Thursday, January 29, 2015


My boss called me on vacation and told me that she had big news for me.  She gathered a bunch of my coworkers and put me on speaker phone.  She then told me that I received a prestigious award within my company that was accompanied by a $2000 net bonus.  Woohoo!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Vacation Recap

We got back yesterday from our Florida vacation and we had a great time.  It was so relaxing to hang out with my family without an agenda.  We had a few things that we wanted to do but nothing rock solid or on a schedule.  We did end up doing a lot of things.  Here are the highlights.

We went on a swamp tour on an airboat and saw a ton of alligators, probably around 25-30.  Some were very big, at least 11-12 feet.  The water was colder than the sun so they were sunning themselves.  We also saw other wildlife like birds and turtles.  It was very neat to see them in their natural habitat.

We went to Magic Kingdom, aka Disney World.  Disney knows how to do stuff right.  We had a blast taking in the street parades, light show, rides, and overall decor.  We waited over an hour so Lil Punk could see Elsa and Anna.  She was so excited.

We went to Cocoa Beach and I saw the ocean for the first time.  It was beautiful.  We loved it there.  We actually drove over to Cocoa Beach twice because we liked it so much.  I could definitely live on the beach.

We also went to the world's largest McDonald's, went to downtown Disney, went shopping and swam in the heated pool every day.  It was so much fun.

We rented a car to get around.  I wanted GPS so I upgraded to a 2015 Tahoe.  It was super fun to drive and very comfortable for the 4 of us.  As much as I liked that car, there is no way I would pay $45-50,000 for one.

The challenges were flying with children.  Baby G had 3 terrible poops on the flight home.  Ugghh!!  He also had a habit of digging through the garbage in the room to try to get a snack.  Neither kid was on the tight sleeping schedule that we keep at home.  Going out to eat at restaurants with a 1 year old was very difficult.  When Baby G sits down to eat, he demands food right away, not in 20 minutes.  This makes dining out at a normal restaurant pretty much impossible.

I will do a financial post about the cost of the trip soon but we were under budget at least ;). I just think that I may have over budgeted in my zest for vacation.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dental Costs--Uggh!

A week and a half ago, I went in to get a temporary crown.  After insurance, I had to pay $438.  To top it off, I had severe pain in the tooth that had the temporary crown.  I called my dentist's office on Thursday and they told me to come in.  After looking to make sure that the temporary wasn't causing me any pain, she asserted that I now needed a root canal which I need to be referred to an endodontist for.

The endodontists office called me on Friday and I told them I was in discomfort.  They were able to fit me in on Monday and the full payment of $1307 was due upfront because they didn't have time to get preauthorization from my dental insurance which would cover 60% of the cost.  So today my tooth doesn't hurt at all.  Not even a little bit.  Should I cancel my appointment for Monday?

Also, I'm a bit wary of overzealous dentists because its very VERY easy to recommend different dental procedures as necessary and who really knows if you need it.  Y has had bad luck with a dentist before and it makes me wonder if all of this is really necessary.  I might need to find a different dentist and get a second opinion on this root canal business.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Use It Up Edition

We are on a mission to eat our pantry, fridge and freezer down before we leave on vacation.  We haven't done a major grocery shop since before Christmas.  I've only purchased milk, produce and bread. Our fridge is getting pretty bare but we still have miscellaneous sauces and dressings that need to be used.  This past week, we've had some interesting meals like gumbo over pasta, sesame chicken (which was delicious but I've had that sauce for awhile), and hamburger potpie.  These are all meals that we eat but many times we opt for easier meals during the week when we're rushed. This coming week I have the following planned:
Spaghetti with meat sauce
Ham and bean soup
Chicken in the crock pot
Tuna hotdish
Salmon sandwiches--never made these before but I have a can of salmon to be used.

This has made for some interesting meals but I am not doing a full grocery shop before leaving.  Thankfully my family will pretty much eat anything.

Anybody else focusing on using up everything for this January?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Florida Suggestions

We are going to Orlando on January 22 through 27.  We are staying in Kissimmee.  We are renting a car so we can get around.  This is what we plan to do:
Airboat ride to see wildlife
Sea World
Lunch/tea with characters-- we are not going to Disney so this limits where we can go but suggestions are welcome
Cocoa beach--maybe?

Any other ideas?  We want to relax but still have fun.  We don't think Disney would be very fun with Baby G who is almost 14 months.  Any suggestions about the plane ride with two little ones?  I'm very nervous about that.

Any and all advice is appreciated.  Thanks.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Goals

1.  Increase retail investment account to $50,000 (currently at just over $20,000)
2.  Keep grocery budget to $600 monthly
3.  Pay off pick-up (currently at $13,150)
4.  Increase retirement savings to $150,000 (currently at about $116,000)
5.  Save $1000 in cash
6.  Keep our savings accounts to $10,000 (currently at $6000)


  1. Run a 5k
  2. Get to and maintain weight of 130 (currently at 134)
  3. Go camping at least 2 times
  4. Go on 1 date night per month
  5. Plant 2 new nut or berry trees or shrubs
  6. Finish covered porch
  7. Plant regular and vine garden