Living life to the fullest even when the budget is super tight!
After a $1,300+ repair job on our pickup a week ago, the need to focus on frugal became of an even greater necessity. Between that expense and all the other bills that recently arrived in our mailbox, our paychecks of last Friday quickly dwindled down to very little. As things sit, I’m still doing a bit of shifting around with our limited remaining funds. Good news, our bills are all current, and we added no new debt.
Hubby was also home for a much needed eight-day break. As many of you know, his job often keeps him away from home for weeks at a time. This last time, he was away for an entire month. With trying to make the most of our time together, it would have been easy to not think about our budget. Instead, we looked for frugal things to do together. Here is what we did last week to have some fun, accomplish some needed tasks and also save money:
- Went and saw two fireworks displays. Total spent was just $8 on some snacks.
- Got two pickup loads of kindling wood at $5 per load. We have a company in a neighboring town that manufactures gymnasium flooring, and they sell the kiln dried scraps by the pickup load. Fantastic deal since they even load it for you! These scraps burn fast and hot, making starting fires much easier. We brought one load over to neighboring friends of ours. Always good to help others out, especially on the cheap!
- Fixed a year-old self-propelled mower that these same neighboring friends were going to junk. They are not mechanically inclined and after attempting to repair it themselves (they had added too much oil), they gave up and bought a new one. The same mower sells for $269 at Lowes. With less than half an hour of work, Hubby got it running like brand new. This mower is the second one we’ve gotten from these neighbors. At the beginning of the season, they gave us their John Deere because it wasn’t self-propelled. We own a zero-turn, but these two mowers will come in handy for tighter areas. Plus I get a tad nervous using the zero-turn close to the edge of the lake.
- Cut brush and had a huge bonfire. We are blessed to live on a lake but didn’t like all the junk trees and brush obstructing our view. The chainsaw got a good workout this past week! We still have a little more to clear, but it already looks so much better. We left some birch, pines, and maples giving us a nice filtered view of the lake on that part of our shoreline. Hard work, but also enjoyable knowing we were making an improvement to our property.
- We made all our meals at home. Eating out is expensive. While admittedly I don’t enjoy cooking, it is much cheaper to eat at home. I’m thankful that Hubby is a grill master, so he prepared a lot of our meals.
- Skipped the baths for our boys (aka dogs!) and went with only a nail trimming. No worries about having stinky dogs. With it being Summer, I can do this at home. Doing so saved us $25 or so for each dog.
- Fixed our deck steps. They were still very usable but were in need of a little TLC. Nothing out of pocket, just our time and now the steps are again as good as new.
- Took the time to research shaving heads for Hubs electric razor. Hubs has two of these razors because we are both terrible when it comes to remembering what type of replacement heads they take. A $25 replacement head was far cheaper than buying an entirely new razor!
- Went out kayaking several times.
- Visited twice with friends who were staying at a nearby campground.
- Free fishing! We don’t (yet) own a boat, but it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy casting a line from the shoreline.
- Went grocery shopping together and paid attention to what found its way into our cart.
Now some of these things might not be considered “fun, ” but they were all focused on frugal. They were also things we needed/wanted to accomplish. We managed to pack a lot into our week (I also had to work) without breaking the budget and still had a good time. For us it is more about spending time together than what money can buy. Even if money weren’t so tight, I honestly don’t think we would have done anything different!