:::: MENU ::::

Posts tagged with: event

My Financial To-Do List

by

My Financial To-Do List

My partner and I have gotten to a place where our financial basics are pretty much covered. We contribute to our retirement accounts, we make overpayments on the mortgage, and we have sinking funds for things like home repairs and a new car. Our budget that I tweaked a few months ago is working really well for us and our finances feel like they’re on autopilot at this point, which is great. 

I’m a worrier who tends to obsess over money, so it’s nice that I don’t have to devote as much mental and emotional energy to getting our finances in order these days. I have to make small adjustments from time to time, and obviously I’ll have to do a major budget overhaul if something bad happens like a job loss or an illness. But I know that we’ll be ok even in a worst-case scenario thanks to our emergency savings, which is comforting.

I’ve Become A Little Too Complacent  

However, I’ve realized that I’ve become a little complacent when it comes to our finances. I haven’t been taking care of the items on my financial to-do list and have let them linger for a few months. My spouse only has life insurance through work, so we want to get a second policy that isn’t tied to an employer. It will be much cheaper to do this while we’re young, so I really want to get it taken care of. 

We’re also not taking advantage of all of my spouse’s workplace benefits. There’s a stock purchasing plan we’re not enrolled in and we’re not putting any money in our HSA. And we should probably bump up our retirement contributions since my spouse has been earning much bigger bonuses at work for a few months and my business has been doing well. 

I Probably Won’t Tackle My To-Do List Until After Christmas 

If I’m being honest, these financial housekeeping tasks probably won’t get done this month because of Christmas. But I want to start knocking these tasks off of my to-do list right after the holidays are over, and I hope writing this post holds me accountable to that goal! 

I also want to get our taxes out of the way early so we can see how filing jointly for the first time will affect our return. If we get too big of a tax refund, we may need to adjust my spouse’s withholding. I’ve gone back and forth on the issue of tax returns. Sometimes I think it’s better to get a bigger return so we don’t end up accidentally owing the government something. But I think I’ve finally decided that I’m not a big fan of getting a large tax refund because it’s easy to squander the money on impulse purchases since it feels like “free money.” So after I get this backlog of tasks off of my to-do list, I’m going to turn my attention to our taxes and figuring all that out. 

Are there any big or annoying financial housekeeping tasks that you’ve been putting off? Are you going to wait to tackle them until the new year, or get them out of the way now so you can start 2023 on the right financial foot? Let me know in the comments section below! 

Read More

All the Holiday Things!

Splurging On Concert Tickets And Going Easier On Myself

Holiday Faux-Pas

All the Holiday Things!

by

Happy, merry, all the things!

I hope U.S. readers had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend and enjoyed spending time with family and friends.

Everyone finish up all your Thanksgiving turkey? I used this sour cream enchilada recipe with leftover turkey (substituting in place of the chicken) and it was delish! I also made turkey noodle soup (sharing some with a sick neighbor who missed out on the holiday), and we are now officially finished with our turkey!

Holiday foods

Usually I go pretty “big” for Thanksgiving, but we were more low key this year. We had turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and brownies for dessert (no pie!). Plus rolls. We did have rolls. But normally I’d also make sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and several other side dishes and/or desserts that I didn’t do this year. It was perfectly lovely, but still reasonable from a food preparation perspective. Not overwhelming with leftovers and nothing went to waste. In fact, my grocery spending this month is a little lower compared to the past couple months!  A true shock to me given that I’d planned my budget thinking that food spending would be higher this month. But we managed to squeeze out so many leftovers from the single Thanksgiving meal that it saved us on food costs that week (and still finishing it up here today and tomorrow).

Save some, splurge some…

So we saved on food, but we splurged on something else – family photos! I received a recommendation from a friend and we had photos done the day before Thanksgiving. The weather was perfect and we got gorgeous desert shots of our family all together. The photographer does it as a side-hustle (her full-time gig is as a nurse), so she was way more reasonable than some of the prices I’ve seen quoted elsewhere. We spent $140 for an hour and a whole gallery of digital photos. Here are a couple of my favorites:

(Photo credit to S. Houghton Photography for local Tucson friends)

Memories to last a lifetime!

Long-time readers have watched my kids grow since they were 4 years old (they’re 10-and-a-half now!). I can’t believe how much they’ve grown. It’s true what they say – the days are long, but the years are short. While pictures may not be in everyone’s budget, it’s a planned annual expense for us because I want to document this time in our lives. When the girls were younger, we would take our own annual photos (we didn’t even own a tripod – we’d just prop a camera). Or there were times we’d have my stepdad take our photo with his fancy camera. Other times we did cheap pics in the Sears photo studio. The point is, there are ways around going to a professional. But if you can find a reasonably priced photographer who fits your budget – I think its a worthwhile splurge.

Do you do annual family photos?

Do you use leftover turkey in other creative ways? Recipes you want to share?

 

1 2 3 1,764