Category: Our Finances

The Frugal Momster Looks Back at Our 2016 Expenses

I’ve already started working on our taxes for 2016. I know, I know, I’m am over-achiever.

Usually, I have our taxes completed by mid-February, because I like to know as early as possible how much we’ll owe in April or if we’ll be getting a small amount back sooner.

My goal each year is to break-even or as close to as possible, though we have always owed additional to the state. We’ll know in a few weeks how successful we were for 2016.

Why break-even?

Well, I don’t like to loan money to the federal government. Instead, I like to keep that money in my pocket all year and use it how we decide.

If you are getting back a big refund each year, they are using your money for an entire year before you get it back – for free. I’d rather keep that money to save, pay off debt, or invest. If you like getting a big refund here are some good uses for it. Continue reading…

December 2016 Frugal Momster Expense Report

The end of the year was quite a doozy for us! We went on a bit of a shopping spree for household items and various projects in addition to the holiday shopping and gift giving season. You’ll want to sit down for this one.

Chimney Sweep, Fireback & Vertical Rack

Our new beautiful fire was burning hot.

The first of our major costs was scheduling to get our chimney cleaned and inspected.

Also, we decided to purchase a reflective fireback and a vertical fire grate since we had some difficulty with smoking in our fireplace. These two combined cost well over $1,000 when all was said and done.

The fire grate that was in the fireplace when we bought our house was rather large and came out a bit too far in the front of the fireplace. Couple that with two amateur fire starters and there might be a small issue… Since we started using the new, and rather expensive, new chimney fireback and rack we’ve had several astonishing fires that burn hot and smoke-free.
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Staying Positive Admist Challenges

Hmm… It’s been a rough week… month… year?

I’ve been toying with the idea of posting daily again, as it’s been difficult to create quality content on a regular basis and I’ve felt pretty choked up when it comes to writing. With over 10-15 draft posts sitting, waiting to be shared I feel nervous every time I click “publish.” I remember the days fondly when I posted on a daily basis and just let whatever happened… happen. It was interesting, and I felt more connected with you. I could just be “me” without any other super high hopes.

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DIY Opening a Wall doesn’t have to be costly

I mentioned the other day that we opened the wall to our kitchen. It’s been a decision I am so very pleased with, but Chris was adamant against for two years before I convinced him to do it. After trying to hang shelves on that side wall for the second time unsuccessfully, I said either open it up, or I’ll do it myself. I’m a tough project manager to deal with. And this project cost $0 and just time.

We didn’t want to have to rerun electricity and the thermostat on the opposite side of the wall, plus a vent, so that’s why we made a window vs. opening it completely. Continue reading…