December Budget Breakdown and Savings Updates

xmassweaterGood morning, thriftaholics.  I honestly cannot believe that it is December already.  Where did this year go?  It seems like I was just plotting out our goals for 2014!  Craziness.

Anyway, I am pretty happy with how our year went both financially and personally.  We did really awesome when it came to creating a zero-sum budget each month, and we were able to stick to our plan the vast majority of the time (aside from at least one epic budget fail).  [Read more…]

Epic Budget Failure: When Everything Goes Wrong

failedI try to be an open book about our budgeting process.  For example, I post our monthly zero-sum budget each month and do my best to share the ups and downs as the month goes on.

And most of the time, there is honestly nothing exciting to report.

Sure, we occasionally dip into our miscellaneous category for excess grocery spending here and there.  And yes, we are sometimes stuck eating boxed food and can goods for a few days towards the end of the month.  And everyone once in a while I forget to budget for some random expense and end up transferring an additional $50 over into my account to pay for it.  [Read more…]

Frugal Travel: Where Would You Go for Five Days?

The view from the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto...

The view from the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto…

Do you ever think about where in the world you would travel if you had an unlimited amount of money and time?  I’ll tell you were I would go.

First of all, I’ve always wanted to go to the Maldives and I know the clock is ticking since it is basically sinking into the ocean.  And second, I would probably go to see the Great Pyramid of Giza because I think it’s crazy.  Other regions of the world I want to visit include nearly all of Europe that I haven’t seen, the Norwegian Fjords, basically all of Iceland, and several regions in South America.  Of course, parts of Asia would make the list as well.  I would love to go to Thailand, for example, and I have always wanted to see the Terracotta Warriors in China. <Fun Fact: I am slightly obsessed with the Terracotta warriors> [Read more…]

Trip Report: Europe On a Budget

We placed our lock on the Pont des Arts bridge.  That means he's mine FOREVA

We placed our lock on the Pont des Arts bridge. That means he’s mine FOREVA

As I shared a few weeks ago, Greg and I recently went on a credit card rewards-fueled vacation across the pond.  And now that we’re back, I thought I would share how the trip went down and, more importantly, how much we spent.  Let’s start at the beginning. [Read more…]

How Much Should You Budget for a Trip to Europe?

eiffelAs most people know, we’re leaving Tuesday for a trip across the pond.  We’re slightly nervous about the long plane ride, but mostly just excited to get the ball rolling.  Recently, I was drafting up our zero-sum budget for November when Greg asked me how much we were budgeting for our trip.  Sadly, I hadn’t even thought much about it.  I’ve been so busy with life and everything else that our vacation budget had become an afterthought somehow.

So we sat down and figured it out.  Here’s what we came up with: [Read more…]

How to Save on Holiday Travel with Choice Hotels

holiday travelThe holidays are coming up, and you know what that means.  It means it’s time to pack your car full of kids and gifts and drive all over the country in an effort to meet everyone’s holiday expectations.  The problem?  Holiday travel can get expensive.

Fortunately, Choice Hotels is offering up some hot deals for this year’s holiday travel season.  Let me explain… [Read more…]