Saturday, September 2, 2017

When Frugality Flails

I have had the most expensive couple months in a very long time. Probably the most expensive since I had to pay college tuition.  Since I last checked in, I have:
  1. Moved to a much more expensive city into a much more expensive apartment.
  2. Acquired a commute.
  3. Got a newer, more fuel-efficient car to deal with said commute.
  4. Had to increase the amount of car insurance I have because my new car is actually worth more than $50. 
  5. Husband got into a car accident, so he's had to pay for a rental car since our bare bones insurance doesn't cover that. 
  6. Kitty was diagnosed with hyper thyroid, which is a common and manageable condition that most older cats get, but it means expensive medicine and more frequent vet visits, which neither of us enjoy.
  7. We hit another patch of weddings--fun, but expensive and with some travel involved.
  8. Odd, random expenses that come with a new place are gobbling up my money.  Like curtains and rods, paint, fans, something to hang paper towels on, etc.
I am currently reeling from the fact that I will have a car payment for the first time in eight years, but I also plan to pay it off aggressively.  I technically could have just paid cash for the car and avoided financing it altogether, but that would have eliminated my Emergency Fund entirely, and I'm not willing to do that--especially so soon into this move.

Despite these extra expenses, there are a few good things that have come out of this situation.
  1. I do have to drive more to get to and from work, but our new place is in an actual neighborhood where I can walk to pretty much everything.  There is a street full of restaurants three blocks away, and a grocery and liquor store two blocks away.  Previously, my work commute was 15-20 minutes, but the only place I could really walk to from my house was the library, or to get Chinese takeout.  Now I can drive to and from work, then park my car and do everything I need to do on foot.
  2. Our new place is smaller, which may seem like an odd thing to want, but it makes a lot more sense for us.  Our previous place was a huge loft style apartment with no real rooms.  It was great looking, but not very practical for two people who like their privacy.  Since it was also really big, it was easy to start to acquire more things to fill the space.  Now, our house is only slightly too big, and we've been getting rid of a lot of things.
  3. Taking on extra expenses, along with being forced by the move to really examine my possessions has got me streamlining and making a bit of side cash.  I had started getting rid of things via Craigslist and Freecycle before the move, but the new area we live in has a very active Buy Nothing group on facebook, and I've been doing a bit of ebaying.  I'm not going to get rich, but it's feeling really good to get things out of my house, and make a bit of cash that goes toward my goal of maxing out my Roth IRA. Once I start looking at my possessions with an eye to sell, it becomes that much easier to keep the momentum going.
Despite these setbacks, I am determined!  Fall is my favorite time of year, and once my house is in order, I look forward to exploring my new neck of the woods.

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