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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Frugal Activities #45

It's been a while since I've done a Frugal Activities post and since I'm on the Pantry / Freezer Challenge this month, I figured now is a good time to pick up where I've left off ...

I'll be honest, it seems like I've been spending a ton of money lately ... between the insurances being due, helping my dad with a few extras, my sister having serious financial issues, and just life in general, my savings account is no where near where I'd like it to be, nor is my checking account!

So, in addition to the Pantry / Freezer Challenge, I thought, heck, I need to get my mind back in to the saving/frugal/every penny counts/debt is an emergency mode ... and it didn't take long for me to fall right back in to that path, thankfully!

I've changed up my plans a tad: boosted my weekly savings to $75 (automatically withdrawn through the Capital One 360 program), added an automatic withdrawal for the 4th and the 18th of each month (I get my main pay checks on the last day of the month and the 15th) of $100 which brings my monthly savings to $500 a month automatically.

AND ... I've changed my Digit plan ... whenever I hit $100, I'm having it redeposited in to my checking account and making a same day payment to the lowest balance credit card.  Sadly, I forced myself to sit down Friday morning at 6am and log in to each account to see where I'm at. $7200 in credit card debt. THIS, after being so damn proud to say I had NO credit card debt a mere year ago. Amazing how fast things add up on a credit card :-( ... let this be a lesson to all!

Then consider the fact that I've given my company roughly 18 months notice ... December 31, 2016 will be my last day there ... and, well, heck, I need a better plan in place, don't you think! Granted, I'm not retiring, its just time to move on and do something different ... I will have been there 15 years (and it's a small company), I'll be 52 (and a half) and well, I'm tired  and need a change. Ideally, cook food take pictures and blog all day but that's a lot easier said than done! And yeah, I totally need to have more money for that!

Paradise, road construction and all ... should be completed by 12/31/16

Ok ... let's see what we've done for Frugal Activities this week, shall we?

1. Stayed out of the grocery stores til Friday where it cost money. Costco's shop was free last week. I had budgeted $30 but spent $66.  Actually, I'm ok with that.

2.  Used Target's $5 off any $20 meat purchase two times (once on the target app on my phone, the other time with the flyer coupon), grouped with the cartwheel app to get FREE CHICKEN ... I had gift cards in $5 increments that I've been holding on to ... this was PERFECT! First run was 3 bags (2.5 lbs) of Market Fresh frozen chicken breast at $6.99 each. Used the Cartwheel app for 5% off and cost me a total of $12. Handed over 3 gift cards and had a balance on one.  2nd time was with Tyson's frozen chicken, same weight, 3 bags, used the Cartwheel app again and got 15% off ... grand total was $12 again, handed over 3 gift cards and still have a balance. It's been a long time since I've shopped for free!

3.  Told myself I didn't need anything from the housewares department at Target. I spent an hour browsing the plates, serving dishes, all kinds of way COOL stuff that would have cost me money, that I don't need and at the end of the day, create more clutter. Can I get a nod from all of you out there??

4.  Paid all my bills for the month online.  I can't believe it costs 49 cents to mail a letter now days. No way am I going to add that expense to bill paying! Online through my bank, I can tell them when to send the payment and how much. Perfect.

5.  My Digit account hit $108.xx on Wednesday so I requested a $100 withdrawal. That was sent right away to Best Buy account to bring THAT balance down to $66 (will send that balance payment in next week). Yes, that's my affiliate link and YES I will earn something IF you sign up with that link ... please do!

6.  Grabbed the tweezers and went to work on the eyebrows and lip a little bit. Not much. I hate tweezing and would way rather wax BUT I'm on a mission and that can cost me about $25. They may not be 'perfect' but certainly good enough for me.

7.  Held off another week in coloring my hair. I'm scared ... honestly! I've been having my hair done for so long and I'm afraid I'm really going to mess it up! BUT I really don't want to spend the $250 to $300 it's been costing me get it done ... but I need to do something soon, the gray is like a halo ;-)

8.  Ate all my meals at home, breakfast, lunch AND dinner ... which is a HUGE win for me considering Hubby was traveling and well, the kids can just look at me and I'm like, ok, lets go grab something. I did menu plan BEFORE I knew Hubby had to travel (last minute stuff) but ended up eating mostly leftovers all week and the Beef Barbacoa ... that was really good :-)

9.  Opened up another bottle of tequila INSTEAD of buying another bottle of Patron. I'm actually saving my Patron (I now have 2 small bottles I'm hoarding) ... the bottle I opened is the Kirkland brand that's HUGE but it's pretty tasty. I was going to pour some of it in to the empty Patron bottle but just could NOT bring myself to do that ... NOT because I was going to pass it off as Patron (heck, those of us who drink it know what it is) but because the Kirkland bottle is HUGE and narrow and heavy and I just see bad things happening with it ... I still have NINE bottles of tequila so been sticking with the Classic Margaritas of late ...


10.  Went five (5!!) days without washing my hair with no issues. No, it's not as shiny and bouncy as days 1, 2 and 3 but it IS clean, not greasy and fine.  I'm almost out of my latest favorite shampoo and conditioner so I think I'll either go back to the WEN (which I have 5 or so bottles of), start using the sample packs OR pull out a large bottle that my hair got tired of previously. I don't need to buy the stuff right now, it costs $25 a bottle, and well, if I'm not willing to spend big bucks to cover the gray, then I can use whatever I have on hand to wash it (I should be counting the days til Hubby starts complaining about the gray)

And of course, you know me, FULL Disclosure of the NOT so Frugal Activities:

1.  The credit card debt. O M G. Need I say more??

2.  Had to split the hazard insurance in to two payments as I was a little short on the cash. I could have AND wish I did pay it in full and just suffer the week or so til the next pay period as it cost me an additional $28 to do so. Ugh.

3.  Ignored the ding of the gas tank in the car and had to stop at a less than desirable gas station to get $20 worth of gas. Uhm, I have to use premium (HEMI engine) and it was $3.39 a gallon. I only got $20 worth just to get me out of there! Should have driven my car to Costco last week instead of Hubby's zippy car!

4.  Had a little food waste.  Ok, that's a lie, a little more than a little. Enough to make me say a few choice words.  Mostly because Hubby packaged the stuff up and put the containers in the other kitchen behind stuff.

I guess it's been a good week after all, don't you think?

What have you been doing Frugal lately?


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