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Phew!

April 14th, 2015 at 06:43 am

Tax season has been weird. Kind of slower and more relaxing than usual BUT kind of backed up towards the end. I just finished my dad's and Gma-in-law's tax returns this weekend. Which is crazy late. I am usually mostly done with tax stuff by now. It's the other April and May deadlines that are weighing on me now, since I am now officially *way* behind on those.
I won't get any time off until mid-May. Then the rest of the year just feels like a vacation.

Thankfully, dh and the kids were gone for 10 days. I needed the time to just work work work without distraction. They have no idea how crazy it got! But was easier to deal with without having a family to worry about. I am also usually way more burned out by this point of the year but just am not at all yet. I can deal with a few weeks of "extra crazy" if it doesn't drag on for a long time. So that is the plus.

The fam's trip went VERY well. Last time BM left the country, we had a crazy Murphy week. (I have NO IDEA how I could have ever dealt with anything like that alone, during such a busy time at work, and was a fear I had). I also dreaded dealing with my MIL, who watched LM while the rest of the fam went off to Japan. Except for some drama up front, she was on good behavior. Phew! Of course, I thought LM would be more homesick too, or that MIL would drive him crazy (as she does to people) but he was fine. I didn't know if LM would have the patience for her. & I thought he might be more homesick regardless. But for whatever reason he was in an exceptionally mature mood that week.

I am so relieved that everything went SO smooth.

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The total expense for the Japan trip came out to about $2,900 for dh. We were expecting $3,000. So I am happy with that.

My dad did pay for my son's airfare, but he ended up going 50/50 on the food and hotel and having me pay for all of BM's transportation and so on. I don't know if he just expected me to pay $3k towards the trip or what but I am NOT going to argue about it. Just relieved to only pay $2,900 for a trip that I Was budgeting $6,000 for!! (Have been expecting to just pay $3,000 since my parents offered to pay for my son. All around, is less than I had planned to spend. Woohoo!).

& thanks to technology, we had no costs for communication. When my dad took me to Japan it was mostly paid for BUT I remember spending like $100+ just to call dh and the kids. That was a while ago!

Of course, my dad got some exceptional pictures and BM had a blast. They were able to be there at the peak time for cherry blossoms, which was the primary purpose of the trip for my dad.

It's nice when things go so smooth!

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At home I did not spend much money *at all* so I am hoping to offset some trip costs with some low spending this month.

Mostly gas because dropped off the family in the Bay Area and then went down over the weekend to rescue LM. (They got a ride back home from family).

Of course, the sad part of this story is we had contributed $100 to a Robo Games kickstarter, in exchange for 4 tickets. The annual robot wars are usually later in April and so of course for this year they made it BEFORE April 15th and in the middle of this Japan trip. Frown

I had planned to stop by the games on my way home Sunday night, which is the best time to be there anyway. Is when they do the epic big battles with the heavy weight robots. But anyway, I was going to meet my friend there and hang out at least a couple of hours. But by the time I got out of MIL's house, only then my friend tells me they have to leave at 5:00 or whatever because it's a school night. Don't get me wrong, I Would have gone anyway, but I was SO exhausted I decided to just go straight home. Maybe for the best. But so SAD that we all missed it. I did give our tickets to my friend, so glad someone could use them.

Next Year...

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Oh yes, but as to our spending for the month, it's kind of absurdly low:

I've got a $25 credit on my Target card because I had some returns.

--$73 spent on gas (LOTS of driving, but only drove the gas sipper. Also have enough gas for this week).

--$40 eating out - MOST of this was when I was in San Jose last weekend. MIL and my mom had no food so we just ate out. But MIL had a party Sunday and I ate too well that day.

I had otherwise planned to eat out a couple of times with the family gone but didn't end up doing so. You can say what you want when I have my personal chef/domestic helper doing all that stuff but when entirely alone, during a very busy time at work, my default was to eat in. IT's what I am used to and has become my habit. It just seemed easier to stop by the grocery store on the way home than to go out to eat or to even go through a drive-thru. I share because I know we are creatures of habit. But since I am not in the habit of grocery shopping or cooking, I Was surprised how much that was my default. I am in the habit of eating very well at home. I am not in the habit of eating out. So I guess that is what it came down to.

Groceries: $60 (I definitely splurged because it was just me)

& that takes us through the first 10 days or so of the month. 1/3 of the month...

I don't know that I see much spending the rest of the month, though obviously the food will go up a few notches with the family back.

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Oh yeah, and I fed everyone and their brother while dh and the kids were gone. Dh had picked up a few groceries for me. (Not much, because I mostly planned to buy fresh ingredients). But, anyway, he told me he left a "few leftovers" and we discussed several meals I could probably do in my sleep and would just keep it simple while they were gone.

SO... I already had some food at work the first day and made the mistake of stocking up at the grocery store that night, on the way home. IT wasn't until the next morning that I took stock of leftovers, when grabbing some for lunch.

**O.M.G.**

So yeah, the next day I started "Operation Feed Everyone."

Dh doesn't get it. I swear I had manicotti every single day for lunch for like 6 days. Took one serving to my mom. I still had some left for dh when he came back.

My co-worker took a whole pot of stew and 2 servings of pizza.

I froze a serving of stew for my mom and a whole chicken meal (for 10?) for LM and MIL. Took those down over the weekend. Also had one serving of chili which I gave to my mom.

Before I realized all this I had cooked a pot of spaghetti and bought high quality deli meat and bread for the week. Gave some of that to my mom, who does not cook and was home alone too.

I did cook a couple of meals during the week (had more leftovers for lunches) and made a batch of burrito and spaghetti the couple of nights before the boys came home so they'd have some food while they recovered from jet lag.

I am just relieved that none of it seemed to go to waste. It is amazing how fast that food goes with dh and the kids here! I just laugh that dh thought I would eat ALL That AND cook 3 or 4 meals. HA!

4 Responses to “Phew!”

  1. Buendia Says:

    I think Japan for $2900 is amazing!!! I've always wanted to go, but it is sooooo expensive. The airfare alone! Yikes! The flights were out of San Francisco, yes? I think it helps being on the West Coast...

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    They flew out of San Jose. $1,100 for non-stop. The child was discounted. Could have maybe saved a few dollars flying out of SFO or with a layover in Korea, but wasn't really worth all that to save $100-ish. Especially since I only had to pay for one! The West Coast is good for flying to Asia, yes.

    I should break out the costs. It seemed much cheaper this time, though airfare cost about 25% more and exchange rates were about the same as our last trip. I don't know. $1100 airfare + $900 hotel (50% of 9 nights) + I owe my dad like $600 for bullet train and other transportation. The other $300 so is food and museums, and subway, mostly paid for in cash. I expected them to pay more for food and they were clearly treated a bit, but I guess other costs were pretty cheap (like museums).

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Glad to hear the Japan trip went so well!

    That is too funny about feeding everyone. Smile

  4. TD Says:

    Glad to hear everything went well - and that you're not feeling burnt out yet! I'm sure that will help the rest of the season go more smoothly Smile

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