Frugal or Smart?

I’m getting ready to buy two tires for my Honda. I want the tires to match the same brand as the other two.
One tire is $110.00 for 320 tread wear and the other choice is $135.99 for 600 tread wear. It seems worth it based on the tread wear to go with the higher priced tire , but my frugal bone wants to buy the cheaper tire.
Since I don’t know anything about tires, any advice would be appreciated.
PS: I live in Southern CA, so I don’t worry about snow or rain.

My husband and I are 4 years apart

I would need the money more should I outlive him than we need it now. I was told I should take the most now and invest the $90 that I would probably make more money. I think we might not be good about doing that. I’ve had both scenarios suggested for different reasons.

Hey, you brought up several good points

We are debt free except for a small car payment. I think maybe it would be best to allow more for me. I have not worked so I will have to depend on our 401k and social security. I’m not sure if I will get anymore of his other pensions or not. He’s just retired and we’re not sure about a lot of things!

All the answers to these questions will lead you to your answer.

What is the age difference between you?
What is your health and his health like?
Do you have debt or a mortgage?
Could you move somewhere cheaper or get rid of your car and walk to most places?
Could you sell stuff to add money to your budget?
Do you have extended family who will support you?
Do you have expensive taste?
Can you cut back and become extra frugal?
Have you done a budget for just you?
Do you have a other sources of income?
Do you have long term nursing care?

What are your own assets without that amount?

Is the ninety dollars a large amount in comparison to the total or something the two of you might not even notice much now? Both my husband and I chose the retirement plan that gives a pretty good chunk to the survivor. Right now, without debt, either of us could make it on what we would have had without the benefit from the other but one heavy health event could take that away. He is looking at probably his third back surgery which will be more extensive and expensive than the first two so a lot could change.

My husband has a small annuity as a pension

There are several ways he can have the money dispersed. He can choose to get xxxx amount for his lifetime. I would get nothing if I outlived him. He can chose to draw about 90.00 less and I would be able to draw the same amount if I outlived him. For about 45$ less than the highest amount I could get 1/2 of the amount he got if I outlived him. What are your thoughts?

This last week saw us clearing things out, unfortunately no major debt, but things

As those of you who follow my Princess Plan know I am currently concentrating on doing one small section/organizational thing at a time in our nearly 20 x 20 home office/craft room combo. (part 5 just put up at the link below if you are interested in today’s post).

Well all that cleaning is resulting in a whole lot of stuff needing to leave the property permanently. Monday-Thursday I cleaned and sorted like crazy and made huge headway. Each night the guys would come home to find the upper landing littered with boxes and bags that needed to go elsewhere.


The big haul off started on Friday and continued through to today.

Friday saw the removal of all things recyclable. Saturday we went to the dump. Sunday the truck did double duty with hauling feed home and then being loaded for Monday’s run to the local charity donation site. I did get ds’ $63 back from the feed store from where they had double charged him for feed a couple of weeks ago.

Add into it the general pay day errands and I felt like singing “On the Road Again” by the time I got back from Okmulgee today.

Now that all that stuff is gone (three 1 ton pick-up loads) I can better see where to work next and so can the guys.

Is everyone sitting down? Dh has decided that all the old electronics, computers, scanners and such that I’ve been complaining about for years are indeed a huge waste of space and a tripping hazard. HE suggested we recycle it all. I’m going to hold him to it and hopefully another truck load of stuff will leave this next week. That will empty out most of what is left in this room and in the walk in closet. I am so excited! Guaranteed payday loans for bad credit and we managed to stay under budget on groceries all last month so that was wonderful, as well as cutting down on fuel usage, at least until we hauled everything off this last weekend.

Dh started checking the truck and trailer out to see if they will be road worthy in a month or so for some short weekend getaways. Tires were in far better shape than he thought. LOTS of tread left on both—That’s over $2,000 we won’t have to lay out soon thankfully.

Although the truck does need an alignment and he wants the transmission checked along with the belts and hoses before we travel. This big diesel truck is beyond his capabilities on doing a lot of stuff on it so once we get the first social security check (DUE WEDNESDAY—I’M SO EXCITED) the truck will go in for its 190,000 mile check-up.

He checked the lights on the trailer and of course the dadburn field mice have messed up the right turn signal and brake lights AGAIN! This is despite all the mousing critters we have and the boxes of poison and traps we keep set. Why do mice like wiring so much? Luckily he knows how to do the repair because to haul it to the shop is a long drive without proper turn signals and brake lights, plus they charge $109 per hour to work on it. So repairing the lights is on his to do list now.

Ds got in a small amount of overtime on Friday and that made him happy since he is paying extra on his “mortgage” aka: Sallie Mae and is finally starting to see the balance go down fairly rapidly.

On our own snowball we are still limping along having managed to cover our usual January shortfall this year followed by several minor extra expenses like Jellybean’s tail in February. We had hoped to pay off a bill this month, but unless the truck work is cheaper than I think it is going to be it’s not happening. Maybe in March, we’re getting close to another one being gone and I can’t bear that I can’t kill it all in one whack like I had originally planned. But life happens.

At our weekly family meeting we decided because of the plans we have for this spring and summer we will limit our gardening to some large flower pots at the first of the season while we re-vamp the bird pens big time and then once the birds are moved permanently out of the garden do a major build up of that area before planting late summer and fall crops in it. That was a major decision and one I had to really compromise on. I wanted the full fledged garden, but had to be realistic about our limited time and capabilities right now. It will be worth it in the long run.

I should end up with both the bird pens and the garden area I want in the long run. If being on DR has taught me anything it is good things come to those who wait.

WAS Tasks Challenge NOW KFC To-Go-Cups repurposing

I actually have a re-purpose item for a change.

If I’m pressed for time, I grab one of the KFC to-go-cups….. The plastic bottom is separated into 2 so you can easily plant different seeds in each half PLUS it has a handy dandy dome so you have a mini greenhouse all raring to go.

I’ve been saving mine and will use them – just have to figure out WHAT to put in them.

Hi all!

It has been a while since I’ve been able to post. Computer issues and life stuff.
Update on me. We finally paid Ds the last of the promised money for college, so we are officially in baby step 6 right now.
Ds got married last month, the wedding was simple and beautiful. Traveling to TN from. NH really bit into our sinking funds. So I’ve been trying to build that back up. We will do the trip again next spring for his graduation. Needless to say, that means we are not really going “gazelle” with the mortgage at this point. We want to get our sinking funds built up enough to cover a new roof and a used replacement vehicle should the need arise. Once we have those built up we will snowball what we are putting into savings towards the mortgage. For now we just have $200 a month going to principal. $300 a month going into savings for the sinking funds and roof/car.

It is good to be back. Hoping to post more often.

Mark, I totally get the urge to want to pay off all your credit cards asap

but I’m wondering as to why you don’t feel the need to throw that money at building up a bigger emergency fund? You have a family and you live in CA. Contrary to what Dave teaches, $1000 really isn’t adequate for you, realistically. I understand you have a financial background, and I also understand that you don’t want to carry this debt, but to be honest, for a long time, I’ve wondered why you haven’t concentrated on building your emergency fund to something more substantial along the line of $3000 (or more to be honest) before you start aggressively attacking those bills? I’m not trying to be confrontive here, so if I sound that way, I do apologize, it’s not my intent. I just have felt with all the uncertainty, and the fact that your husband’s job situation has been rather precarious, and you do have a number of children, and last of all, you’re renting and things can always change there, why don’t you pause on the aggressive bill repayment and build up a lot more security for your family?

So did you make it?

My flight out to Reno on Thursday was delayed from 3:40 pm to 4:30 pm. I was worried about making my connecting flight in Chicago, but that was delayed as well. Apparently storms across the Midwest affected a BUNCH of us travelers… :-(

SO we were supposed to be leaving today for our vacation

The stupid plane was delayed so much that we wouldn’t have made our connecting flight in Las Vegas. So that meant the airline had to bump us. Since we were to be on the last plane leaving Las Vegas to Midland, we are now flying tomorrow. HOPEFULLY!!! I am so worried about making our connecting flight. We are scheduled to get into Las Vegas at 2:35pm and out flight leaves to Midland leaves at 3:25pm. I’ve been watching the flights all week and they have been consistantly delayed!!!!

At this rate we may never get there. To my praying friends, please say a prayer for us. This is stressful and my anxiety is high.

While our second mortgage isn’t a balloon one

It is at a lot higher interest rate than our first mortgage and there is less than $10,000 separating the two in balance. So by the time we get to the mortgages later this year I may move the second one up for two reasons:

1) The 3.9% difference in interest—I know DR says not to look at that, but on around $40,000 that is a lot of money to consider (roughly $300 per month)

2) Once the second is gone we can put the full amount against the first, where if we pay off the first before the second because it is the lower of the two we could only put part of that snowball money on the second because we would still have to come up with the money each year for the things escrow normally covers.

If I had a balloon looming I’d definitely add it into the snowball and kill it fast because while $6,000 doesn’t sound like much it could be huge in 2020—life happens.

Balloon mortgage…

I haven’t been around lately, but that doesn’t mean we’re not working towards getting rid of debt! :)

We’re actually doing ok right now…putting money towards snowball, making all of our bills every month, etc.

I wanted your thoughts on a balloon second mortgage. Yes, I know I shouldn’t get one..but too late, we did, 9 years ago. Our original mortgages came in two…a larger one, and a smaller, balloon payment one (what can I say, we were 24 and stupid)

So, with all of this paying down of debt….wondering where to put in the balloon mortgage? It’s currently at $25,000, and if we paid at current payments, we’d have to come up with $6,000 when it matures in 2020. My next in line snowball is my car…which is at 8,000. So, do I add the balloon mortgage after the car is paid off? Or do I throw money at the balloon? Keep in mind our house is currently worth less than we owe…we’re closing that gap, but still not there. I’m hoping that it would be possible to refinance to a smarter, 15 year mortgage before the balloon comes due…but not a guarantee. We committed to not walking away from this house and leaving someone else holding our debt.

Other good news – many of our stupid things things of the past will begin to roll off our credit report this year!! Yay for improved credit if we do try to refinance!!


I looked at all those Goals for the Weekend and so many were filing taxes.

I thought. OK. It’s going to be ugly, but I’m going to sit down RIGHT NOW and file our taxes.


The GREAT NEWS: We get $3065 back from the Feds and $684 back from the State.

The BAD NEWS: They’re not actually going to send us checks.

The GOOD NEWS: I imagine they’re going to confiscate it to pay our federal and state back taxes. But that means at the end of the day, we might only owe the Feds about $1200 and the state about $200.

THAT is a HUGE WIN for us. Can you imagine? Being almost debt free from the Feds and State after being unemployed for nearly a year??


Well, after 5 months of PT

for whiplash and a shoulder sprain/tendinitis, I finally finished up. I figured out that I spent 60 dollars weekly for this – or about 1200 total. It was needed, but now I have that money to put back towards my goals. The snowball suffered some, but we did not go into any more debt during that time.

That was on top of spending 900 last spring for PT for my knee. Worth it to be pain free, but I hate spending the money.