February was a boring month from the attitude of the outdated expense report. Not a lot was bought except for the strange, which was a kindness to our financial savings account. Nobody’s bills are the identical month to month, and I relish a comparatively low cost month. I see it as a chance to sock extra into financial savings for the inevitable costly month you simply know looms on the horizon. As I’m fond of claiming:
Nobody ever regrets saving cash.
So when you’ve got that uncommon low cost month? Take into account it a boon to your financial savings account, not an invite to overspend the subsequent month.
We skied a ton in February, which was a superb utilization of the season passes and gear we’d already paid for. We snowshoed by the woods rather a lot–one other nice use of beforehand bought gear. We ice skated at our free neighborhood rink utilizing skates from the thrift retailer. We cooked good meals at residence. We frolicked with our mates a bunch and celebrated Littlewoods’ fourth birthday in true frugal type with a selfmade chocolate cake and items bought final summer season from storage gross sales and the thrift retailer. A pleasant wintry month!
Come Hear Me Speak on April eighth!
I’m thrilled to let you understand I’ll be talking on a panel on Friday, April eighth on the on-line Mamas Speak Cash: The Legacy You Go away convention. I’m honored to be on this panel with:
- Sandy Smith, the famend founding father of the Elevate Neighborhood and YesIAmCheap.com (greatest web site identify ever). Sandy shaped the Elevate Neighborhood to, “elevate consciousness and shine higher mild on the monetary points that folks of shade face. The 400+ members of the Elevate Neighborhood group are monetary professionals, academics, writers, bloggers, and educators of shade who’re dedicated to bettering the monetary lives of individuals of shade.”
- Jamila Souffrant, the founding father of the extremely profitable JourneytoLaunch.com. I used to be truly on Jamila’s Journey to Launch podcast again in 2018 and met her in particular person once we have been each pregnant with our little ladies (who at the moment are FOUR!).
For those who’re serious about attending this three-day on-line convention, it can save you $5 off the $49 ticket value through the use of the coupon code FRUGALWOODS. Go right here to get your ticket and register to attend. I hope to see you there!
I Love the Free Expense Tracker from Private Capital
I take advantage of a free on-line service referred to as Private Capital to maintain observe of our cash: our spending, our internet price, our investments, our retirement–all the things.
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 should you don’t understand how you’re spending it or how a lot you might have. For those who’d prefer 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 targets. It’s a should, people. Private Capital (which is free to make use of) is an effective way for me to systematize our monetary overviews because it hyperlinks all of our accounts collectively and supplies a complete image of our internet price.
For those who’re not monitoring your bills in an organized trend, you would possibly think about attempting Private Capital. Right here’s a extra detailed rationalization of how I take advantage of Private Capital (observe: the Private Capital hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks).
Credit Playing cards: How We Purchase All the pieces
We purchase all the things we will 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 exhibits up in our month-to-month expense report from Private Capital. I additionally suppose I spend much less cash as a result of I KNOW I’m going to see each expense listed on the finish of every month.
- 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.
- 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 conserving them open for a few years does assist your rating.
For extra on my bank card technique, take a look at:
If you need a easy money again bank card, listed here are some good choices that don’t have annual charges:
1) Blue Money On a regular basis® Card from American Categorical affords a hierarchy of money again percentages:
- 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 and choose U.S. malls
- 1% Money Again on different purchases
- Earn a $200 assertion credit score should you spend $2,000 throughout the first 6 months of card membership
- No annual charge. Charges and costs particulars right here.
- Phrases apply
2) Capital One Quicksilver Money Rewards Credit score Card affords a flat money again share:
- Limitless 1.5% money again on all purchases
- Earn $200 should you spend $500 or extra in purchases throughout the first three months of card membership
- 3% money again on eating, leisure, common streaming providers and grocery shops.
- 1% money again on all different purchases.
- Plus, earn 8% money again on tickets at Vivid Seats by January 2023.
- Get $200 should you spend $500 on purchases throughout the first three months from account opening.
- Earn 6.5% money again on journey bought by Chase Final Rewards®
- 4.5% money again on drugstore purchases and eating at eating places, together with takeout and eligible supply service
- 3% on all different purchases (on as much as $20,000 spent within the first yr)
- Earn an extra 1.5% money again on all the things you purchase (on as much as $20,000 spent within the first yr) – price as much as $300 money again!
- After your first yr or $20,000 spent, take pleasure in 5% money again on Chase journey bought by Final Rewards®, 3% money again on drugstore purchases and eating at eating places, together with takeout and eligible supply service, and limitless 1.5% money again on all different purchases
For those who’re serious about 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 once you redeem by Chase Final Rewards.
One of the best ways to discover a bank card that’ll give you the results you want is to seek for it your self; I’ve a information that can assist you do exactly that: The Greatest Credit score Playing cards (and Credit score Card Rewards)!
Large 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 means to do that, or suppose utilizing bank cards would possibly immediate you to spend extra, stick to 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! (observe: the bank card hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks).
Money Again Earned This Month: $38.39
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 $1,919.57 on that card, which netted us $38.39.
Not some huge cash, however it’s cash we earned for getting stuff we have been going to purchase anyway! That is why I like money again bank card rewards–they’re the only option to earn one thing for nothing.
To see how this provides up over the course of a yr, take a look at this publish: The Best $486 I’ve Ever Made: How To Use Money Again Credit score Playing cards To Your Benefit.
The place’s Your Cash?
One other simple 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 towards 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 might 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 a substitute 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 could have elevated to $5,025. Meaning you earned $25 simply by having your cash in a high-interest account.
And also you didn’t must 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 being profitable 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 Fee On-line Financial savings Accounts.
Sure, We Solely Paid $28.09 for Cell Telephone Service (for 2 telephones)
Our cellular phone service line merchandise isn’t a typ0 (though that definitely 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 doable?!? We use an MVNO!
What’s an MVNO?
Glad you requested as a result of I used to be going to let you know anyway: It’s a cellular phone service re-seller.
MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of the cellular phone service world–it’s the identical service, A LOT cheaper. For those who’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 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
However Mrs. Frugalwoods, Don’t You Pay For X, Y, Or Even Z???
Questioning about frequent bills you don’t see listed under?
For those who’re questioning about anything, be at liberty to ask within the feedback part!
Alright you frugal cash voyeurs, feast your eyes on each greenback we spent in February:
|Fuel for vehicles||$328.68||Yikes, fuel costs!!! Additionally, yikes, driving to ski rather a lot!!!!|
|Bulk oats and flour (50lbs of every)||$172.54|
|Maple sugaring provides||$160.75||New faucets, tubing and filters to interchange what we’ve used up in previous years of creating maple syrup from our maple timber.|
|Family provides, toiletries, child stuff, the miscellany of life||$151.34||Primarily from WalMart as a result of they provide free transport (affiliate hyperlink).|
These are the thrilling issues of life: bathroom paper, craft provides for the children, laundry detergent, toothpaste, tooth picks, tooth floss, tooth legit to stop, and many others.
|Beer, wine and alcohol||$139.69||The finer issues of life.|
Well being Insurance coverage Premium
By way of the Vermont ACA
|Utilities: Electrical energy||$30.19||We now have photo voltaic (which I element right here); that is our month-to-month base value for remaining grid tied.|
|Eye physician co-pay||$30.00|
|Mobile phone service for 2 telephones||$28.09||That is so low cost as a result of we use an MVNO. MVNOs resell wi-fi service at discounted charges (however it’s the identical service!!!).|
For those who’re not utilizing an MVNO, take a look at this publish to see if you can also make the change. The financial savings are large.
|Ski lodge snack||$5.95||A muffin deal with for Kidwoods and me throughout a day of snowboarding.|
|Olympics TV||$5.29||We paid for a one-month subscription so we might watch the winter olympics with the children.|
|Put up workplace||$2.72||Delivery|
How was your February?
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