February was a boring month from the angle of the outdated expense report. Not a lot was bought apart from the peculiar, 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 possibility 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 in case you have that uncommon low-cost month? Think about it a boon to your financial savings account, not an invite to overspend the following month.
We skied a ton in February, which was a wonderful utilization of the season passes and tools we’d already paid for. We snowshoed by the woods lots–one other nice use of beforehand bought gear. We ice skated at our free group rink utilizing skates from the thrift retailer. We cooked good meals at residence. We frolicked with our buddies a bunch and celebrated Littlewoods’ fourth birthday in true frugal kind with a home made chocolate cake and items bought final summer time from storage gross sales and the thrift retailer. A pleasant wintry month!
Come Hear Me Discuss 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 Discuss Cash: The Legacy You Depart convention. I’m honored to be on this panel with:
- Sandy Smith, the famend founding father of the Elevate Neighborhood and YesIAmCheap.com (finest web site title ever). Sandy shaped the Elevate Neighborhood to, “elevate consciousness and shine higher mild on the monetary points that folks of coloration face. The 400+ members of the Elevate Neighborhood group are monetary professionals, lecturers, writers, bloggers, and educators of coloration who’re dedicated to bettering the monetary lives of individuals of coloration.”
- Jamila Souffrant, the founding father of the extremely profitable JourneytoLaunch.com. I used to be really on Jamila’s Journey to Launch podcast again in 2018 and met her in individual once we have been each pregnant with our little ladies (who at the moment are FOUR!).
Should you’re all in favour of attending this three-day on-line convention, it can save you $5 off the $49 ticket worth 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 exploit a free on-line service referred to as Private Capital to maintain observe of our cash: our spending, our web price, our investments, our retirement–every thing.
Monitoring bills is among the finest–and best–methods to get a deal with in your funds. You completely, positively can not make knowledgeable choices about your cash for those who don’t understand how you’re spending it or how a lot you have got. Should you’d wish 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 web price.
Should you’re not monitoring your bills in an organized trend, you would possibly take into account attempting Private Capital. Right here’s a extra detailed clarification of how I exploit Private Capital (word: the Private Capital hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks).
Credit Playing cards: How We Purchase Every part
We purchase every thing we are able to 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 reveals up in our month-to-month expense report from Private Capital. I additionally assume 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 the playing cards we use, we get money again in addition to resort 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 delusion 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 protecting 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 below are some good choices that don’t have annual charges:
1) Blue Money On a regular basis® Card from American Specific provides 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 for those who spend $2,000 inside the first 6 months of card membership
2) Capital One Quicksilver Money Rewards Credit score Card provides a flat money again proportion:
- Limitless 1.5% money again on all purchases
- Earn $200 for those who spend $500 or extra in purchases inside the first three months of card membership
- 3% money again on eating, entertainment, widespread streaming companies 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 for those who spend $500 on purchases inside 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 a further 1.5% money again on every thing 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, get pleasure from 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
Should you’re all in favour of journey rewards, folks love the Chase Sapphire Most popular. You’ll be able to earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, which is $750 if you redeem by Chase Final Rewards.
One of the simplest ways to discover a bank card that’ll be just right for you is to seek for it your self; I’ve a information that will help you do exactly that: The Greatest Credit score Playing cards (and Credit score Card Rewards)!
Big caveat to bank card utilization: you MUST pay your bank card payments in full each single month, with no exceptions. Should you’re involved about your means to do that, or assume utilizing bank cards would possibly immediate you to spend extra, keep on with a debit card or money. However in case you have no drawback 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: $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, but it surely’s cash we earned for purchasing stuff we have been going to purchase anyway! This is the reason 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 straightforward 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 be just right for you! And now, get pleasure from some explanatory math:
Let’s say you have got $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 Specific Private Financial savings account, which–as of this writing–earns 0.50% in curiosity. In a single yr, your $5,000 may have elevated to $5,025. Meaning you earned $25 simply by having your cash in a high-interest account.
And also you didn’t need to 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 getting cash whereas doing nothing. Don’t be that individual.
Be the one who 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 Price On-line Financial savings Accounts.
Sure, We Solely Paid $28.09 for Cell Telephone Service (for 2 telephones)
Our mobile phone service line merchandise just isn’t a typ0 (though that actually is). We actually and actually solely paid $28.09 for each of our telephones (that’s $14.05 per individual for these of you into division). How is such trickery potential?!? 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 mobile phone service re-seller.
MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of the mobile phone service world–it’s the identical service, A LOT cheaper. Should you’re not utilizing an MVNO, switching to 1 is a simple, slam-dunk, do-it-right-away approach to economize each single month of each single yr without end and ever amen.
Listed below are a number of nice MVNOs to think about:
For extra, I’ve a full chart of suppliers and their costs right here: The way 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.
Notice: these MVNO hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks.
Expense Report FAQs
However Mrs. Frugalwoods, Don’t You Pay For X, Y, Or Even Z???
Questioning about widespread bills you don’t see listed under?
Should you’re questioning about anything, be happy to ask within the feedback part!
Alright you frugal cash voyeurs, feast your eyes on each greenback we spent in February:
|Fuel for automobiles||$328.68||Yikes, fuel costs!!! Additionally, yikes, driving to ski lots!!!!|
|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 bushes.|
|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 give up, and many others.
|Beer, wine and alcohol||$139.69||The finer issues of life.|
Well being Insurance coverage Premium
|Utilities: Electrical energy||$30.19||We’ve got photo voltaic (which I element right here); that is our month-to-month base worth 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 (but it surely’s the identical service!!!).
Should you’re not utilizing an MVNO, take a look at this publish to see if you may make the swap. The financial savings are super.
|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.|
How was your February?
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