It’s hard to believe that our Montana trip was two months ago already. For whatever reason, time seems to be speeding by right now. Really, this last year and a half of COVID time just hasn’t seemed normal. We joke that every day is “noneday” because it’s so hard to keep the days straight.

Will we ever go back to 2019 “normal”? I’m not convinced that we will. Even once the pandemic is under control worldwide (which is a ways away yet), climate change is throwing us continually more extreme weather patterns. Maybe I’m too pessimistic, but I think these next few decades are going to be very different from the last few.

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. Bank of America charged me an overdraft fee thanks to a bank transfer that sat “pending” for most of a week. I took the time to chat with an agent online, and they were able to reverse the overdraft charge. At this point, the $35 dollar fee would just be annoying, and I can transfer funds from elsewhere to cover it, but when it shouldn’t have been charged in the first place, I took the time to talk with someone and the bank.

Really, I don’t love Bank of America and have considered moving fully away from our accounts there. We don’t keep that much money there, but it’s our long term joint account, so we’ve kept it (when we were first married we needed a bank that had locations both in Washington and small town South Carolina).

Overdraft fees are pretty awful to begin with. I don’t think about them often because we are never down to our last few dollars, but the fact that the bank can charge you $35 to overdraw your account seems pretty awful. If you’re struggling with money and just making ends meet, a screw up that takes an extra $35 from you is a big deal.

2. We picked our first cherry tomatoes of the year! We have a tumbling cherry in a hanging basket and it’s well ahead of the rest of the plants for some reason. It’s just producing a handful of fruits every couple days, but for early July, I’ll take it.

I *did* plant nineteen tomato plants this year, so by August we will have well more than a handful of tomatoes each day. The last few years I’ve been able to can enough diced tomatoes for us to use through the winter, which feels awesome. We can’t replace all of our grocery store purchases, but every one I can eliminate feels liberating.


3. A friend dropped off some clothes a few weeks ago, and I finally got to looking through the bag this week. We had some relatively cooler days, and I was able to wear a new to me cardigan to work. It’s a bit more sparkly than I would normally pick for myself, but I find I’m liking it.

July means I’ve now gone four and a quarter years without buying any clothes for myself. Eventually I’ll write an update to this, I swear….. maybe I should make it a Q&A. At this point, I simply just don’t think about it much. Not buying clothes is just part of life.

4. The kiddo and I took off for Jetty Island on Thursday with my mother in law and Bob. It’s a passenger only ferry that takes all of one minute to cross over to the island that is a nature preserve. No amenities other than a bathroom, and no water at all.

The island is just off the city of Everett, but because it’s completely uninhabited by people (but a favorite nesting spot for shore birds), it feels like a whole different area. We packed our lunches, including a Tupperware full of blueberries and raspberries from the garden, and spent a lovely afternoon walking up and down the beach and playing in the wet sand of low tide.

Such low tide!

5. We held a Zoom “dreaming” session with our Women’s Personal Finance Insiders after last month’s event with Jessica of The Fioneers. She talked to us about five year planning and has had all of our brains spinning since then.

It’s so hard to think about big dreams when your inner critic is always sitting in your own brain, and Jessica does an awesome job redirecting us to dream big. We’re going to have more of these working sessions, and I’m excited to see what comes from focused dreaming and planning. Five years will pass anyway, if we’re lucky, so I want to be intentional about where we land five years from now.

Exercise Update

Saturday was spent walking around Edmonds and heading to their farmers market, and then spending most of the afternoon in the garden. Sunday morning I started the day with a forty five minute elliptical workout and some stretching. Monday was a lot of body weight squats, twenty five at a time. I didn’t count the total, but I was sore through Wednesday, so it was a good number.

Tuesday was an almost 20,000 step day thanks to multiple walks, including a couple work phone meetings. Whenever it makes sense, I way prefer to take a meeting via phone instead of Zoom. I’ve got Zoom fatigue like the rest of us, and I’d much rather be walking around outside when I have the choice.

Thursday was hours walking on the beach. I wish I could go barefoot, but after my struggles with plantar fasciitis, it simply isn’t worth it. I would rather have to wear shoes all the time and be able to walk every day than go barefoot for a day and then spend a week recovering. Annoying, but it is what it is.

Do you feel like the days are speeding by too? Or are they still dragging like 2020?

6 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (COVID-19 Week 71)

  1. Do you use any credit unions?
    I’ve grown up with one *large* credit union my whole life, so I have limited experience with banks.
    Everything I hear and see about banks makes me wonder why so many people use them over credit unions.
    Though of course, my credit union still has overdraft fees–but they’re single dollar amounts instead of gouging double-digits.
    And having access to the nationwide credit union co-op network means I’ve been able to move away from my credit union and still get plenty of routine business done.

    What kinds of things make you stick with a bank?

    1. Yeah, I think I need to go the credit union route. And what makes me stick with them? Inertia….. not a big enough paint point, I suppose.

  2. Yes, the days and weeks are really flying by. I found the same in 2020, though. It’s odd because every day has been the same.

    What you said about not buying clothes just being part of life really resonated with me. In 2020, I set a goal to buy no new clothes. In 18 months, I have bought only 5 new items of clothing (and 3 of them were workout clothes) and I’ve probably got rid of about 40 items. I honestly don’t miss buying new clothes. If I need anything, which is pretty unlikely, I’ll check second-hand or consignment stores.

    1. Noneday. Blursday. That just about covers them all, I think.

      And it’s weird how used to buying clothes we get when we really don’t need to.

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