labor day on a budget


I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, you don’t have to have the all or nothing mentality when you are paying off debt that you are not going to spend *any* money while you are paying off debt. You should live the same way while you’re paying off debt as you intend to live once it’s paid off– on a budget. When your debt is repaid, you’ll have more money to put towards other financial goals/discretionary income. I try to apply the same idea as if I were trying to lose weight and or otherwise eat healthy. It’s not all or nothing because you can’t sustain that long term. If I had the mentality that I was not going to spend any money, at some point I would likely “binge” just like people do on diets. Once I stopped spiraling out of control, I would have an even worse situation to deal with and I’d probably start living really strict again, ultimately binge again and the cycle would continue to repeat. Instead, we try to live as balanced as we can. We don’t get to take lavish vacations at the moment, but if we can sneak away for a long weekend here and there and do it on a budget, then good golly, that’s exactly what we’re going to do! And that is exactly what we did this weekend. We drove 4 hours south to Dallas for a little R&R. I tried to convince Danny to drive all the way to Destin again (like we did last year) but he wasn’t having it given that it is a 12 hour drive and we would have only been able to spend roughly 1.5 days on the beach.

Here’s how we did Labor Day on a budget. 

We price checked EVERYTHING. 

First, we literally price checked every single thing we did, including stopping for gas along the way. We used to check gas prices near us when we needed gas. It was my first time using this website so I can’t 100% vouch for the accuracy of its information, but for our trip, it was right on the money.

We priced checked our hotel. We found this super cheap hotel on but then compared it to the price listed on the hotel’s website. When I opened up the hotel’s website, my handy Honey extension popped up and entered in several promo codes for me and found me an even better deal! You can sign up for the Honey extension here— it’s completely free and scours the internet FOR YOU to find you the best promo codes on the websites you’re shopping!

As an aside,  I’m turning into a grumpy old lady already. In my 20’s I would have (and did) stay in the grossest of hotels to save a few bucks. This hotel we stayed in was gross and I wanted to leave SO BAD but I’m proud to say I stuck it out.

Also, we price checked the entrance fee to this adorable wilderness safari that we went to on our drive down to Dallas! It is in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma, but if you happen to ever be in the area be sure to swing by the Arbuckle Wilderness Safari! I mentioned that I saw a coupon on their website for $2 off our entrance and then the cashier ended up giving us $10 off. Don’t be afraid to speak up people!
The safari was M’s dream come true. We got to drive through and feed all kinds of animals- M’s favorites were the zebras and giraffes! He also really liked the white tigers but you can’t feed them 😉 The animals come right up to your window and you feed them. Super fun.


We used Ibotta to buy a Groupon. 

If you’ve followed the blog for any period of time,  you’ve heard me harp on and on about how much I love Ibotta. Ibotta is a free app that gives you cash back for uploading receipts. I use it a lot for grocery shopping. But, you can also use it to make purchases on popular websites, like Groupon. With Groupon you’re already getting a really good deal, but then you get cash back on that good deal for buying your Groupon through the Ibotta app. Seriously one of my favorite shopping hacks ever. We got passes to a local water park for about half the price AND got cash back! 🙂 🙂 Ibotta is COMPLETELY free to use, and you can earn the easiest $10 of your life by downloading it through my referral link here.

We sought out free things to do. 

Probably the most important thing we did to do Labor Day on a budget is that we sought out free things to do where we were. We did a quick google search on free things to do in Dallas and found this free trolley that runs through uptown through downtown Dallas. It is styled after the original trolley so it’s adorable and old school looking and takes you through the CUTEST part of Dallas. M had a BLAST looking out the windows and thought it was really cool to be riding on a trolley. Especially if you jump on at the Uptown Station, where the trolley turns around on a circle track.

We also checked out the infamous Klyde Warren Park down town and it did not disappoint! M had a blast climbing all over everything, playing in the water, and literally rolled in the grass for like 30 minutes. We grabbed food at one of the many food trucks and enjoyed talking to people/people watching. Definitely mini-Central Park vibes.

labor day on a budget

labor day on a budget

labor day on a budget

labor day on a budget

labor day on a budget

labor day on a budget

labor day on a budget

We brought our own snacks and drinks. 

With the exception of a couple of meals that we ate out, we tried to bring our own snacks and drinks everywhere we went. Drinks (including water) at the food truck cost $3 each! I have no idea how much money it saved us by packing our own but I’m confident it was a nice chunk of change. Plus, we had the added benefit of always having drinks and snacks on hand instead of waiting until we were hangry to try and find something. 🙂

I love hearing all of your success paying off debt and otherwise crushing your financial goals! But don’t forget to get out there and live life, even if you are paying off 6 figures of debt. I feel really strong about this for mental health and family bonding. 🙂 How was your Labor Day? What did you do?? 
P.S. Have you subscribed to our newsletter? We offer all the behind the scenes tips and tricks we’re using to pay off $600k of debt, including monthly debt updates.


2 thoughts on “LABOR DAY ON A BUDGET

  1. My daughter and I stayed home and spring cleaned my parents’ house. We then went to Walmart to get them a new dish rack. I was pleased with the deal – the brand new dish rack came packaged with 3 ice trays, 4 plastic bowls, and 4 plastic cups all for $6.49. I also got mopping soap, sponges, and bleach for them. It was a nice frugal outing. I got $4.15 back from ibotta. I’m an ibotta nut too.

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