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Newsletter Overload #1

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Hi everybody!  I’m trying to figure out what Fridays will entail from here on out, but for today, I’m answering newsletter questions that I haven’t been able to get to yet.  🙂  Feel free to subscribe in the right sidebar to be able to enter the exclusive monthly giveaways ($25 + Free Ebook).  My newsletter is also where I share my monthly income updates now…yep, I am pro-bribery.  😀

Jeb asked “What is your favorite budget category?”

Honestly, that is so hard.  I actually have a budget spot for vacation savings (which is definitely my favorite), but for actual expenses, it would be food.  I really love food.  If I didn’t, sticking to our food budget and losing weight would be way easier.  I’m just not ready to change yet.  🙂

Michelle asked “What is your favorite movie?”

That changes based on my mood.  Right now, “The Avengers” and “RED” are pretty high up there thank to fun action.  In the horror arena, the “Paranormal Activity” series has been my favorite but “Mama” was actually really great too.  Comedy/romance would be “The Princess Bride”.  And for sappy dramas, I really enjoyed “The Blind Side”.  🙂

Marie asked “I would also like to see more pics of the new house. Now that you’ve settled in, is there anything you would design differently?”

So far, no huge design changes needed, yay!  In fact, I know this sounds silly, but the only thing we want changed SO BADLY is the dishwasher.  We hate our new dishwasher.  Our last dishwasher was perfect – held lots even though it was a standard size and cleaned great.  This one reminds me of crappy apartment dishwashers.  Yuck.  We’ll buy a new one in a few years…it’s just not a huge priority yet.

Laura S asked “I am curious how many hours a week you work on BITFS itself?”

About 10-13 hours a week seems to be the norm.  It takes about 7-9 hours for the 4-5 posts and 3-4 hours for maintenance, email answering, guest post writing (that’s the big one), and commenting.  If anyone is feeling sorry for me right now (HAHA), please feel free to email me a guest post anytime.  😉

Cheryl asked “How and where do you find subjects to blog about, or do you just blog about anything that comes to mind?”

This should prove that I pretty much blog about whatever comes to mind.  I know I should find more current topics to write about, but it’s just too hard to write about something forced.  So unless a current news topic is really on my mind, it will probably not end up here.  But who knows…that Carnival Cruise disaster vacation thing looks like interesting material…

Oh, here’s a question for all of you!

I didn’t know the answer and figured I would just let you all answer in the comments (yep, forced participation, hehehe):

Mel asked “Are there any private, tax friendly savings options specifically for healthcare that are not use-it-or-lose-it type accounts? My employer only offers an FSA, but I LOVED the HSA I had with my high-deductible health plan at my old job. Just wondering if there is an account or savings strategy that would be helpful.”

Any ideas?

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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5 thoughts on “Newsletter Overload #1

  1. Don’t know about Mel’s question. I went to th eIRS site and copied this link, which seems quite informative.

    I know YOU work a lot longer than 13-14 hours, I guess its just not on BITFS?

    Yeah, the Carnival Cruise is fiasco is like paying for a Survival Voyage, without any resources. At least no one seemed to have died and the captain didn’t abandon ship.

    My favorite budget category is pets. I seemed to be collecting them lately, so we are figuring out how much it costs and scaling down (well, I a working on that). Budgets can really bring the voice of reason back to any arena, and makes it where you can afford what you really like to do!
    We are going to see that new Bruce Willis (Good Day to Die Hard) movie and the zombie movie (Cold Body, Warm Heart) this weekend, at a Drive-In theater. Moon isn’t going to be too bright, but I think its suppose to be cold, so it should be a blast. My favorite always changes, but Avengers is amongst the top 10. Hubby and I like Sky Fall, because for once Bond didn’t have loads of girls or drink a lot; and the evil, psychopathic villain was hilarious.
    And I like your posts best. I am soo objective. It is nice to learn about others and their sites and point of views, but I usually use your weekend list to go visit other sites that sound interesting. So here’s to you working your behind off!

  2. Mel, You can certainly set up an HSA account on your own, but you’d have to have an HSA compliant insurance policy. If you don’t have a plan at work, you can look online or check with an agent to find one. It usually says in the description. Then find a bank that offers HSA accounts to set one up. Any money that is put into the account can stay there, tax free, forever, and you will never have a penalty as long as it is used for approved medical expenses. Any money put into an HSA account comes right off of your Mean Adjusted Gross Income on your taxes. So if you are in a 25% tax bracket, it’s like saving 25% on any medical bills.

    If your employers offers a plan that is not HSA compatable, then you’d have to look at the numbers and decide if it is a better deal to continue with your employer’s plan or decline it and get one on your own. Hope that helps. You can always email me at [email protected] if you have more questions. I love HSA’s. They have saved me tons of money over the years.

  3. @retired – Thanks! I’m going to check the IRS guidelines against my current plan. I’m typically a Google girl, but didn’t really think to be an IRS girl on this one. 🙂

    @Kim – Thanks so much! Our insurance is weird – we’re a self-insured company using Cigna rates and I’m on a plan that pays 100% premium for my whole family. I’m going to check the information retired posted and see if it is a qualified HDHP, but I just may check in with you soon. 🙂

    And thanks, Crystal, for posting my question for all your super smart readers! This has to be one of my favorite blogs that I’ve learned quite a bit from in just the past 6 months. Keep the information a flowin’! 🙂

  4. It’s pretty hard for me to find things to blog about sometimes. Since I’m a teen, I don’t have as many life experiences to go off of for my articles. Do you work at a job and work 13 hours a week?

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