Evaluating One Bad Month’s Numbers

I am going to be honest, July was a brutal month when I look at my spending and my resulting savings rate.  Twice per month I automatically transfer $250 to our savings account.  This helps to make sure that no matter what I am putting some money away.  At the end of the month I will transfer any additional money over into savings.  Well when the end of July rolled around I had no money left to transfer.  My heart sank a little as I looked at my dismal savings rate of only 26%.  Last year I saved an average of 42% of my take home pay and yet here I was saving only 26% of a much higher amount.  WTH?  Has lifestyle inflation really gotten the better of me?

When I got my promotion last fall initially thought I would be save almost 100% of of my raise which would amount to a nice little sum of money by the years end.  Yet it appears that lifestyle inflation has hit me a little as I am not saving as much as I should/could be.

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Travel can be great…but it can also be such a pain in the butt. This past weekend Mr. SFF had a long weekend business trip planned to Florida and I got to tag along. The plan was to leave Thursday afternoon, work Friday and into Saturday if needed, then drive 3 hours to see my Memere (grandmother) for the night before flying back home in Sunday.

As we strolled in to the airport on Thursday afternoon everything seemed grand. There was literally no one in the security line, the terminal was brightly lit by sunshine, and everything we thought would go just as planned…until we sat at the end of the runway for seemingly no reason for at least 15 minutes (with no ac). This is certainly not great with only a 40 minute layover but we thought we should still have enough time since our gate was in the same terminal. Continue reading “Travel”

Vacation Turned Delay-cation Turned Stay-cation

Last Tuesday we were supposed to fly out to the Denver area for a combined ski trip and also to visit my sister in law, her husband and my nephews.  Even three days out from our departure date we knew that this trip wouldn’t go quite as planned.  There was a blizzard on the horizon set to arrive on Tuesday, the day of our departure.  We got a notification on Saturday that one of our flights might be a problem as we were scheduled to go through New York right in the heart of the storm.  With this advance notice we were given the option of changing our flight without incurring any change fees.  We changed our first flight to go through Detroit instead of NY and as we were set to leave at 5:45 am we figured we would be able to fly out before the storm hit.

Sleeping the night before an early morning flight never goes well but even after tossing and turning for well over an hour, we got a notification that our flight was cancelled around 11 pm.  Bummer…but at least we knew the night before so we didn’t have to make it all the way to the airport in the wee hours of the morning before finding out.  We slept in a little bit (does 7:15 count?), had breakfast, and then decided it would actually be easier to drive over to the airport and figure out our options instead of waiting on hold for hours with the airline (the hold time on Saturday was 2 hours).  This turned out to be a great decision as the airport was a ghost town.  We didn’t see a single passenger, despite there not be a flake of snow in the sky, and only a few airport employees around.  Even all the shops were closed.  Apparently only 2 flights made it out that morning before things closed down which meant we had the full attention of the counter agent.  We decided since the forecast was estimating a couple of feet of snow it would be silly to head out west to ski/ride on Wednesday, plus the likelihood of actually getting out on a flight Wednesday was not likely as the storm was set to continue well into the day.  So with our flight rescheduled to Thursday we headed home to rest after a horrible night of sleep. Continue reading “Vacation Turned Delay-cation Turned Stay-cation”

Frugal Traveling Part II

I posted last weekend about some of the issues we had when traveling down to Florida for a funeral but I wanted to summarize the whole trip now.  My grandfather passed away so my sister and I planned a trip down there for the funeral.  Being so frugal (you might even say cheap) I was not willing to pay the asking price for last minute plane tickets.  As a result, we had a ton of added stress to our travel plans.

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When Traveling Fugally Backfires – Part I

Originally I was thinking I would just do one post about my recent last minute trip to go to a funeral but I figured I would do a mid-trip update.  My grandfather passed away this past week so my sister and I planned a trip down to Florida for the funeral and did our best to be as frugal as possible.  So far, this has failed and makes me wonder how much easier my life might be if I was just willing to shell out money every once and a while.

Continue reading “When Traveling Fugally Backfires – Part I”

A Snow Filled Week of Fun

We just got home after an amazing week out in the mountains of Utah.  As we are currently experiencing our worst winter snow-wise in 60 years at home (not just a feeling, there are measurable statistics about the lack of snowfall) we were very excited about spending the week in Utah on some natural and hopefully fluffy snow.  For the first part of the trip a couple of our friends joined us and then some family and their friends joined for the second half of the trip.

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Weekend in Review – Spartan Beast Race in SC

Yes, I traveled 1000 miles to compete in a Spartan Race.  Crazy?  Maybe.  But fun and totally worth it? YES!  In case you are a new reader, I have a passion for fitness and run in Spartan obstacle course races.  I may be frugal but fitness is one area of my life where I do spend some money, although as responsibly as possible.

A Spartan race is an obstacle course race where you do anything from going over/under walls,  climbing ropes, barbed wire crawls, cargo nets, sandbag carries, etc.  Just think military style obstacles and you get the idea.  To some people this sounds nuts but I absolutely love it!  This is not the cheapest hobby but I have been doing my best to participate without breaking the bank and my budget.

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Our “Free” Long Weekend at Martha’s Vineyard

My boss has a second home in Martha’s Vineyard.  They rent out the house during the busy summer months but other than that he goes down to about once per month and sometimes more frequently.  Last year he offered that I could use the house free of charge during the off season or any time that it was not rented and he wasn’t using it.  Mr. SFF and I finally found a weekend that we were both free and the house was available so we invited my mom and my sister to join us for an extended weekend. Continue reading “Our “Free” Long Weekend at Martha’s Vineyard”

Weekend in Review – Spartan Sprint at Killington

This past weekend was a busy one!  I was non-stop for 3 days and was certainly feeling it for a couple of days after.  Thankfully my wallet didn’t get all that much exercise as I was able to keep my costs in check.  Friday Mr. SFF and I shot a wedding so we were on our feet for 13 hours.  It may have been a long day but we got to witness the wedding from start to finish for some good friends so it was worth all of the work!


The weekend itself was all about Spartan.  I volunteered at the Spartan Beast race at Continue reading “Weekend in Review – Spartan Sprint at Killington”

Mont Ste Marie Spartan Race

Usually my Spartan blog posts are very upbeat but unfortunately today’s is not.  Last weekend we went up to Canada for the Ottawa Spartan Beast race which was held at Mont Ste Marie.  My Spartan buddy and I signed up for the race at the beginning of the year and have been training for 7 months for this race.  I have done Spartan races before but the Beast is the hardest distance and often includes lots of vertical gain.  This race was 14.9 miles, had 33 obstacles, and had a total of 4617 ft of elevation gain.

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Although I am currently in the best shape of my life, a combination of the high temp and humidity and not drinking enough water just before and Continue reading “Mont Ste Marie Spartan Race”