The Weekend Wonders of 3/4/17

Oh happy weekend!

After working six days in a row this week I’m really happy to get some rest.  I even managed to finagle an extra day off this weekend and won’t be heading back to work until Tuesday.  How awesome it that?

What will I be doing with this extra day, you ask?  Well, there is one thing that has been on my mind lately.  Taxes.  I should really start working on them.  The tax deadline is slowly approaching.

Did you know we get a few extra days to file taxes this year?  The tax deadline is April 18th this year.  The 15th is on a Saturday and the 17th is an observed holiday.  Lucky us!

Welcome to the first edition of the Weekend Wonders!

I want to start featuring articles and blog posts that inspire me, and hopefully inspire you as well!  You know, those posts that you read, and then can’t get out of your head.  This way I’ll have them in an easy to find location and I can easily re-read them whenever I want!

How to Save $50k in One Year

In this blog post , Matt from Distilled Dollar explains in detail how he and his fiancée managed to save over $50,000 last year.  Saving large amounts of money isn’t that difficult if you adopt some of his strategies.   This post even inspired a CNBC article.  Way to go Matt! Continue reading “The Weekend Wonders of 3/4/17”

Guest Post: Who Honked at Me? Or, Why You Should Walk to Work

Awesome guest post by blogger thefutureFIT on the benefits of walking to work.Hi everyone! I’m thefutureFIT (FIT is short for Financially Independent Teacher.) I’ve recently learned of the ideas of FIRE, and I’m changing my life around. I teach English in a middle school. I want to capture some thoughts about what it means to live frugally as a teacher because I think we have some interesting experiences. You can catch more of my journey and these thoughts at theFIteacher.com. Thanks!

Who Honked at Me?

Or, Why You Should Walk to Work

Somebody honked at me on the way to work the other day. I was on the side of the road, a 4 lane road, on a sidewalk, walking to school. I was feeling pretty great about life. Walking really does improve your mood, even near traffic. In fact, I was feeling ecstatic. I was thinking about how I’m saving money lately, how I’m getting in better shape, how I’m having an overall fun time. Then it happened. Some jerk honked at me.

I knew this would happen…

Since I’ve started walking to school, I’ve been wondering about what the drivers are seeing. Are they seeing me? Are they going by too fast to even notice? Would they stoop so low as to spend a second of their precious time gazing at a passerby?

I began to think, for the first few days, that everyone that drove by noticed me. I began to stress that everyone was looking and judging.

This is not the case! Since I’ve been walking, now about a month and a half, I’ve seen many of my coworkers drive by in the onslaught of the commute. But hardly anyone has ever mentioned anything about it. I think for the most part everyone is pretty much in the zone when they are driving.

It isn’t all bad/Get in your own zone!

Walking frees up some time to think. Whereas all those drivers whizzing past get caught up in the traffic, in the lights, in the noise, and in the danger, you, the walker, can think freely. You can smell the fresh air, the still-crisp winter mornings. You can see that the trees are beginning to bloom. These blooms are small, and only a few trees have them, but they are already there! That is insane; it is only February! Continue reading “Guest Post: Who Honked at Me? Or, Why You Should Walk to Work”

Is Netflix Worth the Expense? Plus My January 2017 Financial Update with Net Worth

My January 2017 Financial Update with Net WorthHappy February and welcome to my January financial update!

So far February isn’t treating me very well.  I seem to have caught the bug that is going around at work.  It’s early yet, but I really hope I don’t need to miss work because of it.  I hate calling in sick!

January would have been an impressive month as far as low expenses go, however, my car and renter’s insurance were due last month and I always pay in full.  So that added an extra $385 to my expenses.  Doh!

Oh well.  I still had a pretty good month!

Should I cut Netflix from my life?

One expense that I’ve been thinking about getting rid of is Netflix.  I have the one-disc-out-at-a-time plan.  I really like Netflix and I think it’s a good way to go if you watch and return the movie in a reasonable amount of time.  However, if you’re like Mr. Frugal Turtle and I, sometimes it’s a few weeks or a month before we get around to watching the movie together.

Basically, sometimes it feels like we’re paying $8.54 to rent one movie. Which is way too much.

Most of the time we are pretty good at watching the movie and getting it in the mail pretty quickly.  But the weekends where one or both of us is working, it doesn’t get watched.

We work a lot of weekends, especially in the spring, summer and fall months.  Plus, I work on the day-shift and Mr. Frugal Turtle works the night-shift.

Yes, we could watch the movie separately, but we enjoy watching them together.

And Mr. Frugal Turtle pays for the streaming plan, which, let’s be honest, doesn’t always have the best movies to pick from.  That’s why we still have a disc plan.

I need to ponder this more.  It might be time for me to cut this monthly expense and visit the library’s DVD section more often.

on to the numbers!

January Net Worth

I ended January with a net worth of $109,976.97.  Would it be reasonable to have hopes of achieving $150k by the end of this year?  That’s the number that would really make me happy on December 31st.

My net worth includes my retirement accounts and my regular savings account. Continue reading “Is Netflix Worth the Expense? Plus My January 2017 Financial Update with Net Worth”

5 Great Ideas for a Frugal Valentine’s Day

Five Great Ideas for a Frugal Valentine's Day!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”

A (Mostly Financial) Look Back at 2016

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!

A (Mostly Financial) Look back at 20162016 overview

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

Net Worth

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”