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Archive for December, 2019: My English Castle's Personal Finance Blog
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Archive for December, 2019

Last Day of the Decade

December 31st, 2019 at 05:11 pm

Wow--I cannot believe how the years slide by.

I am so grateful for all of our blessings: healthy happy child, warm house, too much food, wonderful friends and family.

Off to pay property taxes today, buy some necessities, feed a friend's cat, then to dinner and a movie.

Thankful also for all the SavingAdvice gang. I feel like I know some of you so well, and have been so lucky to have you in my life.

Here's to a great 2020, friends!

Anyone Doing the Uber-Frugal This Year?

December 29th, 2019 at 07:32 pm

Thinking a lot about the new decade. There will be a lot of changes for us, especially with DD off to college and increased job stability for DH.

But first, Christmas. We spent three nights in Minneapolis and celebrated Christmas with my brother and his family. It was not as fun as last Christmas in London, but it was good to see everyone. Several complications caused by DD's working until 8 on the 23rd, then us driving five hours after that. The hotel room was a little more cramped than our similar one at Thanksgiving.

The worst thing was the problem with our 13-year dog. She's been having dental problems, and they've worsened. She wouldn't eat at all on Christmas Eve and couldn't drink either. This meant a fun midnight trip to the emergency vet in St Paul, but she got some relief. Between that and the follow-up visit to the regular vet on Thursday, it looks like an expensive stretch for dog teeth. She'll get a cleaning and possible extraction within a week or so. We're all tired now, but looking forward to cleaning up and doing some planning.

Determined to have some fun with the family until DD goes back to school, so we're off to see Little Women this afternoon.

Cool School Project

December 14th, 2019 at 12:27 am

Our DD completed a fun project for her HS math class. It asked students to find a job they thought they'd qualify for after college, estimate their income, taxes, SSI, Medicare, and health insurance deductions. They then had to find housing, estimate car, utility, food, debt repayment expenses. They bought housing after figuring down payment, insurance, property taxes etc.

She REALLY enjoyed the exercise, especially condo shopping, I think. She was especially delighted to put O in the "student loan repayment" column--even when her teacher wrote "really?" She told him that was her goal. And indeed that is our goal.

We're still waiting to hear from three of her five US universities, but her "safety" school is my employer. She's been accepted there and the University of Minnesota. The next batch should be out next week, then we start in on the British schools.

Tomorrow an update on the situations at my university. It's been quite the semester.

Super-fast Update

December 4th, 2019 at 04:15 am

No time until the semester ends for a real update, but here's my quickie.

I spend more time worrying about work and DD's college financing than anything else. Kind of tired of both.

My university is undergoing a title and compensation update that is making everyone angry.

I CANNOT wait for the semester to end. I want to cook, read, plan for next term, and not get up at 5:45 for a few days. And start an intense hunt for scholarship cash for DD.

A long-time friend is counting down the days to early retirement at the end of the month. That's got me thinking even more about how to balance retirement planning, UK goals, college financing, and current wants, needs, indulgences.

My big goal is now over $6000. Small potatoes to some, but it makes me feel a bit better.

See y'all in two + weeks.