Welcome to the end of May 2016.
Each month, we’ve done a review of where we are with our finances and goals, where we need to update previous posts, and what’s going on in the Jividen household.
This hasn’t been a great health month. Little Bit had her bout with strep, which threw off exercise (and productivity) but didn’t cost us too much, thanks to decent insurance. While I didn’t succumb (that sound? Yes, that’s me knocking on wood.), Jon did. Then at the end of the month Little Bit had a bout with hives that resulted in another visit to her doctor. Argh. More copays and prescriptions, but again, health insurance meant the costs weren’t too great.
Fortunately, everyone is now back to normal and we’re looking forward to Little Bit finishing up her school year and heading for first grade next month. She’s also counting down the days til birthday number 6, so we’re in party planning mode.
Free Stuff and Activities
We did indeed cancel Hulu after a week’s trial. It was great to explore another TV option for a while, but Hulu didn’t offer as much for the family as Amazon or Netflix. I do notice we’ve been using Amazon a bit more since we tried Hulu, so we are using more of our existing options. We’ve talked about picking up the Netflix DVD option again to see how we like it.
I also enjoyed a free week of World of Warcraft. Thanks Blizzard! It was fun to revisit WoW, which I hadn’t played for a few years. Unfortunately, it’s also a monthly expense I don’t want to incur and it takes up a lot of time that could be spend far more productively. While I had a blast getting to play for a few days, it’s probably a good thing that I was able to get it out of my system and move on.
I cashed in $25 worth of Ibotta rebates for a Walmart card. Not sure whether it will go to a backyard pool or Little Bit’s birthday present. Or if Little Bit’s birthday present will be a backyard pool. She loves to head to the pool but it’s nice to get to splash around in the backyard too, and she’ll be in school most of the summer.
Our daughter had a play for her theater class. It’s her third one, and I felt pretty bad about not really doing much in the way of costumes for the first two. For her last play, she was a pegasus and her costume consisted of wearing her Rainbow Dash t-shirt where the other kids were wearing cardboard wings, face paint and fuzzy bear slippers.
This time, we went to a little more trouble. She was a rabbit, so we found a pair of bunny ears that she had from Easter. I took some gray yarn and made a pom-pom for a bunny tail. She had some black tights and we went over to AC Moore to pick up a plain black t-shirt for $3. (If you need a plain white or colored t-shirt, craft stores are the way to go.)
While it’s still not a complicated costume, I feel like a better theater mom this time around and only spent $3.
Now we just need to figure out a summer activity for her. While it can be expensive for kid’s to do a bunch of activities (and I think overscheduling is a real risk for a 6 year old) we’ve generally tried to keep her in at least one activity that she enjoys. She both gets to pursue her passions and enjoys the social interaction.
Unfortunately, her year round school schedule keeps her unavailable for most camps, and the theater only offers camps in summer. She’s expressed interest in both Girl Scouts and playing the drums, but we may also look into another round of swim lessons, because that girl loves the water.
The family spent a week at one of our local beaches the week before Memorial Day. For the last couple of years, we’ve rented an ocean-front duplex in May or October. This allows us to take advantage of off-season rates at near-summer temps.
I’m not saying Little Bit and I weren’t chattering a bit, but we still braved the waves for some swimming and boogie boarding. Fortunately, we picked up a boogie board at Five Below last year, and it’s held up pretty well, because beach souvenir shops charge some bucks for their toys. Five Below and Walmart are both better places to pick up beach toys.
With a kid with money burning a hole in her pocket, it’s hard to avoid the souvenir shops entirely.
Little Bit lucked out. She picked out some new toys, (including a pink stuffed dolphin named Sparkle. Who is a boy.) but her Nana decided to treat her (My inlaws stayed with us for part of the week.) That means with her gift card, she’s amassed $65 in savings. She has her eye on a $100 robot unicorn. Even without birthday money in the mix, that’s a very doable goal now.
We spent a bit extra on groceries due to forgetting to bring things like hand soap and laundry detergent, but thanks to my in-laws picking up dinner out a couple of times, we only had to pay for rent, groceries and a pair of flip-flops.
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