It has been a few weeks, but I’m back with another installment of Give Us Free Fridays.
In a couple of recent posts I’ve mentioned widening the gap between earnings and spending. J. Money over at Budgets Are Sexy had a change of perspective (courtesy of Mr. Money Mustache) on the outflow side of the equation. In a nutshell, he realized that permanently lowering monthly expenses has a twofold effect in that it not only leaves more money leftover for saving and investing, it also lowers the amount needed every month in retirement. That’s huge because it shortens the time to financial freedom.
However, as we all know spending less is so much easier said than done. Human willpower has its limits and denying our wants for long periods of time usually do not make those wants go away. Instead, just as we think we’ve left behind the nightly takeout, retail therapy, and other “frivolous” spending” life happens and we’re over suppressing our spending inclinations.
While I am all about prioritizing when it comes to money I also have no interest in giving up all of the “frivolous” stuff. Sometimes, I want to make my life more convenient and fun, even if brings no future value. Give Us Free Fridays celebrates having the best of both worlds, indulging and saving at the same damn time. So without further ado, let’s dive in.
I treated the world’s best ex-roommate to an afternoon at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry courtesy of Amusement Advantage, a mystery shopping company. In over a year of being a mystery shopper this was hands down my favorite assignment. The only other museum that I enjoyed this much was the Blacksonian in DC. Not only did we get to check out the regular exhibits, we also had to buy a meal, visit two ticketed experiences, get a souvenir photo, buy a gift, and ride a simulator…all of it covered in the assignment reimbursement. At this time I can neither confirm or deny that I am still playing with the green slime made at the science experiments booth. (Value: $194)
In another mystery shopping adventure I discovered the world of jewelry with positive energy. This assignment came courtesy of Secret Shopper. With retail shops there usually is not a specific purchase required and if there is it has to be returned. This was one of the rare ones that let shoppers keep the merchandise. The store got feedback and I got a nice addition to my bangle collection. (Value: $30)
The Papa John’s mystery shopping assignments have returned and I am taking full advantage. Do I need a large pizza all to myself?
I know that I said that I want SoFi out of my life, but they are working hard to make me change my mind. No, I do not want to be paying my student loan in perpetuity. Not paying it off now does not mean that I won’t get rid of it sooner rather than later. However, even when I won’t owe them a dime I will still be a SoFi customer?
Because them mofo’s in San Fran know how to dangle carrots. To get their current loan customers to invest with their new wealth management practice, aptly named SoFi Wealth, they offered $100 to open an investment account. Now I don’t know about you but when someone wants to give me free money I don’t say no. If you’re already with SoFi check your email for the link (subject line should read “$100 offer from SoFi”). (Value: $100)
In case you missed it the first time, I chose to do a round of IVF in order to freeze my eggs now to have options in the future. As anyone who has gone through it knows, not only is fertility treatment taxing on the body and emotions, it is also a heavy burden on the wallet. But let Jesus be some good insurance coverage! Thanks to having already reached my out of pocket max, over $11,000 of treatment and medication were covered with no cost to me. My retrieval procedure was earlier in the week and to my delighted surprise the doctor was able to get 10 mature eggs, which are now on ice and waiting for the man I choose to have my babies.
That’s it for this week. I’ve shown you mine so now it’s your turn. Hit the comments and share your latest free finds that keep you in the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed.