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Gas Savings, Hawaii, Waiting on Job

September 13th, 2015 at 10:16 am

I just happened to notice that a gas station close to our house has cheaper gas than Costco. Is about what we pay with our grocery coupons (even closer to our house), but we usually only get those deals for the minivan (bigger gas tank). As long as these gas prices are relatively unknown (it's a small station but I haven't seen a crowd there) we will get gas at the other station. I think it makes sense to fill up there whenever driving out of town and it's also a convenient stop on my way home from work. With dh potentially working I may take more responsibility for filling up the van on the way home sometimes, and he can use the grocery coupons on the gas sipper when he is at the grocery store. The cheap gas station is probably a little more out of his way, for the most part. Plus he is at the grocery store a lot anyway and can pay the same price there.

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So... My in-laws usually slip us $1,000 when we go on bigger vacations. I kind of was expecting that for our Hawaii trip but didn't particularly want to rely on that. I didn't expect to know for sure until they took us to the airport.

BUT... Our anniversary will be before we leave and they slipped us $1,500 yesterday for our 15th wedding anniversary, since they didn't expect to see us again for a few weeks. Woohoo! I feel so much more relieved about the Hawaii trip. I'd estimate off the top of my head that we will spend $2,000 on excursions, food, and car rental and other rentals, and I think that's being generous. But I like the idea of pulling $500 out of savings (if we go hog wild) much more than potentially pulling out $2,000. So I am very happy with this turn of events.

I expect this trip to end our year of splurge. We were doing very well financially and decided to take advantage of a trip abroad that came up, but we had already planned this Hawaii trip, and dh spent a few thousand dollars upgrading his home theater. We figured this is the kind of spending we do once every 10 years or so. It was 10 years ago that we spent down some of our maternity leave savings because I had two healthy pregnancies & babies and we never needed any of the money we had saved for the worst. So I don't know if there's anything magical about every 10 years, but just seems to be how it has panned out so far. We just kind of wanted to stretch and let loose a bit before we get back to hoarding cash for my eventual job change (just lots of unknowns there) and figure we will be saving for college and paying down our mortgage and topping off our retirement in the next decade or so. We feel very "noses back to the grindstone" - or is the plan anyway after Hawaii. (& Dh and I can go to Hawaii whenever, but it's just adding the kids increases the cost significantly. It's not like we won't do anything fun. Maybe one ridiculous luxury a year is more feasible or more our style).

In the meantime, we've had an exceptional year financially. I don't know that the splurging will set us back at all. We planned all this before we knew that both our parents would give us large checks in a 12-month period (unusual and completely unexpected on both counts) and that dh would find a job.

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As to the job, dh has a formal offer, but still waiting for red tape to clear. If if works out and they will work around our planned vacation, I expect he will start later this week.

I can't tell you how *perfect* this job is for our lifestyle. Or how good it sounds on paper anyway, though I am wary to get too enthused until he officially starts and we find out if it really works out for the long run.

The job is very part-time, during school hours, summers and winters off, walkable commute, no professional clothing, very low pay. The last part might not sound so nice, but it means a low-tax situation. So... Basically a job where he can actually keep most of what he makes. !! & it's so non-intrusive to the rest of our lives that I don't really expect anything to change. Will see, but it sounds workable for keeping our low key/low stress lifestyle.

Of course we will save 100% of whatever dh brings home, as we always have done.

I don't expect him to be happy with minimum wage work for the long run, but this is what he needs to move forward again. It's a step in the right direction.

My plan right now is just to put it all into savings for this year. I Expected we would spent it on Hawaii and a couple of planned appliances purchases. But now that Hawaii seems sorted out, I will just hold onto it can re-allocate whatever we need at the end of the year. This will make it easier to reach my goals of adding another $1,000-ish to the mortgage and adding $1,700 to our investments.

I don't expect that any income taxes will be withheld from his check the rest of the year; not enough income to matter.

I'd say that dh is the bigger saver of the two of us, and so I don't think he cares at all about working with no immediate personal financial benefits. BUT... I do have $500 in credit card rewards (gift cards) to redeem next week. There was nothing we particularly needed and so I had already earmarked this $500 for "fun money". I think we will both enjoy the extra psychological boost of a little extra splurging, and I think it means we will probably more likely keep every penny he makes this year. (I don't know that we will splurge it all ($500), but I just know I won't care either way).

Next year we will re-evaluate. Next year will be a bigger tax hit, and we will have to figure out how to most efficiently allocate the extra income. I don't see putting any mental effort into that until I see how the job shakes out and how we end the year financially. Will cross that bridge when we get to it. I suppose I will also know my salary for 2016 before dh returns to work after winter break. He will get a 10% raise next year due to minimum wage increasing. It's kind of good timing in that regard too. There's talk of raising minimum wage quite substantially in both our city and state. Either way will bode well for dh in the short run or for my kids when they turn 16.

3 Responses to “Gas Savings, Hawaii, Waiting on Job”

  1. 76Chick Says:

    Your blog is one I have checked on over the years... it struck a cord with me when I first joined SavingsAdvice back in 2008. Maybe because we are the same age? It's so nice to see your updates and to hear how things are going well for you all, life, health, and finance-wise! Big Grin We've never been to Hawaii, so I can't wait to hear all about it when you get back. For our anniversary this year, we are headed to San Francisco... this will make it the 4th trip there in 2 years (it's the Boudin bread bowls on Fisherman's Warf)... Wink We love the city. But, the big splurge is we are flying (instead of the 12 hour road trip) and we got tickets to see the Suns whoop the Warriors in Oakland on our actual anniversary (Dec. 16). Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

    Congrats on the husband's new job!! Big Grin

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That was a very nice early gift for your anniversary/Hawaii trip!

    DH's job sounds like a really great thing - in timing and in substance.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    Thanks 76chick - I remember your other blog and always enjoyed it. Glad you are back!

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