Today I Am . . .

by Katy on June 2, 2015 · 27 comments

Today I am . . . 

  • Happy that earned enough Swagbucks to buy a $25 Paypal gift card. I used to spend my points on $5 Amazon gift cards, but they ended their $5 gift card sale, and straight-up cash is infinitely more useful. I try to earn one of these per month, but screen-free week threw me off schedule.
  • Going to work to do the hands-on testing for my neonatal resuscitation certification renewal. However, I scheduled the class at the hospital a couple miles from the house rather than where I work, which is nine miles from home. I’ll save time and gasoline this way.
  • Planning on assembling a pan of enchiladas to use up the ingredients that didn’t get used the other day when I absentmindedly forgot to turn on the rice cooker.
  • Proud of my seventeen-year-old son who passed his driver’s test yesterday. We’ll wait awhile to actually activate his license, as the insurance is going to be a real budget buster.
  • Happy that I’ve been keeping up with my free Every Dollar online budgeting tool. I put a lot of work into inputting every May transaction, and it’s nice to simply keep up with it in real time rather than reconstructing the past.
  • Tickled that the last tenant at my mother’s guest cottage left an unfinished Grand Central coffee punch card that had enough on it to complete the one in my wallet. I never splurge on fancy coffees, so I now have a treat to look forward to. (I’ve been toting this card in my wallet for years!)
  • Hanging half a load of laundry on an indoor clothes rack while the other half tumbles in the dryer. Oregon clouds and rain are not friendly to evaporative laundry techniques.
  • Poring through my expenses and looking for any extra that can be cut.

Now your turn. What are you doing today?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Betsey June 2, 2015 at 11:41 am

Today I am
1. thinking that I will have to hire the mowing done in the back 40 since this is the second time the mower has malfunctioned
2. looking forward to the movies tonight with a free pass from a friend
3. glad that I have finished my to do list for the whole week!
4. relaxing with the dog
5. am so glad and thankful my ya ya sisters are meeting tomorrow for coffee


Nathalie June 2, 2015 at 11:47 am

Congrats to your son!

Today I am…

* thankful that it rained last night so I didn’t have to water my garden.
* enjoying a piece of strawberry summer cake that I made to use up some margarine and strawberries that were starting to get mushy.
* excited that my oldest son and his girlfriend will be staying at my house for a couple of weeks this summer as they will both be employed as clinicians for the local high school’s band camps. They live about 30 miles away so I rarely see them and I barely know my ersatz DIL so it’ll be an opportunity to get to know her better.
* celebrating that my husband learned today that he got a bigger raise than we expected and a much larger bonus that we expected as well. We need to discuss our options but we have some home repairs we need to do, maybe even send a chunk to the mortgage company to try to pay off the house even earlier than we had discussed and stash the rest in our retirement fund.
* excited that our trip to France is coming up very shortly, and a little frazzled too.
* unmotivated to make a shopping list for tomorrow yet I’m still clipping coupons “just in case”
* thrilled that Swagbucks credited me with 100 SB today just for redeemed coupons that I printed through their site and that I earned another 36 SB just by letting my phone play the videos from the SBTV app (just downloaded it yesterday) while I was doing other things around the house and on the laptop. Easy peasy.


Kate June 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm

*Fighting the urge to inhale the entire batch of strawberry-rhubarb compote I just made. So darn good!
*Never going in my finished basement again after finding an (admittedly small) snake in a glue trap. Nope. nope. nope.
*Waiting for the vinegar and baking soda to do their thing in the shower drain.
*Quizzing my daughter on literature terms and listening to my husband quiz her on Spanish for her finals this week.
*Really looking forward to the leftovers I’ll be having for dinner – apple bacon mac & cheese. Making it creates more dirty dishes than I could normally justify, but it’s yummy and we fight over the leftovers, so I’ll keep making it. 🙂


pattilou June 2, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Kate, I too had a finished basement/snake experience. I went into my laundry room at about 1am on a cold fall night to find a snake curled up in front of the dryer. I was home alone and couldn’t wake anyone up at that hour to come deal with it so I went to get a shovel and a garbage can to try to get rid of it. When I got back it was gone! It was a medium sized snake and I’m sure harmless but I don’t think I slept all night. By morning, in my mind , it was the size of a boa constrictor and I was going to find it in my clothes!!!
I don’t know how it got in or where it went but it took me awhile to be able to go into the room without feeling just a little bit freaked out!


Kate June 2, 2015 at 2:14 pm

That’s awful! I’m pretty sure I would have slept in my car. My husband and I are pretty sure it was a harmless milk snake, and one description even mentioned its penchant for hanging out in basements. He says he looked everywhere in the down there for signs of any other critters, but found nothing. Well, except for the stash of candy a friend’s 3-year-old tucked in a drawer in the bathroom in February. The big kids mentioned at the time that the little guy spent a lot of time running in and out of there during a party. 😉


Diane June 2, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Thanks for mentioning cutting expenses. I have a 15 year old car on which I am going to drastically reduce my insurance.


Chrissy June 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm

*Had my FIL recreate some of our wedding photos, for our five year anniversary– same poses and places but with my husband and our two year old daughter. Frugal as it was free, just used my camera and then he treated us to lunch at the winery we got married at.

*Car has a funky smell to it that we can’t seem to get rid of. Husband wanted to get it detailed ($90) but I am leaving it open all day today to try and air it out.

*Have a wedding to attend in a few weeks- borrowed a dress from a friend, have a goodwill dress for my daughter.

*Will eat free lettuce and peas from a community garden with dinner, although I am not sure what dinner will be yet……

*Put in a few request holds for our weekly trip to the library Thursday.


Christine June 2, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Today I am:
– Serving the same supper we had Sunday and Monday… we overbought (but on sale) for a get-together we hosted on Sunday because I didn’t realize how many of the kids at the event would opt for the hotdog option instead of ribs & corn. So, the food was already paid for but it’s making prep easy for the first part of this week! (We’ll probably need to have it at least one more night….)
– Doing frugal-ish hair. Loving my new haircut, happy that I support a local business person and get a deal by going to her home studio. I stretch out to 6 weeks between colouring, and I recently switched to a cheaper shampoo (from the same line I usually use) which I like better than the previous one I was using.
– Pre-washing and drying an end-of-bolt remnant in order to make a tank top for myself. Happy that a lot of the trends I’m liking right now look like things I could actually make myself. I have a few more projects in the queue with free fabric I’ve picked up from various sources, and some pattern books on hold at the library.
– Enjoying two new-to-us chairs that were unused in a relative’s house. She thinks there may be more in an outbuilding… if so we may replace our junky dining chairs and not need to buy new!


Chris June 2, 2015 at 12:37 pm

#1 Been listening to podcasts while walking the dog – more exercise for both of us.
#2 Recovered the cushion on the wicker loveseat with fabric I bought over 8 years ago. Still to go – the 2 chair cushions – but those are so much quicker.
#3 Lunch and dinner at home every day this week with a minimal grocery trip.
#4 Looking for free/low-cost activities for the 2 weekends in June while my niece and 2 nephews are here. Will also plan meals ahead for them so I don’t cave and buy pizza.
#5 Took apart the cushions on the freecycle metal outdoor chairs and found fabric in my stash for recovering – will have to buy spray paint. Also have to learn to use JBWeld to repair the joints that are broken!


beth June 2, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Katy – is there a fee or administrative fee’s to get Swagbucks through Paypal?

Five Frugals:
1. Decided to give Dave Ramsey’s online budget ago thanks to Katy 🙂 Should be an interesting month.
2. I put out buckets to collect rain water – how do you keep them from becoming breeding grounds for bugs? I don’t want to spend a lot of money on this that’s why I put out the buckets I had to hand water with, I consolidated what I could to eliminate breeding areas….
3. I have been focusing on meeting my daily Swagbucks goals – my initial goal was to earn enough to pay for gifts I buy year round i.e. Mothers Day, etc., now Katy has me thinking maybe I should go for PayPal instead and just bank the money…
4. Got a card in the mail from the thrift store I go to about scheduling fall appointments now (they close over the summer) – I booked my two and asked about when do they take Christmas stuff and got an extra appointment for just those items. 🙂 Found out will be receiving my final check early next week – that should help the Dave Ramsey budget income 😉
5. Had to turn the heat back on over the weekend, BUT when I am home if I hear it kicking on I click it down a few notches.
6. Bought a couple of dress/work blouses at the Sears/Lands End Dept. on clearance for work a month ago, they were a size to small and my goal was to lose weight to get into them. I am returning them this week as I decided its been a month and still can’t wear them better off returning them.


Katy June 2, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Nope, it’s a plain old $25 deposit into your PayPal account!


Sweta June 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm

How come you never talk about Bing rewards?


Katy June 2, 2015 at 4:37 pm

I haven’t ever done it. Should I?


Sweta June 2, 2015 at 5:15 pm
pattilou June 2, 2015 at 1:49 pm

*I spent a few hours at the repair shop waiting for my car to be inspected. The key fob stopped working in January (and the back up key didn’t work either) and after checking the fuse and replacing the battery with no success I just lived with it. I told the guys at the shop today what I had done and asked them to check it but I didn’t want to put any real money into fixing it. It turns out that the new battery that I bought was also dead! They didn’t charge me for the replacement.
*spent my time waiting for my car playing around on Swagbucks and reading a library book
*I successfully changed the overflow plate in my bathtub. Woo Hoo, I feel like the Queen of home improvement lately!
*I’m celebrating my plumbing victory by eating a leftover peanut butter cupcake that I made for an event last night.


Ellen June 2, 2015 at 2:16 pm

I believe once he has a license you are required to insure. If something happens you could have an issue. Might check with your company.


Katy June 2, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Yes, that’s true. He took the driving test with his driver’s ed teacher yesterday, but doesn’t have a physical license yet. He’ll be mailed a plastic card, which can be traded for a DMV license for up to two years.


Bonnie June 2, 2015 at 3:09 pm

If you are eligible, you may want to check out the insurance rates at USAA. Our auto rates went down by almost 50% when we switched. ( I am not affiliated with them! )


another trish June 2, 2015 at 3:15 pm

I had the worst day yesterday, frugallity-wise.

I went grocery shopping at Winco on my way home from music class (with my son) but when I went to pay, my wallet was not in my purse. I had to drive 20 minutes home, grab some cash out of the dresser, and drive 20 minutes back to be my groceries. Then drove another 20 minutes back home. By then I had to put the baby down for a nap while I searched frantically for my wallet. After my mom came to take the baby, I drove another 20 minutes to work and searched frantically there. With no success, I drove 20 minutes back home. By the time I got home I remembered a form I needed to submit by 4:00 to our district office for $500 reimbursement. It was too late but I drove 20 minutes to slip it into an envelope and into the inter district mail in hopes they might take it.
All of the time! All of the gas! All of the pollution! All of the money!
I plopped down in my reading chair in defeat when I got home, and noticed my wallet tucked into the bookshelf! I had hid it from my son and forgotten doing it. Smh.


Nathalie June 2, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Oh my! But I’ll bet you were really relieved to have found your wallet after all that! I’m very forgetful too so I understand exactly how that could have happened.


Katy June 2, 2015 at 4:34 pm

I think you’ve hit your wasted time and unnecessary stress quota for the week, which means the rest should be smooth sailing!


Isabelle June 2, 2015 at 3:48 pm

* pulling the plug on home researchs and visits. We started looking at houses couple DAYS ago and already DH and I are fighting, feeling anxious, being short with the kids. Nah, not worth it! So we are staying put in our town house for now, saving both money and sanity!
* brought the 2004 Toyota Echo for some repairs. 900$ later, it’s better, but we still have to make repairs for another 1300$… Lots of money but still cheaper then a new car at this point.
* Decided to stay in for my “kids free night” instead of going out to eat and watch a movie. Bagels, cretonnade and Netflix it is!
* worked my regular 3.75 hours shift at the hospital
* Got 25 free boxes from work in prevision of moving…. will post them on Freecycle.

Have a great frugal day!


Ellendra June 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm

You can make fancy coffee drinks pretty easily.

My favorite is an iced chocolate mocha. I make about half a cup of coffee (using a handheld mini french press thingy that I got for $12 off Amazon. We don’t drink enough coffee to make a whole pot.), then add chocolate mix (Ovaltine’s “Milk Chocolate” seems to have the best flavor, but opinions may vary), whole milk (NOT skim, if you use skim it will taste watered down), and ice. I could put it in a blender to make a frappe, but that’s more work than I’m usually up to in the mornings. I pack the mocha in a reusable sports bottle so I can sip on it at work.

I sometimes get flavored ground coffee when it’s on sale, so I can have a hazelnut or caramel mocha.


Katy June 3, 2015 at 8:20 am

Sounds delicious, but it’s also nice to sit in a coffee shop and doodle ideas into a notebook while drinking a coffee prepared by a stranger.


Elise June 3, 2015 at 4:38 am

Awesome job with the Swagbucks! I need to sit down and really dedicate myself to earning more…right now though I would much rather eat cookies and watch Frasier.

Today, however, I am taking my girls on a tour of an ice cream store where they get to see how it is made and then help decorate (and eat) an icecream cake. Its kind of throws a wrench into my “No Spend June” plan, but we committed before I decided to cut back our spending and its only $5, so it could be worse.


Amanda June 3, 2015 at 8:01 am

Today I am:

1. Working on my thesis and learning Spanish for my language exam with books I borrowed, got from the library, was given, or bought for pennies used on Amazon.
2. Sneaking out during the work day to see a matinee with my husband. We love movies in the theater, but we rarely see them because the kids aren’t old enough to come along. If we go when the kids are in school we get matinee prices (plus I have a gift card), and we don’t pay a sitter.
3. Debating having our attic insulated. I got a very fair estimate from a “green” contractor. Plus several folks in the energy field have told us that our 100 year old, uninsulated house is losing lots of air through the attic. It is always hot upstairs and cold downstairs. It would be nice to cut that differential a bit and perhaps save some heating and cooling costs.
4. We turned the air off! In June! In Virginia! A cold front came in yesterday, so we’re hoping to keep the AC off the next few days.
5. Making from-scratch spaghetti with meat sauce for supper. The boys will happily eat leftovers tomorrow night too. The side salad will be made of greens some friends gifted us from their garden.
6. Of course eating leftovers from last night for lunch.


Nathalie June 4, 2015 at 5:43 am

If you have an attic and the funds to pay for the insulation, I think you should go for it. We have an 85 year old home here in Florida, 2 stories, and the upstairs is always so much hotter than the downstairs that I have taken to just sleeping on the futon in my living room. Alas, we don’t have an attic or even a crawl space under the roof. It sits right on top of the ceiling and there really isn’t a place to put insulation behind the walls either. The other side of the house (an extension built in the 70s) is even worse. The previous owners really cheapened out (cheaped out?) and didn’t bother insulating it at all, again not even leaving space between the roof and the ceiling for any insolation. It’s costing us a pretty penny to keep the house cool enough and we still have to use pedestal fans (no ceiling fans nor wiring for them!).
Also I think it would make your house more attractive to potential buyers if you ever were to sell it. I’ll bet you’ll save lots of money on your power bill!


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