Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonders!
It’s my version of a blog round-up post. This weekend I wanted to focus on the bloggers who create yummy and inexpensive recipes for all us hard-working, money-saving people.
I’m always on the lookout for more recipes to make. I have dozens and dozens of recipes saved in my Favorites file from before I discovered Pinterest. Making recipes is like reading books; there’s just never enough time to make them all!
Being a vegetarian these are vegetarian friendly bloggers, but rest assured all you meat eaters, most of these bloggers also enjoy coming up with meaty dishes as well. Since becoming a vegetarian I’ve realized that I can still eat the majority of the meals that everyone else eats. I just simply leave out the meat that a recipe might call for. It’ll still taste delicious-usually.
My Stomach is Full and My Wallet is too
Beth over at Budget Bytes knows how to create a recipe! She’s saved me many a nights when I had no idea what to make and I wasn’t craving anything. Her one pot meals are quick, tasty, and since they only require one pot, fast to clean up! Beth also has the prices broken down for all her ingredients so you know how frugal each recipe is. One of my favorites from Beth is her Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac. So good on a chilly day!
food family simple living
Missy, the mastermind behind Graceful Little Honey Bee has a plethora of frugal recipes and meal ideas. I especially like how she explains how to prepare food for the freezer. You can freeze celery? I honestly didn’t even know that was a thing. It usually just sits in the drawer of the refrigerator until I throw it away. Her tips are super helpful so nothing goes to waste! Continue reading “10 of the Best Bloggers That Create Delicious and Frugal Recipes”
“The thing to do is to make so much money that you don’t have to work after the age of twenty-seven. In case this is impracticable, stop work at the earliest possible moment, even if it is at a quarter past eleven on the morning of the day when you find you do have enough money.”-Robert Benchley
Dreaming of Early Retirement
While I won’t retire by the time I’m 27(I’m 36), I’m hoping to retire before I’m 45. I’m getting more and more antsy at work. I pretty much daydream about early retirement whenever there’s downtime.
Even though I’m not retired yet, the following list are things that I have done or currently do to help me reach early retirement as fast as possible. If you follow this list, or do only some of the items on the list, it should help you reach early retirement as well!
Max Out Your 401k and IRA if Possible
Look, I know it’s really hard to save that much money. Start small! It was only 4 years ago that I was putting in 3% every paycheck. 3% was the amount I needed to contribute to get the match. I wanted to pay down my debts before I really started investing.
Once I was debt free I slowly started contributing more and more until I was comfortable contributing the max amount. I’m pretty sure I changed my contribution amount like four times in one year!
Pay Off Debt
Some people suggest paying off all debt before investing anything. When I was in debt, I saved enough to get the 401k match and then focused on paying off my debts. Making sure that my emergency fund was fully funded when I was paying off my debt was also a high priority for me.
I kept a fully funded emergency fund because I had been laid off before at a time when I wasn’t in a secure financial situation and IT SUCKED! Thanks to parental help, I made it through, but it’s a situation that I never wanted to be in again. Continue reading “If You Want to Retire Early, Start Doing These 12 Things Right Now”
Valentine’s day is approaching! I hope this post can give you some ideas for a frugal Valentine’s day.
Can you believe that last year people spent an estimated $19.7 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day! Whoa. That is a lot of jewelry and dinners out.
While Mr. Frugal Turtle and I don’t partake in the holiday like most people do, we still tend to recognize the holiday in our own way. We’ll be extra lovey dovey with each other and probably do something from the list below.
1. Stay in and watch a movie.
Mr. Frugal Turtle and I do this all the time, not just on Valentine’s Day. We enjoy making some deliciously salty popcorn on the stove and cuddling up under some blankets on the couch.
Watching a movie this way definitely beats paying an arm and a leg for movie tickets and refreshments, sitting in a freezing movie theater and having to put up with annoying people talking during the movie or having the people behind you put their feet up on your chair.
2. Make a homemade dinner.
What better way to show someone you love them than by making them their favorite meal. It can be anything from a homemade pizza with their favorite toppings to pasta with buttery, garlic bread, or a cheesy, comforting casserole.
I really love it when Mr. Frugal Turtle helps out with making dinner. It’s a way to keep connected, have fun joking around, and simply enjoy each other’s company.
Being it is Valentine’s Day and not just another weeknight, open a bottle of wine! Make that dinner extra special. Turn the lights off and light a candle at the dinner table. Super romantic! Continue reading “5 Great Ideas for a Frugal Valentine’s Day”
I can’t believe how fast January is going! Time really needs to slow down. I feel like every time I look in the mirror there’s another grey hair. Ha!
But seriously, I want to take some time and reflect on the past year. 2016 was a pretty good year for me. One of the best things that happened was I went from being a night shifter to a day shifter. Working during normal daylight hours makes me so much happier!
Mr. Frugal Turtle and I went on our favorite type of vacation. Camping! We had a blast hiking and checking out the caves at a State Park. Hopefully we can go on a couple of camping trips this summer. Even if they’re short, it’s still incredibly relaxing to sit by a campfire, listening to the sounds of nature.
In November I hit my net worth goal for 2016. I finally hit $100k net worth! I’m not going to lie, it feels really good to finally cross over that amount. It took a long time! I had some debt that I had to take care of before I could really focus on saving for early retirement.
2016 by the numbers
I started 2016 with a net worth of $68,842.88. I ended the year with a net worth of $105,741.88. A difference of $36,899. Wow! That’s pretty good.
Looking back through my records, the amount that I put in my IRA, savings account and 401k was $28,358.48. Investing (mostly) in the stock market boosted my net worth by $8,540.52. Continue reading “A (Mostly Financial) Look Back at 2016”
When can I retire?
The all important question for people seeking early retirement.
How do you know if you’re financially independent? How do you know if you have enough savings to retire? When will you be able to call it quits at work? What’s your retirement number?
The 4% Rule
For me, I will be financially independent when 4% of my retirement and savings accounts can consistently cover my expenses for a period of time (probably 6 months).
This is why I keep track of my expenses and net worth every month. It’s important to me to see what ground I’ve gained (or lost) in the past month, and how much more work I have left to do.
On the spreadsheet where I keep track of my income, expenses and net worth, there is also a column where I calculate 4% of my net worth. So, once I calculate my net worth for that month, I then multiply that by 4% to calculate what my annual income would be and then I divide that number by 12 to see how much of my monthly expenses I could cover.
So for instance, on January 1st, my net worth was $68,826.50. 4% of $68,826.50 is $2753.06. Divide that number by 12 and you get $229.42. So right now my retirement and savings accounts could consistently cover around $230 of my monthly expenses. Continue reading “When Can I Retire?”