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Financial and latest tech info

The Hobbit And Different Might 2023 Bills


Nov 1, 2023


Sure certainly, we’ve welcomed a hobbit into our residence. Mr. FW is a widely known lover of The Lord of The Rings books and the principle purpose he wished to have kids was to at some point learn the sequence with them. He’s been working Kidwoods as much as The Hobbit by having her first learn the Fern Hole books (by John Endurance), subsequent the Redwall sequence (by Brian Jacques) and eventually, final month, she started studying The Hobbit to him.

Kidwoods studying to Mr. FW: their afternoon ritual

To facilitate this love of literature, we bought a beautiful, illustrated, hard-cover copy of The Hobbit (affiliate hyperlink). Usually, we purchase zero new books–all of them come from the library or a yard sale, however this was a particular one Mr. FW wished to reward to Kidwoods.

That is now their each day afternoon behavior–she sits in his lap and reads him books. It began out as an task from her fabulous 1st grade instructor at first of this yr and, wouldn’t you already know it, her studying has superior shortly and dramatically. Having her learn aloud to him permits us to trace her progress and guarantee she’s nailing the pronunciations in addition to internalizing the context and story line. She now delights in giving me the rundown on what the characters are as much as every day!

I initially thought The Hobbit may be too scary for a seven-year-old, however she LOVES it and it supplies a number of alternatives to debate when characters aren’t good to one another. She will acknowledge unhealthy conduct when it crops up within the story and is ready to articulate why it’s unhealthy. All in all, an cute routine is cemented in our residence. The one draw back is that Littlewoods is FURIOUS she will be able to’t learn but.

Yard Sale & Thrift Retailer Scores

The opposite notable line objects this month are my yard sale and thrift retailer scores because it’s yard sale season right here in Vermont! My yard sale buddy, RW, and I’ve been hitting it laborious early on Saturday mornings and have made some wonderful hauls.

As longtime readers are effectively conscious, I make the most of yard gross sales and thrift shops to obtain the next:

  • Birthday and Christmas items for our youngsters! No purpose to purchase new when there are such a lot of superb second-hand toys/video games/books/puzzles out there.
  • The marble run: a improbable hand-me-down!

    Birthday items for different children! Anytime I discover a new, unopened, tags-on, in-package toy/guide/puzzle/craft package, I scoop it up for one of many many child birthday events we attend.

  • Family decor and furnishings! I purchase all of my seasonal decor, on a regular basis decor, lamps, tables, image frames and extra from yard gross sales. Very sometimes I would like to purchase new, however I’m capable of finding nearly every part I would like/need from a budget used market.
  • Clothes and footwear for me and the children! I get practically all of our garments second-hand, except issues like: underwear, socks, swimsuits, trainers and every other specialty objects we’d like, akin to ski goggles or ski socks (if I can’t discover them used). I very not often discover something used for Mr. FW–sometimes I’ll discover a good insulated work shirt, however most males’s garments appear to be torn to shreds so we often have to purchase his stuff new.

Why Purchase Used?

I imply, actually, why not? I’ve written tomes on this up to now, and for my longwinded ideas, try:

Extra Than Cash Saved: Different Advantages Of Shopping for Used

Past the astronomical quantities of cash I save by accepting hand-me-downs and thrifting it up, I’ve found a slew of non-monetary advantages of the used market:

Littlewoods rocking a second-hand costume

1. Shopping for used = fewer selections, which makes us people happier.

Infinite alternative is paralyzing… and exhausting to the human psyche. It leads us to set unreasonably excessive expectations, query our selections earlier than we even make them and blame our failures solely on ourselves… An excessive amount of alternative undermines happiness (supply: NPR).

2. Used stuff is extra environmentally pleasant.

  • Used stuff avoids the embodied environmental prices of recent: packaging, delivery, manufacturing, and many others.
  • Plus, it retains stuff out of the landfill!

3. Shopping for used permits for the expertise of kismet.

  • Oh sure, there’s kismet find nice used offers. I really like my storage sale scores and I delight within the sheer kismet of discovering, for instance, a $1 child doll stroller that my women ADORE.
    • They adore it a lot, the truth is, that I used to be thrilled to seek out one other ($2) used child doll stroller in order that they’ll every push a stroller round the home on the similar time.

4. Shopping for used reduces the endowment impact.

  • My practically 100% second-hand residence (there’s that prime chair!!)

    Since a lot of our stuff was bought used at a deep low cost, I’m not tremendous connected to any of it. This enables me the liberty to let it go in order that it doesn’t litter up my life. That is additionally why I’m in favor of the Plan Forward, Purchase Forward strategy.

  • Since I paid nothing, or little or no, for our stuff, I don’t really feel compelled to hoard it or promote it in an effort to squeeze out a return on my funding (which is unlikely to occur, based mostly on depreciation).
  • It relieves me from being held hostage by the endowment impact, which happens when, “…a person locations the next worth on an object that they already personal than the worth they might place on that very same object if they didn’t personal it” (supply).

5. Shopping for used is enjoyable! So enjoyable.

  • Just like kismet, I discover second-hand procuring enjoyable. It’s not disturbing as a result of if a yard sale doesn’t have something I would like? I simply transfer on. Conversely, if I do occur to seek out a terrific deal, it’s trigger for frugal celebration!
  • Another excuse I discover storage sale procuring so pleasant is that I’ve a BGSGP (finest storage sale gal pal). With our forces mixed, we’re storage sale experts. We plan which Saturdays we wish to storage sale, we rise up early these mornings, depart our husbands and children at residence, and quest forth for finds. Storage saleing–like most issues–is best with buddies.
  • Plus we now have some hilarious tales, just like the time a man tried to persuade us VERY EARNESTLY that his previous, small cooler was value $40… 
Littlewoods on her first birthday within the excessive chair!

6. Shopping for used and handing stuff down creates neighborhood.

  • After I store at a storage sale, I’m giving cash to my neighbors, which I really like. Their stuff will get a brand new life, I get a terrific deal, they make a couple of bucks, and everyone seems to be pleased.
  • My cycle of receiving and giving hand-me-downs additional enhances a neighborhood mentality of sharing, lending, borrowing and simply usually taking good care of one another.
  • I used to be over at a pal’s home final week and noticed our previous high-chair (which was handed all the way down to us) in her kitchen. I hadn’t handed it alongside to her, so I requested her to relay the chain of occasions:
    • Just a few years in the past, I gave the excessive chair to pal A, who handed it all the way down to pal B, who handed it all the way down to pal C (who’s presently utilizing it). That made me SO SO SO HAPPY!!! It’s a improbable excessive chair that’s now been via ~7 children and continues to be going sturdy!!!!!!

7. Shopping for used takes much less time than shopping for new. 

  • It takes drastically much less time than procuring new. There’s a false impression that it’s extra time consuming, however that’s a fallacy when you do it the precise method.
  • My BGSGP and I don’t go to storage gross sales each weekend–that might be far too time consuming! Storage sale season in Vermont is confined to the summer time months, so she and I scout out the most probably goldmine gross sales upfront and do strategic strikes. We go early for the perfect choice and are often residence by late morning.
    • Be aware: we aren’t at all times profitable, however then we have now nice tales together with, however not restricted to, the $40 nasty previous (and small) cooler. P.S. I simply regarded it up and that cooler is presently $22 new… LOL

I Nonetheless Spend Lots Of Cash

…on different issues (akin to eating places and occasional outlets!). From my perspective, if I can get completely great things used for affordable, why purchase it new? I can’t get completely good used lunches out with my husband, however I certain as heck can get improbable used bikes for my children. It’s all about saving the place it’s simple to save lots of so that you could spend in different areas.

Need Assist With Your Cash? E-book a Monetary Seek the advice of With Me!

Cash is terrifying for lots of people and many people don’t know the place to begin.

That’s the place I are available in.

Our plum bushes in bloom!

I demystify private finance and break it down into manageable steps. I clarify the place to begin, the place to go and how you can confidently handle your cash by yourself.

My session classes–and ensuing written monetary plans–are complete, holistic, and all-encompassing of every particular person’s funds. I have a look at earnings, money owed, property, mortgages, bills, investments, retirement accounts, anticipated social safety, bank card technique and extra. I run via each side of an individual’s monetary life alongside their longterm targets and aspirations.

I assist folks work out how you can make their cash allow them to stay the life they need.

Need assistance along with your cash?

  1. Rent me for a non-public monetary session right here.
  2. Schedule an hourlong name with me right here.
  3. Schedule a 30 minute name with me right here.

→Unsure which possibility is best for you? Schedule a free 15-minute chat with me to be taught extra. Refer a pal to me right here.

I Love the Free Cash Monitoring Instruments from Private Capital… now referred to as Empower!

I take advantage of and advocate a free on-line service referred to as Empower to arrange our cash. It tracks our spending, internet value, investments, retirement, every part. Whereas the title is completely different, the free internet value monitoring and cash group instruments are the identical!

Understanding the place your cash’s at is likely one of the best methods to get a deal with in your funds. You can not make knowledgeable selections about your cash when you don’t understand how you’re spending it or how a lot you’ve. In case you’d wish to know extra about how Empower works, try my full write-up.

With out a holistic image of your funds, there’s no strategy to set financial savings, debt compensation or funding targets. It’s a should, of us. Empower (which is free) is an effective way for me to systematize our monetary overviews because it hyperlinks all of our accounts collectively and supplies a complete image of our internet value.

In case you don’t have a strong thought of the place your cash’s at–or the way you’re spending it–contemplate attempting Empower (word: the Empower hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks). 

Credit Playing cards: How We Purchase The whole lot

Hyacinths in bloom!

We purchase every part we are able to with bank cards as a result of:

  1. It’s simpler to trace bills. No guesswork over the place a random $20 invoice went; all of it reveals up in our month-to-month expense report from Empower. I additionally spend much less cash as a result of I KNOW I’m going to see each expense listed on the finish of the month.

  2. We get rewards. Bank card rewards are a easy strategy to get one thing for nothing. By way of the playing cards we use, we get money again in addition to lodge and airline factors for purchasing stuff we had been going to purchase anyway.
  3. We construct our credit score. Since we don’t have any debt, having a number of bank cards open for a few years helps our credit score scores. It’s a grimy delusion that carrying a stability in your bank card helps your credit score rating–IT DOES NOT. Paying your playing cards off IN FULL each month and protecting them open for a few years does assist your rating.

For extra on my bank card technique, try:

Money Again Playing cards to Take into account

In case you’re now cash-back curious, there are a variety of playing cards in the marketplace providing fairly good money again percentages. Listed below are just a few I feel are an excellent deal:

Ferns unfurling as seen on my morning hike

Blue Money Most popular® Card from American Specific

  • 6% money again at U.S. supermarkets on as much as $6,000 per yr in purchases (then 1%).
    6% money again on choose U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% money again at U.S. gasoline stations and on transit (together with taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and extra).
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn a $250 assertion credit score after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your new Card throughout the first 6 months
  • $0 intro annual charge for the primary yr, then $95. Charges and charges particulars right here.
  • Phrases apply

Blue Money On a regular basis® Card from American Specific

  • 3% money again at U.S. supermarkets (on as much as $6,000 per yr in purchases, then 1%).
  • 3% Money Again at U.S. gasoline stations, on as much as $6,000 per yr, then 1%.
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn as much as $250 – Right here’s How: Earn as much as $150 again once you store with PayPal. Earn 20% again as an announcement credit score on purchases once you use your new Card to take a look at with PayPal at retailers within the first 6 months of Card Membership, as much as $150 again. Plus, earn $100 again as an announcement credit score after you spend $2,000 in purchases in your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • No annual charge. Charges and charges particulars right here.
  • Phrases apply.

Capital One Quicksilver Money Rewards Credit score Card

  • 1.5% money again on each buy, daily.
  • $200 money bonus after you spend $500 on purchases inside 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual charge.
Mr. FW in a few of his new garments! Thrift retailer costume for me. Picture credit score

Capital One SavorOne Money Rewards Credit score Card

  • Limitless 3% money again on eating, leisure, fashionable streaming providers and at grocery shops (excluding superstores like Walmart and Goal).
  • 1% again on all different purchases.
  • 8% money again on tickets at Vivid Seats via January 2023.
  • $200 money bonus after you spend $500 on purchases throughout the first 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual charge.

Chase Freedom Limitless®

  • Earn an additional 1.5% on every part you purchase (on as much as $20,000 spent within the first yr), which is value as much as $300 money again:
    • 6.5% on journey bought via Chase Final Rewards
    • 4.5% on eating and drugstores
    • 3% on all different purchases.
  • After your first yr (or $20,000 spent), you earn:
    • 5% money again on Chase journey bought via Chase Final Rewards
    • 3% money again on drugstore purchases and eating at eating places, together with takeout and eligible supply service
    • Limitless 1.5% money again on all different purchases.
  • No annual charge.

In case you’re occupied with journey rewards, folks love the Chase Sapphire Most popular® Card. You’ll be able to earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, which is $750 once you redeem via Chase Final Rewards.

Large caveat to bank card utilization: you MUST pay your bank card payments in full each single month, with no exceptions. In case you’re involved about your skill to do that, or assume utilizing bank cards may immediate you to spend extra, stick to a debit card or money. However you probably have no downside paying that invoice in full each month? I like to recommend you bank card away, my pal! (word: the bank card hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks).

Money Again Earned This Month: $81.64

My favourite folks in my favourite place

The silver lining to our spending is our money again bank card. We earn 2% money again on each buy made with our Constancy Rewards Visa and, this month, we spent $4,081.76 on that card, which netted us $81.64.

Not some huge cash, however it’s cash we earned for purchasing stuff we had been going to purchase anyway! Because of this I really like money again bank card rewards–they’re the only strategy to earn one thing for nothing.

To see how this provides up over the course of a yr, try How I Made $712.59 With My Money Again Credit score Card.

The place’s Your Cash?

One other simple strategy to optimize your cash is by placing it in a high-yield financial savings account. With these accounts, curiosity works in your favor versus the rates of interest on debt, which work in opposition to you.

Having cash in a no or low curiosity financial savings account is a waste of assets–your cash is sitting there doing nothing. Don’t let your cash be lazy! Make it give you the results you want! And now, take pleasure in some explanatory math:

Let’s say you’ve $5,000 in a financial savings account that earns 0% curiosity. In a yr’s time, your $5,000 will nonetheless be… $5,000.

Let’s say you as a substitute put that $5,000 into an American Specific Private Financial savings account, which–as of this writing–earns 4% in curiosity (affiliate hyperlink). In a single yr, your $5,000 may have elevated to $5,200. Meaning you earned $200 simply by having your cash in a high-yield account.

And also you didn’t need to do something! I’m a giant fan of incomes cash whereas doing nothing. Is anyone not a fan of that? Apparently so, as a result of anybody who makes use of a low or no curiosity financial savings account is NOT getting cash whereas doing nothing. Don’t be that particular person. Be the one who earns cash whereas sleeping.

Sure, We Solely Paid $28.24 for Cell Telephone Service (for 2 telephones)

Our cellphone service line merchandise isn’t a typ0 (though that actually is). We actually and really solely paid $28.24 for each of our telephones (that’s $14.12 per particular person for these of you into division). How is such trickery attainable?!? We use an MVNO!

What’s an MVNO?

The daffodils bloomed in Might too!

Glad you requested as a result of I used to be going to let you know anyway: It’s a cellphone service re-seller.

MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of the cellphone service world–the identical service, A LOT cheaper. In case you’re not utilizing an MVNO, switching to 1 is a simple, slam-dunk, do-it-right-away method to save cash each single month of each single yr without end and ever amen.

Listed below are just a few MVNOs to think about:

For extra, I’ve a full chart of suppliers and their costs right here: The way to Save Cash on Your Cell Telephone Invoice with an MVNO: I Pay $12 a Month*

*the quantity we pay fluctuates each month as a result of it’s calibrated on what we use. Think about that! We solely pay for what we use! Will wonders ever stop. These MVNO hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks.

Expense Report FAQs

  • Wish to understand how we handle the remainder of our cash? Try How We Handle Our Cash: Behind The Scenes of The Frugalwoods Household Accounts
  • Don’t you’ve a rental property? Sure! We personal a rental property (often known as our first residence) in Cambridge, MA, which I talk about right here and extra not too long ago, right here too
  • Why do I share our bills? To present you a way of how we spend our cash in a values-based method. Your spending will differ from ours and there’s no “one proper method” to spend and no “good” funds.
  • Are we probably the most frugal frugal folks on earth? Completely not! My hope is that by being clear about our spending, you may achieve insights into your personal spending and be impressed to take proactive management of your cash.
  • Questioning the place to begin with managing your cash? Take my free, 31-day Uber Frugal Month Problem.
  • Need assist along with your cash? Rent me for a monetary session or name. Unsure what which means? Begin with a free 15-minute name.
  • In case you’re occupied with different issues I really like, try Frugalwoods Recommends.
  • Why don’t you purchase every part regionally? We do our greatest to assist our local people and purchase as a lot of our meals as attainable straight from our farmer neighbors. Our city doesn’t have any shops, so we depend on on-line ordering and massive field shops for requirements. The closest shops are 45 minutes away and we go just a few occasions a month to fill up on what we are able to’t get from our neighbors or on-line.

However Mrs. Frugalwoods, Don’t You Pay For X, Y, Or Even Z???

Questioning about frequent bills you don’t see listed under?

In case you’re questioning about the rest, be happy to ask within the feedback part!

Alright you frugal cash voyeurs, feast your eyes on each greenback we spent in Might:

Merchandise Quantity Notes
Groceries $879.72
Eating places $493.81
Family provides & residence enchancment supplies & some clothes $469.98 Thrilling objects akin to: toothpaste, shampoo, laundry cleaning soap, dishwasher detergent, socks for each children, socks for me, craft provides, and residential enchancment provides.
Preschool $420.00 One of many last preschool funds of our lifetime!
String trimmer $293.15 This Battery String Trimmer for reducing down all of the small bushes and huge bushes attempting to eat our home (affiliate hyperlink).
New summer time/fall wardrobe for Mr. FW $223.91 Shirts, shorts, pants, swim trunks and extra!
Beer & wine $204.54
Fuel for the automobiles $181.69
Annual household cross to our native seashore $150.00
Vermont DMV $140.00 Annual Registration for the Subaru Outback
Pole Noticed Attachment $126.94 This pole noticed attachment for pruning our fruit bushes (affiliate hyperlink).
Espresso outlets & a number of lunches out with buddies $118.54 Espresso outlets & a number of lunches out with buddies
Dentist appointment for me $114.00 We don’t have dental insurance coverage so we simply pay out of pocket.

This was for my common 6-month cleansing and check-up.

Money $100.00 For storage gross sales, child!
Utilities: Web $72.00
Health club Rings and mount $71.99 To enhance our higher physique power, Health club Rings and a Mount (affiliate hyperlink).

At the moment put in in our basement and used each day by Mr. FW. I would like to begin as effectively…

Haircut $69.00 For me!
Thrift Retailer scores $62.89 Clothes for me and the women, footwear for the women, bikes for them and a few family decor/provides.
Instruments $57.88 A brand new sillcock to exchange our damaged one in addition to some instruments for job: this software and in addition this software (affiliate hyperlink).
Liz dinner out with ski girls $52.84
CO2 canister $44.62 20 lbs of C02 for our hacked Sodastream, seltzer-on-tap system.
Medical health insurance premium $41.74 By way of the Reasonably priced Care Act
Oil filter for mower $39.27 This oil filter for our mower (affiliate hyperlink).
Utilities: Electrical $36.59 We’ve got photo voltaic; that is our month-to-month base value for remaining grid tied.
Cellphone service for 2 telephones! $28.24 Thanks, low-cost MVNO!
Extra guitar strings! $27.55 Mr. FW is sounding severely good! Extra guitar strings (affiliate hyperlink).
A hobbit $22.78 A stunning copy of The Hobbit (affiliate hyperlink).
Alternative cupboard hinges $17.71 One thing nobody instructed us about having children: you’ll have to exchange the hinges on all your low cupboards (affiliate hyperlink). Usually.
Propane $14.59
Spotify $13.77
Alternative rest room paper roll holder $12.71 One thing nobody instructed us about having children: you’ll have to exchange your TP holder after the children knock the previous one off the wall so many occasions that it merely can’t be screwed again in (affiliate hyperlink).
Writing pill $12.55 This factor is value its weight in gold. My in-laws gave one in all these writing tablets to Littlewoods for her birthday just a few years in the past and the women had been sharing it (principally efficiently), however it was time to offer one to Kidwoods to protect familial unity (affiliate hyperlink).
Rechargeable batteries $10.99 AAA rechargeable batteries (affiliate hyperlink).
Alternative doorknob $10.50 One thing nobody instructed us about having children: you’ll have to exchange doorknobs periodically after your children twist them so laborious they not perform (affiliate hyperlink).
Parking $5.00 Within the large metropolis!
TOTAL: $4,641.49

How was your Might?


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