Monday, May 13, 2019

Just General Updates

I just thought I would check in and let you know how some of my "projects" are going.

First - the Buy No New Clothes




I have really been pleased with this one. It is now May and I haven't spent money on clothes at all this year and that is really good for me. I am usually buying something at least once a month.

However, when I examined my Spring/Summer clothes, I noticed 2 pairs of  dress pants for work that really cannot go another year; thus I will be replacing them.

Also, for full disclosure, my hubby gave me a little money to spend as I want. He often does that and I faithfully squirrel it away but this weekend I visited my favorite boutique and bought a few blouses -- again for work.

Even though I didn't hit the mark 100%, I feel good about the progress made.


Second - Spend No $$$ Weeks

This one I have done surprisingly well. I have had several weeks since the new year where I spent no money at all --None, Zero, Natch, Nada -- with the exception of gasoline. It takes a tank a week to commute to work and back every day. :(

The key is to PLAN. Plan my lunches, plan my dinners at home. No impulse shopping.

Gettyimages

I keep reading articles about how bad it is to eat at your desk because you never get a break. And that is true. Other reasons include:
  • You wind up sitting more and not getting up and moving about.
  • Lowers productivity -- being inside with the same scenery is counter-productive to creative thinking.
  • Your keyboard gets nasty. And then, you have to deal with the crumbs, the smears, the rings on your desk. Sigh. 
But since we don't have a good break room -- I sit at my desk and clean it after each meal.

Third - Throwing out Unwanted Junk

This one I am not doing as well with as I thought I would. So far, I have piles, bags and boxes but just haven't got around to donating yet. The nagging thought -- "I could sell this in a yard sale" lingers in the back of my mind thus paralyzing my legs from taking said junk to car.

Will I do a yard sale? I haven't done one in years and I have to admit our first (and only) one netted us much more money than anticipated. I guess I need to get off my behind and just plan one.





























That is all for now.

Will keep you posted.

Pat

Monday, March 4, 2019

A No Spend Week


I am going to try an experiment – a no spend week.

The idea is to spend absolutely no money this week. No lunches out, no dinners out, no cokes/junk out of the machine, no splurging.

My biggest hurdle is eating out at a night. I am so tired at the end of the day, that just having someone else cook for me (and clean up) is very enticing. Nevertheless, I am going to try this week to 

SPEND. NO. MONEY.  


At all. Nothing, nada, none.

Why?

I feel as if I may be at the beginning of the dreaded Debt Spiral.

Am I in the danger zone? I am getting close – real close.


https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/stop-spending-budgeting-tool/


  • Well, yes, we were really bad over the holidays – had several trips and really didn’t hold back.
  • Then car repair expenses – radiator fan and then transmission. URG!
  • One of our income properties became empty – well, we had to evict – after not having 3 months’ rent, along with all the costs, so that has added a income hole.


How do I plan to do it? 
I already take lunch and coffee everyday so that is not a problem.
I am going to plan what we are going to eat every night AND BE HAPPY WITH IT. 

Also, I am going to resist the snack machine -- hard to do if you are having a bad day -- somehow those M&Ms really do hit the spot and provide a little comfort.

So cross your fingers for me....

Pat

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

#UMCGC2019


This will make some of you mad but, please....
The recent decision of the UMC Church to take a more traditionalist approach, is the decision that was made whether you agree with it or not.


To those affected, I cannot even begin to fathom your pain over the UMC decision. One person said, people who stay (in the UMC) are staying in an abusive relationship. That really hurt and I am sure hurts those of us who HAD NOTHING TO DO WHAT-SO-EVER WITH THIS DECISION and should not be blamed, slammed, shamed or called names.

Each person must make their choice.
If you disagree, leave.
If you agree, stay.
It is as simple as that.

Don't stay if you feel unwanted.

Is it painful? You bet.
Are there many people confused and upset by this decision? Yes.

But some of the awful, vehement statements I have read in the past day or two serves absolutely no purpose and do not help. 

One person refused to agree to disagree and will only accept all people to see her point of view. She just cannot fathom that her road is the higher moral ground. Well, only God can judge that.




A little known fact about John Wesley:

John Wesley coined the term “agree to disagree.”

Over the years, Wesley had serious theological differences with another popular pastor named George Whitefield. Though they both argued passionately, Wesley reflected on these differences in a memorial sermon for Whitefield by saying:  “There are many doctrines of a less essential nature. ... In these, we may think and let think; we may 'agree to disagree.' But, meantime, let us hold fast the essentials. …” This appears to be the first recorded use of the term. It was a hallmark of Wesley’s way of holding to his convictions while remaining in connection with those with whom he disagreed.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A little update


Ok, so just a little update....

Just when we are working hard to be frugal, have a little nest egg building, WHAM!



Real life kicks in.
  • The transmission needs rebuilding in your almost 20 yr old car. And this is just after we have repaired my husband’s car.
  • One of our tenants had to be evicted. Lost rent, court costs, and probably clean and repair on house.
  • And my poor doggie had a bad tooth and had to have an extraction, plus all her shots, etc
  • And because it is winter and was cold last month, our natural gas bill is enormous – thank goodness we have an energy efficient heat pump.

But we survive. We have a warm house, food to eat, water to drink, pets to love, comfy beds, and each other.


Happy Valentine's Day


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Nail Salons - A rip off?

I needed a BASIC manicure. My cuticles were beginning to look at bit ragged and I am very busy right now, so I thought I would just get a manicure. 


Remember those?


So I picked the nail salon closest to my office and wandered over.

Oh my goodness. What an experience!!
First woman handed me a basket of sample nails to look through. It was full of these types of nails pasted on little sticks.





YAK!!

I declined and then none of the women wanted to do my nails once I declined. I explained I had a work event and needed a simple manicure and neutral polish.  

It was obviously unless, I wanted something remotely like this...



...no one wanted to wait on me.

Finally, a woman came from the back and started my manicure. She looked somewhat put out, (a little huffing and puffing)  but did a good job. 

When it came time for the polish, I had picked an OPI polish in a nice neural shade.



She tried to up-sale me on a gel polish. She said it was shinier, faster drying, and doesn't chip. When I asked how much, she said $30! yes, you heard me -- $30 in addition to the basic manicure fee!

No, thank you.

Afterward, I did a little research on gel polish and found this interesting article, "Does gel or regular nails polish last longer? 


Check it out, she has some interesting things to say about it all.

As I sat in the salon, I noticed that several women had a huge Starbucks or some other kind of expensive energy drink.

They were getting manicures and pedicures.
The woman next to me was getting a fancy nail job. And when it came time for her to pay, it was
OVER $80!!

That just got all over my frugal self. What a waste of money. And for what? 

$80 will:
fill my car 2 1/2 times with gas;
pay for an oil change and have some left over;
buy quite a bit of groceries;
or dog food & treats;
or make an extra credit card payment.

My imagination wandered all over. I bet these women have HUGE credit card debt.
Some may even be behind in their mortgage.
But their priority is obviously their nails.

The Frugal Beauty blog has a great post about "doing it yourself" with suggested supplies that work for her. It is a good read.

My conclusion is that I will not be going back to that salon. Nor will I frequent nail salons often in the future. They really just don't fit in to my frugal plan.

End of rant.

Pat

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

No New Clothes for a Year Challenge


As someone facing retirement in the not too far future, I am saddened and dismayed by some of the blogs I read.





One senior blogger tells of how many food banks and senior food services near her are closed, moved, or redistributed. She depends on a bus service to get her to the food banks and now it is a long walk for her to get any food at all.  

She received grocery gift cards for Christmas but is too afraid to use because she might need later since food prices in her area are going up and up.

This made me very sad for her and fearful for me and mine.








This is a country where people are spending $300,000 on a car and this woman’s grocery budget is $30. Ouch.



Don't get me wrong, I AM NOT ADVOCATING SOCIALISM.

But I cannot help but feel we have the least prepared group of people fixin' to retire. I don't want to be one of ill-prepared people.

What am I going to do about it? 

Pull in the reins. 

I have always been a frugal-ish kinda person but now I think I need to concentrate more on saving more. So, I think I will take up this challenge:




























As I have stated before, my closet is so full when I open the door, it burps.

Can I do it?

Not sure.

  • I love fashion blogs, but they may have to go temporarily.
  • I love the feeling something new gives you, but I may need to create new out of what I have.
  • I always seem to have some special social event that REQUIRES a new outfit, but I may have to rethink that. 


I found several good websites for inspiration:

https://www.mintnotion.com/frugal-living/went-whole-year-without-buying-new-clothes/
Mint Notion has some thoughts about how to get started. I was a little put off with her commercial site -- ads full of clothes and jewelry kept popping up all over. But ignore them and read her posts.

http://www.mamalina.co/could-you-buy-no-new-clothes-for-a-year/
This woman talks about the way fast fashion is truly wasteful. A sentiment I feel as well.
Actually, yesterday, I wore this top that I also wore in 2014 at Christmas. Made me feel good.























I found this article from Huff Post to be inspirational.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-i-learnt-from-a-year-of-not-shopping_us_5a369298e4b0e1b4472ae748

"Excessive spending and the need to constantly buy new things is modern life, its hard wired into us. New is better, we need, we deserve, we want, we get."

I think that statement is so very true in this day and age.

So, as I begin this new endeavor, I will keep track here with my thoughts, my frustrations, and my failures.



Pat