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Pits and Peaks This Week

It’s Friday, and we all know what that means: A touch of a hangover from last night’s soiree! Ha! Ha…ha.

Actually, besides that, it means it’s time for the weekly installment of Pits and Peaks! If you’re new, this is a series where I recount the previous week’s escapades and bemoan the rough times when we spent too much money, and pat myself and Anna on the back for the good times when we were frugal superheroes. The point of all of this is (besides living frugal just being the way to go in general) to save up for our impending epic van trip.

This week, despite being stressful on the work front (as usual, at this point) was great on the social and frugalizing fronts. Let’s start with the negatives:

The path to a more frugal life? Actually the path to Valencia Peak, but, you know.


I signed up for Personal Capital in January to track our spending and savings, and so far I’ve been really happy with it. Since we crossed over into March this week, I took a look at February’s stats – it was the first full month of data I have in the program.

We spent over $700 on food.

* runs around screaming with hair on fire *

And a lot of it was restaurants, too.

This has got to change for March. Granted, February marked a lot of birthdays in our circle of friends, plus a number of out of town visits from other friends, but still. We live in sunny California, there’s no excuse for not picnicking more often. This is going to be my biggest goal for March – tighten up that food bill, and stop eating out so much!

Another pit from the week came when I started researching health insurance options for Anna and I while we live on the road. Since we are both going to have to quit our jobs, we will lose our cushy benefits, which include health insurance, and have to provide for ourselves.

Guys, getting health insurance in the US of A for yourself is expensive. It’s especially expensive if you’re looking for plans that will kinda sorta work even if you’re not in your home city (domicile in insurance speak, how fancy). I could go on and on about society chaining us to the 9-5, etc, but I won’t. Let me just say looking at those numbers was rough. If anyone has any savvy advice for self-employed (as we will be) people who need to get their own health insurance, I’m all ears!

A literal peak.


First of well, we now have a new goal for March – eat out a lot less! It’s always good to have a goal, and to have some definite numbers to shoot for. I’m looking forward to seeing a lower number for my groceries and restaurants categories in Personal Capital for March.

Another peak was our delightful weekend in Morro Bay last weekend. My parents generously let us stay in their beach shack for the weekend, so our expenses were only food (always…) and gas to get up there. On Saturday, we frugally delighted ourselves by taking a lovely hike at Montaña de Oro State Park. The park was beautiful and the view from the top stunning! It was a literal peak of the week. Har, har har.

Finally, we had a great get together last night (origin of the hangover) with a couple of friends, one of whom is visiting just for a few days. She is only in town about once a year, between her serious globetrotting adventures, so it is always exciting to see her.

Several ideas for getting together were thrown around, but what we ended up doing (and everyone was enthusiastic about it) was going over to Brianna’s place to make homemade vegan ravioli and spaghetti. She just got a pasta maker and has been unstoppable with it.

This activity had the double effect of being 1) super fun and 2) super cheap. After dinner we played some games, drank some wine, and much merriment was had for a very minimal cost.

The week ahead looks good for our pockets, but we might bring Cecilia the Van into the shop for a tune up, so that could be a little pricey. Tune in next week to find out how it goes!

Now, enjoy some photos, because I enjoy taking them:


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  1. Oh wow that pasta making sounds like so much fun!!!

    I haven’t been able to get Personal Capital to cooperate with the card I use for my regular spending yet, but it’s pretty neat to see everything else all in one place.

    It’s almost outdoors-every-day season here, your photos are making me antsy for spring 🙂

    • Flo Flo

      Pasta making was fantastic, pasta eating was even better! We basically rolled out of our friend’s apartment, haha.

      Personal Capital is a little slow sometimes; definitely has a lag time. But I do really like seeing my spending all in one place, so it’s worth it if you can get it to work! Mint just didn’t work for me, and not tracking my spending carefully also didn’t work too well…

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