Top 10 Thrifty Wins: January

The new year started out with a ton of changes: new city, new apartment, new job, new thrifty wins! Here are our Top 10:

1. Cheap rent, actually no rent this month. Due to some miscommunication, we accidentally paid December’s rent twice back at the end of November. So, January’s rent had already been covered. Also, we got a good deal on a temporary lease, so it has allowed us to save some money through May.

2. Started my new job. Hooray for officially being employed! My new job allows me to work from home, so that’ll save on travel and car maintenance costs. It also comes with a few other monetary perks such as continuing education reimbursement, an office set up stipend, and some extra cash in my pocket for not taking their health insurance (we get it through Rick’s employer).

25319_446426934744_3886091_n
A throwback of me with Rock Step Rick

3. Continuous free workouts in lieu of a gym membership. I do miss having a gym membership, especially when the weather is unfavorable. Rick and I agreed that we’d like to get back to the gym once the loans are gone. The beginning and middle of January had decent weather for walking and running outside. I took advantage of this and also did some at-home workouts such as youtube yoga, pilates, a HIIT workout, and the occasional dance break with Rock Step Rick.

4. Gift card date. Rick got a gift card to a Madison steak house for Christmas. We don’t eat out a lot, so this date was a special treat!

5. New plasma donation place. I found a new place to donate plasma, and it’s within walking distance from our apartment! I get $50 per donation the first 5 times I donate.

IMG_20181231_173630_01_01.jpg6. Low-key New Years celebrations. Rick and I were pretty worn out from the holidays and moving, so we decided to stay home and hang out. We enjoyed some wine and watched movies. New Years Day was super lazy as well. We went to mass, then binge-watched Superstore, ate some nachos, and relaxed. It was just what we needed!

7. Gas budget decreased. Though we did a little traveling, the amount we spent on gas decreased significantly this month. It certainly helps that Rick and I are living in the same place now and that Rick’s commute has shortened a ton.
January: $117.59
December: $312.57
November: $436.62

8. Didn’t buy a car. As I described earlier this month, Rick’s car died, and we decided to hold off on buying another one. Since I’ve been working from home, we’ve really only needed one car. We’ve been doing a better job at planning our outings or walking to our destinations when we can.

9. Free Badger hockey game. We received some hockey tickets and got to sit in a fancy box with all kinds of fancy food. They had two meat carving stations, salads, at least 20 different types of cheeses to try, Thai coconut shrimp, scallop ceviche, a variety of other appetizers and a table full of dessert. We felt like royalty!

10. Extra money. We received some money back from our security deposit, most of January’s Wausau rent, and my PTO payout check. We knew we would get some of this money, but we weren’t really sure how much to expect. The total exceeded our expectations!

 

Advertisements

Top 10 Thrifty Wins: December

December is usually a spendy month due to holiday celebrations, travel, gift giving, and being more social, which usually includes eating out. This year we added extra rent, utilities and moving to our expenses due to Rick and me living in separate cities for the month.

Things turned out pretty well. We had wonderful Christmas celebrations, I wrapped things up at my job, and we’re all moved in to our new place. We were able to pay off a student loan with the highest interest rate this month and threw over $5000 at our debt total. I am constantly amazed at how well we do when we think creatively and stick to a budget.

Here are our Top 10 Thrifty Wins for this month:

1. Saved money on Christmas gifts. A lot of our family was on board with either foregoing the gift exchange altogether or simply getting gifts for the little kids. I made a few presents and shopped deals with Cyber Monday, Ebates and other sales.

alcoholic-beverage-anniversary-bar-1246956.jpg2. Skipped birthday gifts.
Rick and I both have birthdays in December, and we decided to skip giving gifts to each other this year. Things were pretty hectic, and we decided to plan a January birthday dinner date night instead. (And we’ll use gift cards!)

3. Used coupons for car work. I had to spend a little more on maintenance this month than anticipated, but I found $20 in coupons, and I got a $20 mail-in rebate.

4. I got a new job! I worked at my previous job through the end of the month before joining Rick at our new place, and I was able to nail down a new health coaching job to start mid-January. That was a big weight lifted off my shoulders, and I still get two weeks off to get settled in to our new place. With the PTO payout, I’ll really only have a couple days unpaid in January before I start my new job.

5. Extra income. Moving is a great time to declutter, and we were able to make $20 by taking some of our unwanted stuff to a thrift store. I also received $165 for my time donating plasma.

6. Fairly inexpensive move. Rick visited each weekend in December and took a load of stuff back to the new place with him. We borrowed a truck and took the rest of our furniture down before Christmas, so we only made one extra trip between apartments.

art-bright-design-8964077. Used gift cards for apartment purchases and eating out. Our apartment is very dark, so we purchased a bright new lamp with a birthday gift card. Also, we had just moved in and didn’t have much in the fridge so we thought it was the perfect time to dine out with a restaurant gift card we received.

8. Spent just over half of our eating out/entertainment budget.
We budgeted much less than usual for this area in December, and we still only used half of it. I think we had tried to cut back on our spending where ever we could because we figured this would be a pricey month.

9. No spend girls day. My friends and I got together the day after Christmas to chat and do a holiday craft. It was so nice spending time with them, talking about our family Christmases and doing a simple wine bottle craft.

10. Made a $5760.86 loan payment. We were able to make a hefty loan payment which paid off our loan with the highest interest rate. We’ve paid close to $50,000 from when we started in April.

Happy New Year, all! Best wishes for a financially fit 2019!

2018-abstract-art-285173.jpg

**This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay any extra for making a purchase through these links, and I may earn some money to keep this blog going. I only link to products I support or use personally.

Top 10 Thrifty Wins: November

One thing I love about these monthly Top 10 Thrifty Wins posts is that it forces me to find SOME kind of financial positives when looking back at the month. All wins count, no matter how seemingly small they might be. Reflecting on the past month’s finances motivates me to keep going and do even better the next month.

With Rick getting a new job, moving, and living in two different places, we weren’t really sure how to approach our November budget month. There were a lot of unknowns such as the cost of the new apartment rent, Rick’s paycheck and other kinds of moving expenses. Creating a budget was tricky, and some areas were really difficult to stick to.

But all is not lost. I was still able to drum up our Top 10 Thrifty Wins for November:

1. Found a good deal on our new apartment. We had about three weeks to find a new apartment and move Rick to the city where he is now working. Madison is about two hours away, and we didn’t have a lot of time to apartment hunt. We also weren’t sure about the location because where I will find a job is still a mystery. But we found a nice deal on a temporary lease. It was available right away, decently close to Rick’s job, and it’ll give us time to think about where we actually want to live.

rawpixel-749497-unsplash.jpg2. Saved money on internet. We still need internet in both apartments while Rick is at our new place and I’m at our old place through the end of December. Instead of purchasing or renting a router, Rick took one to the new apartment, and I’m using the ethernet cord or my phone’s hotspot for internet. We’re looking to cancel the old apartment internet altogether and just use the hotspot.

3. Cut moving costs. Instead of spending money on movers and a truck, Rick’s dad let us borrow his HUGE truck to take a load to our new place. We were able to fit everything Rick needed immediately in the truck and move him down in one shot.

4. Saved money on celebration pizza. When we moved Rick to the new place, we ordered pizza from our all-time favorite pizza place. We rarely eat out (and rarely eat pizza), so this was a big deal. And the $2 off coupon made me feel even better about it.
fancycrave-458022-unsplash.jpg

5. Cutting back on Christmas shopping.
We’ve been downsizing Christmas gifts each year on both sides of the family. Not only is this a big help financially, but it also cuts down on the stress and greed of the season.

Screenshot_20181202-131408.png6. Spending more, saving more. Unfortunately, we’ve been spending more on household items, gas and gifts. This is partially due to Christmas/birthday season and partly due to moving. However, I’ve been getting more cash back with ibotta, Receipt Hog, and Ebates!

7. Still no cell phone payment. Rick’s previous job paid for his cell phone and plan. We anticipated needing to buy a new cell phone and start paying for our plan since he transitioned to his new position. Due to the generosity of family members, we still don’t have to pay for either.

8. Free meals. As a farewell present, Rick’s coworkers gave him a basket full of goodies which included gift cards for: Culvers, Starbucks, and Subway. It’s always nice to eat for free!

rawpixel-740327-unsplash.jpg9. Bought some pants on sale. Since my clothes buying fast, I haven’t returned to my clothes shopping habits. But I did need a new pair of black pants. After checking Goodwill with no luck, I bought some brand new pants at 50% off.

10. Stayed within budget on some areas. Even though we didn’t really know what we were in for when we planned our November budget, overall, we stayed within budget. We blew the budget in some areas, but we cut back in others such as eating out/entertainment and groceries. We didn’t need to spend money on car repairs or cell phones like we thought we would, and the cheap new apartment rent really helped us out.

**This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay any extra for making a purchase through these links, and I may earn some money to keep this blog going. I only link to products I support or use personally.

Top 10 Thrifty Wins: October

We stepped up our game after a spendy September. I’m really proud of what we accomplished this month and I feel like we got our gazelle intensity back.

Some of these wins were big, and others seemed so tiny they might not really seem like wins. I think it’s important for me to recognize them all because even the little things can add up. It’s also about making a lifestyle change and shifting the mindset to buying with a purpose instead of being frivolous with our resources.

These are our wins (big and small) for this month:

1. Shopped around for car insurance. We started looking at car insurance quotes last month. This month, we found one that will save us at least $100/month! It really wasn’t as time-consuming as I thought it would be, and now our rate is crazy better.

2. Decluttering. I made two trips to Nice as New with clothes and items I no longer use. I usually make around $10 per load, but at least it’s something. There’s more to come this month, and I’m going to try using Decluttr for old CDs, DVDs and books. It feels good to get rid of the stuff I no longer use and to let someone else enjoy it.

3. Attended MoneyU. My work sponsored an evening financial wellness program with topics such as how to budget, which types of insurance to carry, retirement planning, investing and others. A free dinner was provided, so Rick and I made a date night out of it. We felt inspired to continue our journey to financial freedom, and we learned a few things that will help us out.

4. Gave plasma more often. I stepped up my plasma game and earned $210 by donating this month. That was almost enough to cover our grocery bill!

IMG_20180905_090202846_HDR5. Spent less than $300 on groceries.
Speaking of groceries…Meatless Mondays have really helped to keep our grocery bill low this month. Meal planning, shopping at Aldi, and using what we already had on hand first helped, too. The bill’s been creeping up lately, but this month we kept it under $300.

6. Extra paycheck for Rick.
Rick gets paid biweekly on Wednesdays, and the timing worked out so that he earned an extra paycheck this month. Cha-ching!

7. Stayed within budget. In most areas. We had car maintenance work that ended up costing a little more than we budgeted for, and our internet provider decided to raise the rate. So we tried to make up for this in other areas of our budget. We came out ahead in groceries, clothing, household items, gifts and eating out/entertainment.

IMG_20181019_1824373158. Leftovers from a conference. Rick’s work put on a 3-day conference and we reaped the benefits from its leftovers. Not only did this conference feed Rick for three days, but he also brought home about 6 lbs of sausage and a HUGE wedge of cheese. (A good time to start keto?) We also received a nice coffee and chocolate gift basket.

9. $100 gas gift card from Rick’s job. I forgot why Rick got this gift card. It might have had something to do with his hard work at the conference, too?

10. Extra large student loan payment. Due to Rick’s extra paycheck this month as well as getting creative to keep other areas of our budget low, we were able to put an extra $1500 toward our monthly loan payment. We’ve paid off about $40,000 since April, and $80,000 overall. Man, that feels good to write.

Top 10 Thrifty Wins: September

September rushed by in a flash! Things have been busy at work for me, Rick’s been traveling a lot, and we’ve been celebrating birthdays and the end of summer.

Throughout these happenings, I kind of felt our gazelle- like intensity slipping. We were over budget in three areas this month, we had some extra car maintenance expenses, and a few other extra expenses just sort of popped up.

That sounds kind of negative, and this post is supposed to be about thrifty WINS. So, here’s a positive spin: out of these bumps in the road on our journey to financial freedom has come a renewed sense of motivation. I looked back at a previous post, Starting Our Money Makeover, and thought about how far we’ve come. I was also reminded of a few other avenues to explore to help us save or make more money. We plan to try to sell a few things this month, continue giving plasma, look into better car insurance deals and plan a few more meatless meals.

One of the keys to staying motivated is reviewing our accomplishments and looking at how far we’ve come. So here we have it:

September’s Top 10 Thrifty Wins

1. Free haircuts. I gave Rick and myself at-home haircuts. We’ve been using these fail-proof clippers for Rick’s hair for the past 5-6 years and it has saved us hundreds.IMG_20180922_125437860

2. Reused salsa-making items. It’s become a Manthe family tradition to get together in September to make and can salsa and other tomato products. We were able to reuse our jars and rings from previous years, and I had some leftover unused lids as well. And there’s nothing better than homemade salsa with fresh ingredients!

3. Walking more. Not only is walking great exercise, but it saves money on gas and it’s better for the environment. The weather’s been beautiful, so I’ve been taking advantage of walking to more places rather driving.

4. Stayed under clothes shopping budget. My clothes buying fast was up this month, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t go crazy with my spending. I set a $100 limit, and I stayed well-below that.

5. Free clothes from a friend. My friend has been working hard at decluttering, and I was lucky to benefit from the clothes she is getting rid of. I’m so thankful for the generosity of others!

IMG_20180907_181216579.jpg6. Free produce. We scored some free produce from my dad’s garden and Rick’s mom’s neighbor’s pear tree. Again with the generosity!

7. Thrifty girls weekend. My friends are supportive of my fit and frugal lifestyle, and we planned thrifty activities such as hiking, watching Friends, chatting, and at-home manicures. We each brought snacks and meal items, so we limited our dining out.

8. Made a birthday meal. We hosted dinner for my dad on his birthday and had a great time! We made him jambalaya with zucchini cornbread and an apple crisp (from the apples we picked) for dessert. My aunt brought a nice bottle of wine, and we were able to test our fancy wine tasting glasses again. The whole meal was only a fraction of the cost of eating out.IMG_20180923_160156654_HDR

9. Apple picking date. This was a fun, cheap date one afternoon, and the apples were a pretty great deal, too!

10. Shopped around for insurance deals. This is something we’ve been meaning to do for a LONG time. We think we found a deal that will save us a few hundred dollars per year on car insurance. I only wish we would have done this sooner!

Here’s to a renewed sense of motivation for October’s Fit and Frugal Living!

**This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay any extra for making a purchase through these links and I may earn some money to keep this blog going. I only link to products I support or use personally.

Top 10 Thrifty Wins: August

We’re wrapping up summer with some fit and frugal fun! August was full of hikes, heat, sister time, sunshine, fitness challenges and some really good cheese. We came in under budget in quite a few areas, and we’re stoked about our savings.

Check out our Top 10 Thrifty Wins:IMG_20180902_095125664

1. Free clothes and booze. My sister went through some old boxes she left behind after moving to Seattle last year. She gave me some workout tops and a bottle of wine. She also brought us some tasty coffee!

2. Unanticipated extra income.
I gave my usual four plasma donations, and I got a coupon for an extra $10 per donation. Rick’s raise also went into effect this month!

3. Free weekend fun. Some of the free (or almost free) things we did over our summer weekends included visiting family, tubing, hiking, biking and going for walks. Instead of meeting up with out of town friends for a meal, we went hiking with them and were able to spend time enjoying the gorgeous weather and each other’s company.

4. We scored 30 free meals this month. Most of these meals were provided by Rick’s job for when he traveled. But we also have some generous friends and family members who treated us to both homemade meals and meals out. It really helps to have such supportive people in our life!

5. Earned first $5 from Receipt Hog. I earned my first $5 cash back from one of the apps I use. See my favorite cash back apps here.

6. Got cash back from buying gifts online using Ebates. We have a lot of August/September birthdays to celebrate, and we got up to 3% cash back on our online purchases for these gifts. Ebates is really easy to use—use my referral link, and when you join you’ll get $10 when you spend at least $25!
stretch for run kennedy park.jpg
7. Free exercise: We gave up our gym memberships in the spring, and I’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful weather to do a variety of types of exercise: hiking, biking, running, walking, and a pilates challenge.

8. Overcame budget planning challenges. I did not calculate a fifth grocery shopping day into our grocery budget this month. Oops! I thought I would go over by a week’s worth of groceries. We made some simple and frugal meals toward the end of the month, and we were able to stay within the amount we budgeted for groceries.

9. Came in under budget in areas with biggest variations. Usually, the toughest budget categories for us to plan and stick to include: gas, eating out/entertainment, and groceries. These can vary quite a bit from month to month, so they’re a little tricky to plan for. We came in slightly under budget in all of these areas this month!

10. Rick had a particularly thrifty guys weekend. He took a snack to share, and everyone pitched in for most meals. They played games, which didn’t cost anything. The total amount he spent for that weekend was about $14. This is kind of a big deal because past guys weekends could easily cost $30-$50.
Again- I cannot express how much appreciation I have for friends and family members who are supportive of our debt repayment journey.

**This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay any extra for making a purchase through these links, and I may earn some money to keep this blog going. I only link to products I support or use personally.

Top 10 Thrifty Wins: July

Summer is often a high-spend time of year for me. Sunshine and warmer weather bring more travel and social events. And usually more money spent. I tried to balance out a spendy June with a lean July. I’d say it was a success— here’s why:

1.Outreach location moved closer. I travel to an outreach clinic for work one day each week. I used to travel an hour away, but I switched to a different clinic, and now I only have to travel 30 minutes. I’ve been getting paid mileage, but by cutting travel time there is less wear and tear on my car, and I can reduce my environmental footprint.

activity-club-course-274133.jpg2.Cashed in on work reward points. At my work, reward points are offered to employees for a job well done or for special occasions. I decided to cash in my points to get some fancy new golf balls for Rick.

3.Got a free new phone. I was overdue for a new cell phone, and a family member got one for me – for FREE. Always an excellent price!

4.Tried some new cash back apps. Now that I have a new phone, I actually have space to download apps! I’ll see what I think of the new ones I’m trying, and I’ll share my reviews if they’re good.

5.Rick carpooled to an out-of-town guys weekend. He saved money, and the earth smiled!

6.Made our own laundry detergent. What I made is supposed to last all year, and the ingredients cost me less than $10.IMG_20180729_101756349

7.Rick made meals for guys weekend instead of going out to eat as much. He and his friends took turns making meals. It freed up money in the budget for doing other things he enjoys, like golfing.

8.Read a book on how to cut back on grocery spending. By implementing a few changes, our grocery bill was cut down to $276 this month. That’s our lowest so far! Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family has some good ideas.

9.Paid off a loan with highest interest rate. This goes against Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball method, but the debt avalanche approach, where we pay off the loans with highest interest rates first, has been working for us. We’re still very motivated to continue our journey to financial freedom, and I’m excited about the progress we’re making. Guys, the loans are half-gone!

10.More than doubled our usual monthly loan payment. After crunching the numbers and looking at budgets from previous months, we set a higher dollar amount for our monthly loan payment in order to (hopefully) be debt free sooner. The new monthly payment won’t double, like it had this month, but we’re bumping it up quite a bit.

This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay any extra for making a purchase through these links and I may earn some money to keep this blog going. I only link to products I support or use personally. Click Here to see my full disclosure policy.

Top 10 Thrifty Wins: June

June was our most challenging month of budgeting so far. I had two big social events that lasted for multiple days. I had a difficult time trying to guess how much I would need to spend on these events. We also traveled a lot and went a little over in gas money, but we stayed within budget for everything else.

The month turned out better than anticipated, and here are a few of our Thrifty Wins:

1. Cashed in on credit card points, and we got a $50 Visa gift card and $50 cash in our bank account. I love these little bonuses. They were helpful in keeping us (mostly) within budget.

background-book-stack-books-11483992. Read 7 books from the library. The idea of the library is a beautiful thing. I’ve been using the library since I was a kid, but I’m still amazed at how awesome it is that I get to check out books and movies for FREE. I don’t feel the need to own books I’m only going to read once, and if I check out a book that’s a dud, no money was wasted.

3. Used $15 rebate gift card on oil change. This rebate was from my last oil change at the auto place, and then I got another discount for signing up for the store’s credit card. Credit cards make me a little nervous, so I will probably cancel it soon.

 4. Hung out around home two out of five weekends. That might not sound like a great win, but in past summers I felt like I was gone every weekend. Sticking close to home saved us money on gas, eating out and entertainment expenses. We still went places these weekends but kept our drive within 15 minutes of home and spent very little when out.

5. Used gift cards to help with gifts/bachelorette party. I found some fun gift cards in our gift card drawer! They worked really well to help pay for parts of gifts and for items needed for my friend’s bachelorette party this month.

blackberry-blur-cake-10708506. Helped a friend find a good deal on a wedding cake. This wasn’t specifically a win for my finances, but it felt good to be part of helping someone else make a smart buy.

7. Earned $160 giving plasma this month. Good ol’ plasma. I’ve been donating at a rate of four times per month because it does take a slight toll on my body. I wish I could go more often, but four times per month seems to be a good balance.

8. Cut down our household expenses budget (i.e. cleaning supplies, shampoo, etc.) by half this month to compensate for spending in other areas. I really wasn’t sure about this one, but we were able to stick to it!

9. Were given free food! Rick’s boss gave us some steaks and other meats as an end of fiscal year/happy summer gift. That will cover quite a few meals for us.

antipasti-delicious-dinner-587610. Planning meals ahead of time, rather than eating out, on guys/girls weekends. Many of our friends are scattered around the state, so when I get together with my female friends and Rick gets together with his guy friends, they are often out of town overnight visits. This requires extra gas money and eating out/entertainment costs. Rick and I discussed with our friend groups how we are budgeting, and they have been very supportive. We often plan meals/activities ahead of time so we know how much we’ll anticipate spending. We’ve also been having more potluck-style meals at gatherings, instead of eating out, and finding free things to do to cut back on costs.

Top 10 Thrifty Wins: May

May brought warmer weather, Mother’s Day, a wedding, an anniversary and new ways to be thrifty! These are some of our biggest thrifty wins for this month:

  1. Wedding lodging: We went out of town to a wedding one weekend and spent the night in Rick’s dad’s camper instead of getting a hotel room.
  2. Packed snacks: Every time we went out of town we packed snacks and some meals so we did not have to spend the money eating out. See 12 Healthy Travel Snacks.
  3. Affordable Anniversary: Read how Rick and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in a thrifty way.
  4. Third paycheck: Rick and I both get paid biweekly, so we usually each get two paychecks every month. With the way the paydays fell, this month we each got a third paycheck. With this, we were able to more than double our usual monthly loan payment. This was our biggest thrifty win. Financial Freedom, here we come!
  5. Extra income: Besides the extra paychecks Rick and I received at the end of the month, we also made almost $250 with unexpected extra income from things like Biolife and Nice as New consignment.
    exercise-fitness-jogging-6346.jpg
  6. Free workouts: My gym membership was up in May, and I’ve been trying to get into a new workout routine. I’ve gone hiking, walking, and I really like my pilates youtube videos. I’m hoping to get back into running outside soon!
  7. Stitched up some shirts: I was back at it with my needle this month. I stitched up two shirts that would have been on their way out.
  8. Cut out eat-outs. I did not spend money on eating out this month. I’m not a big fan of eating out, so this was not too difficult.
  9. Made meals for family members instead of eating out. We had two opportunities where we could have eaten at a restaurant to socialize with our family but chose the more affordable option of making homemade meals for those who dined with us.
    -Mother’s Day: I made Mexican Stuffed Peppers, Tomato, Avocado, Bean Salad, and a fruit salad for Rick’s side of the family.
    -Dad Dinner: We had been wanting to get together with my dad for some time to talk about his recent trip to Ireland. Instead of meeting at a restaurant as we had originally planned, I made Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala with rice and a salad, and we ate it in the comforts of our apartment. We were able to chat and have Dad show us pictures for as long as we wanted.
  10. Stayed under budget: We’re making a lot of progress on creating and sticking to our monthly budget. We remained under budget in most areas including the entertainment category, which is where we thought we might have trouble this month. Rick played a large role in this area. He did a really nice job of finding ways to save, such as choosing less expensive social events.

 

Top Ten Thrifty Wins: April

When taking on a lengthy challenge, it’s always nice to take a moment to reflect on success. It keeps me motivated when I take a look at how far I’ve come and instills confidence that I can continue toward my goal. Cutting back on expenses to live within my means and pay off debt will be a lengthy process, so I’m going to start sharing the thrifty wins I have each month. Here’s what my husband and I did in April:

  1. Created a budget for the month. It helped us to look at our current expenses and figure out ways to cut back. We planned for the month ahead and actually came out under budget in a few areas. We’ll have to tweak a few things for next month so we’re a little closer to what we actually spend.
  2. Saved money on a bridesmaid dress. My generous and thoughtful bestie is getting married in July, and she let all the bridesmaids pick our own dresses. My generous and thoughtful sister is letting me borrow one of her dresses fo’ FREE!
  3. Signed up for cash back apps. I signed up for three cash back apps, and so far I’ve earned about $6 back. Not much yet, but I’m just getting started. They apps are super easy to use, and I’ll be sure to review them later.
  4. Cancelled our gym membership. I actually did this in March, but I had to give 30 days notice, so our last payment was in April. One less item for our May budget!
  5. Earned $400 donating plasma. Biolife’s rates went up from $50 to $60 on the second donation of the week. And they had a special to earn an extra $80 on the 8th donation of the month. Cha-ching!
  6. Froze stuff. If I noticed we had a surplus of food, I froze it to use later.

    new coat
    Just like new!
  7. Stitched up a coat to make it last. I have a coat that is getting old, and it ripped near the armpits. Although I really wanted to buy a new one, I stitched it up, and I’ll make it last another year.
  8. Spent less on car insurance. Not sure why this happened, but my car insurance bill was less than last time.
  9. Didn’t buy any clothes or shoes. I have a wish list for certain clothes items, and I could always use a new pair of shoes. I’m making what I have work for me right now, and I plan to keep this clothes shopping fast going for as long as possible!
  10. Made a large loan payment. Due to cutting costs, we were able to make a big loan payment and get closer to our financial freedom!

 

What were some of your thrifty wins last month?