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Money Saving Everyday: Catching Up

I lost my Monday rhythm. Long, long ago. Oh, freaking well. It doesn’t mean I’m not still a cheapskate. To varying degrees. Each and every day. Sometimes more than others.

We still need both pair of shoes. Their use just won’t cost as much.

But, its time to get caught up. To give some substance to my el-cheapo-grande reputation. Cuz I’m not all just talk. (Although I’m a lot of that.) I do put my money where my mouth is, which should be guardedly in my wallet. Recent financial doings include:

Downgrade at the gym. Until just recently I’ve paid much too much for a family membership at our gym of choice. ‘Family’ in this case meaning me, and The Husband. Correction: The Husband when he manages to make it. These days, with our dual work schedules that is not often. About 1X/week. It’s a good thing he has a totally un-sedentary job. Membership, even individual membership comes with 12 guest passes per year. Do you see the potential here? I dropped The Husband from our account. He can still make his weekly trip with me via guest pass for 3 whole months. Same service. $35 a month cheaper.

Sell those gift cards. Part of my pre-baby targeted spending involves a very expensive vacuum cleaner. As the owner of way too many dogs, I do not foxtrot around with cheap vacuums. You can actually get Miele’s serviced (!!!). That doesn’t mean I’m particularly excited about shelling out the dough. Instead I’m hoarding. Big box gift cards received for Christmas? Sell them. Credit Card reward points? Save them. The trickle in of tiny amounts of affiliate money? Encourage it. (Have I told you how much the dogs enjoy Himalayan Dog Chews?) Together it might all mean less out of pocket for a shiny new red vacuum.

Maternity Jeans. Courtesy of Ebay. The time has come. At almost 5 months, I was down to one (yes, 1) pair of comfortably fitting jeans. A search of the local thrift and maternity consignment shops revealed a woefully slim selection in my size. And I’m sorta picky about pants. I like (and justify) expensive ones. Harder to do when you are only going to wear them for a few months. Fortunately, the brand I buy comes in maternity. That is the same jeans, in the same cuts, with the addition of a large and in charge stretchy waistband. The maternity variety runs about $200 new, exclusively from high-end pregnant lady shops. Or a heck of a lot less than that when you search for your size and cut on ebay. Like 3/4 less. With free shipping even. Fit like a glove because I already had a pair in my dresser drawer, without that all important waistband.

Rolled change. Why is it so hard to divest yourself of rolled change these days? Not all banks accept it. Coinstar charges a fortune or wants me to convert to Amazon bucks. I’d ended up with a small stash from 2012 ($21) that I’d like to add to a funny-money account. I cashed in on my formerly business-like relationship from the bank The Pet Store uses. The tellers like me. I like them. We visit. They trade me cash for coin. No problem. Money deposit into an account entitled ‘Freedom’. What does that mean? I do not know.

Dog Sweater. This is sad and sordid tale, with the money ‘saving’ being not the point at all. Sweaters were procured for short-haired, skinny, old dogs. Nice sweaters. Cute sweaters. One of these sweaters may have been bright-ass pink. Merry Christmas Hannah! Somehow this sweater (or rather an inappropriate seam) resulted in a HUGE pressure wound in her armpit. After a day and a half of wear. Vet trips, cones, on-going wound care. It is like nothing I have ever seen. By contacting the company directly, they are providing a refund for all purchased sweaters with free shipping back to them. Some of this is our fault, so I don’t expect them to foot the entire bill. But I’d like the sweater gone, and at least my money back. It can go towards the vet bills. Doesn’t help the poor dog though. The lesson here: If something sucks, ask for your money back.

That sour note shouldn’t impact the overall success of these financial doings. Its always small amounts contributing to the greater whole. Small amounts, small efforts to be acknowledged. Acknowledging them always helps me. To see new applications for the same strategy, identify money to go into savings proper (what am I doing with that new found $35?), and to keep on keepin’ on in what can quickly become a ‘why bother?’ uphill trudge. If we don’t give ourselves some damn credit.

What should you get credit for? What move of financial genius have you recently mastered? Toot your own horn! Just a little.

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Miser Mom

Our recent financial “savings” — really it’s a “not spending”. K-daughter sideswiped another car in my very old (2001) but still relatively low-mileage (<90,000 miles) Prius on New Year's Day. We do not carry collision insurance, knowing we could pay for damages ourselves. In this case, "damages" means $4,700. And with a tiny bit of hand-wringing, we've decided the price of beauty is too high: we're forgoing cosmetic surgery on the car, driving this old baby as-is-ugly, but hanging onto our money. (And reminding ourselves gratefully that all 6 people involved in the accident were completely unharmed).


A substantial ‘savings’ that. Wow. Its amazing to me how much that cosmetic stuff can cost. Totally worth driving the beater. The idea of a beater Prius makes me snerk a little bit.


I gave up my gym membership. I have an injury that meant I’ve gone once in the last four months. That is money in my pocket, less the amount for a book of local hiking trails (which my knee still allows me to do) and a pedometer.


A perfect trade-off.


I brought my lunch to work today! Which is a small victory, yes, but a victory none-the-less. Especially with space-cadet me, who can’t seem to remember to pack my lunch most mornings these days. On the (much) larger front, my husband and I are making plans to do something about our seriously underwater mortgage. I don’t mean musings of “wouldn’t it be nice.” I mean, we’re putting together an action plan. Estimated savings – at least $20,000. Plus interest. And my sanity.


Ooooh, exciting about the mortgage! I’d love to hear your game plan (if you ever want to share). The feeling of ‘doing something’, having a plan of attack is so empowering! I love it!

And good job on bringing your lunch. Small victories lead to big changes!


You can get inserts to go into your standard jeans to make them fit when pregnant. They only cost around $20. I’ve never used them though as I’ve never been pregnant, but have seen them for sale when present shopping for an expectant family member. It might be worth looking into.


Yeah, I looked into the inserts and talked to my formerly pregnant friends. The reviews were not great. Apparently they don’t stay in place and can add a lot of bulk to your growing bulk. 😉 So I skipped them. Seems like such a great solution though!

Cheesy Bacon Tart

I recently sold a used car stereo, which was just sitting in my pile of shame. Well, the sale part is a work in progress. 😉 but eventually it will be magically transformed into money.


Sometimes these things take time…


I sat down and went over the budget with my spouse. We made a decision about upping our student loan payments.

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