I am going to be honest, July was a brutal month when I look at my spending and my resulting savings rate. Twice per month I automatically transfer $250 to our savings account. This helps to make sure that no matter what I am putting some money away. At the end of the month I will transfer any additional money over into savings. Well when the end of July rolled around I had no money left to transfer. My heart sank a little as I looked at my dismal savings rate of only 26%. Last year I saved an average of 42% of my take home pay and yet here I was saving only 26% of a much higher amount. WTH? Has lifestyle inflation really gotten the better of me?
When I got my promotion last fall initially thought I would be save almost 100% of of my raise which would amount to a nice little sum of money by the years end. Yet it appears that lifestyle inflation has hit me a little as I am not saving as much as I should/could be.
Last Tuesday we were supposed to fly out to the Denver area for a combined ski trip and also to visit my sister in law, her husband and my nephews. Even three days out from our departure date we knew that this trip wouldn’t go quite as planned. There was a blizzard on the horizon set to arrive on Tuesday, the day of our departure. We got a notification on Saturday that one of our flights might be a problem as we were scheduled to go through New York right in the heart of the storm. With this advance notice we were given the option of changing our flight without incurring any change fees. We changed our first flight to go through Detroit instead of NY and as we were set to leave at 5:45 am we figured we would be able to fly out before the storm hit.
Sleeping the night before an early morning flight never goes well but even after tossing and turning for well over an hour, we got a notification that our flight was cancelled around 11 pm. Bummer…but at least we knew the night before so we didn’t have to make it all the way to the airport in the wee hours of the morning before finding out. We slept in a little bit (does 7:15 count?), had breakfast, and then decided it would actually be easier to drive over to the airport and figure out our options instead of waiting on hold for hours with the airline (the hold time on Saturday was 2 hours). This turned out to be a great decision as the airport was a ghost town. We didn’t see a single passenger, despite there not be a flake of snow in the sky, and only a few airport employees around. Even all the shops were closed. Apparently only 2 flights made it out that morning before things closed down which meant we had the full attention of the counter agent. We decided since the forecast was estimating a couple of feet of snow it would be silly to head out west to ski/ride on Wednesday, plus the likelihood of actually getting out on a flight Wednesday was not likely as the storm was set to continue well into the day. So with our flight rescheduled to Thursday we headed home to rest after a horrible night of sleep. Continue reading “Vacation Turned Delay-cation Turned Stay-cation”→
After very busy summer and even busier fall, last weekend Mr. SFF and I finally had an entire weekend to ourselves! And what did we decided to do? Get away from it all, disconnected out in the woods and it was wonderful!!
Mr. SFF’s extended family (his mother’s cousin) own a small little camp out in the woods. He encourages family members to come out and use it as he lives out of state and can’t come up all that often but it often sits empty. Apparently no one has used the camp for the past two years. The camp itself is nothing special, just a small main room with double bunk beds, a small kitchen and small bath with another set of bunk beds but it has everything you might need for a relaxing weekend. The thing that does make the camp special is the fact the Mr. SFF’s great-grandmother was actually born on the property (the original cabin burned years ago). So there is history and the property is beautiful. Continue reading “A Free Weekend Getaway!”→
We just got home after an amazing week out in the mountains of Utah. As we are currently experiencing our worst winter snow-wise in 60 years at home (not just a feeling, there are measurable statistics about the lack of snowfall) we were very excited about spending the week in Utah on some natural and hopefully fluffy snow. For the first part of the trip a couple of our friends joined us and then some family and their friends joined for the second half of the trip.
Yes, I traveled 1000 miles to compete in a Spartan Race. Crazy? Maybe. But fun and totally worth it? YES! In case you are a new reader, I have a passion for fitness and run in Spartan obstacle course races. I may be frugal but fitness is one area of my life where I do spend some money, although as responsibly as possible.
A Spartan race is an obstacle course race where you do anything from going over/under walls, climbing ropes, barbed wire crawls, cargo nets, sandbag carries, etc. Just think military style obstacles and you get the idea. To some people this sounds nuts but I absolutely love it! This is not the cheapest hobby but I have been doing my best to participate without breaking the bank and my budget.
My boss has a second home in Martha’s Vineyard. They rent out the house during the busy summer months but other than that he goes down to about once per month and sometimes more frequently. Last year he offered that I could use the house free of charge during the off season or any time that it was not rented and he wasn’t using it. Mr. SFF and I finally found a weekend that we were both free and the house was available so we invited my mom and my sister to join us for an extended weekend. Continue reading “Our “Free” Long Weekend at Martha’s Vineyard”→
Summer is in full swing, and apparently so is my spending. OK, to be fair I had one really large expense that threw everything off plus we had a vacation in there but I was unfortunately not able to meet my 40% savings goal (again) this month.
The large expense I had was one of my life insurance policies annual premium was due. As this is an annual premium I have yet to figure out how to budget for it and account for it here. I ended up moving some money over from my savings to help cover the cost of it but I did not log this transfer on my budget spreadsheet. So I am actually showing a negative net number on my balance sheet Continue reading “Monthly Savings Update – July”→
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.