Guilt Free

Happy August 17th!  To some of you that means nothing. To me, it means 5 more days left of summer (unless we are basing it on Seattle weather…which means summer started about 5 days ago).  What have I been filling my time with besides relaxing vacations, catching up with Seattle area friends and family, and decorating our new place? I’m so glad you asked.  I have been experiencing GUILT FREE SPENDING.  It is almost like Christmas.  My school gave me $500 to spend on my classroom as a new teacher to the school.  HALELUJIAH! One of the most freeing aspects of this money? Ninja has no part in it (I mean this in a very loving way).

Five hundred dollars can go faster than you realize.  In efforts to implement some frugal habits I have learned from my husband, I have definitely done some research.

Garage Sales: I’m not a rummager.  If someone labels their stuff as junk, it usually loses appeal to me as well.  Last Saturday was a different story.  I scored good junk.  For only $20, I walked away with a big pile of books, puzzles, a tent, and a desk organizer.  So worth it.

Second Hand Stores: Half-Price Books is my new best friend.  I prefer this to Amazon so I don’t have 5 million shipping charges and I actually get to feel and see the condition of the book before I decide on the purchase.  The goodwill (as you remember from our too cute desk) has also surprised me.  My new teal storage bench ($1.99) for my class library is one of my favorite items this year.

Pinterest: I love Pinterest…and I began to love it even more when I discovered how many teaching ideas are cataloged.  I have gotten so many money saving ideas and tidbits from this website. 

Sunday paper sale advertisements: I have my mom and sister on my side with this one.  We all pay attention to Office Depot, Target, Walmart, and Staples ads and are sure to find the best item at the best price.  I have found folders, binders, pencil boxes, etc. all for less than $1.00 a piece.

I love shopping for my classroom and I love it even more when it doesn’t affect my own finances.  I’m so thankful for my new school and the budget and time I get to use to start the year off (last year I was hired and given one day to prepare before the kids were there).   The best part is I added up all my receipts yesterday and I have only spent $250 so far.  Maybe I’ll actually get to purchase some things off of my “wish list”, not just my “needs”. 

Do you have guilt free money set aside?  How do you spend it?  What would you use a $500 guilt-free budget on?

p.s. If you missed Ninja’s post today, check it out here.


13 thoughts on “Guilt Free”

  1. Yay for supply money from you district! It’s not necessarily guilt free but about a year ago we set up a separate account for travel and I love it. We travel a lot and it feels so great not even making a dent in our other accounts to go on a trip.
    Half price books sends out a lot of coupons if you get on their list. They have a warehouse sale in north Seattle once year with fill a bag for a buck towards the end of the day. They also have a summer reading program where kids can get free books for logging their reading every week! Great store!
    Enjoy your last week of vacay:)

  2. Trina, we jsut set up our travel fund too! $350 per month, it’s gonn be awesome-blossom!

    As for guilt free spending, I think I always feel a bit of guilt, I can’t help it. But I know I do feel MUCH better when I save for something instead of charging it. We have no debt outside our mortgage and 1 car payment (2 cars, one paid off). So as much as I want a new couch right now (ours is hella gross), I know it’s only going to be about 2 months until we have the money, so while it’ll be touch to part with the donero, I’ll feel much less guilty then if I bought it now, and paid later…even if later was 2 months, just something so nice about having my CC and line of credit at 0!

  3. We are so happy you are here and your classroom is in for a treat not just on your great finds but to have you as a teacher.

    PS I always shop guilt free…..a habit that is new and AWESOME!

  4. “What would you use a $500 guilt-free budget on?”

    I would buy 50 really good dustpans. They’re worth their weight in gold.

  5. $500 guilt free money – I would get the Marc Jacobs handbag I have been eyeing for well over a year 🙂

    We also set aside travel money every month and it is so nice to know that we can do something without the guilt…We work hard we should be able to reward ourselves here and there.

    Unfortunately, I will not be getting that Marc Jacobs handbag until I am debt free 🙁

  6. We have set up a system with an allowance for each family member (the kids are small so we control their money) but anyway it works out so that we each have 500$ each month to spend on whatever we want, usually no more or no less…it could be spent on clothing, drinking, eating out, coffee…doen’t matter it is there to be spent on the things we love.

    We also have a travel budget, and when we happen to underspend our allowances one month this money is transfered to increase the travel budget…so we still spend it but put it off for a while:-)

  7. Half-Price Books is one of my favorite places. I like going in there to browse since the selection changes fairly frequently. I would love to have $500 to spend in there.

  8. I’ve never had a windfall shopping spree like that, what fun! And there are some awesome deals on school supplies right now! I hope we get to see pictures of your classroom and/or hauls 🙂

  9. Congrats on the 500 bones Girl Ninja!

    I remember my $500 shopping spree when I first started teaching 7 years ago. Some of the items I bought included a really, really good stapler, hole puncher, pencil sharpener, and a paper cutter. I felt comfortable spending more on those items (more than if the money was coming out of my own pocket) for higher quality…and 7 years later I’m still using those same items daily so I it was worth it.

    Have a blessed school year!

  10. If you order more then $25 of items and they are shipped by Amazon and not a third party there are no freight charges….

  11. Hubby and I get allowances every 2 weeks because guilt-free shopping is A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Hubby spends his allowance on things like morning coffee/muffin/paper/1 day per week bromance with his BFF; I spend my allowance on the essentials… mani every 3 weeks, haircuts, makeup and the odd pair of super-comfy shoes!

    What would I do with an extra $500? I’d flip a coin… Heads would be for new winter coat and a few other cold-weather wardrobe must-haves, and Tails would be a Sat. night stay in downtown Toronto in a nice hotel with Hubby… dinner included of course 😉

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