Almost up to $300 in savings this month:
**I was trying to pay all my bills yesterday since the visa closed. Could not succeed. Time to renew IRS ID#, but the system was down. Time to renew home insurance, but I think they are still reprocessing it for a higher deductible. (Insurance agent just happened to call me about something else, and so I inquired. I made a split second decision to increase deductible to $5k. Really doesn't save a lot, BUT I would never make a claim for that little, so it seems I should take the savings no matter how piddly. I was going to call and ask, but he saved me the trouble).
I will try again today or tomorrow.
I also renewed my CPA license. Good for 2 more years. Employer already reimbursed me the fee. I am annoyed as it seems I have to pay by check. Next time I will ask employer to just make the check out to the Board. I am trying to go check-less, and have mostly been succeeding.
**Reminds me, HOA sent me the good news that I can now pay online, by credit card, etc.
If... I am willing to pay insane fees with every payment. I honestly don't even see why anyone would do so. Their fee to pay by bank account was just as absurd. I was dreaming of credit card rewards, but my hopes were quickly dashed...
**We are obviously back from our beach weekend. We didn't think about it until Monday, but abandoned plan to drive home and visit family on the way, when we started thinking about the traffic. So we instead went the way the GPS wanted us to go (was about the same mileage either way). About 100 miles through hills and vineyards, and old abandoned farmlands, etc., east, until we hit the interstate. It was just a beautiful beautiful drive. The other way may have been more green and beautiful in its own way, but I have probably seen that road a thousand plus times. So, it was a nice change of pace. In the end we got home around 6:30pm and didn't see ANY traffic for the whole 5 hours. I didn't expect that! I figured we'd hit some traffic once we reached civilization.
Total cost of beach weekend:
$400 for beach view hotel
$ 70 Gas
I had $500 in credit card rewards set aside for this. The rest of the gas and food will just come from regular food/gas budget.
**I'd probably never pay this much for 2 nights in a hotel. Verdict on the ocean view? I didn't find it any more spectacular than last time we went and got "partial ocean" view. So, was definitely not worth the extra. But we splurged, and now we know. Anyway, I don't remember the last time we actually paid anything for a night in a hotel, so that was my justification for the splurge. & technically I didn't pay for it anyway - Chase did.**
**We are planning next trip. Dh really really likes the weekend away/no kids thing, and so we are planning that for his birthday. We settled on a date and are thinking Carmel (short drive). It will be after January so will be a nice mid-tax-season kind of break. We will get a free room and not spend much money.
I do not believe we did any nights away without the kids this year. ??? I am just at a spot where I don't find it that exciting. The kids are old enough we get "plenty" of alone time and all that. Maybe means more to dh since he is stuck with the kids more. We obviously had a few other vacation priorities this year!
**Reminds me, our beach weekend was a huge hit with the kids. I thought they might be a little underwhelmed right after Florida. They had a blast and it is possible we will make it a tradition of sorts. We talked about going there every October when the kids get off school. Staying more days mid-week when it is cheaper. I LOVE this idea. Post Thanksgiving wasn't a bad time either. The hotel seemed pretty full Saturday night but then everyone left and we like had the place to ourselves Sunday and Monday. Pretty sweet!
**Totally switching the topic, but I swear my conversations at work any more are about how insane health insurance is. I talked to client whose spouse was quitting job - so their insurance would be about $1,000 per month. I said, "meh, could be MUCH worse" as she is my parents' age. Just to give her some perspective - we talked about that. Then another client told me his wife was losing her insurance and his was about $2k/month for the family. He is my age. OUCH! It's a sign of the times. How and when this all comes to a head, I don't know. Everyone I have had this conversation with has the means to deal with it. I am sure many many many don't.
I have some novel to read about taxes and Obamacare - I have a headache just thinking about it. Probably some Christmas reading for me. !! So far all I have gathered is my medical expenses will be less deductible. *sigh* I honestly am not stating a political opinion and don't know all the details - just that the only part I am aware of to-date is how I will be worse off in the year 2013. Will see... I hope to read some good news in that big old tax novel. I suppose "job security." Is that the good news???
This & That
Almost up to $300 in savings this month: