Friday, October 24, 2014

Little Frugalities This Week in Retirement..

This first day of my non schedule life has been very sedentary-by choice. I got up this morning, grabbed my morning beverage and went back to bed with my laptop. I got up and had breakfast and then sat down with my laptop and tablet. Fear not, this lazy day was planned. My goal was to set up a couple passive income streams to earn a great many more gift cards before the holiday and explore a couple of online money making sites-making my day a success.  I'll talk about these passive streams more later. The point is, the day has gone the way I planned.

I was happy to see that one young women has left the hospital and the other is completely free of Ebola.  No one that contacted them has shown symptoms, and life goes on. Common sense prevails amid our search for a long term plan.  I remain more worried about a spider bite or the shingles at this point in time. And my daughter, who lives in Dallas, is much more worried about her very serious sinus infection than a communicable disease.

It is eighty four degrees outside as we speak, and while many if not most of our trees are golden, the warm weather has prevented a full fall. The front yard however, is filled with leaves from the crab apple tree, which has turned. Were it left to me, I would probably leave them on the ground until the trees were cleared. Other people will, most likely, have other ideas!

Meanwhile, a frugal retirement (even an extreme frugal retirement) is more about the little choices and steps we take while going about our fulfilling lives rather than gigantic labor intensive steps, much of the time. I've managed to include frugality, money making, and time and energy saving techniques into my day without affecting my quality of life in any real way.
  • I paid twenty dollars to join the Newcomers Club of Littleton. In truth, this is more a social club (of mainly retirees) than a newcomers club.  I've joined a book group, a single women's dinner group, and a "creating from the right side of the brain" group so far. This small annual fee has opened up a variety of activities.
  • I have needed new glasses for awhile (my prescription is almost six months old). I've been stymied for two reasons, one having no relationship to frugality. The first reason is that my prescription is drastically different and I know that adjustments will be needed.  The second reason was cost, and the fact that I LOVE my frames. I replaced them less than a year ago with duplicates due to a break. New frames are expensive and even in the online market I was looking at at least five hundred dollars for two pairs (sunglasses and progressives). My lenses are severely chipped and scratched however, so I did some exploring. I may be slow on the ball, but my town is the headquarters of a replacement lens company, and the quoted cost for putting lenses into these glasses I love was less than ninety dollars.  I'll take that deal-and start looking for sunglasses deals.
  • I continue to walk outside mainly and do silver sneakers weights a once or twice a week. Silver sneakers is not free for me, but more importantly, I want to take advantage of this beautiful weather for as long as we have it!
  • We continue to eat made from scratch, healthy food at a fairly low cost. My version of made from scratch generally consists of a slow cooker or casserole dish, so I do not spend a lot of time to have cheap but tasty meals.  In fact, my hostess dish for our rotating dinner group will consist of Italian style beef stew with loads of seasoning, wine, and more.
  • Two of my "crafty" groups had a materials exchange this week. This was a perfect example of frugal yet high entertainment.  Everyone brought a dish, the hostess provided the beverages.  We traded unwanted yarn, fabric, bead, wood and watercolors-and had a few discussions about items contributed to the pot whose purposes were questionablee. After a full afternoon of socializing and some wine imbibing, we also divvied up the leftover food and headed for home. Almost all of my socialization groups are free or almost free. We take turns bringing food to my three hour college class (which is a small group so this works), and my knitting class ends in happy hour.
  • I've set up my smart phone to play videos constantly, in order to maximize my gift card grabs cards from Swagbucks and Perk. This would not make financial sense if the only reason for my smart phone was earning gift cards.  Since I have unlimited data in my plan and I have a phone anyway, this is a smart move for me. My next post after the weekend will probably be on the perks gained from my various apps. For those who wonder, I receive approximately seventy dollars in gift cards each month for my time.
  • I made my brother a from scratch layer cake for his birthday-devils food with butter cream frosting. A cake like this would have cost at least twelve dollars at the grocery store, and perhaps fifteen. This took very little time, and was worth the effort.  My gift for him was a good pair of wool socks.  I've recently deciding that my gifting while be for things people need and use, or for things that I know they like and will not purchase themselves. Handmade gifts still fit into this template (as I sit knitting scarves and throws). My simple 100 percent wool socks were a gift my brother (who rarely says what he wants) really loves and something I KNOW he will use constantly.  Our birthday celebration consisted of watching the Broncos win (as always), cake, ice cream and family.
  • As always, when I check my email, various things show up in my feed.  Since I have a few frugal bogs as well as discount sites, this is always an adventurous time.  Today I discovered 33 Free and Cheap Things to do in Denver, Free Tickets to see "Before I Go to Sleep" (some readers may have read the book), Notification of Albertsons 25 cent and fifty cent sale on Tuesday; Adidas shirts on sale for less than ten dollars, and a ten dollar off 25 dollar JC Penney coupon (my son only wears the JC Penney tall guy long and short Tshirts) All of this and more done while drinking my cup of morning tea, along with a list of free kindle books and craft classes
  • I just sent my son to wash my bathroom rugs as well as some heavy blankets. This does cost some money, but eliminates the wear, tear and mess on my older washer. On occasion spending a little bit of money saves you more in the long run, and this is one of those towns.
  • I have been DVRing EVERYTHING. I have decided that the ability to eliminate commercials is healthy for both my pocketbook and my brain. This is especially true at this time of year. People who do not live in a swing state have no idea. Here in Colorado there is, literally, nothing but political advertisements on. Nasty, mean, name calling you name it.  I never thought I would be carping on the advantages of living in a mainly solid state, but there you have it. Maybe not a frugal choice, but a smart one for me.
  • And finally, my news feed also showed me that my social security will increase by twenty dollars or so in the new year. I'm unsure whether my government pension will get the similar treatment. On one level, twenty bucks is not a lot On the other hand an extra couple hundred bucks a year is never to be frowned on, no matter how it's used. Rather than compare that money to an inflation rate, I prefer to consider it "found money" and treat it as such.
And there you have it, frugality as it happens. Small choices and activities that have fit into my lifestyle this week, without causing deprivation or taking large chunks of time away from my retirement priorities.


    10 comments:

    1. Ohhh, I do like the idea of a craft exchange. I wonder if that is something I could set up here? Must think on that for a bit.

      God bless.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. And then everyone had a chance to take unclaimed stuff home or donate it.....

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    2. If you need some political ads- come over to Kansas! I think every brother and mother has put money into our political world. My husband and I have given up TV - except football (and we have learned where the mute buttons are).
      Wow! $70 a month for your time! I might have to look more seriously into these things!

      Sounds like all is well!

      ReplyDelete
    3. I just DVR it all thank heavens! Like I say a lot of it is passive smart phone stuff. I guess it deserves its own blog post.

      ReplyDelete
    4. Well nice to see you are not sitting back doing nothing! Will you have time for all those clubs you joined? What a great life you are setting up for yourself. I hope you go well with your money making ventures.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Oh yes, I definitely have time. I allow myself a half day at home and some days do not even leave the house.

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    5. Very exciting! I'm curious to hear what you have in mind for the passive streams of income. Looking forward to hearing more about this... but wanted to wish you the best of luck!

      - Jaclyn
      Home Instead

      ReplyDelete
    6. Thanks so much for the idea of a craft exchange. I passed it on to the manager at our homeowners' association. My garage is full of unused fabric, yarn, craft paints, etc., and I would love to trade with someone who could use them. I also have a retirement blog and I invite you to check it out: www.thingscouldbeworse.org.

      ReplyDelete
    7. SwagBucks is a very recommended work from home website.

      ReplyDelete
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