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Bit of rambling before bed

March 19th, 2013 at 08:54 pm

My financial life feels pretty slow and dull now that I'm not throwing big daily payments at the student loan! Smile I'll see what else I can find to talk about instead.

I've been sick pretty much since Friday night, so I haven't gotten much done. I stayed home Monday and went in today, so I'm on the mend for sure. Saturday evening was the worst; I was really achy. Thank goodness that part didn't last long.

Our grocery budget finally, FINALLY seems to have come back into balance. Smart spending plus reduced diapers and formula has paid off at last. We have over $200 left for this Friday's shopping trip! We should be all right from now on; formula stops completely at the end of this month, and we won't buy groceries for two weeks in May (we'll be in England), and our CSA starts up in June, so we'll be getting produce every week from another part of our budget.

Something that is NOT working out: our new internet service. It's very patchy and unpredictable and sometimes slow. Sometimes it will randomly choose a site to lock us out of. Tonight it's my ordinarysavers.com site. Sometimes it's Netflix (though I'm watching a Netflix movie right now and it's working fine).I have to admit it's annoying. I'd probably stick it out for another 6-8 months until we make back in savings the money we spent on the modem, which we can now no longer get a refund for. But AS and NT really want to switch sooner.

AS accepted another $1000 assignment on the condition that she could put $500 toward the overage that better internet service would cost for the next couple years. The other $500 I can put toward debt.

I actually think we could probably get a good intro deal from Comcast to get us to switch back; after all, they offered me a temporary deal to stay with them. So her $500 might last a really long time. And who knows? Maybe we can sell the modem for a few bucks on Craigslist.

I'm glad we tried it, but the moral of the story is, sometimes saving a few bucks just isn't worth it.

What else? Well, I've come out of my malaise somewhat; at least I feel like writing on my ordinarysavers site, which is a good sign, since that's meant to be a somewhat creative outlet for me. I also did a bit of reorganizing of the girls' room, buying some rolling plastic chests of drawers that fit in their closet, to help handle some of their toys. (Of course SL's birthday is coming up next week, so let's hope everything still fits! We only got her three toys, but we know all the grandparents will go nuts.)

Speaking of birthdays, every year I wonder whether it's time to start giving AA an allowance. I almost started this year, but AS pointed out that it wouldn't mean much to her until she starts getting the concept of money, and doing her fair share around the house. Anyway, she and SL get most of our loose change put in their piggy bank, so they do get an allowance of sorts. Smile I'm a bit behind my goal to have their accounts at $1000 per year of age, but it's just a rough rule of thumb I came up with. It'll be easy to make up at some point.

AS's "HR" (there isn't really one at her job) forgot to adjust her withholdings, so this past paycheck my net pay was less and hers was the same. Luckily I'd decided to only have about $20 more withheld each paycheck, so it was easy to absorb. Hopefully hers will be right next payday. I can't wait to start putting that extra money toward our goals. Should eliminate the shortfall for the monthly amount we need to hit our big-picture goals!

My boss hinted that I may be up for a raise this year! That would be exciting, because our budget is already coming into balance quite nicely. For the time being I would probably put it toward the student loan I want to get rid of ASAP, but at some point I might allocate it toward fun. Part of me wants to scrimp every extra bit so we have more than enough for our eventual move. But at the same time, our current life is pretty hard, and it would be nice to have a little more money to treat ourselves to something nice once in a while. I'll have to think about it.

One thing we'll really enjoy this year: We'd already decided to do staycations for the rest of the year since we're using so much money and PTO to go to England. I had also thought we might have to siphon money from our travel budget to stay on track with our big-picture goals. But now it's looking like we won't have to do that, so our staycations could be pretty lavish if we wanted to spend our money that way. Maybe we could even do one or two short weekend trips to Chicago or St. Louis or somewhere it's cheap to fly to from Minneapolis.

Or just stay in the city and visit fancy restaurants, like the one half a block away that we've only ever had drinks or appetizers at, except once when a friend had their wedding reception there. Smile

Sigh ... I definitely have winter fatigue and frugal fatigue right now, can you tell? Wink

5 Responses to “Bit of rambling before bed”

  1. snafu Says:

    Hope you're feeling better. Tomorrow is the first day of spring! Hope it's ok to suggest a quick review of pantry, fridge freezer, lotions & potions, cosmetics/OTC/RX checking expiration dates so that they get used. It's annoying and expensive to return in June needing to fling expired products.

  2. CB in the City Says:

    I have winter fatigue for sure! And frugal fatigue, yes, I have to admit to that, though I am holding steady. A little dose of spring would help a lot.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    I think internet service is our biggest splurge these days. Big Grin Super crazy fast internet.

    We started allowances at 5, and that was probably on the young side. I can already tell my eldest is more of a saver. (He is kind of a hoarder anyway, so hoards his allowance). But the kids have a good grasp that buying used and on sale will stretch their few dollars a lot further. Which is why I think allowance is important on the young side. I don't expect them to be working and making money until closer to 13, but they already seem motivated on creative ways to make money. The primary thing they buy is video games and computer stuff, but that stuff can be pricey, so I think that is why they are motivated.

  4. mjrube94 Says:

    Your post sounds upbeat! Glad you're feeling better!

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I've been sick the past 4 or 5 days too, and Saturday was the worst.

    Glad you're feeling better!

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