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HomeMoney SavingCanine’s Christmas Stocking And Different November 2022 Bills

Canine’s Christmas Stocking And Different November 2022 Bills


November is at all times a month of celebrations in our household! We hosted Thanksgiving for what we predict is the tenth yr–though there have been a couple of years off for Covid–and Kidwoods turned seven!

My do-it-yourself Thanksgiving pies

Our bills are at all times larger in November on account of those festivities and I don’t thoughts in any respect. Being able to spend on issues that matter deeply to me is why I’m frugal. It’s why I monitor my spending. It’s why I interrogate my priorities and the way my spending displays them.

It’s an illustration of values-based spending:

Save on stuff that doesn’t matter–or that you would be able to get used for a less expensive worth–to allow your self the liberty to spend on the issues that matter most.

Earlier this month I wrote about how I’ve saved hundreds of {dollars} on my children’ wardrobes by sourcing all of their clothes second-hand. The explanation I do it’s because I can. As a result of I can outfit them in completely good clothes for a FRACTION of the worth. Then, when it comes time to have fun and host household, I’ve the monetary leeway to spend extra on groceries and wine and birthday events. My strategy isn’t about depriving myself or slicing again in each single class, it’s about being strategic with how and the place I spend my cash.

A Christmas Stocking for A Canine

Our stockings!

One among my traditions is to embellish for Christmas the week earlier than Thanksgiving. Don’t come after me! I LOVE CHRISTMAS decorations and I received’t cease!!! I do that, partially, in order that we are able to get the sensation of celebrating two holidays with my husband’s household since we don’t spend Christmas with them.

As I used to be placing up our decor–all of which I re-use yr to yr–I noticed one thing was lacking. When our oldest was born, my mother-in-law purchased GORGEOUS monogrammed Christmas stockings for us from Land’s Finish. When Littlewoods was born, she purchased her a stocking as nicely.

That is how I discovered myself on the Land’s Finish web site looking for the right stocking to monogram for…. the canine. I do know, I do know, she will’t even learn, however I wished one! So I purchased it. Whereas on there, I availed myself of a screaming deal on winter base layers for the women and, uh, ya know… additionally purchased a gown for myself. What can I say? It’s Christmas-y plaid!!!!!! I’ve a factor for Christmas-y plaid, as all vacation photographs of my youngsters amply reveal. 

Kidwoods’ SEVENTH Birthday!

Kidwoods requested a celebration to which she may invite her complete class together with a good variety of children in different lessons as nicely. Trying over her visitor checklist, which she wrote herself and included such luminaries as her trainer and the principal, we realized it might be folly to attempt to have all these people at our home.

The birthday lady + sisters

And so, we had her social gathering at our city heart, which has an ideal playground! Good. For a mere $50 we had been in a position to lease out the city heart, host a party and are available residence to a clear, non-destroyed residence. WORTH IT.

We served sandwiches, chips, fruit & veggies, cans of seltzer, juice containers, cupcakes and cookies, which–mixed with internet hosting Thanksgiving–is why our grocery finances was about $200 greater than regular.

Whereas most of her birthday presents had been bought second-hand at yard gross sales and thrift shops, we did purchase one reward new: Qwirkle!! Our mates launched us to this board recreation throughout our seashore trip with them earlier this fall and it’s pleasant! It’s kinda like Scrabble, however with colours and shapes, which suggests the entire household can play.

We’ve been a bit restricted in whole-family video games since Littlewoods can’t learn but, however Qwirkle is ideal (affiliate hyperlinks)! It’s really enjoyable for adults to play, there’s some critical technique concerned, AND a four-year-old can completely do it. Extremely advocate!!

Family provides had been additionally up this month on account of buying some party paraphernalia together with, however not restricted to, a unicorn piñata, which I’ve taped again collectively for reuse subsequent yr.

The ultimate birthday-related expense was $5 for a Daniel Tiger stuffy that Kidwoods purchased for her sister to have on her birthday. I used to be so touched by this gesture of kindness that I ended up paying for Daniel and never having Kidwoods pay me again. Littlewoods was thrilled and shocked that she bought to open a gift too! I’ll undoubtedly be doing that once more.

Christmas Playing cards

This yr’s Christmas postcard

I continued my custom of ordering enterprise postcards for our household Christmas playing cards as they’re SO MUCH cheaper.

I like postcards as a result of:

  • Their smaller measurement means they’re inexpensive
  • If you choose “enterprise” postcards, they’re a fraction of the worth of standard “vacation” postcards
  • You possibly can nonetheless do full-color on either side of the cardboard
  • Postcard stamps are cheaper than common stamps
  • They arrive with the return handle already printed
  • You don’t have to purchase envelopes

I’ve been utilizing this hack for the final 8 years and it’s nonetheless going sturdy! I ordered from my previous standby, VistaPrint, and spent $52–together with delivery–on 150 full-color postcards. I really bought myself in gear this yr to order on Black Friday, which meant I used to be in a position to reap the benefits of a sale they had been working. I’ve bought to recollect to order on that day yearly!

Be part of a UFM Mastermind Group

My new gown and the women of their new ski base layers. Plus my ornamental Christmas trumpet…

There’s a BRAND NEW solution to take part in my January Uber Frugal Month (UFM) Problem: be part of a Mastermind Group!!!! These teams are your probability to fulfill (on video) with me and another frugal people as soon as every week for five weeks beginning in January! Learn extra right here; sign-up to affix right here.

Signal-up For The UFM to Win…. A PRIZE!

I’m freely giving three prizes to a few people who sign-up for the FREE January Uber Frugal Month:

Prize #1: A one-on-one primary monetary session with me, AKA a non-public reader case examine ($1,500 worth!).

Prize #2: A spot in a UFM Mastermind Group ($300 worth!).

Prize #3: A photograph of my canine with a nametag on her head along with your identify written on it by my seven-year-old. You suppose I’m kidding? This child LOVES placing nametags on this canine’s head (priceless worth!).

To enter, sign-up for the Uber Frugal Month within the field under. I’ll select three winners through random quantity generator on Monday, December nineteenth. For those who’ve already signed up for the January 2023 UFM, you’re already entered within the drawing!

Can I Discuss To You?

Sure! In September I launched Non-public Reader Case Research, that are a possibility for people to rent me for a full monetary session. I additionally now supply hourlong video calls. You possibly can:

  1. Rent me for a non-public monetary session right here.
  2. Schedule an hourlong name with me right here.

To study extra about non-public one-on-one consultations, examine this out.

I Love the Free Cash Monitoring Instruments from Private Capital!

I exploit a free on-line service referred to as Private Capital to arrange our cash. It tracks our spending, web value, investments, retirement, every thing.

Our halls are DECKED!

Understanding the place your cash’s at is without doubt one of the best methods to get a deal with in your funds. You can not make knowledgeable choices about your cash should you don’t understand how you’re spending it or how a lot you’ve. For those who’d wish to know extra about how Private Capital works, try my full write-up.

With no holistic image of your funds, there’s no solution to set financial savings, debt compensation or funding objectives. It’s a should, people. Private Capital (which is free) is an effective way for me to systematize our monetary overviews because it hyperlinks all of our accounts collectively and offers a complete image of our web value.

For those who don’t have a strong concept of the place your cash’s at–or the way you’re spending it–think about attempting Private Capital (word: the Private Capital hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks). 

Credit Playing cards: How We Purchase Every little thing

We purchase every thing we are able to with bank cards as a result of:

  1. 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 spend much less cash as a result of I KNOW I’m going to see each expense listed on the finish of the month.

  2. We get rewards. Bank card rewards are a easy solution to get one thing for nothing. By means of the playing cards we use, we get money again in addition to lodge and airline factors for purchasing stuff we had been going to purchase anyway.
  3. 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 unclean fable that carrying a stability in your bank card helps your credit score rating–IT DOES NOT. Paying your playing cards off IN FULL each month and retaining them open for a few years does assist your rating.

For extra on my bank card technique, try:

Money Again Playing cards to Contemplate

For those who’re now cash-back curious, there are a variety of playing cards available on the market providing fairly good money again percentages. Listed here are a couple of I feel are deal:

Portrait of a canine the day earlier than Thanksgiving

1) Blue Money Most popular® Card from American Categorical:

  • 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. fuel stations and on transit (together with taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and extra).
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn a $350 assertion credit score after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your new card inside the first 6 months.
  • $95 annual charge. Charges and costs particulars right here.
  • Phrases apply

2) Blue Money On a regular basis® Card from American Categorical:

  • 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. fuel 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 inside the first 6 months.
  • No annual charge. Charges and costs 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 charge.

Joyful holidays from us! Our household pic, taken impromptu by a good friend at a celebration

4) Capital One SavorOne Money Rewards Credit score Card:

  • Limitless 3% money again on eating, leisure, well-liked streaming providers and at grocery shops (excluding superstores like Walmart and Goal).
  • 1% again on all different purchases.
  • 8% money again on tickets at Vivid Seats by means of January 2023.
  • $200 money bonus after you spend $500 on purchases inside the first 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual charge.

5) Chase Freedom Limitless®:

  • Earn an additional 1.5% on every thing you purchase (on as much as $20,000 spent within the first yr), which is value as much as $300 money again:
    • 6.5% on journey bought by means of 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 by means of 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 charge.

Littlewoods: THRILLED that she bought to open a present too

6) Chase Freedom Flex℠:

  • 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 by means of 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 charge.

For those who’re thinking about journey rewards, individuals love the Chase Sapphire Most popular Card®. 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 by means of Chase Final Rewards.

Enormous 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 capability to do that, or suppose utilizing bank cards may immediate you to spend extra, follow 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! (word: the bank card hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks).

Money Again Earned This Month: $55.60

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 $2,780.18 on that card, which netted us $55.60.

Not some huge cash, but it surely’s cash we earned for purchasing stuff we had been going to purchase anyway! That is why I like money again bank card rewards–they’re the best solution to earn one thing for nothing.

To see how this provides up over the course of a yr, try 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.

The birthday lady requested we put on our matching attire for her social gathering

Having cash in a no or low curiosity financial savings account is a waste of sources–your cash is sitting there doing nothing. Don’t let your cash be lazy! Make it be just right for you! And now, get pleasure from some explanatory math:

Let’s say you’ve $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 3% in curiosity (affiliate hyperlink). In a single yr, your $5,000 may have elevated to $5,150. Which means you earned $150 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. 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 getting cash whereas doing nothing. Don’t be that particular person. Be the one who earns cash whereas sleeping.

Sure, We Solely Paid $28.24 for Cell Cellphone Service (for 2 telephones)

Our cellular phone service line merchandise just isn’t a typ0 (though that definitely is). We actually and really solely paid $28.24 for each of our telephones (that’s $14.12 per particular person for these of you into division). How is such trickery doable?!? We use an MVNO!

What’s an MVNO?

Final yr’s Christmas postcard

Glad you requested as a result of I used to be going to inform you anyway: It’s a cellular phone service re-seller.

MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of the cellular phone service world–the identical service, A LOT cheaper. For those who’re not utilizing an MVNO, switching to at least one is a straightforward, slam-dunk, do-it-right-away method to save cash each single month of each single yr endlessly and ever amen.

Listed here are a two MVNOs to think about:

For extra, I’ve a full chart of suppliers and their costs right here: How you can Save Cash on Your Cell Cellphone 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

Need to understand how we handle the remainder of our cash? Try How We Handle Our Cash: Behind The Scenes of The Frugalwoods Household Accounts

  • 2018 Christmas Postcard

    Don’t you’ve a rental property? Sure! We personal a rental property (often known as our first residence) in Cambridge, MA, which I focus on right here and extra lately, right here too.

  • 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 “good” 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 acquire insights into your personal spending and be impressed to take proactive management of your cash.
  • Questioning the place to start out with managing your cash? Take my free, 31-day Uber Frugal Month Problem.
  • For those who’re thinking about different issues I like, try Frugalwoods Recommends.
  • Why don’t you purchase every thing domestically? We do our greatest to help our local people and purchase as a lot of our meals as doable straight from our farmer neighbors. Our city doesn’t have any shops, so we depend on on-line ordering and large field shops for requirements. The closest shops are 45 minutes away and we go a couple of 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 under?

  • We don’t have a mortgage as a result of we paid it off (particulars right here)

  • 2014 PRE-CHILDREN postcard

    We pay payments in full the month we obtain them. That’s why you received’t see month-to-month funds for issues like automotive insurance coverage or property tax. These bills present up as the total 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 in addition How We Make Significant And Tax Environment friendly Charitable Donations.
  • Right here’s an outline of how we save for our youngsters’ larger training: How We Use 529 Plans To Save For School
  • We dwell on 66 acres in rural Vermont, so our utilities and family bills are completely different from conventional city and suburban properties:
    • We don’t pay for water, sewer, trash, or heating/cooling as a result of we have now 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 residence with wooden we harvest ourselves from our land, and we don’t have central air con (we use window models in the course of the hottest elements of the summer season).
    • There are, after all, prices related to sustaining these techniques (akin to 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 life-style, try my sequence This Month On The Homestead in addition to Metropolis vs. Nation: Which Is Cheaper? The Final Value Of Dwelling Showdown

For those who’re questioning about the rest, be at liberty to ask within the feedback part!

Alright you frugal cash voyeurs, feast your eyes on each greenback we spent in November:

Merchandise Quantity Notes
Groceries $810.64 Roughly $200 greater than regular attributable to:

  • Internet hosting Thanksgiving
  • Kidwoods’ Birthday Occasion

Cash very nicely spent!

Truck repairs $740.76 Ugh automotive repairs. The truck wanted entrance struts, an oil change and its annual state inspection. Very grateful for our native mechanic who expenses so much lower than a dealership!
Studded Snow Tires for the Outback $687.01 We purchased 4 225/65/R17 Nokian Nordman 5 studded snow tires for the Subaru Outback. Cautious readers will recall that we purchased used snow tires and rims over the summer season. However, our intention was at all times to make use of the used rims and purchase new snow tires. Can’t put a worth on security and safety throughout ice and snow season. Or, I assume you may and it’s $687.01…
Beer, wine and alcohol $299.24 A lot larger than regular on account of internet hosting Thanksgiving.
Fuel for vehicles $269.85
Canine and Rooster Meals $181.67
Eating places $159.25 Dates with my husband!
Canine Coaching $150.00 We took Gigi to a canine coach for a couple of periods, which had been nice!
Chickens $142.00 6 complete, frozen, free-range chickens from our farmer neighbors
The Canine Stocking + human clothes $127.87 It’s doable I had a bit an excessive amount of enjoyable on the Land’s Finish web site… I REGRET NOTHING
Preschool $120.00 For Littlewoods
Family provides $104.66 Increased than regular on account of shopping for some provides for the party
Bulk meals order $98.18 50lbs white complete wheat flour and 25lbs of natural oats, ordered by means of our native co-op’s bulk meals ordering
The Thanksgiving Turkey (+ some maple syrup) $81.00 Free vary, contemporary turkey raised by our farmer neighbors. It was DELICIOUS.
Web $72.00
Medical insurance $52.43
Christmas playing cards + delivery $52.00 150 full-color postcards from VistaPrint
City Heart Rental $50.00 For Kidwoods’ seventh party
The Vermont Almanac $37.10 A standby in our home yearly
Sensible plugs and good lights $35.73 I’m obsessive about these good plugs as they imply I can activate ALL of our Christmas lights with ONE button! I’m in heaven.

Additionally bought these good gentle strips to exchange our ageing fairy lights, that are burning out after seven years of steady use (affiliate hyperlinks).

What can I say, I like heat and comfortable lighting!!

Utilities: Electrical energy $31.52
Cellular phone service for 2 telephones $28.24 Thanks, low-cost MVNO!
Qwirkle recreation $26.49 Extremely advocate Qwirkle for all-ages household enjoyable (affiliate hyperlink).
Non-stick skillet $26.45 I make scrambled eggs for myself for lunch on a regular basis and so I bought this little nonstick skillet for my very own private egg utilization (affiliate hyperlink).
Physician go to co-pay $20.00
Spotify subscription $13.77
Canine License $13.00 Canine is now formally registered with the city
Daniel Tiger Stuffy $5.00 Awwww
TOTAL: $4,435.86

How was your November?

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