<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: November, 2016
 

Archive for November, 2016

November Savings

November 30th, 2016 at 05:56 am

Received $39 bank interest for the month of November.

Snowflakes to Investments:

Redeemed $25 credit card rewards (cash back) from our gas/grocery card. But... Paid annual $95 fee. I will subtract $95 from snowflakes/investments.

Redeemed $64 cash back on Citi card.

Redeemed $7 cash back on Visa/dining card.

Other snowflakes to investments:
--$17 Savings from Target Red Card
--$40 Focus Group (survey)

Savings (From my paycheck):

+$ 200 to investments
+$ 300 to cash (mid-term savings)
+$ 900 to IRAs

Savings (From dh's paycheck):
+$ 500 to Investments

Short-Term Savings (for non-monthly expenses within the year):

+$1,300 to cash
-$200 Tahoe Weekend
-$200 Monterey Weekend
-$185 Auto Expenses
-$200 Medical
-$325 Life Insurance
-$5,400 Property Taxes

& with that, we have drained short-term savings for the year. Still choosing to pay ahead property taxes, paying just once per year for simplicity.

----------------------------------------------------

Our fiscal year should be over. I paid all of the December bills already. Mostly expecting any expenses this month to affect our 2017 bottom line. Anything that comes up in December will most likely be charged and paid off in 2017.

I will update sidebar through December since I will fund December savings tomorrow with 12/1 paycheck. It's just the investments that I do at the end of the month and it looks like I will need to top off a bit. Oh, and I don't plan to pay extra $3k to mortgage until the end of December. Just making sure no surprises come up before I part with that money.

Birthday Weekend

November 28th, 2016 at 11:20 am

This month has been a very long and trying month. I wouldn't even know where to begin. Lots of medical stuff with several family members. *sigh*

I think for now mostly everyone seems okay. Though I don't think anyone is "cured" or out of the woods. Four close relatives off the top of my head; no answers when it comes to any of them. Just random unexplained medical stuff.

Oh, and work is completely crazed. So... Yeah, that's why I haven't been bloggy.

----------------------------------------------------

It looked touch and go for a while, but thankfully I had a nice birthday weekend. MH was a little under the weather, the weather looked pretty crappy, and DL freaked out when we tried to leave him with grandparents. (Which has *never* happened before, but you know he has been having issues). But... in the end it all somehow worked out. Phew!

Our original plan was to just stay south of San Francisco. We had wanted to do a hike and have lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in SF. But with the weather (very rainy on Saturday) we let it go and just stayed close to our hotel. I chose Half Moon Bay, since I wanted to stay along the coast and didn't really want to stay *in* San Francisco.

It worked out really well. We just happened to drive through that area on our one-year anniversary and there was a spectacular thunderstorm. I guess the place is just kind of magical, to us. We ended up just spending the whole weekend in Half Moon Bay, which was quite all right.

The view from our hotel room:



Given the stormy weather, we were maybe a bit too close to the ocean. Yeesh!

Saturday we were able to do a nice morning and evening walk by our hotel, between rains. It was nice.

Sunday morning we did two hikes before we headed out. The sun came out at it was gorgeous that day.

It was extra nice since it's the first hike I've been able to do post broken foot. I really couldn't walk much when we went to Tahoe last month. We couldn't even do a small hike.





MIL slipped me $200 for my birthday. We actually spent about exactly $200 on food this weekend, including ordering pizza for the kids on Friday since we seemed to have no food in the house. So I already paid off the dining credit card for the month (closes monthly on the 25th) and threw the extra $200 to cover weekend dining expenses.

There was a restaurant next to our hotel which was absolutely divine. They had live piano music and excellent food. We spent $100 there Friday night. Saturday we went to the Moss Beach Distillery. I thought it sounded familiar. I guess it is a famous haunted restaurant. It used to be a speakeasy, as was the first restaurant we ate at. Otherwise we just kept it light. Didn't even eat out Sunday since our hotel served such a substantial breakfast.

I am grateful for the relaxing weekend. Work is just going to be crazy for the foreseeable future. I was planning to take this week off, but I don't see that is going to fly. Just not enough hours in the day. (Will have an extra week of vacation next year, if I don't use my last week up this year, which will be nice).

Edited to add: My birthday isn't for a few more days, but we celebrated ahead.

This & That

November 13th, 2016 at 07:15 am

**Frugal win: We scored a $20 birthday gift for free, thanks to MH's work. The kids have a party to attend this weekend.

**MM(13) earned his first $100 from medical study. Expects $200 more this month.

MH has been using "sitting around waiting for MM" time to buy up computer parts. MM(13) wants to build a gaming computer. The medical study will pay for his half, and we are matching the other half.

**We turned on cell service for DL(11). We live in a time where parents work and people live far from their schools and no one is ever spontaneous any more. BUT... DL has made friends with two boys who live walking distance from his new school. He mentioned that if he had a cell phone he could text us when he makes more spontaneous after-school plans with his friends. I think that is just great! (I guess is more reminiscent of my own childhood).

Anyway, he already has a phone, and it's just $6/month to add him to our Ting cell plan. I expect him to only text minimally, which wouldn't otherwise increase our bill. The kids mostly use Wifi to text and call their friends, so haven't had any interest in cell service.

We did check with MM(13) and he is okay with it. We were already discussing turning on his cell service this summer (just before high school). In the meantime, his school is in the middle of nowhere, his friends don't hang out, and MH picks him up early every day. He just doesn't care that his little brother has more use for a cell phone.

**Other than that, life has been busy. Work is really hectic this month because of a software conversion. As well as a lot of other things coming down the pipe line. Otherwise this would be the slowest month of the year for me. But yeah, it's all kind of insanity right now.

I had been feeling burned out and tried to get out of hosting Thanksgiving a couple of months ago, but no one was having it. I know the peers in our family (some with very small kids) always complain about the drive/traffic and legitimately wasn't sure if 90+ Grandma was up to it. But they insisted they all wanted to be up here. (We host because we live in lower cost city and have the most space. It's definitely the most pleasant and comfortable at our house).

Anyway, the stress of the election put me over the edge. I woke up Wendesday and told MH, "I can't do this". It was just the light bulb moment that I needed. I realized most years I don't break my foot and most years my child isn't a complete basket case. & most years work is a breeze during this time of year. What I thought was more of a multi-year fatigue was probably more about this year than anything. We just do a potluck and it's not like it puts us out too much. Maybe some of it is age and I've been a little more exhausted by it the last couple of years. But I realize even when I brought up a couple of months ago that it was probably more about how exhausted I already am by this year. I just wasn't being very conscious of that aspect. But it seemed very crystal clear to me when the stress got to be too much.

I was a little wary how MH's family would react. In fact, he was supposed to talk to his mom Friday night and he couldn't reach her. & yesterday I got an e-mail about how stressed out his family is. *sigh* (There's a new baby who has been in and out of the hospital plus his Grandma's apartment has water damage from the apartment above and she is temporarily displaced. & the grandmas in that family already do all the childcare so they are just being run ragged while the mom with the 4 little kids is in the hospital with baby). Logically, you think it would be easier on them not to spend 5+ hours in the car Thanksgiving Day, but we already gave them an out and they didn't seem to want to take it. I mean, they knew there would be a new baby and that it would be hectic. So... I am relieved to say that they were absolutely ecstatic when MH talked to them. Which is so stupid. Why wouldn't they tell us that they were stressed and they wanted to keep it local for them? That's less awkward than us saying, "We decided to have it at your house instead." I suppose maybe they hadn't had their light bulb moment yet. I knew logically this would be easier for them, but they didn't seem to agree the last time we brought it up.

Phew!