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Archive for December, 2019

My work budget needs tweaking

December 23rd, 2019 at 04:15 pm

Before we settle in for a quiet night of Secrets of the Zoo at Christmas (in which, apparently, there are a ton of baby animals - therefore something we all want to see), I thought I'd write just a little bit.

2019 is coming to a close, and I am a little worried about 2020. My work has changed (fewer new projects, more HOA work, therefore less money). I am ready to budget more carefully at work.

This is separate from our home budget, but it's still a budget I have to manage. I'll be doing the 2020 budget in the next week.

D just had his performance review at work, and he is getting a raise! So a little pressure off the home budget. Still I am going to work my hardest to make sure I still make the same contribution to the family finances.

Still using the YNAB philosophy that "every dollar has a job" (but not using YNAB itself). My extra money from teaching exercise classes is being used for F's college fund. (It takes about $63/month for insurance, exercise releases and equipment).

I am recommitting to saving, saving, saving (we had an expensive couple of months) in January, with the exception of the new boiler we need (ugh).

My work budget needs to be slashed drastically, so we'll see how that goes. I am buying supplies today so that they're in this year's budget. I ran into the guy in the suite next door to see if he wanted to share internet but he's old and it just confused him that this could be an option.

Other work stuff: I have been slowly cleaning out the storage room. I have a great feed scanner, and I am scanning the contents of old file boxes so that I can toss the paperwork. I spoke to my insurance agent and he said 10 years is the statute of repose, but I want to keep electronic copies anyway. And I am archiving HOA documents, but need to scan those first, too. The HOA's have their own storage facilities, but they're not really convenient if I need to look something up (and for some reason I always do!).

My office also tends to become a dumping ground for things I don't want to store at home, so I'm working with those things, and selling a few things on Craigslist and ebay.

And the old samples are going to art teachers who can hopefully use them!

Hope you are also doing well, and wrapping up (ha, ha!) 2019! Happy holidays!!!

Trying to be Frugal

December 3rd, 2019 at 09:29 pm

I am trying so hard to be frugal, but it's hard right now. Some wins, some losses.

Here are some thoughts on spending and saving:

1. It's hard because we are going to Iceland in March and we need some clothing items (including thermals!). Actually they are probably things we should have gotten a long time ago (we live in a cold climate). I am trying to buy sale, sale, sale items where possible and have taken advantage of holiday sales. I put together a list in September and have been gradually finding things. It's like a weird scavenger hunt! Have not been able to find what I need in thrift stores.

2. When something doesn't work, I send it back! Amazon is great about refunds.

3. I actually got a compliment from the checker at the grocery store the other day on the quantity of groceries I got for my money. He said I was a good shopper!

4. I am slightly splurging on gifts for teachers (movie vouchers) because I want them to have something they can use.

5. My husband got a gift tag at work for a child; the girl (same age as our daughter) wanted a portable speaker which is cool because we got one for F, too, before he picked up the tag! So we'd already done our research. They were on sale at Target today. Got 5% off with my Target card. We can get her an itunes card, too, since we saved (no need to skimp on this one in my opinion!). Wondering about putting in a cute little cuddly toy, too... 15 year olds are still little girls, right?

6. My nephew is just 4 1/2 months old. So instead of a big gift, I am knitting him a little ball with scrap yarn. F still has the ball my friend knitted for her when she was little - squishy and easy to grab.

7. Going to the Twinkle Light parade this weekend (free, but we have to stand in the cold - but hey we have our new thermals!)

8. I got paid by the gym today - yay! $163! This money goes to F's college fund.

9. My lunch today was leftovers from last night: posole, two cuties and a couple of squares of chocolate.

Hope you are having a great day, too, and enjoying the holiday season!