Weekly Accountability: Making Do

Making Do


This month I’ve put approximately a million dollars (perhaps an exaggeration) on my credit cards because of the dogs. To try and balance that, I’ve made a concerted effort to not spend money I don’t need to. Part of that consisted of making do with what we already have, and partly I have been utilizing all the gift cards.

Here’s how I’ve not spent money this past week


Free Coffee

We have a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in the library I work at. Fall semester is starting up and that means a new bunch of student workers. Apparently training takes a full week and requires the coffee shop to be closed. I almost cried when I saw the big sign in front of the register saying it was closed for training-until I kept reading. To make up for the inconvenience, they provide free drip coffee. I have had at least one free cup of coffee every day this week, and a couple of days I’ve had two. Total savings (had I actually paid for all these coffees which I never would have): $15


Swagbucks to the Rescue

Our snack supply for the Airbnb space is largely depleted. One of my spending strategies has been not to buy anything until I need it, so I haven’t been going to Sam’s Club as frequently. Last night it reached a critical level and we have about 2 weeks straight of guests. It was time to stock up.

Luckily I had cashed a $100 gift card to Sam’s from Swagbucks. I had meant it to stock up on meat but we actually have a decent amount in the freezer. I spent about $80 and even bought some beer and pub mix for us to enjoy.


Mr. Beach Life Side Hustle

Mr. BL does voice recording for his old job and they pay him in $25 Visa gift cards. It’s $25/hour but rarely is he there for the whole hour. Most of the time he gives them to me for groceries. This week we splurge on box wine, creme brulee rice pudding, cheese and triscuits. An incredibly delicious evening snack that didn’t have to be included in our budget! (Yes, it would have been a better use of it to spend it on actual groceries, but it’s okay to live a little.)


Dog Food

The dogs were running out of wet food, but luckily I still had the Petco gift card I had bought from Raise.com I ordered 3 more boxes, paid with the gift card, and after check out was asked to rate my transaction. I said that I was disappointed there weren’t more flavors of the dog food I buy and the next day I got an email back and a $5 coupon. I still have about $20 left on that card, as well!


Mystery Shopping

I have been killing myself mystery shopping which is why Project Beach Life has been so quiet. I have been writing anywhere from 3-7 reports a night and have just been burnt out by the end. I wish I could say it is super lucrative, but it’s not. I think it is worth it, though. I have 58 shops booked for August so far, and about $600 owed to me in the coming weeks. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to what I owe, but everything helps. I have been branching out with companies I work with, which means new standards to get used to. I definitely think it is making me a better mystery shopper. I have some posts in the work about how to get better paying jobs and how to find phone/web shops, so if that interests you check back in the next couple of weeks!




Here’s my spending for the first 10 days of the month:


August 1

$2.14 – Aluminum foil from the Dollar Tree


August 2

$25.48- Gas for car-will be reimbursed $13 since it was a mystery shop

$2.19 – Coffee at work

$41.15 – Mystery shop at a steakhouse, will be reimbursed $35

$16.57 – Poop bags for the dogs


August 3

$3.99 – Bag of coffee from Aldi

$6.24 – USPS for books I sold


August 4

$5.38 – Groceries

$12.83 – Beer


August 5

$6.41 – Shirt, will be fully reimbursed since it was a mystery shop

$17.91 – mystery shop for groceries, will be reimbursed $17

$23.31 –  mystery shop for groceries, will be reimbursed $17

$5.99 – Aldi pizza


August 6

$14.60 –  Mystery shop for groceries, will be reimbursed fully


August 7

No Spend!


August 8

No spend!


August 9

$6.65 – Mailed paperwork to lawyer- the rental house situation is not completely over yet.

$3.57- Bottle of wine

$3.34- Late night snack of french bread pizza


August 10

$341.41 – Payment for cabin that I will complete for a mystery shop- fully reimbursable

$44.55 – Dinner out. The bartender gave me a 10% discount for being “military.” I am not military, but my dad and ¾ of my grandparents are and I paid with my USAA credit card. I tried to object but they gave me the discount anyway.


Total: $583.71 with $450.66 coming back to me!


Happy weekend, everyone!

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