Save Money

Ways to save money, take advantage of discounts, live a frugal lifestyle and be budget friendly. Using online tools and apps to make the most of your checking and savings. Budgeting tools to save money on groceries, utilities and day-to-day living expenses.

5 Smart Ways to Save on Vet Bills

Save Money on Vet Bills - This little Peanut's vet appointment


I took my little peanut to the vet the other day.

Don’t worry — nothing was wrong with her. She was just due for her annual checkup, and a couple of vaccinations.

Each year, we budget for the expense of an annual checkup for both of our dogs. Some people choose to spread this expense out over multiple appointments throughout the year, to balance out the bills.

We prefer to save up and take care of everything at once, with one large vet bill.

But overall, it’s less stressful for the dogs to only go to the vet once per year, and get everything out of the way.

So as the receptionist presents me with this super-painful piece of paper itemizing each individual charge and service that is rendered, I get to thinking.

There are two ways one can logistically approach this, in order to save on vet bills:

  1. Budget for the entire expense, knowing each year we will have to pay (at least) this amount for each dog.
  2. Find ways to reduce expenses and/or supplement what is being paid for these services, to make it a little less agonizing for all involved.

I, for one, choose to engage both of these practices. Because I do want to prepare for the worst.

And more or less have to — since who has an extra $400 just sitting around, begging to be spent?

But I also want to mitigate the amount spent, and only pay what is absolutely necessary.*

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10 Things To Do Instead of Online Shopping

online shopping cart gift-buying


10 Things You (and I) Can Do Instead of Shopping Online

During this time of year, everything is go, go, go, go

A frenzied battle against the clock to prepare for the holidays, get through the holidays, recover from the holidays, and then hopefully get back to normal.

We rush to get through our regular workday so we can make it to a social gathering, or family event, or knock some items off the to-do list.

And at the end of the day, once we are finally able to sit down and relax on the couch, what do we do to wind down?

Maybe turn on the TV, catch up on the news, or the sports scores.

Or maybe listen to our favorite podcast or flash news briefing.

But a lot of the time we turn to the ‘net, and do some surfing.  And where does that typically lead us?

Amazon. eBay. QVC. LL Bean. Macy’s. And so many other online retailers that are just begging for our attention.


online shopping laptops exchanging money for gift bag


So now that I’m re-upping my focus on financial responsibility, I totally acknowledge the need to establish better money habits.

New hobbies that will add to my bounty, instead of subtracting from it. No longer spending just to spend, or justifying yet another unnecessary expense.

Because at the end of the day, what has online shopping really done for us?

For me personally, absolutely nothing but cause insecurities, regret, anxiety, and frustration.

So in no particular order, here are 10 things you can do instead of online shopping.

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Hey Big Spender — How’d You Do on Black Friday?

Black Friday Regrets - Are You a Spender or a Saver?


Thanksgiving Preparation

Thanksgiving has historically been one of my favorite holidays as an adult.

You sit around a big table with your family, giving thanks and reminiscing on years past.

There’s always an endless amount of food, you stuff yourself until you practically burst, and then you pass out in a turkey semi-coma.

And probably the best part — no gift giving is involved!

It’s all about family and food.

Although I’ll admit, the past few years have become a bit more stressful, as our house has become the center of the festivities.

“With central localization comes great responsibility” (Or something like that.)


Spider-Man - Black Friday Regrets - Are You a Spender or a Saver?


When your house becomes the holiday home-base, there’s now a ton of extra stuff you need to do, above and beyond the norm:

  • Clean the house
  • Rinse off the “fancy” dinnerware and glassware
  • Vacuum up dog hair, clean slobber off the windows (bulldog owners only?)
  • Scrub toilets (ickkkk….)
  • Tidy up the entire house (or at least the main level, where people will be congregating)
  • Go food shopping — buying items you wouldn’t normally have on hand, like appetizers, snacks, and beverages based on everyone’s individual tastes
  • Plan the menu, including the timing for what goes in the oven when
  • Do all “the stuff” on the day-of, and try to actually eat something in the midst of all the chaos
  • Not to mention all of the cleanup …
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Attending My First Local FI Meetup

Attending my first local FI meetup - making friends

Alternate Title:  Can You Really Make New Friends as an Adult in Your Mid-Forties?

A few weeks ago, I attended my first local FI meetup.

Yes, I know — once again, I am late to the party. Or at least — late to writing about it.

This is something I should’ve posted towards the end of October, and now it’s edging near the end of November.

It’s a process.


Also, in the spirit of transparency, I’ll tell you right now this post may seem a bit sporadic, lacking structure, and maybe even a definitive point.

But I’m pushing myself to get it out there, and get back into the swing of writing.

Some bloggers can pump out 2 or 3 high-quality posts a week without batting an eyelash.

I am not one of those people. Although I would eventually love to be!

Attending my first local FI meetup - checklist #friendship #finance #frugality #minimalism

Semi-related side note: 

I recently stumbled across this super-interesting article on It talks about the Secret to Productivity, and Aiming for 80%, rather than full-on perfection.

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13 Lessons Horror Movies Teach Us About Personal Finance

Lessons Learned From Horror Movies About Personal Finance

I grew up watching horror movies. Which is a bit comical, since I’m pretty much a big chicken.

No joke. If someone jumps out at me from around the corner yelling “Boo!”, I’m gone.

You’ll find me two miles down the road, without a thought of returning until the whole house has been purged of evil spirits.

I don’t know why I consented to watch all of these films. Maybe it was a sign of the times.

Because it seems like the 80’s was the decade of scary movies. Or that could just be my warped recollection.

But family fun night — let’s watch Friday the 13th!

Teenage sleepover — of course, Sleepaway Camp!

And for the annual Halloween party — well, I’d expect nothing less than gathering together to watch our favorite silent masked villain — no, not that one, the other one. Michael Myers, of course.

Watching horror movies was a legit rite of passage when I was a kid.

And it went hand-in-hand with checking under my bed, sleeping with the lights on, and asking my dad to check for monsters in the closet.

And yes, as a full grown adult, I am still afraid of the dark.

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