Stacking Twenties: With Library Requests

Like every person on the planet, I am completely obsessed with the Hamilton musical. So, when I found out they were releasing a coffee table book full of essays and annotated lyrics, I knew I had to get my hands on it.

But also, it was $25, and I generally don’t buy books because I hate storing them and rarely read them more than once.

Usually, when I want to read something, I just log on to my library account and add it to my holds list. It might take a while to get to me, but it’ll show up eventually, and for free! Continue reading

Vacationing on a Budget

I LOVE to travel. Going somewhere new, whether it’s with friends, family, or even by myself (I backpacked alone through Europe for six weeks when I was 20) is one of my absolute favorite things.

I also like to do so inexpensively (shocking, right?).

I’ve written two posts before about some great, cheap trips to Canada, and now here’s a roundup of a bunch of my favorite ways to save money while traveling. Continue reading

Stacking Twenties: With Standing Plans

You know how, in sitcoms, the groups of friends always have that one bar or coffee shop that they constantly hang out at? And how, in real life, it takes hours of group texting to figure out when everyone’s going to be free and what you guys want to do and then you end up getting there and spending way too much on some fancy cocktail while you can barely hear your friends, or the conversation you want to be part of is all the way at the other end of the table?

If I lived in a sitcom, I’d just have a standing date with all the people I like, and I’d get to see them regularly, and I wouldn’t spend my entire paycheck on it. Enter: game night! For the past month, a group of my friends have been getting together every Monday evening to eat a potluck dinner and play board/card games. Continue reading

Ask and Ye Might Just Receive

About a month ago, a retailer I like (not naming them since they went against policy to help me out) had a major sale going on. A ton of their merchandise was 80 percent off, so I bought two dresses and some stationary. I also picked up a pair of heels, which were full price.

The package arrived, the shoes didn’t fit, I stuck them back in the box and shipped it off to exchange for a different size.

Just today, I received an email – my return had been received, but since the product was damaged I could not receive a refund or exchange. Continue reading

I Added Giving to My Budget

When I took a close look at my 2015 spending a few weeks ago, I discovered that I had spent a grand total of $300 on gifts and donations in the entire year. That made me sad.

I claim to want to make the world a better place, and to care deeply about my relationships. I’ve even written about the moral choice to save a large portion of my income instead of giving it away. But I realized I was just talking about it, not actually doing anything.

Oops. Continue reading

Savings Means No One Can Screw You Over

I’ve written before about how your money can buy you freedom, in the sense of never having to work again if you don’t want to. But that takes a long time.

What doesn’t take long is to build up enough savings that you get to make your own choices.

You don’t have to stay in a job you hate or in a bad relationship or let anyone disrespect you because you can’t pay the bills otherwise. Just a few thousand dollars (or even just a lack of debt) is enough to get out.

And if you don’t have it, you’re stuck.

Basically the point of this post is to link to this amazing Billfold article, A Story of a Fuck Off Fund. Check it out.

Canada for Cheap

Back in May, I wrote about an awesome and super-cheap trip to Canada. If you are a fan of international travel for very little money, you’re in luck! I took another one this weekend.

We went to Nelson, which is a cute little mountain town about three hours north of Spokane.

Of course, we drove, because there is no other way to get there. $25 each for gas? Yes please.

And then we stayed in a great AirBnB, which was a studio apartment just a little bit out of town. $40 a night, plus we had a kitchen? Excellent. Continue reading