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.

 

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

What is Frugal?

So, like I stated I am jump starting my frugal attempts. Which means also, budgeting and saving a little piece of the pie each month. I’m great at finding deals and looking for bargains, but at the end of the day is that being frugal when I still spend all my money and nothing is in the savings account?
frugal [ˈfruːgəl]
adj
1. practising economy; living without waste; thrifty
2. not costly; meagre
[from Latin frūgālis, from frūgī useful, temperate, from frux fruit]

Well, from that definition, I guess I can be frugal and still be broke. As, long as I am not wasting anything.. I’m frugal.
Ok – well, How can I be frugal and be a money saver? I guess wasting money could count as not being frugal. hhhhmmmmmm

Same Game, New Strategy

OK.. So, not that I have any followers but even if you read any of my posts it is not hard to see that I have been lazy in my attempts to be frugal.  I have been lazy in posting and what posts I have posted are lacking WOW and Frugal fabulousness.

I have had a bit of a wacky few weeks that have taken my energy away from such things and the real blog world. I am new to this whole blog thing so I am trying to make habit of recording my life with words and pictures, The words not as hard as remembering to take pictures of everything and I mean everything, like so many fabulous blogs I see.

So, I am aware of how mine lacks the “HOT DAMN!!!” factor. And, I’m trying…

I do have a memory card full of pictures the challenge now is to track down my cord so that I can get said pictures off the camera and into my blog!

I have completed my first wreath that I had to make and have after seeing so many at the store that although absolutely stunning and beautiful, I refused to spend that kind of money on something that doesn’t fly me to my next paradise destination.

I have almost completed decorating my living room. Well, I don’t know if anyone is ever finished decorating, but I’m getting my living room to finally flow.

I got Charlie neutered. ;( – which I posted before was a FRUGAL ALERT! $55.00

My living room will have its own post because it really was a FRUGAL ALERT TREASURE! I’m trying to work with what I have and that ain’t much.. but needless to say I’m making it work.

My husband is gone on business for the next month so my ability to budget and track what is going on should improve. This also, just gives me more free time to get things done and BLOG about it! I am trying to find the positive things of my honey being gone because day 3 and I’m already missing him.

I’m usually good for 14 days and then drastic measures to keep my sanity are needed. But my blog should really grow this month! I do have many things going on month to keep me on my toes and buzzing like a bee. Which is great because I will have much to blog about.

I am planning Emily’s Bridal shower and that takes place on the 6th of November so right around the corner. Trying to plan and decorate and buy gifts and then the 5k this weekend. Which kills a whole weekend so that makes time that much tighter, and then having to budget and still be frugal while having to spend extra to make sure that everything is wonderful for her special day, is another obstacle on my course. So, like I said much to blog AND learn this month!

I am excited!

Trying to be frugal in a relationship

So, I started this blog with the anticipation of charting my life and finances and crafts and ideas so that I could figure where my money was going and be so proud of myself to know that I DO save money and I could watch myself mass a pile of money, from all my frugalness.

Well, this is obviously easier said then done. The hardest part is having a partner that doesn’t think the same way I do. Well, that’s not the hardest part. The hardest part is having a partner that doesn’t have the ability to track… wait a second.. I guess tracking is hard for me too. OK, the hardest part is not having a partner that is better at all these things than I am.  The other hard part is that my income is easier to track because I know how much and when. His income is sporadic, being that he works for himself and has a partner he has to split money with. A business partner.

So, because of these reasons my frugal challenge becomes more challenging. Another, bump in my route to saving money and finding balance. How can I be balanced on a bumpy road?! I try to see the end result but now I feel like I am walking on a financial tightrope during a hurricane.

Am, I making things harder than they really are?

Do I need an attitude adjustment? Do I need a financial gorilla to show me the way?

Am I thinking too much about money and saving it?

What am I not getting? missing? forgetting to apply? Is it me? is it him? is it us?

 

So, because of the other challenges my blog has gone from, trying to be frugal and crafts and up-cycling to relationship how to’s and complications of life in general. Half the things I start writing about have little to nothing to do with money and being frugal and finding great deals or even spending less on groceries to, to, to this…

How can I make my challenge work? How can I maintain a budget and balanced life and actually be frugal in my marriage?

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