Frugal Turtle

One woman's slow journey to Financial Independence

May 22, 2016
by Frugal Turtle

GoodBye, Overnight Shift

photo-1429277158984-614d155e0017Tomorrow I officially start my new shift.  I’m excited and nervous at the same time.  After working a twelve-hour overnight shift for five years, it’s going to be quite the change to move to an eight-hour day shift position.  This weekend I’ve been trying to shift my sleep schedule to a normal nighttime sleep.  When I woke up at 11am today, the sun was shining and birds were chirping and I was happy.  After I finished my morning coffee I dragged a camping chair from the garage and set it up on the lawn in the bright sunshine.  I sat in that chair and soaked up the beautiful sunshine for almost an hour.  Pure bliss.  I’ve missed that sunshine for such a long time!  It’s great to see it again.

I wanted this new position.  Mr. Frugal Turtle wanted me to get this position.  Unfortunately, he could still be stuck on the night shift for a long time yet.  As soon as he is able to, he wants to join me on day shift.  This, unfortunately, means that we won’t be seeing each other as much as we have been.  We’ll see each other in the morning after he gets home from work and before I leave for work.  We’ll also have the occasional weekend and probably a random weeknight together, but still, it’s going to be hard.  I’m going to miss seeing him at work.  I’ve always told him he has a calming presence.  If I get upset or worked up over something, just seeing him and talking to him calms me down.

I haven’t decided how to spend my extra time.  Normally when I worked the twelve-hour shifts I wouldn’t have time or I would be too exhausted to really do anything when I got home.  I tried to batch cook on my days off so I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking during the small amount of time I had between sleeping and working.  Laundry was always done on weekends along with the grocery shopping or other necessary errands.  Basically my non work life was crammed into my days off, and honestly I spent a large part sleeping or napping trying to recharge my body and get ready for the next string of work days.  I felt like I didn’t have a life.  However, those days are gone! Continue Reading →

May 10, 2016
by Frugal Turtle

April Financial Update

April Financial UpdateHello May!

I’m excited for May because I’m pretty sure I’ll be hitting 80k net worth at some point this month.  Keep on keepin’ on!  But first, let us take a look back at April.

April was actually a pretty boring month financially.  My accounts really only made any gains due to the money that I put into them.  But, at least I didn’t go backwards!

I’m also pretty excited because I kept my expenses in check this month.  It’s my first month spending under $1,000 since November of last year.  Mr. Frugal Turtle and I didn’t really do anything too exciting last month.  We went out to eat once with my family to a pizza and sub shop.  Nothing too extravagant there!

I did have a little scary set back on the health front.  I woke up one day and my neck was so stiff I couldn’t turn it from side to side.  Luckily I had that night and the next night off from work.  There was no way I would’ve worked for twelve hours the way I was feeling.  I was in a ridiculous amount of pain.  I called my chiropractor and made an appointment for later that afternoon and had to get Mr. Frugal Turtle to drive me there (which he happily did).  I spent the rest of the night icing it and just relaxing.  When I woke up the next day I felt a little better and as the day went on I felt better and better.  I am so thankful that Mr. Frugal Turtle was able to drive me to the chiropractor.  If he wasn’t around I don’t know how I would have gotten there.  It’s kind of hard to drive when you can’t look from side to side!  Anyways, I should be getting that bill this month some time.

April Net Worth

On April 30th my net worth stood at $78,899.63.  I have to say that I’ve been checking my Personal Capital account every day to see if I’ve gotten any closer to 80k.  Unless the markets take a dump in the next couple of weeks I should hit that goal very soon! Continue Reading →

April 21, 2016
by Frugal Turtle

March Financial Update

March UpdateOh, happy days!  I reached another milestone!  I’m slowly getting closer to my goal for the year:  $100K net worth.  It was feeling pretty elusive the past couple of months, but right now I feel like I can reach it.

March was a pretty good month overall.  I paid off a couple lingering medical bills last month, and that should be it.  It’s crazy how fast medical bills can add up and shrink your emergency fund.  I’m just glad I have that emergency fund and because of that, the medical bills didn’t really feel like an emergency.  I knew I had plenty of money to pay them off.  That’s what this journey is all about, isn’t it?  Knowing you have enough to not worry.

It was a pretty uneventful March.  I think Mr. Frugal Turtle and I went out to eat once, but he paid, so that won’t show up in my expenses.  I did recently mention to him that I would like to keep track of what he spends so I can get a better estimate of how much money we will need to be able to retire.  Right now we have an arbitrary number of one million, but I would like to know how close that number is to the actual amount we will need.  One million is the amount that Mr. Frugal Turtle wants in order for him to feel comfortable retiring, so that is the number we are shooting for.  I don’t think we would need that much, especially once the house is paid off.  However, I could be completely wrong, and that is why I would like to track both of our expenses eventually.

I did my taxes back in February and received the refunds in March.  I got a total of $452 back from Federal and the State of MN.  That’s not too bad.  I try to get it as close to $0 as possible.

I also have been doing my shopping online using Ebates, (not an affiliate link) and for joining I got a $10 gift card to Wal-Mart.  I don’t know why it took me so long to join Ebates, although, in my defense I haven’t known about that site for too long.  I first heard of them maybe five months ago.  I don’t do that much online shopping, so I didn’t have the chance to use it up until a few months ago.

Enough chit-chat.  On to the numbers!

March Net Worth

On April 1st, 2016 my Net Worth stood at $76,023.07.  Finally, I am over $70K!  It’s always a great feeling to cross over into new territory.   Continue Reading →

March 24, 2016
by Frugal Turtle

My Personal Finance Review

My Personal Finance ReviewEarlier this month I had my annual review at work.  It was an excellent review and I ended up getting a raise of 3%, which is the normal maximum without the manager trying to get approval from the owner for a higher raise.  Since then I’ve been thinking about how I should have another review: a Personal Finance review.

I think it’s really important to sit down once a year (or more) and take a long, hard look at how I’m doing financially.  Identify which areas I can improve upon, and which areas I deserve a pat on the back for doing such an amazing job.

Obviously there won’t be any raises given out, but maybe I can squeeze out additional savings somewhere, or increase my income somehow.

I’ll score myself just how my employer scores me.  I’ll rate myself using a score of 1-5, with 5 being outstanding.

I’ll look at the three big areas people spend most of their money on: housing, transportation, and food.  I’ll also look at my other expenses and look at my income and savings. Continue Reading →

March 14, 2016
by Frugal Turtle

Should Your Job Make You Happy?

Should Your Job Make You HappyI’ve been thinking a lot recently about my friend Amy (not her real name).  Amy lives in the city, is single, and about my age (36).  She lives alone in a very tiny one bedroom apartment and is what you could call a minimalist.   She’s constantly texting me for my opinion on whether she should sell or get rid of items like clothes, movies, posters, and other random stuff.   She doesn’t own a car and bikes, walks or takes the bus everywhere.  She absolutely loves her job, and looks forward to it every day.  She lives close to her work, so she is able to take public transportation or simply bike there.

Her life sounds pretty good, and to be honest I’m incredibly jealous that she gets to work somewhere that she loves.  The problem is, she only makes about $10.50 an hour.  She doesn’t have a car because she can’t afford one.  She’s a minimalist because she has to be.  She lives in a teeny, tiny apartment and literally doesn’t have room for a lot of stuff, but she can’t afford a larger apartment.  She texts me to get my opinion on whether or not she should get rid of something because at her last crappy apartment a lot of her stuff got damaged from mildew and she needs to decide if something is worth keeping.  Her life isn’t really all that great when you really think about it. Continue Reading →