a round-up of thrift, march 2024.

It is yet again time for me to amuse you, my friends. Last time I amused you in February. Ever since then it did not get much better. But we tryin’. If you want to know what this is about and why it’s hilarious for both me and the masses, read the first couple paragraphs of the February post.

As always, I encourage comments, but please don’t tell me how to save money: Chances are high I know more than you. I just don’t do any of it for reasons you can find in February post.

So. On to the unbelievable thrift I have voluntarily endured in March.

I mostly rode Economy class cabs, but I do admit not taking the trolley to work many times over. There were two-three times I stayed at work long enough to take the first trolleybus home. I ain’t gonna pretend it evened out, though.

No takeout. Not once. I did peruse the supermarket deli, though, but considerably less. Same goes for the bakery for my usual coffee and things. I went less times. I think overall I went under 10 times.

Kept a good track of spending up until… 18th or so.

On the last day of the month I broke my electric kettle – and I won’t be replacing it. I might repair it in May – if it is repairable – but for now I’ll be using gas. If you’re wondering what’s broken – I dropped it on the floor. Thank God it was cold and empty. I dropped it, and I guess it hit somewhere near the switch, because the switch is all loose and not how a switch should be.

Shopped around for my cats’ food. I am not going to switch them to a different cheaper diet, but I did look where I can get the same stuff they usually eat for less. The search will continue in April, because so far I was only able to save $0.5 per kilo.

I did not buy laundry detergent. Because I have one at home. Let me explain: I prefer the gel pods. Majority of the powdered stuff makes me itchy. Home-made concoction is not it. Also, since most of the loads I do are short and cold to save on electricity, powdered detergent and even home-made mix of baking soda etc. do not get washed out properly. I have to inspect every wash to make sure that it’s not visible, and then I have to rewash clothes, thus doing extra cycles and spending more electricity anyway – and it makes me itchy. I’m sure the efficiency of washes has something to do with the age of my machine, but we’re not going to complain about its age here. We’re happy it’s still working.

Anyway, so I prefer pods. But, I have some laundry sheets, some gel samples, and also some soap nuts in my arsenal. So once I’m out of pods – and I’m still not out, but I will be soon – I will just use what I have first.

I did not buy any new books. Audiobooks, e-books, paper books – nothing. I even talked myself out of using a gift card that I have, because it’s hard to match the amount exactly, and I can’t underspend, because the remainder will expire the moment I use the card, and I don’t want to overspend, because I will be inclined to over-overspend.

I paid a little bit more on one of the loans I currently have out. It all went towards the body of the loan, thus lessening the amount I need to pay monthly. Not all loans I have allow me to do that. Two of them only allow full amount to be paid towards the body, and anything extra just goes towards next monthly payment. Three loans allow that, but there’s a limit to how small the sum can be. And what they’re asking for, I don’t have that much extra. There are five loans however that allow small payments to be done towards the body of the loan. These are the first ones I’m trying to tackle.

I used the ground coffee I have instead of automatically replacing capsules. I do admit that once salary hit, I went and bought some (they were having a half-off sale if that is some excuse). I also tried using my reusable capsules, but the type I have doesn’t work well with either of my machines, it seems. Dolce Gusto is doing a little better, but there’s still some leakage. Nespresso is a fail two times out of three. Which in my book translates to ‘waste of good coffee’, so I use my moka or cezve. The French press I have is massive, so I don’t use it most of the time, but I’m thinking I might use it to try make a cold brew once we hit the higher temps.

I heavily relied on free medical services, bestowed unto me so generously by the joint forces of my employer and the government. Everything is very slow – very slow. Were I in a private clinic, I would have had my surgery already and were deeply into recovery by now. And I think I mentioned last time that I did have to pay for some things to speed it up – I can’t wait over 6 months. But everything else I have tried and so far succeeded to do for free. Lord does the dragging out of it all give me anxiety, but I shall count my blessings.

More on a miserly note – I decided not to buy anyone anything for IWD this year. Usually I try to give at least a small token of appreciation, be it a chapstick or a candy bar or a flower. But this year I had to stop myself.

More of the same, really – didn’t buy myself or my friends and colleagues Martisors.

Stopped myself from buying music sheets – I am reacquainting myself with piano, and lawd is it testing my will power. But I recognise that my level, if it can be called that, is so low, that what I have in the house or have found for free on the internet is more than enough for now.

By the end of the month I had 500 in cash in my wallet. It would have been an undeniable win – however my bank accounts were wiped clear by loan payments, and these payments weren’t made in full. So we’re back to being in the red with the recurring pays. My goal for April is to be a little less in the red. I know I will not be able to even it out, so I just want to lessen the gap.