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Open Thread

This year’s “swag bag” at the Oscars is worth $47,803, and includes: “trips to Hawaii, Mexico, and Lizard Island and El Questro Homestead in Australia, a one-week stay at a fitness and weight-loss retreat, appointments for injectable fillers, a one-year membership to London’s Heathrow Airport’s private VIP service, Krystal Klear water filtration system, acupuncture and aromatherapy sessions, all-kid circus classes, personal training sessions, condoms, a bottle of Bonita platinum tequila, tennis shoes, and ‘portion-control’ dinnerware.”

Have fun watching or not watching the Academy Awards this weekend!


20 Comments / Post A Comment

terrific (#1,532)

I want to discuss You Need A Budget for hours. It’s the best thing to ever happened to me even though I only 90% get it.

Fig. 1 (#632)

@terrific That reminds me, I was going to look into YNAB but then thought maybe I should spring for something with tax prep as well (I’m in Canada). Then I wondered if this software actually exists or I am just making it up.

@terrific I really like their approach! I’m going to give the demo a try when I get home.

But does it pull from your accounts automagically like Mint? I love fiddling with budgets but I’m terrible at entering transactions.

terrific (#1,532)

@stuffisthings Sadly, no — but I’m surprised at how quickly I’ve come around to entering them myself! Plus I feel like it makes me more accountable.

@terrific Yes, this is the aspect of “following a budget” — actually having to enter the transactions — that would probably have the biggest impact on my spending. Which is why I hate the idea of doing it.

@terrific You CAN export your statements from your bank and then import them into YNAB. It’s not as automated as Mint, but it’s one way to do it. However, I find that having to enter it manually makes me much more attentive to my moneys.

I love love love YNAB.

I heard the press get a less VIP “swag bag” which includes female condoms, a pouch of Crystal Light water flavoring system, and several hundred Lizard Island(tm) brand lizards.

cryptolect (#1,135)

I have two things to say:

1-I am breaking two cardinal rules of Frugal February by going to the movies and then out for lunch this weekend. Oh well.

2- Portion-control dinnerware? I have that! It’s called “dessert plates.”

@cryptolect You need the full set though, which includes fondue thimbles and 1/2 sized toothpicks for making micro-corndogs.

CubeRootOfPi (#1,098)

Any suggestions for inexpensive vacation/travel ideas? I have a lot of vacation hours that need to be used up this year, but don’t have that much $/have other financial priorities. Would like to maybe not do the usual staycation route.


@CubeRootOfPi Where do you live?

CubeRootOfPi (#1,098)

@stuffisthings NYC

@CubeRootOfPi Get a cheap bus to any nearby city that interests you! I mean it’s the dead of winter but that’s still probably what I’d do.

readyornot (#816)

@CubeRootOfPi I’d say free-to-cheap housing away (and the ability to cook food there) is another way to keep costs down. Can you go hang out with family, house sit somewhere else, or borrow a loved one’s time-share? Do you like camping/own a tent? Like to scour VRBO for serious steals?

Failing those, if distance is a factor, some vacation-y spots near NYC are the Catskills, western Mass, the Hamptons, dare I suggest a B&B on the Jersey shore in the summer? If you want city-restaurant-museum rather than country, pretty much the whole eastern seaboard urban conglomerate is at your disposal.

CubeRootOfPi (#1,098)

@readyornot @stuffisthings Thank you both!

lizard (#2,615)

@CubeRootOfPi check out the jersey shore this summer. Long beach island is fabulous and not that “jersey shore”. i think a lot of rentals are going to be cheaper because of the hurricane. maybe you can score a nice week or weekend at a cute house

dudeascending (#1,921)

@CubeRootOfPi Get thee onto the Travelzoo.com, Fly.com, and Airfarewatchdog.com newsletters for NYC/NJ. I don’t know what’s cheap for you, but I’ve seen sub-$400 flights to Hawaii recently, and sub-$200 flights to Florida are always popping up.

CubeRootOfPi (#1,098)

@dudeascending Thanks!

Frugal February has been more like “One Last Hoorah Before Unemployment February” for me!


WaityKatie (#1,696)

@redheaded&crazy For me it’s (maybe) Furlough February! (actually it will probably be Furlough April or May, depending on the wisdom of our Congressional Representatives, but those are less catchy. Who will continue to get paid regardless.

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