Non-Consumer Mish-Mash

by Katy on August 10, 2015 · 19 comments

It’s time for another Non-Consumer Advocate Mish-Mash post, where I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that.

Outgo exceeds your intake

When Your Outgo Exceeds Your Income

I was listening to a Clark Howard podcast a few weeks ago, when a caller quoted her grandfather who was known for saying that “If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will be your downfall.” Of course I stopped in my tracks and quickly wrote it down!

Because that is freaking genius!

I immediately turned it into a graphic and shared it on The Non-Consumer Advocate’s Facebook group.

It might have to replace “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”


The Best Laid Plans Lead to Expensive Restaurants

Saturday was our 22nd anniversary, so my husband and I planned a day trip to the Oregon coast for the four of us. I packed a cooler with crackers, brie, Laughing Cow cheese, homemade cookies and cut up cantaloupe. We also brought a large thermos of coffee, as well as water.

Knowing that the beach can spell iffy weather, we brought coats as if were March instead of August. It wasn’t enough. The weather was windy and cool when we ventured onto the beach, but it wasn’t until we’d walked a fair distance from the car that the driving rain began. We all ended up completely soaked and frankly, on the unpleasant side of cranky.

Because walking against a strong headwind while being sandblasted is never anything close to enjoyable.

We’d already eaten our food in the car before hitting the beach, (which in retrospect wasted twenty minutes of decent weather) and had nowhere to go that wouldn’t waste money.

We ended up driving back home and stopping at Camp 18 to try and salvage the day. The bill for our early supper came to $48, which kind of killed the whole frugal adventure thing. And although the weather had cleared up, we did not head back to the beach.

Good thing our other frugal endeavors balance out days like this.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne August 10, 2015 at 11:33 am

Oh yes, the ever popular unplanned food event. But honestly it will be less aggravating in retrospect and begin to get funnier in a short while. (“Hey honey/mom, remember when we drove clear to the coast only to get totally soaked in the rain? But the soup and sandwiches at Camp 18 sure were good.”)

It’s salvageable memories that count.


Katy August 10, 2015 at 12:09 pm

True, although not fun in the moment.


Mary August 10, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Love Anne’s comment!! So perfect!


K D August 10, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Although your meal was much more expensive than home prepared/packed meals, I don’t think $48 is terrible for four adult eaters. Especially considering it was your anniversary. You will have a multitude of frugal meals the rest of the year.


Jan Jackson August 10, 2015 at 12:35 pm

I wish I had a buck for everytime we’ve drove to the Oregon Coast in 100 zillion degree heat here only to have it be a balmy 52 and foggy at the ocean. Not in town, where there’s shopping and 65 degree, but just at the beach. It’s impossible to imagine how COLD it is there when you’re miserable here. And the food thing. We have done the exact same thing about 10 times. I’d like to think we’d learned not to do this, but we haven’t and will probably do it again. 🙁 I would swear Camp 18 is where it is exactly for people who underestamate the power of dense fog in August.


JD August 10, 2015 at 12:58 pm

I’m trying to picture being cold at the beach in August — I live in North Florida and it’s boiling at the beach.
You at least didn’t spend a ton of money, and as you say, you can balance that with lots of other frugal moves.
Here’s my belated wish for your anniversary:
May you find as much money on the ground as you had to spend to eat!


K August 10, 2015 at 1:13 pm

I think your website/blog leans more to the Use it up genre. Your frugal upcycle etc lends toward that. The new quote is great and ‘right on the money’ but your blog isn’t just about that, it is so much more.

As far as ending up spending money, it was your anniversary and it did feed four adult appetites. I say this because: I have the awful ability to not allow a good thing to be just a good thing. I have allowed myself to sour/seeth inside because the plan changed, we spent money that wasn’t anticipated. I am trying to stop allowing myself to ruin things because of the change in plans (when more spent especially) because then the amount spent almost seems like double or triple because I didn’t enjoy myself as I was fretting. I say this to write it out for myself and to share it as I am working on it and maybe others might do this too.

Happy anniversary……I bet it was priceless 🙂



Mariana Cisowska @ BrooklynBasedGirlfriend August 10, 2015 at 6:53 pm

This is a type of comment that I could not write any better.
I am the same exact way.

Just a couple of weeks ago I went for a (planned & budgeted) Sunday brunch. The line at the place where we went was quite long but not too bad. But a friend of mine was just so impatient and she was literally almost crying to go to another place (I am starving excuse). So we went to another place across the street. I knew it was more expensive but yikes! We were expecting to pay $18-$20 per person at the first place and ended up paying $30 at the other place.

The food was great, the company was great but I thought about the $12 difference for a few hours afterwards. I moved on by end of day since I knew it was a bit ridiculous considering that I spent 3 hours with a friend, filled my belly and had a blast. Because I AM frugal I can allow small slips like that 🙂


Katy August 10, 2015 at 10:57 pm

$30 for brunch would burn me as well.


Karen August 10, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Let us know when you hit our 40th. Mine is this weekend. And yes, we were young when we married.


Karen August 10, 2015 at 1:20 pm



Anna August 10, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Please retain the use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without tag line. I love it – and it encourages more than just a focus on $$.


Katy August 10, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Worry not, I was just joking.


Anna August 11, 2015 at 10:14 am

Whew! 🙂


MsSF August 11, 2015 at 5:55 am

I like the phrase, “If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will be your downfall.” It is so very true. However, I really like your blog the way it is, so I am glad you’re not going to change it. You are so inspirational and I’ve learned a lot from you.


gettingthere August 11, 2015 at 6:00 am

Speaking of quotes, I always like to remember this one: “The best way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket”. I like it not so much for the goal of doubling my money (though that would be nice!), but more for it’s gentle nudge towards mindful spending.


Karen August 11, 2015 at 7:51 am

For years my husband and I have been frugal and spent hardly any money. But at some point you have to buck it up and pay the piper.

This year I am having a big number birthday and anniversary. We are taking a trip we dreamed about since we married. Plus the house needs attention. I have decided to pay attention to my health (due to the birthday) and do all the medical testing I have put off for years.

So my husband and I keep looking at each other and adding up all the costs and saying it is OK we will survive. We have had a lot of good years and all of these things need to be done, including the trip. You never know what tomorrow brings and some times it is OK to spend the money if you have saved it.


Carolyn August 11, 2015 at 10:20 am

My boyfriend and I do the cooler with the same type of easy to eat picnic foods as well on trips to the park, fair, etc. The one problem I have is my ex-husband never does that, he just buys junk food at the park or whatever and buys them whatever junk they ask for and as much as they want, he is too lazy to buy the food and pack a lunch. I will not spend $50 per child to buy them junk food all day. My kids now whine that they expect me and my boyfriend to do the same. He says no to that in complete agreement with me. Their dad cries he is broke because he cannot manage his money, nor say no to their crying for things. It is difficult to instill the value of money and being wise with your budget when they have bad influences when they go to their father’s place and he has no financial discipline.


Bobbi August 11, 2015 at 10:26 am

I also love your “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” slogan. When I first found your blog years ago, it resonated with me immediately. Mainstream culture encourages replacing perfectly good stuff with “upgrades” — everything from phones and computers to clothes and furniture — but I have always been the type to keep things as long as possible. I actually get a thrill out of getting more than my money’s worth from things, MUCH more of a thrill than buying something new or expensive. I’m wearing designer dress trousers today, that I bought at Goodwill for $12, and I’m typing on my perfectly functioning 5-year-old laptop, like “Haha! I’m not a sucker!” (Plus I save a lot of money for my true love: traveling with my family.)


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