Evaluating the Fair Market Price of a Used Car

Purchasing a used car can be a very difficult task if you’re unfamiliar with the market value of different makes and models. Even if you have a general idea, each vehicle is unique and its own factors (such as condition and mileage) will play a role in its fair value. [Read more…]

The One Who Never Gave Up

greg vivianMy husband talked me into starting this blog around April of 2012.  We were on vacation in Florida and brainstorming all kinds of money-making ventures.  Eventually the conversation turned to blogging since we both enjoy writing and he was reading a lot of frugality blogs at the time.  His thought process was that if other people could do it then we certainly could too.  And it made sense.  Greg had a certain amount of technical skills and experience building websites and we were both willing and able to write on a regular basis.

I won’t bore you will all the ridiculous site ideas we came up with while on that vacation, but suffice it to say that some of them were awful and terribly dumb.  We really dodged a bullet with a few website ideas we almost did.  Yikes.  Anyway, we ultimately came up with our site name- Club Thrifty- because we thought it was cheesy and fun.  And so it began…. [Read more…]

Club Thrifty June Budget Breakdown


The neighborhood pool closest to my house…..

It’s finally summertime, and I’m happy to report we’ve been spending the majority of our free time outdoors.  Our new neighborhood does have an HOA (homeowner’s association), but the $360 annual fee does include access to three parks and two community pools.  Needless to say, we’ve been swimming at least ten times since the pools opened a few weeks ago.  Since it’s just around the corner from our house, it’s a lot like having our own pool.  The only difference is, we don’t have to clean it or take care of it.  Oh, and it’s not taking up our entire backyard either.  I like it. [Read more…]

How to Combat the Crazy Cost of Dental Care

dentalI distinctly remember paying $129 for an annual dental cleaning and X-rays at the dentist in our old town.  I wasn’t happy about it, but I suppose that’s the price I pay for being self-employed.  Actually, I have never had dental insurance before- even when I worked at a regular ol’ 9-5 job.  The point is, I’m used to paying for our basic dental care out-of-pocket and I’m generally happy to do so…within reason.

But we moved this winter and needed to find a new dentist.  I hadn’t thought much about it until Greg mentioned he’d like to go and said it was time to make an appointment for our oldest daughter as well (he keeps track of all appointments).  I told Greg to ask friends at work for a recommendation and to make an appointment for both of them, but only after finding out how much it would cost for each of them to have a new patient exam, X-rays, and a dental cleaning.

A few days later, I got this phone call from Greg: [Read more…]

Guilty Pleasures: What’s Your Budget Buster?

This is how my food looks at the end of the month.....

This is how I feel once we’re down to the last few dollars of our monthly grocery budget……

I just spent the last hour going over our spending from May, and- Holy Shart- it’s slightly scary.  We didn’t do that bad for the most part but, as usual, our grocery spending bled over into our gas/misc category.  I hate it when that happens.  In the past, I’ve written about how I feed our family of four for around $500 per month and it’s totally true.  However, it isn’t always easy.  In fact, our spending occasionally creeps up to $550 or even $600. [Read more…]

Starwood Preferred 30K Bonus is Back, You In?

DSCF2981Sometimes a credit card offer is so exciting that I literally want to shout it from the rooftops.  Usually, I just call Greg at work when that happens.  He typically listens for a while and feigns interest while simultaneously asking me what’s for dinner.  He’s not all that into it, folks.  Nope, not at all.

But he’s busy today, so instead I’m going to lay it on you- right here and right now.  Are you ready?  Please don’t go.  I just want to talk.  I swear it’s an amazing deal!!!!! Don’t hang up…..

Ahem. [Read more…]