Festival of Frugality #80 Is Up

The latest Festival of Frugality is being hosted at Money for the Rest of Us. I will be hosting the Festival next week. I’ll probably be traveling the day of the Festival so please send in your posts early so I can get a head start on the Festival. Here are a couple of quick picks from this week’s Festival.

Living Without Air-Conditioning Can Save Big Bucks This Summer posted at WB Frugality.  I had to do this as a kid but I’m not willing to do it now. I only have a small window unit which shouldn’t be too costly to run.

Consider The Cost Of Driving posted at My Wealth Builder. I’ve gone carless several times in my life and it always helped me save money. I currently need a car for my job or I’d consider going carless now.

There are plenty of other interesting posts so be sure to visit the Festival. You can submit your entries for next week’s Festival of Frugality here.

Check Out Some OPP

Here are some other people’s posts(OPP). These are all topics that I was going to write about but other bloggers have already written better posts on them than I could.

How to start a Roth Ira” from Get Rich Slowly. I just opened a Roth IRA with T. Rowe Price and just made my first $50 monthly investment today. I’m happy with them so far.

Finding Health Insurance Options” from My Money Blog. My health insurance started this month. I was able to get health insurance with more coverage through eHealthInsurance (aff link) for less than I could with the student health plan. You would think that since most students are young the group insurance would be cheaper than individual insurance for a 39 year old but that was not the case.

Sprint SERO Cell Phone” from My Money Blog. This is where I got my new cell phone and I think it is a pretty good deal. I did have some problems getting my phone and service though. First I had a difficult time verifying my identity. They wanted me to tell them my last two addresses. I move often and once I’m gone from a place the address is gone from my mind. I couldn’t provide them with that information and had to call back later from the phone number listed on my credit report. Since this is my mother’s phone number who lives three hours away this was a hassle and delayed my credit approval.

After I got that fixed my phone was on back order for two weeks. The entire time I was given the message that my order would be ready to ship in 48-72 hours. Also every time I tried to call them they were experiencing heavier than normal call volume. If you’re experiencing heavier than normal call volume every day than it is just normal call volume. The company that sent the phone is a contractor for Sprint so now that I have the phone I expect better customer service.

The Present Versus the Future” from The Simple Dollar. I have made a lot of bad financial decisions from not being patient. As a kid I’m sure I would have eaten the marshmallow right away. I might still write a post about this.

A Fun Free Night

I had the night off from one of my jobs last night so I decided to get some food and watch a movie. First I went to Buca di Beppo which I had a free $10 gift card for that they had sent in the mail last month. I actually had 3 gift cards because I dug a couple others out of the junk mail trash basket. I sold the other 2 on eBay and kept this one for myself. I ordered a small spaghetti marinara for $8.99. With the local sales tax of over 10% the total came to $9.91 coming pretty close to using all of the card without any money coming out of my pocket.

While they were preparing my order I walked over to McDonald’s and rented a movie from Redbox. Since I had a free promo code the rental was free. Since promo codes are good once per credit card by using a different card every time I have plenty of free rentals coming to me. I then went back to Bucca and picked up my order. Their small spaghetti is enormous. I’ll be eating spaghetti for days. Then I walked back home and watched my movie while eating some spaghetti. It was an enjoyable evening at home and it was completely free.

Law School Limbo

I had my hearing before the readmissions committee yesterday. Being an introvert it really wasn’t something I was looking forward to but the committee was surprisingly sympathetic. I received their decision today which was sooner than I expected it. The decision of the committee is to defer their decision. I have to attend counseling and when/if they are satisfied with the progress I’m making there I’ll be readmitted. It sounds right now that they are leaning towards not readmitting me until the winter semester. I’m not thrilled with that idea because that means I’ll be 41 when I graduate and I feel like I’m losing valuable time. I don’t have as many working years ahead of me as the younger students. Of course this option is much better than not being readmitted at all so I need to remember this is a positive thing.

Festival of Frugality #79 Picks

The latest Festival of Frugality is up at FinanceIsPersonal. He makes a great editor’s choice pick with The Junk Car Stays @ Money and Such. My car is a ’94 Toyota Corolla and I completely agree with this post. My favorites from the rest of the posts are:

Ways to save money – Look like a hobo, at Journey2Retirement. This post is in the same vein as my post from last week Save money on clothes by not buying any

25 Things We Do To Save Money at Money, Matter,and More Musings. I always like lists and this one includes lots of things I do.

There are plenty of other good posts so be sure to check out the entire Festival of Frugality.

Lifestyle Inflation

Since I’ve started working my expenses have increased greatly. Most of these expenses I think are necessary. Since I was living very meagerly before it was almost impossible for me to not experience some lifestyle inflation. I don’t really consider this to be a bad thing though. For instance I spent almost $900 last month for oral surgery. This was something I had put off for a long time but definitely needed to be done. Also I am now paying for health insurance. Having health insurance is an increase of lifestyle over not having health insurance but one that I consider reasonable.

Other expenses are less clear. I signed up for the SERO plan from Sprint.  This will mean a monthly phone bill of $30 plus tax. This is considerably more than the roughly $10 a month phone bill I had before. I think it is worth it since I can now talk to my family and friends as long as I like without worrying about per-minute charges. It isn’t a necessary expense though and I need to be careful about adding too many similar expenses to my budget. I’m satisfied that my expenses are still reasonable for my income now but I know I need to monitor them to make sure they don’t get unreasonable. For more about lifestyle inflation here are a couple of posts I found informative.

Lifestyle Inflation-When Does It Become a Problem“  from Money,Matter, and More Musings.

How to Protect Yourself from Lifestyle Inflation” from Get Rich Slowly.