As I recapped on Monday, I spent last weekend at Cents Positive in downtown Seattle. I had a wonderful time, as expected, and would have been happy had it lasted an extra day or two. That said, I so appreciate that the retreat is held over a weekend, as my vacation time is limited and I didn’t have to choose between it and something else since it was on a weekend. And since it was local, I was able to even sleep in my own bed each night.
Considering I’ve now attended three personal finance events over the last year (Cents Positive in Denver last November, FinCon in DC in September, and Cents Positive again, this time in Seattle, last weekend), I find myself considering what events I’ll attend in the future. Really, though, what matters most to me is getting to immerse myself with people who are passionate about many of the same things I am.
Because of those events, it feels like I’ve been on the go a lot more than I’m used to, and while it’s been a good thing, I don’t mind that we will be sticking local for a little while now. I love traveling and being on the go, but it feels like I could use some catch up time as well. Of course, catch up time means a big neighborhood event this coming weekend, but it will happen in our own area without needing to take any kind of transportation elsewhere. If only I could figure out a way to have all the people I love and care about in the same city as me.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. Two different friends brought hand me down clothes to Cents Positive, both for me and the kiddo. I love that we are both able to get so much of our clothing secondhand from friends, and getting to go through a box and try on “new” clothes is the best.
We’ve been talking about doing a Women’s Personal Finance meetup / clothing swap, and we talked a little bit more about that over the weekend. Hopefully we can make it happen soon (which means I likely need to plan it, unless someone else steps up and does it instead). I was going through my closet the other day and realized there are still things that I own that I haven’t worn in some time. While I’m more than two years and seven months into this clothing ban thing, I still have things I can minimize from my closet. In a way though, continuing this ban has me holding on to things more tightly, for “just in case,” even while just in case never happens.
2. Since Tawcan’s wife attended Cents Positive, their whole family came down for the weekend, and we made a plan to hang out at my house on Monday. Since it was Canadian Thanksgiving and a holiday for them, they didn’t have to head home until that evening.
They, along with Felicity and Purple (and Stephonee, who was staying at my house), came over early in the afternoon and we headed for a walk down the trails behind our house. Walking past a neighbor’s house, we ended up adding two more kids to our group to make for a total of five children under the age of seven. We headed off for the park and then hung around and talked while they played on the playground before dinner.
Stephonee and I had gone to the grocery store with the kiddo beforehand, and we threw together a spaghetti dinner for all of us, with the last of the ripe tomatoes from my garden. And of course, we used plenty of unpaper towels. After they left, I remarked to my husband that I couldn’t believe it was a Monday night, because it felt like so much an extension of the weekend. That’s how I want to live my life – where every day of the week can be something special.
3. We ended up with leftovers from dinner on Monday night, so we had salad, spaghetti, and meatballs on Tuesday night as well. There was also one slice of pizza in the fridge from a previous meal, so that became part of the meal for the kiddo as well. I’d made the spaghetti sauce partially from leftover pizza sauce, and then I padded it out again on Tuesday when we had the meal again.
We’ve gotten better lately and making a bit extra for meals to stretch into leftovers. Previously, we hadn’t been so great with eating them, so I’d adjusted to making just what we would eat in one meal. I have to say though, as we’ve gotten better at eating leftovers, I’ve very much appreciated having an easy dinner day with no or minimal cooking. And we spend a ton less on food than we used to.
4. I’ve gotten back into the routine of eating oatmeal at work for most lunches during the week. Since keeping slivered almonds, raisins, and coconut shavings in my office, I find I’m looking forward to my oatmeal quite a bit more.
While I do enjoy going out and grabbing lunch once a week, I have been paying closer attention to the waste of that treat. While some meals I can pick up have low waste, they don’t hold a candle to my simple lunch of oatmeal that is kept at my desk. More than the money, that reduction of waste is what has me coming back to the oatmeal again and again.
5. I deposited my latest Jobspotter payment into my Amazon account. For my second month using the app, I earned $40.14, which feels like a significant amount of money for doing something so low key. While I don’t get out and about to too many different areas during a typical week, since I live outside of Seattle proper, most of the Now Hiring signs I see are from independent stores, which pay out better.
Since I opened my “Found Savings” account, I’ve been transferring any money I make from this sort of thing there, as well as any savings from other sorts of things (like deciding last minute not to buy something). While this account isn’t huge, it’s very rewarding to see money grow that otherwise would have been lost to spending elsewhere. After all, you haven’t actually saved money unless you save it.
Saturday I walked from the bus to the hotel for Cents Positive instead of taking the transfer, and then I went with a group for a walk during a half hour break that afternoon. Sunday was a walk around Seattle as I’d gone home to grab the kiddo and then we came back for the after-Cents Positive events and meet up.
Monday was a walk through the woods to the park before dinner. Tuesday was less walking than normal thanks to taking the bus into work, and then a half hour on the elliptical in the afternoon. Wednesday morning was a run on the elliptical because it was pouring rain and it’s too early in the fall for me to want to run in the rain quite yet.
Do you go out in inclement weather? Do you find it easier to go out at the beginning of winter or the end?