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"It is generally agreed that casinos should, in the public interest, be inaccessible and expensive. And perhaps the same is true of Stock Exchanges." - John Maynard Keynes
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FIRE with kids

April 22nd, 2021 at 06:44 PM by LivingAlmostLarge

Can you be financially independent retire early (FIRE) with kids?  Yes I believe you can. I think the easy part is FIRE when they are young.  You can budget for health insurance, budget for living, travel, fun, etc.  But the unexpected/unpredictable part?  College.  I mean you can easily homeschool your children. You can say no to private schools.  But college or even trade school?  How do you budget for that?  
I guess if you are super...
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License Plates

April 21st, 2021 at 08:26 PM by CB in the City

I tried to renew my license plates online this morning, but when I clicked on the "senior benefit" box, it said I wasn't eligible.  Now I remember getting a letter saying that I didn't have to re-apply last year, because of the pandemic -- no one was in the office to handle that stuff -- so benefits were renewed automatically.  I guess time has run out.  I filled out a new application, and I have to wait 48 hours to be accepted.  Then I'm not sure how long it...
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Do I want to budget?

April 21st, 2021 at 05:33 PM by LivingAlmostLarge

Do I want to budget?  No. Do I have to budget?  Maybe.  Should I budget?  Yes.  But can I budget? Yes.  How does it work?  Well you are right now on this blog seeing an evolution of a non-budgeter. You will see if it happens or not.
Why?  Because there are a couple of things at play.  First off I have never budgeted. I hate budgeting. I keep a rough budget by "pay yourself first" and then spend the rest.  I never actually tracked...
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we are moving

April 21st, 2021 at 12:42 PM by mumof2

We are finally moving...yes we finally got a rental..so excited..only 2 sleeps to go...problem is I can't find someone to move us...everyone here is flat out so we may have to move ourselves which will take days...so hopefully we can find someone tomorrow...fingers crossed...it is an 18 month lease so once we move don't have to think about it for a long while...
I have to say I can't wait to be able to menu plan, cook the way we do....budget properrly, shop like we normally do...
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Small home repair, which will lead to much bigger one

April 21st, 2021 at 02:03 AM by Steve

I was just reading another blog post about homes being money pits. I completely agree.
On Saturday, I was cleaning the drain in our bathroom sink, something I've done dozens of times. This time, when I was done and stepped away, I saw a stream of water coming from the drain pipe. A closer look revealed a small hole in the pipe. I grabbed a bucket and sopped up the water with a towel and put a call into our handyman. He said he could come on Monday.
He did come and fixed it, but...
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Life is busy

April 20th, 2021 at 04:25 PM by Gramma Ray

Life is busy and a little stressful.  Balancing full time work (from home), two teens in school (from home), and all the appointments that come with high risk foster kids, there isnt a lot of free time to just relax.  We were looking at in-school learning for the remainder of the year, but last night the school closed to in-school learning again because of a COVID outbreak.  I consider this a blessing in disguise, since I do not want COVID.  I am still a week...
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More Unexpected Expenses

April 20th, 2021 at 02:46 PM by Late Start

I mentioned in my last post that I had a bunch of expenses piling up this month. In accordance with Murphy's Law, I have another unexpected expense on hand: the check engine light on my car went on on Saturday. I called the two mechanics I typically go to and the one that had an opening earliest was today. I'm taking it in today to have checked out and fixed. I am hoping it's not a large or expensive fix. I'm counting the days to go on my camping vacation to the UT National Parks...
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Senior Benefit and Uber

April 20th, 2021 at 01:14 PM by CB in the City

Yesterday I went to the local senior center to get some help with installing my Uber app.  I wasn't having trouble with the app per se, but couldn't get it to accept the debit card I wanted to use.  The debit card was a benefit from the senior center, so that's why I went there for help.  They couldn't help but did refer me to someone who could.  Turns out I was just entering the wrong zipcode.
A word about the debit card -- it is a benefit for seniors at a...
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Spending so far in April 2020...sold AG gift card!

April 19th, 2021 at 05:51 PM by LivingAlmostLarge

No breakdown of groceries but a bigger deeper dive into our spending.  I so far put down at $500 deposit on our refi so that was unexpected. I also traded our American Girl $140 e gift card for $99.96 Home Depot gift card.  Unfortunately we got the american girl gift card last year from girl scouts. Well the store closed down during covid and we never had a chance to go and use it.  So rather than hanging I took the advice of everyone here.
Spending so far this...
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Update

April 19th, 2021 at 01:05 AM by GratefulSaver

Hi All-
It's been a little over a month since the last update. Since then, I've gone back to work physically. I am thankful to have been fully vaccinated at least a month prior to returning to work. We are currently operating with less than half of the student body as many parents opted to keep their kids remote learning for the rest of the school year.
My brother has also recuperated from COVID and has returned to work. As for our mortgage payoff goal, I'm super excited to tell...
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Aldi Trip

April 18th, 2021 at 09:18 PM by CB in the City

I made a short trip to Aldi this morning, where I spent $31.  I stuck to 10 items, even though there were many temptations.  Even 10 items are heavy to carry up three flights.  
I found a nickel in the parking lot!  Since I started counting, way back in 2011, I've picked up $105.48!  It's been very slim pickin's the last year, though.
This afternoon I made lemon "brownies" -- no, they are not brown, it's a deceptive name.  It's really a small...
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Simple Pleasures and Spring Cleaning

April 18th, 2021 at 04:34 PM by Wink

I woke up earlier then usual this morning and decided to have my coffee out on my balcony. It was just a bit chilly, but a beautiful morning! It was very still and quiet with only the sound of an occasional bird song. I thoroughly enjoyed the calm and peacefulness. What a wonderful way to start the day, a true simple pleasure.
My plan for today was to get started on some spring deep cleaning so I decided to start on my master bedroom. I tackled cleaning the ceiling fan first,...
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Facebook Market Sales

April 17th, 2021 at 12:48 PM by terri77

I'm going to spend some time this week changing my candles for sale by delivery only to offer shipping. A potential buyer mentioned that you can ship 4 large candles for $22 flat rate shipping. I think it would help me move my inventory a lot quicker. I went to the post office & picked up a large priority shipping box. I packed 4 large candles to make sure that they would fit well with plenty of packing material to minimize breakage. They are insulated pretty well.
I have...
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Retirement Milestone Hit

April 17th, 2021 at 03:21 AM by Lucky Robin

This is a very woo hoo retirement update.  Since my update on April 7th, our retirement has gone up by $2,548.36.  Only $798.00 of that was contributions from us and work.  That's $1,749.48 in pure interest in ten days.  We blew right past our first milestone goal of $50K this week.  The new balance of our retirement accounts is $52,164.70.  The new total of our net worth is $99,675.89.  Getting real close to the next milestone there.
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Updates on DD and BIL

April 17th, 2021 at 02:34 AM by Lucky Robin

Well, DD did not get her lumbar puncture because the person who was going to perform it chickened out and decided she had too many problems for him to feel comfortable doing the lumbar puncture.  Even though we stated every possible medical issue she had at the time of scheduling the appointment and were assured that it would be no problem.  I double checked the day before because we have had issues in the past with this hospital.  Again we were assured everything...
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Emergency Fund and Beef Fund Updates

April 17th, 2021 at 01:58 AM by Lucky Robin

I rolled my coins and was able to deposit $10.50 into the Emegency Fund.  It's not a lot and it is most likely all we are going to be putting in this month, what with all the outlay for building the new garden.  I should be able to start making more regular deposits into the EF starting in May.
$15,363.73 Previous Balance
+__,_10.50 Rolled Coin
--------------------
$15,374.23 New Balance
As for the Beef Fund, there was $63 left in the grocery envelope when I re-funded...
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I think I have "the number"

April 17th, 2021 at 12:57 AM by Steve

In recent months, I've been doing a lot, and I do mean A LOT, of retirement planning. I've been reading and studying and educating myself on every aspect of retirement I can think of including withdrawal rates, taxes, Social Security, ACA coverage, Medicare (well not so much on that yet actually), and more. I've asked a bunch of questions on the SA forums. I joined and became quite active at Early-Retirement.org and have learned a ton of useful information there. I highly recommend...
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Payday 4/15/21

April 16th, 2021 at 02:22 PM by FocusedinmyForties

Not much big news to report from me.  Everything is humming along as per the plan, and while I wish some of it was moving faster, I really can't complain about the progress I've made on all fronts since embarking on this big ambitious 4 year goal plan.  
Yesterday was payday.  I had a large amount going into one of the bank bonus accounts, so I went over to one of their branches to withdraw that money.  Conveniently, my main bank was right across the street,...
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Fun Day

April 16th, 2021 at 01:27 PM by CB in the City

I had a fun day with BFF yesterday.  We met in the middle for lunch.  Lunch, by the way, was really cheap this time, only $9!  Afterwards, since we are both fully vaccinated, we visited two different Goodwills, and I spent $17 -- mostly kitchen stuff -- ladels, ramekins, drawer organizers, and a pretty red basket.  I spent $21 on gas, and bought a soft drink for the road for $2.  Another unexpected expense -- I bought a phone charger for the car. ...
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So I rate locked a refi

April 16th, 2021 at 03:18 AM by LivingAlmostLarge

So I rate locked a refi today with JPMC.  Did you know that I could qualify for a mortgage up to 43% of our gross income?  Yeah that's right. I think my mortgage is already too much for what we make and here we are totally being told that we could easily borrow way more than our current mortgage.  Um okay sure sounds like a plan.  No it really isn't.  Currently we are at 2.875% for 30 year fixed with 26 years left.  Our payment is $3838/month...
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