My Thoughts on Gambling

Almost every year when we head down to our annual beach vacation in Rhode Island, I will take a little trip over to one of the nearby casinos.  Sometimes there is a small group of us (never Mr. SFF) and sometimes it is just two of us.  I realize that doing a blog post on a personal finance blog about gambling is a little risky as this is certainly not an activity that I recommend but after briefly mentioning my luck during our vacation, I wanted to summarize my thoughts.  Please note that these are only my views and beliefs and what I have found works for me but no way would I ever recommend you go gamble unless this is an entertainment activity you enjoy and are OK paying for it.

Last week while on vacation I was debating if I even wanted to take my annual excursion as every dollar saved helps to get me a little closer to my Continue reading “My Thoughts on Gambling”

Beach Week! Our Annual Summer Vacation

Every year Mr. SFF and I spend a week down in Misquamicut RI with Mr. SFF’s very large extended family.  There are usually three rented cottages with various family member plus one house that is owned by one aunt and uncle that is right on the beach and is sort of Grand Central Station for all of us.2015-07-23 19.11.54

It can be a crazy at times but is a lot of fun and has always been a fairly reasonably priced vacation.  There is usually no real plans for the week and Continue reading “Beach Week! Our Annual Summer Vacation”

When Your Best Intentions Backfire

I have been taking allergy medication since 2008.  I take Cetirizine which is the generic version of Zyrtec for seasonal and other allergies.  Sometimes I also use a nasal spray when pollen is bad or I know I am going to be around dogs but I am going to focus on the general allergy meds today.  Since this is an over the counter medication I have not been able to utilize my Heath Savings Account to pay for it.  During my recent physical at my doctors office she wrote me a prescription for the Cetirizine which would mean I could use my HSA for payment.  Seems silly but that’s how the system works.

When I dropped the prescription at the pharmacy at first they were confused as it is an over the counter medication but when I explained that I wanted to use my HSA to pay for it they understood my reasoning.  I picked up the prescription the following day and was a little surprised by the Continue reading “When Your Best Intentions Backfire”

The Changing of Tenants

We have owned our duplex for just under four years and have thankfully had good tenants so far.  The first tenant was a grad student and came with the apartment.  This could be a scary proposition as we did not screen her but both she and her dog were very quiet, she always paid the rent on time, and would even help bring the trash bin back from the curb on trash day (it’s the little things, right?).  She really was the ideal tenant and we were sad to see her go after almost two years but she headed out west for a doctoral program.

We kept the rent the same for our second tenants who were a referral from a friend so we did not even have to advertise the apartment.  The only time we raised the rent in the almost two years Continue reading “The Changing of Tenants”

Getting Rid of Garden Pets – For Free!

We have two small raised vegetable garden beds in our yard.  Nothing fancy but they provide a little food for us throughout the summer.  Unfortunately, even though we are in an urban area, we seem to have critters digging things up or taking a bite when things start to actually mature.  I am not sure exactly what animals do the damage but I think recently it has been neighborhood cats using the fresh dirt as their litter box.  Yuck!

I have purchased stuff designed to deter animals in the past but it washes away any time it rains and I hate spending extra money on these products.  I also tried buying cayenne pepper Continue reading “Getting Rid of Garden Pets – For Free!”

Monthly Savings Update – June

As expected, June was also a difficult month when it came to my savings goal.  I kept things in check where possible but there were some larger expected expenses that added up and affected my total savings.  After looking at my target budget numbers again I think that it may be hard to keep my savings rate around 40%.  I am still going to keep this as my goal but am coming to realize that it might be a stretch.

Many of my regular expenses actually came in under my target budget but there were a few larger expenses that threw things off.  As mentioned in my previous post we attended a wedding at the end of the month.  Although Mr. SFF paid for part of these expenses it did affect my numbers as well.  We also attended a baby shower so the total we spent on gifts for the month was much higher than my target numbers.

I also booked lodging for my August Spartan Race in Ottawa through AirBNB Continue reading “Monthly Savings Update – June”