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.


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