By: Revanche

Net Worth, Money & Life News: October 2015

November 2, 2015

DollarSign

Change from Jan 2015: 19% increase
3% decrease from last month

ON MONEY

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I kicked some financial-planning tuchus this month!

I rearranged our banking to accommodate new regular expenses, got our estate planning lawyer lined up and retainer fee-d, sorted out the paperwork for Phase 2 in LB’s childcare arrangements, had the life insurance nurse visit for the necessary lab work. HUGE.

Expenses

Three huge checks: One for our estate planning, one for LB’s care. I was expecting those, but they still felt like an elbow to the solar plexus. Then a big whack at our mortgage. That was satisfying.

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Surprise 1: We had a business trip and Seamus couldn’t come. Boarding him cost a couple hundred dollars.

Surprise 2: We paid the last of our income taxes, our new CPA made a mistake on the calculations and we owed $700 more than previously calculated. BOO. Momma’s little tax deduction will help with that next year, though.

*

Speaking of taxes, I’m calculating 2016 tax deductions: Do I pay our property tax in one or two installments? Depends on whether it makes a difference for our taxes next year. So our CPA’s running the numbers there. Thank everything that I caved and have someone doing the actual numbers. Even if it’s a service that costs us a few hundred or so a year, and a mistake cost us $10 in interest this year, that’s still more than 30 hours of calculations that I won’t have to do myself.

Income

We’re now digging into our extra savings allocations to pay for more regular expenses and I hate that. It’s always what we were meant to do, that’s why I started withholding it from our cash flow in the first place, but hiding money from myself has never worked. I knew it was there, I was loving that we were saving it. What can I say? I’m a compulsive saver.

*

I redeemed another $50 in Amazon gift cards this month but I’m changing strategies next month. It looks complicated but it should be easy. That’ll be outlined in a later post, I think.

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Retirement! With his bonus, we’ll max out PiC’s 401K but I don’t have one ::sadness:: so I set up an auto-withdrawal for my paltry little annual IRA. Since it was set up in May with only 8 months left to 2015, the contributions have been near a whopping $700 per month. I’m looking forward to 2016 when the $5500 will be divided 12 ways per month instead ($459). Same end result, just less painful each month. And WAY less painful than doing a lump sum investment in March when I realize I’d forgotten to contribute.

ON LIFE

We were out and about a LOT this month. About a week of travel and being out running errands two of the other weekends is a lot for me. We enjoyed our time but I am massively in need of a lot of quiet, at-home downtime decompress.

***

The last couple weeks were big for blog related things and that gives me warm fuzzies, especially since I tried a new thing:

Frugalwoods included my suggestions for marital bliss and money
My podcast interview with Jessica went live
Crystal featured my post on those awful pigeons lured here by our neighbor
Money Ramblings talked old cars celebrating a 20th birthday

***

Health hit the skids this month. Again. There were several days of being totally laid out, unable to move. That sucked. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been but still. Awful. Definitely it was bad enough for me to start worrying again about what would happen if I was permanently crippled at this level.

So, the time change – I’m ready for us to stop that.

***

We may have to fly with LB soon, depending on family stuff, and I made the mistake of researching advice on how to fly with an infant / toddler. There is some serious hate for parents and kids out there. Everything from telling parents that they need to control their kids, that they shouldn’t ever fly with their horrible little turds, to criticizing them for flying if the kids are sick. As if adults are all perfect, considerate, and healthy fliers? Really. Wrong part of the internet to be, I’ll tell ya!

***

We’re buying beef from a local butcher shop and that’s a sentence I never thought I’d type. It feels like a throwback to Ye Old Times to go to a butcher for Ye Meat Needs! Other people say it’s reasonably priced so clearly my idea of “reasonable” and their idea are vastly different, but the quality is awesome. It’s a new thing we’re doing: selectively paying more for higher quality food items on the notion that what we consume affects our health. It’s not that harebrained.

Anyway. We only buy one or two cuts at a time, treating it as an indulgence. We don’t need the red meat and Liberace knows our arteries don’t need it. Not that we have cholesterol problems, most of our protein normally comes from chicken, tofu or pork, but we don’t need to be rolling out the red carpet (hah) for new health problems.

I’m the red meat craver in the family so we never cooked it til I got pregnant. After, actually. During pregnancy, I couldn’t keep anything down, much less cook. Post LB’s arrival, we discovered this butcher shop, and it is glorious! Good service, great quality, scary prices. We share a ribeye now and again, and I have now perfected the hearty and delicious $5/serving pot roast. There’s a one pot meal that doesn’t taste like laziness and/or sadness.

9 Responses to “Net Worth, Money & Life News: October 2015”

  1. Hypatia Cade says:

    FWIW, flying with kids is easy or hard depending on the age — I don’t recall how old LB is (or how old ze will likely be when flying) but it’s fairly easy up to about 12 mos… with sufficient food and toys… tough for about a year and then fun again around 2 (when they are excited by their surroundings). We flew at 3 (transpacific), 6 (1 layover), 8(1 layover), and 13 (1 layover mos with our little one and that was all okay. At 18mos we did a transpacific flight with our little one and that was rough — I’d buy a second seat if we did that again. Over the summer we did a domestic, 1 layover flight (26 mos) and it was mostly fun and easy. The strategies are different at each age though.

    If it makes you feel better, there is a lot of hate online but I’ve only encountered one hater in person.

    • We’ve had the same experience. The key is to bring a purse full of distractions. And a binky depending on age and if they’ll take one to help with the pressure changes. Most people are really kind and try to help, but there are a few people out there who love to glare. Just hope you don’t get stuck on the tarmac for an hour in the summer with no AC. That was a nightmare.
      FF @ Femme Frugality recently posted…Around the World in 80 Books: ItalyMy Profile

      • Revanche says:

        @FF: Since LB thinks binkies are just chew toys, but not the way they’re intended, we’re going to try raisins. I read somewhere that chewing on them also helps with the pressure and we’ll take all the help we can get! My fingers are crossed. In fact, I may just refuse to ever fly in the summer until ze is older and more civilized 🙂

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks for this breakdown, Hypatia, that’s awesome input. I suspect we’re going to end up traveling in that between 12 and 24 months of unfun period, and we’re going to need to buy a seat because ze is simply not going to sit still in our laps.

      • Hypatia Cade says:

        So our tips/things that worked for us:
        1) it’s worth a good bit of extra money to have a flight with no layovers or a flight that fits nicely with naptime (at naptime if your kid sleeps anywhere; not at naptime otherwise). For transatlantic flights, the bulkhead is awesome for extra room and crummy for storing your stuff close to you. Usually an upcharge, but some check in people will take pity on you and let you have it for free.

        2) as much activity as possible before you get on the plane… run around… be the last people on… seriously. If it takes 30 min to load that’s 30 min longer your kid has to sit nicely in a seat.
        2a) make your carryon be just what you need for in flight and airport entertainment. Check everything else — carseats and possibly packnplays are free to check.

        3) relax whatever media rules you have for the duration of the flight (we are a no tv household and we downloaded sesame street & daniel tiger to a tablet). Save the TV til you can’t stand it anymore so that the hour or so of peace you can claim from it is really meaningful.

        4) chewy snacks/sippy cup at takeoff/landing (and small non-messy snacks for the rest of the time). We pack 3 sets of snacks – one to get there, a second set in the suitcase for during vacation and a third set for the return.

        5) If there are any layovers involved, bring 3x the snacks, diapers, pullups, changes of clothes that you would need for the scheduled ammt of time. (my husband says Bring yourself a clean shirt too — he got peed on for one of our flights….). we switched to using our overnight diapers on the plane.

        6) small, age appropriate, new toys are great for all the times when you need distractions (stickers, new crayons + coloring book, a slinky, lift the flap books, melissa and doug color w/ water, hot wheels cars, animals in a toob). Bring these out one at a time after the novelty of the seat, the tray table, the window, and the inflight magazine have all worn off. We pack some of these in our suitcase for the return flight so we won’t be tempted to use them all up on the flight there/on vacation.

        We feel like we have the flying part down — time changes of more than about 2 timezones really suck though and we’d take good tips for how to do that!

        • Revanche says:

          @Hypatia Cade: You’re so awesome! Thanks for all these tips, I’m putting them into a to-do travel fact sheet so that I don’t forget anything useful. If I hear anything about timezones, I will share that!

  2. Sorry your health has been worse lately. Seems like a busy time despite all that. We still don’t have a living will thing worked out in case of health catastrophe. Any day now…
    Abigail @ipickuppennies recently posted…The unique gift for the geek in your lifeMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks. It was super busy but I guess I was … lucky? that it hit the skids in the between-times? I guess? I’d like to think you’ll never need the living will, much less soon.

  3. […] Ze is a lap child until the age of two but since the last time I received sage travel advice, ze has become even squirmier. Even if we manage to squeeze in a flight before hir second birthday, […]

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