10 Things That Don’t Make Sense to Frugal People

Happy November everyone!

Who’s ready for winter??

Not me.  I know I could move from the wonderfully freezing cold state of Minnesota, but my family is here.  So here I stay.

I wanted to take a break from my usual Net Worth posts and focus on something a little more fun.

I consider myself a fairly frugal person.  I have a pretty ambitious goal of retiring in 10-15 years and this frugal lifestyle of mine is slowly getting me there.  With that being said, I know there are things that I could cut out of my life to reach my goal that much faster.  Alcohol, driving to work, traveling, and organic foods come to mind.  However, I really like all of those things and am willing to work a little longer so I can enjoy my life now.

The following list includes things that don’t really make sense to me. While I don’t see the value in these things, other people might value them greatly.  To each their own.

So, in no particular order…

  1. Buying Cars With a Car Loan.

    According to the article “How Long Should My Car Loan Be” by  of Edmunds.com, most car loans today have terms of 60 months. 20% of car loans are even longer than that.  That is crazy!  Even when I was young and dumb and had car loans, they were not that long!  Plus, every car that I had a car loan on was paid off way earlier.

    Which brings me to the next item that doesn’t make sense to me…

  2. Not Paying Off Loans.

    A little anecdote for you- I work with a younger gentleman in his mid-twenties who has around $40,000 of school loans.  They’re in his name and he refuses to pay them.  Why?  Because according to him, his parents pretty much made him go to college, so they should be the ones to pay the loans off.  I have a feeling his school loans are going to be attached to him for a looong time.

    Another dear, close friend of mine has about the same amount of school loans to her name, but had deferred them because of her income.  Yet, she somehow found the money to fly around the U.S. to see concerts performed by her favorite band.  Doh!

  3. Paying For Books, Movies, and CDs.

    When I was a younger, every time my parents and I went to the mall I bought a book.  Sometimes two.  While I’m extremely grateful to my parents for letting me indulge in my love of books, I now understand how much money they spent on me.  Especially when they could have just as easily brought me to the public library.  I love the public library!

    I get a happy feeling, a peaceful feeling whenever I’m browsing the rows and rows of books looking for the perfect title to check out.  It’s my happy place.

    Between the library and Netflix, I will probably never buy a movie again. Netflix is the one monthly service that I subscribe to and I’m pretty happy with it.  I pay for the DVD subscription and Mr. Frugal Turtle pays for the streaming service.  While I’ve thought about canceling Netflix and just checking out movies from the library, there is this thing called waiting lists.  Sometimes I just don’t want to wait weeks and weeks to see a desired movie.

    As far as music goes, Pandora fits me perfectly.  Free music any time I want it with barely any commercials?  Heck yeah!  And I don’t have to buy cd cases or racks?  Awesome!

  4. Paying For Cable or Satellite

    What a waste!  I remember when I first started dating Mr. Frugal Turtle he had Direct TV.  He said he never watched it, but yet he kept paying something like $75 a month for the service.  Eventually he did cancel it. Now we mainly catch shows that air on Netflix.  I don’t think either one of us misses network tv.

    Whenever I’m at my parents and they have the tv on, I’m always super annoyed by all the commercials.  Especially with it being an election year! I really don’t miss those commercials.

  5. Buying Junk Food

    Okay, okay.  I don’t eat clean food for every single meal and snack throughout the day.  But I try!  I am definitely not someone who wastes money and only buys microwave meals, chips, candy, and pop.  I love cooking!  I honestly can’t remember the last time I took a microwaveable meal to work for lunch.  They’re so bland!  Seriously, I need to add at least two salt packets to it to make it taste good.  And that is really not healthy! I’ve worked at my current employer for almost six years, and I proudly tell people I have never bought anything from the vending machines there.  I see other people buy their entire lunch from those machines and then on a later break, go buy from the vending machines again.  That is so much money tossed away.  It makes me sad.

  6. Buying Drinks at a Bar

    This should really be titled “Buying (most of your) drinks at a bar.”

    Drinking at bars has become really expensive.  If I feel like I want to live it up downtown I prefer the pregame method.  Get a good buzz going at home beforehand!  This is way cheaper than spending $$$ at a bar trying to get drunk.

    I’ll admit, those days are pretty much over.  Nowadays I prefer to drink at home and avoid bars completely.  My favorite weekends are spent around a fire pit with Mr. Frugal Turtle enjoying a relaxing evening together.

  7. Eating Out More Than Once a Week

    Looking at my Net Worth reports and taking a peek at my expenses shows how little I eat out.  I count getting fast food eating out because it rarely happens!  I probably eat out on average once a month.  Our favorite restaurant is a cute little Indian place that serves the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten.  The servings are huge and the prices are very reasonable.

    Eating at a restaurant more than once a week would lose its appeal very quickly for me.  For one, it’s really expensive!  Two, by the end of the meal I’m usually thinking that I could have just as easily made the same meal at home for a lot cheaper.  The exception being that Indian restaurant. For the life of me I can’t make food like they can. Believe me I’ve tried.

  8. Keeping a Credit Card Balance

    Looking back at who I used to be, I realize that I was not very frugal. It pains me to think about how much money I wasted when I was younger.

    Up until about eight years ago I had credit card debt. Right around $7,000 to be exact. My parents borrowed me the money to pay everything off, and I can proudly say that since then, I have not paid a single cent in interest. I didn’t touch credit cards for a year or two because I was so scared I was going to go back in credit card debt.

    Once I felt comfortable I slowly started to use them again. At first it was for very small amounts that I could easily pay off. Now, I use my credit cards for almost everything. Every payday, I sit down and pay off the balance on my two credit cards.

  9. Not Using Things Up ( Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, Or Do Without)

    I love that saying. One of my favorite sweatshirts is 25 years old. My parents bought it for me when they went on a trip to Washington D.C. It has thumb holes that weren’t originally there. I love it!

    I wear a lot of my clothes until I can’t wear them anymore. It’s almost a game to see exactly how full of holes an item of clothing can get before I make it in to a rag. Those clothes are strictly for wearing around the house or camping. I do have nice clothes for wearing in public!

    Cars are another example of things that I wear out. Most of the cars I’ve owned I’ve needed a tow to the car dealership for a trade-in. I don’t think I’ve ever received more than $500 for a trade-in. Usually the repair is way more than I’m willing to spend when the car is pretty old with a ton of miles. I currently own a 2001 Grand Prix with over 188,000 miles on it. I’m hoping to go a couple more years before I need a new car.

  10. Not Saving Money Where You Can.

Comparison shopping!  I hate it, but I do it.  I research the crap out of everything before I buy it.  I hem and haw and take hours to make a decision and only after sleeping on it will I usually purchase a higher priced item.  A higher priced item to me is anything over $100.  For example, take the pair of shoes that I bought for work back in September. If my memory is correct I looked for the best pair of shoes for the cheapest price for a couple of nights in a row.  It probably totaled about 5 hours.  I then slept on it and ordered them the next night.  For shoes!

At the grocery store I’m constantly looking at the price per unit.  For most items I don’t care if I buy generic.  If it’s cheaper than the brand name, in the cart it goes!  For stores that don’t have the price per unit on the shelving label I turn to Mr. Frugal Turtle.  He’s my calculator!  Poor guy.

So there you have it!  These are the top ten things that don’t make sense to a frugal person like me.

Did I miss anything?  As a frugal person, what does not make sense to you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September Financial Update with Net Worth

september-updateTime flies by way too fast.  How is it almost November already and I’m only now updating the blog with September’s numbers??

You should know, however, that right at this very moment I have pumpkin seeds roasting in the oven.  I can’t wait!!  So. Good.

Also, the trunk of my car has about fifteen small pie pumpkins that I’m excited to make into pies, crisps, breads, cake, muffins and a lot more dishes that I can’t think of right now.  But my pumpkin obsession isn’t why you’re here, is it?

No, no.  You want to hear how I hit $100,000 net worth don’t you?!  Yeah, me to.  Unfortunately you’ll have to wait for that.  I’m still inching closer and closer to that goal.

September was pretty good to me.  I enjoyed a day at the Renaissance Festival with Mr. Frugal Turtle on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  It was a rather non-frugal day for us.  We could have spent quite a bit more there however, and I’m happy with the amount that we spent.

Also in September I bought my most expensive pair of shoes ever.

Was this pair of shoes for a hot date you ask?  No, no it was not.

Were they expensive running shoes tailor-made for my feet?  No again!

Were they a beautiful pair of leather boots that go with just about any outfit??  Sadly, no.  Not that either.

They were…work shoes.  More specifically, Keens.  They really are a nice pair of shoes.  Very comfortable and roomy.  I’m on my feet all day, so having a nice pair of shoes is a must.  Many people at work wear Keen shoes so I figured I’d try them out.  I would say they are worth the money!

Our cat needed food as well in September.  As always, I ordered Orijen.  I love this cat food because it’s biologically appropriate for cats.  However, I’ve noticed that prices have been creeping up and up.  It’s getting a little difficult finding prices that aren’t completely outrageous.  The company has responded by making the packaging smaller.  I’ve noticed they have started selling 12lb bags instead of 15lbs for some of their flavors.  I hate it when companies do that!  The consumers (me) know what you’re up to!

I also had to renew my car registration in September.  However, it wasn’t too expensive for my old beast of a car.  My 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix is running great with 188,000 miles on it!  Hopefully I can keep it running for 2-3 more years!

On to the Numbers!

September Net Worth

I ended September with a net worth of $95,916.14.  

Not too bad!  Still inching ever so closer to my goal of $100k by the end of the year.

My net worth includes my retirement accounts and my regular savings account. Continue reading “September Financial Update with Net Worth”

August Financial Update with Net Worth

August Financial UpdateHello September!

Welcome to my Financial Update for August!

How is it September already???

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a little excited for fall.  I love pumpkins, the changing leaves, the cooler air. I could go on and on. I’m also going to miss summer. I love the long days, the beach weather, gardens, and much, much more.  I guess I love every season, except winter.  Winter in Minnesota is brutal.

August went by way to fast.  I feel like I blinked and here we are in September.

I think I’m still adjusting to a day-shift schedule.  It’s still pretty new to me.  I have a lot of extra time, but I feel like it’s just wasted.  Where does it go?  I might have to start keeping track.

What the heck did I do in August?

Let’s see…

In early August my niece turned 8!  My two sisters and I went in together and bought her a couple horse back riding lessons from a nearby stable. She hasn’t used them, yet.  I told her mom to take lots of pictures.  I hope it goes well!

Mr. Frugal Turtle and I went out to eat once.  I honestly didn’t even remember this dinner until I looked back at my expenses for August.  I guess I should have just cooked at home that night instead of spending the money since it wasn’t very memorable!

Later in the month my sisters and I enjoyed a day hanging out together.  On the way to my one sister’s house, my other sister and I stopped at Subway to pick up lunch.  bye-bye $20!  When did Subway get so expensive? I ordered a foot long, my sister ordered a foot long with a meal, and I also paid for a portion of my other sister’s meal.  Looking back at the receipt later on, I was surprised at how much prices have increased since I’d been there last.  It’s probably been way over a year since I’ve been there.  Honestly, I don’t miss it.  Their food quality has gone done a ton over the years. Continue reading “August Financial Update with Net Worth”

July Financial Update

July Net WorthSummer is Almost Over

Where is the summer going?  It’s really depressing to be writing this financial update.  Summer is quickly becoming just a memory.  🙁

It’s hard to believe that fall is right around the corner.  As much as I look forward to pumpkins and Halloween and turning leaves, I love summer more.  I love the long days and the thunderstorms and the delicious fresh garden vegetables.

Cheap Grocery Bills!

I’m really lucky because my mother loves to garden.  She has a huge garden and grows all sorts of vegetables.  So many in fact, that she gives me a huge, overflowing reusable grocery bag full every time I go visit her.  Our grocery bills are ridiculously small this time of year!  I spent around $12 at the grocery store over the weekend to replenish our bananas, cheese stock, and orange juice.  We are set for the week!

My Love for Camping

Anyways, I guess I should be telling you about last month.  Unfortunately it was pretty uneventful.  We came back from our camping trip in the first week of July.  I honestly can’t recommend camping enough.  I enjoy everything about it.  It’s cheap.  The parks are beautiful and filled with hiking trails.  Cooking over the campfire is awesome!  I’m convinced anything that is cooked over fire is the best thing ever.  Plus, nature.  Lightening bugs mesmerize me, crazy raccoons make me laugh, and deer make me stand as still as I possibly can so I don’t scare them away.  In my opinion, camping is the most relaxing vacation out there.

I have one warning about camping.  Wear bug spray!  I had a deer tick scare after we were back home.  Mr. Frugal Turtle noticed a very dark red mark on my shoulder and we both got worried.  I went to the doctor the next morning to get checked out.  He assured us it wasn’t a deer tick.  While I was relieved, I was kinda annoyed that I wasted $30 on a co-pay for what was literally a one minute visit by the doctor.  Lesson learned.

Free Events

I was lucky last month.  The events that I went to were free!  On the 4th of July Mr. Frugal Turtle and I went to the local free fireworks show.  While we didn’t spend any money there, he did treat me to a very rare fast food meal beforehand.  While I was eating, I was reminded why I enjoy cooking at home more than going out!  If I remember right, that was our only meal “out”.  No restaurants for us last month!

A couple of weeks later I had a family reunion at a local park.  Everyone was asked to bring a dish for potluck.  I treated everyone to Spinach and Artichoke Dip with choice of Hawaiian bread, pita chips, or tortilla chips.  There was hardly any left by the end!  It was great to see everyone.  I have a huge extended family with 5o cousins on my dad’s side. That doesn’t include all their spouses and kids.  It’s crazy!

Ok!  Are you ready for my financial update for July??

July Net Worth

I ended July with a net worth of $91,190.06!  This includes my retirement accounts and savings account.  I’m inching closer and closer to my goal of $100k by New Year’s Eve! Actually, the way things are looking I will surpass that goal by a generous amount.  I’m so excited!  I’ve always read that the first $100k is the hardest.  Boy, is that ever right!  Three years ago I paid off my last debt.  At that time I had around $25k in savings/retirement accounts.   A year later I moved in with Mr. Frugal Turtle and cut my rent in half and did away with other unnecessary expenses.  It was then that I really started to throw huge amounts of money towards retirement.  I’m just really happy that this plan is actually working and in ten more years I will (hopefully) be FIRE’d! Continue reading “July Financial Update”

Three Great Benefits of Camping

3 Benefits of CampingThe Good

I love camping!  I feel calm and relaxed in the woods.  All the day-to-day problems just sort of melt away as soon as I get to the campsite.    I stop thinking about work.  I stop worrying about the items that I should have packed for the trip (since it’s pointless at that point).  Most importantly, that little bit of anxiety that I always seem to have for no reason goes away.  I am at peace.

The Bad

Sure there are things that can go wrong when you’re camping.  It has rained on almost every camping trip I’ve been on.  I’ve taken the wrong trail while hiking and ended up hiking several miles more than I was planning on (in the rain).  I’ve had countless huge mosquito bites, spider bites, wood tick and deer tick bites.  Even with everything that goes wrong, at the end of every camping trip I’m left feeling sad and lost.  I feel at home in the woods.

The …Great?

When I’m camping there’s usually no cell service.  On the drive back home after our recent camping trip we had missed calls and texts from Mr. Frugal Turtle’s family.  There was mixed communication and they got really worried when they couldn’t get a hold of us!  Oops.  On the plus side, we had no idea what was going on in the real world.  That’s not always a bad thing.  I recently went a week without the internet and I think it changed me for the better!

#1 Benefit of Camping

Exercise!

When I go camping I get a great workout every day.  Whoever I go camping with, we usually spend our days hiking or biking around the park.  On one camping trip with my sister we hiked for over twenty miles.  We got up really early and had a big, filling breakfast.  After breakfast we filled our backpack with water and snacks and left our campsite.  11 hours later we finally got back to our campsite.  It didn’t even feel like a workout!  We took enough breaks and just took in the beautiful scenery on our hike.  Although I usually stick to hiking I have done some biking while on the camping trips as well.  In fact the day after the epic 11 hour hike we went biking to give our legs a little break.  It was so much fun. Continue reading “Three Great Benefits of Camping”