP as it is supposed to be covered.

------------------

Kids-

Dd1 bought herself a new phone. She held off until the 1st and shopped around so she didn't have to borrow money from us and still has a bit to spend this month. I even have a bit left in her bday fund. It comes in today and she is thrilled.

My 2 youngest girls wanted to change their rooms from separate bedrooms to one playroom and 1 sleeping room. They have been saving up and sold some of the furniture and now we have the rooms set up like they want. We found a great deal on a bunk bed. They have still got some money left even, I think they want to use it for paint but they aren't sure yet.

Ds put another $200 back for his car fund.

___________________

Menu this week: 

Sunday- Steak, roasted potatoes, and Brussel sprouts (yummy! we got our half a beef on Friday)

Monday- Spaghetti w/ meat sauce and salad

Tuesday- Venison stew

Wednesday- bibimbap

Thursday- Frozen pizza (found some gf ones on mark down, woot!)

Friday- Chicken "fried" rice w/ veggies

Saturday- grilled cheese and tomato soup or minestrone

---------------------------------------------------------------

This month goals:

-funding the European vaca fund up to 41%- will hit that once my pay comes through this week or next

-add another $1300 to the shop fund, leaving $7500 to go.  Dh's pay is 2 weeks behind and will have quite a bit of OT from all his hours in January. He is trying to cut back since he has started back to college but has not cut back as much as he wants to, there is always some project to do.

-finish buying hs books(waiting to find a deal on the one book left) and get some binding done on pdf's I'm printing

-keep on keeping on

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, historically accurate said:

Spent $10 for the online drawing club that Wendyroo posted about here. She's excited about doing February's superhero month.

We went to the library yesterday, and I picked up the free craft kit for me to do. I was supposed to do it on a Zoom meeting last night, but I did it as soon as I got home because it was just too cute! I'm attaching a picture since I was pretty proud of myself (although it was a kit I just put together). Edit: I don't know why my pic is absolutely huge! Sorry.

I started planning for next school year. I think I am going to use up what I have here for history and literature. I think I will end up writing something similar to Build Your Library/Sonlight-lite myself. It should be pretty frugal as I can tailor it to what I own/can get from the library. I also found some Spanish resources, so I'll have a look at those the next few weeks.  

glass block.jpeg

Cute!  What is it?   A tile or cup holder?   That is great your library does free crafts.   Ours does a free kid craft kit one week and then a free adult kit the next week.  I wish I would have known about it sooner.  They just have them for pickup outside, so I feel comfy getting it.   Do you get them for your kids too? 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

HI 🙋‍♀️ 

I’m having my annual February need to be frugal panic so thought I’d post.  It’s far more so this year because dh has taken a massive pay cut to do a job he loves.  In time the income will increase and he will also be able to do extra part time work but we need to get through till then.  And yes this is the time when I start regretting not having some kind of degree or workforce connections for work from home options!  
 

anyway, so far expenses were $250 for kids tennis coaching fees, and I paid $80 deposit toward swimming lessons.  Usually we do the government sponsored ones over summer that are really affordable but due to a kid injury we missed them so now having to pay full price to catch up.

Im also listing a bit of school stuff to sell.

Friends have a calf that needs butchering and dh will help with that so between that and wild game we will have meat to keep the grocery Bill down.  And it’s finally feeling safe enough to go to the open air market for green groceries which means I can buy a lot for $60, compared to the usual amount.  Hoping that will help us be healthier.

Yay for the dream job, boo for the pay cut.   That really stinks, but I am glad the long term look is upwards. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Cute!  What is it?   A tile or cup holder?   That is great your library does free crafts.   Ours does a free kid craft kit one week and then a free adult kit the next week.  I wish I would have known about it sooner.  They just have them for pickup outside, so I feel comfy getting it.   Do you get them for your kids too? 

It's a tile - a glass block stuffed with the fairy lights. It's sitting on my shelving unit around my TV, but I don't think it'll stay there. It'll probably find a home on my bookcase after I shove books around.

We actually have 2 libraries that do the free craft kits (our town library and the library we consider "ours" even though it's the next town over). I've been letting the kids pick one weekly. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, historically accurate said:

It's a tile - a glass block stuffed with the fairy lights. It's sitting on my shelving unit around my TV, but I don't think it'll stay there. It'll probably find a home on my bookcase after I shove books around.

We actually have 2 libraries that do the free craft kits (our town library and the library we consider "ours" even though it's the next town over). I've been letting the kids pick one weekly. 

Oh that is really cool!   Sounds like a fun kit to do.  Love that the libraries are doing this.   

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Soror said:

I needed a break and have cut back on my posting time.

_____________________________

The wins for January:

We have kept our noses to the grindstone. We had some irregular expenses last month (water heater, car repairs, college, another root canal) but cash flowed them and have continued growing our sinking funds. 

I'm more and more in love with YNAB, it makes it so easy to keep track of sinking funds and make plans and goals which I love. 

Because YNAB helps me track things better I got a new card for my account so I can start earning interest on those funds again. I used it as a savings account for a long while and didn't spend out of it because I found it hard to keep track of everything and would inadvertently spend from it. I will earn some extra interest now for the shop and vaca funds. 

I finally got my credit from Kroger for the pharmacy switch and an extra $20 for the hassle ($70 total). (that took 2x of talking to customer service in the store, one phone call with 3-4 transfers, 3 emails to customer service, and 1 FB message on their page- which finally did it in less than 24 hrs)

I've kept the grocery budget down. My average has been around $600 a month since October when I strictly tracked it, including splitting receipts. I track the money including that from Kroger, even though it wasn't cash out of my pocket to keep an accurate account of spending. I could go lower with it if I had to but I like this level. I enjoy being able to get some treats and snacks for the kids and having more fresh fruits and vegetables and cutting back more would require cutting those and I'd rather not. Menu planning, watching waste, and keeping to Aldi's and stocking up on loss leaders has made it relatively painless.

I had originally figured that we needed another $8k for building dh a shop but it will be $10k. So far we've got $1200 of that.

I got in another check from the homeschool consignment store making that a total of $78, I used that along with $36 I put back for homeschool expenses this month and have purchased most of our books/curriculum for next year. I think I only need to buy 1 more math book. I am reusing a lot that I had around here and making do. I will also have some printing costs and need to replenish art supplies but I am well in budget.

_______________________________

Due to dh working so much and so many call-ins our gas budget increased this month.

We also had $33 in eating out, we usually rarely eat out. $20 of that was meals out for dh when he got called in or had to stay longer than anticipated and didn't have enough food. $10 was for treats I bought the kids. Happy hour drinks for 2 after a dental visit and fries and drinks for the other 2 after a day of cleaning. I also took ds out before his root canal but paid for that with a gift card from Crowdtap.

I received another denial from the insurance and called for the third time. Yet again it is supposedly fixed this time. That is $410 I'd rather not have to pay OOP as it is supposed to be covered.

------------------

Kids-

Dd1 bought herself a new phone. She held off until the 1st and shopped around so she didn't have to borrow money from us and still has a bit to spend this month. I even have a bit left in her bday fund. It comes in today and she is thrilled.

My 2 youngest girls wanted to change their rooms from separate bedrooms to one playroom and 1 sleeping room. They have been saving up and sold some of the furniture and now we have the rooms set up like they want. We found a great deal on a bunk bed. They have still got some money left even, I think they want to use it for paint but they aren't sure yet.

Ds put another $200 back for his car fund.

___________________

Menu this week: 

Sunday- Steak, roasted potatoes, and Brussel sprouts (yummy! we got our half a beef on Friday)

Monday- Spaghetti w/ meat sauce and salad

Tuesday- Venison stew

Wednesday- bibimbap

Thursday- Frozen pizza (found some gf ones on mark down, woot!)

Friday- Chicken "fried" rice w/ veggies

Saturday- grilled cheese and tomato soup or minestrone

---------------------------------------------------------------

This month goals:

-funding the European vaca fund up to 41%- will hit that once my pay comes through this week or next

-add another $1300 to the shop fund, leaving $7500 to go.  Dh's pay is 2 weeks behind and will have quite a bit of OT from all his hours in January. He is trying to cut back since he has started back to college but has not cut back as much as he wants to, there is always some project to do.

-finish buying hs books(waiting to find a deal on the one book left) and get some binding done on pdf's I'm printing

-keep on keeping on

Soror, glad you are doing fine!  Also so happy to have you back. 

You are doing great!  Awesome being able to cover all the unexpected expenses.  Yay for all the overtime.  I am so glad that you got that Kroger money.  Good job keeping on top of it.   I felt bad that I posted about it and it was such a nightmare.  

I hope that you get that insurance issue fixed. 

Awesome that your kids are doing well with their goals too.  We are going to redo bedrooms this spring too.  I am have been looking to what we want to do.  Bunkbeds or not?  I wish we had more bedrooms. 

Yeah for the shop and vacation goals.   My dh is in college now too.  It is going really well.  It is all online and that is so easy to fit in with our lives right now.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

First day of new job went pretty well. The kids did a great job of getting stuff done while I was gone. Seems like it will be a good fit. I put dinner in the crockpot but forgot to turn it on and no one else noticed so dinner was really late, but it worked out.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, saraha said:

First day of new job went pretty well. The kids did a great job of getting stuff done while I was gone. Seems like it will be a good fit. I put dinner in the crockpot but forgot to turn it on and no one else noticed so dinner was really late, but it worked out.

Glad you had a good day.  What is the job? 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to an older man's house two afternoons a week. For right now, it is to help he and his sister to reduce his hoarding situation, then it will morph into cooking and light housekeeping.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Picked up free meals yesterday.  I am supposed to go on Thursday too, but we have a winter storm coming.  I think they will probably close the schools.  

I need to pay my credit card

Get the information for lessons submitted to the school.  I am waiting for paperwork

File taxes- don't have all the paperwork yet. 

Use the last of the school funds for supplies

 

Bought extra passes for my kids who take ballet from more than one school.

Paid for dance intensives for summer.  That was so much money, I am still pretty sick about it.  

Refi-  This has been a horrible nightmare.  We are going through our current mortgage holder and they have been so horrible to deal with.  Won't respond to emails or calls.  Everyone has different information from the last person we talked to.  They have sent us other people's personal information.  Lied to us about fees.  Said things were waived and then they charged us more.  This is a company that was in trouble for stuff a few years ago.  I think they opened accounts for people without even telling them.    This should have been done a long time ago.  I am so pissed and frustrated. 

 

Order chickens for dd. 

Spend a million dollars on heat for the next week.  The temps here are going to be insanely cold.  I hate this weather.  I want to move south so badly.  I feel like when you were a kid the cold weather you liked.   You played in the snow and felt pride from going through the tough weather.  Now I hate the cold.  I hate the snow.  I don't like any cold weather sports.  I stay inside until March or so.  I hate driving in snow.  Last year I had a horrible situation in a whiteout.  

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

Picked up free meals yesterday.  I am supposed to go on Thursday too, but we have a winter storm coming.  I think they will probably close the schools.  

I need to pay my credit card

Get the information for lessons submitted to the school.  I am waiting for paperwork

File taxes- don't have all the paperwork yet. 

Use the last of the school funds for supplies

 

Bought extra passes for my kids who take ballet from more than one school.

Paid for dance intensives for summer.  That was so much money, I am still pretty sick about it.  

Refi-  This has been a horrible nightmare.  We are going through our current mortgage holder and they have been so horrible to deal with.  Won't respond to emails or calls.  Everyone has different information from the last person we talked to.  They have sent us other people's personal information.  Lied to us about fees.  Said things were waived and then they charged us more.  This is a company that was in trouble for stuff a few years ago.  I think they opened accounts for people without even telling them.    This should have been done a long time ago.  I am so pissed and frustrated. 

 

Order chickens for dd. 

Spend a million dollars on heat for the next week.  The temps here are going to be insanely cold.  I hate this weather.  I want to move south so badly.  I feel like when you were a kid the cold weather you liked.   You played in the snow and felt pride from going through the tough weather.  Now I hate the cold.  I hate the snow.  I don't like any cold weather sports.  I stay inside until March or so.  I hate driving in snow.  Last year I had a horrible situation in a whiteout.  

Sorry about the big outlay of cash. I'm sure your kids will really appreciate it come summer. It's still hard to let that money go though.

Once upon a time, I was a loan processor. I get really, really cranky with banks and loan companies because I used to do that job and I know how it should go. I hate seeing inefficiencies and bad customer service. I get that way with cashiers too as I trained (and re-trained and re-trained) front-line employees while I was in college. 

You must be pretty close to me geographically. I totally hear you on the snow and cold coming. It's supposed to be a high of 4 degrees here on Sunday. I can't even. My 15 yo is looking forward to it though; she has severe heat intolerance, so for her 20 degrees is comfortable. Unfortunately, she physically can't help shovel. I just spent 10 minutes chipping away at the huge snowpiles surrounding our driveway since they're in too far and we're supposed to get another 3-6 inches tomorrow. Ten minutes was about my limit - it's cold out there now!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, historically accurate said:

Sorry about the big outlay of cash. I'm sure your kids will really appreciate it come summer. It's still hard to let that money go though.

Once upon a time, I was a loan processor. I get really, really cranky with banks and loan companies because I used to do that job and I know how it should go. I hate seeing inefficiencies and bad customer service. I get that way with cashiers too as I trained (and re-trained and re-trained) front-line employees while I was in college. 

You must be pretty close to me geographically. I totally hear you on the snow and cold coming. It's supposed to be a high of 4 degrees here on Sunday. I can't even. My 15 yo is looking forward to it though; she has severe heat intolerance, so for her 20 degrees is comfortable. Unfortunately, she physically can't help shovel. I just spent 10 minutes chipping away at the huge snowpiles surrounding our driveway since they're in too far and we're supposed to get another 3-6 inches tomorrow. Ten minutes was about my limit - it's cold out there now!

You are in IL right?  I grew up there.  I live in WI now, so pretty much the same.  Another 3-6 inches and then super cold.  I think the high for Saturday is -2.     Then the wind chills.  I would move south in a heart beat.  TN or something.   I don't mind the 30s with sun.  The snow is beautiful and as long as it does it while I don't have to go anywhere I am ok with it.  I don't shovel anymore, the kids all do.   Good exercise.  When they all leave we will get a snow blower or service. 

It is really beyond upsetting.  I feel at this point that they are scamming us and will never actually do our refi and that it will all cost more than they tell us.  I keep seeing everyone get their refis done before us.  We have been working with them since October.  Yep.  I want to just walk away and go to another company.  I highly doubt they will give our money back.  Complete mess. 

 

Called in a refill

Need to pay the extra portion of violin lessons that school isn't covering since the rates doubled.  

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, historically accurate said:

Sorry about the big outlay of cash. I'm sure your kids will really appreciate it come summer. It's still hard to let that money go though.

Once upon a time, I was a loan processor. I get really, really cranky with banks and loan companies because I used to do that job and I know how it should go. I hate seeing inefficiencies and bad customer service. I get that way with cashiers too as I trained (and re-trained and re-trained) front-line employees while I was in college. 

You must be pretty close to me geographically. I totally hear you on the snow and cold coming. It's supposed to be a high of 4 degrees here on Sunday. I can't even. My 15 yo is looking forward to it though; she has severe heat intolerance, so for her 20 degrees is comfortable. Unfortunately, she physically can't help shovel. I just spent 10 minutes chipping away at the huge snowpiles surrounding our driveway since they're in too far and we're supposed to get another 3-6 inches tomorrow. Ten minutes was about my limit - it's cold out there now!

You are in IL right?  I grew up there.  I live in WI now, so pretty much the same.  Another 3-6 inches and then super cold.  I think the high for Saturday is -2.     Then the wind chills.  I would move south in a heart beat.  TN or something.   I don't mind the 30s with sun.  The snow is beautiful and as long as it does it while I don't have to go anywhere I am ok with it.  I don't shovel anymore, the kids all do.   Good exercise.  When they all leave we will get a snow blower or service. 

It is really beyond upsetting.  I feel at this point that they are scamming us and will never actually do our refi and that it will all cost more than they tell us.  I keep seeing everyone get their refis done before us.  We have been working with them since October.  Yep.  I want to just walk away and go to another company.  I highly doubt they will give our money back.  Complete mess. 

 

Called in a refill

Need to pay the extra portion of violin lessons that school isn't covering since the rates doubled.  

 

 

Survey company

Earn $3 Per Survey - Sign up with Pinecone Research Now (It's Legit!) (hip2save.com)

 

Walgreens

Buy 1, Get 1 FREE DiGiorno Pizzas on Walgreens.com (Just $2.30 Each) - Hip2Save

Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

It is really beyond upsetting.  I feel at this point that they are scamming us and will never actually do our refi and that it will all cost more than they tell us.  I keep seeing everyone get their refis done before us.  We have been working with them since October.  Yep.  I want to just walk away and go to another company.  I highly doubt they will give our money back.  Complete mess. 

That is absolutely crazy.  I asked my first question on Jan 4, submitted the application on Jan 7 and we sign the final paperwork today.  This wasn't even an express refinance (I've done those in the past and have finished them in as little as 2 weeks).  Are you already locked into the rate? Also how much have you spent out of pocket already?  It seems like rates have dropped since October and if your out of pocket hasn't been too high, it might be worth it just to scrap that and start over somewhere else.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so sorry for all of you who are experiencing sticker shock over the FAFSA changing. Just a few random thoughts, you all probably know them, but I'll put them out in case it helps someone.

1. Because students earning are counted so heavily against any aid, we encouraged our children to work less and take more units. Since full time tuition is the same whether they took 12 units or 22 units, they each took the 20-22 units every semester. This ensured they finished college in 4 years, which is a huge savings over a 5th year. Taking a lot of units means they pay less tuition overall, and they have less time to work so they earn less and they lose less aid.

2. If any student is going into a profession that has student loan forgiveness-I can think of teaching and military right off the top of my head-then they can work less (and get more aid through grants or loans) and the loans will be forgiven after they've worked x years in the profession. Make sure to look at the terms of the loan forgiveness so you stay within the amounts awarded.

3. I heard several of you mentioning community college. Of course max out what is available there, it is the cheapest education one can buy. Don't rule out private and out-of-state private colleges and small schools. Some offer more in-house aid than 'cheaper' state schools. Yes, the prices look scary on the face of it, but after all in-house aid is awarded, you will be surprised how affordable some of them are. 

4. Look carefully at what scholarships are available from state schools. One state college here has a full tuition scholarship for 50 students a year. It is not publicized, you really have to do your research.

5. I have seen too many paying high prices for a 'name' school for very average students, and the students struggle all the way through, some dropping out. This happened to a friend. A good fit college is so important and pride is best checked at the door. I'd rather see a student complete their degree at an 'average' (and often more affordable) college, than have them struggle, amass extra debt and perhaps drop out of a prestigious school. I know family and social  expectations can be tricky,  There definitely are some professions that need a 'name' school, but they are few.

Best of luck to you all!

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

President Biden indicated in a call with House Democrats that he was open to sending $1,400 payments to a smaller group of Americans in the next round of coronavirus relief legislation and changing the overall price tag of his $1.9 trillion plan, according to people familiar with the call.

 

Biden Signals Openness to Sending $1,400 Payments to Smaller Group (msn.com)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Picked up 1 day's worth of free meals.  It was so much food.  Basically giving the kids an extra meal or so.  Maybe that is how it goes more at the end of the week?  I never go on Fridays because it is always pizza.   We have some locations on my side of town, but the masking by students at that school is not good.  So I go to the other side of town at the high school where it is pretty good.   I only go 2 or 3 times a week, not everyday.   I got there and back before the storm so that was a plus.

Maybe some forward movement on the refi?

Did a grocery pick up yesterday.  Returned somethings from Christmas.  

Donated a bunch of things yesterday.  I can't wait until it is warmer and I can get rid of things easier.  

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Senate early Friday approved a budget that would allow fast-track passage of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan without support from Republicans. Vice President Kamala Harris was in the chair to cast the tie-breaking vote, her first.

 

Democrats in the chamber applauded after Harris announced the 51-50 vote at around 5:30 a.m. The action came after a grueling all-night session, where senators voted on amendments that could define the contours of the eventual COVID-19 aid bill.

The budget now returns to the House, where it will have to be approved again due to the changes made by the Senate

Senate approves budget bill as Harris casts tie-breaker vote (msn.com)

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I always tell my kids to bring me back "checks and love letters" when they go to get the mail (our mailbox is about 1/4 mile down the road). Yesterday, DD actually brought me a check! It was for a whopping $5.20, but it was unexpected money. Apparently, DH was in a class action lawsuit for tylenol, so yay!

Staying home and saving money today.

Unfortunately, it was sleeting here during the time to pick up school lunches, so I didn't go. I'm filling my grocery cart now, and I will probably set it for tomorrow pickup. I'm trying to make a meal plan, but I'm getting really tired of my cooking though. I really want to eat out, but DH is going out for lunch since he is at work all day today. 

Skylight in the kids' bathroom dripped on my head yesterday. *sigh* We just replaced the one in our bathroom last year. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...