<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: November, 2018
 

Archive for November, 2018

cancelling amazon prime

November 28th, 2018 at 09:58 am

As I finished my holiday shopping and as I bought stuff in stores and other online merchants this year I confirmed we don't need amazon prime. I still bought some stuff from Amazon. But we certainly don't need the 2 day shipping. Nothing we ordered did we need rushed. And we no longer watch the TV shows for the kids downloaded on their kindles.

We do have kindles for them bought $50 last year. We do travel more. However now we have a DVD player in the minivan and we can download netflix shows. At $13.99/month Netflix is expensive but we don't pay for it (it's a gift from the girls uncle LOL). But for $170 a year we'd rather do that than Amazon prime anyway. We also use it daily to watch the kids shows instead of TV.

So what do we need amazon prime for? It's certainly not the cheapest. I bought Calico Critters Lakeside Lodge Gift set on Black friday from Walmart. From Amazon? $73.50. No thank you. The Dog crates? From Chewy for less than half the price. Dog food? Cheaper from Petco. Couple of items we did buy from Amazon I don't need asap so slow shipping so what's the difference between waiting from regular $25 shipping?

I admit to having a costco memebership for $120/year. Amazon prime is $119. But I get 6% back on cheaper gas than anywhere else and live 1.2 miles from a gas station and costco. I walk there on the weekends and meet my family for a cheap hot dog. So costco more than pays for itself. This year we spent $3000 on gas almost. That is $180 with 6%. That pays for the membership. Next year when we switch back to Ameriprise auto I'll save even more. That doesn't count the groceries we save on. Lactose free milk at $10/1.5 gallons is about $2 a set and we buy every week. So that's 2 * 52 weeks = $104 on just milk. I've given up on shopping for deals on toilet paper and paper towels because we only have a bartells nearby and no CVS. But truthfully shopping costco I know I get a pretty good deal

Last year I was on the fence at $99 to renew and my DH convinced me. I knew we didn't need it but he said one more year. This year he's on board we'd done and jettisoning Amazon prime.

Do you spend a lot on amazon? Our renewal is up in January.

Christmas shopping

November 26th, 2018 at 05:03 pm

So we did do some black friday and christmas shopping. I'm going to try and be better because I usually have no idea what I spend on christmas but it's typically I know under $500.

this year

Lego Advents - $30 x 2 = $60
Razor Scooter DK2 - $20
Calico Critters DK2 - $40 Treehouse + $40 Lodge
HooverBoard DK1 - $100
Bath Bombs Costco DK1 and 2 - $18 x 2 = 36
Shopkins Bus DK1 - $20
Kidizoo Watch DK 2 - $30
Total = $346

That's it for kids except for stocking stuffers.

They each spent $5 on gifts for each other. Very cute taking them shopping this weekend.

Parents and grandma $20 making blanket and $20 each for stuff so $120 total.

But for DH and I? There isn't anything we want or can't buy so I'm unsure. As I type this I realized I didn't buy his usual beer advent calendar I make for him. Gotta get to work. I think we might go away for the weekend as a family so that's $1000 on the weekend with hotels, gas, dog boarding, eating out.

What are you spending for Christmas?

insanely busy week

November 16th, 2018 at 05:07 pm

So my DH has been traveling this week for work. Things have been super busy. I went to the podiatrist on Tuesday and figured out that I had plantar fascitiis. I ended up buying new sneakers and inserts, and getting on a 6 day regime of steroids. I walked into a store and bought the Brooks GTS Adrenaline sneakers and with the SOLE inserts my feet feel amazing. Guess going to buy cheap sneakers was not the right choice.

Anyway Wednesday morning I awoke to finding out our new dog Winston was bleeding over the house. I spent over an hour trying to clean it all up and figure out where. I checked dew claws, checked his body, and it appeared to be his teeth. I put the kids on the bus and went to the walk in dog clinic. Took 2 hours to figure out that we needed to go to the ER for emergency blood tests. He was actually bleeding from his nose. I figured that out while waiting and he sneezed. I thought it was a cut in his mouth or bad teeth.

So they ran a full blood panel on him and found that he had an extremely low platelet count of 14000/mL versus the normal 175,000/mL. Everything else was fine. We also ran a full tick screen since he'd been at an acreage with a foster home and hadn't gotten tick treatment.

They wanted to do the x-rays, scoping, and urineanalysis which I did not do. It was $500 for the day. Finally by the end of the day I had heard back from the rescue and they said to go to the vet they used for discount rescue rate.

So I took him home rather than paying $600 to board him overnight in the "ICU". Then on Thursday we went to the vet and did the x-rays and urineanalysis and found nothing. A slightly enlarged spleen. So we started him on antibiotics and steroids. The plan is to monitor him and go back for another blood panel in 2-3 weeks. This was $300. They could not find out what sort of infection or inflammation that would cause this low platelet count.

The vet suggested it could be an abscess tooth. I had been planning on having his teeth cleaned actually today but we can't do it until his platelet level was above 50,000/mL. Why did I wait almost 3 weeks?

Because when we got him he and dual ear yeast infections and had to go get them cleaned and have both oral and topical medications to clean it up. Having not been treated for a LONG time. You could smell his ears when we got him. So the next step was the teeth treatment. This will be around $300. And we had spent $300 on initial vet visit and treatment.

If anyone asked I bought him pet health insurance from nationwide for $416 a year. It would have covered this if it were active which will go into effect 11/28/18. It took that long because of the yeast and teeth and initial checkup. So it takes awhile for the underwriting and "effective" date.

That being said today was the first day I managed to sneak back into the office. Along with my DK1 being sick on thursday and today and having to be dragged around me.

On top of normal kids stuff all week and homework and cooking, etc. Monday my DK1 gets her first round of braces. I'm wondering what that will cost me. They never called me to tell me. So far we've paid $2500 about 50% (insurance covered the rest) of the headgear from May. It's gone so well regarding her crossbite we are moving onto the next step sooner than expected because her teeth can't come in without more space. UGH.

I did however negotiate to not pay until January 2019 so I can run it through our new FSA for the year since we already maxed out in 2018.

Now onto thanksgiving.

Getting started now

November 9th, 2018 at 01:00 pm

I keep reading about these atrocious student loans. How people are trying to escape to the jungle. This guy was a philosophy major who owed only $20k Or a teacher who owed once in 2004 $35k but he couldn't pay so he stopped and the interest makes it now $100k+. I'm horrified.

But there are two parts. One a teacher couldn't make ends meet and pay off $35k? Even on a 30 year payment that's a $100/month. Assuming a 15 yeear payment that's a little over $200-300/month. I'm shocked that it was that difficult to pay.

I wonder if people are struggling to get started now because they have very high expectations upon starting out? That it's shocking they can't eat out, travel, etc. That perhaps the lifestyle they expected can't be had on an entry level job?

Or is it really that salaries are so low that owing even $100 is too much? Or is it that we now owe every month on EVERYTHING? That the teacher has the student loan, car payment, CC debt, medical bills just starting out?

I can see how nowadays where you are born and what your parents do makes such a big difference. That some people on this board are able (cheers) to fund college 100%. So their kids will walk out debt free. These same people likely talked to their kids so these same kids won't have CC debt or medical bills. Also these same kids might even be gifted a car so they are starting out with a car, no debt, and an education.

So you are starting from a position of power. I know that these same people on the board were like myself and when we started out we had some student loans, some car loans, maybe even medical and CC debt. But somehow we made it.

How did we manage? I see myself right now strategically thinking about setting my kids up for success. That I'm looking at their college funds of $28k and $22k (8 and 6). Plus we have earmarked this year potentially another $10k each for college. Along with around $5k in taxable accounts for them to just grow.

In all likelyhood our kids will not only have 100% free college, but will have a car, and possibly a home down payment help and maybe even a Roth IRA. So how far ahead of the curve will they be?

I just find it interesting.

Net Worth Calculations

November 1st, 2018 at 10:27 am

We are down around 7.5% from 9/1/18 which it peaked. We are down in mostly our retirement investment accounts. We aren't doing a darn thing. We are holding onto our cash, will invest in January Roth IRA and kids ESA the $12k and $4k. In december we will likely buy out DH's lease for $22k. Right now we are still hanging onto my car loan but that's something up for negotiation to just pay off. But it's at 2.24% and we're earning 1.9% on savings right now with potential for more.

I'm also considering buying the I bonds. Right now the fixed rate is 0.5% announced and that seems good. I'll talk to DH tonight.