Saving Out

That’s my clever psuedo-portmanteau.  Clever eh?  Ok, it isn’t as bad when Tobias Funke from Arrested Development combined his analyst and therapist professions.  I’ll let you guys and gals google that one, as the humor comes off much better in party talk than written chatter.

So what is Saving Out?!  I guess I could have named it “Working Money”  [….] wah-wah [….] It is saving money while working out.  I’m on a crusade to get back down to my “fighting weight,” and watching what I eat is one part of it.  The other part of it is exercise.  I do take advantage of my employer’s offer to cover 1/2 of a local gym membership.  So, that is $60/month which is taken right out my paycheck.  Not really saving money there, but I enjoy the warm shower, occasionally a steam room [….] aka “The CEO workout” [….] and an opportunity to workout.  Which, as you may have picked up on, I don’t do very much.

The other little perk I get is my employer will pay for either a parking space downtown or my public transportation.  When I moved into the new house a couple weeks ago, I thought I would drive into work every day.  I’ve commuted by bicycle for the last 4 years (and the last 6 months I would take the lightrail every once in a while), so this was going to be a big change for me.  I hopped in my car for the 15 mile journey downtown at 7:15 am.  And I missed my 8 am meeting.  I quickly realized, driving isn’t saving me any time as I could easily ride my bike in about the same time frame, +/- 15 minutes [….] more on the plus side :).

Then this happened.


And that is a warm day compared to the last week.  A lot of temps in the morning were sub-zero.  In fact, I do a lot of work in North Dakota, and Denver was matching a lot of the low’s in Minot.  But, I still rode my bike everyday.

Luckily, it is kind of a challenging ride in the morning, but a lot of the ride is downhill.  So, enough to get my heart pumping, but easy enough to get me to work in a decent time.  Going home, I have a few more options:  1) I can ride home (which I have not yet done), 2) I can take the light rail and ride 7 miles back home and 3) I can take a bus and have a 2-3 mile bike ride back in on roads that are pretty calm [….] All of the options are reversible as well.  I like using option number 3 for the trip home and it takes me just about an hour door-to-door.  Not too shabby.  I pop in my headphones and listen to some of my favorite and free podcasts, maybe doze off and I’m home after a 3 mile ride.

So, for no cost to me – throw in the $60 for the gym membership if you want – I get exercise and I “get” to fill up my car 6 times a year.

How do you commute to work?  Do you save money by working out (saying being healthy saves money in the long run doesn’t count)?


Weight Loss and Blog Roundup #1

I’ve been back to tracking caloric intake and burn with My Fitness Pal.  If you haven’t used it, it is amazing.  Especially if you are like me and a little rolly-polly right now.  You can scan barcodes on what you eat and it pulls up all the nutritional information.  It truly is the single best tool for weight lost.

I started the week at 245 lbs (244.6 if you must really know).  Currently, I am down to 240 lbs.  That’s over 4 lbs this week, which is good considering all the holiday candy staring at me in the office.  Caloric intake this week – Mon thru Thurs – was 12,517 and Caloric burn (with estimated Basal Metabolic Rate) was 13,984.  I burned 1,467 calories in 4 days.  I rode my bicycle about 86 miles this week, so not too shabby.

Onto the good stuff.  Below are some blog posts worth your precious weekend time (you can even burn a couple calories reading) [….]

Matt @ Mom and Dad Money continues his brave journey to getting people to think more about life and disability insurance policies.  Totally worth the time, especially if you think your coverage from work is [….] that’s not a mistake [….] adequate.

The PoP’s are having one of those civil “discussions” between husband and wife [….] my money is on Mrs. PoP.  But, they are asking the correct questions when it comes to having a cash pile – how much do I keep in cash? 

Amanda @ the giraffe life is working out in the cold.  My hat is off to her!

FI fighter asks, “Do you really need to budget?

Andrew @ Living Rich Cheaply has an excellent post on judging a book by its cover.  Or maybe we should?  Wait?!  Or don’t we?  Or, HOW do we?

Happy Weekend [….] Merry Christmas (whispering)

What’s your favorite Christmas Song?

To pack a lunch or not pack a lunch….

[….] that is the question.

In the PF blog world, I’m sure many see it as a slam dunk – pack a lunch.  Before we go there, let’s discuss my lunch yesterday.

  • I went out.
  • I ate Sushi.
  • I ate a lot of Sushi (like I do once a week).
  • There was more Sushi than we could all handle.
  • I didn’t spend a dime.

I’ve been at my new job for just over 1/2 a year now and I have eaten out every single day.  That is correct, I have never once brought a lunch from home.  And I can count, on one hand, the number of times I had to run down to Chipotle for a $6.25 burrito.  So in 6 months of work, I have spent no more than $37.50 on lunch.  How is this possible?  Well, in 2014 I am responsible for delving out almost $100MM of my company’s money and A LOT of other companies want this money.  Combine this with my super busy work day and lunch is a convenient time for me to meet with people (along with about 4-5 other vendors during the day).

In essence, I would spend money to pack a lunch in.  I won’t lose sleep over the $10-$20/week I would spend if I were to pack a lunch.  And I’ve got that first world problem of I am getting tired of all the restaurants downtown (sushi not included).  All that is tolerable.  Less tolerable is having me or my wife pack something the night before.  But the real reason is my weight.  This spring, I lost about 35 lbs and got closer to my “fighting weight.”  I’m now back at my weight before I went on my diet this spring.  I’m not obese, I’m still active, but I would like to be a little more competitive at the sports I enjoy, namely cycling.

So, in an effort to lose some weight and get home a little earlier, I am going to pack a lunch twice a week.  We’ll see how it goes [….]

Do you pack a lunch?  What is your cost?

Black Friday Virginity Lost

2013 will be my wife and my fifth Christmas together.  Ahhh…!  3 of the years we have managed to put up a Christmas tree, and those were the more recent years due to either having children or wanting children.  My original hesitation was the actual act of getting all the Christmas schwag out (to put it away some 6 weeks later).  My mother in law has a 4 year rotation of her Christmas glitz, and the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.  Getting out all the Kitsch was one thing, but putting up the tree was another.  After we got the tree out of storage last year my wife and I looked at each other, let out a sigh and we said the same thing we’ve said since marriage, “we need a new tree.”

My wife has owned the same tree for 17 years.  It was a major PITA.  Some of the limbs were broken, so I’d have to try and make them blend in the best I could.  Not to mention the lights.  That’s right, after spending at least an hour getting the tree in an upright position, I’d have to get the lights on.  The first challenge would be my wife’s old lights which were wired in series (if one light goes out, they all go out).  Invariably, what would transpire over the next 3+ hours would be at least one trip to Walmart for a new strand or two of lights.  If I was lucky, I’d only burn half a day to put up the tree and get lights on it.

For years I had looked at after Christmas sales for a new tree, but nothing ever blew my skirt up.  I was in Burma last year for Black Friday and my sister, who was also lusting after a new Christmas Tree, had missed out on the deal running around to other places with my parents.  So I knew the deal and was happy when Home Depot ran the same thing they did in 2012.  I had my eyes on this pre-lit beauty for a while.  $69 for a $200 tree.  I used a Lowe’s 10% off coupon that Home Depot will usually match, so I was around $62 and change.  Plus, HD didn’t collect my Lowe’s coupon (and it has been used a couple times since then)!  And as always, I bought it with a gift card.

My father and I arrived at 4:30 am for the 5 am opening.  We were third in line, and third to want to the tree.  But, news they had almost 40 of them quickly calmed us down.  I decided at this price I would buy 2 with the intent of not having to return for another 34 years.

The new tree went up in about 10 minutes, and was a dream come true.  10 minutes later, the tree was vertical, lights and all.  A 4+ hour task just now became 10 minutes.  Point for the good guy!

What were your Black Friday Adventures?