No Spend Month: Week 4 Review

Last Week’s Total: $216.03$7 – Parking at the county park when we went swimming$1 – Parking, Nick’s second job$46.09 – Tank of gas TOTAL: $273.12REMAINING: -$23.12 Well, we went over. For the first time ever, I blew through a No Spend limit. And it wasn’t the kids presents that did it either – it was [Continue Reading…]

Frugal Friday: Detox From The Treat Spiral

I’ll be honest.  I can’t wait for no spend month to be over. I can’t wait to spend money again. This is how I’ve felt every time we’ve done the no-spend exercise – by the time the month is over, I’m ready to start laying down some cash. We all feel better for the occasional splurge, for a treat [Continue Reading…]

No Spend Month: Week 2 Review

Updated tally for this week: Last Week’s Total: $95.76Yet more strawberries (I’m done, I swear): $26 Birthday present for a kid’s party: $6.25* Pitcher of beer at a company farewell party for a coworker (Nick): $13 TOTAL: $141.01 REMAINING: $108.99 *Actually the present for the kid-friend was more than this but I had a $14 [Continue Reading…]

Frugal Friday: The Budgeting Process And Advanced Fun Card Techniques

Last Friday I talked about our household’s budgeting tool, the Fun Card. It’s a very simple idea that helps keep our day-to-day expenses in line. But, like any tool, the value comes in the use, not the having. Homebrew Husband and I used to think budgeting was the act of making a budget. That’s like [Continue Reading…]

No Spend Month: Week 1 Review

Well $250 is going to be a lot harder than I anticipated. I managed to forget about provisioning berries for the year, and with the late spring, all the mid-June strawberries ripened in early-July. I’m looking at blueberries and raspberries coming down the line in the next few weeks and I’m wondering if I blow [Continue Reading…]

Frugal Friday: Fun Card Budgeting For Non-Budgeters


I spent most of my post-college years with a checking account that was perpetually overdrawn by $300. I once went on a three-week trip to Scandinavia and spent the entirety of my food money on my first dinner outside of the U.S. In my defense, food in Reykjavik during the holiday season is unbelievably expensive. [Continue Reading…]

DIY vs BUY Dishwashing Detergent


We were unloading the dishwasher yesterday and Homebrew Husband pulled a sparkling wine glass out of the top rack. Forgive me that ad-copy imagery, it irritates me even to write it, but there it is: the night before we had enjoyed wine with friends, and my man willingly unloads the dishwasher. The new look of better [Continue Reading…]

Can You Get Arrested if You Kill-A-Watt?

My local library system has partnered with my local power company to make Kill-A-Watt energy meters available for check-out, just like a book or video. A few weeks ago, I checked out a Kill-A-Watt. These things look like a remote control and a power strip had a baby. You plug your appliance into the Kill-A-Watt, [Continue Reading…]