Hooray us, as it has been a nice and fairly uneventful month financially! Any questions? See you next month then! Kidding… Personally, it was a pretty exciting month though. Mr. SSC completed his first half-marathon, and Mrs. SSC is gearing up for a new job (hopefully, because so far only a verbal offer has been given, and the school seems completely bogged down in their bureaucratic hiring practice – but she is assured weekly a legit offer is on the way…). Only time will tell how that plays out, but is it an omen of disappointment and frustration that they’re that inefficient? Here are the highlights and how it all panned out.
The 6 month policy for car insurance was due, at a whopping $741, yipe! However, we got a tax return of ~$2,200, so that large bill was nicely offset. We did spend $185 on home improvements, mostly related to adding a second raised garden to our backyard. We planted some carrots, beets, beans, and squash (from seeds no less) and they’re all doing great, except for the beans. I think I may have planted them too deep, so next weekend I’ll plant more if I don’t see any sprouts. Also, we have decided to cut back our bi-weekly maids, to once a month, so in the future this will save us $132/month.
In more shocking news, Mr. SSC (me) is considering cutting cable tv! GAH!!! I’d swore that I’d enjoy it while we were working because the extra $100 per month isn’t going to change anything related to our timeline and all of that jazz. Recently, I accidentally deleted all of our recorded shows, movies etc.. Double GAH!!! As I sat there looking at the screen seeing “100% of your storage is available” I had cold sweats. I’d stored the whole season 2 of Better Call Saul and was enjoying getting to binge it over a week or so, Elementary was all stored, all of the kids movies (sorry kiddos), and more, and now they’re just gone.
That got me thinking, “You know, I think the only reason I’m keeping this is football.” When last season got to the playoffs, I kind of felt relieved. With games on Thursday night, Sunday, Sunday Night, and Monday night I realized at a minimum I was watching about 9-10 hrs of football a week. I record the night games and then fast forward so the games last about an hour to an hour and a half, but that’s a LOT of time watching tv. I think I’ll probably cancel it when the $44/month discount comes off this month. Or at least until I find out I have another year on my contract and can’t cancel, lol.
That leads me to ADT – which I can cancel this month too. Yeah, one less bill. I signed a 3 yr contract when we moved here thinking, “Why wouldn’t we want ADT for the whole time we live here. There seem to be lots of break-ins.” Also, I signed a 3 year electricity contract thinking, “I don’t want to deal with this every year, we’ll just do a 3 year contract.” It ends this month and we can pick our new plan. If you don’t live in Texas you’re probably asking yourself “What the hell is he talking about?”
In Texas, you get to choose your own electricity provider, and since our contract runs out at the end of this month, we (Mr. SSC) are in the process of re-evaluating providers to see if we (Mr. SSC) can find a better deal. You can choose all renewable energy, or variable rate plans, or you can go with fixed rate plans, you can even find some plans that give you free weekends (they’re pretty horrid and I can’t find a good one for us), and any mix I mentioned above. Now that we have years of electricity use to compare, we can find ones that won’t charge us $10 if we don’t use 900 kW hrs per month, and ones that give us a rebate if we use over 1300 kW hrs per month (sounds backwards I know, but they exist). After going down the rabbit hole of plan comparison, and much like 3 years ago, finding out that I’m wasting time comparing plans that will most likely all be within $15-$20 of each other, I am going with an all renewable energy plan that goes to half price kW hrs between 9pm and 9am everyday. It’s hard to pass up 0.03 cents per kW hr… Riveting stuff isn’t it? It may be the same cost month to month but I can feel a little better about it from an environmental standpoint, and we can try to lower it by using the dishwasher after 9pm, and do laundry before 9am on the weekends, since we’ve usually been up at least 3 hrs by then anyway…
Grocery bills were down which is nice, and finally we have decided to create a new budget line item of “family fun”. We’re cutting $50 each from our monthly allowances, to put into a “family fun” category. This money will be for fun little family adventures, like getting ice cream, going bowling, or the movies. Now that the kids are older, we want to do more stuff and instead of using the general fund or our allowances, we came up with this.
How’d your month go? Any thoughts on the potential new job situation or family allowance fund? Let us know!