Well, it turns out that it wasn’t Weis where I earned the free turkey certificate. It was Giant. And I discovered this because I tried to redeem it at Weis! Yikes, embarrassing. But I did get the turkey and it was indeed free. A 20-pounder. Since the boys selected other meats for Thanksgiving Day (The choice is our tradition.), we’ll be cooking the big bird in the next few days. DH is the meat cooker so this is all him.
Viewing the 'Saving Money' Category
I have met my first goal for 2020: Get EF back to 3 months’ basic expenses. It feels nice especially in the current economic environment. For us three months of expenses is $10,500 and the EF bumped to $10,700 with my recent regular monthly contribution. It was close last month but I didn’t feel comfortable taking funds from something else and throwing it in.
I’ll be evaluating my progress on all annual goals at the end of the quarter which is in just a couple of weeks.
I may set a goal in 2021 to get the EF to 6 months of expenses.
In our county hair salons aren’t yet open. I haven’t been covering my grey hair growth except with a temporary solution when I’m forced to do a video conference. I have to say I’m starting to like the grey and I’m seriously thinking of keeping it. My hair is now naturally salt & pepper with the salt/pepper proportions different in some places.
Once salons open I may even ask my hairdresser to dye it all grey and then I’ll just have some dark roots but less over time. A while back I saw a model online with grey hair even longer than mine and I liked the look. (Rosemarie Fern is the name in case you want to search.) I think that influenced me to break that unwritten rule that middle-aged women shouldn’t have long grey hair.
Anyone else considering a permanent switch to grey?
I’ve just returned from another business trip. It was an experience – especially the trip home. I loaded up on high doses of Vitamins C & D before traveling and used Airborne daily while I was away. Just in case. On the planes, many people were wearing masks and all of us used sanitizer repeatedly. Very few tray tables were used on the planes. On the trips home one flight was 2/3 full and the other about ½ full. I’m happy to say that I didn’t see anyone that appeared sick. The Washington Dulles airport was like a ghost town last night. While I was traveling, the company issued a memo banning all travel through the end of April. So that will be my last trip for a while.
On the financial front, I paid our spring property taxes today: $1300. That represents a 2% discount for paying earlier than the target date. We have two property tax bills – spring and summer. The spring is the smaller one. The summer bill is close to $4000 for us.
I need to go through my receipts and get my expense report submitted now. Also, I received notification from Ally that the online savings account interest rate is decreasing to 1.5%. I appreciate their transparency. They also are offering a 1% bonus for transferring more than $1000 into an Ally savings account before the end of the month. This might be a good deal for someone like CCF who has sizable amounts in a variety of banks. I’m not sure it’ll work for me given their timing coinciding with my paying off a 0% CC.
As I said earlier, I was proud of him no matter what because he took initiative and prepared himself for this opportunity. I’m glad it paid off. He’s going to be a lifeguard at a local fancy-pants hotel.
The vet bill finally cleared on the Ally CC, so I redeemed my last rewards – 80 bucks to the Ally savings account. Ka-ching.
We just received our gas bill and it’s $208.53 this month. Ouch!! I see from the usage chart that it’s about the same as last year so I really shouldn’t have been surprised. What’s more scary is looking at February and March – if this year is like last year, we’ll have another sharp increase next month.
In addition to the central air, we have a gas fireplace, which I love. It heats up the family room and makes it cozy and inviting. So I’m not willing to shut it off, but I’ll monitor the thermostat, open the curtains on south-facing windows, make sure the garage is closed, … what else?
I’ve just returned home from a week-long business trip. Now in addition to catching up with my personal tasks, I need to sort receipts and submit my expense report. Traveling for work does provide some opportunity for personal financial benefits, but there are drawbacks too. To take a look at the personal financial impact to me for this trip:
(1) FOOD – gain. The company paid to feed me for a week that I would have spent had I not been traveling. This saves me 1 week’s worth of food costs. (but I’m still paying to feed the rest of the family while I’m gone of course)
(2) CAR MILEAGE – gain. Not much mileage on this trip – just transport to the airport, but with the reimbursement set at over 50 cents per mile, our Honda Fit is doing her share to contribute!
(3) CAR GAS – break-even. I think our car got just as much use at home as it would have if I’d been here. [My commute is from the bedroom to my home office on a normal day.]
(4) UTILITIES – break-even, maybe a loss. Since the family was still here, we still had gas, electricity, and water usage. Maybe fewer flushes & baths, but on the other hand, I doubt they monitored the thermostat like I do. I did turn off the heat in my home office (separate system) while I was out. So for this one, I’ll have to check our bills when they arrive.
(5) CREDIT CARD POINTS – gain. The company pays the airfare directly and I didn’t have hotel costs (explanation to follow) so I didn’t spend a substantial amount. But the rental car, groceries, meals, and luggage fees were all paid with my card. And for the last time, it was my Ally Cashback credit card.
(6) AIRLINE POINTS – gain. I don’t travel as frequently as I did years ago so this isn’t a big benefit, but it does eventually add up. About every 2-3 years I redeem my airline points for some purchase. (I don’t want more travel.) Last time it was a men’s bike for DS5, worth $200+.
(7) MAKE-UP – loss. I don’t wear much make-up when working virtually, but when I’m on-site it’s a ‘full face’ every day. This cost is minor because I still tend to replace make-up before I use it up because it’s old.
(8) CLOTHES – loss. Dry cleaning: the clothes I wear at home are wash & wear, and while the blouses I wear for customer-facing engagements are laundered at home, the trousers and skirts are dry-clean only. I have them cleaned after about half a dozen uses, I’d estimate.
(9) RELATIONSHIPS – non-financial personal gain. This trip was to the city where my brother lives so I stayed with him. Getting a company-paid trip to see family is a plus for sure! I can’t count it as ‘savings’ because I wouldn’t have made the trip regardless – maybe it’s like one of those Mastercard commercials. “Priceless”. With agreement with my company, when I stay with my brother I expense groceries or a dinner out for him and his wife. Cheaper for the company than a hotel and a bonus for my brother. This trip I bought them about $200 of groceries. Good quality too – organic, wild-caught, etc. And, we got to watch our team win the national championship. More priceless.
I can see how business travel could be more lucrative for a person who lives alone. Then for the time on the road, you could eliminate some expense categories altogether!
Did I forget anything?