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More This & That

December 24th, 2021 at 03:13 pm

MH & I have been talking about doing some kind of weekly date night.  Eating out more sounds nice in theory, but am resistant because about 99% of our "diet" is just never eating out.  & my employer is feeding us once every week, which is already a lot (as to calories).  When you are used to eating all of your meals at home, that once per week is very noticeable. Anyway, I don't want to see movies every week, and neither of us wants to eat out every single week.  So we finally decided we should probably alternate.  & obviously could do other date things too, but those would just be our obvious preferences.  I expect a lot of the movies will mostly be watched at home (we have a large screen/home theater).  

We've been discussing because our dollars are stretching further (monthly spending budget) with just the three of us.  & it's easier to get out for a night when we don't have to cook for bottomless pit older child.  But I did also receive 5% raise for 2022 and would like to redirect some of those dollars to a more relaxed budget.  

We did receive a movie gift card and a restaurant gift card for Christmas, so that was a nice start.  

We already had plans to eat out Monday night.  Wasn't really thinking, it was at the mall.  (I'd generally not go anywhere near a store/mall the month of December).  But we decided to make a reservation and give it a try.  It worked out okay.  Used our gift card and spent $50 of our own money.  (The timing just worked out, did not know that was the gift card we were getting for Christmas and already had made plans).

On a whim, I checked the chargers at the mall, expecting that it would be difficult to park but the chargers might be open.  They had some new free chargers.  Woohoo!  There were only two and they were taken, but just want to remember for next time, when maybe the mall isn't at 100% capacity.  Chargers are just popping up everywhere.

MH's electric car got a new battery!  It's a 2017, so basically it's getting a new engine/battery and a new 8-year warranty.  We kept our last couple of cars for 14 years, so that works out pretty well (if this gives us basically a 13-year warranty).  I think the #1 question I have gotten about our electric cars is, "What if you have to spend $10,000 to replace the battery??"  I've always felt very *shrugs* about that, but some of our friends/relatives were early adopters of the Prius and other hybrids (still have those cars 25 years later) and the warranties are very good in our state.  I've said in past blog posts, YMMV in other regions.  Here, I am not concerned about it.  Of course, we chose the Volt/Bolt for our cars because they don't have the battery degradation problems that other electric cars have.  & the warranty is there for the bad luck factor (if something random goes terribly wrong). 

{The battery replacement was a recall due to fire risk.  Probably nothing wrong with it, but an abundance of caution thing.  I intend to blog more about this, one of these days}.

With the car fixed, we should be back to 100% electric driving.  I was on track to only buy 2 gallons of gas this year.  But then we had to park the EV for all the longer trips we were doing.  So maybe we can try for 2022.  Make it a 2 gallon year.

I looked at where our net worth is for the year and we are up $250K!  Will see how things shake out 12/31.  

My last post got buried, but I mentioned a life changing windfall.  & how I was having trouble really believing it or wrapping my brain around it.  For the best, because I have no idea what is going on with that.  We did receive some nice checks for Christmas, but nothing we discussed and the kids got nothing.  ???  I asked MH about it at dinner Monday night and he was on the same page.  I didn't know what was lost in translation, playing telephone, and thought he might have more clarity.  Instead, he said at some point, "We are putting $50K to the mortgage?"  ???  He corrected himself, he forgot in the moment the money was nothing we had discussed.

I asked MH if he thought they would do more in January or next year and he said, "Heck if I know."  Overall, it's for the best.  I've felt deeply uncomfortable with MIL basically taking FIL's money and passing it along.  It was clear she didn't intend to discuss with FIL.  & even if it was her money, I'd still be uncomfortable.  They need to take some time to grieve and clear their heads.  So as nice as bunch of money would have been I am very okay with things.  & probably relieved with my "too good to be true, can't count my chickens" personality.  My in-laws have never been weird like this when it comes to money (as weird as they are with everything else), but this is admittedly different and weird.  Some part of me probably expected some "weird".  

Off the top of my head, I think we will probably set aside college money for next year (is what the in-laws presume we need the money for) and will probably put $10K to the mortgage.   But MH and I will have to discuss this weekend and make our final decisions.  I want to make the large mortgage payment before the year-end.  Still, clearly a nice windfall.  With college paid for sophomore year, I expect that MH and I can cash flow everything else we were discussing.  I ended up covering wisdom tooth surgery from my bonus.  We can fund MH's movie with our money, if we aren't paying for college with our income.  We've discussed we really need to get our old mattress replaced.  (Hasn't been about money to this point, but might have been after this last year and given our dwindling cash balance, plus college bills).  If we had a mega windfall we were probably going to set aside $5K for "dream spending."  Everything else we discussed, we should be able to just cash flow.  The "dream spending" is off the table, but it's fine.  We didn't have anything short-term or immediate in mind.  & if something else comes up, we might be able to cash flow.  (We were mostly going to throw the windfall at the mortgage).

& that reminds me, we tapped into our own money for the first time, re: MH's film.  Spent about $700 paying actors and crew.  It's an insulting pittance (per person), but it's something.  We owe $350 to the editor, when the edit is done (probably in a couple of months).  Everything else is really fluff.  MH told me he maybe wanted to spend $300-ish submitting to festivals (is only $30-ish per festival).  Other things we have discussed in the past is a wrap party and/or a screening party.  & then travel dollars if it does get into any film festivals.  So really only the $350 that we have committed to and is *needed* to finish the film.  I don't know if I am paying this $700 from MH's income or the windfall, this month.  Doesn't really matter.  Like I said, the windfall is freeing up our dollars that we had been saving for college.  So I guess at the end of the day that is really windfall money.  

I think that MH's work has come back as a skeleton crew, which is why he has been so busy.  I guess they shut down the last week of the year.  Sometimes.  I know he's worked through the holidays in the past because it was so busy.  Versus the first few years were kids were younger and he took this job so that he was home with kids during school breaks.  Anyway, I don't remember him getting paid an entire week off before, but because he is working before and after, he gets a paid-for week.   Plus today and January 3rd, so that's 7 paid days?  Woohoo!  On the flip side, they are being very wishy washy if they will need him in January.  After the first week or two. 

Work is crazed for me end of year.  So I wanted to do like a short daily post and it ended up this hodge podge all over the place, like 5 days later.  But I do have the long weekend and want to get caught up on blog/financial stuff.

1 Responses to “More This & That”

  1. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    So sorry for MH grandfather's passing. I'm sure his dad is very upset. I don't know what I would do with it. Probably nothing and call it a day.

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