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Five Frugal Things 6/19

1. Today I got to leave early to volunteer at Philabundance!  I carpooled, helped people, and did not go out to eat after!

2. Was STARVING after and even looked at the menu for a place 3 blocks away I wanted to try….said NAY! And made an omelet instead.

3. Biked to the grocery store – only bought what I could carry and even spend a few minutes battling myself in the soda aisle – I came home sodaless.

4. Staying in the city this weekend – going to hang out at home and make crockpot chicken and go out for happy hour on Saturday (limited consumption limited consumption!)

5. I love my dog and want to spend as much time with him as possible – and that’s free :)

Okay…we’re halfway through the Spend Fast.  Let’s look at some numbers.

May 1 – 31: $753.77*
Okay….so these are some numbers.  Looking at May…here are some factors:
-I eat out way too much.  WAY too much.  Philadelphia is hard.
-I taxi’d way too much. WAY too much.  I now live so far from work that is both cheaper AND faster to just take the train.
-I went on vacation – that number does not include my flights, but includes the balling out I shouldn’t have done. $203.31 of that number is that.  This does not excuse the remaining $550.46.  This is why we spend fast.

June 1 – 15: $242.66*
I did a terrible thing and took advantage of a Victoria’s Secret sale. It was $102 for 3 bras and 5 pairs of panties – got eBates and Swagbucks back and free shipping.  These are things that are pretty necessary as most of mine are falling apart.

I was doing REALLY GOOD at not going out and then my boo came up and we went out – I spent about $70 in a night on dinner and a taxi.  But then we bought groceries and stayed in the rest of the weekend.  It’s a small step!

So what does this say?
I’m not very good at spend fasts.  BUT I am doing better at not eating out – once in 15 days is pretty damn stellar for me….especially when I’m constantly turning down invitations to go out.  IT HURTS SO BAD I MISS HANGING OUT BUT EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE.

What will I do now?
Be really mad at myself for spending so much on dumb shit.  LOL JK that won’t help.  I’m going to continue forth because that’s all we can do.  I’m going to continue to not eat out or drink out for the next 15 days!  Also, Swagbucks is having a Team Challenge – so all the more reason to stay home and knock out some swaggin’ (for free)

Also, come over if you wanna hang!  Let’s do arts n crafts.

*Does not include groceries, medication, or dog expenses.

1. I was not good on Friday and Saturday – spent some money on food, beer, and a cab.  I made up for it by only taking the train and walking after Friday’s happy hour endeavors – and half of the money I spent this weekend went towards groceries for last night, today, and possibly stretched into Monday!  I’m not beating myself up because I know I will be good for the rest of the month!

2.  I got to go to a free Flywheel class this morning – first one always free!  It was Game of Thrones themed and I made a shirt out of one going into the rag pile.  It will probably have to go into the ragpile still since I used sharpie on it and it bled everywhere when I washed it!

3. My roommate is having Cookout Sunday where friends come over with sides and she grills burgers.  I’m going to make a lime beverage and cut up some leftover baguette to complete a cheese/sausage plate if there is enough people.

4. Spent some time today on Swagbucks and Recyclebank for their respective points and put in come Coke Rewards that I got off some recycling on the street and at the office (yes…I’m slowly becoming that person but Coke Rewards does Amazon gift cards now!)

5. I found a $10 AmEx giftcard in my room from Christmas!  I find them to be a pain to redeem at stores so I decided to use it to up my Amazon credit balance.  Between that and the Swagbucks I’ve earned this month – I have $35!  Since I don’t need anything…it can just happily sit there.

Had a great weekend.  Happy to hit reset and get back on the spin fast!!

Day 7 of SPEND FAST.

I was a complete hermit the entire weekend with the exception of dog walks and one extra-long walk with a friend.  Other than that, I’ve been in the home.  I’ve cleaned up and reorganized my bedroom and started on the basement and the extra/craft room.  I’ve also cooked many delicious things (crock pot pulled pork, bacon…I guess that’s it so far but I’m making more salsa chicken later!)

I also finished earning a $25 giftcard through Swagbucks (thetealappeal for referrals) and a $5 giftcard through Recyclebank!

So far, so good on the spend fast weekend front.

SPENDING FROM WEEK 1:

SPENT LAST WEEK:

$17 Groceries – Trader Joe’s
$16 Sunscreen and yogurt pretzels – CVS
$25 Drycleaning I haven’t picked up in almost a month
$20 SEPTA public transportation tokens
$51 PPA fucking asshole shitstain parking ticket.  Okay, it was definitely my fault that I soufilly parked myself on a crosswalk but didn’t think that of all things would get me a ticket considering some of the parking ridiculousness I see!

$129 – definitely not ideal for a spend fast BUT I DID NOT GO OUT!  I was invited out EIGHT TIMES in week 1 to go out for dinner/drinks and every time I declined graciously.  I won’t be getting another parking ticket again – I moved my car 1 foot and am now in a legit spot.

HOW ARE WE DEALING WITH THE WEEKEND?

DUH HANGING WITH WALLY!  Also going for a walk with one of Wally’s favorite ladies.  There’s a pork in the crock pot and I have no other reason to spend money.

1. I had to drive to and from Harrisburg today and it was rough – but I didn’t stop to get gas or food which are not needed.

2. Ate at home for all meals and all leftovers.

3. Working tonight instead of spending – will be getting a big payment for the last month of work!

4. Rocking clothes obtained by my rad roommate that cleared out her closet of things my size.

5. I have now turned down going out plans four times this week!  SORRY CAN’T GO OUT BUT WANNA COME OVER?

My spend fast does not encompass grocery shopping because my living situation has changed and I no longer have an amazing fridge and freezer full of things that I can creatively make last.  In fact, my freezer is now about the size of a shoebox.  So I don’t buy/obtain meats in bulk.  No saving there.  Womp.  So today I spent $17 to get a pork tenderloin, 2 bags of greens, nanners, dried mango slices, and halfhalf.  Not bad.  I then spent $16 on a bag of yogurt pretzels and a bottle of face sunscreen.

The $4 bag of yogurt pretzels were not needed. The $12 bottle of sunscreen was needed…but I know I could have found it at a better price if I did the research.

To counteract this: I turned down drinks this week THREE TIMES with two different people.  Sorry bro, I can’t spend money.

I have invited a friend to my home to drink wine that we already have and do arts and crafts – something I have PLENTY of around here.

SPEND FAST JUNE 2k15

These always seem to crash and burn at the end – but I feel like this month I am very determined and able to do this shit.  My circumstances have changed drastically since the last one and I will see many great benefits from this one.

MAIN MOTIVATION THIS TIME: If I succeed, I get a prize.  It’s not just to play catch-up but I will honest-to-god buy myself something amazing: a year-long membership to a gym that a lot of my other friends have year-long memberships to.  We’re all locked in and will be investing the money so we HAVE TO GO.  And I miss gyming.  And my new roommate is a spin instructor at said gym and also kicks my ass during HIIT routines.

DEBT WE NEED TO REMEMBER TO GET RID OF THOUGH: $2,179.98 Whoops.  It got racked up in April and May between my move, vacation, auto insurance, and the first sight of outdoor seating and summer beers – emerging from the depths of my ladycave after several months on Hoth…

HOW DID DAY 1 GO
WENT WELL!  Made coffee at home, brought a hummus pita for lunch, and am home making salsa chicken with corn and leftover fridge veggies so I can have lunch for the rest of the week.  I’ll individually package enough meals and put them in the fridge at work so I have no excuse not to eat the food I bring.  I need to obtain a pork tenderloin this week so I can make pulled pork for the rest of the week.  I make coffee every morning and can get that for free at work as well.  It’s also disgusting out right now so I have no reason to leave the house to spend money and I don’t need anything so I’m good.

HOW WILL TOMORROW GO?
Uh, I hope it goes well!  I will have lunch and have invited a bro over to do arts n’ crafts.  The people in my life know about this spend fast and as long as I have support and a goal – I will be doing this.

Okay…so today I promoted Ebates on my Facebook and a few people got interested….so here is my favorite list of “lazy earners” – sites/apps/extensions I use to earn points that can be turned into paypal money or giftcards…usually of the Amazon persuasion.

1. Swagbucks.com
So with SB…you get what you give for the most part – you do stuff to earn their virtual points referred to as “swagbucks” and then exchange them for various rewards – usually e-giftcards to awesome places like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Walmart, etc.  They have a Shop & Earn section where you can earn for shopping at places like Groupon, Living Social, rotation Amazon categories, and MANY other physical and internet stores.  The rest of the website is basically getting a few bucks to watch ads or try new products (sometimes for free, but usually for trial and whatnot)

Average Earnings: $25- $40 per month in Amazon and Starbucks giftcards.  
I use the Shop & Earn for daily purchases and run the mobile apps whenever I have free wifi.  When I’m lazing around at home I’ll run the SBTV in the background or do surveys…though it is easy to spend 30 minutes just disqualifying for surveys.  I also try to use their search function as often as possible (It’s yahoo and kind of sucks…but I’ve just started searching google.com and have received swagbucks for it!)

Click here to sign up for Swagbucks and get swaggin’

2. Recyclebank.com
You sign up and slap a sticker on your recycling bin (or don’t.  It’s whatever since I’ve been earning well after that poor bin was stolen) and earn points that can be used for coupons to local establishments, e-giftcards, magazine subscriptions, etc.  You can also earn points by doing the activities on their website that often give you great energy-saving tips.

Average Earnings: $15 and a magazine subscription per year.  
Not a huge payout – but I’m dragging the recycling to the curb once a week and this is giving me something for that!

Click here to sign up for Recyclebank and earn for helping the earth and stuff

3. EBates.com
They will send you paypal money, giftcards, or even a check in the mail just for shopping at websites you usually do – Groupon, Amazon, etc.!  You just have to check their website or download the browser extension and it will do the rest!

I Don’t Have Average Earnings Yet
I just started using this in 2015 though I have friends that say they have earned $200-$300 over the years in “cash back”

Click here to sign up for EBates.com


 

Today I bought a Groupon and used both EBates AND Swagbucks so I got about $5.20 back from a $40 Groupon purchase!  May not seem like much…but it all adds up.

Day 9 Starbucks Free

I’ve saved myself at LEAST $28.71 in Starbucks since Christmas!  I spent $90 on Starbucks in January last year and I am determined to cut that down!  Making my own coffee is helping tremendously.

So I didn’t have any plans to make fitness/weight loss a goal for 2015…until I tried to put on my stretchy jeans earlier and felt like a giant muffin.  So I made an executive decision use my holiday AmEx giftcards to purchase a 15-punch card for fitness classes at a local gym.  I use Swagbucks AND EBates so I only spent about $34 which s less than $3 per class…and anything under $15 per fitness class is a deal these days.  I need zumba to get back into business!   I consider this a win since I didn’t pay for it and will get cash back.

It’s Saturday night and I am crashed out on my couch with my dog, a crochet project, and Swagbucks.  I think I’m about to watch the LEGO Movie and soak up cable while I still have it.  I tried to call Comcast today to downgrade, but didn’t get through before heading to work so I shall try again tomorrow!  I’m currently paying $104/month and I am confident I can get that down under $100.

150103-181533

So here’s a pic of me being cool on a Saturday night crocheting at home with my dog.  I’m not out spending money!!!

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