~ from my home to yours, living the Working Pantry lifestyle ~

Friday, May 3, 2024

Hunkering Down in 2024: Week #18

Here we are in the month of May with new goals for this financial journey we've embarked upon!  

We worked hard to make our April goals happen and in spite of all the extra medical expenses, we achieved them.  It took sacrifice and saying no to things we had planned to do, but we were determined and so we did it!

In April we were able to reduce our electric bill by another approximately $21 dollars.  We sure enjoyed seeing that reduction, but now the hot and humid weather has arrived in our area and that means that the HVAC unit will be switched over to air conditioning and it will run more.  Still, we will do our best to keep it as low as possible!

This week we got notification that the last debt we paid off was officially paid off!  We knew it was, but boy, oh boy, did it make us feel good to see the official proof!

Our debt goal for May is the same as it was for April.  Pay off another 1/3rd of the debt we have targeted.  The regular payment is not due until later in the month but today I made a small extra payment.  It wasn't a full payment amount, we will make sure that is paid by its due date, but between now and then we're going to throw every bit at it that we can to reach that 1/3rd goal by the end of the month.  If we are successful, we will have 2/3rds of this debt paid.

I realized yesterday that we are 1/3rd of the way to our financial goals for this year.  This knowledge and the official 'paid in full' notice we got this week gave us a shot of fuel for the rest of the journey.  

Month of May, here we come!!!

That's it for this week, how did your financial week go?

until next time,

mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27 

Sharing 44 years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine, where I share my love for God and His Word through my personal Bibe study.  Physical preparedness is important, but not near as important as spiritual preparedness.  Ladies, join me over at From This Heart of Mine and study God's Word with me.

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  1. Great job ⭐️

  2. So wonderful for you. Quite an accomplishment.

    1. Cheryl, thank you! We feel good about where we're at in this journey, especially when you include the setbacks!

  3. Way to go on reaching your goals, Patsi! You are doing so well and that is motivation to keep going, for us and you.
    Last month, Colton received his last pay check from the school. I feel like this is where the rubber meets the road and the every day choices we make, even the little ones, are going to have a big impact.
    Well done on reducing your electric bill. Ours went up slightly due to the heat and humidity arriving, but I am still very pleased with the amount , as it was less than I budgeted for.
    We still have projects going that require spending, but we are saving money where we can. Colton is DIY-ing a lot of it. He has hung drywall and is taping and floating the joints. My dad will come over to help texture the walls and we will paint. This has been a year-long project, but we do things as we save for them so they often happen slowly and that is ok. This is not Instagram, this is reality! Lol
    We did not spend on anything extra or frivolous last week. This was a little difficult, as some of the things I had planned on buying with my allowance went on sale, but I feel like I spent so much the previous month on plants that I decided to forego and I'm just fine with that. An object in motion stays in motion and I really needed to hit the brakes and have a reset!

    1. Kelsey, we do things as we save for them also, our home has been a work in progress ever since we started the project!

      I love your last sentence, "an object in motion stays in motion and I really needed to hit the brakes and have a reset!" I one hundred percent understand that statement, especially when it comes to spending. The more we spend the more we want to spend, and it just escalates.

      "This is not Instagram, this is reality" ... so very true!

      It sounds like you all are making wise and prudent decisions, keep up the good work!

  4. Way to go! High five! The A/C is on here, too. But, actually our summer bills are lower than winter so yay.

    We had a CD mature and reinvested in another right away. We did 18 months this time so we could lock in the great rates right now. The dividends are crazy right now and just for putting the money there and leaving it.

    Of course we were home for the week because of the big delivery truck backing into us and Hubby has had a battle with the other insurance company. We finally got a rental yesterday. The van has been inspected and the inspector said he sees no reason that they would not fix it. We were also blessed to have a friend who does body work come over and look and he said he will fix it for us for the price of the parts if the insurance does not come through. His six year old daughter came along and we sat snuggled up under a throw because she was cold and talked about all sorts of things and that filled up my 'Nana tank'. (Bonus!)

    We have been so thankful for our pantry that got us through the time at home. We were out of milk so we opened a can of NIDO milk powder. Now that it is open we have a plan to use it up and have put the powder in 4 quart jars so that we can just add water and by keeping jars ready we will remember to use it.

    To celebrate having transportation again we went out to lunch because we had a free chicken club sandwich on an app with a $2 purchase. Well the app did not work so the manager gave us our entire meal for free! Then a stop at Aldi where we only needed $23 worth of mostly produce to get restocked. Then onto Krispy Kreme where we both had a reward for a free dozen. We asked for one without the glaze so we could freeze them and we will shake them in cinnamon sugar when we thaw them a few at a time.

    I did the May budget yesterday and was able to move extra grocery money and household money to the medical fund which was unusually low. Win! We only spent 1/6 of our eat out money so that moves to the 50th anniversary trip fund.

    1. Lana, I'm glad you got your rental and that God has made a way for you to get your vehicle repaired if the insurance company doesn't come through.

      The benefits of keeping a well-stocked pantry are numerous, aren't they! So glad you were prepared and could breeze on through without worrying about getting to the grocery store.

      Budgeting and staying on top of our finances is crucial, sounds like you had a good week in this area.

      Krispy Kreme donuts ... YUM!

      I'm glad things are a bit better for you all and pray that they continue to get even better.

    2. Lana, what a great idea to portion out the milk powder into jars. I can never remember to use the rest once I open a package. You had a really good savings week/month!

  5. I have been defrosting the chest freezers and inventorying and organizing them better.
    We got the back state taxes paid off, in fact over paid so got some of that back. I paid 3 wks ahead of the loan I got to pay off the IRS (Hubby owed due to business he sold).
    I have enough in CD's maturing in June to prepay for a year's propane. I know how many gallons I can afford to buy.
    Hubby got 2 1/2 cords of wood blocks (hard and soft wood) for half from the one saw mill.Amish neighbor came over and told him to drag a couple huge wedges of wood from his sawmill (other side of fence) over and he can't cut them with his saw. Hubby took the chain saw to them and then dragged them over. Hubby trimmed the oak tree that is beside the wood shed, we have saved up enough to pay for a pull behind lift for him and neighbor to replace the roof, supplies bought last year. He cut the branches into the size we use in wood stove. Saw no reason to cut twice.
    We didn't lose our peas during last week's freeze (not common here at this time) but some of the Amish did. I am looking to be buying what plants we need that I didn't grow myself and get the gardens in this coming week.
    I always feel better after reading your blog... not many Englishers as the Amish calls us, live like we do.
    Blessed Be

    1. Chef Owings, you all are doing so good with your taxes. It sounds like we have a lot in common in regards to our chosen lifestyles! Keep up the good work!

  6. You’re doing such a good job!!!

  7. Patsi, I feel
    Like we’re living your life, too. Lots of curve balls this year. Just when I thought we were getting on our feet again, another huge expense! But it really is okay! The Lord does provide!!

    I’ve been wondering how your Christmas efforts are coming— you usually do something on the 25th of each month to prepare. When I get discouraged that I’m not sewing/making/crafting, I realize I am still preparing. It seems that each month, I have been able to find items for our Christmas shoeboxes within budget. This means I will still be able to give, even in this year of many challenges. I am so grateful for that!

    1. Yes, indeed the Lord does provide and through these challenging times we see God's faithfulness. That is just so faith building!

      My Christmas efforts on or around the 25th of each month thus far this year have involved planning. This year our main gift for our children and grands will be monetary and so I'm gathering delightful ways to gift that money along with something made by grandma and grandpa for the grands. We're in the planning, gathering and saving the funds for stage right now. The plan is to have it all done, wrapped up and delivered by fall. Of course, they won't be allowed to open their gifts until Christmas ... it's part of the anticipation that makes the season fun.

  8. It's so encouraging to read how your plan is working out!

  9. I don't know where April went, but May came in and I completely neglected to do what needs to be tackled on the 1st of each month. When I realized it was already the 3rd, I jumped in and tackled everything. This will probably leave me with a late charge on one card. If so, I will call to ask that it be reversed, since it's a card a always pay in full. May will be a month of learning for me, since my payment date for Social Security is changing from the last week of the month to the first. So I'm going to have to re-learn to balance and plan for those payments that come due late month. I'll also be losing one pension payment, starting next month, which is why the change in SS (going from spousal to my own, which will off-set the dropped pension). Just gotta tighten the belt, until I have it figured out. Keep inspiring all of us on this journey!