Monday, November 10, 2008

Living Frugal

...or, as we call it, being poor.

I am taking the 30 day challenge to save a thousand bucks.
Hi, I'm Marissa and I want to save money...

So here are the first 7 of the 30 tips. Let's see where I stand, shall we?

1. Pack your lunches for the week.
Ok, I live on a rock, 8 miles out to sea. Seriously. I would be all over a Dunkin'Donuts if we had one, and I'd surely know if there were a McDonald's say, out on the head. There are no restaurants here (there are two take-outs in the summer which we cannot afford to frequent). There are no convenience stores. There is no supermarket. No gas station. 
I've lived here for 11 years. I make lunches every day. I have no choice!
Total Savings=0

2. Turn your thermostat down 3'.
Umm, my thermostat is set to 50, and it hasn't kicked on at all.(Except for the 2 times The Big Guy turned it on. I turned it back off when he wasn't looking, and he didn't notice. It's been pretty warm here. The coldest weather we had was the week the boys were away moose hunting, and thing One and I froze our butts off!)
Total Savings=0

3. Sell something on Ebay today.
I'm working on this. Problem is, I don't have 1 something to sell on Ebay, I have BOXES of crap that I've been setting aside to sell on Ebay. It's a freakin' full-time job!! But I have picked 10 things (lots of clothing), weighed and found boxes at the post office, and now just need to list them. This is still in progress...
Total Savings=?

4. Involve your friends in your savings challenge.
I wasn't sure what this meant, until I read the whole post. My friends don't influence my spending, because there is no place here to spend money. When we go off, we go alone. And we have a very tight budget. So I guess we do this already.
Total Savings=0

5. Optimize your cell phone bill.
This is a good one. Everyone should do this. I do it once a year, because I've been with US Smellular for the 11 years we've lived in their area, and I've been a 'free agent' (not under contract) for 9 of the 11 years. They LOVE me. I call them ALL THE TIME. I'm constantly changing my plan, and they are constantly trying to 'sell' me stuff, because they want me in a contract. It's sooo much fun. I am currently locked into a dirt cheap plan with a buttload of minutes- so many minutes that we dropped the long distance on our landline and still don't use them all. (I'd get rid of the landline entirely, but I'd lose my DSL connection. CAN'T HAVE THAT HAPPEN!!) I call every time I see or hear about a new promo, to see if it's any cheaper than my current plan. So far none have been.
Total Savings=0

6. Use gas prices to become your own hedge fund.
I was so freakin happy to see gas prices come down! The high prices did not seamlessly slip into our budget as they appear to have for Ramit and his many readers. No, here at The rock, it went something like, 'what can we NOT put gas in so we can keep running the boat?'. Turned out to be whatever I'm driving. We keep one car on the mainland for emergencies (and to avoid a $30.00 ferry ticket every time we go off- I'll say it; I'm that cheap.), and the truck here for work- both his and mine. I have so far avoided having to drop off and pick up the mail bag(s) and many boxes with the kids little red wagon, but it's been close! We've been sharing the truck. It'd do-able. (Plus, I'm cheating a bit-I've had the van here; usually it's on the mainland. It's going off next Wednesday. I don't use much gas, we only have one mile of road, and we, make let the Things walk to and from school the four trips every day. When I need gas in the van I suck it out of the truck. Don't tell The Big Guy.
Total Savings=0, since we cut back on gas instead of spending more on it.

7. Create a 'no spending' day once a week.
This is genius. A great idea for you $5 latte sucking commuters.
But again, there is nothing here (except the post office) to spend money on, so EVERY DAY IS A NO SPENDING DAY. I pay bills online as necessary. We never ever have cash on the island. We order stuff for the business when we have to (and it ain't often!). And that's that.
Total Savings=0

So there it is. I will make whatever I make off Ebay.
Wow, I guess I suck at this saving money challenge!

He has some great tips- if you're not already using them, you should be. I'm actually considering dropping my internet and phone in the spring, just temporarily. We'll see.
And the readers' tips in the comments are helpful, too.

And it's free!!


  1. Wow. I can't believe you didn't manage to "save" any money off of those tips you posted. Our gas bill doubled this month and I'm still cold all the time! I think we turned the heat on twice! Thanks for the link though...I'm definitely going to check it out...there's way more temptation over here so I'm not sure if I'm up for the challenge...yet...

  2. I had to turn the heater on again this morning, it was 55 in the house when I got up. But I only let it take the chill off and then I shut the heat off again. I wonder how much I saved :-)

  3. I was laughing out loud with you because we already do that stuff, too. Except for the furnace. I can't function if the temps in the house are in the 50°s..