Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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Overalls And Different Could 2022 Bills

My Could bills are an amazing illustration of why it’s so necessary to trace your spending each single month: this was a month rife with sudden, aberrational, one-time bills. However by monitoring, I’ll have a transparent image on the finish of the yr of our precise annual spending. As a result of bizarre bills occur on a regular basis.


Lilacs and globe flowers from our backyard!

Now that Mr. FW is early retired, we not have the dental insurance coverage his employer supplied. After we transitioned our medical insurance over to the Reasonably priced Care Act, we researched paying for dental insurance coverage and the numbers didn’t pan out. It appears it’ll be cheaper for us to pay out of pocket for dental take care of the 4 of us.

As that is our first yr on the ACA–and paying out of pocket for dental care–we’re saving all of our healthcare receipts and can tally every thing as much as analyze our resolution on the finish of the yr. Then, we will make an knowledgeable selection about our protection for subsequent yr. All that to say, we spent $515 in Could for each ladies to get their six-month cleansing and check-up in addition to x-rays for Kidwoods.

A couple of notes on paying out of pocket for dental care:

  1. Name round to match costs.
    • Dentists don’t all cost the identical quantity! I known as roughly 10 completely different dental practices in our space to match their costs for youths and adults (which aren’t the identical value, I realized!).
    • I ended up staying with our children’ pediatric dentist, not as a result of they’re the most affordable, however as a result of they’re thought of the perfect in our area. I’ve no downside paying for high quality, particularly for one thing as necessary as my youngsters’s enamel! However, I do admire understanding the premium I’m paying.
  2. Kidwoods planting her row within the veggie backyard

    Ask if there’s a reduction for paying in full on the time of service.

    • A whole lot of locations will give you some form of low cost if you happen to pay in full on the time of service, versus going with a cost plan or financing.
    • Our dentist doesn’t provide this, however I did ask. By no means hurts to ask.
  3. Ask if you happen to will pay together with your bank card so that you’ll obtain these candy, candy rewards factors!
    • I requested our dentist if there was any penalty or further cost for paying with a bank card they usually stated nope.
    • I had my checkbook prepared simply in case, however was delighted to pay with our cash-back rewards card.
    • Since we earn a flat 2% again on all purchases, we obtained $10.30 again on our dental invoice. Not quite a bit, however not nothing!
  4. Ask for an itemized receipt.
    • Reserve it so you possibly can analyze your spending on the finish of the calendar yr to find out if it’ll make extra sense to pay for insurance coverage.

Automobile Repairs

Littlewoods planting her veggies

Have I ever talked about how a lot I miss our car-free city days? The one draw back to dwelling rurally is our complete and utter reliance on our vehicles. I don’t plan to ever transfer again to the town, but when I do? I’ll hop on public transit SO FAST I’ll be a blur. On the entire, it’s a small value to pay for dwelling in what I contemplate paradise.

At any price, each the Prius and the truck wanted A LOT of labor final month. The upside to this spending is that we use an area mechanic who hires native folks, which retains the cash in our group. I’ve to search for the intense aspect, folks :)!

The truck wanted:

  • Entrance brakes
  • Annual state inspection
  • Wheel bearings/velocity sensors
  • Tie rod finish

The Prius wanted:

  • Rear brakes: the elements had been lined beneath the guarantee from the final time we had the brakes carried out, so we simply needed to pay for the labor
  • Annual state inspection

One Used Stand-Up Paddle Board for Mrs. FW’s Adventures

I discovered a used onerous (not inflatable) stand-up paddle board + paddle on the market, so I purchased it! It was $300–which sounds actually costly–however this explicit board was $1,100 new, so I assume it’s a deal. I can’t await the water to be heat sufficient for me to get on the market and be taught a brand new sport! Maintain your laughter, please.

Booster Seats

Kidwoods watering in her crops

At age 6.5, Kidwoods has nearly outgrown her carseat (though don’t inform her that she truly nonetheless matches… ) so we went forward and obtained her a booster seat. From our analysis, this one is extremely rated for security at a really cheap value level. Automobile seats are just about the one factor we purchase new for our children.

Every part else–their garments, footwear, toys, books, puzzles, and so on–come used as hand-me-downs or from yard gross sales. However I’ll at all times pay extra for security. To date, Kidwoods is THRILLED with this large child seat and might even buckle herself in!

Listening to Safety

Or, “listening to toe-tection” in keeping with Littlewoods, is a vital a part of working round our loud farm machines. Security actually is my theme right now. We now have cumbersome, over-the-head earmuff-style listening to safety, however Mr. FW needed to check out some ear-bud type protectors which have bluetooth AND match beneath his wide-brimmed solar hat. His buddy, who works in a woodshop, really helpful these and to date, so good (affiliate hyperlink).


I’ve decided overalls are THE good out of doors summer time gear for working and climbing. I don’t put on the rest. I had one pair of overalls and, after a number of situations of them being within the wash after I wanted them, capitulated to getting a second pair. I purchased one other pair of those males’s overalls, as they’re cheaper than the ladies’s model (affiliate hyperlink). I obtained the outdated time-y practice conductor print this time as a result of why not.

One Instapot

OH, I nearly forgot! The stress cooker we purchased at a thrift retailer 5 years in the past lastly bit the mud. Since we use it to prepare dinner dried beans on a regular basis, we would have liked a substitute and…. this Instapot appeared probably the most logical selection (affiliate hyperlink). Hit me together with your recipes!!!

I Love the Free Expense Tracker from Private Capital!

I take advantage of a free on-line service known as Private Capital to maintain observe of our cash: our spending, our web price, our investments, our retirement–every thing.

The homestead in Could

Monitoring bills is without doubt one of the greatest–and best–methods to get a deal with in your funds. You completely, positively can not make knowledgeable selections about your cash if you happen to don’t know the way you’re spending it or how a lot you could have. In case you’d prefer to know extra about how Private Capital works, take a look at my full write-up.

With out a holistic image of how a lot you spend each month, there’s no solution to set financial savings, debt compensation, or funding objectives. It’s a should, people. Private Capital (which is free) 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 web price.

In case you’re not monitoring your bills in an organized vogue, you may contemplate attempting Private Capital (notice: the Private Capital hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks). 

Credit Playing cards: How We Purchase Every part

We purchase every 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 solution to get one thing for nothing. Via the playing cards we use, we get money again in addition to lodge and airline factors only for shopping for stuff we had 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 fantasy that carrying a steadiness in your bank card helps your credit score rating–IT DOES NOT. Paying your playing cards off IN FULL each month and holding 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 Take into account

In case you’re now money again curious, there are a variety of playing cards in the marketplace proper now that supply fairly good money again percentages. Listed below are a couple of I feel are a superb deal:

Littlewoods consuming popcorn on the sizzling air balloon fest

1) Blue Money Most well-liked ® Card 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 $350 assertion credit score after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your new card inside the first 6 months.
  • $0 payment for the primary yr; $95 annual payment thereafter. Charges and costs particulars right here.
  • Phrases apply

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

  • 3% money again at U.S. supermarkets (on as much as $6,000 per yr in purchases, then 1%).
  • 3% Money Again at U.S. fuel stations, on as much as $6,000 per yr, then 1%.
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn a $200 assertion credit score after you spend $2,000 in purchases in your new card inside the first 6 months.
  • No annual payment. Charges and costs particulars right here.
  • Phrases apply.

3) Capital One Quicksilver Money Rewards Credit score Card:

  • 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 Credit score Card:

  • 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 means of January 2023.
  • $200 money bonus after you spend $500 on purchases inside the first 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual payment.

Mulching the apple timber!

5) Chase Freedom Limitless:

  • Earn an additional 1.5% on every thing you purchase (on as much as $20,000 spent within the first yr), which is price as much as $300 money again:
    • 6.5% on journey bought by means 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 means 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 means 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.

In case you’re all in favour of journey rewards, folks love the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked® Card. You possibly can earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, which is $750 while you redeem by means of Chase Final Rewards.

Large caveat to bank card utilization: you MUST pay your bank card payments in full each single month, with no exceptions. In case you’re involved about your capability to do that, or assume utilizing bank cards may immediate you to spend extra, stick to a debit card or money. However when you have no downside paying that invoice in full each month? I like to recommend you bank card away, my buddy! (notice: the bank card hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks).

Money Again Earned This Month: $58.41

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 $2,920.31 on that card, which netted us $58.41.

Not some huge cash, but it surely’s cash we earned for getting stuff we had been going to purchase anyway! Because of this I really like money again bank card rewards–they’re the only solution 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 solution to optimize your cash is with 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 sources–your cash is simply sitting there doing nothing. Don’t let your cash be lazy! Make it give you the results you want! And now, take pleasure in some explanatory math:

Let’s say you could have $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 0.75% in curiosity. In a single yr, your $5,000 may have elevated to $5,038. Which means you earned $38 simply by having your cash in a high-interest account.

And also you didn’t should do something! I’m an enormous 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 being profitable whereas doing nothing. Don’t be that individual.

Be the one that 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 Fee On-line Financial savings Accounts.

Sure, We Solely Paid $28.03 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 actually solely paid $28.09 for each of our telephones (that’s $14.02 per individual 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. In case you’re not utilizing an MVNO, switching to 1 is a straightforward, slam-dunk, do-it-right-away approach to economize each single month of each single yr endlessly and ever amen.

Listed below are a couple of nice MVNOs to think about:

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.

Observe: these MVNO hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks.

Expense Report FAQs

  • Wish to know the way we handle the remainder of our cash? Take a look at How We Handle Our Cash: Behind The Scenes of The Frugalwoods Household Accounts
  • Don’t you could have a rental property? Sure! We personal a rental property (also called our first house) 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 approach” to spend and no “good” price range.
  • Are we probably the most frugal frugal folks on earth? Completely not! My hope is that by being clear about our spending, you may achieve insights into your personal 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.
  • In case you’re all in favour of different issues I really like, take a look at Frugalwoods Recommends.
  • Why don’t you purchase every thing regionally? We do our greatest to help our area 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 large field shops for requirements. The closest shops are 45 minutes away and we go there a couple of times a month to top off 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 under?

In case you’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 Could:

Merchandise Quantity Notes
Automobile repairs $1,910.66 For the Prius and the truck. See notes above.
Groceries $689.02
Dentist x 2 $515.00 Out of pocket cost for each ladies, plus x-rays for Kidwoods.
Preschool $380.00 For Littlewoods
Gasoline for vehicles $348.63 YIKES, GAS PRICES!!!
Stand-up paddle board and paddle $300.00 To facilitate one more approach for me to look ridiculous in public.
Eating places $257.91 Lunch dates with my husband whereas the youngsters are in class!
Two booster carseats $190.74 Two booster seats for Kidwoods. 
Family provides $134.29 The thrilling miscellany of life: bathroom paper, laundry detergent, dishwasher cleaning soap, nutritional vitamins, craft provides, toothpaste, sunscreen, and so on.
Gasoline for farm gear $122.86 10 gallons of ethanol-free fuel and 10 gallons of off-road diesel
Listening to safety $104.94 Listening to safety bluetooth ear buds (affiliate hyperlink).
Instapot $103.88 We obtained this one and to date, so good (affiliate hyperlink).
Ironmongery shop stuffs $87.94 Magnetic sweeper, bottle jack, wire stripper, hose clamps, and so on…
Web $72.00 The Web
Medical health insurance month-to-month premium $52.43
Overalls $49.99 Overalls for me! (affiliate hyperlink)
Beer and wine $43.92
Drugs $40.14 Pharmacy co-pays
Physician go to co-pay $37.81
House Telephone $30.00 Six months of VOIP house telephone service.
Utilities: Electrical $29.79 We now have photo voltaic (which I element right here); that is our month-to-month base value for remaining grid tied.
Cellphone service for 2 telephones $28.03 Thanks, low cost MVNO!
Thrift retailer $24.97
Alternative brush heads for the youngsters’ electrical toothbrushes. $21.15 Children substitute toothbrush heads (affiliate hyperlink).
One child sunhat $15.33 Whoops, I completely lied. Generally I DO purchase youngsters stuff new. Kidwoods wanted a brand new sunhat and chosen this one (affiliate hyperlink).
Espresso Outlets $15.06 Espresso dates!
Backyard hose restore elements  $13.77 A number of of our hoses have met with sharp implements through the years and require medical consideration. Hose restore elements to the rescue (affiliate hyperlink).
12v DC circuit breaker $8.43 12v DC circuit breaker for the youngsters’ play automobile–bought used years in the past–and pushed round our yard with final glee (affiliate hyperlink).
Superglue $7.41 Superglue: for all of life’s little cracks (affiliate hyperlink).
Scissors $7.20 Scissors: for all of life’s free ends (affiliate hyperlink).
TOTAL: $5,643.30

How was your Could?

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