Friday, April 21, 2017

Saving Money and Being Frugal - Week in Review - April 15-21, 2017

Here's what the week from April 15th-21st looked like:

Progress on Financial Goals I Set for this Week

Last week, I set three main goals and two sub-goals to work on. This is how I did:

Meet with a financial advisor on Monday; and set up Sophia's and Oliva's first mutual funds/Roth IRAs.

Had a 45-minute meeting with the financial advisor and received the paperwork for the Roth IRAs. He did a chart showing what investing even a minimal amount - $50 per quarter over the past 40 years would have resulted in today. The investment amount would have been $8,200 and the cash value today: just over $121,000!

Imagine if someone had invested 10 times that amount - $500 per quarter or $2,000 per year. What a completely different life they would be living!

When the girls saw how their money could work for them, they were VERY excited! I'm so hopeful that this will pave a much better life for them if they start investing early; and understand money and how it can benefit them and their families. Their lives, hopefully, will be easier than mine and my parents.

- Check to see if the beneficiary information on all insurance contracts; and investment and retirement accounts are updated.

I took a look at a couple of investment accounts and they are set up properly. However, I didn't get everything done. The week went by too quickly and I didn't have a chance to do this completely before I left for the homeschool conference.

- Pay cash for all expenses at homeschool conference. Carefully consider new curriculum purchases.

The hotel was pre-paid to get a cheaper rate which was a pleasant surprise. So, the cash I brought for the hotel could be both used for curriculum as well as the surplus brought back home.

I went to the used curriculum/book sale first. Didn't see anything I needed. Went to the vendor hall and looked at the curriculum available. There were a few books I needed to complete this year's courses; and a couple I bought for next year.

Also invested in a CLEP book (a guide book as well as prep-test book) since we plan to use CLEP testing as a way to (hopefully) earn college credits. This can save a teen and her/his family thousands of dollars.

There were two curriculum purchases I wanted to make, but no vendors had them in stock. I could prepay for them, but decided to wait until closer to the start of next year.

So, all of the purchases I made at the homeschool conference were paid by cash. It was a good feeling walking out of there without adding to our debt level and having money leftover!

Progress on Blog Goals I Set for this Week

Since the majority of the week I'll be at a homeschool conference, the only realistic goal was to:

- Continue to do the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (letters O-S) and decluttering homeschool files.

I wrote the following posts this past week:

An additional blog post that was not part of my goals, but that I did:

- Wrote a book review about Homeschooling on a Shoe String on April 19, 2017.

Smart and Not-so-Smart Purchases

Smart: Purchasing items at the grocery store to bring to the homeschool conference to save money on breakfasts, lunches, beverages, and snacks. Rather than paying $12 for lunch, I spent $2.63.

Pre-purchasing the hotel  room online to get the least expensive rate.

Not-so-Smart: Having to eat out for dinners.

Frugal Meals

Didn't do so well this week. Had food we made at home for most of the week. However, three meals were easy, processed food - things that were frozen and all we had to do was heat them up (e.g., chicken patties, pizza, gyros).

Things should be better next week when I'm back from the homeschool conference.

What was on the table for dinner last week:

Saturday - Ham slice and corn.

Sunday  - Easter dinner at my brother's home.

Monday - Chicken patties on buns with peas.

Tuesday - Pizza.

Wednesday - Gyros for the family while I was at a homeschool conference. Out to eat for me.

Thursday - Out to eat for everyone.
Friday - Leftovers

My financial goals for this week:

This week I would like to:

- Check to see if the beneficiary information on all insurance contracts; and investment and retirement accounts are updated.

- Work on paying remaining debt so the only thing left is the mortgage (this is, of course, dependent on these funds being received):
    - Pay $1,000 towards consolidation debt (approximately $13,900 left...which is an embarrassingly high amount).
    - Pay half of extra line debt (approximately $2,000 left...same thing here...I don't like seeing this amount).

- Contribute $500 towards one of the retirement accounts.

- Contribute $500 towards emergency fund (goal: $30,000/have: $9,500).

Blog as it relates to saving money and home organization:

- Continue to do the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (letters T-X) and decluttering homeschool files.

- Do some of the actions in Letting Go of Debt- Growing Richer One Day at a Time:
     - Reevaluate your environment. Donate at least as many items as equals your age. Strive to have less rather than more.
     - Determine which day of the week is for grocery shopping and determine where to keep your ongoing grocery list.
     - Be creative - not wasteful - with the perishable foods in your home.
     - Make conscious, healthy, cost-cutting choices when planning lunches.
     - Make conscious choices about your immediate environment and about the environment at large (e.g., cut back on consumption and simplify cleaning products - like using vinegar instead of chemically-based products); choose not to buy a material good or prepackaged food.
      - Spend some time alone in nature to feel the abundance.

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich.*


Little Penpen said...

Letting Go of Debt book sounds interesting. I called about updating my beneficiary on my life insurance recently. He returned my call while I was sitting with my mother in law at the hospital. I never followed up; thanks for the reminder!!

Gary @ Super Saving Tips said...

Getting the girls interested in investing at an early age will surely benefit them for the rest of their lives. And it sounds like the homeschool conference was a success. I agree that the Letting Go of Debt book sounds interesting...feeling the abundance of nature is a wonderful way to feel gratitude for what we have, even when we may not feel like we have a lot.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the CLEP courses, I took several AP Courses in high school and going into college a semester ahead really helped. I wound up graduating a year early and I always got to register for classes a little ahead of most of my other classmates.