Thursday, January 30, 2020
Want to talk about money? This is a topic I have not really broached here – except when talking about my shopping habits and purchases maybe. Why do people shy away from talking about money? I currently read a couple of blogs about frugality and I love a good personal finance book from – where else? – the library! I love to hear money saving tips and I’m curious/nosy and like to hear how other people manage their money, too. I guess this is a pretty personal topic. I respect that different people will choose to spend their money in different ways.
January seems to be a good month to become more frugal. I know many people make financial resolutions, plus, after the excess of the holidays, I just feel yucky money wise; it’s time to reign in the spending, right?
I would call myself selectively frugal. I try to save money where I can so I can splurge on things that matter most to me.
I have always loved working and making my own money. I babysat from the time I was able, I was a lifeguard, a pool manager, a language lab instructor in college, a college reporter and photographer for the newspaper, a waitress at Pizza Hut, a waitress on a floating barge restaurant on the river, a law office receptionist, a stock room person at a clothing store – Talbots Surplus store, and a Spanish teacher! I worked every summer as a beginning teacher and even worked the summer I was pregnant with twins. I love to work and want to use my money wisely.
Here are some ways I have enjoyed a fabulously frugal (in my opinion) lifestyle getting to enjoy the things I enjoy in life without spending too much money…
I love clothes, shoes, and accessories. I love searching at consignment stores for treasures and have found amazing finds – not so many lately, though. Also, for 3 years I tracked my clothing spending. I learned so much from doing this. I would re-evaluate purchases at the end of the year and see the good purchases and shopping mistakes I made.
I love reading – but I don’t need to own the books because I won’t read them again. The library is my best money saving tip ever!
I love being outside in nature – sometimes hiking or walking and sometimes just sitting. Parks are free and I must live somewhere with an outdoor space – I have a wonderful patio and will have an additional deck soon. Even better if I have people to join me and a coffee or a cocktail!
I love being with people and talking over a meal with them at a home or a restaurant. (This is what I save my money for during the week – I take my breakfast, lunch, and coffee to work with me and rarely spend any money during the week from Monday-Thursday on ANYTHING – except for gas, maybe. I try to do all the grocery shopping on the weekend so I don’t have to go back to the store during the week.
I love cooking and trying new recipes. This is a pretty cheap hobby because I am not buying filet mignon or lobster and you can argue that it is a money saving hobby because you spend less cooking.
Gifts -I love to give gifts and love finding the perfect gift for people.
Nails– I love having nice looking nails. I am spending about $10 a week on these dip treatments right now ($35 every 3-4 weeks). I have cut down on Starbucks to justify this. I used to treat myself once or twice week to the tune of $5 a coffee and now it is rare when I get one. So, this has been worth it to me. The dip nail treatment has made me happy and been worth the money.
Hair – I space it out as much as possible and only go to the salon about 5-6 times a year.
Travel – We have taken some amazing trips on a budget. I did lots of research to find good deals on lodging and we camped on one of these trips (along with other camping weekend trips). We also drove rather than flew on all the trips except Germany. I packed food for snacks and some meals. There are lots of ways to save on travel. From the time our boys were 2-14 we traveled most spring breaks and summers. It has gotten more difficult in high school with homework, camps, activities schedules, etc. We did Myrtle Beach, Okaloosa Island, Assateague and Chincoteague, Colonial Williamsburg, Washington DC, Disney, Universal, The Keys, The Everglades, Asheville, Nashville, Panama City Beach, Destin, Michigan multiple times, Hilton Head, Chicago, Dauphin Island, and Germany. Fun fact: On every vacation my boys got a t-shirt and I am making them into a quilt for them soon. I am so excited to do this!
Education and Books for my kids – We spent money on opportunities to learn – extra classes, camps, lessons and books our boys wanted. They loved the library, too, but wanted to own books that they loved. We felt this was a good use of our money.
Museums and Experiences for my kids – I guess I could lump this in with the above category. I never skimped on things like this and would always pay full price if I had to, but I have always been good about finding free things to do in my city. I have researched free days or ways to get in for reduced fees. We have gone to festivals and done some really unique things.
Boating – Boating is a big splurge but we had dreamed of being able to boat since before we were married. We also live near a body of water and have family members with a boat business. We took the plunge and bought a used boat 5 years ago and it has brought us so much fun. We used to belong to a pool in the summers so I guess you could say this has replaced that – in a much more expensive way!
So, that’s all I can think of for now! If you lasted that long and are still reading, what are your saves and splurges? What type of spender are you? Remember I’m very curious about this topic! Lol!