A Wall Elimination And Different June 2023 Bills


Earlier than: bizarre arched wall separating kitchen & eating room from lounge

A menace wall in our house is gone! Longtime readers might recall that we’ve launched into a gradual, years-long renovation course of, which we kicked off with a wall removing.

This erstwhile wall awkwardly divided the kitchen and eating room from the remainder of the downstairs and, to make issues worse, had a bizarre, low archway door for egressing. Not nice. Everybody who got here into our house mentioned, “why do you suppose they put a wall there?”

I’ll let you know why.

When our home was constructed–circa 1991–the builders utilized this wall for the next pretty essential objects:

  1. Load-bearing. It helps each the ground of the second story and likewise, a considerable amount of the roof load at intersecting roof angles (which implies it takes a number of snow load).
    1. They put the archway in to hide the triple-ply 2×12 header
  2. Plumbing. Your entire upstairs hallway lavatory plumbing stack (and vent) ran via this wall.
  3. Electrical. Electrical issues additionally ran via this wall.


Basically, we chosen probably the most difficult, costliest, most intricate wall attainable in our complete house to take away. And it lastly occurred in June!

This was no easy knock-down-the-drywall and name it carried out undertaking. First, sure, we did the best factor: the demo. Then, we employed a plumber to re-route the plumbing stack in a tremendous zig-zag via the ceiling (in addition to down one nook of our pantry). Then, Nate constructed a little bit wall across the plumbing within the pantry utilizing leftover siding from the hen coop. This was my thought and I’m very happy with myself. It’s mainly the most important contribution I’ve made to this undertaking… apart from demo, which was FUN.

Subsequent, we employed an electrician to re-route all {the electrical} and the field. He additionally added a recessed gentle over our eating room desk, which has vastly improved our sport nights–we will really see our playing cards now!!! For some cause, the builders didn’t put any overhead lighting in the lounge, so this one new gentle is doing a number of work.

Subsequent got here probably the most difficult facet: recessing a assist beam.

Since this wall was load bearing, the answer was a murals (and genius) created and executed by my husband.

  1. The person of my goals first constructed a brief bracing wall in order that the home wouldn’t fall down–an actual precedence, let me let you know.
  2. Subsequent, he eliminated the prevailing wall by holding a sawzall OVER his head for hours on finish. He now has the shoulder muscle mass to show it.
  3. Then, he eliminated alllllllll the sharp nails coming via the ceiling, which had been hammered in there with reckless abandon. These builders have been NOT attempting to save cash on nails.
  4. AFTER!

    He lower the prevailing ceiling joists very precisely and eliminated the double prime plate of the wall being faraway from beneath. This was difficult because it’d been nailed in with 1M nails. It was additionally robust to extricate from its slim area.

  5. Lastly, he devised a contraption to lever the brand new several-hundred-pound three-ply LVL beam into place. He construct a ladder system out of lumber on which he raised the beam one facet at a time, resting it on every rung of the “ladder” as we went.
  6. When the beam reached the subfloor above it, he added posts on both facet to assist it. After which secured the ground joists to the brand new beam with the suitable brackets. This recessed the beam, making the ceiling one flush, clear line!
  7. He took down the non permanent wall and ladder system and…. voila! We now have a completely open area now!!!!! And the home has not fallen down.

He’s ready to do the ultimate drywalling (and flooring) till we determine if we wish to have the electrician come again and put within the wiring for the kitchen. We plan to redo the kitchen within the near-ish future and it might make a number of sense to do the lighting now (whereas a part of the ceiling is open) in order that we don’t need to hack into the drywall once more sooner or later.

Nate with the non permanent assist wall he constructed, in addition to the brand new beam going up its “ladder”

Per our regular renovation model, we did all the things we may ourselves, which was largely the grunt work and the carpentry. We employed an architect to do the beam calculations (once more: precedence #1 was for the home to not fall down). And the plumbing and electrical have been each past Nate’s capabilities. He can completely do fundamental plumbing and electrical, however this plumbing was INTENSE and I’m actually glad we employed knowledgeable.

Doing the demo, reducing out the drywall, disassembling the chair rail–that’s all stuff we did ourselves. It’s not technical or difficult, it’s simply grunt work that takes time. The carpentry to construct the non permanent wall and recess the beam was superior, nevertheless it was all stuff Nate was capable of educate himself tips on how to do. He’ll additionally do the ultimate drywalling, the little part of flooring, after which we’ll paint collectively.

I’m at all times blissful to pay folks to do stuff I can’t, or don’t know the way, to do. I’m equally blissful to do stuff myself that I really feel secure and assured in my skill to do.

This turned out to be a fairly large undertaking–and quite costly–however, it dramatically improves the circulate and openness of the principle ground of the home. All in all, 100% value it! Keep tuned for my subsequent renovation replace, which at this tempo shall be in 5 years.

Need Assist With Your Cash? E-book a Monetary Seek the advice of With Me!

Cash is terrifying for lots of people and many people don’t know the place to begin.

That’s the place I are available.

I demystify private finance and break it down into manageable steps. I clarify the place to begin, the place to go and tips on how to confidently handle your cash by yourself.

My session classes–and ensuing written monetary plans–are complete, holistic, and all-encompassing of every particular person’s funds. I have a look at revenue, money owed, property, mortgages, bills, investments, retirement accounts, anticipated social safety, bank card technique and extra. I run via each facet of an individual’s monetary life alongside their longterm targets and aspirations.

I assist folks work out tips on how to make their cash allow them to dwell the life they need.

Need assistance together with your cash?

  1. Rent me for a non-public monetary session right here.
  2. Schedule an hourlong name with me right here.
  3. Schedule a 30 minute name with me right here.

→Undecided which choice is best for you? Schedule a free 15-minute chat with me to be taught extra. Refer a good friend to me right here.

I Love the Free Cash Monitoring Instruments from Private Capital… now known as Empower!

I take advantage of and advocate a free on-line service known as Empower to prepare our cash. It tracks our spending, internet value, investments, retirement, all the things. Whereas the title is totally different, the free internet value monitoring and cash group instruments are the identical!

Figuring out the place your cash’s at is without doubt one of the best methods to get a deal with in your funds. You can’t make knowledgeable choices about your cash for those who don’t know the way you’re spending it or how a lot you have got. For those who’d prefer to know extra about how Empower works, take a look at my full write-up.

With no holistic image of your funds, there’s no solution to set financial savings, debt reimbursement or funding targets. It’s a should, people. Empower (which is free) is a good way for me to systematize our monetary overviews because it hyperlinks all of our accounts collectively and offers a complete image of our internet value.

For those who don’t have a stable thought of the place your cash’s at–or the way you’re spending it–contemplate attempting Empower (be aware: the Empower hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks). 

Credit Playing cards: How We Purchase All the things

We purchase all the things we will with bank cards as a result of:

  1. It’s simpler to trace bills. No guesswork over the place a random $20 invoice went; all of it exhibits up in our month-to-month expense report from Empower. I additionally spend much less cash as a result of I KNOW I’m going to see each expense listed on the finish of the month.

  2. We get rewards. Bank card rewards are a easy solution to get one thing for nothing. By way of the playing cards we use, we get money again in addition to lodge and airline factors for purchasing stuff we have been going to purchase anyway.
  3. We construct our credit score. Since we don’t have any debt, having a number of bank cards open for a few years helps our credit score scores. It’s a grimy fable that carrying a steadiness in your bank card helps your credit score rating–IT DOES NOT. Paying your playing cards off IN FULL each month and preserving them open for a few years does assist your rating.

For extra on my bank card technique, take a look at:

Money Again Playing cards to Think about

For those who’re now cash-back curious, there are a selection of playing cards in the marketplace providing fairly good money again percentages. Listed here are a number of I believe are a superb deal:

Blue Money Most popular® Card from American Categorical

  • 6% money again at U.S. supermarkets on as much as $6,000 per 12 months in purchases (then 1%).
    6% money again on choose U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% money again at U.S. gasoline stations and on transit (together with taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and extra).
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn a $250 assertion credit score after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your new Card inside the first 6 months
  • $0 intro annual payment for the primary 12 months, then $95. Charges and costs particulars right here.
  • Phrases apply

Blue Money On a regular basis® Card from American Categorical

  • 3% money again at U.S. supermarkets (on as much as $6,000 per 12 months in purchases, then 1%).
  • 3% Money Again at U.S. gasoline stations, on as much as $6,000 per 12 months, then 1%.
  • 1% money again on different purchases.
  • Earn as much as $250 – Right here’s How: Earn as much as $150 again if you store with PayPal. Earn 20% again as a press release credit score on purchases if you use your new Card to take a look at with PayPal at retailers within the first 6 months of Card Membership, as much as $150 again. Plus, earn $100 again as a press release credit score after you spend $2,000 in purchases in your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • No annual payment. Charges and costs particulars right here.
  • Phrases apply.

Capital One Quicksilver Money Rewards Credit score Card

  • 1.5% money again on each buy, daily.
  • $200 money bonus after you spend $500 on purchases inside 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual payment.

Capital One SavorOne Money Rewards Credit score Card

  • Limitless 3% money again on eating, leisure, well-liked streaming companies and at grocery shops (excluding superstores like Walmart and Goal).
  • 1% again on all different purchases.
  • 8% money again on tickets at Vivid Seats via January 2023.
  • $200 money bonus after you spend $500 on purchases inside the first 3 months from account opening.
  • No annual payment.

Chase Freedom Limitless®

  • Earn an additional 1.5% on all the things you purchase (on as much as $20,000 spent within the first 12 months), which is value as much as $300 money again:
    • 6.5% on journey bought via Chase Final Rewards
    • 4.5% on eating and drugstores
    • 3% on all different purchases.
  • After your first 12 months (or $20,000 spent), you earn:
    • 5% money again on Chase journey bought via Chase Final Rewards
    • 3% money again on drugstore purchases and eating at eating places, together with takeout and eligible supply service
    • Limitless 1.5% money again on all different purchases.
  • No annual payment.

For those who’re concerned about journey rewards, folks love the Chase Sapphire Most popular® Card. You’ll be able to earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, which is $750 if you redeem via Chase Final Rewards.

Large caveat to bank card utilization: you MUST pay your bank card payments in full each single month, with no exceptions. For those who’re involved about your skill to do that, or suppose utilizing bank cards may immediate you to spend extra, follow a debit card or money. However when you’ve got no drawback paying that invoice in full each month? I like to recommend you bank card away, my good friend! (be aware: the bank card hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks).

Money Again Earned This Month: $88.90

The silver lining to our spending is our money again bank card. We earn 2% money again on each buy made with our Constancy Rewards Visa and, this month, we spent $4,445.10 on that card, which netted us $88.90

Not some huge cash, nevertheless it’s cash we earned for purchasing stuff we have been going to purchase anyway! That is why I like money again bank card rewards–they’re the only solution to earn one thing for nothing.

To see how this provides up over the course of a 12 months, take a look at How I Made $712.59 With My Money Again Credit score Card.

The place’s Your Cash?

One other simple solution to optimize your cash is by placing it in a high-yield financial savings account. With these accounts, curiosity works in your favor versus the rates of interest on debt, which work towards you.

Having cash in a no or low curiosity financial savings account is a waste of sources–your cash is sitting there doing nothing. Don’t let your cash be lazy! Make it give you the results you want! And now, take pleasure in some explanatory math:

Let’s say you have got $5,000 in a financial savings account that earns 0% curiosity. In a 12 months’s time, your $5,000 will nonetheless be… $5,000.

Let’s say you as a substitute put that $5,000 into an American Categorical Private Financial savings account, which–as of this writing–earns 4% in curiosity (affiliate hyperlink). In a single 12 months, your $5,000 can have elevated to $5,200. Which means you earned $200 simply by having your cash in a high-yield account.

And also you didn’t need to do something! I’m a giant fan of incomes cash whereas doing nothing. Is anyone not a fan of that? Apparently so, as a result of anybody who makes use of a low or no curiosity financial savings account is NOT getting cash whereas doing nothing. Don’t be that particular person. Be the one who earns cash whereas sleeping.

Sure, We Solely Paid $28.24 for Cell Cellphone Service (for 2 telephones)

Our cellphone service line merchandise shouldn’t be a typ0 (though that definitely is). We actually and actually solely paid $28.24 for each of our telephones (that’s $14.12 per particular person for these of you into division). How is such trickery attainable?!? We use an MVNO!

What’s an MVNO?

Glad you requested as a result of I used to be going to let you know anyway: It’s a cellphone service re-seller.

MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of the cellphone service world–the identical service, A LOT cheaper. For those who’re not utilizing an MVNO, switching to 1 is a straightforward, slam-dunk, do-it-right-away means to save cash each single month of each single 12 months without end and ever amen.

Listed here are a number of MVNOs to contemplate:

For extra, I’ve a full chart of suppliers and their costs right here: The way to Save Cash on Your Cell Cellphone Invoice with an MVNO: I Pay $12 a Month*

*the quantity we pay fluctuates each month as a result of it’s calibrated on what we use. Think about that! We solely pay for what we use! Will wonders ever stop. These MVNO hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks.

Expense Report FAQs

  • Wish to know the way we handle the remainder of our cash? Take a look at How We Handle Our Cash: Behind The Scenes of The Frugalwoods Household Accounts
  • Don’t you have got a rental property? Sure! We personal a rental property (also called our first house) in Cambridge, MA, which I focus on right here and extra not too long ago, right here too
  • Why do I share our bills? To present you a way of how we spend our cash in a values-based method. Your spending will differ from ours and there’s no “one proper means” to spend and no “excellent” price range.
  • Are we probably the most frugal frugal folks on earth? Completely not! My hope is that by being clear about our spending, you may acquire insights into your individual spending and be impressed to take proactive management of your cash.
  • Questioning the place to begin with managing your cash? Take my free, 31-day Uber Frugal Month Problem.
  • Need assist together with your cash? Rent me for a monetary session or name. Undecided what meaning? Begin with a free 15-minute name.
  • For those who’re concerned about different issues I like, take a look at Frugalwoods Recommends.
  • Why don’t you purchase all the things domestically? We do our greatest to assist our area people and purchase as a lot of our meals as attainable immediately from our farmer neighbors. Our city doesn’t have any shops, so we depend on on-line ordering and massive field shops for requirements. The closest shops are 45 minutes away and we go a number of instances a month to top off on what we will’t get from our neighbors or on-line.

However Mrs. Frugalwoods, Don’t You Pay For X, Y, Or Even Z???

Questioning about frequent bills you don’t see listed beneath?

  • We don’t have a mortgage as a result of we paid it off (particulars right here)
  • We pay payments in full the month we obtain them. That’s why you gained’t see month-to-month funds for issues like automobile insurance coverage or property tax. These bills present up as the total annual (or bi-annual, and so forth) quantity within the month we pay them.
  • Right here’s what we do for medical insurance.
  • We don’t have any money owed and we paid money for our automobiles.
  • Right here’s how we make charitable contributions: How We Donate To Charities Like Billionaires and likewise How We Make Significant And Tax Environment friendly Charitable Donations.
  • Right here’s an summary of how we save for our children’ increased schooling: How We Use 529 Plans To Save For School
  • We dwell on 66 acres in rural Vermont, so our utilities and family bills are totally different from conventional city and suburban properties:
    • We don’t pay for water, sewer, trash, or heating/cooling as a result of we now have a effectively, a septic system, our city doesn’t present trash pick-up (we take it to a switch station as soon as every week in luggage we buy from our city), we warmth our house with wooden we harvest ourselves from our land, and we don’t have central air-con (we use window models in the course of the hottest elements of the summer time).
    • There are, after all, prices related to sustaining these programs (resembling having our septic system pumped and inspected) and people bills present up within the months we pay them.
    • We now have photo voltaic panels, which account for our low electrical energy invoice.
    • For extra on our rural way of life, take a look at my collection This Month On The Homestead in addition to Metropolis vs. Nation: Which Is Cheaper? The Final Value Of Residing Showdown

For those who’re questioning about the rest, be happy to ask within the feedback part!

Alright you frugal cash voyeurs, feast your eyes on each greenback we spent in June:

Merchandise Quantity Notes
Groceries $1,147.44
Lumber and Drywall $703.53 For the non permanent wall & “ladder” plus the beam itself and new drywall
Dwelling Enchancment Instruments & Provides for wall removing 2023 $600.61 Misc instruments for the wall removing undertaking together with a bottle jack, big hammer, monumental sq., drywall stuff, fasteners, simpson brackets, drywall mud, and so forth.
Electrician $494.98 To re-route {the electrical} and put in a brand new recessed gentle.
Family Provides $302.53
Eating places $251.94
Physician visits $250.38 Co-pays, largely for lab work
Gasoline for automobiles $194.85
Season move to our native seaside $150.00 Price each penny. We spend HOURS there with the youngsters all summer time lengthy
50lb bag of oats & different misc groceries $134.48 50lb bag of natural rolled oats (ordered in bulk)
Beer & wine $132.28
New climbing boots for Mr. FW $85.06 His earlier pair had literal holes. This pair is understanding up to now! We put a number of miles on our sneakers, so hopefully he’ll get good life out of those (affiliate hyperlink).
Wine.com Free Transport Membership Annual Membership $73.14 I give wine as vacation and birthday presents to our household and so, I pay this annual “membership” payment to Wine.com as a way to get free transport on all of my orders. It completely pays for itself since wine = costly to ship!
Utilities: Web $72.00
New leggings for me $59.95 I’ve been rocking the identical Felina leggings for ~6 years and, after every day use, a number of pairs are getting stretched out. Additionally, there are a number of holes. And so, time for new leggings for me! I swear by these items. So mushy, so comfy, so not saggy or stretchy. Additionally, cool new colours! (affiliate hyperlink).
Annual inspection for the Subaru $59.50
Gasoline Membership $50.00 Our native oil & propane gasoline membership, which will get us decrease costs on each.
Well being Insurance coverage Month-to-month Premium $41.74
Utilities: Electrical $36.42 We now have photo voltaic; that is our month-to-month base worth for remaining grid tied.
New wi-fi pc mouse for me $33.39 My earlier wi-fi mouse (an historical hand-me-down from my husband) died spectacularly in the midst of a gathering. Bought this cute new pink substitute! (affiliate hyperlink).
Booster seat for Kidwoods $30.73 Our almost-second-grader is lastly prepared for a booster seat! I’m a agency believer in carseats for each automobile, so this one went into the truck (affiliate hyperlink).
Cellular phone service for 2 telephones $28.24 Thanks, low cost MVNO!
Shelburne Museum $23.00 Went to the very cool Shelburne Museum utilizing a move checked out from our library. This was the worth for the 4 of us with the move low cost.

Extremely advocate visiting this museum for those who’re in Vermont!

New set of affect bits $21.19 For anytime it is advisable affect bit (affiliate hyperlink).


Fairy lights $18.17 Earlier fairy lights burned out (after 7 years of steady use). We string these lights round the lounge on account of the dearth of overhead lighting (affiliate hyperlink).
Firecracker Lights $15.44  

Very cool spray of lights, which I initially wished across the complete lounge, however then I spotted every strand is simply 10 ft lengthy, which sounds lengthy, however shouldn’t be lengthy in any respect. So, I simply received one strand and put them over the kitchen sink. They appear rad! (affiliate hyperlink).

Spotify $13.77 Music
Mason jar cleaning soap pumps & lids $10.06 Three of my cleaning soap pumps broke down final month, so I received these pumps and lids, which screw onto common Mason jars—one thing we now have tons of. They appear good and are fairly sturdy. Very blissful. Will most likely buy extra as our different cleaning soap pumps chunk the mud (AKA when our children break these too). (affiliate hyperlink).
Espresso Retailers $9.81
TOTAL: $5,044.63

How was your June?

By no means Miss A Story

Signal as much as get new Frugalwoods tales in your e-mail inbox.


Leave a Comment