Walkie Talkies And Different December 2022 Bills






The canine booty wearer in query

Ahhh decadent December! Stuffed with meals, wine, life-sized penguin stuffies and canine booties. December at all times guarantees to be a high-spend month, however that doesn’t need to spell disaster. If you happen to plan for pricey months, for those who calculate what you spend on one thing like Christmas and save up over the process a 12 months, you’ll be able to conclude a month like December with pride versus be apologetic about. The function in all of this–all of this cash consciousness and sensible monetary control–isn’t to NEVER spend cash.

The function (in my view, anyway) is to spend cash:

  1. In alignment together with your values and on what issues maximum to you
  2. In a deliberate, proactive manner versus an impulsive, reactive manner
  3. To beef up happiness, to not create rigidity
  4. Best on issues you’ll be able to if truth be told have the funds for

The way you articulate the ones 4 pillars of spending is as much as you, and for me? Closing month it used to be on meals, wine and penguin stuffies.

Wine.com = My BFF for Christmas Items

This 12 months I as soon as once more grew to become to wine.com to send bottles of wine to our prolonged circle of relatives (folks and siblings). I’m partial to consumable items that don’t upload muddle and are one thing I do know the recipient will experience. For the 2 non-wine drinkers in our circle of relatives, I despatched reward playing cards to their favourite native eating places. Every other consumable that can get used!

Cheers to my wine club!

I love wine.com as a result of:

  1. The wine prices the similar because it does in a shop. I’ve price-checked the bottles and wine.com doesn’t mark them up.
  2. The choice is immense. They’ve were given each more or less wine (additionally liquor and port) conceivable!
  3. It’s so fast and simple. I’ve stored my circle of relatives member’s addresses AND their most well-liked varieties of wine at the website so I’ve a very easy reference level each and every 12 months. It takes me quarter-hour to reserve Christmas items for my complete circle of relatives!
  4. FREE SHIPPING. I stored the most productive for remaining. I pay $59 in keeping with 12 months to be a “Wine Stewardship Member,” which qualifies me without cost transport on all of my purchases. Unfastened transport! An important since bottles of wine are heavy and costly to send. This works out for me since I send a minimum of 5 circumstances of wine a 12 months and each and every case would value ~$20 to send.

All in all, wine.com is the solution to my gifting prayers and those are associate hyperlinks.

Christmas Items: for Academics and the Angel Tree

At the astute recommendation a number of years in the past from Frugalwoods readers who’re academics, we give coins to our youngsters’ academics each December. I write a pleasant observe and stick some coins within the card. Once more, I wish to give folks one thing they are able to use. And everybody can use coins!

For the Angel Tree at church, we purchase regardless of the kid has asked.

My Personal Kids Get Used Christmas Items

Checking to look if the reindeer visited–they go away carrot shavings outdoor our space!

My husband and I don’t trade items with each and every different–a decision we made nearly a decade in the past. We as a substitute put cash against reports we experience, similar to: kid-free getaways, foods out at eating places, visits to breweries and our ski passes! We each choose reports over stuff, so this works completely for us.

Our youngsters obtain hand-me-down and storage sale unearths! I scour thrift shops and backyard gross sales throughout the year to assemble issues I do know they’ll love. In our space, Santa stores used.

For extra on how I organize truly affordable gifting for my youngsters, take a look at:

…However I’m Now not A Hardliner About It

Whilst 95% of my youngsters’ items come from backyard gross sales/hand-me-downs, I’m now not a zealot. I feel it’s all about stability. I don’t consider my youngsters want loads of bucks price of toys for each birthday and Christmas, however I additionally consider it’s beautiful for them to obtain a couple of items they’ve in particular asked. As our youngsters grow older (they’re lately 7 and nearly 5), they naturally have particular pursuits and particular reward requests for Santa. We determined this 12 months that Santa would satisfy two of each and every kid’s particular reward requests. The women wrote letters to Santa again in November and my glorious mother wrote them again as Santa (aspect observe: that is AMAZING for children who can learn–I assumed Kidwoods used to be going to move out from pleasure when she learn her letter from Santa).

On Christmas morning, Santa delivered 4 items to each and every kid, two used and two new, even supposing the youngsters have no idea the adaptation–I started the custom of taking away all packaging and tags from new items years in the past in order that the whole thing seems the similar after they unwrap it.

Right here’s What We Bought New:

  1. Items!

    Snow globes: each ladies asked snow globes and so Santa Dada purchased two at Walmart (associate hyperlink).

  2. One large penguin: for unknown causes, Kidwoods sought after a “life-sized penguin stuffy” and Walmart delivered (associate hyperlink).. When she opened it, she introduced, “All my penguin goals got here true!!!!” so I assume that used to be a just right name on our phase. Large penguin now will get paraded round the home nonstop, a lot to the chagrin of the canine who I feel may suppose it’s actual…
  3. Walkie Talkies: those are FABULOUS as a result of they pressure the ladies to play collaboratively (associate hyperlink). They’re lovely just right about taking part in in combination as it’s, however those carry their cooperation to the following degree. In spite of everything, it’s now not very amusing to one-sided Walkie (as evidenced by way of the truth that Kidwoods bails each time Littlewoods reverts to respiring loudly into her Walkie… ). I truly attempt to stay a instantly face as a mother or father.
  4. Nail polish from Piggy Paint: The women are obsessive about me portray their nails, however I had misgivings about all of the chemical substances in my grownup nail polish (associate hyperlink). Input: PiggyPaint. These items is non-toxic and water-based and has NO scent. Severely. It’s additionally really easy to use. Given those attributes, we let the ladies paint their very own nails with it. You’ve already as it should be predicted the result of this process: nail polish spilled at the ground, nail polish spilled at the desk, nail polish on clothes, nail polish at the canine, and the worst manicures you’ve ever observed. Nevertheless it doesn’t topic! The stuff is so simply got rid of, it’s mainly like wiping up crayon marks. The drawback is that it doesn’t remaining lengthy on nails AT ALL, however the youngsters don’t care–they only repaint their nails the following day.

Canine Mountain climbing Booties

Gigi within the snow, wishing for booties

Gigi, for her phase, won a number of toys for Christmas in addition to a stocking full of tennis balls. She used to be elated. She additionally won those hound climbing booties, about which she is demonstrably much less elated. As temperatures dropped and snow quilt ensued, Gigi started having hassle on our hikes with ice getting caught between her little toe-sies. We attempted making use of Musher’s Secret (a wax that’s meant to stay the paws ice-free), nevertheless it didn’t paintings. Subsequent, we attempted the booties we’d used for Gracie (Frugal Hound 1.0), however the ones weren’t sturdy sufficient and stored falling off. Since Gigi hikes two times an afternoon (as soon as with me and as soon as with Mr. FW), we would have liked a strategy to stay her comfy and so, we ordered sled canine booties. In fact, once they arrived it warmed up and we haven’t wanted to make use of them but. However, they are compatible her securely and seem very sturdy.

Electrical Kettle

A number of years in the past we purchased an affordable, knock-off electrical kettle, which we use day-to-day to make our espresso, oatmeal and tea. Closing month it broke. Mr. FW took it aside to look if he may repair it and found out that at the primary electric leads within the base, subsequent to the heating component, the insulation had began cracking and flaking off the wires. It is a large protection and fireplace danger! Obviously probably the most tactics they reduce prices in this knock-off kettle used to be by way of cheaping out at the warmth insulation wires. Frightening! In gentle of this discovery, we determined to spend extra and get this Cuisinart kettle in its place (associate hyperlink).

We haven’t spread out the brand new kettle to test at the twine insulation, however our hope is {that a} emblem title has a long term stake in now not burning down folks’s houses. We are hoping there are higher long-term protection possible choices being made on this kettle…. as a result of YIKES.

Can I Communicate To You?

Our iciness hotter surprise: the wooden range

Sure! In September I introduced Personal Reader Case Research, which might be a chance for other people to rent me for a one-on-one monetary session. I additionally now be offering hourlong video calls. You’ll be able to:

  1. Rent me for a non-public monetary session right here.
  2. Agenda an hourlong name with me right here.

To be told extra about one-on-one consultations with me, examine this out.

I Love the Unfastened Cash Monitoring Equipment from Private Capital!

I take advantage of a unfastened on-line provider referred to as Private Capital to prepare our cash. It tracks our spending, web price, investments, retirement, the whole thing.

Realizing the place your cash’s at is among the absolute best tactics to get a maintain for your budget. You can not make knowledgeable choices about your cash for those who don’t know the way you’re spending it or how a lot you may have. If you happen to’d like to understand extra about how Private Capital works, take a look at my complete write-up.

And not using a holistic image of your budget, there’s no strategy to set financial savings, debt compensation or funding targets. It’s a will have to, other people. Private Capital (which is unfastened) is a good way for me to systematize our monetary overviews because it hyperlinks all of our accounts in combination and gives a complete image of our web price.

If you happen to don’t have a cast concept of the place your cash’s at–or the way you’re spending it–imagine making an attempt Private Capital (observe: the Private Capital hyperlinks are associate hyperlinks). 

Credit Playing cards: How We Purchase The entirety

We purchase the whole thing we will be able to with bank cards as a result of:

  1. Dawn as observed on a morning hike

    It’s more uncomplicated to trace bills. No guesswork over the place a random $20 invoice went; all of it presentations up in our per thirty days expense file from Private Capital. I additionally spend much less cash as a result of I KNOW I’m going to look each expense indexed on the finish of the month.

  2. We get rewards. Bank card rewards are a easy strategy to get one thing for not anything. Throughout the playing cards we use, we get coins again in addition to resort and airline issues for purchasing stuff we had been going to shop for anyway.
  3. We construct our credit score. Since we don’t have any debt, having a number of bank cards open for a few years is helping our credit score ratings. It’s a filthy fantasy that wearing a stability for your bank card is helping your credit score ranking–IT DOES NOT. Paying your playing cards off IN FULL each month and conserving them open for a few years does lend a hand your ranking.

For extra on my bank card technique, take a look at:

Money Again Playing cards to Believe

If you happen to’re now cash-back curious, there are a selection of playing cards available on the market providing lovely just right coins again percentages. Listed below are a couple of I feel are a just right deal:

1) Blue Money Most well-liked® Card from American Categorical:

  • 6% coins again at U.S. supermarkets on as much as $6,000 in keeping with 12 months in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% coins again on make a selection U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% coins again at U.S. gasoline stations and on transit (together with taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and extra).
  • 1% coins again on different purchases.
  • Earn a $250 commentary credit score after you spend $3,000 in purchases for your new Card inside the first 6 months
  • $0 intro annual rate for the primary 12 months, then $95. Charges and charges main points right here.
  • Phrases practice

Kidwoods at our church’s Christmas Eve provider

2) Blue Money On a regular basis® Card from American Categorical:

  • 3% coins again at U.S. supermarkets (on as much as $6,000 in keeping with 12 months in purchases, then 1%).
  • 3% Money Again at U.S. gasoline stations, on as much as $6,000 in keeping with 12 months, then 1%.
  • 1% coins again on different purchases.
  • Earn as much as $250 – Right here’s How: Earn as much as $150 again whilst you store with PayPal. Earn 20% again as a commentary credit score on purchases whilst you use your new Card to take a look at with PayPal at traders within the first 6 months of Card Club, as much as $150 again. Plus, earn $100 again as a commentary credit score after you spend $2,000 in purchases for your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Club.
  • No annual rate. Charges and charges main points right here.
  • Phrases practice.

3) Capital One Quicksilver Money Rewards Credit score Card:

  • 1.5% coins again on each acquire, each day.
  • $200 coins bonus after you spend $500 on purchases inside 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual rate.

4) Capital One SavorOne Money Rewards Credit score Card:

  • Limitless 3% coins again on eating, leisure, in style streaming services and products and at grocery shops (except superstores like Walmart and Goal).
  • 1% again on all different purchases.
  • 8% coins again on tickets at Bright Seats thru January 2023.
  • $200 coins bonus after you spend $500 on purchases inside the first 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual rate.

5) Chase Freedom Limitless®:

  • Earn an additional 1.5% on the whole thing you purchase (on as much as $20,000 spent within the first 12 months), which is price as much as $300 coins again:
    • 6.5% on commute bought thru Chase Final Rewards
    • 4.5% on eating and drugstores
    • 3% on all different purchases.
  • After your first 12 months (or $20,000 spent), you earn:
    • 5% coins again on Chase commute bought thru Chase Final Rewards
    • 3% coins again on drugstore purchases and eating at eating places, together with takeout and eligible supply provider
    • Limitless 1.5% coins again on all different purchases.
  • No annual rate.

Littlewoods’ snow introduction

6) Chase Freedom Flex℠:

  • 5% coins again on as much as $1,500 in mixed purchases in bonus classes each and every quarter you turn on.
  • New 5% classes each and every quarter.
  • 5% coins again on commute bought thru Chase Final Rewards
  • 3% coins again on drugstore purchases and eating at eating places, together with takeout and eligible supply provider
  • Limitless 1% coins again on all different purchases.
  • $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases on your first 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual rate.

If you happen to’re serious about commute rewards, folks love the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked Card®. You’ll be able to earn 60,000 bonus issues after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, which is $750 whilst you redeem thru Chase Final Rewards.

Massive caveat to bank card utilization: you MUST pay your bank card expenses in complete each unmarried month, and not using a exceptions. If you happen to’re fascinated with your skill to do that, or suppose the use of bank cards may recommended you to spend extra, stick to a debit card or coins. But when you don’t have any drawback paying that invoice in complete each month? I like to recommend you bank card away, my buddy! (observe: the bank card hyperlinks are associate hyperlinks).

Money Again Earned This Month: $62.18

The silver lining to our spending is our coins again bank card. We earn 2% coins again on each acquire made with our Constancy Rewards Visa and, this month, we spent $3,109.04 on that card, which netted us $62.18.

Now not some huge cash, nevertheless it’s cash we earned for purchasing stuff we had been going to shop for anyway! That is why I really like coins again bank card rewards–they’re the most simple strategy to earn one thing for not anything.

To look how this provides up over the process a 12 months, take a look at How I Made $712.59 With My Money Again Credit score Card.

The place’s Your Cash?

Child in a tree

Every other simple strategy to optimize your cash is with a high-interest financial savings account. With those accounts, curiosity works on your choose versus the rates of interest on debt, which paintings towards you.

Having cash in a no or low curiosity financial savings account is a waste of sources–your cash is sitting there doing not anything. Don’t let your cash be lazy! Make it be just right for you! And now, experience some explanatory math:

Let’s say you may have $5,000 in a financial savings account that earns 0% curiosity. In a 12 months’s time, your $5,000 will nonetheless be… $5,000.

Let’s say you as a substitute put that $5,000 into an American Categorical Private Financial savings account, which–as of this writing–earns 3.3% in curiosity (associate hyperlink). In twelve months, your $5,000 may have larger to $5,165. That implies you earned $165 simply by having your cash in a high-interest account.

And also you didn’t need to do anything else! I’m a large fan of being profitable whilst doing not anything. Is any one now not partial to that? It appears so, as a result of someone who makes use of a low or no curiosity financial savings account is NOT getting cash whilst doing not anything. Don’t be that individual. Be the one that earns cash whilst sound asleep.

Sure, We Best Paid $28.24 for Cellular Telephone Provider (for 2 telephones)

Dawn view from our again porch

Our mobile phone provider line merchandise isn’t a typ0 (even supposing that definitely is). We truly and in point of fact handiest paid $28.24 for either one of our telephones (that’s $14.12 in keeping with individual for the ones of you into department). How is such trickery imaginable?!? We use an MVNO!

What’s an MVNO?

Satisfied you requested as a result of I used to be going to inform you anyway: It’s a mobile phone provider re-seller.

MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of the mobile phone provider international–the similar provider, A LOT less expensive. If you happen to’re now not the use of an MVNO, switching to 1 is a simple, slam-dunk, do-it-right-away manner to save cash each unmarried month of each unmarried 12 months eternally and ever amen.

Listed below are a couple of MVNOs to imagine:

For extra, I’ve a complete chart of suppliers and their costs right here: Easy methods to Save Cash on Your Cellular Telephone Invoice with an MVNO: I Pay $12 a Month*

*the volume we pay fluctuates each month as it’s calibrated on what we use. Believe that! We handiest pay for what we use! Will wonders ever stop. These MVNO hyperlinks are associate hyperlinks.

Expense Document FAQs

  • Wish to know the way we organize the remainder of our cash? Take a look at How We Arrange Our Cash: In the back of The Scenes of The Frugalwoods Circle of relatives Accounts
  • Christmas tree in the course of the window!

    Don’t you may have a condo assets? Sure! We personal a condo assets (often referred to as our first house) in Cambridge, MA, which I speak about right here and extra lately, right here too

  • Why do I proportion our bills? To provide you with a way of the way we spend our cash in a values-based method. Your spending will fluctuate from ours and there’s no “one correct manner” to spend and no “highest” price range.
  • Are we essentially the most frugal frugal folks on earth? Completely now not! My hope is that by way of being clear about our spending, chances are you’ll acquire insights into your personal spending and be impressed to take proactive keep watch over of your cash.
  • Questioning the place first of all managing your cash? Take my unfastened, 31-day Uber Frugal Month Problem.
  • If you happen to’re serious about different issues I really like, take a look at Frugalwoods Recommends.
  • Why don’t you purchase the whole thing in the neighborhood? We do our highest to strengthen our local people and purchase as a lot of our meals as imaginable without delay from our farmer neighbors. Our the town doesn’t have any shops, so we depend on on-line ordering and massive field shops for must haves. The nearest shops are 45 mins away and we pass a couple of instances a month to replenish on what we will be able to’t get from our neighbors or on-line.

However Mrs. Frugalwoods, Don’t You Pay For X, Y, Or Even Z???

Questioning about not unusual bills you don’t see indexed under?

  • We don’t have a loan as a result of we paid it off (main points right here)

  • Used items ‘neath this Christmas tree

    We pay expenses in complete the month we obtain them. That’s why you gained’t see per thirty days bills for such things as automobile insurance coverage or assets tax. Those bills display up as the total annual (or bi-annual, and so forth) quantity within the month we pay them.

  • Right here’s what we do for medical health insurance.
  • We don’t have any money owed and we paid coins for our automobiles.
  • Right here’s how we make charitable contributions: How We Donate To Charities Like Billionaires and in addition How We Make Significant And Tax Environment friendly Charitable Donations.
  • Right here’s an outline of the way we save for our youngsters’ upper schooling: How We Use 529 Plans To Save For Faculty
  • We survive 66 acres in rural Vermont, so our utilities and family bills are other from conventional city and suburban houses:
    • We don’t pay for water, sewer, trash, or heating/cooling as a result of we now have a smartly, a septic device, our the town doesn’t supply trash pick-up (we take it to a switch station as soon as per week in luggage we acquire from our the town), we warmth our house with wooden we harvest ourselves from our land, and we don’t have central air con (we use window gadgets all the way through the most up to date portions of the summer time).
    • There are, after all, prices related to keeping up those programs (similar to having our septic device pumped and inspected) and the ones bills display up within the months we pay them.
    • We have now sun panels, which account for our low electrical energy invoice.
    • For extra on our rural way of life, take a look at my sequence This Month On The Abode in addition to Town vs. Nation: Which Is Less expensive? The Final Value Of Dwelling Showdown

If you happen to’re questioning about anything, be happy to invite within the feedback phase!

Alright you frugal cash voyeurs, dinner party your eyes on each greenback we spent in December:

Merchandise Quantity Notes
Groceries $939.03 Christmas dinner party meals!!! Together with one bag of Christmas Cheetos for ME.
Truck maintenance; Subaru tires $840.45 The truck wanted new struts and a tie rod finish whilst the Subaru had to have its new snow tires fastened and balanced (now that they’re fastened on their rims, Mr. FW will trade them himself each and every season).
Fuel for automobiles $386.20
Christmas Items: prolonged circle of relatives, academics, angel tree kid and our youngsters $383.55 See complete main points above. Temporary rundown (associate hyperlinks):

Wine from Wine.com

Snow globes from Walmart

 Lifestyles-sized penguin stuffy

Nail polish from Piggy Paint

Money for academics

Angel Tree reward

Preschool $260.00 For Littlewoods
Vet consult with + prescription medicines $243.60 For doggo
Eating places $205.29
Rooster meals, greater hen feeder, pet food, canine treats, canine toys for Christmas $201.27 All from Tractor Provide
Family provides $172.54
Spherical-trip flight to NYC $153.08 I’m going to NYC subsequent month for a marriage (I’m going to be my buddy’s +1 as we go away our husbands and children at house. We’re lovely enthusiastic about this.)
Beer, wine, alcohol $151.86 For Christmas spirits!
Sheets: one set of king sized $150.70 1 set of king-sized sheets from LL Bean.

We’ve at all times gotten tremendous affordable sheets prior to now and–unsurprisingly–all of them rip and fall aside inside a 12 months. Our hope is that by way of spending A LOT extra, those’ll last more than a 12 months.

Electrical Kettle $99.64 Electrical Kettle (associate hyperlink). Equivalent tale because the sheets–we’ve at all times gotten knock-off kettles prior to now they usually’ve damaged. Hoping that by way of spending extra, this’ll last more.
Oil trade & check-up for Subaru $78.54 We’re being very diligent about doing all of the dealer-recommended check-ups at the Subaru.
Diesel & ethanol-free gasoline for farm apparatus $77.02 10 gals diesel, 5 gals ethanol-free gasoline
Web $72.00
Medical insurance $52.43
Thrift retailer $45.00 A ski coat for me, an insulated flannel blouse for Mr. FW and a few toys for the youngsters.
US Postal Provider $44.00 Stamps for our Christmas postcards
Canine booties! $37.40 Canine booties
Walkie Talkies and rechargeable batteries $36.76 Walkie Talkies and rechargeable batteries (associate hyperlinks). Without equal in sibling cooperative play.
Canine kongs $35.93 2 XL canine Kongs for Gigi. She loves them! (associate hyperlink)
Lifetime provide of shear bolts for tractor snowblower $34.51
Utilities: Electrical energy $30.98 We have now sun (which I element right here); that is our per thirty days base fee for ultimate grid tied.
Ski program for Kidwoods $28.99
Mobile phone provider for 2 telephones $28.24 Thanks, affordable MVNO!
Tailgate maintain $22.25 The tailgate maintain on our truck broke, so Mr. FW goes to interchange it with this new one (associate hyperlink).
Torx bit socket set $17.09 Torx Bit Socket Set for your whole torx bit socketing wishes (associate hyperlink).
Spotify $13.77 Tune!!
Ski straps $13.77 Ski Straps to carry our skis in combination (associate hyperlink).
TOTAL: $4,855.89

How used to be your ultimate month of 2022?

By no means Leave out A Tale

Signal as much as get new Frugalwoods tales on your e-mail inbox.

Share this


CRA dings taxpayer for RRSP overcontribution tax because of financial institution error

Breadcrumb Path Hyperlinks Taxes Non-public Finance Jamie Golombek:...

Give up price taxation – will have to know insurance coverage details

It doesn’t want iterating that insurance coverage (specifically the funding selection) is an ideal complicated product. Learn thru a product brochure and there are such...

VA House Loans: Serving to Army Carrier Individuals Reach Homeownership with MortgageDepot

As a loan dealer corporate, MortgageDepot is proud to supply VA house loans to our shoppers. Those loans are designed to lend...

Recent articles

More like this


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here