My last frugal save update was… on July 21 (Thrifty Krispies & Warranty). It’s been a while! The past month has been a rollercoaster of productivity and lack of productivity, the gruelling contract that inspired the 5-Step Guide to Clawing Your Way Back From Devastation and Heartbreak. I also had a cold right before that contract started, which made life difficult, but didn’t knock me out like colds usually do.
It didn’t take me as long as it usually does to bounce out of funks, and I find myself slipping back into the groove of things I’d established before my three-week contract quashed any and all zeal for life. I also realized that I can’t do it all under those circumstances – my general creativity and productivity are tied closely to my mental health state, and I’m trying to find strategies that’ll distance the two a little.
Was this a frugal 44 days for me? Sort-of.
- Unknown to me, I’d lost a .7k diamond earring while we were setting up tents (one from the pair I always wear that was a gift from my parents, 10 years ago). The back screw somehow came undone – thankfully, a friend found the actual diamond and stud (but not the backing) and came over to ask if it was mine. My Mum responded to my text with “OMG”, and she texts with an accent and doesn’t use colloquial language like that. I have a lifetime protection plan on the earrings, so the store ended up redoing the settings and getting them back to me. Sometimes those extended warranty plans are worth it!
Value: a ridiculous amount of money saved by finding them, those baby’s were pricey; $200 saved on the resetting
- I attended a First Aid course for my Emergency First Aid certificate, which will be valid for 3 years – my upcoming contract employer paid for it, so win-win!
- They’re also paying for me to get my Commercial Drivers license, so I can be a back up driver of the mini-bus during the tour. I’m so excited to drive that thing. Now I just gotta do all the tests…
- The bluetooth headsets my Dad got for our motorcycle helmets broke down – there’s a newer model out and they don’t fix them, so we took a refund and will buy the newer, better ones for next season
Value: $100~ ish
- Last week my Dad and I used a power washer to clean the siding of the house. Two stories and four sides took us about 3 hours (then we got excited and power washed EVERYTHING, which took a little longer). He’s got an extension to reach the tip top of the houses (it’s like, 20 feet and at that point too tall for me to manage, but I did most of the first 20 or so feet of the house). We also took out all the netting in the windows, rinsed it, and cleaned out the window channels.
Value: $80/h, at least 3 hours (not including the details) = minimum $240 for just the house
- I got a wicked hoodie from a friend of mine; her daughter didn’t want it because it didn’t fit (it’d been a gift), and she thought of me, so I’m now the proud owner of a super soft, athletic-style hoodie. I’m glad it’s getting cooler, more excuses to wear it!
- Soaked 3 pairs of my shoes in vinegar and water to get them smelling new-fresh — and it worked!!!
Value: ??? I’m sure not buying more shoes any time soon!
- Enjoyed some beautiful hikes during the past two months; they help clear my head.
- There were a couple days where I failed to plan my errands frugally. One day it led to an extra 30km of driving because of poor planning – sorry planet. I’m hoping to be less disorganized and less of an idiot in the future!
Cost: the environment and ~$5-10 in gas
- When I house-sit, I tend to splurge on food (they provide money for food). I ate 8 ice cream sandwiches in 2 days. I’m not proud of it, and it just strengthens my resolve to not buy things I know I won’t be able to control myself. Ice cream sandwiches are going to be joining hagen-daz bars and mini-eggs!
Cost: my health and $10 of terrible for me groceries
- My bank is changing their fee structure (and has been trying to tell me for the past 6 months) – I’ll now pay $3.40 for the pleasure of having them hold a bunch of money for me. It gave me a kick in the ass to figure out what the best options for my money were. They gave me a $100 credit for the inconvenience of having to deal with the fees starting Sept 1, and while I’m not closing down my account with them, I am spreading out my finances to benefit me in the future.
Cost: All the interest I could’ve been making elsewhere
- I made some coffee at home using a french press, added some milk, and set off for my First Aid class… and realized in the car that the coffee was TERRIBLE. I should’ve just stuck to my tried and true instant latte method!
Cost: A sleepy morning session and $1.05 for coffee from McD at lunchtime (got the last sticker for my free coffee though!)
All in all it wasn’t a terrible month and a half if you don’t count the mental strain and subsequent funk. Lesson learned though, I’ll be staying far away from repeating that situation next year. The part that really kills me is that the person causing all the stress and strain acknowledged they’d been doing those things and ‘regretted’ their actions, but they didn’t apologize for what they did.
Actions speak louder than words, and while this individual always talks a good streak, things don’t, and haven’t, changed. I’ve realized that what I was subjected to is who they truly are, no matter what they say or what face they put on.
My biggest take away from these 44 days is that if I’m going to make my raggedly rich ethos work, I need to be more critical and less forgiving in these situations. If it’s not working, it’s not working, and that’s not going to change until the root of the problems change. This lifestyle isn’t going to be feasible if I expose myself to situations that are detrimental to my happiness and mental health. You can’t be happy 100% of the time, but you can avoid the situations you know from experience aren’t good.
Fool me once, shame on you – fool me five-fold, well, those were all the chances.
I gotta start listening to those alarm bells in my head and from those close to me, and scrutinize things more carefully when they seem too good to be true. They probably are.