FY 2017: 1st Quarter Expense Report

By Mrs. Song Reports

2017 1st quarter expenses

I want to start off by saying, we’re by no means frugal. We’re trying to cut down expenses, but as you might see we have quite a ways to go.

Since I’ve been reading many different financial blogs, I definitely feel the numbers I’m about to put here feels like a mega outlier. I debated whether I should do this at all. But I’m going to because these are the real numbers, and the blog is as much for our own sake as for our readers to get another data point.

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Goals for 2017

By Mrs. Song Goals

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you'll land among the stars.

It’s not the beginning of the year anymore, but I say it’s never too late to set goals. Goals can help us reach our highest potential and motivate us to go that extra mile.

And as Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

I like the saying a lot, and I take it as an encouragement in that even if I don’t succeed in a goal this year, I am at least getting myself closer to achieving that goal.

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Europe Trip Booked!

By Mrs. Song Travel

Europe Travel

Yes, we did! We’re flying to Europe for 2 weeks.

$1,622 per person for flight, accommodation, and transportation.

I’ve been dreaming about going to Europe since I was in high school. Unfortunately as a student you don’t really have much money, and my parents were pretty protective of me so solo backpacking on a budget was not an option.

Between school happening and life happening, we finally said it’s now or not until a long time later, especially if we were to have kids in the near future.

It’s a lot shorter than I wanted since Mr. Song doesn’t get a lot of flexible vacation days in a year, but it’s probably for the best as it helps keep our expenses at a modest level.

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How Not To Splurge At IKEA

By Mrs. Song Life

IKEA Cafeteria Line

IKEA Renton opened its newly renovated two-story store back in February. We’ve been wanting one of those VIDGA curtain panel to cover our laundry nook, so we planned a trip to check it out last weekend.

We made the newbie mistake of underestimating the power of IKEA. The weather was great, hence many families and shoppers were out. Coupled by the fact that IKEA was still in midst of constructing a new parking lot, parking was a NIGHTMARE. We had to park in the overflow parking lot. Shuttle service was provided but we chose to walk.

If you can, definitely try to go during weekday work hours, or weekend right before store opens.

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Dealing with Costly Water Leak

By Mrs. Song Life

Plumber digging

About a month ago, our utility company notified us that we had a water leak somewhere on our property. The fun part of home ownership right? We left it in the back of our mind since nothing jumped out as “THIS IS A LEAK”, until we received our utility bill and noticed that we were charged $70 more than usual! The leak was unfortunately real. We had no prior experiences in dealing with water leaks, so we googled instructions on “how to locate a water leak”, and tried to follow along.

Locating the Water Shutoff Valve(s)

Most websites told us to first locate the main shut-off valve to determine whether the leak was inside the house or outside, but oftentimes the instructions were vague and confusing. Especially since there is a difference between warm-weather water system and cold-weather water system.

For warm-weather water system, which seems to be the system used around greater Seattle area, there will typically be two shutoff valves: one by the water meter, and another near the house. The one by the water meter shuts off water service from the city. If there was a leak before the water service reaches the meter, it would be the city’s responsibility to fix. The other shut off valve located near or in the house disconnects the water service going into the house, but does not impact the water service running through the yard.

How to Locate Your Gas Shutoff Valve and Water Shutoff Valve” by The Family Handyman actually did a very good job illustrating the systems.

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