but it does highlight something that my DH and I have discovered in our own spending. There are categories where it’s relatively easy to cut back, at least over the short term, and we think gosh that’s great we cut back. However, there are categories where it takes some effort to cut back, either because those costs are harder to change and/or higher in general. Yet cuts there “count” more, either because once made they last, and/or because the actual cuts are a lot higher in saved $$$ over the passage of time. For instance, on our working farm, our feed costs are very high – it’s our second highest monthly bill. Only our mortgage is higher. Our eat-out costs are 1/10 to 1/20th of our feed costs. Sure we can cut back on eating out (and we’ve almost eliminated it), yet by eliminating it we haven’t touched our two biggest bills yet. That cut was only a drop in the bucket. If, on the other hand, we do our homework and shop around for better homeowner’s insurance (which we did in 2013) or if we tackle the feed bill (which we’re in the process of doing now), either of those might eliminate hundreds per month from our expenses. Most of you won’t have a feed bill, but everyone has some big monthly cost that we tend to think of as “untouchable.” I think a balance of both tactics – eliminating costs which are easy, but also knuckling down and doing the homework to put bid dents in the major bills – are perhaps the best recipe for long-term budget improvements. Just some encouragement to try……..
I opened my oldest 3 kiddos their own saving and teen checking through capital one 360. I want to really to start letting them manage their money by the month. I have half of my puppies sold already . Once they are all sold the puppy money is going to emergency fund rebuild, new house windows and maybe stainless appliances. We have had plain Jane white since I sold my top of the line stainless ones when we started the Dave plan to pay off debt. It kind of feels like Dave’s jaguar story in his book more than enough. He gave up his prized car and years later God gave him one back. Hubby’s friend builds green houses and is getting us a great deal on the windows at his contractors price. The best part is we are FINALLY getting a heat pump. After years of burning wood I am sooooooo very happy !!!!!!
and got very little of it back. 🙁 So technically, my bowling budget is gone for the month. But realistically, I can’t NOT pay for dues and jackpots. So I’ll have to take if from money I was going to put back into my FFEF…
Our windows are really leaky and thin. I am slowly making a dent in all the things we put off while paying off the house. It has been almost a year since we paid it off. I thought I would be done with our needs replaced list by now.
It’s 8 hours a week at $12/hr. It will give us a slush fund emergency fund for the time being. Things are tight right now, but it’s going into savings and I’m going to scrimp and squeeze the budget. If things get better, I’ll start up our FFEF savings again and funnel my work money into a vacation fund. Either way it’s income and we can use it as we see fit if necessary for living expenses!
I’m excited to be back in the paying workforce after 13 years of being a stay at home mom!
to get our home office totally organized and under control. It’s still a long way from there. This time last year we hauled off pick-up loads of stuff out of here—mainly charitable donations of things we had been going to sell. But after a while we ran out of steam.
Over the rest of the year I slowly have sorted things, and as Anthea will tell you have actually got some work areas set up, but it’s a long way from done. The good news is we’ve not back slid any.
So I’m back at it. As I wait for things to cut out on the Cricut—doing stock build up for the business I’m sorting AGAIN. Today’s big project, two sets of rolling drawer organizers of cardmaking/scrapbooking supplies. Only 2 of the 9 to go on these three sets to go. I’m finding tools I forgot I had….not good. Anyway, I’m back to working on decluttering the office
buying shares of items not already bundled in my mutual funds. I think Sharebuilder is more hands on, you decide what you invest in, versus going with predetermined mutual funds. Yes you can invest in individual shares with Fidelity and other brokerage houses but there are usually minimums to purchase etc.
that are offered by our companies, and I don’t think Share Builder is a big player in that market. I’ve had 401k’s (and a 403B and a 401a) from Fidelity, Wells Fargo, and now Schwab, plus a TIAA/CREF and there was another one I’ve forgotten about . When I’ve switched jobs I’ve rolled any 401k stuff into Fidelity just to keep it all in one place (except for the TIAA/CREF, which is a different sort of beast).
Fidelity has really good customer service, and that’s worth something when you are having a 40-year relationship with a company . They’re a big local company, too, big employer in my field, so that gives me some warm fuzzies. I admit I haven’t done the research to know if they’re the absolute best dollar value around but my accounts have been doing OK relative to the market. (and I’m sure they know that happy customers are probably not going to do all the work to switch)