No Spend September: Days 3 & 4

It’s been a few days, but I’m still holding strong!  Here is the update for September 3 & 4.  On Thursday, I had a lunch date scheduled prior to deciding to do No Spend September with a friend I haven’t seen in almost a year.  I was not going to miss the opportunity to catch up with her at one of the only times we were able to find to get together, so I called this a “need” and did what I could to minimize my spending on lunch.  We went to Rise! A Breakfast Place because it’s “our place.” I had the Rajas & Eggs because it is a) one of the lowest price entrees on their menu, and b) it’s soooooooooo good.  I would normally order coffee, but I stuck with water because coffee easily tacks on $3-4 once tax and tip are factored in.  I spent $10 total on brunch.

HOWEVER!!!!  I countered this spending by doing a mystery shop at a convenience store after work.  I signed up to start mystery shopping through IntelliShop last year.  I only do the ones that are worth it to me–they don’t take a lot of time or effort, don’t require negotiating (so all auto shops are out) or a ton of lying, and pay well.  I end up making about $20-30 every couple of months for minimal effort.  For Thursday’s shop, I went to a convenience store to check out the bathroom, gas pumps, and hot food/coffee area.  It basically involved inconspicuously snapping a couple of photos, purchasing a beverage, and then spending less than five minutes writing a report on what happened.  I was paid $10 for the shop and $2 to reimburse the energy drink I bought.  It canceled out what I spent on brunch.

Spent: $10 on brunch, $2 on the mystery shop.  $12 total

Earned: $12

Friday was also a success in my book.  I am involved in an international women’s social, cultural, and service organization called Beta Sigma Phi.  We have “secret sisters” each year that we give gifts to at each of our monthly meetings.  It’s fun and a nice little pick-me-up each month.  This is a “need” because it’s a requirement for each month, but I still wanted to get the most bang for my buck.  Sierra Trading Post had a coupon for an extra 40% off on Friday and I bought two months worth of secret sister gifts for $15 (we have a $10 threshold for each gift) and saved $28 off of original prices.  I shop at STP for my secret sister because I can use coupons and their existing discounts to get really nice, good quality gifts for not a lot of money.  I can’t go into detail because there is a good chance she’d read this and figure out I’m her secret sister.  Trust me, they are great gifts.  I was slightly tempted to shop for yoga stuff with the coupon, but I didn’t allow myself to even look at what was available.

Frugal in Fort Collins Rules for Shopping at Sierra Trading Post

  1. Always use a coupon.  (Sign up for the emails, follow on Facebook, and check coupon sites to find coupons.)
  2. Only shop when that coupon is a minimum of an extra 35% off (that happens like once a week at least).
  3. If you can’t find free shipping, ship to the store because it’s free!

We had two birthday parties to attend on Friday night.  I was a little worried that I would be tempted to have a beer or spend money, but I held strong!!!  I started at a 30th birthday party for a lovely friend who is my hair twin and personal finance blog soulmate.  She was an excellent hostess and offered me sparkling water instead of beer, and I shut down all the enablers (you know who you are).  The second birthday was a 40th birthday celebration at a brewery.  Breweries all have self-serve water so I hydrated like nobody’s business.  Then we went to the Mayor of Old Town.  THIS IS WHERE THINGS GOT HARD.  There is a gose from WeldWerks Brewing Co. in Greeley that is unbelievably delicious and of course it was on tap.  They also had Pliny the Elder on tap, which is basically beer perfection.  I stuck to club soda and smelled Andy’s beers for my flavor fix.  We headed home early so we could get ready for the Fort’s biggest holiday: TOUR DE FAT!!!  Stay tuned for the Tour de Fat post.  It involves a Golden Girl and a burlesque dancer in a hair dress so you don’t want to miss it.

Spent: $15 on gifts

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