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Friday, December 7

My Frugal Miser - How I'm Preparing for 2019

I'm super optimistic that 2019 is going to be the best year ever.  There are a few things I'm doing to make it happen.

Health Insurance

I'm switching from Florida Blue to Liberty HealthShare.  I'll be paying $379/month ($299/month for the Liberty Complete plan and $80/month for HealthTrac, which is basically a "fat" premium until I lose some weight).  This is an alternative to health insurance that costs less but provides better coverage.

Managing Finances

As mentioned a few times this year, I'm switching from managing my money in Quicken to using spreadsheets.  This has been a major undertaking, and I'm sure there will be some hiccups.  To minimize problems, I'll be keeping a little extra money in my checking accounts as a buffer.  It sounds like a small thing, but what I am looking forward to most is ditching the Quicken-only PC I have to be able to manage my money all from one device, and be able to review my finances remotely.

Since 2018 was a very expensive year, my plan for 2019 is to be in accumulation mode.  I've had to dip into savings a few times to manage our rental property portfolio.  It started back in January with two turnovers, one which required major repairs.  Then we converted our old house to an AirBnB.  Between outfitting that property and furnishing our new home, we've spent a lot.  In 2019 I plan to make monthly deposits back into my savings

Becoming More Focused

I've seen first-hand the benefits of not getting lost in the weeds.  Can you believe for four years we didn't pay for garbage pickup?  Just to save $20/month, I had to deal with the inconvenience of disposing of our trash.  For $20!   I used to buy Groupons for restaurants that were 20-30 minutes away.  To save $10.  That's not saving!

As cash flow returns (in 2018 I spent a ton of money rehabbing rental properties and moving to a new home), I will be more nimble and better able to choose the best use of my time.  This means turning down work that doesn't pay well - think small meeting jobs, mystery shops, and Uber driving (though I've practically stopped that already).

Frugality is a wonderful virtue - as long as it is exercised intelligently.  In 2019, I will continue to find ways to make our lives better, and to find time.  I can make more money, but I can't replace wasted time.

Taking Control of My Health

My new health plan costs an extra $80 because I am overweight.  My feet hurt all the time.  My clothes don't fit.  All these warning signs - what am I waiting for?  I say this every year, but I really want to make 2019 the year that I become healthier.


  1. I sometimes fall into the trap of getting caught up in the thrill of a frugal "win" that turns out not to be so great. I have five bags of Tostino pizza rolls taking up space in my freezer, because my local grocery store marked them down accidentally to 90% off. I don't let the kids eat them often, and every time I open the dang freezer, I have to shuffle everything to work around the freaking rolls. Additionally, I've had to pass up other legitimately useful deals because of these. I've made plenty of other larger mistakes, but since I was just shuffling things in the freezer, that's top of mind. ;-)

    I feel you on the health side. I continue to invest a lot of my time on fitness & general health & well being. But, am not seeing a corresponding weight loss. So, time to get more accurate & accountable with my eating. Wish you luck!

    1. Hawaii Planner, nice to hear I'm not the only one that can't always see the forest for the trees! I struggle with the same issue with groceries though. I do a lot of my shopping at Aldi, and to move slow-selling perishables, they often add a $1 (or more) off red sticker on a product they want to sell. Problem is, my freezer is full. I have a rack of lamb that probably needs to be thrown out. It was a great deal, but I bought three of them and the last one ended up getting buried under some other deals.

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