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Frugal Glasses No More…

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Back in May, I revealed a trick I used when my glasses broke. I called them my frugal glasses.

Well, not too long after that post, they broke. I shopped around, and couldn’t find a pair of sunglasses that would work with my lenses. Luckily, my mom sent me some of her old frames and I have been using them ever since May. The lenses did not fit well at all…but I was buying more time before I had to spend money for brand new ones.

Things were working out well. I had a few pairs of contacts I could put in when I ventured out of the home, and at home I would wear my glasses. I just had to be very careful with the lenses.

Well, last week a lens popped out and my vision is very poor without my glasses. I’m not sure what happened, but when I found my lens there was a big scratch on it. Upon further inspection, there are tons of little scratches all over the lenses. No wonder I have been squinting so much.

I made the appointment last Saturday and my appointment was today. I thought for sure I would cancel the appointment, but I did go. I knew I couldn’t buy any more time and I just had to spend the money.

The total bill came to $249.00 at Wal-Mart for the glasses and the eye exam. There’s a bit of good news, my eyes didn’t change much at all. Now that I know my vision is fairly stable, I plan on buying a new pair of glasses with my current prescription before it expires in two years. That way if my new glasses break I’ll have a back-up. And, I picked frames that have smaller lenses so I have a better chance of finding sunglasses that would work as frames if I have to do that again πŸ˜‰


Living Life a Little Bit

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With the death of my friend, it was a reminder that we need to live life a little bit. We have been spending very little money since deciding to pay off our debt, so I made a decision this weekend. Every member of the family would get one thing that they really wanted.

My son chose to get a Thomas the Tank Engine Train Set. He’s wanted one for quite a while, but the price was always pretty high for what you get. Luck have it – it was almost 1/2 off on clearance at Walmart ($17.00) so that was what he wanted and received.

My husband really wanted a game for our Playstation 2 called Guitar Hero. With the game, you have a controller that is a guitar and you use it to play various songs (most are well-known rock/metal tunes). We played it so much yesterday that my fingers hurt and I can see us playing it too much. Total cost was $69.00.

What I wanted was bass guitar. I have had them before, but I have sold them when money was tight. The last time I have physically touched a bass was in 2002 and I really missed playing. Getting one meant that we had to pay $279.00 for a cheap (but very good) starter set which includes the guitar and amp. While looking, I asked my husband what he thought since it was the biggest purchase of them all. All he wanted me to do was promise that I will not sell it.

We did end up spending quite a bit of money on things that we really didn’t need. We could live without the things that we purchased and I do feel a little bit of buyer’s remorse. In my mind the money should have gone towards our debt. But the main thing with our purchases is that they are useful and entertaining and they were things we really wanted. I believe they will more than pay for themselves in entertainment value in a short period of time.

Another big thing…

Everything was paid with cash!

Before starting this journey, we put purchases like this on our credit cards. Not anymore. It felt so good to not have to bring out my credit card. I felt like I had control of our money and paying with cash felt very darn good.


Darn Garage Sales!!

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I love garage sales and I love getting deals. But after starting this blog, and taking inventory of the things I don’t need, I realized I have gotten some great deals throughout the years – but most of it is stuff I didn’t really need. Things like picture frames, decorations, clothes that I don’t wear, etc.

I have been staying away from them this summer and I have conditioned my foot to not hit the brake pedal when I see a fluorescent sign on the side of the road. But while my son and I were out walking to the gas station so he could buy some penny candy (it was cute – he searched the entire house for pennies and found about 10), right in my path was a garage sale.

I wasn’t planning on stopping, but my son quickly saw one of those play kitchen sets. He has been wanting one of those so before I knew it we were checking it out. It was only $4.00 dollars, and they easily retail for over $30.00. He proclaimed that he was going to buy that with his pennies. I tried to explain that he didn’t have enough but he still doesn’t quite grasp that concept yet.

You guessed it. I caved in and bought it. It wasn’t an impulse buy either because I actually had to walk back home and get my checkbook and come back (I rarely have cash – not even a few dollars). I even had to carry it all the way home. But my son was just so excited.

I also had to look at other things, and I resisted some things that caught my eye but I couldn’t resist some old magazines for ten cents a piece. I bought all of the Women’s World magazines that they had ($1.60 worth). That is the only magazine I really read and it amazes me that a weekly publication can always have so many interesting stories and recipes.

I feel like going garage-sailing tomorrow morning and I probably should go at least a few days this summer. It’s time to purchase more clothes for my son because he is growing like a weed. I just have to remember the article I wrote and remember to only buy things I need.

That – and go without my son – LOL. πŸ˜‰


Ouch!!! $119.00 for a Doctor’s Visit

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Normally whenever I start feeling sick, I take lots of vitamin C and drink green tea with honey. Usually, that knocks out whatever I was coming down with and I start feeling better.

Not this time.

As you know, I’ve been fighting something and it was time to get some help from a doctor. There is one place in the area open on Saturdays, so I gave them a call. Then they asked the dreaded question:

“What insurance do you have?”

My reply, “I do not have insurance.”

Their reply, “Oh. Hold on.”

I wait for a few minutes, fearing that because I don’t have health insurance they’ll decide not to see me. She returns to the phone.

“The doctor will see you today if you can pay today.”

I say, “That’s not a problem if you take credit.”

Yes, they took all the major credit cards so I was in luck.

Normally I do not complain that I do not have health insurance until I saw how much that bill was!! I couldn’t believe that the cost of a less than 10 minute visit (would have been less than 5 if I didn’t ask questions of the doctor) was that high. I guess since I don’t go to doctor’s very often I hadn’t realized how high the price had become. The last I remember, a doctor’s visit was around $50.00.

What did I end up having? A viral infection that has been going around as well as a serious ear infection in my left ear with my right ear not far behind. My hearing right now is greatly impaired and everything is very muffled. Drug given – penicillin which thankfully is very cheap. But the doctor hesitated before he wrote the prescription and asked if I had health insurance. My pills ended up costing $8.95 for 30 of them.

Which leads me to wonder…

Am I getting less care and/or less potent drugs because I do not have health insurance?

or…

Am I getting better & more simple care because the pull of drug companies and making more money isn’t coming into play?

It makes me wonder.


It Was Hard to do, But We Made a “Fun” Purchase

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Part of the compromise with my husband was to spend some money on “fun” things this summer. I admit, I was so focused on eliminating debt that I soon forgot about having some fun. After we put them in our shopping cart, I told my husband to head for the check-out before I change my mind – LOL.

We bought one 2-Person inflatable kayak and one 1-person.

And let me tell you, we took them out today and had a blast!! My son keeps saying, “Thank you for the fun day.” It was worth the purchase price to see the smile on his face as we were paddling across the lake.

I have a feeling we will get a great deal of use out of these kayaks and I know they were worth the money. And the best part of all – they were paid with cash!!

I hope everyone else is enjoying the weekend!


Taking Inventory of the Things You Don’t Really Need

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While trying to fall asleep one night, I was looking around my bedroom and started thinking about how many things I have in my bedroom that I don’t really need. Then I started thinking about other rooms of the house and before I knew it I had a mental list many pages long.

Going through that exercise helped me realize two things:

1.) I have bought many things over the years that I really didn’t need. Going through and really thinking about everything, I see things that were purchased that I thought I needed, but really didn’t. With just doing this exercise mentally, I can only imagine how many more pages would be added when I actually look around every room and physically check every nook and cranny.

2.) I have the makings for a pretty good garage sale. I don’t like having a garage sale unless I have quite a few items to sell. After taking the mental inventory, I realize that I have more I can sell than I thought I did. So, my project for this summer is to have a garage sale and all proceeds will go directly towards debt. What I will do is go room to room just like I did with my mental inventory and have a large box ready to throw everything in.

I’m glad I did this. It gave me a lot to think about the next time I want to buy something. I’ll also hopefully have some more money to put towards debt after having a good-sized garage sale πŸ™‚


Do You Have a Problem Spending Money?

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I was surfing the web and came across this neat quiz from MSN. It’s their “Savvy Spending Quiz.”

Savvy Spending Quiz

I should be so ashamed of myself. My score is 25 out of 100! I really flunked that one – LOL. It shouldn’t be a laughing matter, but sometimes you have to laugh to keep sane.

My results basically told me what I already know – that I have a credit management problem. I do have to argue a little bit with that one. I am learning all the tools and I already know quite a few that I need to manage my credit. I just need more funds to pay everything! I am just laughing right now. Now I just had the urge to cry. But I won’t. I must stay strong and focused.

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