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Chainsaw Security Class And Different March 2022 Bills


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After my enthusiastic foray into newbie ski classes earlier this yr, I’ve now signed up for SOMETHING EVEN MORE DANGEROUS: a newbie chainsaw security class. I can’t say I’m excited about it, however I’m wanting ahead to creating this ability. We stay in a spot the place a chainsaw is a necessity and utilizing one safely is paramount (assuming, , you wish to retain all of your limbs). We’ve gotten by these previous six years with Mr. Frugalwoods as our lone chainsawer (chainsawyer?), however my time to study has come.

Final month a large tree fell throughout our driveway, which in fact I didn’t uncover till I used to be driving the youngsters to high school within the morning. I hopped out of the truck to see if I might roll the tree off the driveway, which was a pleasant joke I performed on myself. The factor was monumental. A chainsaw was the one choice and my husband was sick in mattress.

So we trudged again dwelling and…. he needed to depart his sickbed to return noticed this factor out of our means. I used the log peavy to roll the bucked rounds into the woods, however he needed to do the sawing himself. It actually hit dwelling for me how not-independent I’m within the occasion of a downed tree. Whereas I by no means imagined being an individual who wanted to take a chainsaw course, that’s the truth is who I’m. The category is later this month and I’ll let you understand how it goes. Assuming I nonetheless have fingers sufficient to kind.

Come Hear Me Discuss…. TODAY!

I’m talking on a panel right this moment (Friday, April eighth) on the on-line Mamas Discuss Cash: The Legacy You Depart convention at 1:30pm ET. For those who’re desirous about attending this three-day on-line convention (which you haven’t missed but–it begins right this moment!), it can save you $5 off the $49 ticket value by utilizing the coupon code FRUGALWOODS. Go right here to get your ticket and register to attend. I hope to see you there!

Different Purchases of Word

The Dentist!

Now that we’re on the ACA, we now not have dental insurance coverage and are paying out-of-pocket for our dental visits. Since we anticipated this, I known as all of our native dentists to search out out their out-of-pocket costs for cleanings and exams and got here up with some wildly divergent outcomes. Ultimately, our present dentist has the most effective costs I discovered and, since we’re very blissful there, we determined to remain. However it was an important reminder to me to ALWAYS comparability store. For every little thing. Even for belongings you wouldn’t consider comparability looking for, just like the dentist! Costs are usually not created equal.

A Neck Massager!

Okay I swore I’d by no means purchase one other one among these, BUT one among my BFFs purchased one and had me attempt it out after I was at her home for lunch at some point and… my life was modified. So modified, the truth is, that I violated my very personal 72-hour ready interval and ordered one which very day. This factor is that good. What separates this massager from massagers I’ve had previously are the arm/hand slots. It has little pockets to your arms, which you should use to steer it round your neck and shoulders when you sit on the sofa watching the Ali Wong comedy particular, ingesting boxed white wine. For instance.

A Bathing Swimsuit!

Mr. FW chainsawing final month’s driveway tree

To proceed my yr of studying new (and reasonably harmful) issues, my pals and I wish to study stand-up paddle boarding this summer time. In imagining myself on high of a paddle board (which I’ve but to supply… ) with the solar beating down, I wished to discover a UPF-protection long-sleeved swim shirt.

I started researching and realized that the majority/all of those shirts wouldn’t have, ahem, chestal-region basis clothes sown into them. They’re simply plain outdated shirts and you need to purchase one other bathing go well with high to go beneath. This appeared like a uncooked deal and in addition like it will be uncomfortable.

Thus, I acquired the concept to analysis moist fits. Two minutes into that analysis, I discovered that “actual” wetsuits are $900. Additionally they’ve lengthy pants, which I don’t need. Nor do I would like bikini bottoms or brief shorts. So then I researched fake wetsuits and got here up with this one, which has every little thing I would like:

  • Lengthy sleeves
  • Manufactured from a sturdy materials
  • Sown-in chestal-region basis (no must put on something beneath it)
  • UPF 50+ solar safety
  • Knee-length shorts, which I recognize for some actual apparent causes

I nonetheless really feel sort of silly sporting it as a result of I’m (clearly) not a surfer, however I do suppose it’s going to essentially snug for paddle boarding and sitting within the sand with my children. TBD. Haven’t worn it but; there’s nonetheless snow on the bottom.

I Love the Free Expense Tracker from Private Capital!

I exploit a free on-line service known as Private Capital to maintain monitor of our cash: our spending, our internet value, our investments, our retirement–every little thing.

Did I hear you haz a neck massager? I gots a neck!

Monitoring bills is among the greatest–and best–methods to get a deal with in your funds. You completely, positively can not make knowledgeable choices about your cash when you don’t understand how you’re spending it or how a lot you’ve. For those who’d wish to know extra about how Private Capital works, take a look at my full write-up.

And not using a holistic image of how a lot you spend each month, there’s no option to set financial savings, debt compensation, or funding objectives. It’s a should, people. Private Capital (which is free to make use of) is a good way for me to systematize our monetary overviews because it hyperlinks all of our accounts collectively and offers a complete image of our internet value.

For those who’re not monitoring your bills in an organized vogue, you may take into account attempting Private Capital (be aware: the Private Capital hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks). 

Credit Playing cards: How We Purchase Every little thing

We purchase every little thing we will with bank cards as a result of:

  1. It’s simpler to trace bills. No guesswork over the place a random $20 invoice went; all of it reveals up in our month-to-month expense report from Private Capital. I additionally spend much less cash as a result of I KNOW I’m going to see each expense listed on the finish of the month.

  2. We get rewards. Bank card rewards are a easy option to get one thing for nothing. By way of the playing cards we use, we get money again in addition to lodge and airline factors only for shopping for stuff we have been going to purchase anyway.
  3. We construct our credit score. Since we don’t have any debt, having a number of bank cards open for a few years helps our credit score scores. It’s a unclean fable that carrying a stability in your bank card helps your credit score rating–IT DOES NOT. Paying your playing cards off IN FULL each month and maintaining them open for a few years does assist your rating.

For extra on my bank card technique, take a look at:

Money Again Playing cards to Think about

For those who’re now money again curious, there are a variety of playing cards available on the market proper now that provide fairly good money again percentages. Listed here are a number of I’ve discovered that I believe are a superb deal:

Awww ski season is over 🙁

1) Blue Money Most popular from American Categorical:

  • 6% money again at U.S. supermarkets on as much as $6,000 per yr in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% money again on choose U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% money again at U.S. fuel stations and on transit (together with taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and extra).
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn a $300 assertion credit score after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your new card throughout the first 6 months.
  • $0 payment for the primary yr; $95 annual payment thereafter.

2) Blue Money On a regular basis from American Categorical:

  • 3% money again at U.S. supermarkets (on as much as $6,000 per yr in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% money again at U.S. fuel stations.
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn a $200 assertion credit score after you spend $2,000 in purchases in your new card throughout the first 6 months.
  • No annual payment

3) Capital One Quicksilver Money Rewards:

  • 1.5% money again on each buy, every single day.
  • $200 money bonus after you spend $500 on purchases inside 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual payment.

4) Capital One SavorOne Money Rewards:

  • Limitless 3% money again on eating, leisure, in style streaming providers and at grocery shops (excluding superstores like Walmart and Goal).
  • 1% again on all different purchases.
  • 8% money again on tickets at Vivid Seats by way of January 2023.
  • $200 money bonus after you spend $500 on purchases throughout the first 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual payment.

Littlewoods serving to me begin vegetable seeds for this summer time’s backyard

5) Chase Freedom Limitless:

  • Earn an additional 1.5% on every little thing you purchase (on as much as $20,000 spent within the first yr), which is value as much as $300 money again:
    • 6.5% on journey bought by way of Chase Final Rewards
    • 4.5% on eating and drugstores
    • 3% on all different purchases.
  • After your first yr (or $20,000 spent), you earn:
    • 5% money again on Chase journey bought by way of Chase Final Rewards
    • 3% money again on drugstore purchases and eating at eating places, together with takeout and eligible supply service
    • Limitless 1.5% money again on all different purchases.
  • No annual payment.

6) Chase Freedom Flex:

  • 5% money again on as much as $1,500 in mixed purchases in bonus classes every quarter you activate.
  • New 5% classes every quarter.
  • 5% money again on journey bought by way of Chase Final Rewards
  • 3% money again on drugstore purchases and eating at eating places, together with takeout and eligible supply service
  • Limitless 1% money again on all different purchases.
  • $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual payment.

For those who’re desirous about journey rewards, individuals love the Chase Sapphire Most popular. You’ll be able to earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, which is $750 once you redeem by way of Chase Final Rewards.

Enormous caveat to bank card utilization: you MUST pay your bank card payments in full each single month, with no exceptions. For those who’re involved about your skill to do that, or suppose utilizing bank cards may immediate you to spend extra, persist with a debit card or money. However when you’ve got no drawback paying that invoice in full each month? I like to recommend you bank card away, my good friend! (be aware: the bank card hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks).

Money Again Earned This Month: $64.06

It needed to’ve been no less than 50 levels. Clearly no want for pants or sleeves.

The silver lining to our spending is our money again bank card. We earn 2% money again on each buy made with our Constancy Rewards Visa and this month, we spent $3,203.12 on that card, which netted us $64.06.

Not some huge cash, however it’s cash we earned for purchasing stuff we have been going to purchase anyway! For this reason I like money again bank card rewards–they’re the best option to earn one thing for nothing.

To see how this provides up over the course of a yr, take a look at How I Made $712.59 With My Money Again Credit score Card.

The place’s Your Cash?

One other straightforward option to optimize your cash is to make use of a high-interest financial savings account. With these accounts, curiosity works in your favor versus the rates of interest on debt, which work in opposition to you.

Having cash in a no or low curiosity financial savings account is a waste of assets–your cash is simply sitting there doing nothing. Don’t let your cash be lazy! Make it be just right for you! And now, take pleasure in some explanatory math:

Let’s say you’ve $5,000 in a financial savings account that earns 0% curiosity. In a yr’s time, your $5,000 will nonetheless be… $5,000.

Let’s say you as an alternative put that $5,000 into an American Categorical Private Financial savings account, which–as of this writing–earns 0.50% in curiosity. In a single yr, your $5,000 can have elevated to $5,025. Meaning you earned $25 simply by having your cash in a high-interest account.

And also you didn’t need to do something! I’m a giant fan of incomes cash whereas doing nothing. I imply, is anyone not a fan of that? Apparently so, as a result of anybody who makes use of a low or no curiosity financial savings account is NOT earning money whereas doing nothing. Don’t be that particular person.

Be the one who earns cash whereas sleeping. Extra about high-interest financial savings accounts, in addition to those I like to recommend, right here: The Greatest Excessive Curiosity Charge On-line Financial savings Accounts.

Sure, We Solely Paid $28.09 for Cell Telephone Service (for 2 telephones)

Our mobile phone service line merchandise will not be a typ0 (though that actually is). We actually and really solely paid $28.09 for each of our telephones (that’s $14.05 per particular person for these of you into division). How is such trickery potential?!? We use an MVNO!

What’s an MVNO?

Glad you requested as a result of I used to be going to inform you anyway: It’s a mobile phone service re-seller.

MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of the mobile phone service world–it’s the identical service, A LOT cheaper. For those who’re not utilizing an MVNO, switching to 1 is a simple, slam-dunk, do-it-right-away means to economize each single month of each single yr eternally and ever amen.

Listed here are a number of nice MVNOs to contemplate:

For extra, I’ve a full chart of suppliers and their costs right here: Tips on how to Save Cash on Your Cell Telephone Invoice with an MVNO: I Pay $12 a Month*

*the quantity we pay fluctuates each month as a result of it’s calibrated to what we use. Think about that! We solely pay for what we use! Will wonders ever stop.

Word: these MVNO hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks.

Expense Report FAQs

  • Wish to understand how we handle the remainder of our cash? Try How We Handle Our Cash: Behind The Scenes of The Frugalwoods Household Accounts
  • Don’t you’ve a rental property? Sure! We personal a rental property (often known as our first dwelling) in Cambridge, MA, which I talk about right here.
  • Why do I share our bills? To provide you a way of how we spend our cash in a values-based method. Your spending will differ from ours and there’s no “one proper means” to spend and no “excellent” funds.
  • Are we probably the most frugal frugal individuals on earth? Completely not! My hope is that by being clear about our spending, you may acquire insights into your individual spending and be impressed to take proactive management of your cash.
  • Questioning the place to begin with managing your cash? Take my free, 31-day Uber Frugal Month Problem.
  • For those who’re desirous about different issues I like, take a look at Frugalwoods Recommends.
  • Why don’t you purchase every little thing domestically? We do our greatest to help our local people and purchase as a lot of our meals as potential straight from our farmer neighbors. Our city doesn’t have any shops, so we depend on on-line ordering and massive field shops for requirements. The closest shops are 45 minutes away and we go there a couple of times a month to replenish on what we will’t get from our neighbors or on-line.

However Mrs. Frugalwoods, Don’t You Pay For X, Y, Or Even Z???

Questioning about widespread bills you don’t see listed beneath?

  • We don’t have a mortgage as a result of we paid it off (particulars right here)
  • We pay payments in full the month we obtain them. That’s why you gained’t see month-to-month funds for issues like automotive insurance coverage or property tax. These bills present up as the complete annual (or bi-annual, and many others) quantity within the month we pay them
  • Right here’s what we do for medical health insurance.
  • We don’t have any money owed and we paid money for our automobiles.
  • Right here’s how we make charitable contributions: How We Donate To Charities Like Billionaires and in addition How We Make Significant And Tax Environment friendly Charitable Donations.
  • Right here’s an summary of how we save for our children’ increased training: How We Use 529 Plans To Save For School
  • We stay on 66 acres in rural Vermont, so our utilities and family bills are totally different from conventional city and suburban houses:
    • We don’t pay for water, sewer, trash, or heating/cooling as a result of now we have a effectively, a septic system, our city doesn’t present trash pick-up (we take it to a switch station as soon as every week in luggage we buy from our city), we warmth our dwelling with wooden we harvest ourselves from our land, and we don’t have central air-con (we use window models through the hottest elements of the summer time).
    • There are, in fact, prices related to sustaining these programs (similar to having our septic system pumped and inspected) and people bills present up within the months we pay them.
    • We’ve got photo voltaic panels, which account for our low electrical energy invoice.
    • For extra on our rural way of life, take a look at my collection This Month On The Homestead in addition to Metropolis vs. Nation: Which Is Cheaper? The Final Value Of Residing Showdown

For those who’re questioning about the rest, be happy to ask within the feedback part!

Alright you frugal cash voyeurs, feast your eyes on each greenback we spent in March:

Merchandise Quantity Notes
Groceries $1,006.60 Ummm, laborious to say what occurred right here… we have been actually hungry, I assume??? YIKES
Preschool $380.00 For Littlewoods
Gasoline for automobiles $346.12
Dentist $237.00
Chainsaw Class for Liz $200.00 Fingers crossed I hold my fingers.
Beer, wine and alcohol $139.27
Utilities: Electrical energy $113.66 Very excessive this month as a result of: We didn’t make as a lot photo voltaic this yr as now we have in previous years. Thus, we didn’t have sufficient credit banked to make it to the spring, when the solar begins shining once more.
Eating places $94.25 Largely to have fun my thirty eighth birthday!
Family provides $88.20
Haircut $82.80 The pixie continues!
Web $72.00
Medical insurance $52.43 By way of the ACA
Neck Massager $50.34 The neck massager of my desires (affiliate hyperlink). Significantly. This factor is superb.
T-ball registration payment $49.38 For Kidwoods
Hen feed $42.53
Bathing go well with  $37.99 The quasi wetsuit through which I hope to not look ridiculous this summer time (affiliate hyperlink).
Physician go to co-pay $30.00
Eye Physician go to co-pay $30.00
Cell Telephone $28.09
Kinesiology Tape $27.98 For taping up our numerous outdated bones. That is what our physician makes use of and recommends, so we purchased some (affiliate hyperlink).
Telephone cords  $21.19 Tremendous lengthy telephone charger cords in order that my telephone now not falls off the evening stand in the midst of the evening as a result of the wire is simply too brief (affiliate hyperlink). It’s the little issues.
Ski lodge snacks $8.54 The final of the season! Sniff, sniff 🙁
Espresso date for my birthday! $8.22 LATTESSSSSS for DAYYYSSSSS (truly simply two very nice lattes)
Complete: $3,146.59

How was your March?

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