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Frugal Steps I Have Been Working On

July 11th, 2013 at 11:28 am

At the beginning of this month, I ran short of money and borrowed $800 from my sister to be returned at the end of this month when I get paid. I want to use as little of this money as possible in order to be able to pay it back and still have money to send towards CC payments. I have been more frugal so far this month than I have been all of this year.

Eating In: Thus far, I have only spent $15 on pizza one evening. This was for a secret shop, and I will get reimbursed, but not for another two months, so I am counting it as an expense for this month. My partner took me out to Chinese restaurant on my birthday. I received a couple of free desserts and one free entrée coupons as birthday rewards and we have used them. Other than that we have been using what we have at home and shopping only for the bare perishable essentials – milks, veggies, meat etc. I cut my allowance for the Eating Out and Grocery budgets this month because I need to repay my sister. Also, we are going out of town for a wedding next week, and there will be some gas and meal costs to reckon for later.

Online Rewards and Secret Shops: I have been trying to use Swagbucks and Secret Shops to earn some extra cash. I have got two $5 Amazon cards on Swagbucks thus far, and maybe I will be able to get 5 of these this month. I have done two secret shops, and have one more scheduled. The thing with secret shops is that although they will pay you back, it is not until a while later. Maybe I will send these amounts to the EF when I receive them.

I have been tracking where all my money is going and have a spreadsheet that tracks every penny. This will be helpful, I am sure. Small starting steps, but I feel a sense of pride and motivation when I do these things. It is a good feeling.

6 Responses to “Frugal Steps I Have Been Working On”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Great job!!

  2. SecretarySaving Says:

    Even though you get reimbursed for the secret shops you are still out that money in the meantime. See if it is actually enough to really be worth the hassle for you to be out that money in the meantime.

  3. IndianGal Says:

    I know! I don't like the wait. Thankfully only two of the shops I did this month were reimbursement based, and I am going to count them as expenses for the month. The other two that I have to do before the end of the month are "observation" shops, and don't require me to make a purchase. :-)

  4. My English Castle Says:

    You might consider selling something or if you have things you've charged and not used or worn, returning them.

  5. Bob B. Says:


    I just read your entry where you detailed your debts/interest rates/budget.

    I was in a very similar situation in October 2010.

    If you stick to your plan, in two years you will see a world of difference. Your debts will go down. Your monthly minimum payment will decrease. You will get some breathing room.

    And - the real trick is getting through between the second and third year of your plan - when your monthly minimum payments aren't as severe, and you don't *have* to pay the $2,245 per month just to keep up.

    Just stick with your plan, and you can be debt free in three years!

    It sounds as if your plan is to pay off from highest interest rate to lowest. That's the strategy I used. I paid the minimum on everything else, and attacked the highest interest rate card.

  6. IndianGal Says:

    Thank you Bob! I hope I don't run out of steam. I think posting regularly here will help me keep accountable. It has already been helping to post things on here. My plan is to pay off the money I borrowed from my sister first since she will need it next month. Then I will send payment from highest to lowest interest rate - just like you did. I hope it works for me.

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