Frugal Idea #27: Halloween

October 31, 2014 is arriving in less than one week and the spirit of Halloween is in full effect!

My Facebook news feed will soon be flooded with adorable kids in their outfits, adults in their “too racy to look at during work” costumes, and food altered to meet the theme. You know, such as the black widow spidered deviled eggs.

Deviled Eggs with olives cut into spiders

Deviled Eggs with olives cut into spiders

I enjoy Halloween because of the parties, the dressing up, becoming a different person for the night, & the endless choices of horror flicks. In fact, I just watched Rosemary’s Baby for the first time last night and what an excellent movie, Bravo! What I do not enjoy about Halloween is the endless leftover candies that all of my coworkers bring to work and the amount of money you have to spend on costumes.

This year, I made a conscious effort to be frugal with my spending for the Halloween season. Here are some ideas for you:

1. Borrow horror movies from your local library. Did you know that they are free? Stock up early before they are all checked out. I was lucky with Rosemary’s Baby. Our laundry room in the basement of my apartment has a section of donated books and DVDs. A neighbor decided to part with Rosemary’s Baby and the Haunting DVDs. I snatched those up along with my freshly washed underwear real quick.

2. Reuse your old costumes. Chances are, if you wear the same outfit from 2-3 years ago, no one will notice or care.

3. Shop at your local thrift store! I donated some items recently to honor my journey of minimalism. The Goodwill Thrift store on Geary and Hyde has new costumes, new plastic pumpkin carriers, & new packages of Halloween makeup kits. I bolded the word new for a reason. Yes, the Goodwill Thrift store has NEW items!

New items from the Goodwill Thrift Store on Geary in San Francisco.

Halloween Halloween2 Halloween3

4. Become a salesperson. There seems to be pumpkin flavored goodies everywhere. At Trader Joe’s, there is the new pumpkin flavored coffee and of course Starbucks is back with their seasonal Pumpkin flavored drinks. Last year, someone in my personal network made homemade pumpkin pies last year and brought a pie to work for their annual potluck. Someone told her that they were so good that she should sell them. A idea was formed. She ended up selling each pie for $40 and 8 people bought them for the Thanksgiving holiday. So, if you have skills in make up, costume making, or you are an amazing baker, try selling your products or services. Tip: Set up a PayPal account for easy peer to peer payments.

May you stay safe from goblins, monsters, and killers & may your money stay safe from overspending. Happy Halloween! BOO!

About the Blogger:

VegasTrip

Neville (Nev) Bendiola grew up in the Mission District of San Francisco, California until the age of 10 before relocating to Sacramento, CA.  Growing up in a low income family, he slept on the floor most of his young life until he got his own twin size bed at the age of 10 – a memory he will always remember. Nev relocated back to San Francisco for college where he continued on in a career in Staffing Sales and Recruiting. Achieving financial success, he spent more than he earned using credit cards along the way. He found himself  carrying debt through the recent recession. Inspired by friends and reading success stories online, Nev moved into a Studio apartment in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district where he minimized his spending and material items. He is currently focused on saving money and sharing the ride with his readers along his journey to financial freedom.

Contact: frugalnev@gmail.com

Follow me on Twitter: NEVBB (Frugal Nev)


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Frugal Idea #26: Speak up


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

One of my favorite No Doubt songs is “Don’t Speak”. However, I have learned to “Speak Up” to save money.

In November, I will be part of the wedding party for two really great friends. It is always an honor to be asked to be a groomsman and it will be my second time being part of a wedding. It is a given that once you say yes to the honor, you will accrue some inevitable financial responsibilities. There is the infamous bachelor and bachelorette party (had an amazing time in New Orleans, Louisiana!), your costs related to tuxedo rental and dresses, travel accommodations, and of course hotel stay.  I envision a night filled of celebration Jameson or Hennessy shots and as a huge believer in never drinking & driving, I wanted to take advantage of the convenience of the overnight stay. Here are a few ways I have saved and will save for the upcoming celebration:

1. Take advantage of the discounted hotel rooms. The bride and groom will typically send a “Save The Date” memo, an invitation, or a link to their wedding website with hotel accommodation information. They usually will have blocked off a certain amount of rooms at a discounted rate. Do not wait until the last minute! Do not assume that rooms will be available. For example, this wedding will be in wine country with a more limited list of hotel choices, so they have chosen three hotels; two in close proximity and one where the actual reception will be held. The most convenient hotel may get full, so you will then have added costs with travel to and from the other hotels.

2. Plan ahead and increase your budget. I hate to miss a party, so I knew I wanted to participate in the bachelor party. Whatever amount you have budgeted for yourself (food to eat, dinners, drinks, entertainment, etc.), you might want to consider adding 50% of total costs on top of your personal budget. You definitely want to have enough to treat the groom with his dinner, a drink, etc. Typically, you may share some costs with the entire party. You do not want to stress about sharing costs when the time comes.

3. Sharing is caring. Although the rooms are discounted, I wanted to share the space to avoid paying the full cost. I asked close friends who were also attending the wedding if they wanted to share my room and I found three people to do so. Not only are we saving money, but we all are excited to share some time together. Extra cushion in the budget allows for a bottle to share in the room. =)

4. Speak up! Lastly, this is the most important tip. I feel when it comes to finances, many people do not want to speak up in fear of embarrassment or being judged. It is ok to speak out on what you can and can not afford. We all have different financial situations & priorities.  We can not expect everyone to be on equal financial footing. During the planning of the bachelor party, I knew there would be some extensive planning to be done as I did not know anyone in the party except the groom. After back and forth messaging via Facebook on ideas, the budget increased and increased. I had to speak up on my expectations on what I can spend. Surprisingly, it opened up more conversation and finalized in a realistic itinerary. It had worked and I think there was a sense of relief for all.

The wedding will be amazing and I look forward to investing in memories for a lifetime!

Speak Up Blog - Wedding Savings

About the blogger:

VegasTrip

Neville (Nev) Bendiola grew up in the Mission District of San Francisco, California until the age of 10 before relocating to Sacramento, CA.  Growing up in a low income family, he slept on the floor most of his young life until he got his own twin size bed at the age of 10 – a memory he will always remember. Nev relocated back to San Francisco for college where he continued on in a career in Staffing Sales and Recruiting. Achieving financial success, he spent more than he earned using credit cards along the way. He found himself  carrying debt through the recent recession. Inspired by friends and reading success stories online, Nev moved into a Studio apartment in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district where he minimized his spending and material items. He is currently focused on saving money and sharing the ride with his readers along his journey to financial freedom.

Contact: frugalnev@gmail.com

Frugal Idea #25

Break old habits!

About two years ago, I was having dinner with my friend who just moved to Alameda, CA. Alameda is popular for its cleanliness  & safe environment and a great view of the San Francisco Bay.  My friend insisted we eat at one her new favorite restaurants, Burma Superstar. The Burmese food was amazing. As I chewed on my food and spoke about new updates with my life, I noticed my friend looking into my eyes and shifting towards the top of my head. I felt small beads of sweat develop around my forehead – had she noticed that my hair was thinning out? Can she tell I was balding? I had grown my hair out to avoid the thinning look and it was a daily battle with insecurities. So, I decided to call her out and ask. I suddenly wanted to tell her about the struggles with hair loss I had endured. I told her about my purchase of Rogaine and my obsession with hair loss. I even told her about my visit to the Hair Club for men. I was opening my soul that very night. After words of encouragement, we hugged each other goodnight and I made a final decision to take control of this situation.

Later that night, I channeled Britney Spears.  For those who remember her stint in 2007, she shaved her entire head losing the blonde locks. After one too many glasses of red wine, I stared into the mirror, picked up my electric shaver, and ran the blades in rows until my head was completely bald. I stared at the pile of black hair on my hardwood floor and started laughing (could be the wine). I had done it! I had gain control. I decided to take a picture of the pile of hair and my new look and texted my pictures to all my family and friends. The texts were returned with love responses and words of encouragement. I realized there was more to me than what I physically looked like. I had embraced aging and welcomed the age box of 35-40. I welcomed my mid-30s.

As I embraced my new look, the energy I once wasted on worrying, focused on new positive outlooks. One outlook I had gained passion for was my path to Financial Freedom! As I gained more knowledge of living a frugal lifestyle and also a  lifestyle of minimalism, I noticed some of my actions were old habits I had yet to break free from. For example, when I showered, I still used the same amount of shampoo and conditioner when I had a full set of hair! I had shaved all of my hair off, yet the Head and Shoulders squirt into my palm was way too much for what I needed. I needed to flake on the Head & Shoulders badly.

I wanted to take action and be present in my actions. I needed to break old habits! I know longer wanted to be a robot who followed patterns and routine. Some of the small adjustments you choose to make can go a long way – if you only acknowledge it. I hope these questions can help you save time, save money, and help you be in the now & present.

  • Do you use the right amount of toothpaste? Do you really use all of the product before throwing away the tube?
  • You make a spill in the kitchen. Do you naturally reach for the paper towels when there is a cloth towel not too far away?
  • Do you try on multiple articles of clothing in your closet to gain the perfect look for the day and are too lazy or rushed to re-hang them? You then forget if they are clean or dirty, so you just assume its dirty when it comes to laundry day. You now have a larger load of clothes or dry cleaning to complete.
  • Do you buy bottled water and never take the last sip? Do you do the same with your sodas and bottles of beers?
  • Do you buy food and never eat it because you forgot about it in the fridge? Or because your friends have asked you out to eat every night this week?
  • Do you forget to look in your cabinets and realized you have products past their expiration date?
  • Do you buy new shoes when they just need a cleaning or re-heel?
  • Do you get your articles of clothes pressed when you can simply iron it at home?
  • Do you get sucked in the new television show and skip prepping for next day’s lunch and breakfast? You then overslept because you watched an extra hour of TV and find yourself running out the door with no lunch or breakfast resulting in spending up to $30 for the day?
  • Do you drive until your car is running empty of gas and go to the nearest gas station – regardless if it is more expensive?
  • Do you get your car washed professionally, but did not take time to check the weather forecast for rain?
  • Do you keep your social life so busy, you forget to pay a bill ending up in late fees?
  • Do you not plan for the upcoming weekend and forget to withdraw cash from your local bank or Credit Union? You end up pulling cash from an ATM resulting in bank fees.

Take notice of what you waste and what you do not use. Love who you are and love what you do. Lastly, use what you have and use what you have available.

About the Blogger:

VegasTrip

Neville (Nev) Bendiola grew up in the Mission District of San Francisco, California until the age of 10 before relocating to Sacramento, CA.  Growing up in a low-income family, he slept on the floor most of his young life until he got his own twin size bed at the age of 10 – a memory he will always remember. Nev relocated back to San Francisco for college where he continued on in a career in Staffing Sales and Recruiting. Achieving financial success, he spent more than he earned using credit cards along the way. He found himself  carrying debt through the recent recession. Inspired by friends and reading success stories online, Nev moved into a Studio apartment in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district where he minimized his spending and material items. He is currently focused on saving money and sharing the ride with his readers along his journey to financial freedom.

Contact: frugalnev@gmail.com

Twitter: NEVBB