Thursday, January 12, 2017

The savings and the expenses

Veering back to the subject of frugality for a post! What a concept, huh?!

Clothing - not much new needed for me and what I have bought was cheap Walmart stuff. I knew I'd need a few long sleeved shirts or sweaters. I've never been much of a sweater wearer (though I do like to wear an open sweater over my tops), since we lived in mild temps,but I do have several long sleeved t-shirt type tops. But, when we first moved here I picked up 2 sweaters and a long sleeve cotton shirt - each was $10 or less. I also bought some new warmer pj's. The pj top was from Walmart too, very soft and thick/warm for $10-12 bucks (I can't remember now). The flannel bottoms I got thru Kohl's using up some Kohl's cash I had.  I was also really needing some new undies and a bra - both of which last time I purchased were from Walmart. The cheap bra I LOVE. $12 and the most comfortable bra I have ever had, so a couple weeks ago I picked up another one and also an 8 pack of undies, which were only $9 for the pack and will last me 2-3 years (this I know because 2 1/2 years ago was the last time I bought them LOL)

That's really all I need for clothes for the near future. Since I work from home and spend most of my days at home, I really don't need much in the way of new clothes, that's for sure. I will probably need some new snow boots, mainly just taller boots, due to the amount of snow here! But I will try to get through this winter with what I have and then hopefully buy a new pair on clearance at the end of the season. I would like to buy something quality and that pair be my snow boots for many many years to come.

We did buy DH 2 new pairs of jeans, as he had one pair wear out finally and rip in the crotch. For the past several years I have been buying him Wrangler relaxed fit jeans (versus the pricey Levi's he used to wear), which are about $16 at Walmart or Target. DD got him 2 new sweatshirts and a long sleeved heavy weight button up shirt for Christmas, so he is good for clothes. We did splurge and buy him the Carhartt lined work coveralls recently, which aren't cheap, but at least they were 20% off and will most likely last him forever.

We haven't been out to dinner (we were going once a week) in a few weeks now, so are saving a bit there. There's only one restaurant in town and I think we were getting a bit tired of the same menu each week, so have taken a break.

We don't use our front door much (we go in and out thru the garage side door) so dh put an old fleece blanket down along the door on the floor to try and keep more heat in the house.

We've never before had to pay for sewer (had a septic system) and paid only $20 a month for well water, so having to pay for this is a change. The bill for sewer/water has ranged between $60 and $70 a month. I have no idea if this is normal or not. Since we hardly ever go anywhere anymore, we have started to cut down taking showers every single day. DH usually goes every other day now and I've been starting to skip it on Mon and Thurs, when he's doing laundry and there's not much hot water left to take a shower. We'll see how that affects the bill. A few dollars a month isn't worth being stinky over, but we seem to be ok if we skip a shower once in awhile LOL.

If I buy food here at the grocery store in town (which I have to do a lot in this weather because I can't drive the 55 miles to Walmart in the snow) it's generally more expensive than if I go stock up on groceries in the city. I am taking any casserole I make and putting half in the freezer for another meal. We eat canned veggies quite often, and I've been putting the leftover corn or green beans in a container and saving it for another meal.

We hardly go anywhere now (especially since I work from home all the time now) so our gas expense for my car has gone way down. A tank of gas has been lasting us a month, most of the time, especially now that it's winter and the trips to the city are fewer and farther in between.

Whatever I have shipped here I make sure it's free shipping (usually through my Amazon Prime account), plus we no longer have any sales tax (used to be almost 10%). Of course, on the flip side of that I now have a state income tax to pay, which I didn't have before, so really no savings when all is said and done.

We were able to license DH's pickup truck with a permanent license, so just a one time fee and never have to pay anything on it again (since it's over 11 years old).  The dog's city license tags were $5 each for a lifetime license for each LOL.

Heat/electricity is quite a bit higher than we had before, but I expected that. 1) we lived in an area with low electricity rates 2) our electric company was a small co-op that was the cheapest in the region, so we had it good for all those years 3) I knew rates would be higher here and 4) we'd use more because it's so damn cold! LOL.  My bill I just got today is about $100 more than my highest winter bill at old house. Spring/Summer/and Fall (based on my Fall bills I did already get) are fairly comparable to what we paid before, so it's just a few months a year I have higher than previous bills.

Now that our "projects" for this house are done (DH just installed the last of them....a $9 oak towel ring for our bathroom) I am in saving mode towards our house building! This spring/summer we want to start doing as much as we can towards it with cash and the first project will be doing some site work/dirt moving and cutting in the driveway. DH's good friend is going to help with that too. I have no idea what that will cost us, but I'm sure much cheaper than the builder quoted us doing it in the house building estimate. We also have to do a well and septic system, which we will try to pay cash for too over the next year.

Right now I have almost $5,000 in savings, so it's starting to build up.

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