A Friendly Reminder To Check Your Benefits

Today we’re keeping $225 in our pockets because I clicked on a link in the member portal of Mr PoP’s vision insurance and checked Mr PoP’s benefits even though I was 99% sure a bill wouldn’t be covered.

Mr PoP has risk factors for glaucoma that means he should have been getting regular visual field tests after he passed age 30. Getting Mr PoP to the doctor for something non-urgent is a challenge, so I finally got him to an appointment last month for this exam. A year later than he really should have gone. =P

Everything we’d been told about this test, by the eye doctor and by Mama PoP who has had many of these tests herself over the years, was that these tests are always billed through medical insurance, not through vision insurance. Mr PoP has a high deductible health plan, so we *knew* going in that we’d be footing the bill to pay for the entire exam since he’s never been anywhere near his medical deductible.

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Quitting Grad School Was A Great Financial Decision

Justin at Root of Good had a great post recently on why dropping out of grad school was a great decision for him. In reading his post, I reflected on the decision I made almost ten years ago to do the exact same thing – quit grad school, though under very different circumstances than Justin.

I’m going to put this out there from the start – I didn’t quit grad school for any financial reasons. There were multiple reasons why I quit, and not a single one of them had to do with money. But to this day, I believe it was one of the best financial decisions I’ve made – right up there with marrying Mr PoP despite the fact that he was earning minimum wage at the time.

Ten Years Ago…

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PoP Balance Sheet – July 2015

Welcome to our July 2015 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

After June’s net worth drop – the first for us in the history of this blog, but certainly not the last! – Mr Market rallied by the end of July and helped boost our net worth to a new high. Plus it helps that we spent a lot less than we did in June and kept much more of our income in our pockets.  =)

Other than Mr Market’s wild ride, which felt about as exciting as Mr Toad’s Wild Ride did when I went to Disneyland as a teenager, the rest of the balance sheet was pretty boring this month.

For the month of July:

  • Our total assets up by $14.8
  • Our total liabilities went down by $0.8
  • Net worth went up by $15.6K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of July is $925.2K, which represents a 1.71% increase this month.

And for the details…

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PoP Income Statement – July 2015

Welcome to our July 2015 Income Statement!

With a new fan and the old chandelier and vent rehung it’s starting to look like a room again… if you only look up =)

Mr. PoP and I put these income statements together for two reasons. First, we want to be transparent about our finances because we’re trying to be role models for other people who are trying to plant their own pennies (and end up with dollars someday!). Second, we do this to make sure we’re on track to meet our own long-term goals. If you’re not tracking your income statement and balance sheet, we highly recommend you start using a program like Mint to keep track of it all.

Another high spend month, here.  But we knew that was going to be a bit of a theme this year with the kitchen renovation, so I’m not too worried about it.

Netting out the kitchen renovation, we spent a little more than where we aim for our average to be in a $50K spending year, which doesn’t feel all that bad considering we felt like we were doing some hard-core spending this month.

Mr PoP got his $950 glasses, and we had some other health appointments come at the start of our Flex year that pushed this total to over $1,000.  We have a few more that we’re waiting to be billed the balance on that I’m waiting to for before filing our reimbursements.  Hopefully that means next month’s miscellaneous income will be healthy as I file for all of those reimbursements out of my newly reset flex spending account.

Food spending was also high for us, most of which I attribute to the fact that I joined a friend from work in adhering to the “Fast Metabolism Diet” for the month.  My friend was happy to have the support, and though it might have been easier to manage had I done this AFTER the kitchen was completed (cooking is going to be so much easier when we have counter space again), I am pretty happy to have gotten rid of what I had started to call the peanut butter pudge* (the extra pudge that I had put on during these kitchen renovations that was starting to make my pants tighter than I like as we often put convenience above health when eating), plus a little bit more, too!  Most of the extra grocery spending here is due to me buying (and eating!) an absolutely insane number of fruits and vegetables this month.  Some of the extra eating-out spending was also due to me falling down on the job of preparing lunches for Mr PoP as I was spending so much time on food prep for myself.  Luckily his cafeteria at work has fairly healthy and tasty options for him that helped ease my food prep burden more than a couple times thus month, but it’s not something we like to rely on since I can usually cook for much cheaper than the cafeteria prices.  So, food spending was high, but it resulted in healthier and happier PoPs, so such is life.  =)

Kitty PoP also had his first trip to the library as we stopped there on the way home from his vet appointment.

Pet Care tends to peak in July as Kitty PoP goes in for his yearly vet check-up.  This year was no different as his vet bill was $96, but he was declared “The picture of health!” by the vet and is vaccinated and legally licensed for another year.  Well worth $96 to us!

Right at the end of the month we also had to go and get the brakes and a couple other small but fairly urgent items done on our car to the tune of just over $400.  Mr PoP was a bit down on himself that he hadn’t made time to do these items over the past few months, which he could have done and saved us a couple of hundred dollars, but I told him to stop worrying about it.  It’s not like he’s been twiddling his thumbs the past few months.  With finite time, sometimes we need to aim for the biggest “bang for buck” on dollar savings for time, and that wasn’t with a DIY brake job this year.

Kitchen spending another significant line item as we finished up the drywall (paying a pro $637 to do some absolutely amazing texture work to match the existing walls before we painted it), and then bought a new fan and light to go in the center of the can lights, as well as some more cabinetry and tile supplies.

But here are all the details…

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $4,629.  

And here are the details…

Continue reading PoP Income Statement – July 2015

He Said She Said – $950 Glasses?!?

Kitty PoP napping in my $150 glasses, not Mr PoP’s new ones!

We know we’re not the most frugal kids on the pf-blog block, but this month we had a line item that is so luxurious that we both felt it might be worth mentioning before just dropping it on our upcoming July Income Statement post without noting its opulence.

The specific purchase – a pair of custom eyeglasses for Mr PoP for which we paid precisely $950. Here’s what we have to say about them.

He Said

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