Frugal Living - Challenge 2019 Daily Frugal Challenge

Discussion in 'The Daily Frugal: Living Life Pennywise' started by KmmCo, Jan 5, 2019.

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  1. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    Yesterday, I took D2 back to college in Massachusetts. She wanted to go away for spring break, but did not have enough money. I could not cover the cost of a plane ticket and D2 made me this offer. I would not have to pick her up from school and that would save me gas and ferry fare. So we agreed that I would give her $100 towards a plane ticket and my mom and sister would chip in and give her the rest. That sounds like a good deal to me. : )

    D3, on the other hand, is not a saver and I had to help her with her tuition this semester. Can it be that any time I have a 3 paycheck month, an expense pops arises to gobble it all up!? When she switched colleges, she lost a $2000 scholarship. No guarantee she will get any scholarship next year and this has led her to apply to be an RA at her college. By working as an RA, it would cover the cost of her housing. She just has to wait and see if she gets the job.

    D2 and D1 will be home next weeek and I have to set up doctor's appt for both girls. Let's hope I can fit them all in while they are home.

    Crankie and I are waiting to hear from our accountant to see if she has finalized the paperwork for our amended return. I really hope she has it done and that we can move forward with this and lower the amount we owe.
     
  2. XUfan

    XUfan Member Of The Month May 2010 Trader Group

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    Wow! I have no idea how you handle all of those expenses! I'd be tearing my hair out...and never sleeping!

    After the latest debit card data breach, I made the decision that we will use our credit cards instead of the debit card, and pay it off twice a month, when Hubby gets paid. It's worked out well, so far. But this past week, we spent a lot more than usual! When I logged in to my credit card this morning, I really didn't want to make that payment! LOL!!! Not only did we go out to eat too much, but we also took care of getting the titles for both cars (which we paid off recently). There was a fee for getting the title, and another fee for the new tags, AND we decided to put one of the cars in my name, so we had to pay for the transfer.

    I had originally planned to run a bunch of errands today, but some of them can't be done today. That meant I'd be doing half of them today, and half tomorrow...and since most of them are near each other, I'd be using twice as much gas as I need to. So...my new plan this week is to stay home at least two days...today and either Wed or Thurs (maybe both!). I won't be spending any money on gas or shopping. I can run all of the errands tomorrow, and then pick up my granddaughter from school.

    I honestly haven't been too frugal lately, and I really need to start working on it again! On a positive note, I was able to save $48 this week at the grocery stores, using only digital coupons from Kroger and Meijer. I haven't had the time or energy to clip coupons lately, so the digital ones have been a big help!
     
  3. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    @XUfan , I do not know how I do it either. Yes, I agree with you it keeps me up at night too. Just owing on our taxes has made my life miserable. Ususally we are deciding what to do with a refund, but I am seriously thinking about getting another job for a short time to help pay this debt off before the end of the year. The problem is that I do not want to travel far for a job and I am limited to where I can work off island since the ferries stop running at 11:45 pm Sunday through Thursday. I guess I have to take things one day at a time and hope for the best.
    I try to shop with gift cards where I can, but gift cards cannot cover everything. Let's hope I figure out some ways to earn more money or just cut back on expenses. Where there is a will, there's a way.
     
  4. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I am hunkered down at home now for the winter storm.... I went to work but my carpooler and I left 15 minutes before lunchtime along with a bunch of other people (with permission from the boss). He asked if we wanted to stay 15 more minutes until lunch and we all said no! It took 2.5 hours to get home, but I am glad we left when we did. About 2 hours later the road in to work was closed and we would have been stuck there until at least tomorrow morning. It is my "weekend" and I wanted to get out of there because I figured the road would get shut down eventually.

    Anyway, I ate my sack lunch and need to go figure out what is for dinner tonight from the pantry. This will be a cheap weekend because we are just going to stay in until Saturday when the weather is better and the roads are cleared. (DH made it home early too and just shoveled the drive and sidewalk enough to get into the house. He is on his own for lunch if he didn't eat yet. DS knew that school was cancelled today, so he never left the house this morning.)
     
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  5. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    No school again for DS today. Not snowing now, but the roads are ice sheets because is rained yesterday before snowing and froze overnight.....

    I got my normal Thursday laundry and dish washing chores done last night. I did not cook any dinner as we just all ate whatever we wanted to snack on last night. I guess I should cook something for lunch today though..... I watched some more youtube travel videos while the chores were in action. One was a couple doing a fall road trip through parts of Europe (staying in AirBnbs) that was super interesting. They did a lot of outdoors stuff like hiking and going to beaches or lakes, that you don't see on most Europe travel videos....

    Anyway today I am going to do more house decluttering, some paperwork for my rental, and then a lot of relaxing. DH already went out and cleared the sidewalk in front of our house one more time this morning, but I doubt very many people are going to be out walking today until the ice/snow melts....
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  6. Jorainna

    Jorainna Finder of Lost "Blinkies" Staff Member Moderator Trader Group

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    No snow here ... temps have warmed up and the western part of the state is getting tornados. :( I brought my lunch from home so I wouldn't have to go out in the weather today or spend money down town for lunch. Our company supplies Folgers coffee for us in the break room ... not as good as Starbucks or a McDonald's sugar free iced coffee, but it saves money for sure. Last week McDonald's raised the price of iced coffees from $1 to $1.99 ... :(
     
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  7. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Ughh, I would rather have snow than tornados for sure! We had hurricane force winds (gusts up to 97 miles per hour) during the blizzard yesterday though, and of course it was right when we were coming home from work. Fortunately it was mostly tailwind in the direction we were going..... I am so glad we left work when we did. The road was closed from 1:30 to 7:00 pm yesterday afternoon and after 7 pm we would not have attempted get home in the bad road conditions. I would way rather be stuck at home in bad weather than at work.......
     
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  8. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Made it out of the house this afternoon after the ice melted off the roads. Costco $100, Target $50. I needed work snacks and a few odds and ends. We picked up a box of breaded shrimp for an easy dinner tonight.
     
  9. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    Yesterday, I received an email from Walmart stating that the Savings Catcher program will end May 14, 2019. Last year, they made you use WAlmart pay in order to take advantage of SAvings catcher and now the program is being discontinued on 5/14/19. Not sure if it was underused or they were truly not the lowest prices around!



    Dear Customer,

    Here at Walmart, we've always been committed to providing you with low prices every day, so you and your family can save money and live better. Savings Catcher, which compares nationally advertised prices through submitted receipts, was designed to catch occasions when a competitor’s price on a particular item was found to be lower than what you paid for it at Walmart.

    What we've learned through Savings Catcher is that our efforts to lower prices upfront on thousands of items across our stores is working. Walmart's prices win most often when you submit your receipts, which tells us that the program's intent has been met.

    That's why we have decided to discontinue the Savings Catcher receipt submission, effective May 14, 2019. After May 14, you will no longer be able to submit your Walmart Pay eReceipts to Savings Catcher. But don’t worry, the money you have on your Savings Catcher eGift Card will remain yours to spend until you're ready to use it.

    We want to thank you for your loyalty and your participation in the program. We'll continue to work hard to offer you features and services that deliver on our promise to save you time and money—whether you're shopping in our stores or online at Walmart.com.

    Questions? Learn more about this change here.

    Sincerely,
    Your Walmart Savings Catcher Team
     
  10. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    @KmmCo this is a great option for travelling in Europe. In 2017, we went to Croatia with my family. My nephew and his wife met us later in the trip, but when they arrived early, the beds we ordered for them were not delivered. They found an AirBNB and for relatively cheap (like $100 a night) were able to rent a 2 bedroom home for a couple of days since it was mid week. Considering the summer prices of hotels anywhere in Europe, that was a steal. At the end of their trip, they found a 2 bedroom home with a pool, closer to the beach, for $150 a night. Worth looking into for sure. If you are looking for a place to visit, I recommend Croatia for it's beautiful scenery, beaches, delicious food and great people. You can drive to Italy or Slovenia in a couple of hours for a day trip. One year my sister took my girls to Venice and on the last trip, they visited caverns in Slovenia.
     
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  11. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Went to work an extra day yesterday - working for someone that wanted spring break off with her kiddo..... The money will hit my first April check and be used for my weekend trip in April....:D It was painful to sacrifice the day, but will be worth it when I get the pay.

    I did manage to get a lot of laundry done during the week, but I have a sink full of dishes waiting for me this morning. DH was home all day yesterday and didn't touch them at all- other than to make more dirty ones!:rolleyes:

    I also have a small check to take to the bank. When GE did a sale of some division, I got a surprise check ($58) for a partial share of the new company and got a few whole shares of the new company stock in my account. I think I will keep the shares just to see what happens with them. I have not even checked out the company yet to see if there are any dividends. I did notice I had one dividend reinvestment yesterday in my IRA and am expecting a couple more at the end of the month.

    I am planing on paying off the house in late April!!! I finally threw my $900 Christmas bonus at the mortgage early this week. I will be down to $6000+ after the April 1 payment that I am doing a few days early. I will get the payoff estimate and add some of our April pay to the $5000 I have been holding for the final payoff check. I was planning on a June 2019 payoff, so I will beat that by a couple of months. NO MORE HOUSE PAYMENTS - YEAH! I figured out that taxes and insurance are currently $316 a month, so I will deposit $400 a month into an account for "the house". I am going to add $100 to my food budget split between groceries and eating out because I feel like I need a little more cushion there. After that I will still have $1200+ a month to put aside for early retirement and my future retirement traveling.

    I feel like I have a handle on my regular age 60+ retirement funds as they are sufficient with the contributions I have made (factoring in pension and some SS at a later date). I just want to put a lot more aside in case I decide not to stay those last 3 years.... If I do leave at the end of 2019, then I will do a part-time job at a store or something until DH can retire at age 60 just to fill my time and beef up travel funding. No point in sitting home alone until he can leave his job ...... Who knows, I may decide to stay at work and buy a nice Winnebego instead! We will see how it goes over the next 9 months.
     
  12. Cathy

    Cathy Happy Birthday Cathy!!

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    Good for you KmmCo! You're a great example to all thrifty people...
     
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  13. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Yep, I work hard at managing my money.... It has been a struggle, but paying off the housing early is one of the best strategies that I have in my arsenal.

    Lunch today came out pretty good. My son wanted Chinese takeout and I had in mind to cook something easy. After the bank, I ran into the grocery across the street and found PF Chang meals on sale for $5.19. They serve 2, so to feed all 3 of us I also got a package of mini- egg rolls for $3. I also added some breaded shrimp that I already had in the freezer. This made a nice little plate of food with some variety.

    While at the store, I found a markdown deli pizza for $3.49 and a couple of frozen Italian meatball pkgs marked down. I threw them all into the freezer for later. I will probably need to go back to the store later, but at least I got lunch today instead of eating out. I am going to go get something out of the freezer for dinner tonight and tomorrow.....
     
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  14. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Ended up just doing the pizza for dinner last night. I do have some chicken out thawing for tonight. I will probably do some kind of a chicken and rice meal with it....

    Yesterday the only thing I really did was to go for a walk around the neighborhood since the weather was nicer. I did find .25 on the sidewalk that I pocketed.

    I also caught up on some older videos from a travel series on youtube - mostly Florida stuff - some places I have been and some not. I am ready to do some travelling for sure since I have not been anywhere since Sept. I am really ready to go on my weekend trip in April :D.
     
  15. Lori63

    Lori63 Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Have 8 petsitting jobs over this week (spring break). A little stressful, but I really need to get another vehicle. My Toyota Sienna has been wonderful, but it is starting to show/act it's age.

    I've gotten in the habit of NOT eating out-kinda proud of myself, but now that's it's not just me anymore it was kind of adding up! really on the lookout for coupons again-something I used to love to do, but got out of the habit when I wasn't buying many groceries.
     
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  16. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We had to head to Washington again to tie up some loose ends following my mother's death. The stress of losing a mother isn't easy to begin with, but hospice was a DISASTROUS NIGHTMARE. Then while the death of a parent is tough enough, one sister IS NOT handling it well and I'd really prefer NOT to be the target! :confused: UGH!

    In an odd twist, the sister with whom I've always had friction has been seeing things pretty much like us through the ordeal. We've never gotten along better!

    Needless to say, the past couple of months haven't exactly been pleasant or frugal.

    We've tried to save where we could, using as much "creative financing" as possible.

    Some of the highlights:

    We had a $1 fuel reward which we used at our regular grocer before leaving town. It got us a tank of gas for a little over $1 per gallon.

    We don't have a Walmart fuel center locally, but there is one on our way. You get a 3 cent per gallon discount for using a Walmart gift card there. Since we had a gift card earned with Swagbucks, the fuel at that station cost us nothing OOP.

    We somehow earned enough "bonus" fuel points at one store before we left town to get a 10 cent fuel reward. Still don't understand what sort of promotion offered the bonus, but I wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

    The store is clear across town and doesn't generally have the greatest sales, so we don't shop there that often -- especially since we don't have a store with a fuel center and our Chevron stations charge a lot more than our regular grocer for gasoline.

    However, the bonus points were certainly welcome since we normally don't earn enough points for even a 10 cent fuel reward. One stop along our route has a Chevron station that accepts the fuel points and charges exactly the same price as the grocery store. We were able to use a gas card earned through Swagbucks so no money OOP.

    We went exploring in my hometown one day and finally figured out where the new Walmart with a fuel center is located. It is much too far to drive for gas on a regular basis while we are there, but since we were out on an afternoon drive, we fueled up with our gift card once more.

    Then we managed to win enough Monopoly tokens to cash out for another 10 cent fuel reward and the store sent me a 10x fuel rewards gift card offer on a restaurant where we actually eat. (I hate those offers trying to get me to buy a card for a place I know we'll never eat.)

    We dropped by the store the morning we left, bought a $25 restaurant gift card and with the few groceries we'd purchased while we were there managed to gather enough points to save 30 cents per gallon at the same Chevron station on the trip home.

    After a stop at the Walmart where we stopped going to Washington we managed to get another tank of gas on our gift card. At least this long trip really didn't cost us that much money OOP for gas. We even returned home with enough fuel points to refill the tank for another $1 off per gallon discount we earned with special promotions.

    We stopped at one of the two remaining Kmart stores on our route over. They had an offer where you got $10 in points if you spent $50. The store had a LOT of really nice tops on clearance. I ended up finding 12 tops and blouses that fit. They had a retail value of more than $200 and we paid $72 OOP. The store is in Oregon so no sales tax! YIPPEE!

    The register spit out some offers that were new to me. We got two coupons that were good THAT DAY only. Usually, we get coupons that aren't good until the next day -- which don't do you much good when you are traveling and stores are so few and far between. However, I couldn't resist the ones good that day.

    One got us a pair of shoes for DH for $25 after sale and coupon.

    The other offered $3/$7 in "groceries, health and beauty" but it turned into a big hassle when it didn't want to credit. The "customer service" clerk tried to tell us that since "health and beauty" is part of "groceries" it was only good on health and beauty, but I had to point out that there WAS a comma in the wording indicating that the coupon was good on GROCERIES as well as health and beauty. :rolleyes:

    She finally agreed to write off the coupon as a "customer service" discount after calling her supervisor. I couldn't buy a boatload of groceries anyway, but I did manage to find things like three cans of pears, a couple bottles of mustard, tomato sauce and tostada shells which we could use for meals in our hotel room and we only paid a little over $4 OOP.

    The $10 we earned in points were only good for one week after they credited, so we stopped at the same store on our way back home. I would have preferred to use them at the one Idaho store on our route, but we were stopping on the expiration day so I didn't want to risk it in case something came up.

    We found four bags of trail mix on markdown for $1.12 each and I found another clearance top. We purchased those for a little over $1 OOP after points and the register spit out a coupon good for $5 off a $15 purchase good ONLY on the next day.

    We stopped at the Idaho Kmart store the next day to use the $5/$15 coupon. I found two or three more nice clearance tops -- even cheaper than the other store, plus another two pairs of the slippers I love. They were on sale Buy one, get one half off so I could have put back a top or two, but didn't because they were such a good price.

    We used B1G1 coupons for what few meals we ate on the road. We had a coupon for Arby's Gyro sandwiches which were our lunch on the way over. We'd tried -- unsuccessfully -- to use the coupon here at home, but that was far from the first time we'd had problems with our local Arby's restaurants. They are always friendly at the truck stop location where we ended up using the coupon.

    Picked up frozen food at the Grocery Outlet which we were supposed to heat up in our hotel room microwave that night. However, I was so exhausted I fell asleep and DH just munched on discounted muffins I'd picked up while he was fueling at Walmart.

    We had a pretty disastrous meal at Wendy's in The Dalles, Oregon on our last trip, so were going to "splurge" on a 15 percent AARP discount at Denny's going over. However, we had to walk out when we were seated at a booth and had wait staff walking all around us but NO ONE would take our order. When that happens, the entire meal is generally a disaster so we figured we'd better just cut our losses and leave without eating.

    We ended up using a B1G1 chicken sandwich coupon at KFC which is right outside the Kmart store where we shopped. Not the most thrilling lunch, but it filled a hole in our stomachs.

    We got B1G1 sandwiches at Subway in The Dalles on the way home, which was a much better experience than we had at the other restaurants in that town. Guess we'll have to start grabbing meals there from now on. ;)

    We picked up B1G1 brown rice bowls for lunch on the road the next day, but the restaurant had really hiked its prices so we may look for other options next time through.

    We had a great experience at the Denny's across from our hotel in Ontario, Oregon on our way home last time, so were eager to give it another try this time. However, we certainly missed the enthusiastic and efficient waitress and cook we had the first time.

    Choice Hotels currently has a "Stay two nights, get one free" offer going. You don't actually earn enough points to stay at most of their hotels, but the added points are still nothing to sneeze at. We stayed one night going and one coming back, so earned 8,000 points -- plus Choice gives us a $5 Starbucks card each time we stay Sunday through Thursday so we earned $10 in gift cards on the trip.

    The hotel where we stay when we visit family gives us a great weekly rate, but you don't earn points or gift cards with that option. We can live with that considering we save at least 50 percent over similar hotels.
     
  17. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Found out today that our favorite discount store is changing its focus/branching out a bit. The owner actually has two stores side-by-side. The original and largest used to be a Safeway and the one next door used to be a chain pharmacy -- i.e. there is a LOT of floor space. However, the owner took a jaunt into carrying a regular stock of groceries for only a short while. It was great while it lasted, but it didn't last. :(

    Then we got Grocery Outlet for a while, but the three stores in our part of the state apparently didn't have committed owners, because they didn't last either.

    Today the discount store posted that it was turning part of the second/old pharmacy store into an outlet which will finally sell liquidation groceries on a regular basis, instead of just getting a few here and there two to four times a year after a convention when vendors sell to dollar/discount stores in Las Vegas.

    The rest of the store will continue to be mostly office/teaching supplies, but if it is successful they hope to expand the grocery section -- and the store is going to carry dairy and produce which I didn't expect but am THRILLED to learn.

    Grand opening is this weekend, but we can't make it so we dropped in today. Got in on a few good deals, even though they haven't yet got the groceries fully stocked.

    Large packs of tostada shells were 49 cents, got some health food brand whole grain side dishes for $1 to $1.49. Boxes of wild rice were $1.39 -- we haven't gotten a deal on that stuff in YEARS! Even picked up three cans of organic fire roasted tomatoes -- not because we actually needed tomatoes, but because the roasted ones have so much more flavor but rarely go on sale. They had a good deal on gourmet coffee ($2.99 a bag), but we weren't in need of any.

    At least it will give us a few more buying options. Sure hope it will work out -- i.e prices won't get too high or selection get too low.
     
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  18. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We had tacos for lunch with some markdown hamburger from Walmart. There is enough leftover meat to do nachos for dinner tonight.....

    The BIG NEWS TODAY: I went ahead and did the wire transfer to pay off the mortgage!! With the added fees/interest/ etc it was $6200 so it empties out my savings account, but I get paid again in about 10 days and will start putting money back in for a little cash cushion. I just was so close that I had to get it done now!!! I think the big way that I am celebrating is to take a nap this afternoon ....

    My next priority is to fully fund my HSA account. I am taking $50 a paycheck out now, but will just put most of my paycheck in there starting in May - leaving a little cash for spending money only. After that I will do my 401(k) catch up and then finish my 2019 IRA contribution toward the end of the year. (We will easily live on DH's take home pay now that there is no mortgage bill.)

    The one splurge that I am doing this summer is to buy a nice camera at around $800 -$900 before my October vacation gets here. I have plenty of time to shop around and find what I want before then.

    Last night I had my son order some pizza delivery when I got home from work. It was $26 plus I gave the driver a $5 tip. Kind of expensive, but I didn't feel like cooking anything and I came home from work hungry. There is enough pizza for him to have leftovers tonight if he wants that instead of the nachos.....

    On the way back from the bank today, we stopped at Costco and bought 3 items - got out of the store for only $20..... :D That is the last of my grocery shopping for the month.....
     
  19. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    @KmmCo , Congratulations on paying off your mortgage. You did it!

    Do not know that I will ever be mortgage free but you give me hope!

    FYI. Remember to pay your house insurance and taxes. Friends of mine had no mortgage and forgot to pay house insurance. You know the rest....the house caught fire and they lost everything. They were not hurt, and did rebuild. Tough lesson to learn the hard way!
     
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  20. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I have a lot of money in the escrow account that will come back to me to stash in my savings account for the second half taxes due in June and a start toward the next insurance payment in the fall.... That is kind of why I decided to pay it off now instead of later next month, as it takes about 20- 30 days for that check to arrive.

    I am going to call and see if I can do something like divide the insurance payments up quarterly or semi-annually instead of paying the whole amount at once. I do that with my condo and there is a $5 service fee, but it makes it easier to spread it out a bit..... I am also going to start a biweekly auto transfer to savings for the following years taxes/insurance.

    I still can't believe I actually managed to pay the loan off in less than 15 years without doing a refinance. On our old house we went to a 15 year loan after a couple of years in and it only raised the payments about $150/month. That was a no brainer at the time. This time, I just hunkered down and payed everything I could on the house instead of trying to refinance. Some months it was a lot and some months only $30-$40 extra, but it added up over time......

    --------------------
    My son and I finished the leftover pizza for dinner last night and DH ate some other leftovers. I guess if we get hungry tonight the taco meat is still there for dinner. I don't know if I want anything though as DH and I stuffed ourselves at Olive Garden for lunch. I had the unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks lunch special and he ordered some sort of shrimp pasta. I have been too lazy to cook again this weekend for sure.

    ~I have my plans for my Phoenix trip started as far as stuff to do. I found out the Art Museum has a "donation admission" night on Wed and I can get there from a park and ride near my hotel on the light rail. I will go there for a couple of hours. It is worth a $5 donation for a couple of hours, but I don't really want to go for the full price as there are other museums that I would rather pay for instead. I found a National Monument that I want to see on the way to Sedona so I will do that on Thursday and buy my annual park pass there since I need it anyway for next fall.....

    ~ doing some research to on my big October vacation. I figured out where to do shuttle parking in Springdale for Zion Park since we will probably not get there early enough to snag a space inside the park. I am looking at doing Airbnb vs hotel at Joshua Tree just so we can have a kitchen.... I booked a cheap hotel in Williams AZ after our Grand Canyon day instead of going into Flagstaff. I figured it would cut a few miles off our trip back toward Joshua Tree It is literally a place to sleep, shower, and grab breakfast on the way out so we are just doing an economy hotel chain. I only wanted to stay at the rim for one night as it is pretty expensive. This way we still have all day at the park after checking out, then we can dash to the in-town hotel for the night .... I am probably doing it backwards by going Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree but it works out better not to be at Grand Canyon on a weekend anyway. Joshua Tree will be busy too over the weekend, but I got a tip to go in the East entrance instead of going in the West one toward the LA side to avoid most of the traffic. I think I will focus on staying in 29 Palms area instead of in the town of Joshua Tree itself.
     
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