Weirdly Frugal Part 2

Weirdly Frugal – Part 1

Cutting back on committed monthly expenses (Mortgage, car payment, monthly cable bill, big ticket electronic, and other “things”) is not a sacrifice, is it liberating!  My frugal ways leave more money for retirement savings and discretionary spending on the fun stuff!

My splurges

Not only do I have a gym membership, but it is one of the most expensive in the area.  After selling our house with a pool and hot tub, I get my water fix with the 3 outdoor pools, 2 indoor pools, 2 indoor hot tubs, sauna, and steam room at the gym.  I use the exercise equipment facilities, as an added bonus.  Membership for 2 people is less expensive than weekly pool service alone, not to mention electricity savings to run the pump and the higher water bill that comes with every pool.  And there is no need to save up for pool resurfacing, kool deck repair/resurface, or any of the unplanned expenses that occur with a pool (I spent over $25,000 in pool repair & maintenance in the 10 years I owed that pool).

Every year we save up for a big lavish vacation, and a few mini getaways.  Travel perks from reward credit cards supplement our vacation which allows us to spend more on sightseeing and activities, food & drink, and any other add-on treats (afternoon couples massage followed by Champagne).  Through careful planning, we get the first class upgrades on flights, hotels, and other travel experiences.

I love to shop!  I have a weakness for designer shoes, handbags, and clothing.  The majority of my wardrobe comes from 3 stores, and two of them have excellent loyalty programs (free shipping, coupons, discount codes, and other perks).  I regularly purge my closet to keep the overflow in check, but it is full of high-quality up-scale items that I adore.

We spend more money on active entertainment.  This includes annual season tickets to the Symphony, Theatre league, concerts, comedy shows, and other live performances.  We support the arts and have a fantastic evening of quality time, above & beyond the typical dinner & a movie date night.

Charity donations are easier when you do not feel like a charity case yourself.  We are able to donate money directly to our favorite charities, and spend more money on fundraisers and purchases (auction items & raffle tickets).  I have won some amazing prizes through silent auction that I never would have gotten otherwise and supported a good cause.  My 30th birthday party was dinner at Disney’s Club 33 that I won at a silent auction to support Education!

Overall, I splurge on activities and experiences.  There is no maintenance fee or on-going cost for a memory.

Mayans in Cancun, Mexico

The most well-known Mayan ruins and archaeological sites are in the interior of Mexico and Central America which can be difficult to visit, often requiring long car or bus rides.  The nearest airport to Chichen Itza is Cancun and then it is still several hours travel by car.  There are two noteworthy Mayan sites located within Cancun.

El Rey
El Rey
El Rey
El Rey

El Rey is located along the Hotel Zone of Cancun, tucked away behind large trees and a small sign.  For 43 pesos (per person) this hidden gem is an old Mayan village for exploration.  The area surrounding the structures is cut back leaving very little shade.  The site opens at 8 AM for the coolest temperatures.  There are plenty of signs in both Spanish and English translation.

View of modern hotel in the distance at the El Rey site
View of modern hotel in the distance at the El Rey site

The entire site takes less than an hour to walk and take a few photos.

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The Mayan Museum, Museo Maya de Cancun, is just down the street from the El Rey site.  The museum opens at 9 am, one hour later than El Rey, allowing for a full morning of Mayan history. At a mere 57 pesos, the entrance fee is one of the best bargains in Cancun!

Continue reading “Mayans in Cancun, Mexico”

Seattle and Tacoma Glass Tour

More than just the home of Starbucks, Seattle and nearby Tacoma in Washington state are a Mecca for  glass art.  In every hotel, street corner, Seattle center, and all around the Seatac area are beautiful displays of glass.  On many earlier trips I noticed the glass, but never knew the story.

On this visit to Seattle I found myself in Tacoma for 4 days and 3 nights in the middle of my Seattle visit.  I remember driving through and around Tacoma, but this was the first time that I spent more than a few hours there.  Over the course of these few days, I discovered a few things. Continue reading “Seattle and Tacoma Glass Tour”