June was a month of celebrations! My husband and I marked FOURTEEN years of marriage, Kidwoods “graduated” from Kindergarten, Littlewoods completed her first yr of preschool, we went to a town-wide end-of-school social gathering with a meals truck and BOUNCE HOUSE. And, we purchased the folding wagon of my desires.
The Folding Wagon of my Desires
We’ve reached the stage with our children the place, when on outings, we both carry:
- Every part we personal
I like the “nothing” outings. We not want diapers or wipes. We not want a stroller or child service. We not want a relentless circulate of snacks and sippy cups. I do hold a little bit potty (and wipes) within the trunk of the automotive–in addition to modifications of garments for everybody (let me inform you in regards to the ONE time I forgot to carry these… includes vomit in a automotive seat)–however I don’t need to lug this round with me all day lengthy, which to me = FREEDOM.
Then again, we’re additionally on the stage of needing practically every little thing we personal after we go to the seaside, the pool or an out of doors potluck/picnic. There are buckets and shovels, there are solar hats, sunscreen, towels, one stuffed canine (who I hold evicting from the seaside bag, however retains exhibiting again up… ), water bottles, lunches, and a lot extra. We’ve been carting all of this in tote luggage (sarcastically–or maybe expectedly? tote luggage we obtained totally free from Vanguard at a monetary bloggers’ convention years in the past), which works, however is tremendous exhausting on my again. Additionally it’s annoying and I’ve to make 13 journeys. The children are nice about every carrying one bag, however that also leaves 19 different luggage.
We’ve additionally been going to this fabulous out of doors group pizza night time most Saturdays and toting our large cooler of veggie stick snacks, water and beer (to not point out the sunscreen, bug spray, garden chairs…).
With no small quantity of lust, I’ve been eyeing the foldable wagons that different, smarter households casually pull behind them whereas holding their youngsters’s arms, laughing at one thing their partner mentioned and twirling their sun-tinged hair behind their ears. And so, I got down to copy them. To maintain up with the Joneses. To IMPULSE BUY. Effectively, not likely impulse. I DID take into consideration this for method longer than 72 hours. I’ve been occupied with this wagon for two years now.
I tasked Mr. FW with discovering a wagon that’s:
- Sturdy (with sturdy, succesful wheels since we’re off-roading most of the time)
- Not $1,000 (you’d be shocked at how $$$$ a few of these wagons are!!!)
He chosen this wagon (affiliate hyperlink).
We not want seating for the youngsters contained in the wagon, so we had been in a position to go along with one which’s purely for cargo. It additionally options a little bit fold-out desk with cupholders and what I can solely assume is meant to be a spot to your cellphone (though Mr. FW contends it appears like the proper place to set a taco). Dream Wagon arrived final week, I started utilizing it instantly, I’ve used it six occasions already, and I LOVE IT. It navigates sand, dust, grass and concrete with equal aplomb. It holds every little thing. The cupholder/desk factor truly works and stays prolonged. It folds up with ease and slides proper into the trunk of the automotive. In different phrases: it’s every little thing I dreamed it could be.
We had an outdated plastic youngsters’ wagon that I discovered on the aspect of the highway, nevertheless it wasn’t practically massive sufficient for all of our stuff and it didn’t match within the trunk except you bent the deal with up in opposition to the rear windshield, which appeared like a foul thought from the windshield’s perspective. All that to say, I attempted to go used and free and I failed. When that occurs? Capitulate to purchasing one thing new that’s going to make your life higher. My life is healthier with this wagon (affiliate hyperlink). Actually, I’d say it’s 30% higher. That’s plenty of %.
We’ve additionally reached the stage with our children the place–for the primary time ever–it is smart to purchase memberships! We purchased two memberships in June:
- To the native science/youngsters’s museum.
- To our native seaside. Which, sure, is on a lake and never an ocean, however all of us name it the seaside round right here. It has sand! Or, slightly, it used to have sand. All of that sand is now within the trunk of my automotive, within the folds of my dream wagon, and on the ground of my house.
We’ve used each a ton already and I’m feeling excellent in regards to the $200 we spent as I’m a fan of paying for experiences!
My Wine Membership
Coincidentally, my wine membership additionally renewed in June. To be clear, that is (sadly) not a membership from which I personally obtain wine. It’s a membership to Wine.com whereby I obtain FREE delivery to anyplace within the US on any wine I order (even when it’s only one bottle!).
I really like this as a result of wine is what I present to our relations. My mother and father, in-laws and siblings are all of the recipients of a case of wine on holidays. I’m TERRIBLE at choosing items for individuals, I hate losing cash on stuff individuals won’t use/take pleasure in and–fortunate for me–everybody I’m associated to enjoys wine! It’s an reasonably priced method for me to present one thing I do know everybody will drink and luxuriate in. Plus, I get images of everybody toasting with their wine at Christmas, which I really like. I additional recognize Wine.com as a result of it lets me save everybody’s addresses and my previous orders, which I exploit to remind myself of everybody’s wine preferences! Wines throughout.
*The wine.com hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks
I Love the Free Expense Tracker from Private Capital!
I exploit a free on-line service referred to as Private Capital to maintain observe of our cash: our spending, our web price, our investments, our retirement, every little thing.
Monitoring bills is among the finest–and best–methods to get a deal with in your funds. You can’t make knowledgeable selections about your cash for those who don’t know the way you’re spending it or how a lot you have got. If you happen to’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.
If you happen to’re not monitoring your bills in an organized style, 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 little thing we are able to with bank cards as a result of:
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.
- 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 resort and airline factors for getting stuff we had been going to purchase anyway.
- 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 grimy 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 preserving 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
If you happen to’re now cash-back curious, there are a variety of playing cards available on the market proper now that supply fairly good money again percentages. Listed here are just a few I feel are deal:
1) Blue Money Most popular® from American Specific:
- 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. gasoline 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. Charges and charges particulars right here.
- Phrases apply
2) Blue Money On a regular basis® from American Specific:
- 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. gasoline 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 throughout the first 6 months.
- No annual payment. Charges and charges particulars right here.
- Phrases apply.
3) Capital One Quicksilver Money Rewards Credit score Card:
- 1.5% money again on each buy, daily.
- $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 companies and at grocery shops (excluding superstores like Walmart and Goal).
- 1% again on all different purchases.
- 8% money again on tickets at Vivid Seats via January 2023.
- $200 money bonus after you spend $500 on purchases throughout the first 3 months from account opening.
- No annual payment.
- Earn an additional 1.5% on every little 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 via 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 via 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.
- 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 via 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.
If you happen to’re all in favour of journey rewards, individuals love the Chase Sapphire Most popular. 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 via Chase Final Rewards.
Enormous caveat to bank card utilization: you MUST pay your bank card payments in full each single month, with no exceptions. If you happen to’re involved about your potential to do that, or suppose utilizing bank cards may immediate you to spend extra, keep on with a debit card or money. However when you’ve got no downside paying that invoice in full each month? I like to recommend you bank card away, my good friend! (notice: the bank card hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks).
Money Again Earned This Month: $88.19
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 $4,409.52 on that card, which netted us $88.19.
Not some huge cash, nevertheless it’s cash we earned for getting stuff we had been going to purchase anyway! That is why 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 simple 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 assets–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 have got $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 Specific Private Financial savings account, which–as of this writing–earns 1% in curiosity (affiliate hyperlink). In a single yr, your $5,000 could have elevated to $5,050. Which means you earned $50 simply by having your cash in a high-interest account.
And also you didn’t need to 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 making a living whereas doing nothing. Don’t be that particular person.
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 Charge On-line Financial savings Accounts.
Sure, We Solely Paid $28.03 for Cell Telephone Service (for 2 telephones)
Our cellphone service line merchandise isn’t a typ0 (though that definitely is). We actually and really solely paid $28.03 for each of our telephones (that’s $14.01 per particular person for these of you into division). How is such trickery doable?!? 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 cellphone service re-seller.
MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of the cellphone service world–the identical service, A LOT cheaper. If you happen to’re not utilizing an MVNO, switching to at least one is a simple, slam-dunk, do-it-right-away method to economize each single month of each single yr perpetually and ever amen.
Listed here are a two MVNOs to contemplate:
For extra, I’ve a full chart of suppliers and their costs right here: Find out 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 on what we use. Think about that! We solely pay for what we use! Will wonders ever stop. 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 have got a rental property? Sure! We personal a rental property (also referred to as our first house) in Cambridge, MA, which I talk about right here.
- Why do I share our bills? To present 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 method” to spend and no “excellent” finances.
- Are we essentially the most frugal frugal individuals on earth? Completely not! My hope is that by being clear about our spending, you may achieve 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.
- If you happen to’re all in favour of different issues I really like, take a look at Frugalwoods Recommends.
- Why don’t you purchase every little thing regionally? We do our greatest to assist our local people and purchase as a lot of our meals as doable instantly 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 just a few occasions a month to top off on what we are able to’t get from our neighbors or on-line.
However Mrs. Frugalwoods, Don’t You Pay For X, Y, Or Even Z???
Questioning about frequent 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 so on) quantity within the month we pay them
- Right here’s what we do for medical insurance.
- We don’t have any money owed and we paid money for our vehicles.
- Right here’s how we make charitable contributions: How We Donate To Charities Like Billionaires and likewise How We Make Significant And Tax Environment friendly Charitable Donations.
- Right here’s an summary of how we save for our children’ increased schooling: How We Use 529 Plans To Save For School
- We reside 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 we’ve got a nicely, 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 house with wooden we harvest ourselves from our land, and we don’t have central air con (we use window models throughout the hottest elements of the summer time).
- There are, after all, prices related to sustaining these techniques (resembling having our septic system pumped and inspected) and people bills present up within the months we pay them.
- We’ve 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 Price Of Residing Showdown
If you happen to’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 June:
|Physician go to co-pay and labs||$1,202.97||I needed to get some lab work achieved (all is nicely) and WOW was it costly on our new insurance coverage. Nonetheless, our month-to-month insurance coverage premium is so low that this feels completely affordable. Plus, I feel I’ll have met my deductible…
As with our dental payments, I’m saving all of our receipts and can re-assess our selection of ACA plan earlier than the following calendar yr.
|Groceries||$692.08||Oh hey, not too unhealthy!|
|Eating places||$596.89||Oh whoops, THAT’s why groceries weren’t too unhealthy… A month of celebrations, certainly!|
|Gasoline for vehicles||$440.74||YIKES GAS PRICES|
|Dentist||$322.00||Extra dental work, for Mr. FW this time (all’s nicely, simply routine stuff).
Paying out of pocket for dental care continues to rack up payments, which is why I’m preserving all of our receipts and can re-assess the viability of paying for insurance coverage subsequent calendar yr.
|Preschool||$160.00||Ultimate month of preschool (this yr) for Littlewoods|
|Swim Classes||$150.00||Swim classes for each youngsters|
|Family provides||$124.88||The thrilling miscellany of life: bathroom paper, laundry detergent, dishwasher cleaning soap, nutritional vitamins, craft provides, toothpaste, shampoo, sunscreen, and so on.|
|The Folding Wagon of My Desires (affiliate hyperlink).||$106.52||Folding wagon (affiliate hyperlink).|
|Beer, wine, liquor||$105.94|
|Wine.com membership (affiliate hyperlink).||$62.54||I’m such a fan of the free delivery this affords me!|
|Rooster feed & misc. farm provides||$57.45|
|Medical insurance premium||$52.43|
|New overalls for Mr. FW (affiliate hyperlink)||$49.99||His outdated pairs of overalls–that are nonetheless trucking alongside–have extreme , unrepairable rips in a, uh, delicate space. They’re completely fantastic for farm labor, however not so fantastic if different individuals are going to be round…
As chances are you’ll recall, I purchased one other pair of this very same model for myself final month (affiliate hyperlink).
|Espresso Outlets||$43.51||Dates with my husband!|
|Gas membership dues||$40.00||We’ve propane for our oven & range and oil for back-up warmth within the wintertime, so, I joined a Gas Membership final yr. To this point, the financial savings are completely well worth the annual membership dues!|
|Utilities: Electrical energy||$28.59||We’ve photo voltaic (which I element right here); that is our month-to-month base worth for remaining grid tied.|
|Cellular phone service for 2 telephones||$28.03||Thanks, low cost MVNO!|
|Roof straps to carry my stand-up paddle board to the highest of the automotive (affiliate hyperlink).||$26.45||Straps for stand-up paddle board (affiliate link).
I can report that I’ve efficiently paddle-boarded and I find it irresistible!
|Meals truck||$15.60||At the exact same town-wide social gathering because the bounce home. My youngsters LOST their minds with pleasure.|
|Ice cream!||$8.50||Took the women to the native ice cream store. They had been in HEAVEN.|
|Bathroom wax ring||$4.23||We would have liked to maneuver and re-set certainly one of our bathrooms as a part of our ongoing, long-term house renovation tasks, so we wanted a brand new wax ring for it.
That is the exact same bathroom that our pricey associates Mr. & Mrs. 1500 Days helped us set up 4 years in the past, in order that wax ring holds a particular place in my coronary heart.
How was your June?
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