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

On the Up-Ramp

I did it I signed up for a membership! It is not your average gym, this place is amazing! http://www.crossfit-sarasota.com. They are all over the US and man I am so glad that I found it. I am going to be fit in no time. My goal is too look like Carrie Underwood by my 30th Birthday… I’m gonna be 30 in 6 1/2 weeks so everybody wish me luck!

*Also, would like to add that I have a FRUGAL ALERT* Although this gym is not the cheapest.. when I signed up I had the choice of doing a personal class or a small group class. The price difference in them was significant so I chose the latter… well to my benefit and what may also be my demise the few people that signed up for the group class switched for personal ones and I got the group rate and still have my personal trainer!!!! Wahoo for me. What I am finding out that a personal trainer catches all and there are no short cuts.. coming home last night I wasn’t sure I would be able to lift my keys to turn on the car.. haha!

The benefit to the gym they also have a nutrition plan, so this will get me back on track with my meal planning and therefore hopefully my budget, Also, my honey joined a gym so he will be completely fine with a healthier meal plan!

I haven’t posted in forever and therefore I also have not slept in forever, I haven’t had a chance to clear the clutter. This has been a very busy month for me. My hubby is still out of town most of the time so it is just me trying to keep up with everything. I wanted to start working out so that I could have the energy to JUST try!

The madness from my Brothers wedding is now behind us! Congrats to them! Everything came out amazing! It was a group effort and a lot of work, but it was sweet success! I can not wait for them to get back from their honeymoon so I can hear all the fun they had!

So, with all that said I still have a list of projects that hopefully now I will have time for. Thanks to the best Aunt in the world I was able to fulfill one of my dreams and now I have a Bernina Sewing machine! It is kind of like getting a BMW, no mater new or used it is a BMW! And I love it. I haven’t done anything major yet besides make a few luggage tags and prompt to pillows for the reception, but I have been searching for a few new things that I would like to dabble in… Maybe make a few dollars at!

I have also, been spending lots of time looking for a family vacation and it amazes me how I could go to California for a week, and for the same price go to Europe!! Which is where I am leaning toward.. Ireland, the Mother Land I found some great deals for all inclusive packages and it is definitely on the top of my priority list. Another reason to get back on track and and save save save!

Well, I guess that is all I have for now! I will make sure to update… I have photos from the wedding of the crafts and decor we created and future events!

 

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