Things have been going fine since I last updated. Still eagerly awaiting January for our FPU class! I took the splurge and paid for the FPU kit on the DR website, so now I have the account and can “legally” take the FPU class anytime. I didn’t want Ethan’s first FPU class experience to be without the materials that accompany it, so the purchase has been made and it’s on its way!
I finished my enrollment at work. Set it up to have $1500 in the HSA and signed up for disability and life insurances. I wanted to get used to paying for these things anyway so what better time to start. I got all the dollar amounts down for everything, so I can accurately prepare for what my paychecks will look like in 2014, as well as for the 2nd half of 2014 (when we’ll be married and insurance will cost more). I’m kinda nervous about taking a hit in pay, but I’m also calm about it… Like “I’m an adult, this stuff sucks, but we can do it, it’ll be fine”. So here goes nothing.
I was sick of the small medical debt lingering with the $88 remaining balance so I just paid it off w/money from our wedding savings fund. Now all I have to pay off is the hospital biggie - $578.34 left to go. Since that eats up a lot of what I have leftover on paydays, I've been holding Ethan more accountable to the budget so that he can do all the saving for us in the meantime. (I ran the numbers a couple months ago and it was something like 92% of my income was budgeted for expenses but only 75% of his was called for – so I’ve been trying to even it out a bit and make it more fair).
The hospital bill really eats most of my snowball, which originally would have been my holiday spending money, so this year I am going to get frugal with gifts. Cookies in a Jar for most everyone. Individual gifts for few (family secret Santa exchange, my parents, my 15 y/o sister. Ethan, his parents). Everyone else just gets cookie mixes in jars! Not to be confused with Cookie Day, the day in December (12/7) where me and 4 of my lady cousins get together and bake furiously at my aunt’s place. We make platters of assorted cookies and gift them off. Every year I mail my biological dad and my Grandma a tin of these cookies. So that takes care of ‘em pretty well But this also means I have to purchase some ingredients – just the special oddball items required of my recipes, not basic ingredients – And the shipping for the tins.
Wedding planning – currently researching flowers, but think I’ve found the farm to buy the peonies from. I would have to go pick them up a couple days prior, and it’s a few hours away - they don’t ship. That is the downside. They are SO MUCH cheaper than any other place I’ve found. Through florists, I got quotes @ $5/stem. Through wholesalers/Costco/websites I found $3-$3.50/stem, usually purchased by the 100 and only in one color per 100. And this little farm in Yakima Valley wants just $1.33/stem for any color variety and buying by the 100’s is not necessary. I still want to think about getting filler greens, like maybe lamb’s ear, but it’s not 100% necessary at this point and can be purchased more at the last minute than the peonies. So I’ll be talking to the parents soon about this flower order and see what they want to do.
More wedding stuff - the photographer and I have been emailing, and the engagement shoot will be scheduled for pretty soon I think. She said possibly even the weekend following Thanksgiving, since she will be in this neck of the woods. So that’s another thing on my mind - really anxious to get that done so I can get to work on the invites and postcards! But that involves getting Ethan a hair cut, getting my hair done (sister can do it), and making sure we have a nice set of clothes that we feel/look great in for the shoot. Not horribly worried about hair or makeup but the clothes - eek. Everything we own is pretty worn. I’m really good at not shopping for clothes & shoes. I’ve always accepted hand me downs freely, but haven’t had any of those in a while. A large percentage of the clothes I own were used before I got them! We’ll figure it out though. Can’t wait to share some photos with you when they’re done!
Still trying to think of ways to make some extra cash while paying this hospital off. It seems our paychecks are sooooo far apart (they aren't). And I get antsy to make progress in between paydays. So I was thinking... we have a large freezer in the garage given to us from Ethan’s parents. It's been unplugged since the fridge/freezer in our kitchen works just fine. Part of me wants to hang on to it, for a future time when we have a family and want to stock up on meats. But the other part of me knows it will be a few years before we even have at least one child that’s old enough to warrant needing to stock up on food in a freezer. Should we sell it? I can talk to Ethan about it for sure. We have the French door style fridge in the kitchen with the drawer freezer, and it is so darn roomy in there. Other than the freezer in the garage, I can’t think of anything else to sell. Like at all!
Sigh.. Need to also set up the Christmas tree this weekend – we have a fake handed down to us from a friend. And string up some lights around the house, of course! Although the holidays are hectic and often stressful I am really looking forward to my first Christmas in our new home
Stay warm, everyone!