So, we ended up camping again last weekend. My husband was originally planning to go hunting this year outside the Leavenworth area, but the wildfires have burned a good part of the area. We’ll see when we’re there in a few weeks what the damage really is, but he wanted to scope out an alternative location for hunting season in case the area isn’t accessible come mid-October. We realized Labor Day weekend when we were out on the peninsula that the area might be a good alternative, so we all headed out again this past weekend so he could scope the area out specifically for hunting.
The kiddo and I didn’t head out with him into the woods for hunting purposes, but we couldn’t resist tagging along to spend more time on the Olympic Peninsula; honestly, I don’t think the three of us could get “too much time” in that area. It’s past Labor Day now though, and it’s already obvious we are past peak travel season in regards to ferry traffic, which makes the trips that much better. We still had a bit of a wait coming home around noon on Sunday, but soon there won’t be any wait at all.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. We ate lunch while we were waiting for the ferry on Sunday. Instead of buying lunch from one of the few restaurants nearby (which were all slammed with people waiting to head home), we cobbled together a picnic lunch with the leftovers from the cooler we had taken camping. We saved some money by not ordering more food and we did a good job making sure we ate the food we brought in the first place.
A quick take out meal eaten at our car is exactly the kind of meal we’ve cut out of our restaurant spending over the past year as we would have gotten no more value from that kind of meal than from the food we had on hand. Our goal is to save that spending for the meals that do bring value to our lives, like our happy hour date night last week.
2. Our next trip to Hawaii was planned to include my grandmother and my mother in law, but a couple weeks ago I had been talking to my husband’s godfather, who joins us on quite a few of our adventures, including our trip to Hawaii last year. He had finally signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred* card at my urging, and I made a comment that now he had the points to join us again this time. He’s still in the process of meeting the minimum spend though, so he hasn’t had the points hit his account yet, but he was interested in the possibility. I offered that we could use some of our Chase points for him now and we could trade later once he has his own, and he agreed. A few days later, I’d gone through the process with British Airways again to add him to the flights to and from Hawaii.
Unfortunately, the extra good 12,500 point redemption was only available one way, so the other direction had to be purchased with cash, but I was able to get him on our same direct flights and the cost was still half of what it would have been if the whole trip had been purchased out of pocket. The home we are renting through Airbnb* sleeps six though, so the lodging cost didn’t go up at all by adding an extra person (or really, the per person cost dropped because of the addition). Really, he is just a fabulous person to travel with and we’re all looking forward to having him along. That, and the kiddo was already convinced he was joining us anyway because he travels with us so often. The more the merrier.
If you’re on the fence about starting down the travel hacking rabbit hole, the Chase Sapphire Preferred* is such a great place to start, and just a great card to hold for the long term for their great benefits. Also, if you want to read about the extra awesome Hawaii redemption, specifically on Alaska Airlines, I wrote about it here (note: the 25,000 point round trip is good from the west coast only. Elsewhere, I believe it’s 40,000 points round trip). *referral links
3. My mother went through another closet purge and I ended up with two bags of clothes from her to look through. I ended up keeping two dresses and one shirt, and I have a stack of a few other items that I may or may not keep. Even though I’m eighteen months in to a clothes buying ban, my goal to have a smaller, simpler closet of just clothes I love still stands, so I will only keep clothes that I really love and feel good in.
4. Soccer started up again at the kiddo’s preschool for the fall season. It’s not a frugal activity by any means (an extra $72/month on top of the standard preschool costs), but he looks forward to it every week. The purpose of tracking our expenditures closely means that we can splurge on certain comparatively expensive activities while still making our overall financial goals happen.
Of course, even $72 a month is small change compared to what it will cost if he chooses to actively pursue a sport as he gets older, but if that’s what he wants to do, we will pay for it. I grew up playing softball, and played in college, and while it was a pretty expensive activity, it was absolutely worth it. I would much rather pay for a sport than a fancy car anyway.
5. My husband’s truck is a 1997, so there are some parts that are getting old and need routine repairs. Most recently, the weatherproofing around the windshield had cracked and started to drip a little bit of water inside of the cab. Instead of taking it in to the auto shop and paying to have it done, he did the work himself after work one day. Not a huge savings compared to a lot of vehicle expenses, but also not a huge time commitment.
No weekend running again thanks to the camping trip, but a decent amount of walking (though no 40,000 step day like the previous weekend). I did run and lift on Monday and was very happy to finally go up in weight, which was the first time in a long time because I hadn’t been lifting with any regularity. Once a week still isn’t enough to make big gains, but at least I’m making a little progress.
I had a late work meeting on Tuesday afternoon after when I normally end my day, so I didn’t have time to run that day. Wednesday I couldn’t run to work but I met up with my real life-FIRE friend for a half hour run before work and got to talk about money while running. Basically the best combo ever. He and I have been friends for close to fifteen years now, and I just lucked out that he is as money minded as I am.
Do you have any real life friends you can talk in depth about money with? Did you find them after pursuing financial independence or are they long time friends?