Littlewoods’ Birthday And Different February 2023 Bills


I promise I’ll speak about what we spent final month in a second, however first I need to inform you which you could now…

Schedule a Free 15-Minute Name with Me!

Hello! I’m Liz and I need to assist YOU together with your cash

In the event you’ve been desirous about hiring me to do a monetary plan for you, in the event you’re interested by how my session course of works or whether or not or not I can reply your questions… now you can seize quarter-hour on my calendar free of charge! I need of us to really feel assured that I will help them with their cash and, I’ve discovered a 15-minute chat is a straightforward (and enjoyable!) means so that you can choose my mind on what precisely I can do for you and your monies.

Why do I supply monetary consultations? As a result of cash is terrifying for lots of people and many of us don’t know the place to start out. That’s the place I are available in. I demystify private finance and break it down into manageable steps. I clarify the place to start out, the place to go and tips on how to confidently handle your cash by yourself. I assist individuals work out tips on how to make their cash allow them to dwell the life they need.

My session classesand ensuing written monetary plans–are complete, holistic, and all-encompassing of every individual’s funds. I have a look at revenue, money owed, belongings, mortgages, bills, investments, retirement accounts, anticipated social safety, bank card technique and extra. I run by each facet of an individual’s monetary life alongside their longterm objectives and aspirations.

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I cost a flat charge as a result of I don’t consider in hidden charges or upselling. I need you to know prematurely what you’ll be paying and that you simply don’t want to fret about me steering you in the direction of investments or merchandise that’ll give me a sit back.

→Unsure which possibility is best for you? Schedule a free 15-minute chat with me to be taught extra. Refer a pal to me right here.

Okay Sure, Now I Will Speak About What We Spent Final Month…

On the NYC marriage ceremony! In my new deer-print costume

I went to New York Metropolis! On my own! It was wonderful! I imply, I missed my husband and kids terribly… At any charge, I flew all the way down to NYC in a station wagon-sized commuter aircraft–together with 4 different passengers and one pilot–with a purpose to attend a marriage because the date of certainly one of my faculty BFFs. She flew as much as NYC, I flew down and we shared a lodge room in Brooklyn. We did our favourite issues: walked for miles, ate wonderful meals, drank unbelievable espresso and imbibed beautiful cocktails. I additionally had lunch with my monetary BFF, Shannon McLay the Founding father of the Monetary Gymnasium! Plus, I went to a Walgreens and purchased a tube of crimson lipstick.

I’m now topped up on metropolis experiences and glad to be nestled again into my rural enclave. Three days and two nights was simply sufficient time for me to really feel immersed in a spot I used to dwell and in addition reminded of why I now not dwell there.

I purchased two clothes for the weekend–one thrifted and one new from a neighborhood boutique right here in Vermont. Additionally bought a number of very stylish and under no circumstances cheesy I ♥ NYC souvenirs for the youngsters.

Littlewoods Turned 5!

Aside from New York, Littlewoods made the month eventful by turning FIVE years outdated!!!! We celebrated on a Saturday per her exact specs:

  1. Put up-ski restaurant lunch for Littlewoods’ birthday!

    Went snowboarding within the morning

  2. Out to a restaurant for lunch
  3. Had pals over for a do-it-yourself pizza dinner
  4. Baked a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting and contemporary strawberries on high


You’ll discover there’s no line merchandise for birthday presents as a result of we didn’t give her any. KIDDING! Folks, I’m joking. There’s no line merchandise as a result of…

All of her presents had been both hand-me-downs or bought used over the summer season at storage gross sales.

Sure certainly, the frugal gifter struck once more and the birthday lady was thrilled. For decorations, I reused the stuff we purchased for Kidwoods’ seventh birthday again in November.

If you wish to understand how I do actually cheap gifting for my youngsters, take a look at:

I Love the Free Cash Monitoring Instruments from Private Capital… now referred to as Empower!

The delighted birthday lady together with her hand-me-down crown, decor, jammies and birthday button!

I exploit and advocate a free on-line service referred to as Empower to prepare our cash. It tracks our spending, web value, investments, retirement, every thing. Whereas the identify is totally different, the free web value monitoring and cash group instruments are the identical!

Understanding the place your cash’s at is without doubt one of the best methods to get a deal with in your funds. You can’t make knowledgeable selections about your cash in the event you don’t understand how you’re spending it or how a lot you’ve gotten. In the event you’d wish to know extra about how Empower works, take a look at my full write-up.

And not using a holistic image of your funds, there’s no option to set financial savings, debt reimbursement or funding objectives. It’s a should, of us. Empower (which is free) is a good way for me to systematize our monetary overviews because it hyperlinks all of our accounts collectively and supplies a complete image of our web value.

In the event you don’t have a strong thought of the place your cash’s at–or the way you’re spending it–contemplate making an attempt Empower (word: the Empower hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks). 

Credit Playing cards: How We Purchase The whole lot

We purchase every thing we are able to with bank cards as a result of:

  1. It’s simpler to trace bills. No guesswork over the place a random $20 invoice went; all of it exhibits up in our month-to-month expense report from Empower. I additionally spend much less cash as a result of I KNOW I’m going to see each expense listed on the finish of the month.

  2. We get rewards. Bank card rewards are a easy option to get one thing for nothing. By means of the playing cards we use, we get money again in addition to lodge and airline factors for purchasing stuff we had been going to purchase anyway.
  3. We construct our credit score. Since we don’t have any debt, having a number of bank cards open for a few years helps our credit score scores. It’s a grimy fable that carrying a stability in your bank card helps your credit score rating–IT DOES NOT. Paying your playing cards off IN FULL each month and maintaining them open for a few years does assist your rating.

For extra on my bank card technique, take a look at:

Money Again Playing cards to Contemplate

In the event you’re now cash-back curious, there are a selection of playing cards in the marketplace providing fairly good money again percentages. Listed below are a couple of I believe are an excellent deal:



  • 3% money again at U.S. supermarkets (on as much as $6,000 per 12 months in purchases, then 1%).
  • 3% Money Again at U.S. fuel stations, on as much as $6,000 per 12 months, then 1%.
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn as much as $250 – Right here’s How: Earn as much as $150 again once you store with PayPal. Earn 20% again as a press release credit score on purchases once you use your new Card to take a look at with PayPal at retailers within the first 6 months of Card Membership, as much as $150 again. Plus, earn $100 again as a press release credit score after you spend $2,000 in purchases in your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • No annual price. Charges and charges particulars right here.
  • Phrases apply.


  • 1.5% money again on each buy, day by day.
  • $200 money bonus after you spend $500 on purchases inside 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual price.


  • Her different fave reward: a stuffed bear who was… mine once I was a child

    Limitless 3% money again on eating, leisure, common streaming companies and at grocery shops (excluding superstores like Walmart and Goal).

  • 1% again on all different purchases.
  • 8% money again on tickets at Vivid Seats by January 2023.
  • $200 money bonus after you spend $500 on purchases throughout the first 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual price.


  • Earn an additional 1.5% on every thing you purchase (on as much as $20,000 spent within the first 12 months), which is value as much as $300 money again:
    • 6.5% on journey bought by Chase Final Rewards
    • 4.5% on eating and drugstores
    • 3% on all different purchases.
  • After your first 12 months (or $20,000 spent), you earn:
    • 5% money again on Chase journey bought by Chase Final Rewards
    • 3% money again on drugstore purchases and eating at eating places, together with takeout and eligible supply service
    • Limitless 1.5% money again on all different purchases.
  • No annual price.

In the event you’re fascinated about journey rewards, individuals love the card_name. You’ll be able to earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, which is $750 once you redeem by Chase Final Rewards.

Large caveat to bank card utilization: you MUST pay your bank card payments in full each single month, with no exceptions. In the event you’re involved about your means to do that, or suppose utilizing bank cards would possibly immediate you to spend extra, keep on with a debit card or money. However you probably have no drawback paying that invoice in full each month? I like to recommend you bank card away, my pal! (word: the bank card hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks).

Money Again Earned This Month: $37.01

The silver lining to our spending is our money again bank card. We earn 2% money again on each buy made with our Constancy Rewards Visa and, this month, we spent $1,850.67 on that card, which netted us $37.01

Not some huge cash, nevertheless it’s cash we earned for purchasing stuff we had been going to purchase anyway! For this reason I like money again bank card rewards–they’re the best option to earn one thing for nothing.

To see how this provides up over the course of a 12 months, take a look at How I Made $712.59 With My Money Again Credit score Card.

The place’s Your Cash?

One other straightforward option to optimize your cash is with a high-yield financial savings account. With these accounts, curiosity works in your favor versus the rates of interest on debt, which work in opposition to you.

Having cash in a no or low curiosity financial savings account is a waste of assets–your cash is sitting there doing nothing. Don’t let your cash be lazy! Make it give you the results you want! And now, get pleasure from some explanatory math:

Let’s say you’ve gotten $5,000 in a financial savings account that earns 0% curiosity. In a 12 months’s time, your $5,000 will nonetheless be… $5,000.

Let’s say you as an alternative put that $5,000 into an American Specific Private Financial savings account, which–as of this writing–earns 3.75% in curiosity (affiliate hyperlink). In a single 12 months, your $5,000 can have elevated to $5,188. Meaning you earned $188 simply by having your cash in a high-yield account.

And also you didn’t must do something! I’m a giant fan of incomes cash whereas doing nothing. Is anyone not a fan of that? Apparently so, as a result of anybody who makes use of a low or no curiosity financial savings account is NOT being profitable whereas doing nothing. Don’t be that individual. Be the one who earns cash whereas sleeping.

Sure, We Solely Paid $28.41 for Cell Cellphone Service (for 2 telephones)

Icicles overhanging our again porch!

Our cellphone service line merchandise just isn’t a typ0 (though that definitely is). We actually and actually solely paid $28.41 for each of our telephones (that’s $14.21 per individual for these of you into division). How is such trickery attainable?!? We use an MVNO!

What’s an MVNO?

Glad you requested as a result of I used to be going to inform you anyway: It’s a cellphone service re-seller.

MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of the cellphone service world–the identical service, A LOT cheaper. In the event you’re not utilizing an MVNO, switching to 1 is a straightforward, slam-dunk, do-it-right-away means to economize each single month of each single 12 months without end and ever amen.

Listed below are a couple of MVNOs to contemplate:

For extra, I’ve a full chart of suppliers and their costs right here: How one can Save Cash on Your Cell Cellphone Invoice with an MVNO: I Pay $12 a Month*

*the quantity we pay fluctuates each month as a result of it’s calibrated on what we use. Think about that! We solely pay for what we use! Will wonders ever stop. These MVNO hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks.

Expense Report FAQs

  • Need to understand how we handle the remainder of our cash? Take a look at How We Handle Our Cash: Behind The Scenes of The Frugalwoods Household Accounts
  • Household ski!

    Don’t you’ve gotten a rental property? Sure! We personal a rental property (also called our first house) in Cambridge, MA, which I focus on right here and extra lately, right here too

  • Why do I share our bills? To provide you a way of how we spend our cash in a values-based method. Your spending will differ from ours and there’s no “one proper means” to spend and no “excellent” funds.
  • Are we probably the most frugal frugal individuals on earth? Completely not! My hope is that by being clear about our spending, you would possibly acquire insights into your individual spending and be impressed to take proactive management of your cash.
  • Questioning the place to start out with managing your cash? Take my free, 31-day Uber Frugal Month Problem.
  • In the event you’re fascinated about different issues I like, take a look at Frugalwoods Recommends.
  • Why don’t you purchase every thing domestically? We do our greatest to assist our area people and purchase as a lot of our meals as attainable straight from our farmer neighbors. Our city doesn’t have any shops, so we depend on on-line ordering and large field shops for requirements. The closest shops are 45 minutes away and we go a couple of occasions a month to replenish on what we are able to’t get from our neighbors or on-line.

However Mrs. Frugalwoods, Don’t You Pay For X, Y, Or Even Z???

Questioning about frequent bills you don’t see listed beneath?

In the event you’re questioning about the rest, be happy to ask within the feedback part!

Alright you frugal cash voyeurs, feast your eyes on each greenback we spent in February:

Merchandise Quantity Notes
Groceries $536.68 Take a look at my NEW grocery submit:

We Spent $10k on Groceries Final 12 months: Right here’s What We Ate

NYC $447.47 Subway passes, lodge, eating places, espresso and souvenirs
Fuel for the automobiles $378.37
Eating places $214.37 Together with Littlewoods’ birthday lunch!
Preschool for Littlewoods $200.00
Attire for me! $108.00
Web $72.00
Beer & wine $49.09
Well being Insurance coverage Premium $41.74
Utilities: Electrical energy $37.82 Now we have photo voltaic (which I element right here); that is our month-to-month base worth for remaining grid tied.
Ski tune-up $36.00
Mobile phone service for 2 telephones $28.41 Thanks, low-cost MVNO!
Family provides $14.69
Spotify $13.77 Music
Ski lodge snacks $6.00
TOTAL: $2,184.41

How was your February?

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