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August has been an interesting month with a lot of ups and downs.  The weather has been cooling off a little bit (which is odd for August, but I love it).  I’m excited for fall but not looking forward to what comes next (6 months of winter in a frozen tundra).  Here are my successes, failures, and highlights for the month of August.

Frugal Successes

-I put $800 extra toward one of my student loans.  Because I recently paid off my first “big” ($6,000+ loan), my regular payment went down $100.  This frees up more money to put toward my extra payments!  This is how the debt snowball works :)

-I organized my wallet, found several old gift cards, and looked up the balance of each (most gift cards have instructions on the back that explain how to find the balance online).  Most of the gift cards had a $0 balance, but I found a Visa gift card that still had $75 on it.  I used this to pay for groceries which helped me to spend less of my own money on food this month.

-I also organized the freezer and kitchen cabinet this month.  Both had become super disorganized and since I had no clue what I even had, I kept buying things that I didn’t need.  After getting everything organized, I realized I had 4 boxes of granola bars and 15 cans of soup.  Completely unnecessary!  I was able to spend a lot less on groceries this month once I stopped buying things that we already have plenty of.  Lesson learned – keep stuff organized!

-I went to free holy yoga classes 2x per week.

Frugal Failures

Herbie the pug puppy is turning out to be a little more expensive than expected.  He has *cough* a problem *cough* that is going to make his neutering surgery a bit more invasive and expensive than your typical neutering.

The good news is that I was able to find an affordable vet in our area, so we don’t have to drive 3 hours to my hubby’s hometown for the surgery.  I’ll be sharing some tips on how to find an affordable vet sometime soon.  Stay tuned! :)

Highlights of the Month

-I had some great times with friends celebrating birthdays, graduations, and Fridays (the weekend is reason enough to celebrate, right?).  All of the activities we did together – like having dinner at a friend’s house, having a barbecue at a lake, and going for walks – were free!

-I was featured as one of the top budgeting bloggers to follow in 2016 by Blogtrepreneur and Personal Income.

-I have some guest posts and freelance articles in the works, and I’m so excited for these to go live!  Many of the sites that I’m writing for plan their articles out months in advance, so it’ll be awhile before some of my articles are published.

That’s one of the unique things about blogging – it can make for an awesome career because it’s entirely possible to make money while you’re sleeping or on vacation.  You put in the work up front but may sometimes reap the benefits at a much later date.

What I Read

I started It’s Only Money and It Grows on Trees by Cara MacMillan.  The book is about a classroom discussion centered around the different world religions and what each religion teaches about money.  Some personal finance books are boring, but this one definitely isn’t.  Even someone who typically doesn’t enjoy reading books about money would like this book.

Rather than just listing tips for earning more money or saving money, the author discusses how our emotions, religious beliefs, and societal norms shape our views on money.  This book is about breaking free of our previous habits and learning to build wealth.

What I Watched

I’ve just been watching reruns of Gilmore Girls.  I need to find a new show to watch.  Any suggestions??


-I published an article about how to implement a successful spending ban on Elite Daily!

-My friend Heather at Simply Save shared how she makes money on the side doing something that she loves – pet sitting.

-I shared an inside peek at my budget-friendly bachelorette party.

How was your August?

Other stuff you might like:

What to Do When You’re Feeling “Stuck”
Lessons Learned from a Sprained Ankle
2016: Planning Your Best Year Ever
My Personal Finance “Aha” Moment
Why I Started a 3 Year Spending Ban