Sunday, February 26, 2012

Swagbucks and No Spend March

You guys already know about Swagbucks*, so I won't bore you with the details of how it works. But I did want to let you know that my casual use of it has netted me 165 dollars in Amazon money. I imagine I make an extra 5 dollars a month just searching, so that's cool.

If you're not a member, you should be. That being said, my new favorite thing is the Bing Rewards. I used to do Club Bing and that was boring as heck. In fact, I only cashed in points for airline miles. I can never get that time back again.

They just changed to a new system, so go ahead and check it out already. For simply following directions** I was able to get enough credits for 100 xBox live points. There are a lot points flying around.

Bing searches are pretty much identical to Swagbucks searches (try to stay with me) and the point systems are different and award at different levels. Either way you can fund your various and sundry habits hobbies with little to no interest/work/bandwidth.

So that brings us to March. This month George and I have decided to make it one of those classy "no spend" months. We can obviously spend money on groceries, personal care items and bills. We make the rules here.

Here's why: we used to use a cash only system when Jord brought in cash tips from work. In fact, we literally*** used envelopes. Paper ones. It was a great system, but that's just not the best thing for us right now. Fortunately, Mint is my digital envelopes, if my envelopes reminded me about my upcoming student loan payments.

Mint recently reminded me that we spend a little over 200 dollars on entertainment, eating out and other things that aren't necessary.

We also spent a little over 150 on mystery shopping. We'll get this back, but we're not doing that this month. We may wait until I get paid to start again, and use that as a revolving budget for restaurant shops.

350 extra dollars this month would be fantastic, you know? And when I'm in the middle of it, a quick pizza purchase seems to make a whole lot of sense. And sometimes, it really does. But we're going to try to just put that stuff off for this one month. We'll see how it goes.

Either way, it's just the 1st. Things are looking up.

*Gotcha! Or also:
**Very simple. You do need to know how to read.
***Chris Traeger, anyone?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day and a New Blog Name

In the spirit of our weirdo obsession with having fun on very little money, we ate dinner on a Groupon and ate dessert at a mystery shop. Specifically, we ate dinner at Redbones and dessert at J.P.Licks.

We've had the Groupon for quite a while. In fact, Redbones isn't really a date night type of place* and we didn't really plan to use it for Valentine's. It's also located in one of my favorite areas of Boston, Davis Square. It was a fantastic night.

You don't want to hear anymore about my aWEsomE lyFE.

The mystery shopping thing was spur-of-the-moment. Different programs have different rules, but the one I use most--Goodwin & Associates-- allows shoppers to sign up for shops on the spot. Earlier that day I was perusing my usual frugalz sites (sexy, ya heard?) and saw that there were multiple J.P. Licks shops open. This chain is based out of Jamaica Plain and is known for being very tasty.

But back to my story: I was jonesing for some cheesecake. As Redbones only had pecan pie on the menu grody I decided to hold off and wait until we got to our neighborhood to find some excellent dessert. My intention was to go to Mike's Donuts**. It was closed.

"If we're going all the way down there, why don't we just get some cheesecake ice cream from J.P. Licks?" he says.

"Omg. Hold my coat," I say.

Remembering the open shop assignment, I got on my sexy Android device, read the requirements and signed up, then and there. Actually, I was signing up as I was crossing the street.

It was easy easy. We had to order ice cream and a coffee. We actually ended up 3 dollars richer.

We actually had a no-spend Valentine's Day-- we had to get each other gifts for nothing. We were both pretty successful, I think. Really, it's not that hard to find free things for someone you know well and love. I don't mind spending money for things like Valentine's Day, and I expect there will be many, many years where we spend Valentine's Day in London and St. Lucia. You get me.

And speaking of spending no money, today we cashed in our Papa John's Superbowl pizza. We walked quite a ways to get it, but it was pretty good.

Also, they charged us a nickel. I don't know why.

And finally, all both of you that read this blog may have noticed the name change. I was never fond of the other name(s), and I settled on this as it's a family term for awesomely cool advancements***. I'm trying to advance my life, you know****.

*It's not got sawdust on the floor or peanuts in buckets. It's not, like, Cowboys Seafood, or anything.
***When my youngest brother was very young, he was informed by my father that some vehicles were being manufactured with built in DVD players and little screens in the headrests. His jubilant exclamation-- "That's the future of human cars, man!"-- has entered into our family's lexicon. In fact, I use that phrase as a matter of course to refer to anything that seems particularly technologically advanced. I mean, am I the only one that sees Siri as ushering in a Minority Report-esque future? Probs am!
****In the sexyfun cool frugals way, you know.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

No new clothes. OK.

I've not posted about the no clothes buying in 2012 thing in a while.

I've not really needed to, as I haven't worked outside my house for a while. Jord already has plenty of clothing for school. School clothes, if you will.

When we were packing up our clothing for our move, I got rid of most of our clothes and kept some that needed some slight mending (hemming stuff, or repairing small tears). As we've needed to repair more items, I've just put them aside in a bag in our closet. My intentions are pure; when I sit and watch TV, I mean to bring out my "mending" things and repair them.

I've repaired like one thing.

I've been applying to jobs that would require me to have business-appropriate attire. I believe I have a selection of church clothes that I could wear. Sunday best.

Anyways, it's almost March and I've made one purchase: some snow boots. Surprise! I don't need them this winter.