Memorial Day – A Great Time to Buy a Ski Pass!

Yup, its not even summer and we have already purchased our seasons passes for next winter.  Mr. SFF and I love heading to our favorite local mountain Smuggler’s Notch as often as possible once the snow flies.  We have had a seasons pass there for the past 13 years and next year will be no different.

But why am I talking about ski season when summer isn’t even here yet?  Well Smuggs has a great deal where if you buy your seasons pass by Memorial Day they will give you the previous year’s pre-Labor Day price.  This year it actually made a bigger difference than Continue reading “Memorial Day – A Great Time to Buy a Ski Pass!”

The Real Estate Blues

As I have previously mentioned, we currently own a duplex and rent out the other half.  We have been saving for another investment property and I will casually browse the listings to see what is available and we have even checked some out.  Unfortunately, they are pretty expensive so we need to save a little more to make sure we have 20% down plus closing costs and still leaving us a cash reserve.  I read a lot of blogs and get complete envy over the real estate pricing that other people talk about.  I see people buying single family homes for less than $100,000 and 4-plexes listed for $150,000.  This is so discouraging for me Continue reading “The Real Estate Blues”

Frugal and Fitness Freak

OK, well freak might be a strong word but in addition to being increasingly frugal, I am also a fitness nut.  Yes, I actually enjoy exercising most days and I love the results of being fit and in shape.  Although I have always been active, last year my fitness activity increased and I am in the best shape of my life (in my mid-30’s none the less).

Last spring my friend came across a LivingSocial deal for the Spartan Sprint race at Killington, VT.  She tried to recruit lots of friends but I was the only one brave enough to join.  A Spartan Race is an obstacle course race where Continue reading “Frugal and Fitness Freak”

The Cost of Commuting By Car vs Riding a Bike

Today I rode my bike to work for this first time this year.  Last summer I made a casual goal of riding once per week but was only mildly successful.  I am going to try again this year to see if I can make this happen.  I mean, Mr. SFF does it every day, year round, rain or snow, so I should be able to do it, right?

My "vehicle" this morning.
My “vehicle” this morning.

The commute is only 5 miles each way but does have a long gradual hill heading to work.  Thankfully we have a really nice Continue reading “The Cost of Commuting By Car vs Riding a Bike”

Net Paycheck Depression

Today is payday and normally a day I do a little happy dance (well, not an actual one dance but it is why I sit at a desk for 40 hours a week).  But have you ever looked at the gross amount amount of your paycheck and compared it to your net amount felt immediate depression?  Yup, that happens to me.  I am not raking in the money but I make a livable wage.  Unfortunately after all of the deductions are taken out I am left with such a small amount that it is really kinda sad.  Without giving you the exact dollar amount of all of my hard work, here is a breakdown of things based on percentage of gross.

Federal Income Tax: 4.8%2015-05-01 15.23.56-2
Social Security Tax: 5.4%
Continue reading “Net Paycheck Depression”

Run Your Household Like a Business

All businesses have the goal of making a profit, otherwise they will not survive in the long term.  To get an easy snapshot of a business’ health you could look at their Profit and Loss Statement.  If every household ran their finances like a business, I bet people would have more savings and less debt.  I will admit that I only recently started to actively track my income and expenses (thereby creating my own P&L of sorts).  I previously would log in to Mint and see my spending there but it was not until I had my own spreadsheet where I spent time entering my data that I really had a full understanding of how much money I was taking in and where it was all going.

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I don’t believe there is any one magical way to Continue reading “Run Your Household Like a Business”

Life (Expenses) Happen

Yesterday was just one of those days where by the time I got home, I had wracked up some receipts.  One was necessary, the others were more of a “want”.  Here’s a rundown of my day.

My Car – The Necessary Expense

I have a 2007 Honda Fit with approx 98,600 miles on it.  I do my best to take good care of it as I want to drive it for another 100,000 miles.  My braking was starting to feel strange so I dropped it off at the Continue reading “Life (Expenses) Happen”

A Break From the Daily Grind

During the warmer weather, I will often take my lunch break outside at the picnic table.  Our building is on a busy corner so it is not the quietest place to sit but it is still outside in the fresh air and most importantly, away from the office.  Spring took a long time to get to our area so today was the first of the season that I was able to enjoy my picnic lunch.

 

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Out of the 70+ people that work in my building, I am only one of a handful of people that take advantage of the picnic table.  I guess this is another reminder that I am different than the norm but it works for me as there are less people to share the space so I can quietly read.  Happy Friday!

Savings Update – April

I am a little late with this post but one of the important things about this blog for me it to track how I am doing.  If I can see the progress I am making then I am more likely to keep with it.  When I plugged my numbers into my budgeting spreadsheet this month I was actually a little excited as I was able to save even more than March.  If I can keep this up I should be able to have freedom from the 9-5 job in 9 years (but hopefully earlier).

I still have automatic transfers to the joint savings twice per month (increased from last month) but as I spent less than my target budget I had extra money left at the end of the month.  When I mention my “target budget”, Continue reading “Savings Update – April”