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HomeSimple LivingWalkie Talkies And Different December 2022 Bills

Walkie Talkies And Different December 2022 Bills

Walkie Talkies And Different December 2022 Bills

The canine booty wearer in query

Ahhh decadent December! Stuffed with meals, wine, life-sized penguin stuffies and canine booties. December at all times guarantees to be a high-spend month, however that doesn’t must spell disaster. In case you plan for costly months, should you calculate what you spend on one thing like Christmas and save up over the course of a 12 months, you may conclude a month like December with satisfaction versus remorse. The purpose in all of this–all of this cash consciousness and smart monetary administration–isn’t to NEVER spend cash.

The purpose (in my view, anyway) is to spend cash:

  1. In alignment together with your values and on what issues most to you
  2. In a deliberate, proactive manner versus an impulsive, reactive manner
  3. To boost happiness, to not create stress
  4. Solely on issues you may truly afford

The way you articulate these 4 pillars of spending is as much as you, and for me? Final month it was on meals, wine and penguin stuffies. = My BFF for Christmas Presents

This 12 months I as soon as once more turned to to ship bottles of wine to our prolonged household (dad and mom and siblings). I’m a fan of consumable presents that don’t add litter and are one thing I do know the recipient will get pleasure from. For the 2 non-wine drinkers in our household, I despatched reward playing cards to their favourite native eating places. One other consumable that can get used!

Cheers to my wine membership!

I like as a result of:

  1. The wine prices the identical because it does in a retailer. I’ve price-checked the bottles and doesn’t mark them up.
  2. The choice is immense. They’ve obtained each form of wine (additionally liquor and port) conceivable!
  3. It’s so fast and straightforward. I’ve saved my member of the family’s addresses AND their most popular forms of wine on the location so I’ve a straightforward reference level every year. It takes me quarter-hour to order Christmas presents for my whole household!
  4. FREE SHIPPING. I saved the most effective for final. I pay $59 per 12 months to be a “Wine Stewardship Member,” which qualifies me without spending a dime delivery on all of my purchases. Free delivery! Essential since bottles of wine are heavy and costly to ship. This works out for me since I ship no less than 5 instances of wine a 12 months and every case would price ~$20 to ship.

All in all, is the reply to my gifting prayers and these are affiliate hyperlinks.

Christmas Presents: for Academics and the Angel Tree

On the astute recommendation a number of years in the past from Frugalwoods readers who’re academics, we give money to our youngsters’ academics each December. I write a pleasant be aware and stick some money within the card. Once more, I need to give folks one thing they’ll use. And everybody can use money!

For the Angel Tree at church, we purchase regardless of the little one has requested.

My Personal Kids Get Used Christmas Presents

Checking to see if the reindeer visited–they depart carrot shavings exterior our home!

My husband and I don’t change presents with one another–a alternative we made nearly a decade in the past. We as a substitute put cash in direction of experiences we get pleasure from, similar to: kid-free getaways, meals out at eating places, visits to breweries and our ski passes! We each want experiences over stuff, so this works completely for us.

Our children obtain hand-me-down and storage sale finds! I scour thrift shops and yard gross sales all 12 months lengthy to gather issues I do know they’ll love. In our home, Santa outlets used.

For extra on how I handle actually cheap gifting for my children, try:

…However I’m Not A Hardliner About It

Whereas 95% of my children’ presents come from yard gross sales/hand-me-downs, I’m not a zealot. I feel it’s all about steadiness. I don’t imagine my kids want tons of of {dollars} price of toys for each birthday and Christmas, however I additionally imagine it’s beautiful for them to obtain a couple of presents they’ve particularly requested. As our youngsters become old (they’re presently 7 and nearly 5), they naturally have particular pursuits and particular reward requests for Santa. We determined this 12 months that Santa would fulfill two of every little one’s particular reward requests. The ladies wrote letters to Santa again in November and my fantastic mother wrote them again as Santa (aspect be aware: that is AMAZING for teenagers who can learn–I believed Kidwoods was going to move out from pleasure when she learn her letter from Santa).

On Christmas morning, Santa delivered 4 presents to every little one, two used and two new, though the children have no idea the distinction–I started the custom of eradicating all packaging and tags from new presents years in the past in order that every little thing appears the identical after they unwrap it.

Right here’s What We Bought New:

  1. Presents!

    Snow globes: each women requested snow globes and so Santa Dada purchased two at Walmart (affiliate hyperlink).

  2. One massive penguin: for unknown causes, Kidwoods needed a “life-sized penguin stuffy” and Walmart delivered (affiliate hyperlink).. When she opened it, she introduced, “All my penguin desires got here true!!!!” so I assume that was a superb name on our half. Huge penguin now will get paraded round the home nonstop, a lot to the chagrin of the canine who I feel may suppose it’s actual…
  3. Walkie Talkies: these are FABULOUS as a result of they drive the women to play collaboratively (affiliate hyperlink). They’re fairly good about enjoying collectively as it’s, however these convey their cooperation to the following stage. In any case, it’s not very enjoyable to one-sided Walkie (as evidenced by the truth that Kidwoods bails each time Littlewoods reverts to respiration loudly into her Walkie… ). I actually attempt to maintain a straight face as a mother or father.
  4. Nail polish from Piggy Paint: The ladies are obsessive about me portray their nails, however I had misgivings about all of the chemical compounds in my grownup nail polish (affiliate hyperlink). Enter: PiggyPaint. These items is non-toxic and water-based and has NO odor. Severely. It’s additionally very straightforward to use. Given these attributes, we let the women paint their very own nails with it. You’ve already precisely predicted the outcomes of this exercise: nail polish spilled on the ground, nail polish spilled on the desk, nail polish on clothes, nail polish on the canine, and the worst manicures you’ve ever seen. Nevertheless it doesn’t matter! The stuff is so simply eliminated, it’s mainly like wiping up crayon marks. The draw back is that it doesn’t final lengthy on nails AT ALL, however the children don’t care–they simply repaint their nails the following day.

Canine Mountain climbing Booties

Gigi within the snow, wishing for booties

Gigi, for her half, obtained a number of toys for Christmas in addition to a stocking filled with tennis balls. She was elated. She additionally obtained these hound climbing booties, about which she is demonstrably much less elated. As temperatures dropped and snow cowl ensued, Gigi started having bother on our hikes with ice getting caught between her little toe-sies. We tried making use of Musher’s Secret (a wax that’s supposed to maintain the paws ice-free), nevertheless it didn’t work. Subsequent, we tried the booties we’d used for Gracie (Frugal Hound 1.0), however these weren’t sturdy sufficient and saved falling off. Since Gigi hikes twice a day (as soon as with me and as soon as with Mr. FW), we wanted a technique to maintain her snug and so, we ordered sled canine booties. In fact, as quickly as they arrived it warmed up and we haven’t wanted to make use of them but. However, they match her securely and seem very sturdy.

Electrical Kettle

A number of years in the past we purchased an inexpensive, knock-off electrical kettle, which we use each day to make our espresso, oatmeal and tea. Final month it broke. Mr. FW took it aside to see if he might repair it and found that on the principle electrical leads inside the bottom, subsequent to the heating factor, the insulation had began cracking and flaking off the wires. It is a big security and fireplace hazard! Clearly one of many methods they lower prices on this knock-off kettle was by cheaping out on the warmth insulation wires. Scary! In gentle of this discovery, we determined to spend extra and get this Cuisinart kettle as a alternative (affiliate hyperlink).

We haven’t opened up the brand new kettle to verify on the wire insulation, however our hope is {that a} model title has a long run stake in not burning down folks’s properties. We hope there are higher long-term security selections being made on this kettle…. as a result of YIKES.

Can I Speak To You?

Our winter hotter marvel: the wooden range

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

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

To be taught extra about one-on-one consultations with me, verify 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 prepare our cash. It tracks our spending, internet price, investments, retirement, every little thing.

Understanding the place your cash’s at is likely one of the best methods to get a deal with in your funds. You can not make knowledgeable selections about your cash should you don’t know the way you’re spending it or how a lot you will have. In case you’d prefer to know extra about how Private Capital works, try my full write-up.

With out a holistic image of your funds, there’s no technique to set financial savings, debt compensation or funding objectives. It’s a should, of us. 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 supplies a complete image of our internet price.

In case you 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 (be aware: the Private Capital hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks). 

Credit Playing cards: How We Purchase Every thing

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

  1. Dawn as seen on a morning hike

    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 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 technique 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 getting 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 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 preserving them open for a few years does assist your rating.

For extra on my bank card technique, try:

Money Again Playing cards to Take into account

In case you’re now cash-back curious, there are a variety of playing cards in the marketplace providing fairly good money again percentages. Listed below are a couple of I feel are a superb deal:

1) Blue Money Most well-liked® Card from American Specific:

  • 6% money again at U.S. supermarkets on as much as $6,000 per 12 months in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% money again on choose U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% money again at U.S. gasoline stations and on transit (together with taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and extra).
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn a $250 assertion credit score after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your new Card inside the first 6 months
  • $0 intro annual charge for the primary 12 months, then $95. Charges and charges particulars right here.
  • Phrases apply

Kidwoods at our church’s Christmas Eve service

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

  • 3% money again at U.S. supermarkets (on as much as $6,000 per 12 months in purchases, then 1%).
  • 3% Money Again at U.S. gasoline stations, on as much as $6,000 per 12 months, then 1%.
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn as much as $250 – Right here’s How: Earn as much as $150 again whenever you store with PayPal. Earn 20% again as an announcement credit score on purchases whenever you use your new Card to take a look at with PayPal at retailers within the first 6 months of Card Membership, as much as $150 again. Plus, earn $100 again as an announcement credit score after you spend $2,000 in purchases in your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • No annual charge. Charges and charges 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.

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 little thing you purchase (on as much as $20,000 spent within the first 12 months), which is price 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 12 months (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’ snow creation

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.

In case you’re taken with journey rewards, folks love the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked Card®. You may earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, which is $750 whenever 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. In case you’re involved about your skill to do that, or suppose utilizing bank cards may immediate you to spend extra, persist with a debit card or money. However when you have no drawback paying that invoice in full each month? I like to recommend you bank card away, my pal! (be aware: the bank card hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks).

Money Again Earned This Month: $62.18

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 $3,109.04 on that card, which netted us $62.18.

Not some huge cash, nevertheless it’s cash we earned for getting stuff we had been going to purchase anyway! That is why I really like money again bank card rewards–they’re the only technique to earn one thing for nothing.

To see how this provides up over the course of a 12 months, try How I Made $712.59 With My Money Again Credit score Card.

The place’s Your Cash?

Child in a tree

One other straightforward technique 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 towards you.

Having cash in a no or low curiosity financial savings account is a waste of assets–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 will have $5,000 in a financial savings account that earns 0% curiosity. In a 12 months’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 3.3% in curiosity (affiliate hyperlink). In a single 12 months, your $5,000 may have elevated to $5,165. Which means you earned $165 simply by having your cash in a high-interest account.

And also you didn’t must 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 creating wealth 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 Telephone Service (for 2 telephones)

Dawn view from our again porch

Our cellphone service line merchandise isn’t a typ0 (though that actually 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?

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

MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of the cellphone service world–the identical service, A LOT cheaper. In case you’re not utilizing an MVNO, switching to at least one is a straightforward, slam-dunk, do-it-right-away manner to economize each single month of each single 12 months ceaselessly and ever amen.

Listed below are a couple of MVNOs to contemplate:

For extra, I’ve a full chart of suppliers and their costs right here: How you can 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 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 know the way we handle the remainder of our cash? Try How We Handle Our Cash: Behind The Scenes of The Frugalwoods Household Accounts
  • Christmas tree by means of the window!

    Don’t you will have 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 not too long ago, 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 manner” to spend and no “excellent” price range.
  • Are we essentially the most frugal frugal folks on earth? Completely not! My hope is that by being clear about our spending, you may achieve insights into your individual spending and be impressed to take proactive management of your cash.
  • Questioning the place to begin with managing your cash? Take my free, 31-day Uber Frugal Month Problem.
  • In case you’re taken with different issues I really like, try Frugalwoods Recommends.
  • Why don’t you purchase every little thing domestically? We do our greatest to assist our local people and purchase as a lot of our meals as doable instantly 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 instances a month to refill 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)

  • Used presents ‘neath this Christmas tree

    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 complete annual (or bi-annual, and so on) quantity within the month we pay them.

  • Right here’s what we do for medical health insurance.
  • We don’t have any money owed and we paid money for our automobiles.
  • 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’ increased schooling: How We Use 529 Plans To Save For Faculty
  • 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’ve a nicely, a septic system, our city doesn’t present trash pick-up (we take it to a switch station as soon as per 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 through the hottest elements of the summer time).
    • There are, after all, prices related to sustaining these techniques (similar to having our septic system pumped and inspected) and people bills present up within the months we pay them.
    • Now we have photo voltaic panels, which account for our low electrical energy invoice.
    • For extra on our rural way of life, try my sequence This Month On The Homestead in addition to Metropolis vs. Nation: Which Is Cheaper? The Final Price Of Dwelling Showdown

In case you’re questioning about the rest, be happy to ask within the feedback part!

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

Merchandise Quantity Notes
Groceries $939.03 Christmas feast meals!!! Together with one bag of Christmas Cheetos for ME.
Truck repairs; Subaru tires $840.45 The truck wanted new struts and a tie rod finish whereas the Subaru wanted to have its new snow tires mounted and balanced (now that they’re mounted on their rims, Mr. FW will change them himself every season).
Gasoline for automobiles $386.20
Christmas Presents: prolonged household, academics, angel tree little one and our youngsters $383.55 See full particulars above. Temporary rundown (affiliate hyperlinks):

Wine from

Snow globes from Walmart

 Life-sized penguin stuffy

Nail polish from Piggy Paint

Money for academics

Angel Tree reward

Preschool $260.00 For Littlewoods
Vet go to + prescription medicines $243.60 For doggo
Eating places $205.29
Rooster meals, bigger hen feeder, pet food, canine treats, canine toys for Christmas $201.27 All from Tractor Provide
Family provides $172.54
Spherical-trip flight to NYC $153.08 I’m going to NYC subsequent month for a marriage (I’m going to be my pal’s +1 as we depart our husbands and children at residence. We’re fairly enthusiastic about this.)
Beer, wine, alcohol $151.86 For Christmas spirits!
Sheets: one set of king sized $150.70 1 set of king-sized sheets from LL Bean.

We’ve at all times gotten tremendous low cost sheets prior to now and–unsurprisingly–all of them rip and collapse inside a 12 months. Our hope is that by spending A LOT extra, these’ll last more than a 12 months.

Electrical Kettle $99.64 Electrical Kettle (affiliate hyperlink). Related story because the sheets–we’ve at all times gotten knock-off kettles prior to now and so they’ve damaged. Hoping that by spending extra, this’ll last more.
Oil change & check-up for Subaru $78.54 We’re being very diligent about doing all of the dealer-recommended check-ups on the Subaru.
Diesel & ethanol-free gasoline for farm tools $77.02 10 gals diesel, 5 gals ethanol-free gasoline
Web $72.00
Medical insurance $52.43
Thrift retailer $45.00 A ski coat for me, an insulated flannel shirt for Mr. FW and a few toys for the children.
US Postal Service $44.00 Stamps for our Christmas postcards
Canine booties! $37.40 Canine booties
Walkie Talkies and rechargeable batteries $36.76 Walkie Talkies and rechargeable batteries (affiliate hyperlinks). The final word in sibling cooperative play.
Canine kongs $35.93 2 XL canine Kongs for Gigi. She loves them! (affiliate hyperlink)
Lifetime provide of shear bolts for tractor snowblower $34.51
Utilities: Electrical energy $30.98 Now we have photo voltaic (which I element right here); that is our month-to-month base value for remaining grid tied.
Ski program for Kidwoods $28.99
Mobile phone service for 2 telephones $28.24 Thanks, low cost MVNO!
Tailgate deal with $22.25 The tailgate deal with on our truck broke, so Mr. FW goes to exchange it with this new one (affiliate hyperlink).
Torx bit socket set $17.09 Torx Bit Socket Set for all of your torx bit socketing wants (affiliate hyperlink).
Spotify $13.77 Music!!
Ski straps $13.77 Ski Straps to carry our skis collectively (affiliate hyperlink).
TOTAL: $4,855.89

How was your remaining month of 2022?

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