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  1. I finally got out of Aldi under $50!! I spent $38 on various things to get me through the end of the month.  I am spending a over $50/week on groceries and I have to figure out how to lower that in June.  I’ve got a few things in the freezer but I’m at the point that each cooking meal only lasts about 2-3 days and by mid-week I’m exhausted.  Gotta utilize the freezer better for meals to get me through the end of the weeks.
  2. Spent yesterday and today on Swagbucks, InboxDollars, and Perk.  I made a little over $2 on Swag and am not really sure about the rest.  It’s not much but it’s not spending and it’s keeping me occupied!
  3. Friend is coming over for Game of Thrones tonight – perfect time to see my friends and justify a cable bill.
  4. I hand-washed a few items in my sink yesterday to get me through the week and save $20 at the laundromat.  I’ll be able to do a few loads at my boyfriend’s next weekend.
  5. Took some time to clean out my closets and was able to throw a few more items in the donation bin.  GET RID O DAT CLUTTER!

Spending Fast: Day 1

So I’m doing another fast!!  I’ve been spending badly on food this month and a few other luxury (to me) items and I need to reel it in.  I’m getting so close to paying off that first loan and it’s killing me seeing it sit there yet another month.  I made a last big grocery shop yesterday and bought produce that should last me 16 days.

Here’s 5 Frugal Things Today:

  1. I gave myself an at-home spa day today.  I made a body scrub of coffee grounds, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and honey.  I soaked in the tub with the scrub and then cleaned the whole bathroom afterwards.
  2. Doing Swagbucks, InboxDollars, and PerkTV all day has saved up some pennies!
  3. I rolled all of my change and had an extra $17.50 thanks to spending with cash and always dumping change into my burger bank.  I also pick up change all the time on the ground!
  4. I know cable is the first thing that everyone cuts – but I like it and won’t give it up! I have a friend coming over tonight to watch Game of Thrones (free HBO trial) and eat pork nachos that I will make.  I can invite friends over to watch things on weeknights and my boyfriend and I really love watching Cops on Saturday nights.  It keeps me from going out and spending at bars when I can invite people over.
  5. Sitting at home working on my insurance license studying – something that will keep me in forthe next few weekends

Sooooo it’s kind of sad how a few poorly-placed luxuries make me feel like I have toppled out of control on spending.  I practiced some bougie “self care” this month with an expensive haircut, wax, and fancy cocktails over lavish dinners.  It has not been so bad that I cannot pay my credit card weekly but it’s enough that I don’t have anything extra to throw at student loans with this paycheck.  I also have to replenish my emergency fund from when i had some rough medical expenses last month.

So I’m going to do a spend fast for the last half of the month.  All of my bills are automatic so those will go out and I will just not have any cards or cash in my wallet.  Today I went and spent $48 at Aldi and have pulled pork stewing in the crockpot…enough to eat now and throw some in the freezer towards the end of the month.

I have cable.  I have an insurance license to study for.  I have a 2/3 full bottle of bourbon.  I can do this!

5 Frugal Things

  1. When my fridge was delivered they forgot my free ice maker – I went to Lowe’s today and picked that up and paid off the Lowes credit card in full.  I wanted to buy other things but walked in and out without spending a penny!
  2. I had coffee with a free starbucks giftcard through Shopkick and free lunch from leftovers from a work lunch last week!
  3. My first copy of Good Housekeeping came today!  I got this and a few other subscriptions free thanks to using Recyclebank.  DIY home ideas – here we come!  And more collage material!!
  4. I have meal prepped for tomorrow – just gotta grind a smoothie and then will have teriyaki chicken thighs to cook tomorrow – even threw half of it in the freezer for another week when I’ll need the meals!
  5. Didn’t buy a lear jet.  Thanks, Katy Wolk-Stanley

Well I got my new fridge delivered this weekend -it’s beautiful!

It doesn’t fit in it’s cubby.  So my dad needs to come back and help me saw a particle board piece from the cabinets off so the fridge will fit.  For now my fridge is just sitting outside of  it’s cubby and taking over most of the kitchen.  PROCESS

In moving the fridge I noticed that the particleboard cabinets are actually rotting anyway in some spots and will need to be replaced.  I also REALLY MISS HAVING A DISHWASHER and am confident it would save more on my water bills in the long run.  So…I am going to save for a kitchen remodel.  It’s a small kichen and I’m happy with the layout, ceiling/light fixture, and floors.  All of the cabinets and countertops need to be replaced and it needs a new coat of paint and I would like to put in a backsplash.

  1. Got free lunch at work at work and due to over-ordering I have free dinner now!
  2. Enjoying a free kalanchoe plant from work as a new dining room centerpiece – perfect because it doesn’t require a lot of sunlight and is bright and wonderful.
  3. Spending a quiet Friday night in with my dog – cleaning my home in preparation of my dad coming over tomorrow!  He’s going to help do some manual dad-labor around like installing hookups for a washer and dryer and making sure my refrigerator installation goes swimmingly.So thankful he’s here to help with this crazy journey of homeownership!
  4. Running Swagbucks on my mobile while cleaning the house and running some videos on the laptop.
  5. I’ve been getting creative with poo bags for my dog – I’ve been taking plastic sleeves of newspapers, fruit bags from my grocery store purchases, and other random bags to hold off on my buying poo bag rolls.

So….April has been incredibly expensive.  Like…WTF expensive.  My Mint.com is red all over the place – and it’s interesting because it started with such good intentions!

April started off rather fantastically – I got a legitimate tax return for the first time in 3 years.  I had done really well with saving in February and April and was sitting pretty on a nice amount of cash in all accounts…and I was thinking of actually paying off my smallest student loan.  I was waffling because it would leave me completely without an emergency fund…so I threw 1/3 of the amount into the loan instead.

Man…I’m really glad I kept the emergency savings!  Here’s why:

On April 11 I stepped out of an appointment and by the time I got to work was hobbling with excruciating pain in my right foot and ankle.  Nothing was relieving the pain.  So here’s how that financially broke down:

  • $50 copay from PCP to be told she had no idea and got a referral to a podiatrist
  • $60 for the podiatrist
  • $20 for the prescribed ankle brace
  • $89.19 in ubers/taxis between work and the doctor’s offices over the course of a week
  • $110 for a new pair of sneakers

My sneakers were so old they they lost all their ankle support and that is why I rolled my foot and severely strained a tendon in the first place. I walk and workout too much to not replace my sneakers every 8 months….it had been a year and a quarter.  I was holding off on this because they are expensive but I didn’t realize it had been THAT long…….and if I had just spent the $110 a few months ago this could have been avoided.

$329.19 so far

When I moved in December my new home was left with an ancient Frigidaire….and I do mean ancient.  I’m 75% sure they actually painted the front of this fridge to hide rust.  It has probably been an energy nightmare this whole time…but sometime over the weekend the freezer door popped open and I have not been able to get it to fully shut since:

  • $50 for the groceries lost (I am guessing this because I’m really not going to go back and itemize but I have spent $277 so far this month on groceries and a lot of that went into the freezer.
  • $596 for a new refrigerator – I will get some help with this down the road but I did have to put up for it first.  I pre-approved for the Lowe’s card and got 10% off.

$646…
$975.19

My dog came down with an unexpected itching problem and I had to take him into the vet.  While about 70% of this will be covered by pet insurance, I have to pay up first!

$138…
$1,113.19

There has been an article by The Atlantic circulating my frugal blogs entitled The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans that talks about how, based on a study from the Federal Reserve Board, 47% of Middle-Class Americans do not have enough savings to take care of a $400 emergency.

I failed this month in the sense that a lot of these things could have been avoided if I had just taken care of them in a more timely manner and I’m going to do better about this going forward!

The win: I am able to pay this off thanks to keeping my emergency savings.  It’s what it’s there for and I’m glad I took this bit of advice from most of the big wigs of budget blogging.  You know that box of ebay items I keep talking about?  This weekend would probably be a good time to get on that….

  1. I went to visit my boyfriend for the night in Baltimore – topped off my tank in Delaware using my Plenti card at an Exxon.  We didn’t spend beyond groceries – took our dogs to see his niece and had a dinner at home while watching Cops and Kimmy Schmidt (which has kept me in most of the weekend) and he let me bring my laundry to do at his place in my ongoing postponement of buying a washer and dryer.
  2. I had my first Aldi experience today – I had only been once before for a very quick snack grab.  Today….today I shopped.  I spent $63 and got a LOT of staples and produce.  Tomorrow I’m going to make a smoothie for breakfast and make a salad for lunch!
  3. Giving myself a “spa treatment” at home tonight with coconut oil and a complimentary shower cap from a past hotel stay.
  4. Spending a little time reorganizing and updating my Mint.com accounts – keeps me mindful.
  5. I have a nice pile of things I can let go of and put on ebay….so why am I so lazy about something as simple as taking pictures???

#tfw

#tfw you have enough money in your savings account to pay off your smallest student loan today…

…and your foot goes NUTS and suddenly hurts so bad that you have to make an immediate doctor’s appointment for the next day $50 minimum copay + $110 if I need to see a specialist – between $8-$81 per prescription that may be needed (based on past prescription history)

…there is a leak in my first floor ceiling that looks like it could a window? Or not?  WTF is going on here?  And I’m so worried it will cost more than what’s in my bank account right now.  So far I’ve only had to put $200 into the place so I knew that something would come up.  I just now have to….handle it.

Today’s Five Frugals

  1. I took my dog on a nice long walk today – we went up Passyunk ave and I stopped in at the pet store and got one of Wally’s favorite treats at 20% off and scored some free kibble samples!  Wally loves the samples in his tricky treat ball.
  2. I really wanted to go to Lowes and have a gift card…but talked myself out of it.  I know I’ll spend more than I need and didn’t need to lose my parking spot.  Instead I listed one of my pieces of curb furniture on craigslist for free.
  3. Tonight I’m stopping by someone’s home to pick up a $5 wall clock that will go great with my shabby chic farmhouse wall – I will get to and from using my bus pass.
  4. I made spaghetti with meat sauce to get me through the next few days – not sure what I’ll do after that!  I have some things in the freezer I can eat and will see what else I can forage.  I’ve spent a little over $80 on groceries so far this month.
  5. I love cable and I’ve been watching it all weekend – it’s worth the expense if I use it, right?
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