#getyourpraiseon


Numbers, numbers, numbers.

January hasn’t been the most exciting month. We work, cook, workout, and repeat. Why? Darco and u declared a set time period from Christmas to month’s end as a ‘no spend’ period. This is partially due to the six week period of no pay for teachers (Christmas Break), and partially for financial discipline.

Heading into our final week I reviewed our budget parameters on our trusty BillGuard app. Our fuel consumption is currently at 50% of our monthly budget, along with groceries. We’re near 60% for eating out of the house as well.

I would lie if I said not blowing money after Christmas is fun, but the hesitance to spend now greatly influences future financial opportunities.

It’s worth it. It’s definitely worth it.

-D-

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Mobile Minutes: Black Friday Survival


I did it.
I finally did it.
For the first time in my life I braved…wait for it…Black Friday!
*bum, bum, bum…*

In reality Darco was at work, and it was myself and our teenage cousin, Chey. After cooking five scrambled eggs, Chey (shy) and I made our way into the city. Mind you, we were also blessed with 33℉ temperatures and freezing rain.

The stage was set.

60 miles away was a running store that I was targeting; there was a potential of a serious snag (and I desperately needed new running shoes). 7:00 AM we show our faces, we ducked in, dodged the marathon specialist, the runner that just finished training in the rain, and the two folks talking about GU running gels. There I saw them; two size 13 pairs of Saucony Guide 8’s. One box in each hand, hurdled the sale table like Lolo Jones, paid, and ducked back out into the rain.

Total time: 10 minutes
Money saved: $200.00

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New gear.

After breaking a sweat, stretching our limbs, we flew across the metro to Under Armour Outlet and…ready for this…snagged sweat pants. Due to the ‘fat years’ of my childhood elastic sweat pants scarred me. Chey talked me into getting a pair of sweats, along with some other goodies. Due to the outlet mall being an outdoor facility no one was out and about. There were no stiff arms, Chey even tried clothes on, and we still made it out in twenty minutes.

Total time: 20 minutes
Money saved: $130
Bonus: $20 gift card from Under Armour

Coffee, lunch, a quick jaunt to IKEA and the day was done. We only needed a few light bulbs for the house at one last stop.

Walmart.

Wouldn’t you know it, even at 1:00 PM, Chey and I dodged two moving vehicles, one lady with some wicked eye brows, and at least three chain smokers just for a few bulbs. Easily Walmart brought upon more stress than my most recent job evaluation.

Total time: 30 minutes
Money saved: Not worth the increased blood pressure

But hey…it was all worth spending time with a crazed teenager.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Furniture Airports


So, it turns out there’s this store in the world named IKEA. It’s giant, blue, yellow, and full of…stuff. You can build a home, buy supplies for the home, or just chill on the furniture for your home, while eating a plate of Swedish meatballs or a cinnamon roll.

These are all true stories, and some of the things I have experienced in the past two days. A few months ago the city south of where we live opened up an IKEA. To give you an idea of this significance, the closest one past that is in Chicago. Needless to say I waited my due time to visit, and actually heading home yesterday Darco conned me into stopping by. Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: ON Action


A bit on Christmas…

As it turns out, people do not inform me that I do indeed need new clothes. They merely think about it, and give subtle hints with gift cards to clothing specific stores during Christmas. This was the case this year with a card for Old Navy that I received from MC and Jim. Now, in their defense, it is true that for the past ten years I have purchased 100% of my pants from Old Navy, and nearly 75% of my ‘professional casual’ shirts from there also. Therefore, if I’m looking to head into the education field, have a strong wardrobe would be ideal (especially without the sweat stains in the armpits such as what happened to my beloved white polo). Tonight, I did what I despise the most in life, I shopped for clothes…for myself. Thankfully, being a large and tall individual means that my shopping nearly always exists online. When your pants range between a 40×34 and a 40×36 you get the luxury of knowing you won’t always have to face the mob of dramatic teenagers and foaming-at-the-mouth soccer moms.

I am pleased to report that my frugality paid off today through my awesome shopping habits (and poor tastes in fashion). I’m not huge on button down shirts, I tend to enjoy my polos instead (minus the golf clubs). So, out of joy I’ll share with you my my success.

With a $100 gift card, I was able to snag:
-2 pairs of khaki cargo pants (one a coconut white, the other toffee brown)
-4 XL* polos (all of different color…a positive move in my taste of fashion from years past)
-2 men’s, knitted stocking caps

Ran my total to $99.97 with free shipping since it was a purchase over $50.

I. Win.

-D-

*I’m sure MC is doing her own #getyourpraiseon due to the fact that her son is finally purchasing extra large polos instead of the skin-tight larges from years past…

Mobile Minutes: Self


I can firmly say the phone call I just received is a first for me. The dialogue when kind of like this:

Me: Why are you crying?
Darco: Because I’m anxious.
Me: Why are you anxious?
Darco: Because I’ve never gone out and spent money on clothes for myself.

So here’s the deal. Darco, as we’ve talked about before, grew up dirt poor. Moving from place to place due to her mother being evicted. It is a really sad story. When we met, Darco’s wardrobe consisted of work clothes, old athletic shorts, and t-shirts from high school.

That. Was. It.

When we got married we were super broke for several reasons. I still told her that when the day arrived, we would purchase a new set of clothes for her.

Praise God that day was today. With holes in her work shirts and shoes, today was the day to wipe the slate clean.

However, much to my surprise. Instead of being thrilled with a shopping spree, my wife was scared to spend any money. Crying from anxiety of getting something for herself.

This is my life…

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Kombucha


I’m not really sure how to say that word.

I’m also not really sure what on earth the thing is.

Technically it’s part of some gluten-free, yuppie drive drink that Darco grabbed at the grocery store ($3.50 for 16 oz).

It goes down your throat like snot.
It’s bitter like fresh raspberries [plus?].
It is frankly, rather repulsive.

However, I also get to see the joy on my wife’s face for trying something new, eating healthy, and making wise choices.

Sometimes it’s worth choking the stuff down.

On a similar, fun note:

Darco went grocery shopping tonight [hence where that…thing came from]. I was taking a nap at home, she woke me up while she was at the grocery store, nearly crying.
I thought the car had been hit, and she was in an accident.

She proceeds to tell me this:

The organic chicken was on sale at Hy-Vee for 2 for $6. So, we both knew I was going down there today to stock up because that’s a relatively good deal for the product. When I arrived I saw that the special price wasn’t posted. So, with the ad in my hand I went ahead and grabbed the chicken, thinking that I would explain the ad if the price didn’t show correctly.

Well, the price didn’t show correctly. So, the cashier calls over the manager. The manager tells me that since the chicken is not for the price as advertised that I get the chicken for free. So, we just had a grocery bill run from $70 to $23 total with a ton of chicken!

I’m still upset that I was half asleep and didn’t fully enjoy the moment. However, it is nice having plenty of chicken in the apartment. More importantly though is recognizing how happy my wife is with what occurred, her eating habits, and her dedication towards health.

I’m not just proud of her, I’m continually reminded as to why she means so much to me.

…off to go drink some of that stuff…

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Day of Black Sun Pt. II


It’s 3:54 AM…

I’m back in bed. Considering the idea of shopping at this time in the morning…absolutely stupid.

With that said, an email I received said that several books on Google Play were up for 75% off.

Who just bought “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth for $3.99?

This guy.

Early morning shopping is hard stuff…

-D-