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Posts tagged with: thinking ahead

The Little Savings Add Up


September ended up being an unexpectedly expensive month. We had moving expenses, car expenses, much higher than normal utility bills and client chargebacks. Yikes. It hit like a ton of bricks. I’m so grateful for the spending cushion I have, my EF and the whole different place I am in financially.

But as I have looked at this month and this last quarter, readjusting as needed, I am realizing that it’s really the little changes that have made the most difference.

Eating at Home

Making the deliberate choice every day to eat at home. Meal planning. This has also been my biggest money black hole. By purchasing things I enjoy eating and that are easy to prepare, we save tons of money by eating at home.

Mostly keto friendly meal…cheese wrap with turkey and dijon mustard, salt & vinegar pork rinds, pickled okra (yes, I made it) and a clementine (my treat).

I eat mostly keto. This is one of my tried and true lunches. Our school district has made breakfast and lunch free through the end of the year which has helped with our food budget, at least temporarily. Really with the twins gone, I am only feeding Gymnast and myself every day. The girls eat at home on nights they don’t work or aren’t out with friends. (The life of a working teenager, I suppose.)

Self Care by Myself

I have no idea when I had my hair professionally cut or colored. Oftentimes I waiver between embracing the grey and dying it fun colors. But I always come back to some hue of brownish red. $8 later and I’ve got a whole new look.

And when I get tired of looking at my bangs…I give them a trim.

Sitting in History Buff’s car in my front yard after a work call with my newly dyed hair. I absolutely love my work/life balance these days. And being outside regularly is an important part of that.

I’m pretty low maintenance and happily live in my leggins and t-shirts. And absolutely love sweatshirt weather. I have 3 sweatshirts…my old college one and then a green and peach one. My parents gave me the green one two years ago for Christmas and the peach one this last Christmas. I will wear them every day on colder days.

Free Entertainment

In the last few years, my spending on entertainment has decreased tremendously. No or at least fewer kids activities, less eating out (see above) and no more amusement park passes or movie theatre visits. I’ve truly come to appreciate some aspects of our tiny town, specifically the many options for free live music. My go to entertainment are the Saturday night concerts downtown. Since Gymnast has returned, we have a standing “hot date” every Saturday to take our lawn chairs and enjoy whatever band in playing.

Cost $0, Value PRICELESS!

While he won’t get up and dance with me, it is nice to have someone to sit with. I look forward to my boyfriend moving here (possibly next month) to add dancing to my entertainment.

Otherwise, we are home bodies and enjoy working in the yard, baking concoctions and streaming movies…

They Add Up

All these little life changes have added up to big money savings for us. And frankly, have given me more peace and joy than I have had in years and years. I truly feel like I’ve built a life that I love. I had to make some bad decisions and deal with some tough consequences of those decisions, but I’m at peace and I’ve definitely grown financially.

Those savings really paid off this month. And I’ve adjusted my financial plan for the remainder of the year to recover. Because being prepared, well, it’s worth it.





Flat Rate Utility Bill?


When I logged on to schedule payment for our electric bill, the Flat Bill option caught my eye. Currently, they are offering me a $125 per month flat rate for the next 12 months. And after this summer’s electric bills, I am tempted.

And then I also received my water/trash/gas bill today and it’s over $320 this month. Yikes!

I know it’s been hot and I know we had a record number of people living in our house this summer…but the bills are crazy right now. I’m beginning to think I need to find out if we have a water leak somewhere. The water bill is just SO HIGH!

So back to my original question…does anyone take advantage of the Flat Bill option? Does it work out financially for you? These are the details they offer about it on their site:

“FlatBill offers a 12-month fixed contracted price that does not fluctuate when your power usage does. FlatBill looks at your bills for the last 12 months, the expected weather for the upcoming 12 months, and predicted changes in energy use, and then creates a custom FlatBill offer for qualified customers. Your FlatBill amount includes additional charges to cover changes in usage, variations in weather conditions, and other factors that could affect the cost of providing electric service to you. This amount may be more than what you would pay under your existing rate plan.”
Georgia Power

I’d love to hear anyone’s experience or feedback on this type of option. Meanwhile, I am going to call my landlord about my water bill. It just seems exceptionally high. Almost $600 in utility bills this month is throwing my budget off big time!


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