Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Pre-Vacation Scheming

I love a good scheme for saving money.  I especially love a scheme that allows me to save money in advance of something expensive and fun like my upcoming vacation.  Splashing out after a period of austerity is so thoroughly satisfying that it almost makes me look forward to the austerity itself.  So my plan to reduce spending and earn a wee bit of cash in advance of my travels includes:

  1. Eating from the pantry 95% of the time.  I have plenty of food, so I plan to eat it and avoid going to the grocery store almost entirely.  I have exactly three things that I will need to buy (romaine lettuce, cottage cheese and coffee creamer), but other than that, I'm staying away.  I've done an inventory of what's in the house, and I don't even think my meals will get too weird.  I have plenty of frozen vegetables on hand, and a pantry full of dry goods.  I'm set!
  2. No trips to the liquor store.  Currently I have some beer, some wine and some gin for my Friday night martini (it's important!).  I'm not allowed to buy any more than that, which leads to bullet point three...
  3. Lose some weight. I plan to accomplish this by drinking less, eating more deliberately and exercising more.  I'm not happy with the fact that if I don't lose weight before I go, I will be rather uncomfortable on my trip since my jeans are not currently fitting the way I'd like, and I refuse to buy a bigger pair.  I also want to make sure there's room in said pants for me to eat and drink merrily while I'm away.
  4. I am on a general spending freeze for the foreseeable future, except for buying gas, getting a much-needed haircut, and writing a check to the cat-sitter.
  5. Hopefully utilities will be cheaper since it's FINALLY starting to warm up a bit.
In addition to saving money, I'm trying to find a little extra cash lying around.
  1. I listed three LL Bean gift cards that we had gotten for christmas on cardpool.com.  I wasn't able to sell them for the full value, obviously, but it was super painless and I got a decent amount of cash for them (think 45.90 on a $60 giftcard, or $50 in Amazon credit).  I'd much rather have cash than have to try to think of what to buy at LL Bean. It's not that I don't like that store, it's just not my go-to.
  2. I returned two dresses. I love a refund.
  3. I'm trying to walk and run more (see above), which is something I've been able to monetize--slightly.  I have the Achievement app on my phone, which awards me points for taking steps (tracked by my fitbit).  Once I get to 10,000 points, I get $10. I also did a stepbet recently, which helped me get my ass in gear and be more active, and netted me a cool $9.65.  All that extra money goes into my money market savings account, which earns me 2% interest.
The countdown is on!

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