I did a diary of half my day, just to see how I apply my strategically frugal lifestyle to routine activities. So here is a snapshot of my day (this was months ago, but I forgot to publish it :-) Feel free to share your tips and comments below!
7:30: Got up, got ready to get the day started. Needed to be someplace at 9am so no time to cook breakfast. Grabbed a free breakfast sandwich from Panera, and drank water and had a banana I brought from home on the way.
TIP: If you know you have a busy day, plan ahead. Purchase foods you can take on the go (banana's, bottled water, etc...) instead of buying it. Save the calories and the money! If you have to eat out, go to places where they reward you. Get your family members who don't save or who have no interest in getting freebies, use your rewards card. For example, have family members use your Panera card when they go. Panera is very generous with their perks so eating free once a month is highly doable. Beverages are expensive, so save your money and bring your own.
2:00PM: Completely exhausted, hungry and in need of a mocha Frapp stat! Picked up business cards that I ordered from Staples at FULL PRICE (GASP!) and headed to Starbucks. But before I could get to Starbucks, got pulled over by the police because my brake light is out. Luckily, I have extra lights and have learned how to fix it myself :-) Made it to Starbucks and splurged by getting a Grande mocha Frapp (not my usual Tall). Ate 100 calorie snack I had with me instead of buying a pricey Starbucks pastry. Paid for it with my Starbucks gift card I won :-)
TIP: Sometimes, you just have to indulge. And today, Starbucks was calling my name. Thankfully, I won a Starbucks gift card which I used. Since I do surveys and such, I will make an effort to choose Starbucks gift cards as my reward from time to time. I don't make Starbucks a habit...as it can be expensive. I stock coffee and creamer at home that I pay pennies for thanks to couponing. But if I need a Starbucks fix, I will have gift cards to cover my addiction! What places do you frequent? Figure out how to shop for free or for pennies!
Yeah...so I got pulled over. Smh. No ticket though! And I will be changing my own light and saving the money it would otherwise be putting into a mechanics pocket.
TIP: Sometimes is OK to splurge, but be prepared. Gift cards are perfect for this. So save your gift cards for times when you want to treat yourself. Taking survey's is a perfect way of getting gift cards for free. My favorite survey site is MySurvey, to learn more about them and sign up click here.
I am NO mechanic, but a few simple things I've learned to do myself which saves me money such as change brake lights. Learn to do this and save yourself anywhere from $20-$100 per year. I also could have had a costly ticket, I should have avoided this by just fixing the light as soon as I knew it was out! Thank goodness the cop didn't give me a ticket.
- Snacking and beverages are costly...bring your own when and wherever possible!
- Fix things before they become an even bigger problem!