No, No Way, Hell No, Nope, Not Going To Do It

Those of us who call ourselves frugal have different ways of trying to reach our goal of not spending money foolishly. We have different ideas of what that means and different reasons for choosing to save vs spend money.

The definition of frugal according to Merriam Webster Dictionary is:  “careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to : using money or supplies in a very careful way”.   For me, being frugal means I don’t spend money foolishly. I plan my large expenditures carefully and save money in advance to pay for them in cash. If I do use credit, I always pay my bills in full each month. I hate to spend money on interest and late fees; it makes me feel squeamish to say the least.

This doesn’t make me squeamish!

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What Do You Hate to Spend Money On?

I had some friends visiting from Massachusetts last week and we had a wonderful time! These are the kind of friends who have been in my life for what seems like forever and no matter how mad we get at each other, all is forgiven over a glass of wine or a really good meal.

This friend of mine has a pet peeve bigger then Big Papi’s ability to score a home run in clinch situation. My friend refuses, absolutely refuses to pay for parking. He would rather walk across a bridge, 2 miles in the rain than fork over $5 bucks to park his car.

We jokingly talked about this while driving to go on a  hike last week. My honey and I were trying to figure out how to get to a hiking spot we have done many times but we wanted to park at the summit of the hike (where parking is free) vs at the base where parking cost  $7.00. Somehow I knew my friend would understand.

I hate shelling out good money on poopy bags for Fenway. It seems such a silly thing but why spend money on squirling away poop? I hit the jack pot over the winter when my honey and I were doing some clean up at her parents and we scored 2 boxes of unused bags that are the perfect size to take care of Fenway’s business. I think I even did a happy dance when I tucked them into the car. I should have plenty of bags on hand to get me through 2017. Yeah!

Then again, it beats buying cat litter!

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Traveling With Mother Fran

Winter is in full force here in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate, NY and that means it is time to make a plan to get the hell out of Dodge. I woke up at 3AM and the wind was blowing hard, as if Mother Nature herself was knocking at my window. The days have been cold and blowy and every time I turn around more of the white stuff seems to be flying around me.  I don’t mind snow but dealing with the ice is no fun.

So my honey and I are planning a trip to Florida  in February to visit Mother Fran and Child #7. It is nice to have something fun (and warm) to look forward to.

Can’t wait

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Retail Therapy in The Kayak

Life in My Little Blue Kayak is uniquely mine. I have chosen to live my life on my terms. I have chosen to pursue health, wealth and happiness my way. These are pretty broad terms so I had to give some thought as what they meant to me. See the About Me page if interested.

I am not one of those people who work 60+ hours per week and make mega bucks. I don’t belong to a gym or participate in extreme sports. I don’t jet away to exotic locations or have gourmet meals delivered to my home.

No my annual vacation destination!
Not my annual vacation destination!

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Family Fun with Mother Fran

Family Fun – Mother Fran Style

In previous posts I have written about being raised in a household with 8 siblings and amazing parents. My friend likes to joke that we were like the Brady Bunch. My parents were raised during the depression and nothing was wasted or squandered. There was never an excess of income in my house, but there was never a shortage of fun either. My parents were raising 9 kids on 1 income and making ends meet the best they could. We  didn’t have play dates, fancy vacations, summer camp or ski trips. Honestly I don’t even remember ever having a friend stay over night.

Not us...
Not us…

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My Little Blue Toolbox

The Toolbox

People talk about getting ahead financially as if it were a race or a game, but I don’t think that is accurate. A race implies that participants start at a set place and have to cover the same distance. A game has rules and instructions that all players agree to follow in order to reach the stated goal.  Financially speaking we clearly don’t all start with a set amount of money in life and we don’t have the same end result in mind to identify the winner. Some people are born with advantages that others can’t even fathom. Advantages that put them far ahead before the gun fires to signal the race has started.  If getting ahead financially were a game then some players received the rules in advance while other obtained the instructions in a language they do not understand.


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Mother Fran’s Tips to Stretch The Food Budget

A few weeks ago I posted Money Lessons From Mother Fran and that got me thinking how much of my personality and how I approach life is rooted in lessons I learned as a kid. My parents grew up during the depression and saving, scrimping, re-using, and repurposing are second nature to them. I know I inherited this mindset as did my siblings although we don’t all apply the lessons in the same way. Continue reading “Mother Fran’s Tips to Stretch The Food Budget”

Money Lessons From Mother Fran

Money Lessons

I come from a large family, very large by today’s standards. My parents had 9 kids and we jokingly refer to ourselves by birth order. I am child number 8, daughter number 6.  My dad was a cop and my mom stayed at home to raise her family. Looking back I believe she held many titles including Master Delegator and Chief Financial Officer. Dad brought home the bacon but mom was the one who made sure it was stretched effectively and distributed appropriately. She paid the bills, cut the coupons, made the shopping lists and took care of the budget. Continue reading “Money Lessons From Mother Fran”

Make One Good Decision After Another

I am convinced that sometimes we struggle to choose between options for which there should be no struggle. We know the best option. We know  it 100% from our fingers to our toes. We know which decisions will bring us closer toward our long term goals and happiness and which ones will simply make life easier in the moment.  But life has a habit of getting in the way and some of us make a living out of complicating the simple things in life. Continue reading “Make One Good Decision After Another”

Change a Little, Change a Lot

Back in August 2013, I had one of my AHA moments of insight which was “I can’t move the lake but I can move toward the lake.”  See my post I Moved the Lake to hear more about this change! This AHA moment prompted me to essentially stop spending money in order to allow me to quit my job and move closer to the lake. I have made a lot of small changes over the last few years that have helped me to dramatically reduce my annual expenses.

In and of themselves these little changes don’t sound like much but the end result has had a huge impact on my life. When I compare some of my 2013 expenses to 2015 expenses this is what I find:

2013 Monthly Expense 2015 Monthly Expense
Clothing $50 $10
Car Insurance $80 $50
Cable $70 $0
Internet $50 $15
Cell Phone $75 $50

If I add up all of the small changes I made and look at the overall impact on my monthly and annual expenses the impact is huge. In 2013 my expenses were roughly $2600 per month or $31,200 per year. Currently my monthly expenses are $1650 per month or $19,800 per year. In just over 2 years, I have reduced my annual expenses by $11,400! What would you do with an extra $11,400? Continue reading “Change a Little, Change a Lot”