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RueBucks – Christmas Present

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I mentioned earlier this month that I budget $150 to get Princess some winter clothes with the weather getting cold. On our drive back from Texas, we spent the night in Baton Rouge and ended up being across from a large mall on Black Friday evening.

After a day in the car and some hours to kill, we decided to hit the mall. And lo and behold, Princess’ favorite clothing store Rue21 was having a sale and she hadn’t spent any of her clothes money.

An hour later, she walked about with 1/2 new outfits for right at $80 – score!

Christmas Present on the Frugal Side

When I paid for the clothes I was informed we earned, 2 RueBucks. Which essentially means, if she shops again between December 26 and January 2, she can get $20 off her $40 purchase.

I got to thinking, I could buy her a gift card with $40 of the remaining clothes money I previously budgeted and then add these two RueBucks into her stocking, essentially giving her $20 extra dollars to spend. Is that a bad Christmas idea? To give someone something that is essentially is free.

I know she enjoys shopping at this store. She shops there every time she gets a chance (there is one an hour from us here in Northeast Georgia.)

I haven’t created a budget for Christmas presents. I know I should. I have begun picking up little stuff and it was all inside our trip budget so I haven’t used any extra money. But I really am focused on paying off debt and getting into a better financial place. I’m having a hard time balancing my desire to provide a Christmas for my three eldest and being as frugal as I have been the last few months.

Do you have a Christmas budget? How much do you spend on teenage children? I guess one of my challenges is that they don’t really “need” anything and their wants are pretty expensive…new computer, etc. So I have to find a middle ground I am comfortable with. And it’s not coming to me easily.

 


Expensive Day!

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Yesterday was an EXPENSIVE day, though not as bad as it could have been.

My car is a 2011 and, all in all, it has been pretty reliable. We’ve had some bad luck in the tire department in the past year, but (knock on wood), we’ve never had any major mechanical issues. All we need to do is regular, routine maintenance and the car has been great for us!

So when the brakes started squeaking a few weeks ago, I knew it would be time to replace them soon.

But life has been busy with work, school, and the holiday season approaching. I’ve kept putting it off, not wanting to spend the money. Then over the weekend, the brakes progressed from what I would describe as a “squeal” to what I would describe as a “grate.” It was truly an awful noise – the kind that hurts your ears, like nails on a chalkboard. I knew it was time to get in STAT!

I called around to a few shops to compare prices and went with a nearby shop that I trust. New brakes, rotors, fluid, and a serpentine belt later, my bill came to $643.28. Ouch! 

But never forget to Google for coupons! I’d taken my laptop and was working in the waiting room while my car was being serviced. As a last-minute thing, I decided to google coupons for the services I was receiving. And I stumbled across a 15% off coupon, good for all parts and service at the shop I was using!

When I went to pay, they scanned the coupon from my phone and my bill dropped to $549.11. BAM!

But it gets better still! The brakes I got came with a $50 online rebate. I had to wait 24-hours to enter my information, but I did so today and will be receiving a $50 rebate check in the mail in the next couple weeks.

That officially brings my total down to $499.11!

Still an expensive day, to be sure, but not nearly as bad as it could have been! And all because I was willing to do a little Google search to find applicable coupons while I waited.

No one wants to drop $500 on car repairs, especially around the holidays and at a time when we’re really not doing well financially. But to put things in perspective, $500 amounts to less than 2 months of the old car payment (I paid off the car in January 2016). Since we’ve owned the car an entire 2 years since then free-and-clear, a $500 investment here and there to keep the car in good running order is not too bad. I’m very grateful we no longer have that monthly payment in our list of bills!

 

Have you had any major car repairs lately? 


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