to give or not give up my credit cards: a case study


Today was the end of my work week, so I brown-bagged and worked through lunch (as usual) and left the office around 5pm. My best friend from Phoenix (you know, the one I just mentioned) was in town for a wedding and had a few hours sans-bride duty to hang out, so we had planned to meet up around 6:30 at the Rathskellar, our favorite and the BEST outdoor beer garden in Indy, to catch up. My boyfriend and I decided to eat beforehand so as not to waste money on pounds of fried food – love that he’s on board with this frugal life – and then headed out to meet her.

There was a $5 cover to get into the bar because they had a band that night, so I fronted the money for the two of us and got in. It annoyed me more than anything (because I wasn’t really there to see the band), but I think that would have been the case whether I had used cash or a credit card.

Keith (my boyfriend – follow me on Insta to catch glimpses of him) got our first round of beers, and to be honest, I don’t know who got my second. Maybe Keith again? I truly have no idea – I was too deeply entrenched in conversation and the fact that I was seeing my best friend after two long months that the second seemed to just magically appear in front of me. So I’ll just issue a public thanks here and call it even.

It was so wonderful to catch up with my friend in the flesh, but because we had to leave by 10:00 (Keith has to work early on Saturday mornings, which sometimes is a great excuse to have after a long work week), we stopped at two beers, and I was able to drive us home. Thus, no Uber costs and I got out of the night only $10 poorer. Win.

Total Spent: $10


We were off to my small hometown in southern Indiana today to celebrate Strassenfest, the annual German festival of our county’s hub city, so after Keith finished work, we loaded up the car and spent the next 3 hours on the road.

After what luckily felt like a short drive, we arrived at my hometown, where we were met with a cooked lunch (shout out to you, Mom) and a chance to hang out with my parents for a while. We then decided to meet my high school best friend at one of the two bars in our small, you’ll-miss-it-if-you-blink town.

Now Fleig’s (pronounced Flige’s with a hard G) is the epitome of a local dive bar. Cases of beer stacked along the wall, juke box in the corner, a couple of notepads they use to write down your tab…that laid back, small town charm is one of the things I miss about being back home, and I had been dying to take Keith to this little gem ever since we met.

I picked up the tab after about an hour of chatting, and between the three of us, I spent a whopping $20, including tip. Yes, that’s for 6 beers. It was such a great deal that I didn’t mind handing over the money at all. Have I told you I also love how cheap it is there?

We went home to clean up and then met a couple of friends of ours back in town at a local pizza joint for dinner before making our way to the fest. Again, Keith picked up this tab, so I didn’t have to open my wallet.

We’re pretty good about spending evenly in our relationship, so since he bought dinner, I was responsible for the drinks that night (did I mention we were going to the fest solely for the beer garden and polka music?). I ended up buying the buttons to get in for $5 a pop (ugh – always seems like a waste) and then $20 worth of drink tickets, which translated into 4 beers. And that was it. I felt no qualms about handing over that $20 bill either because it bought us a solid 2 hours of entertainment with some old friends. Seemed like a worthy expense to me.

[RELATED: The Two Most Dangerous Words for You & Your Money]

We had gotten there pretty late and they closed the beer garden at midnight, so we were simply forced to stop buying, which helped my bank account tremendously. There are no Ubers or taxis back home, so we relied on my friend’s niece to transport us back to my parents’ house and ended the night stuffing our face with our leftovers from dinner. 1am pizza always seems to taste amazing.

Total Spent: $50

Read also: Saturday Style and Weekly Financial Wisdom 5


Sunday morning was spent at church, and we went to a Mexican joint with my parents for lunch before heading back to Indy.

Because my parents, brother, and I all live in different cities, we came up with a rule that whoever is playing host that weekend is responsible for picking up the check at the end of a meal. It makes things easier than having to constantly battle over who is going to pay, even though my dad still tries every time we go out. But I’m just as stubborn as he is, so when we’re in my city, I usually win that battle.

Thus, my parents bought our lunch, and besides the $30 I spent on gas (which did not pain me either – Do you remember when a gallon used to be almost $4? I can manage $2.25.), there was no more money spent for the weekend.

When we got back home, it was the usual laundry, catch-up on blog work, etc., and normally, we would have gone out to get dinner since we were so exhausted from the traveling and late night on Saturday. However, we’re lucky in the fact that coming home from my parents’ house is like coming back from the grocery store. They send EVERYTHING back with us.

“Did you like the watermelon? Oh, take the rest.”

“How about some salsa? I just canned some fresh batches this week. I’ll send a couple along.”

“Merkley burgers were on sale this week, so we picked up two bags. Take one with you. We won’t eat them.”

It’s absolutely FANTASTIC, especially for us because we are so busy, and it not only saved us a trip to the grocery but a few days’ worth of money for food. My mom even baked a full pasta casserole for us, which we ate for dinner Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. And it was so good that we didn’t even mind noshing on the same thing for three days straight.

So Mom & Dad, you won MVP for the weekend. Congrats.

Total Spent: $30


I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It