A DOG! And Different October 2022 Bills

We Adopted A Canine!

Introducing Gigi!!!

I’m thrilled to introduce Genevieve the canine (aka Gigi)!! Frugal Hound 2.0, Gigiwoods, G-dog McHound Face! She’s a rescue so we’re unsure of her actual age or breed, however our vet estimates she’s 6 months previous and prone to be 60-70lbs (she’s presently 40lbs). We predict she’s a Plott Hound/Black & Tan Coonhound cross, however once more, can’t make sure. She has snuggled proper into our pack and the women are thrilled to have a dog-sister! Regardless of being a pet, she’s calm, candy, doesn’t bark and LOVES to hike. We’re so blissful to welcome a brand new canine into our household and he or she appears very blissful to be right here. Brace yourselves for a deluge of canine fotos!

OG Frugal Hound

Longtime readers will keep in mind our first canine, Gracie, higher often called the OG Frugal Hound. She was a pleasant rescued greyhound who handed away in January 2018. We grieved her deeply and he or she was actually our first youngster–we adopted her three years earlier than our first human youngster was born. Gracie moved from Cambridge to the nation with us, however all the time remained a metropolis canine at coronary heart. She’d choose a clean sidewalk over our bumpy woods any day and he or she by no means preferred to hike.

As a greyhound, her most well-liked location was snoozing beside the wooden range. Whereas Gracie–and rescued greyhounds normally–are IDEAL metropolis/condominium canine, they’re not endurance animals (lengthy hikes are out) they usually have tender little paws which are at odds with our sidewalk-free rural homestead. In mild of that mismatch, we knew our subsequent canine wouldn’t be one other greyhound. I believe it’s essential to undertake a canine that matches your life-style. It’s not truthful to you–or the canine–to attempt to mould them into your life-style if it’s not their pure inclination.


Gracie handed away lower than a month earlier than Littlewoods was born, so there was no manner we have been going to undertake one other canine straight away. Then, we had a two-year-old and an toddler. I believe you may see why we didn’t undertake a canine at that time both. Then, the pandemic hit and we have been confined to our residence with a three-year-old and a one-year-old. Yay! We did–in a match of pandemic-brain–contemplate adopting a canine throughout lockdown. However, attributable to all the opposite individuals who had the EXACT similar thought, canine provide was operating low. I contacted a couple of native rescue organizations who informed me that, attributable to Covid, we wouldn’t be capable to see a potential canine in particular person earlier than agreeing to undertake them. That wasn’t going to work for us. So, we determined to shelve Plan Canine Procurement.

Then In Walks Gigi

Quick ahead to final month and right here we have been, minding our Vermont enterprise, not serious about canine specifically when Gigi waltzed out of the woods and into our lives. Gigi confirmed up emaciated and coated in scratches in our buddies’ yard a month in the past. They (and we) tried very laborious to find her proprietor, however she got here with no tags and nobody responded to our commercials along with her picture. We took her to the vet to scan her for a microchip and he or she didn’t have one. Our buddies saved her at their residence for a couple of days after which deliberate to take her to a shelter as they have already got a canine and might’t hold a second. We’d had an opportunity to satisfy Gigi and spend time along with her and we knew we couldn’t let her go to a shelter. So, we introduced her residence! She joined our household on October third and we took her to the vet for an examination, all of her pictures, parasite testing, medicines and microchipping. The vet decided she was too younger to spay, so we’ll make an appointment for that in a couple of months.

The intense princesses

Gigi is a severe hiker, which is ideal since Mr. FW and I every hike each day. She goes with us on two hikes per day and I actually assume she’d do a 3rd if given the possibility! She loves being within the woods, doesn’t thoughts leaping over logs, isn’t bothered by the chilly (a minimum of, to date), and is blissful to trot alongside us. We’re thrilled she’s a part of our household!

No Halloween Bills?

Nope! The women wore costumes I’d gotten at a yard sale over the summer time and I re-used the identical decorations we use yearly. We don’t get any trick-or-treaters out right here within the woods, so we don’t get to purchase sweet for anybody! I purchased an enormous bag of sweet the primary yr we lived right here and… zero folks confirmed up. I do miss that about our city residence–we used to take a seat out entrance with our next-door neighbors H & B, drink beer, chat and hand out sweet for hours. We’d run out yearly! Enjoyable instances.

At any price, the MO right here is trunk-or-treat and I’m so grateful to everybody who introduced their automotive to a parking zone, embellished it and handed out sweet to youngsters in the midst of the afternoon on a day that wasn’t even precise Halloween. These individuals are heroes. Thanks for enabling us to trick-or-treat at a time that isn’t additionally our bedtime. And, I promise Kidwoods was blissful–that’s simply her “severe princess” face. As she later defined, princesses have a variety of tasks and subsequently are certainly fairly severe. The extra …

However I Did Purchase… Mommy & Me Attire!

We couldn’t handle a photograph with everybody wanting on the digicam

In a most ridiculous match of consumerism, I purchased matching attire for the women and me. I provided to get one for Mr. FW however he demurred. I spotted that, with a soon-to-be 7-year-old, our days of dressing alike could also be fleeting! I’ve all the time wished to purchase matching attire for us and saved hoping I’d magically bump into them at a yard sale or in a hand-me-down pile, however alas, no. Sensing that my oldest may be nearing the brink of not pondering that is “the good factor ever,” I seized the second.

Kidwoods chosen our attire from a menu of choices I pre-screened. She insisted that they be floor-length which is why, sure, we do form of seem like a cult. However irrespective of, the women LOVE their attire and mine suits simply tremendous too. We’ve already worn them to church collectively and Kidwoods wears her to highschool commonly (floor-length robe to 1st grade, anybody?).

There’s A Gap in my Washing Machine…

Public service announcement to anybody shopping for a front-loading washer: ensure that the drain pump filter is definitely accessible from the entrance of the machine. That is essential as a result of it is a factor from which you’ll need to extract child socks, crayons, cash, acorns–only for instance.

On our 12-year-old washer, the drain pump filter is NOT accessible from the entrance. So the primary time we would have liked to scrub this filter, Mr. FW needed to disassemble the complete machine (which additionally entailed taking down the dryer, which sits on high of the washer… ). He vowed that if he ever had to do this once more, he’d simply minimize a gap within the entrance of the washer. And final month, he made good on that vow. To this point, so good. Washer runs simply tremendous and the drain pump filter is now simply accessible for all future incursions. WAY cheaper than shopping for a brand new washer. Plus, take a look at our candy cardboard cowl:

Can I Speak To You?

V. engaging; v. frugal

Sure! In September I launched Non-public Reader Case Research, that are a chance for people to rent me for a full monetary session. I’m additionally now providing hourlong video calls. You’ll be able to:

  1. Rent me for a personal monetary session right here.
  2. Schedule an hourlong name with me right here.

To study extra about personal one-on-one consultations, verify this out.

I Love the Free Cash Monitoring Instruments from Private Capital!

I take advantage of a free on-line service referred to as Private Capital to prepare our cash. It tracks our spending, internet value, investments, retirement, all the pieces.

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 not make knowledgeable choices about your cash in case you don’t understand how you’re spending it or how a lot you’ve. For those who’d prefer to know extra about how Private Capital 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. Private Capital (which is free) is a good way for me to systematize our monetary overviews because it hyperlinks all of our accounts collectively and gives a complete image of our internet value.

For those who don’t have a stable thought of the place your cash’s at–or the way you’re spending it–contemplate making an attempt Private Capital (observe: the Private Capital hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks). 

Credit Playing cards: How We Purchase Every little thing

Gigi on one among her two each day hikes

We purchase all the pieces 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 reveals up in our month-to-month expense report from Private Capital. 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 way of the playing cards we use, we get money again in addition to resort and airline factors for getting stuff we have 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 retaining 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 Take into account

For those who’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 a great deal:

1) Blue Money Most popular® Card from American Categorical:

  • 6% money again at U.S. supermarkets on as much as $6,000 per yr in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% money again on choose U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% money again at U.S. fuel stations and on transit (together with taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and extra).
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn a $350 assertion credit score after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your new card throughout the first 6 months.
  • $95 annual payment. Charges and charges particulars right here.
  • Phrases apply

Trunk-or-treat household

2) Blue Money On a regular basis® Card from American Categorical:

  • 3% money again at U.S. supermarkets (on as much as $6,000 per yr in purchases, then 1%).
  • 3% Money Again at U.S. fuel stations, on as much as $6,000 per yr, then 1%.
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn a $200 assertion credit score after you spend $2,000 in purchases in your new card throughout the first 6 months.
  • No annual payment. Charges and charges particulars right here.
  • Phrases apply.

3) Capital One Quicksilver Money Rewards Credit score Card:

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

4) Capital One SavorOne Money Rewards Credit score Card:

  • Limitless 3% money again on eating, leisure, standard 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 way of January 2023.
  • $200 money bonus after you spend $500 on purchases throughout the first 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual payment.

5) Chase Freedom Limitless®:

  • Earn an additional 1.5% on all the pieces you purchase (on as much as $20,000 spent within the first yr), which is value as much as $300 money again:
    • 6.5% on journey bought by way of Chase Final Rewards
    • 4.5% on eating and drugstores
    • 3% on all different purchases.
  • After your first yr (or $20,000 spent), you earn:
    • 5% money again on Chase journey bought by way of 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 payment.

6) Chase Freedom Flex℠:

  • 5% money again on as much as $1,500 in mixed purchases in bonus classes every quarter you activate.
  • New 5% classes every quarter.
  • 5% money again on journey bought by way of Chase Final Rewards
  • 3% money again on drugstore purchases and eating at eating places, together with takeout and eligible supply service
  • Limitless 1% money again on all different purchases.
  • $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual payment.

For those who’re inquisitive about journey rewards, folks love the Chase Sapphire Most popular Card®. 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 while you redeem by way of Chase Final Rewards.

Big caveat to bank card utilization: you MUST pay your bank card payments in full each single month, with no exceptions. For those who’re involved about your means to do that, or assume utilizing bank cards may immediate you to spend extra, keep on with a debit card or money. However when you have no drawback paying that invoice in full each month? I like to recommend you bank card away, my good friend! (observe: the bank card hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks).

Money Again Earned This Month: $73.43

Littlewoods + me on our Very Fancy Lunch Date

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 $3,671.37 on that card, which netted us $73.43.

Not some huge cash, however it’s cash we earned for getting stuff we have been going to purchase anyway! For this reason I really 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 yr, take a look at How I Made $712.59 With My Money Again Credit score Card.

The place’s Your Cash?

One other simple option to optimize your cash is with a high-interest 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 be just right for you! And now, take pleasure in some explanatory math:

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

Let’s say you as a substitute put that $5,000 into an American Categorical Private Financial savings account, which–as of this writing–earns 2.35% in curiosity (affiliate hyperlink). In a single yr, your $5,000 may have elevated to $5,118. Which means you earned $118 simply by having your cash in a high-interest account.

And also you didn’t should 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 creating wealth whereas doing nothing. Don’t be that particular person. Be the one that earns cash whereas sleeping.

Sure, We Solely Paid $28.24 for Cell Cellphone Service (for 2 telephones)

The one factor scarier than Halloween: Not utilizing an MVNO!!!

Our mobile phone service line merchandise just isn’t a typ0 (though that definitely is). We actually and actually solely paid $28.24 for each of our telephones (that’s $14.12 per particular person for these of you into division). How is such trickery potential?!? 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 mobile phone service re-seller.

MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of the mobile phone service world–the identical service, A LOT cheaper. For those who’re not utilizing an MVNO, switching to at least one is a straightforward, slam-dunk, do-it-right-away manner to economize each single month of each single yr perpetually and ever amen.

Listed below are a two MVNOs to contemplate:

For extra, I’ve a full chart of suppliers and their costs right here: The right way to 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

Wish to understand how we handle the remainder of our cash? Try How We Handle Our Cash: Behind The Scenes of The Frugalwoods Household Accounts

  • Don’t you’ve a rental property? Sure! We personal a rental property (also called our first residence) in Cambridge, MA, which I focus on right here and extra lately, right here too.
  • Why do I share our bills? To offer 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 manner” to spend and no “good” funds.
  • Are we probably the most frugal frugal folks on earth? Completely not! My hope is that by being clear about our spending, you may achieve insights into your personal 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.
  • For those who’re inquisitive about different issues I really like, take a look at Frugalwoods Recommends.
  • Why don’t you purchase all the pieces regionally? We do our greatest to assist our area people and purchase as a lot of our meals as potential instantly from our farmer neighbors. Our city doesn’t have any shops, so we depend on on-line ordering and massive field shops for requirements. The closest shops are 45 minutes away and we go a couple of instances 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?

For those who’re questioning about the rest, be at liberty to ask within the feedback part!

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

Merchandise Quantity Notes
Groceries $673.97
Ski Program $520.00 Season-long ski program for Kidwoods. All of our different ski-related bills confirmed up in final month’s expense report.
Vet go to for Canine $497.78 Vet go to, pictures, assessments, medicines and microchipping
Preschool $380.00 For Littlewoods
Fuel for automobiles $204.91
Gigi provides $183.98 Pet food, canine beds, canine treats, and rooster meals. All from Tractor Provide, as they appear to have one of the best costs on these types of issues round right here.
Dentist $183.00 My six-month cleansing and examination.

We don’t have dental insurance coverage anymore so we pay out of pocket. I’m saving all of our receipts this yr to see if it’ll make sense to purchase dental insurance coverage subsequent yr.

Eating places $149.71 Date lunches & dinners!
Family Provides $116.77 Can not emphasize sufficient how thrilling this stuff are: rest room bowl cleaner, rest room paper, laundry detergent, a folding desk (to do puzzles on!), a brand new kitchen trash can (a baby unintentionally broke the lid on the earlier can whereas doing the chore of taking out the trash… ), and so on
Littlewoods’ Fancy Lunch $90.09 Kidwoods had faculty on a couple of days that preschool didn’t and so we took Littlewoods out for a Very Fancy Lunch Date with each dad and mom. We attempt to give every child particular person consideration and he or she positively BASKED in being the one child at lunch.
Beer, wine and liquor $89.90
Haircut for me $82.80 My pixie minimize continues! I had her minimize it tremendous duper brief again in March, so this was the primary time I wanted it minimize since then. 7 months between cuts is fairly good! Though I doubt I’ll make it fairly that lengthy this time since I didn’t go as brief.
Chimney Sweep $75.00 Annual expense for all of your chimney security wants.
Utilities: Web $72.00
Matching attire $67.97 The Mommy and Me attire. Not too dangerous at $27.99 for my costume and $19.99 for every of the women’ (affiliate hyperlink).
Fancy Hair Merchandise $58.00 I do know, I do know!!! I used to be in a weak second and I purchased the merchandise my hairdresser used on my hair. And… I really like them. Fortunately, brief hair = little or no product wanted per day.
BJ’s Warehouse Retailer Annual Membership $55.00 Continues to be value it for the financial savings on groceries and family provides.
Well being Insurance coverage $52.43 Month-to-month premium
Utilities: Electrical energy $33.04 We’ve photo voltaic (which I element right here); that is our month-to-month base worth for remaining grid tied.
Native Maple Syrup $29.12 We’ve run out of the maple syrup we make! The horror! We now have to purchase it from our neighbors. The majority of this will get utilized in our do-it-yourself complete wheat sandwich bread.
Cellphone service for 2 telephones $28.24 Thanks, low-cost MVNO!
Pharmacy $14.77 Prescription remedy co-pay
Spotify $13.77 We signed up for Spotify as we’re uninterested in not having music within the automotive. Since we’ve got no cell reception, and fairly horrible radio reception out right here, we’ve been craving jams. So now we’re jamming.

I actually want I may phonetically convey how Littlewoods says, “Simon and Garfunkel.” It’s… one thing.

Washing Machine Cleaner $12.70 I lately realized that you simply’re supposed to scrub your washer with these items commonly (affiliate hyperlink). Welp. Higher late than by no means? This may increasingly or might not be associated to aforementioned drain pump filter problem…
OTC Remedy $8.58 Generic Zyrtec for all of your allergy-prevention wants (affiliate hyperlink).
Yeast $8.57 Yeast for our do-it-yourself sandwich bread, which we make in a bread machine purchased for $5 at a yard sale three years in the past (affiliate hyperlink).
TOTAL: $3,702.10

How was your October?

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