Category Archives: Uncategorized

Recent Natural Product Purchases

Since having my son I am becoming even more conscious of what I put on my skin. Here are a few products I have tried out recently:

 

I have loved Renpure products since I was a freshman in college. I recently ran out of my liter of conditioner I bought last year on sale at Ulta and decided to pick this up on a whim. It smells really good, but I do not think it does much for my hair. I have been using it for about two weeks now and it seems like my hair is much oilier than normal. I will continue using it up and give an update! $6.99 @ Target

Although this product isn’t 100% natural I love it. I feel like it really makes my skin feel nice. I more than likely will not repurchase it because I am going to try to make it. I just need to find someone to give me their old coffee grounds since neither my husband nor I drink coffee. Price: Around $13

I was super excited when I saw this deodorant at TJ Maxx for $3.99. Ive been wanting to try deodorant paste since seeing an episode of Shark Tank that featured a brand. I really like this deodorant. The smell is nice and goes away soon after application which i prefer.

 

It comes with a small spatula that you use to put the paste on your fingers and then you apply to your underarms.

I recently decided I wanted to make my household cleaners with essential oils so I ordered this set of Amazon for around $15. I’m sure there are better brands out there, but for cleaning this should do the trick.

I have been wanting to try this mask for a few years but never got around to ordering it on amazon. My husband and I went to an HEB (our local grocery store) a little farther away from our house and I found it for around $6. I love it. Since I am breastfeeding I cannot use a lot of acne fighting ingredients. This really helps my skin stay clear.

Since finding out the Garnier Miceller water had cancer causing chemicals in it I have been trying to find a replacement that is just as good. I picked this up today at Costco for $6.97 which is a good price considering the 6.7oz size would be at least that much at Target. I haven’t used it yet so I will update with my thoughts.

 

These are a few new to me products I have purchased recently. I will do a followup post and let you all know how I feel about them!

 

 

 

Salvation Army Family Day Finds!

 

Wednesdays at the Salvation Army all clothes, shoes, purses, and jewelry are 50% off. Since having my son I am a completely different size. Surprisingly I am smaller now than when I was pregnant. I have one pair of jean shorts and it is now getting hot in Austin, Texas. So instead of buying brand new clothes I am trying to only buy used.  Before my husband went to work I quickly went to the thrift store. Here are my finds:

 

A Halo Sleep Sack for .99

 

A cute Alice shirt for .99. It was too small for me so I am going to try to see it on ebay.

Carters Child of Mine Pj’s .99

A Billabong scrunch butt bathing suit bottom .99. The only clothing item I bought for myself that fits.

Hollister shorts $1.99. These did not fit either.

 

After baby I have no idea what size I am. I guess I am forced to go back next week!

-Candy

Dec 2016 Recent Thrift Finds

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One of the fun things about winter break is having more time to do some thrift shopping! With my sister and good friend both expecting babies I had a lot of fun looking for baby items! Thrift shops are great places to get baby items because they don’t usually get worn for long and people tend to buy a lot of nice stuff for baby showers. Thankfully both my sister and friend don’t care if items are brand new or not.

In the above picture you can see:

  • Burp cloths on the left
  • Cute baby clothes in the middle
  • Some cute dog clothes on the right

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One of my favorite local thrift shops sells shoes for $1 on Fridays and I was very excited to find two basically brand new pairs of ballet flats and then a pair of 9 West Black Sling back heels that I have been search for forever!

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I’ve wanted a closet hanging jewelry holder for a long time and this one was only $4 and I love the color and pattern.

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I was excited to find this Boppy Pillow cover for my sister for $2 because I know they are usually $15-20

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B found these Timberland boat shoes for $1. This isn’t a great pic of them but they are comfortable and he can wear them to his office job.

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More cute baby clothes with Gimli testing them out.

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I was excited to find the adorable basket on the left with the tags still on it and the queen sized sheet set for our bed in green. The cow pot holder will be a gag gift.

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We use all towels in this house until they are falling apart and then use them as rags. The hand towels were 75% off because they are Christmas themed and the other two towels were in great shape. I’m really picky about towels.

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More cute, cute baby stuff!

12-23-2016 A Few Frugal Things- A Very Frugal Couple of Weeks

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– On the last day of the semester I brought my home brewed coffee to work in my .50 cent Starbucks reusable coffee mug and was given the above pictured amazing Dunkin Donuts donut and a Ghirardelli chocolate.

– Then for lunch that day I was given Papa John’s pizza, cheese and fruit at our last faculty meeting.

– The dean gave all of his faculty a bag of white chocolate pretzel cookies and a lotto ticket for the holidays.

– I really wanted to buy lunch between finals earlier in the week but I decided to bring food from home instead.

– A month ago, I bought chemical free, amazing smelling soaps to give to my colleagues for the holidays. They were only $1 each from Dollar Tree and I printed little thank you notes to go with them. I love giving gifts and my friends loved them.

– I returned a couple of items to Publix today and used the gift card to buy a few things we needed including dog food, cat litter (that had a $2 off attached coupon) and rice to use for rice warmer Christmas gifts. The dog food was labeled BOGO but it didn’t ring up right. Turns out the sign was old so they gave us both bags for free as per Publix Promise.

– The prescription I picked up at Publix was also free.

– We used an old gift card that was gathering dust to buy 3 Awesome Christmas presents. I won’t say what they are in case they read this but the items were on sale from $35 to $15 and frankly I want one.

– We are out of Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap but instead of paying $10-15 to replace it we are using up what we have and also using other chemical free bar soap in place to delay this purchase. It is also motivating me to go through our bathroom cabinets to find items to get rid of or use up.

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– I combined a whole bunch of my face makeup container remnants. You would not believe how much is left over in the packaging once they appear “empty.” I used a spatula and put them in the small glass container in front (see above picture) that my aunt gave me to reuse.

– I am watching the documentary minimalism on Netflix.

– I sewed 6 rice warmer heating pads that can be used for your neck, belly, etc using a pair of PJ pants that I bought at Goodwill and rice that I got for free from returning something to Publix.

-I made a lot of returns that had been sitting around the house waiting for the semester to end.

-We have been doing an unofficial eat from the pantry challenge the past couple weeks leading up to Christmas. I LOVE it because we are finally clearing out

Not So Frugal-

-I wasn’t able to return a few items because I waited too long. Oh well!

-I paid very little for Christmas gifts this year mostly using gift cards or making them. However, there were a few bigger gifts I purchased. At great frugal prices but still spending money.

-We also decided to do Christmas at home this year instead of traveling and taking our usual 10 hours of driving around to all of the relatives. Thanks to our fuel efficient car this isn’t expensive as far as gas goes but it’s tiring. Instead I bought some great food for a fancy Christmas dinner and dessert. It will last for more than one meal and will be worth every penny but it’s fancier than our usual meals.

Extra Income

– My dad is planning a yard sale. I’m using it as motivation to get rid of junk! Even if the sale never happens we hope to move in the next few months and if we don’t love it or use it or need it then there is no point in keeping it. Maybe this will motivate me to take some clothes to the Plato’s closet type store for dress clothes.

-I just posted my first sewing pattern for sale on Craftsy

Chemical Free

– We once again have gnats in our kitchen. I wish we could figure out where they are coming from but I honestly think it’s just the area we live in. I refuse to have the house sprayed for bugs so we use an alternate solution. We have a small cook pot and we boil water. For some reason the flies are drawn to it and drown. This is chemical free and costs very little.

12-1-16 A Few Frugal Things-

football

– Brant made Salmon and rice for dinner and we had the leftovers again the next night. It’s healthy and inexpensive.

– I randomly add cash back deals (for free) to my Bank of America (not a huge fan of this bank but it is what I currently use) debit card and then forget about them. If I use them great but if not, then it doesn’t take more than a few seconds. I just looked and I’m getting $6 cash back unexpectedly from a purchase I made a month ago. Free money!

– We visited my in-laws for Thanksgiving and went to three huge dinners. Everyone made a dish and I bought our ingredients at ALDI before we left but we were in such a rush I forgot a few things and we went to a Walmart Neighborhood Walmart to get what we needed. Our ingredients were bought inexpensively but the food was amazing and there was plenty to go around.

– My semi-ban on shopping at Walmart has probably ended because now that I sew I know that they are one of the only stores that sews fabric, much less affordably. I still don’t plan on making them my main shopping place but I guess it will be harder to avoid them. I will also continue to buy fabric from the thrift shop including items that I can use as fabric.

– While we were out of town for a week we turned off our AC, unplugged all electronics, and turned off our water heater so hopefully our electric bill will go down.

– While we were out of town our family fed us most of our meals (although we contributed), provided a place to stay and we didn’t have to pay for any activities other than gas to get there.

– I enjoy being home and playing with the Puppy which is FREE and fun.

– Now that I am sewing I have not yet bought any patterns as I can just print free ones off of the internet. I am also repairing various items that need to be sewn around the house.

– Our neighbor is a retiree but a huge fan of the local university’s football team where I used to teach and we are alumni. She gave us 3 free tickets to Saturday’s game and we went with my brother. She also gave us a free parking pass for the day. We ate before we went and shared a refillable soda during the hot game since we weren’t allowed to bring anything, including water, into the stadium.

– My mom came to visit us this weekend and after the game we took the puppy out on the tennis courts at our townhome community and ran around and hit tennis balls back and forth. It was a beautiful day to be outside in Florida.

– For lunch we went to one location of the restaurant chain my brother works at and had a great meal for half off. We brought home so many left overs that we ate again for dinner and will again for lunch.

– I’ve been teaching myself to sew over the past year. I recently joined a Facebook group called Fluff Love Sewing and their impressive and fun projects have inspired me. I have learned how to sew small shirts for my little dog.

– My sewing group highly recommended some felt blankets for $2.50 that many of them were using for projects and we went to the store and found some

– I have been sewing dog shirt/sweaters out of the fleece blankets which are better quality than inexpensive dog clothes you can buy in the store.

– Out of my fabric scraps I have been cutting out fleece circles to use to remove my makeup instead of cotton balls or napkins. This also helps reduce waste in our house.

– I made a huge pot of spaghetti for dinners this week. It’s frugal and saves time making multiple dinners.

 

Not So Frugal-

– I forgot that my Kindle was in the bottom of my school bag after our trip and I broke the screen. It sucks but there is nothing I can do.

– I think I lost my Hydroflask water bottle. It’s like a Yeti but it seals so you can throw it in a bag and it won’t spill. Thankfully I have another one but I will keep looking for it.

 

Extra Income

– I am now teaching a night class at the college where I work after another professor’s family emergency. It means that my Mondays are now very, very long but I am being paid very well. I don’t have to do any extra driving since I am already on campus. I am looking at it as extra Christmas money but I’m also very tired right now. I’m looking forward to Christmas break.

8-20-16 Thrift Shop Finds

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I was excited to pick up some clothes for teaching like the Ann Taylor skirt on the lower left.

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This Express dress was only  $6 and I think it will be perfect for all of the baby showers I will be attending this year!

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Nine West shoes (left) are my crack cocaine of shoes because I can wear them for 12 hours without them hurting my feet. And I adore the Christian Siriano (love him from project runway!) slingback heels on the right!

the tightwad gazette

I was also super excited to pick up this copy of The Tightwad Gazette for $2! This is only the first book and I have the complete one you can see below but I absolutely love this book! It’s full of amazing money saving ideas! I will pass it along to someone else who wants to read it.

Swagbucks- How to Earn $10 From Your Mobile Device

Swagbucks is the web’s most popular rewards program that gives you free gift cards and cash for the everyday things you already do online. Whenever you shop, watch videos or search the web, Swagbucks gives you points called SB. You can use your SB to redeem gift cards to hundreds of your favorite stores.  With the Swagbucks Mobile and SBTV apps I can use my spare minutes to earn free gift cards on my phone! Like the Swagbucks website, I can rack up SB by shopping, answering surveys and watching videos.  [if you have any more ideas that relate to you personally, replace a below example or put them here!] While you wait for the coffee to brew, download free games and other apps through the Discover tab: 20 SB During commercial breaks, take a featured survey or fill out your survey profile: 60 SB While standing in line at the grocery store, answer the daily poll: 1 SB When you’ve finally made it to the gym, watch style, tech and celeb news through the SBTV app: 2 SB for every 10 videos Just as you’ve put dinner in the oven, your Swagbucks app tells you there’s a new Swag Code!: 3 SB Before you go to sleep, use the Swagbucks app to shop from your favorite stores. You deserve it!: 100 SB  By downloading the Swagbucks mobile app, I can earn a free $10 gift card by the end of my week. Who knew playing on my phone could be so productive! Invite your friends to download the Swagbucks Mobile app so they can start earning their way to free gift cards. It’s 100% free to download and 100% easy to use. Its available for both iPhone and Android devices.

How to Pack for a Week In a Free Personal Item Bag – Even with Allegiant and Spirit Airlines Restrictions

How to Pack for a Week in a Personal Item Bag

By NEY

When my sister Candy (one of the authors of this blog) and her husband moved to Texas for his job I knew that airports and flying were going to become a way of life since there was no way I could go more than a few months without seeing my sister!

We are really fortunate that we live between two airports: a major airport and a smaller more local airport. We have a lot of flights to choose from when flying between Florida and Texas. However, recently the least expensive choice has been flying in and out of the smaller, local airport on the discount airline Allegiant. I know that there are many people who hate this airline but I have mostly had positive experiences with them but you do have to expect that you will probably be leaving and arriving somewhat late. Usually the delays are under an hour and they are frequently $200 less than the next cheapest flight. In addition, they are the only option when flying our of the small airport and you don’t have to arrive very early if you aren’t checking a bag.

All of this being said, the only bag you are allowed to bring on this airline included for free in the price of your ticket is a personal item bag.

From their site

“Every passenger can bring One Free Personal Item

Your Personal Item (like a purse, briefcase, or a small backpack) must be stored completely underneath the seat in front of you.

Maximum dimensions are 7 x 15 x 16 inches (17.8 x 38.1 x 40.6 centimeters)”

personal-item

While I was actually on the plane I measured with a pocket tape measure and the under seat dimensions where the bag has to fit is actually closer to 15 x 10 x 16 so if you are a little over 7 inches you should be okay. They don’t usually check the personal items that closely. I’ve actually never had one checked at all but I have seen people charged right before getting on the plane when their bags were obviously too big and then it costs $50 per carry on bag.

It costs $30-$50 to add a carry on or checked baggage prior to a flight. I would be lying if I said I didn’t see this as a money saving challenge.

I wanted to make sure that this process is as easy as possible because I fly frequently and don’t like feeling like I’m dragging around a ball and chain while waiting at the airport.

The difficult part way trying to find a bag that would fit as closely into the maximum dimensions as possible so that I could bring as much stuff as possible in what would ultimately still be a very small bag. For me it was an easy decision to purchase a rolling laptop bag because being able to roll a bag is much easier on my back.

I ended up purchasing the above Protege 16″ Rolling Briefcase with Laptop Section, Black bag from Walmart (I try not to shop at Walmart but I needed it right away) for about $35. You can find it here or in a store. The dimensions are 16 x 8 x 13. I know that this is technically 1 inch over the requirement for Allegiant but if I don’t stuff it until it bursts it can still measure at 7 inches. I’ve boarded 5 flights with this strategy and I’ve never had a problem. No one has even looked twice at my bag. 

If you are looking for a bag, I also think this very similar $40 Targus bag from Amazon Prime would work.

To start with I will show you what I wore to the airport in the following picture.

What I Wore

I wore-

  • A tank top
  • A Lose T shirt
  • A Tight T shirt
  • A comfortable jacket with huge interior pockets
  • Skinny Jeans
  • A pair of sneakers

This is what I packed in the bag-

What I Packed

In the laptop bag I packed-

  • A shirt
  • A pair of shorts
  • A pair of PJ shorts
  • A swimsuit
  • A Full length Maxi Skirt
  • Flipflops
  • A pair of High Heels
  • My laptop and mouse and charger
  • My iPad and charger
  • My Kindle
  • My phone and charger
  • My Makeup Bag and Brushes
  • A Small purse
  • Another Shirt and Dress that were gifts
  • Underwear
  • A small clear plastic case I used as a toiletry bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses
  • Dramamine and Ibuprofen
  • Headphones
  • A wallet
  • A travel pillow
  • A protein bar as a snack for the plane
    • since water is not provided on the flight unless you pay for it
  • My Hydroflask aka refillable water bottle
    • since water is not provided on the flight unless you pay for it
  • The Cat is only in the picture. I doubt she would have made it through TSA!

Between what I was wearing and what I packed I ended up with 5 tops, three bottoms and a dress which is more than enough clothing for a week long trip.

I measured and remeasured the bag before and after I packed and it still fit into the strict Allegiant Airlines Personal Item Guidelines. My bag wasn’t stuffed when I was done and I could have fit more inside.

It made a huge difference that I put my clothes into gallon freezer bags and removed all of the air inside the bags and that save a ton of space. This gallon bag strategy worked out much better than using my packing cubes that I originally thought I would use.

I have learned my lesson and I also usually pack the above duffel bag from IKEA that is meant to fold up in a square that is almost flat. That way if I decide to go shopping while on vacation and bring a bigger bag home then I don’t have to buy one. It also costs significantly less to bring an addition bag home than it would to bring one round trip.

I also am no longer as worried about not stuffing my bag to the limits. I know that my bag will fit the dimensions under the seat and I put as much as it can carry into it.

 

Here is the breakdown of my strategy:

1. Find out the dimensions of the personal item you are allowed to bring for free and purchase a bag that is as close to the maximum dimensions as possible without going over. I highly recommend a rolling bag because it is easier to maneuver through the airport and then you don’t have to worry about the weight of your bag as there is no weight restriction on most airlines personal items.

2. Wear your bulkiest clothing items on the plane so that you don’t have to fit them in your bag. I always wear a couple of shirts, a jacket and my bulkiest shoes because I am usually cold anyways.

3. Wear a jacket with large pockets on the plane. This way you can put additional items in the pockets like snacks, your water bottle, etc. that would usually take up more space in your bag.

4. When packing choose clothing items that can be mixed and matched for different outfit combinations. I usually choose black basics so that they match with everything. I also bring clothes that can be dressed up or down. Look up the weather before you go so you know what you are most likely to need. I actually find that I usually bring more clothing than I need.

5. Put your clothes into gallon plastic bags and press on them to remove the air. This will condense the bulk of your clothing so you can pack more in a small space. I am amazed at how well this works. I tried using packing cubes but this works 10x better and they are cheaper. Don’t forget to pack a few extras in case they rip.

6. Make good use of your technology so that you can pack less stuff. My phone is my camera, guidebook, GPS, ticket etc. My kindle allows me to bring plenty of reading material on every trip instead of hard copy books. Remember that often pictures are the best souvenirs anyways!

7. Bring a water bottle like My Hydroflask (to fill once through security) and snacks for the plane so that you are not tempted to buy them during the flight and you aren’t starving when you get off the plane.

8. Pack a flat folding duffel bag in case you decide to bring more home than you brought with you. I enjoy thrift shopping in new places so I am often guilty of wanting to bring more home than I took with me. This way, I never have to buy a bag to take home. The above duffel bag from IKEA was a great buy and it’s cheaper when purchased directly from the store.
9. Measure and re-measure your bag once it is full to make sure that it fits the maximum dimensions. If you personal item bag is too large you can be charged $50 just to board the plane. I have never had this problem but I have seen angry people with their too large bags who have. You don’t want this to be you.

10. Put items you need to remove during security and on the plane in easy to reach places in your bag so you don’t have to pack and repack. This also ensures that you aren’t left searching through your bag at the last minute.

Taking one small bag means that I don’t have to arrive early to check a bag, I’m not juggling a bunch of luggage, I don’t bring more than I need, I’m not worried about dealing with the overhead bins and it overall streamlines the whole travel process.

Best wishes! Enjoy your flight and your trip! 🙂

5-18-16 A Few Frugal Things

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Yay! Summer is here and I have been getting a lot done and not spending much money, even with family visiting.

– We went to Disney Springs- Free!

– We have gone running at a beautiful local park around a lake

– We also went to the beach which only cost $10 and unfortunately we don’t qualify for a beach pass because we moved out of the county.

– Clearing out my closets and house and getting rid of junk! Mostly going through my clothes and I’m going to try to sell some of them to local consignment stores or on eBay.

– I will be relaunching my eBay business soon and I’m excited to get rid of more and more junk!

– We really have been enjoying staying home and our online steaming services are great for having the tv on in the background when I clean. Click the banner above for your free trial of Amazon Prime.

– I constantly use my iPad that was free from the college I teach at!

– We are trying to clean out the fridge and pantry after a busy school year which means we are eating what we have before going grocery shopping. This isn’t as bad as it seems as last night B cooked steaks that we had frozen a long time ago and they were amazing!

– I got out my sewing machine and some nice flannel shirts we bought at the Goodwill Outlet and I made rice heating pads for us and various family members. More sewing projects to come this summer!

– I returned some stuff to Publix and Goodwill that saved me almost $30 and I have more returns too. A lot of people don’t take advantage of the ability to return items that don’t work or you will never use and this ends up costing a lot of money!

– Pro: Finally getting rid of items I have been holding onto to give family members, Con: My mother gave me several more boxes to disperse by way of another family member so I couldn’t refuse them. UGH! I’m trying to clear out the house!

– Bought a beautiful and brand new Shabby Chic quilt from Goodwill for $3.99. We finally have enough bedding for having our whole families come stay with us at the same time but I’m also having to come up with more storage space in our 2/2 Townhome.

– I have been doing a lot of research on under the seat person item bags for flying our local discount airline. They have especially strict baggage guidelines and I want to get the absolutely biggest bag I can fit under a seat for free with my ticket.

– We went dumpster diving and I got a bag of clean clothes, a fold up suede chair (see the above picture), and a $30 shower rack all in great shape and all items that will be used again instead of going to the landfill.

– Instead of buying bedding for our snake I used a pillow case that I was getting rid of. Snakes like soft things too!

– I needed mascara and my sister just happened to give me some expensive mascara when she visited. I love when that happens.

– We had so much free fun when we gave some leftover food to the squirrels in the tree outside our sliding door and watched them grab pieces of it and sneak away

– I received my new muffin/cupcake pan  from Amazon. It’s chemical free silicon and supposedly doesn’t even require paper wrappers for the muffins which will eventually save money and reduce waste. My old cupcake pans were cheap metal and I donated them when I started ridding the house of nonchemical free cookware and just have made due without but now I’m starting to make a lot of blueberry breakfast muffins and I felt it was worth the small price for the amount of use.

– I haven’t had the time to go to the grocery store with spring semester ending so rapidly so we have been doing a good job of eating out of the fridge and pantry. I hard boiled a bunch of eggs in the oven and made egg salad and just plain boiled eggs for breakfast and snacks. Healthy and cheap. I’m also glad that I’m clearing out the fridge before I need to buy some food for company.

– I’m a member of our local buy nothing group and I was given a free printer! I’ll do an individual post on that soon.

Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com

– I took advantage of a Swagbucks offer to post an infographic for which I will receive $5 worth of gift cards.

– I bought a few more things to sell on eBay and eBay is now my job for the summer.

– I relisted my eBay listings for free at the end of the month so I have 50 more free listings this month that I fully plan on using.

 

Preparing For a Summer of No Income

Preparing for a summer of no income

Having summers off represents one of the greatest advantages of some professions, but also one of the greatest stressors.

Many people in the education field, including college professors, work approximately 8-9 months out of the year and have 3-4 months off. Not all employers provide the option of extending paychecks over 12 months. Many other professions are also cyclical in nature and after months of intense work you might suddenly find yourself without an income and with nothing to do.

The more prepared you are for the summer, financially and otherwise, the more stress you can remove from your life and enjoy the time off as it is meant to be enjoyed.

  1. Calculate your monthly expenses and then calculate exactly how much money you will need to get through the summer– Calculate the absolute minimum amount of money you will need to get through the summer (We are talking beans and rice diet and not spending a penny) and also calculate a realistic amount you need to continue your current standard of living. Don’t forget that most people don’t get paid as soon as they go back to work. Some people will be back at work for 2 weeks to a month before they receive their first paycheck. Also, don’t forget that you may have additional ways to save money in the summer like less commuting costs, less convenience food, etc.
  2. Save, Save, Save– Every extra penny you have needs to go into savings to help you get through the summer. If you do not have the absolute minimum amount of money to get through the summer you need to start making some plans now. How can you currently save more money? How can you work over the summer?
  3. Set yourself up for extra income during the summer– I have been buying items to sell on eBay when I happen to make it to a thrift shop or yard sale but haven’t had the time to list them. I will be listing them this summer. I also plan on indulging my hobby of scouring thrift shops for more items to sell online. This usually provides extra income and I love doing it. I also picked up a few 6 week summer classes to teach that I wasn’t planning on but if the classes don’t fill up that income is not guaranteed. Let friends and family know they can pay you to babysit or pet sit if you are interested. I also plan on trying to earn more Swagbucks for extra spending money.
  4. Be realistic about your summer plans– We had been planning on going on a cruise to celebrate a milestone birthday but unfortunately we had unexpected expenses present themselves during the year that meant that we couldn’t afford the cruise. However, we ended up renting a couple of condos on the beach with the price split between family and friends. We are going to have just as much fun and save a lot of money! I also knew that I needed to buy a couple of plane tickets this summer so I ended up factoring that into the amount I would need to get through the summer. However, if you are wondering how you are going to pay your bills this summer knowing you haven’t saved enough money you might have to cut any activities that aren’t free from your summer plans.
  5. Plan Free/Frugal summer activities – We live in Florida so our main summer activity is hanging out at the beach which only costs us a little bit of gas. There is also the discount movie theatre which is .75 cents on Tuesday nights. I plan on renewing my library card this summer and catching up on some reading. Exercising at beautiful, local parks is also free. There are tons of fun, free summer activities that you can take advantage of.
  6. Spend time with family and friends- Priceless but free! I never feel like I have enough time to spend with family and friends during the work years so I make sure to have plenty of time for them during the summer.
  7. Plan on doing frugal things you didn’t have time for during the rest of the year– If you aren’t working then your job is to save even more money. For example cooking more meals at home, hanging your clothes to dry instead of using your dryer, planting a garden, etc.
  8. Adjust your mentality– Summer is a time to rest and recharge after working the rest of the year. Take time to be outside and enjoy the little things. Don’t think that spending money is a requirement for having fun. You know that novel you have always wanted to write? Now might be the time.
  9. Get Organized– Get rid of things you don’t want/need, clean and organize the entire house.
  10. Try to take care of things that you didn’t have time for during your work year– For me, this list includes getting new glasses (mine are currently so scratched after 6 years of use that I can barely see through them), going to the dermatologist (a must for Floridians), detailing my car (my labor not paying someone), finishing sewing projects (I have clothes that need mended and pants that need hemmed in addition to other projects I plan to tackle) , deep cleaning the house, any store returns I have been putting off, etc. This is also a good time to fix things that need to be fixed.
  11. Travel frugally– I happen to believe that travel is good for the soul and I sacrifice in a lot of other areas so that I have the money to do it. There are some inexpensive ways to travel including house sitting, camping, road trips, cheap plane tickets, visiting family, etc. If you believe in doing this enough you can figure it out.
  12. Stock up on bargain basement deals– If you have the extra money and storage space, stock up on items you will use throughout the year at bargain basement prices when you find them. Having a stockpile of basic food goods that won’t go bad quickly saves me tons of money throughout the year. Over the summer I have time to follow the grocery store loss leader sales more closely.
  13. Set yourself up for success before you go back to work– Put systems in place to make it easier to adjust to returning to work. I will fill my freezer with drop and go crock pot meals, stock my pantry with the basics, clean and organize the whole house, take care of appointments and car maintenance all so that the transition back to work goes much more smoothly.
  14. Put a plan into place for the next year for your next summer- Three months of summer always seem to fly by. However, planning ahead makes a huge difference. If you are transitioning to only working 8 months of the year it usually takes a little while to perfect your system of saving for summer. If what you did this year worked great then implement it again for next year. If you wished you had saved more during the year then adjust your system for next year.

Best tips from others who have had summers off:

Mandy- “Don’t mindlessly shop. Only go to the store with a list and stick with it. That’s what I did when I wasn’t working. Take advantage of free things like your apartment pool or gym.”

Leanne– “I would make sure that I had things lined up ahead of time. I would look toward industries that gear up in the summer, rather than slow down. For example, teachers and professors could always look to teach a specialized program at a summer camp.” She also suggests that before you make a purchase from a store, Macy’s for example, you check eBay. She recently bought a $60 Macy’s blouse on eBay for $8 including shipping!

Fate- “I did an auto deposit of 1/3 of my paycheck into a savings account during the work year at a different bank so I never see it. That’s what I’m living off in the summer.”

Karin– “I would probably get really creative with food and try to have fun with it. I know an adjunct who made it kind of a project to eat everything in her pantry and not buy groceries (aside from milk, bread and eggs) for a few months. And I’d pick up a fun, cheap hobby like painting and/or writing to make good use of my free time without spending money. So basically I would focus on saving money and having (almost) free fun instead of trying to figure out how to earn- that is, if you have some money set aside to get you through!”

Tiffany– “Play on your strengths with a part time job as a tutor, SAT prep, or nanny. Produce something of value in your free time like a blog or a self-published book.”

Maureen– “No dryer, hanging clothes. Using air conditioning units only until the room is cool. Buying only dry cat food. Staying away from stores because if I go to the store I buy something.”

 

Do you have any great tips for surviving a temporary period of no income? Share your story with us!

 

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