Getting Your $hit Together

Have you ever looked around you and seen how messy the lives of people around you are?  There are many types of messes that I could refer to but I am specifically talking about money and general finance messes.  How years of poor money management, spending willy-nilly on every little thing you “need”, or completely ignoring the fact that in order to retire you need actual money to live can really create a huge mess for family down the road.  I have been seeing a lot of this around me recently and it makes me even more thankful that we have our own $hit together.

We haven’t done everything right, but we do have a goal and a plan and we are at the very least thinking about these things. Continue reading “Getting Your $hit Together”

Hello Mr. Tax Man!

Normally receiving a letter from the tax man, either the feds or the state, is not a good thing.  Did we file our taxes incorrectly?  Do we owe them money?  The list of questions as I opened that envelope were endless.  But as I read the letter from the state tax man it had great news: our property taxes were going down!  Woot, woot!  I know, I almost couldn’t contain my excitement!

Our little state has a homestead exemption where they offer tax relief for households making lower incomes.  When Mr. SFF was fully employed we didn’t qualify but part of the way through 2014 he was laid off and started working for himself making less money (but still plenty for our frugal household).  2015 was the first full year of his self-employment and so our total adjusted gross income was much less so low and behold, we now qualify!  We file the form every year and I usually don’t even think twice about it so when I received the letter from the state department of taxes I was pleasantly surprised.  We are certainly going to enjoy the $1,244 tax savings this year and likely just put this money towards our goals.

But with this came the bigger revelation, our income will be even lower when we reach FIRE and are only working part-time meaning this credit should be even larger.  This is huge news! Continue reading “Hello Mr. Tax Man!”

Monthly Food Update – #7

I will admit that I have been slacking on my food logs recently, hence the delay in this post.  This past month as a little out of the norm.  We had a super relaxing vacation but then spent the following week changing over two apartments.  As a result I fell behind on logging receipts until there was a huge pile and often forgot to take photos of our meals.  Alas, that is life.

Costs this month are not quite as accurate as usual as we spent a week on vacation in Rhode Island.  We share a house with my mother in law, an uncle and all of our meals are generally cooked so thankfully dining out costs end up being fairly low.   Usually I am the one in charge of tallying the share of costs at the end of the week but since we left a day early this year my mother in law was the one in charge.  She never asked us to give her any additional money so the grocery store runs we made likely covered the cost of all of our food for the week.  For the purposes of this blog post I am just going to assume we spent an even $100 for the two of us for the entire week and broke it out between breakfast, lunch and dinner costs.  This could be off but is probably close enough.

Per the suggestion of one reader I added another page to my site with some of our favorite recipes.  These may not be the most cost effective recipes but they are some of our favorites in regular rotation.  I will try to add more as the seasons change and as different types of meals get added to our regular schedule.  When possible I might also try to add the average cost of those meals but I haven’t gotten there yet. Continue reading “Monthly Food Update – #7”

Apartment Changeover Madness

We went from spending a blissful relaxing week on vacation at the beach in Rhode Island with family right into a regular workweek and two apartment changeovers.  Last week was brutal.  Talk about killing the vacation relaxation vibe in an instant!

The tenants in our owner occ duplex actually moved out while we were still out of town.  We were not worried about being there when they moved as they were very responsible and had kept the apartment in such great shape.  A quick walk through when we got home late Sunday afternoon verified this.  This particular unit is in really good condition as we did some some maintenance last year between tenants but did need a coat of paint in a couple of the rooms to help freshen things up.  We have owned the building for almost 5 years now and we haven’t painted the walls since we purchased it so it was over due.  I had meant to get paint before heading on vacation but life got in the way so after work on Monday the first task was to buy a gallon of paint to match.  Once we had the paint in hand we got to work. Continue reading “Apartment Changeover Madness”