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4o just gets better

March 24th, 2015 at 03:19 pm

I posted about how awesome my 40th birthday weekend was. It just seems to be getting better. My bff from New Orleans flew up this weekend to surprise me. We had ladies nights out with my friends for three nights in a row and we all had a blast together.

It's like it refueled my happiness bank for the rest of my real life. I've felt bogged down by the never-ending work and caregiving with all work and no play, so it was nice to have two weekends in a row where I could do what I wanted with my friends and not have to be mom all the time.

On the work front, I am so happy I put in notice at my job. It's just getting worse, harder and more frustrating for no more pay, due to internal changes at the organization. I got into an argument with my editor yesterday. She made me bump a story last week because of a scheduling issue, and said this week would work just fine. So I start working on it for this week (I had to really scramble to find a replacement last week), and then she tells me there's still a conflict and we can't run it until next week, so I need to find yet another replacement for this week.

Its a nightmare. It is very difficult to find last minute replacements, and all the other stories I have lined up, the people just aren't ready yet. I almost quit yesterday, but I want to leave on good terms. I just can't wait for it to be over. I have five more weeks.

Sorry for the rant.

I have been thinking about things I can do to save the family more money once I'm on the other side of this job and no longer getting the checks. I think we overall already do a good job economizing, but I suppose we could do better. It's just the low-hanging and obvious fruits have already been picked.

My first thought is to scale back on the kids birthdays. We have parties for them, and the price adds up, even if it's jut putting out a lot of food for a bunch of friends and letting them run around the backyard. OUr 6 (soon 7) year old begged us to have a laser tag party for him and we gave in. I'm regretting it. It was $200 for the laser tag place, plus he wanted a 'real' birthday cake instead of homemade, and that was $50. I'm embarrassed to say how much it's costing! I don't think we had any idea when we said yes. This is the last one. From now on, they can invite friends over for pizza and playtime.

Otherwise, I'm looking for more ways to save and be happier and have a more streamlined daily life.

I'm open to ideas, if you have any!

3 Responses to “4o just gets better”

  1. snafu Says:

    We were astounded by the saving we were able to accumulate by small cuts and small savings in a wide variety of spends. 1st, it really helps to track every dollar spent to see all the leakage you never knew you had. We discovered over $ 100. 2nd, it helps to review all irregular costs like annual auto and home insurance to see they are adequate and appropriate. If both are with the same agent, there should be a rebate. If you are making monthly payments, what is the savings on the premium by paying annually? Also check the KBB value of your current vehicle and your insurance since the insurer will only pay mid point, KBB value after a lot of negotiation, they don't care a tot what you actually owe! Is the deductible appropriate? If your EF can handle it, a $ 1K deductible should noticeably lower insurance premiums.

    It takes some initial work to get into the routine of doing a weekly meal plan based on what's on hand, loss leaders in the grocery flyers, checking for on-line coupons/discounts and what your family will eat. The research suggests we are throwing out more than 1/3 of the food we buy...1/3 of our food budget is garbage. If you can, stop buying convenience foods full of unpronounceable chemicals and buy the basic foods found around the perimeter of the stores. If you read the contents and see all those chemicals, I wonder if they are problematic over the long term. I suggest you ask each person for their 5 favorite meals as a starting point. Nothing is written in stone and it helps to match meals with current activities.

    If you have mobile phone, cable and internet, are you using all points? See if they can be trimmed to reduce costs. Same with mobile phone service. There is a Frugal thread on SA's Forum and internet is full of cheap and easy ways to cut costs and DIY. My 1st major cut was to make my own laundry detergent. It's so much better than Tide. That led to dishwasher detergent and a myriad of cleaning products which I like because they work so well.

    Finally, we saved a lot of money by writing a list of what was needed, used the last box/bottle/can etc. Don't shop or run errands without a list. Our protocol is if it's not on the list, it can wait, get on the next list etc. no matter how desirable.

    sorry, so wordy

  2. CB in the City Says:

    I have three months left to work, and it's amazing how difficult it's getting to keep going now that I see the barn door! But I definitely have to put in the three months to get my payout.

    I, too, will be cutting back in as many little ways as possible. I'm really looking forward to having the time to do that! A hurried schedule makes you spend more!

  3. ThriftoRama Says:

    That is all good advice, Snafu.

    Much of it, we already do. I feel like we've been thrifty so long (7 years on this site alone!), we're doing all the obvious things.

    -I do a weekly meal plan and that saves us money. In summer, I also grow 95 percent of our vegetables, so we spend next to nothing on those for months. I also can food we eat year round. We get a great price on grass-fed organic meats through a local farm, and fill our deep freeze with that.

    -We pay our insurance annually, so there is no extra spent on the monthly payment plans
    -We don't have cable television and have reshopped the best priced internet/phone combo.
    -We have one pay as you go cell phone, no fancy smartphone or monthly bill.
    -We moved our youngest into a less expensive preschool and cut the bill by $300/month
    -I make most of our household cleaners, except dishwasher and dish detergent, because I haven't found a recipe I'm satisfied with. I have yet to do laundry detergent, but am planning to try it soon.
    -We heat in winter, in part, with a wood stove to keep our gas bill down.
    -we have two cars that are paid for.
    -Our house will be paid off in 3 years

    There are a few areas where I feel we could do better, mostly spending on kids activities. Eating out too often.

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