February 2015 Net Worth Update

Posting a little early because I had my spreadsheets ready and nothing financially significant is going to happen between now and the end of tomorrow 🙂 February was less calm than January, with more ups and downs. Overall, though, barring some car trouble, it’s been a very positive month in the Singledollar household-of-one (financial household, anyway; I live with a housemate and her dog and cat, so actually it’s fairly full up around here!) Knock wood, I should be on track to be over $20,000 (and be halfway to my e-fund goal) in March. Continue reading “February 2015 Net Worth Update”

Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 7: Ham-and-egg it (plus bread recipe)

zero food waste challenge 2015 I wasted my first big piece of food! I had to throw away a couple of onions from a 3-lb bag I bought the week before I began this challenge. They’d sprouted so much that they were unsalvageable (actually pretty funny-looking.) 🙁 Well, onward. This week’s tip: ham-and-egging it; the usual grocery list; and a recipe for the bread I bake for myself.
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Let’s discuss my new boots

bootsblogOK, those of you who follow me on twitter or who read my January net worth update have heard that at some point in there I spent a “godawful amount of money on boots.” However, accounting for that was mysteriously missing from the January update! I promised that I’d explain myself “sometime next month” and wouldn’t you know it, next month is practically over (one thing you can say for February is that it moves fast, especially when you spend a quarter of it traveling.) I figured I’d better get down to it if I wanted to beat my deadline. Continue reading “Let’s discuss my new boots”

All of a sudden I just want to buy stuff

Did it start with my trip to New York, which took me out of my new-normal, carefully regulated frugal environment and reawakened all my old “just spend money” instincts? Or did it start when I lost some weight and realized very little fit me anymore and my “refresh my wardrobe” project had just stepped up in urgency? Or maybe when I had to drop $350 on a car repair earlier this month and suddenly my month of Super Saving was going to be a little less Super? Or maybe when I used birthday money and a bit of my tax return to buy some kickin’ boots?

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Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 6: Don’t Be Penny-Wise

zero food waste challenge 2015The challenge continues, more or less undaunted! I threw away my first complete piece of food while traveling, a little cup of salsa that I got with a quesadilla. There were a couple of times while eating out that I couldn’t quite finish, but I don’t think leaving a few gnocchi or the end of a sandwich counts, right? I mostly did pretty well on not ordering what I couldn’t eat. And the one time there was way too much, I took half of it home and actually managed to remember to eat it the next day. Also had great success not buying excess snacks in a panic. I’m calling it mostly a food waste win. And now I’m back home, so here’s this week’s tip, my grocery list, and a recipe for a flavorful, filling, pretty healthy chicken stew.

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I need a better traveling system

So, I’m most of the way through my trip — if the weather doesn’t interfere too much I’ll be home tonight. It’s kind of, as it were, up in the air, but luckily I’m staying with friends, not in a hotel, so if I need to extend my stay a day or two it’ll be ok. Wish me luck 🙂 Continue reading “I need a better traveling system”

Why I Budget 4 Ways for “Miscellaneous”

This post is pre-written; I’m away for a few days at a conference. I should still have internet access but responses to comments will probably be slower than usual.

I’ve been refining my budgeting strategy for a while now — as those of you who’ve been following know, since I can’t shut up about it — and there’s one thing I started doing in January that I really like. If you look at my budget categories, you actually see four that could be filed under “misc.” I take out $300 in cash every month; I have a line item for “gremlins” (more on that in a sec) that I’m now putting $100 into every month; I have $500 going into the emergency fund kept in a separate account; and I also have a line item for “slush” that is currently getting about $120 a month. Continue reading “Why I Budget 4 Ways for “Miscellaneous””

Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 5: Ordering Less

zero food waste challenge 2015I’m pre-writing this post because I’ll be traveling on Wednesday. Actually, I’ll be traveling most of the week! As a result, I wrote last week about stretching out my normal weekly shopping trip to cover nine days instead of seven. That went quite well, although I had a few dicey moments; I barely managed to get through the last of the kale and avocados before they went bad, but I did it (only tossed a few slimy kale leaves) and I also used up all of the pearl barley I’d had in my pantry for a year or so, per Alicia’s clean-out-the-pantry project. Having moved this barley twice I thought it was really time to eat it before I potentially might have to move it again this summer! Continue reading “Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 5: Ordering Less”

Why I’m glad my new employer withheld way too much tax

2014 taxesThis is kind of a long story, but be patient and you will be rewarded with (what appears to be) a happy tax ending for me. 🙂

OK, to begin with: most Americans are familiar with having three sets of income taxes withheld from their paychecks: federal, state, and local (either city or county.) In general, this has only meant two sets of tax forms because two of the three states I’ve lived in include the local tax on the state forms.

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What to do with the $$ I’m saving on gas

gassavingsJust in case you hadn’t noticed, gas is (relative to recent prices) dirt cheap right now. In January, I filled up at the beginning of the month for $1.88 a gallon, and in the middle of the month, for $1.99 a gallon. That is crazy. I haven’t seen prices like that in at least a decade. Over the summer, gas here was ranging from $3.20 to $3.50, give or take.

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