I recently had a CD mature and I was trying to decide if I should let the CD roll over or just put it back into my savings. I had finally decided to just have it moved back into my savings when I got an email from my bank that if I rolled it over into another CD (I could chose a different rate/timeline) I would get an additional .05% interest. So I started comparing some more and it was a little over $60 more I’d make if I rolled it over to another CD.
I will admit I had some anxiety rolling it back into another CD, this time it would be for a year. I would like to in the near future buy a house, get married and start looking at having kids so having that chunk of money not that easily accessible scared me. But I looked at my other accounts that I have access to within minutes and realized that I have done pretty well so far and shouldn’t need that security blanket unless something catastrophic would happen- and if it did I would handle it appropriately at that time. My expenses haven’t changed a whole lot, I just spent quite a bit traveling, but surprisingly still saw my savings go up throughout the year- yay! My insurance will actually be a little bit lower starting in 2018, so I should see my paycheck go up a tiny (not kidding) bit. I decided that while I am able I would go ahead and contribute more to my retirement accounts. I have just adjusted it by 2% so far, will see how much that affects my paycheck and go from there. If I stay with my current employer I could have enough points to retire when I am 53, but I wouldn’t be able to receive my social security until I am probably 70. 65 if we’re lucky! It wouldn’t hurt me to continue working for my employer another s.e.v.e.n.t.e.e.n years but that’s a long time so I’d like to go ahead and contribute as much as I can while I have minimal expenses.
Thankfully, like I said my insurance will actually be going down a few dollars next year so that’ll help balance out what I will now be contributing more to my retirement account. I am still going to put the max amount allowable into my health savings account as it’s taken out of my paycheck before taxes and I can take that health savings account if/when I leave and it is not a use it or lose it account.
As much as I want to continually book my next adventure, it’s been a nice 3 weeks (don’t laugh) of not having to pay for my flight/hotel/etc for my next trip. I still keep an eye on Southwest’s cheaper flights but nothing has been too reasonable enough to just have to book it.
So here’s to coming up on a New Year. It looks like it may be even greater than 2017 was, and all my traveling I did- getting a ring 🙂 :), and savings I was still able to accomplish seems like a lot to beat but I know I can and will make 2018 even greater!
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
– Mark Twain
Six different countries, two different US territories and eight new states traveled and amazed by what they offered!
2017 has been a year for sure. I started off by welcoming a sweet baby niece, making a crazy 8+hr trip (one way) for work that I spread out into two days… can ya blame a girl?!… and then off to my first ‘vacation’ of the year, making us miss the blizzard that hit back home… darn! 😀
A road trip with my neighbor through California and Oregon, also with a quick pitstop to Tijuana, Mexico.
After California, came my Mom and I’s cruise in the Southern Caribbean. The food, the people, the clear blue waters, swimming with turtles <3. When can I go back?! We were lucky enough to have went before the devastating hurricanes hit and destroyed many of the islands’ beautiful sights.
A trip to the city was my next vacay, The Big Apple, four days in the city was just enough for me. I got to experience the Subway, Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Ellis Island, and Statue of Liberty. And decide to walk over 11 miles one day… who does that… willingly?! 🙂
Literally the night I got home from New York, I booked a flight for my parents and I to Detroit to take a road trip through part of Canada to see Niagara Falls.
The colors were changing, the weather was mostly pleasant, and the Falls exceeded my expectations.
Although my adventures seem to have come to an end for 2017 when it comes to flying I have one more road trip to Branson for family Christmas. But I still have my eye on purchasing a plane ticket in the near future.
I 100% recommend people saving their money: pinching their pennies, avoiding going out to eat, not ordering a pop, etc! To be able to go and see the world. I have only been a few select places but those places, wow! This small town, ‘sheltered’ girl was amazed at the beauty around us, and all for a rather decent cost.
As I’ve said many other times, my 2017 ‘resolution’ was to travel. I think it’s safe to say I actually stuck with a resolution for once! Did you stick with yours? What is your 2018 Resolution? I think I have decided to make mine to actually get married ha! I have a ring, now I just want to be able to wear it and have a husband! ahem….. Buck! :o) Who knows! Maybe a wedding will be one of my first 2018 trips! 🙂 no flying to get there that idea has already been shot down. So probably a quaint mountain wedding! And then I will actually have some updated photos of us!
P.S. If you’re reading this, thanks for taking care of the house and animals all the times I’ve went off on a new adventure. I LOVE YOU!
If you’ve ever taken a family trip you probably know what I say ‘whew! we all survived’ . Ha! My mom, stepdad and myself flew to Detroit, rented a car and did a loop up to Toronto/Niagara Falls and back down to the states through New York, Pennslyvania, Ohio and back to Detroit to fly home.
Here is a quick break down of what we spent:
Hotel: $151.91 a person; Parking $104.46/person (including the parking at our local airport); Sight-seeing tickets $47/person; food $78/person and gas $34/person.
Flights originally cost us $204.46/person but I am anal (have a weird obsession with checking flights daily) and noticed that our tickets were cheaper a few days after purchasing so I was able to get us a credit for a future flight…. Will we all have a future flight before they expire? That I am not sure, but i’d rather go ahead and get the credit just in case (we saved $53/person on the cheaper flights.) Our car rental was surprisingly cheap, atleast to me anyway, it was 61.15/person. I did do something stupid and put the car rental in my name, and by stupid I mean that if i’d put it in my mom’s name she has full coverage on her car therefor her insurance would have covered it at no extra cost. Since I don’t carry full coverage I had to up my insurance so we had to pay $23/person. It was still way cheaper to do it this way then to purchase insurance through the rental company, they probably charge more than $23 a day!
When we picked up the car, they informed me that it would be $13/person/day to add an additional driver so I made the decision not add either of my parents and drove the entire trip. It was not bad at all. I actually like driving, and i am thinking my parents enjoyed being able to look out the windows without worrying about the road.
Again, a huge shout out goes to a friend back home who shares her friends and family hotel discounts to help lessen the cost for us. We did splurge at Niagara Falls and get a hotel that had a great view of the falls but it was worth every penny! The downside to that hotel was parking was $30! Yee-ouch! A few friends recommended to us to stay on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls and initially we questioned why. Uhm, the view on the Canadian side is 1000% prettier, breathtaking, astonishing (i could use another 10 adjectives to describe it) than the American. Check out this view and I think you’ll agree!
We purchased tickets to do the Hornblower Boat tour at Niagara Falls and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, everything else we did was little to no cost. I don’t know that there was any difference in the Hornblower (Canadian boat tour) versus the Maid of the Mist (US Boat tour) I think the price was roughly the same and they took you the same route just docked on their countries side of the falls.
Our food bill was rather high because we did indulge one night in Canada otherwise our food bill would be roughly $30 cheaper per person.
Canada is absolutely beautiful. I am already ready to go back! We started out by entering into Canada up by Lake Huron where we stopped and had lunch and then made our way to Toronto for the evening.
A few neat things I noticed about Canada: This may sound totally weird, but their roads, for the most part, are very smooth and well taken care of. Almost every house we saw in a couple towns had their Canadian flag flying in front of their house, you can tell they love their country. Maybe we as American’s should start doing the same?? We saw very few homeless people, there was little to no trash along the hiways or in the cities.
$1 CAD is roughly .78c USD and everything was in Canadian dollar (duh) so it was a little difficult figuring out what we owed, but you just needed to tell/ask the cashier what it is in US and they hit a button on their machine and it would convert it. Also, confusing was that gas was in Liters and in cents. Like 118.9c/liter.
This entire road trip was not planned out 100%, we just knew we wanted to see Niagara Falls. Everything else we just did as we saw it. We didn’t have cell service/data in Canada unless we were at a hotel for the evening. In fact, when we pulled into Toronto I had to find a Starbucks to use their wifi to book our hotel for the night since we had no idea where we’d end up each night. We took my Mom’s GPS and it came in very handy, but sometimes we’d see something that would catch our eye and just go off the beaten path to go check it out. Sometimes we ended up in some sketch areas and others we were amazed where it took us. Actually, i think it’s my parents goal to end up in the ‘ghetto’ because it never fails that’s where we go with all three of us in a vehicle! 🙂
Back in 2016, a few of my friends and I decided that we were going to do some traveling together, two of us ended up booking our first trip to San Diego, California, where we’d then rent a car and drive up to Portland, Oregon.
I have decided to show you a little bit of where I’ve been, what it cost me and how I have tried to keep the costs down as much as possible.
I was able to book my flight to and from for free, only paying the $5.60 each way for airport fees. Our car was around $220 each because we upgraded to a Hybrid. We’ve decided it was probably a wash but it was nice not having to stop every few hundred miles to fill up again. We spent about $70 each on gas for a 1,900 mile trip.
A very sweet gal I met at my local CrossFit gym gave us some Friends and Family discounts to a hotel chain, so we spent about $200 for eight nights on hotels (it also helped, in a way, that we ended up staying at a place that apparently allows their tenants to party throughout the night OUTSIDE the next rooms door. So I disputed it with my credit card and got us a refund saving us some $$.)
Parking fees, in my mind, were the priciest expense we had to just park our car to then walk, I will probably never stop complaining about the parking fees- ha! They totaled around $100/person (this includes our parking fee for the airport.)
We decided before we flew out that we were going to pick up the rental, go find a Walmart and pick up sandwich supplies, fruits and snacks to help us to a) not eat out as much b) watch what we were eating as we were holding each other accountable to lose weight. We had already brought paper goods and other snacks in our luggage. Yes, we had an entire suitcase for food. I love food- can’t and won’t ever deny it.
Of course, we also had other purchases of tickets to see things that cost, like Alcatraz (a must see at night!)
All of these numbers are rough estimates, and I probably estimated high on some of them so altogether my 8 day trip cost me $600. That is all it took for me to catch the Traveler’s Bug.
After that, I asked my mom if she would like to go on a trip with me somewhere. We decided on a cruise starting out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Whaaaaaaaat! Let me just back up and say that I was adamant about never flying, never traveling anyway besides by car and that would mean I would never be crossing an ocean…. Well, fooled me!
This trip was a bit more costly but 110% worth it.
Our flights were a little over $700 each, our cruise expense was right around $750 each, but the cruise expense included all meals, shows, etc. If you wanted to purchase alcohol that was extra. Then, once you arrived at each port you had the expense of doing the excursions. I honestly didn’t write down everything that we paid for as a lot we paid for in cash. But I would say we probably spent $60 each at all 5 ports. We just had an interior room, people kept telling me how small and cramped it was going to be. I didn’t notice us being cramped at all. We were only in there to sleep and shower, the rest of the time we were out wandering. We also had plenty of room for our suitcases.
We also brought a suitcase just for snacks again :). My mom and I each brought a backpack that we packed our snorkel equipment (that we bought off of Amazon prior to sailing so we didn’t chance getting someone else’s germs from a shared snorkel. Gross!) towels, sunscreen (that we apparently did not use enough of,) and snacks to try and help us from eating out when at the ports. But let’s face it, once we tried that oh, so delicious Caribbean food there was not much eating of snacks that we’d brought.
I almost forgot! We arrived in Puerto Rico two days before we set sail. We didn’t stay at a hotel right off the beach so we took a taxi to one of the beaches, before being dropped off we asked will there be taxis to pick us up when we’re ready to head back? “Oh yes no problem!” Uhm… no, there wasn’t. we started walking, no cell phone service to try and pull up maps, nothing! So we started walking- had no idea if we were headed in the right direction though. We saw this lady stretching at a resting point along the way, so I asked her if she was from there, “yes”, Great! I said we don’t have cell phone service, we can’t find a taxi and we are completely lost! She was so very kind, she told us to wait right there she would go get her car around the block and take us to our hotel. We will forever be grateful to her, Suely. I have tried to find her on Facebook but have not had much luck.
We arrived back to our local, haha- okay so our ‘local’ airport is 3 hours away from where I live for those of you who do not know, airport around midnight; get to my car and the battery is dead. I left a light on…The airport parking people came and jumped the battery and back home we went, we arrived around 3am, for me to get up the next morning and head another 3 hours away from where I live.
This cruise, along with many others, is definitely on my list to do again. ❤
My next trip involved the city, New York City… Cities, they aren’t my favorite, but I still think they must be seen by all if you get the chance. I just got back from my most recent trip to New York City with my neighbor, who was also the one I did the road trip through California with. We were there for four days. We spent about $340 on our Air B’n’B, flight, Uber and Lyft rides, parking at the airport and some meals. Ever spend money on a stupid item? My stupid item this trip was $30 on a 2 pound bag of M&M’s… what? Who does that. Apparently I didn’t read the part about the price being per HALF pound.
We sight-seed Ground Zero Memorial, what a tribute to those who lost their lives, Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building, Central Park, we walked Brooklyn bridge, Times Square, you name it we probably walked to/by it. One of ‘Susan’s’ friends works at the Empire State Building so we got VIP access up to the 102nd floor!
Literally the evening we got home from our NYC trip, my parents and I booked our flight and car for our trip into Canada to see Niagara Falls. Our flights cost $210 each, the car rental $60 and we’ve already been able to book our hotel the night we get there and the night before we fly back costing us only $35 a piece. All thanks to a wonderful gal!
I may be frugal when it comes to trying to get my monthly expenses as low as I can get them but it’s because I want to be able to continue to afford seeing the beautiful places on earth. This is the first time I have ever figured up what I have spent so far on traveling this year so if I just stop writing it’s because I had a mini heart attack. Here we go! Ok. Honestly, I’m good with this number (again it’s an estimate) $3,000. This amount is from my road trip through California to the booking of the flight, car and 2 nights of hotels for my upcoming Canada trip. I’ve traveled approximately 16,200 miles since January 1, 2017.
First off, where did 2016 go?! I feel like it just flew by! Many exciting things happened for me and my family this year, so I can’t say that it was a bad year at all!
My sister and nephew rode the train out to my moms in Colorado to celebrate my nephew’s 3rd birthday! I took a week off and went home to help celebrate. My cousin and her four kiddos and Grandma all came up to celebrate as well. We walked to the park almost every day, while my nephew rode his trike that my mom got him. As you can see in the photo below, he decided to be a big boy and help grandma make his cupcakes and turned the KitchenAide on high…. cocoa powder everywhere!
Two of my friends and I took a girls weekend up to Colorado Springs, we climbed the Manitou Incline, walked across the Royal Gorge and the rode the gondola back to the other side. I tried sushi for the first time, well my food was cooked but still rolled up like a sushi dish. I can honestly say it’s something I never care to have again. If you haven’t bought a selfie stick. Do!!! It is one of the best inventions ever- you almost never have to worry about finding someone to take a photo of your group!
That same weekend of the girls trip, a friend and coworker blessed us with a sweet baby boy, who she got to bring to work for the first six months of his life. We thoroughly enjoyed coming to his beckon call, or squeal :-), we didn’t realize how much we were going to miss him until he left the office. He still comes and visits us sometimes during our potlucks. They are neighbors to me, but I’m probably the worst neighbor, I’ve only ever been to their house once since they moved to this side of town.
We brought home our new kitty,Linda! She is a handful but we wouldn’t have it any other way. She is the Houdini of cats, some nights she has to sleep in her kennel and we will wake up to her meowing by the door as she has found a way to get out of the kennel. We have no idea how she does it as the kennel door is still locked when she is out of it. She was absolutely tiny! Now she has a pot belly- ha ha!
I took a different job with the agency, but ended up deciding it wasn’t the right fit for me so was able to take my old job back. Funny thing is I told the supervisor of the job I decided wasn’t the right fit, that I’d help out until the positions was filled. To this date, they’ve hired two people who are coming along great, but I am still helping cover. Which I don’t mind- I love being needed.
A majority of my moms side got together in the summer to enjoy some time together, no cell phone service or Internet! It was a great weekend to get refreshed and remember to be thankful for all that I take for granted. Here is a photo of most of Grandma’s grandkids and great grandkiddos.
We found out that my sister is expecting a baby girl in January! I am planning to go up with my mom to see her after Baby Girl is born… They live about 7 hours away from where I live, so we don’t get to see them too often.
I met a sweet lady who has blessed my life more than she probably knows. She has 3 sweet kiddos that I just adore, I got to help throw her an adorable “moose” baby shower for Baby T! My mom helped me make a 3-tier diaper cake, have I ever mentioned my mom is badass?!?!? She super creative, she did not share that gene with me!
My mom, stepdad and I went down to my aunt and uncles to see my cousin before he and his family left for Germany for the AirForce. It is always a joy to be around this group of people- the stories they tell will never get old.
My mom,sister, nephew and I took a week long vacation to Branson, Missouri. I think we figured it up that we saw twelve shows, took a ride on “Ride the Ducks” and on the Branson Belle. Both of which I highly recommend. We rented a condo right on the lake. One day while walking around the marina, I noticed that you could actually see the Branson Belle from it, I thought that was kinda neat because to get the Belle we had to go all the way around the lake to get to it. One of the shows we went to was the Amazing Pet Show! I’m sure my nephew thought we went to it for him…. But I know it was for me! 🙂
My boyfriend started back up with roping, and I try to sneak a ride on one of the horses whenever I can. Being back in the saddle does something to me it’s such a relaxing and therapeutic time.
Kayla, a good friend and neighbor, and I booked our flights for a road trip through California into Oregon in April 2017.
My best friend from college just had a beautiful baby girl who I am very excited to go meet. We are pretty lucky in that we both work for the same agency so we get to see each other for work through out the year.
Crossfit is something in my life that I hope never goes away, I was able to accomplish a few more movements I’ve been working on. 1) pull up, 2) new PR on my Power Cleans, 3) HSPU Handstand push ups with an ab mat and 10# plate. I’ve also started working on hand stand walks, I’ve got five “steps” so far! Woo! While I haven’t done the best with eating habits and maintaining my weight like I had done the past couple years, I have definitely increases my muscle mass and am able to lift more than I had been able to. Crossfit has brought many new friends into my life that I’d probably have never met if I and they hadn’t joined!
A group of friends decided to try our hand at a Painting Party. It was mostly a success!
The next weekend, Kayla and I completed a quilt wood block painting. I am not completely happy with the colors I chose. I am thinking about redoing it someday when it’s nice outside!
Thanksgiving was a nice and long five day weekend for me. My boyfriend cooked/smoked a turkey on the Traeger and I made the fixings- homemade mashed tators, gravy, rolls, and green bean casserole. During the long weekend, I went home and helped my mom decorate for Christmas- a cherished pastime of mine. She gave me her old tree and my boyfriend and I were able to donate our old tree to a family in need.
I applied for my passport and received it within a few days of submitting my application! But soon realized they put a space in my middle name so had to send it back to get fixed. I am so excited to be able to go see the world now!
Christmas time was just her, usually I go down to OK City with my mom to her side of the family but we didn’t this year. My in-laws came over from the West Slope. My boyfriends dad and him enjoyed a few days of roping- have you ever got that pitter patter in your heart when you know life is good? I definitely felt that watching those two rope again.
To date, I haven’t ended up in the ER like I did about this time last year! I’ve stayed pretty healthy with a few odd issues, but I’ve just decided that that’s just how my body is! This time last year I more than meant my $2,750 deductible, this year I’m happy to say I’ve barely even spent $300! It was a nice change to watch my health savings account grow rather than deplete by a big chunk!
Money, you know I couldn’t write a post without talking about it! By today’s date, I am accruing $.91 in interest A DAY! That’s approximately $333 in interest a year. Free money people! I had to move some money around to a cd get that $.91, but I am comfortable putting that X amount in a cd for the period of time to accrue such interest. I was thinking of my 2017 financial goals this morning and I said I wanted to make $1.00 in interest a day, but now that I just added up what I’m currently making, I feel that I can achieve that in just a few months assuming that I won’t have any major issues with my car, etc.
I hope you all have had a great year, and are ready to take on 2017 and all that it has to bring! You are in control of your happiness do whatever makes you happy!
Where I live, Verizon is about the only provider who has service in our area, unless you go with Tracfone or possibly another cell phone contract like them. So we are very limited on our choices and therefor I was paying out the wazoo for cell phone service (text, calling, and data.)
I was paying $95 for 3GB of data at one point in time! I just want to slap myself for ever even paying such a ridiculous amount for so little in return, but it’s done, it’s past. Time to move on Allison! I called up Verizon one day and told them that I was looking at ways of reducing my expenses, and how I had been a loyal- paying on time- customer. They were so generous in giving me a discount of $15 to make it $80 a month. Ok, I told myself- take it- it’s better than nothing. Well then a few months later I called again and got it dropped down to I believe it was $75 after taxes. But then… I started going over my data and ended up paying the colossal fee for going over. There were months that I went over by .005 GB and I got charged the $20 overage fee… No matter what, if you went over .001 GB of the 3GB you get charged. So I called them up again, asked if they had any better deals. They had what they called something like Verizon best customer plan (don’t quote me on that). I would now be paying $70 for 5 gb of data. Ok, 2 more gigs for an extra $5? Great!
Great… until I found out Verizon had a prepaid plan and I could get 5GB of data, plus an additional 1GB if I put my plan on automatic payment, for $50! 6GB for $50 you guys. I believe this ‘promo’ has ended and now their $50 plan is still 5GB but any data you don’t use rolls over to the next month. Either way, their prepaid plans sound a lot better than their ‘regular’ plans.
Their regular plans are, in my opinion, OUTRAGEOUS. Let me just put some numbers out there as I look at their website. Their “Medium” plan is 4gb for $50, PLUS their $20 fee for having a phone ( one of the silliest things I’ve ever heard of..) so you would be paying $70 (before tax) for 4GB or we can jump to their “Large” package which is 8gb (plus they have a promo going on for 2gb of data extra- so 10GB total) for $70,plus again their $20 line fee, making it $97. I guess, if you used that many gigs in a month this plan may not be too bad but I can’t see myself paying $100 (because it’ll be over that after taxes) for a cell phone each month! That is $1,200 a year!
So even if I didn’t persuade you to switch over to the prepaid plans, I hope that you will maybe call up your phone provider and explain to them how you have been a loyal customer to them, and you are looking to save a few extra dollars. Put those savings into your savings account, or splurge and put them in your travel account if you have one set up! Everyone deserves a vacation somewhere sometime! J
Have I ever mentioned I hate change? I hate it! But sometimes I have to accept it knowing that it is for the better.
My most recent change that I am trying to tell myself to quit worrying over is that I recently saw that a bank I bank with was having a 11 month no penalty cd with a 1.25% rate. I am sure there are better rates out there but I know this bank, I like to keep my money in as few banks as possible and I know how easy it is to open and move money from one account to another.
I did some math figures because I wanted to get the best bang for my buck, but I also wanted to make sure I still had a ‘decent’ amount in savings just in case for some reason I needed it to be readily available.
The exciting ‘aha’ moment came when I realized I could comfortably be making $.71 in interest a day, $.59 from my CD, and $.12 from my regular savings account, instead of the $.59 I was currently making with all my money in the savings account.
Why did I choose the amount I did to put away for those 11 months? Really no rhyme or reason. When doing the math, it was right at 72% of my regular savings so I can’t say that it was exactly ¾ of my savings or anything. It was just a number that I felt comfortable with setting aside, not being able to touch for awhile, now that I think about it, I also remember thinking at the time that “I could be making $.59 a day in interest with X amount in a CD plus this other I still have set aside if an emergency arises will be making $.12?!
I chose their 11 month no penalty CD because, well A) Hello, no penalty if for some very unforeseen reason I needed to dip into that CD I wouldn’t have a penalty… B) it was .20% better than even their 12 month CD (that has a penalty if you dip into it), C) even their 5 year CD rate of 1.65-1.75% is not that great of deal for having to put it away for that long! I will be curious to see what rates are around when my CD matures, to see if I want to put all of it in another go round or pull it out and put it into my save 1% savings account rate.
While, I do want to support and keep my money local, I do not keep most of my money at local banks, my quarterly interest at a local bank is less than what I make in a day at my nationally known bank.
A new change I am looking forward to is the day I make a $1.00/day in interest! There are so many ways I can make that happen in 2017, and I plan on challenging myself to reach that goal as early as I can in 2017!