Hidden Fees

It has been a very long while since I have made a post, wondering if I should just abandon the blog all together and keep on keeping on with the craziness that is surrounding my spirit.

HIDDEN FEES the subject at hand. This is the hot topic because my husband and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary and we took a long weekend trip to Miami. A great place to have fun, drink, eat, relax, people watch…. and spend more money than ever intended AKA raped.

I searched and searched for the greatest hotel, price matching and comparing and reading fine print and reviews. I googled, and I price lined, and I checked my travel mags and zagat mags. Because, i was going to find the best value for my buck. I was going to stay on budget, I was going to have a frugal vacation…. Yeah right.

First, we arrive at our amazingly beautiful hotel. (Hotel Urbano) Well, as soon as I pull the car up to check in a very fast and courteous man greets my husband and I, quick to help with baggage and produces a valet tag and a quick, that will be $29.00 a day for valet parking, thank you and vroom vroom, off he goes… uh wha.. wait…

Speaking to the front desk clerk, we ask her about the fee and if we could park somewhere else, for that would have been an extra $100 dollars we were not prepared to spend on just parking.  well… you could park on the street.. but don’t park here, here, or there because they will tow you. Or you could try to find parking over here… but just make sure that you read the signs very carefully.

Yeah okay.

Every restaurant already adds a surcharge of 18% tip and you have to carefully read your ticket or you wont see it and then give them another 18% or so again. That really isn’t the bad thing, the thing is the service in Miami sucks. They serve you like it is an inconvenience for them to be doing their job, so I am paying 18% if I like it or not for crappy service. Which is fine, to some degree, when I’m on vacation just trying to have a good time, drunk and hung over, but there are times when it is just unacceptable.

taxi cab rides… there is the normal fare.. but then once you get to your destination there is an extra dollar surcharge.

Miami is the one the city that you really do not get what you pay for… you pay for whatever they want to give you…

Besides hidden fees and horrible service though Miami is a unique and entertaining experience. An experience you must have at least once in your life. Just be prepared to understand how their city operates and don’t expect much for hospitality and you will have an amazing time.. especially shopping.

eye opening

I have started my climb back up to the land of budgets and frugalness. I have Bank of America and even though at times I hate them, they provide some good products that I utilize or at times hide from.  One of them is a budget and expense tracker, this really works and helps me to see where my money is disappearing to.

I pretty much use my debit card for everything that I purchase, hardly ever having cash at hand. So this weekend I set out on the scary task of allocating all my transactions to their correct bucket of expenses…. entertainment, utility bills, restaurants/dining, entertainment, clothing, credit cards…. blah blah blah. You get the point. So, very eye opening. It made me see how far off my budget I have drifted and how to find that course of spending less on crap and saving more for the things I always feel I don’t have money for. Including just putting money into savings period.

I have also been trying to find a good AP to use to help me save my receipts in my phone and alert me when certain budgets are close to being exceeded and such.

My biggest thing that I need to get back to is, bringing my lunch to work. I wasn’t cooking as much so I didn’t have left overs to bring in… but that is changing… lots of money spent on lunch every day… way too much spent on lunch everyday. I been spending on the low side… $150 a month just on lunch! which is crazy, especially for a while I spent maybe $40 bucks a month. I could do a lot of stuff with that extra $100 bucks in my pocket.

 

Well, I’m not going to go in detail of every place I have been over spending but I will let you know how this next few weeks turns out!.

complete neglect

I know I have completely neglected my blog. I am also, wondering should I scrap it all together and being fresh… But I think I do that a lot when I don’t want to deal with something. and neglecting my blog is not the root either. I’m neglecting my blog because I am neglecting my budget, my spending, my savings… should I go on? SO I need to do some soul searching. I found another great blogger that has been doing what I try and do and WOW!!! this really could be me if I just kept to my guns and stopped jumping off the wagon.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/01/14/pf/anna_newell_jones/index.htm?hpt=C2#TOP

 

So here is to keeping on keeping on and putting a little more effort in everything I have going on now.

 

More travel deals… skiing anyone?

It is that time of year when the kids will be out of school and looking for something to get into. My family has been trying to plan a ski trip of our own, but wanted to wait until Feb. when the prices go down. But after looking at some of these great prices we may not have to.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/travel/12skideals-prac.html

 

We all need to get-away sometimes….

In keeping my promise of trying to be frugal and helping others to be, I get this weekly email that tells me the best travel deals for the week! I have found some really, really great deals too! My husband and I are really planning at least two BIG trips this year and Ireland is on the top of the list. Round trip tickets to Dublin starting at $450… and all-inclusive deals for $700 a person. I can’t go to Disney anymore without shelling out a few grand… and Ireland just sounds so much GRANDER!!!

http://www.shermanstravel.com/top25/?refer=top25-2010_12_08-trouble

wasting money

As my promise to try and get back on track with being frugal I am on the prowl for new ways to save money and ways to stop wasting money.. I ran across the article on CNN and it puts a BIG FAT Spot light on how much debt we have a massed for ourselves. And how we are suckers for most crap! Myself  included!
4 Ways Americans are wasting money

Frugal Black Fridays

Now, I did mention that the definition of frugal is to not be wasteful… but in my opinion it also means getting the best deal. I ran across this article today on and thought Holy crap great deals are a coming! Target is having $3 appliances and some really great low prices on the stuff we all want but don;t really need, but if we have to have it, then why not get it at a killer price!

http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/111272/target-trots-out-$3-appliances

Happy shopping!

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