Little Bites: Yes, I’m Still Here

When I had our daughter — who is now 28 months old! — I knew this blog would become less and less of a priority. In addition to fewer blog posts, I’ve also been drifting away from personal finance-related topics. Sure, finances are a major consideration when you’re raising a family, and a lot of what goes on in our lives nowadays relates to money. But I’ve chosen to spent most of my free moments with Emily, who is an incredibly spirited toddler who keeps us on our toes and challenges us to whip out our best parenting skills, especially when she’s in public.

Refinancing the Mortgage = More Money Toward Debt Repayment

Our mortgage refinancing was completed in February, and our first payment came due April 1 — it felt great to pay $360 less than we had been on the old mortgage. Those extra funds have been going toward paying off our credit card debt, and we’ll be making the last payments on that in the next two weeks. It’s exciting, since we haven’t have zero balances on our credit cards since before Emily was born, back in early 2011.

Two-year-olds and Tantrums

In the parenting vein, holy terrible twos. Along with the language burst came explosions in the way of tantrums. Emily’s learned to express herself AND toss her little body on the floor like a wet noodle if we dare to tell her she can’t do something. There’s no holding back Miss Independent! Except, we have to hold her back, because she doesn’t know any better. So we’re working on teaching her limits. “No, you can’t play on the Nook again!”

Our First Post-Baby Weekend Away

Mr. Not-So-Frugal and I booked a weekend getaway for just the two of us — sans toddler. We’re not venturing too far, only an hour away, but it will be nice to spend time together as a couple without the parenting duties. I’m sure I’ll be a worrywart while we’re gone, but it will also be nice to partake in some cocktails at an oceanfront bar. It’s just a motel, but we’re paying for proximity to the ocean. So it’ll be worth is (as long as the weather cooperates!).

Frontier Airlines to Charge for Carry-on Bags — and Soda

In another ridiculous piece of travel news, the Washington Post says an airline carrier called Frontier Airlines says it will now charge for carry-on bags and soda — up to $100 for the bags, and $1.99 for a soda. If it’s any consolation, you’ll get to keep the entire can of soda.

Frontier Airlines is quick to point out that there’s no charge if you can spend an entire flight with your carry-on bag under your feet — er, under the seat in front of you. It’s the overhead bin space that’s the precious commodity. If you reserve your space before your flight, it’s “only” $25. But if you want a space when you check into the gate, you’ll have to pony up the $100. These fees are charged each way. So if you plan on coming back home, you’ll be paying them all over again.

It’s bad enough some airlines make us pay to bring our regular-size suitcases (the horror!) with us on our flights, which are usually necessary when traveling to a faraway place. Apparently, many travelers have been trying to get around that fee by stashing as many carry-ons as allowed in the passenger cabin bins.

Airfare is exorbitant as it is, with all the fees, surcharges, and ever-changing prices. This is one more reason I’m happy to stay close to home — or drive to my destination.

The soda, at $1.99, is ridiculous on its own. Are the flight attendants going to cough up a penny in change every time someone asks for it after handing over two bucks? (I would totally be that person, by the way). Don’t worry, you’ll still get your water for free — for now.

EDIT: Frontier Airline’s social media folks are already in damage-control mode. Within minutes of tweeting about blog post (NOT EVEN MENTIONING FRONTIER BY NAME), I received a response:

 

FrontierTweet

Further into the WashPo article, it mentions that if you book your flight through Frontier Airlines’ website, you will avoid the carry-on luggage fee. I’ve asked if that means you’d have to pay the fee if booking by phone. Let’s see if they respond to that.