January was a good month for our money makeover. I was able to sock away a huge chunk, despite some earlier-than-expected expenses. We kept a handle on our everyday expenses for the most part, going over budget in some areas, under in others, so it all balanced out.
The early expenses? I took a trip to Florida to visit DS#1. I hadn’t seen him since September, and that was not a happy time for any of us. Prior to that, I hadn’t seen him since the holidays in 2014. A mom needs time with her son, even when he’s a “grown up.” He had plans for extended travel again this spring, so I took a weekend in January to spend a few days enjoying time and conversation with him. Bonus: it was warmer there. Downfall: I returned to a blizzard. I had expected to take this trip later in February; we had to do it in January. But I’m SO glad I was able to spend quality time with my son. Where I stayed was an awesome deal and a very nice place, very close to him, which he selected for me. The trip was a hit to the savings plan. Even though I was still able to transfer a bundle to savings, it could have been more. Some things are more important. Also, I’ve already paid off the charges, so there is no looming debt.
Now I’m planning some no/low cost kitchen updates for the spring and summer. In the past I purchased materials for a few projects that never got done. Well, last year I learned the satisfaction of actually doing the projects with the materials I have sitting in the garage. I’ve been perusing the Interwebz for ideas, tricks and tips. I saw my neighbor’s very easy, very cool renovations. The plan is coming together in my head, and I need to put it on paper soon. More on this project as it progresses.
Also on my agenda is a new computer. I have been having increased problems with my 2007 laptop with XP. (Yeah, really.) We need to upgrade some software, and it won’t run on XP. This will be a big expense, and I’m keeping my eBay funds separate for this.
Coming up with a set date this spring, is our trip to Arlington for Col. FIL’s final farewell. We decided to drive, because that will cost about $400 round trip for three of us. A plane ticket for one is $600 = yikes! Driving also lets us pack more liberally, and take a cooler for meal fixin’s. DS#2 will have his license by then and can help with driving, too. There are also possible college visits! I tried out Trivago for the DC hotel (they were filling up fast), and it funneled me through booking.com. I got a great rate, and the reservation is made without a deposit. Not paying in advance like I thought we would have to, really helps. If I find a better deal, I can cancel the reservation (by a set date) and take that. The room has a full kitchen and we plan on stopping for groceries in the ‘burbs.
This month we celebrate our anniversary and Valentine’s Day. For the first time ever, we have reservations for dinner! My real gift was the trip to Florida, and I’m good with that.
Another awesome thing this month is my “double nickels” birthday! Senior discounts, here we come! Actually, we already get a 50+ senior deal at the bank, and sometimes elsewhere when I ask for them. At 55, though, there are many more available. I’ll certainly be taking advantage of any and all discounts daily, and on our trip to Arlington.
Hey, this means I’ll get carded again! (It’s the little things, isn’t it?)
Have a happy February. Stay safe on the icy streets, and warm in your winter-prepped home. Let me know what you’re up to.