The Pros and Cons to Staying at an All-Inclusive Resort

We are back from Aruba!

It was incredibly beautiful there.  We went during the off-season and it felt like we had the entire beach to ourselves.  I have only ever vacationed in the Caribbean during the off-season and I highly suggest it!  I’ve heard that during the busy season people fight for beach chairs and there is no room on the beach.  I would hate that!

This was my first time staying at an all-inclusive resort and I don’t think it will be the last!  I really enjoyed having everything included in the original price.  It was really convenient.

We stayed at the Tamarijn Aruba All-Inclusive the entire time.  It was so beautiful!  Every room there is ocean view and the view is heavenly!  We were 20 feet from the beach.  I loved it there!

Here's a recap of our vacation in Aruba! We enjoyed our stay at an all-inclusive resort. Here is our all-inclusive review with pros and cons.
The beach at the resort.

Our room was in the last building on the grounds so it was a little bit of a hike to get to the restaurants and concierge desk and the shops on the resort, but honestly, we really didn’t mind.  We were on island time.  There is no hurry.  We enjoyed the little stroll that we had to take.

If you are planning a trip to Aruba, but don’t have a hotel booked yet, check out the Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive!  We would go back there in a heartbeat.  If you aren’t sure about staying in an All-Inclusive, let me help you decide.

They are not paying me to say that.  This is not a sponsored post, and I don’t have a single affiliate link in this post.  All recommendations are my own.

Pros to staying at an All-Inclusive Resort

You could spend your whole vacation at the resort if that’s what you wanted to do.

If you are looking for a relaxing vacation and don’t want to do anything except sit on the beach and read a book or watch the waves roll in and daydream, then book an All-Inclusive.

Here's a recap of our vacation in Aruba! We enjoyed our stay at an all-inclusive resort. Here is our all-inclusive review with pros and cons.
More beaches!

This was how we spent most of our vacation and it was glorious. Continue reading “The Pros and Cons to Staying at an All-Inclusive Resort”

A Trip to Target and My May Financial Update with Net Worth

How did I spend less than $700 last month? Check out my latest financial update! Find my net worth, income, expenses, and savings totals here.Welcome to May’s Financial Update!

I love writing these financial updates because they’re kinda like a scrapbook of my life.  I can look back and read the updates and remember where I was at a certain time in my life.  They show how far I’ve come!

I can’t believe it’s June already!  We are officially on vacation, even though we haven’t left yet.  It’s just nice to relax at home before we start our travels to ARUBA!!!  I’m planning to do a recap of the vacation after we return, so look out for that!

Even though I’m 36, I’ve traveled so rarely that I have never had a need to buy my own luggage.  I’ve always just borrowed luggage from my parents when I’ve needed it in the past.  I was talking with Mr. Frugal Turtle and we plan to do quite a bit of traveling over the coming years.  So, I splurged on some luggage.  We were at Target and I found a nice luggage set that wasn’t too expensive.  It seems like it’s decent quality, so hopefully it lasts quite a while!

While we were at Target I picked up a present for my one year old nephew.  My sister and I went in together and got him a little indoor/outdoor slide.  When he opened it at the party he was too scared to go down it, but hopefully he warms up to it!

I also paid for some clothes for Mr. Frugal Turtle and I at Target.  He found a couple of t-shirts and a pair of shorts, while I left with a couple of dresses and a new belt.  It was an expensive trip to Target!

Also in May I treated Mr. Frugal Turtle to a movie date!  We went to the cheaper, local movie theater instead of the expensive one in the city and saved about $10 on the tickets, pop and popcorn!  Guardians of the Galaxy was awesome and I highly suggest you check it out if you haven’t yet.

On to the Numbers!

May Net Worth

I ended May with a net worth of $124,175.58.

My goal for this year is to end the year with a net worth of $150k.  If I can reach $125k by the end of June I think I have a good shot of reaching that goal.  I’m getting really close to $125k!

My net worth includes my retirement accounts and my regular savings account.

I use Personal Capital (affiliate link) to keep track of my net worth.  Personal Capital is really easy to use and I have to admit, I’m kinda addicted.  You can link your credit cards, banks, and investment accounts to this site and it updates all the time.  I log in and check my net worth almost every single day.  It also has a pretty sweet retirement planner that tells you what you can work on to make your retirement even better. Continue reading “A Trip to Target and My May Financial Update with Net Worth”

How We Planned Our Trip to Aruba

One Happy Island

Aruba-“One Happy Island” is the island’s motto.  Sun, sand, surf.  What more could you ask for in a Caribbean vacation.  This will be my first time visiting the island and I’m so ready for it!

We plan on snorkeling, hiking, sunbathing, eating delicious food, drinking yummy drinks and just relaxing.  It’s going to be glorious!

It took us about a week to decide on an all-inclusive resort to call our home for four nights.  We used Travelocity to aid us in our decision-making.  We wanted to stay at an all-inclusive resort that had the right amenities we were looking for.  Free snorkeling equipment, free kayaking, close to hiking paths, on the beach, and great reviews were mandatory. And of course, we didn’t want the trip to cost an arm and a leg.

Thanks Travelocity!

Travelocity makes it pretty easy to find the destination you’re looking for, even if you don’t have a hotel in mind.  Once you’ve selected the dates you want to travel, and your destination, there are many filters that you can choose to narrow down your search even more.

If you’re looking for a five-star resort in a certain neighborhood, or there’s an amenity you’re looking for, like child care, you can filter your search that way.  Travelocity makes it pretty easy to find what you’re looking for.  There’s usually a plethora of options! Continue reading “How We Planned Our Trip to Aruba”

Essential Camping Gear for That Amazing Camping Trip

Do you feel it?  It’s in the air.  That time of year.  Days of hiking, biking trails, swimming in a lake.  Also bug bites, ticks, sunburns and sleepless nights in a strange environment.  I love it and crave it every year.  IT’S CAMPING TIME!!!

I’ve been camping every year since my early twenties and it’s one of my favorite things ever.  There’s seriously nothing more relaxing.  Last year on our camping trip we got to witness hundreds of lightning bugs doing their thing while we just sat mesmerized at all the lights twinkling around us.  It. Was. Awesome!

If you’ve never been camping and aren’t sure if it’s something you want to do, I wrote a post detailing what I think are some great benefits of camping.  It is the best frugal vacation!

We normally go camping towards the end of summer or beginning of fall.  It’s less crowded, there are less bugs, and it’s a lot cooler while we’re out hiking.  However, I’ve been camping during the middle of the summer and it’s just as fun!

Mr. Frugal Turtle was a Boy Scout when he was younger.  His ideal camping trip is to head out with extremely limited camping gear and “rough it.”  Me, not so much.  I prefer having showers and toilets nearby.

I’ve compiled a list of all the camping gear we take with us on camping trips.

Tents

We’ve had this tent for several years now and it works great!  It’s a four person tent, but it’s perfect for two people.  Plus, it’s reasonably priced!  Camping gear can be expensive!
Continue reading “Essential Camping Gear for That Amazing Camping Trip”

We’re going to Aruba! and My April Financial Update with Net Worth

I’m coming for you Aruba!

I’m super excited to finally be writing this April financial update!

After staying in the great state of Minnesota all last year, Mr. Frugal Turtle and I decided it was time to get away.  Work has been hell for both of us lately and a vacation has been desperately needed.

After much hemming and hawing for a couple of weeks and getting recommendations from family members, we finally decided on a beautiful all-inclusive resort in Aruba.  There will be more details in a future post and I can’t wait to share them!

Frugal Turtle Earns Money!

Not me.  The website!  A few of you awesome people took my advice and clicked on a referral link.  Thanks to you this site earned $60 last month.  Thank you so much!

It’s pretty good timing because I have some website related expenses coming up that I can put that referral money towards.  Again, thanks for supporting this blog!

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

I love reading Michelle Gardener’s blog Making Sense of Cents.  I’ve been reading it for years.  I find her life fascinating.  Her blog is really interesting and I drool over her monthly income reports.

Out of curiosity (and a growing desire to make money blogging) I invested in her course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (not an affiliate link, yet.  I want to finish the course first).  I’m super excited about it.  Unfortunately, my day job has been pretty demanding and I haven’t done more than scan through the material.

I bought the course when Michelle had a sale going on, so I got it for $169.  That’s a pretty big one time expense for me, but I’m really happy that I did it.  I have no regrets and I can’t wait until I have more time to dive into the material!

Groceries, Groceries, and more Groceries

So, I’m not sure what happened in April, but I spent a ton of money on groceries.

Actually, I do have a theory on what happened, I did ALL the grocery shopping myself.  Mr. Frugal Turtle and I usually go grocery shopping on Saturdays, which is our normal day off together.  We try to split the grocery bills fairly evenly, but we really don’t keep track.  Unfortunately, our mutual employer has gotten really busy lately and we no longer both have Saturdays off together.

Since Mr. Frugal hates grocery shopping (especially alone), and I actually enjoy it (I know, I’m weird), I went grocery shopping on my days off.  And did all the shopping for the month of April.  And somehow spent over $300 on groceries.

I realize that’s probably about average for a frugal couple who hates to waste food, but I didn’t think we spent that much!  It’s really got me curious as to what we both spend on groceries each month.  I think I’m going to keep track of all grocery store receipts for both of us for a few months just to see what we actually average on grocery expenses.

On to the numbers!

April Net Worth

I ended April with a net worth of $121,995.71.

My goal for this year is to end the year with a net worth of $150k.  If I can reach $125k by the end of June I think I have a good shot of reaching that goal.

My net worth includes my retirement accounts and my regular savings account.

I use Personal Capital (affiliate link) to keep track of my net worth.  Personal Capital is really easy to use and I have to admit, I’m kinda addicted.  You can link your credit cards, banks, and investment accounts to this site and it updates all the time.  I log in and check my net worth almost every single day.  It also has a pretty sweet retirement planner that tells you what you can work on to make your retirement even better. Continue reading “We’re going to Aruba! and My April Financial Update with Net Worth”