Author Topic: Deliberate December  (Read 3461 times)

Mongoose

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Deliberate December
« on: November 27, 2017, 09:16:12 AM »
In the spirit on the monthly challenges, I'm proposing a deliberate December...because it's not a great month to be uber frugal but a good time to keep things under control. My goals for this month are to set up for finishing 2017/starting 2018 strong.

Deliberate December Goals
1. Limit eating out. We have 1 dinner and 3 lunches planned as get togethers. Plus a key person at work is leaving and we're likely to go out for drinks after work one day. Goal: keep the costs reasonable (separate budget for each) plus limit eating out to these times.
2. Clothes buying: limit to 2 pairs of jeans for DH that we can get using rebates. Spending: $0.
3. Gifts: I have 1 gift to buy and have a goal of making the second gift I still need. Spending: <$20.
4. Keep up exercise. I have signed up for two 7K road races over the winter and need to keep training for them. Goal is to keep to my scheduled exercise times/durations.
5. Healthy eating...Thanksgiving overindulgence has left my jeans a little snug. December goal is to cut sugar and focus on lower carb eating.
6. Budget...finish up the yearly paperwork and get everything organized to better track spending in 2018.
7. Finish my decluttering challenge. It got derailed earlier this year due to a family emergency but I'd like to get it all checked off this month.

ixtap

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 11:56:11 AM »
November worked out quite well for me, so I need to come up with a new goal or two for December.

PJ

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 10:47:02 AM »
November worked out quite well for me, so I need to come up with a new goal or two for December.

Me too!  Thinking about it - my "December" started on Friday, since I only get paid once a month.
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norabird

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 10:49:49 AM »
I like this!

Dollar Slice

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 11:31:34 AM »
I'm in. No-Excuses November really helped me feel like I had someone besides myself to be accountable to. I just got signed up for another month of PT and I've scheduled appointments through the end of December, so once again: I will do my PT exercises every single damn day, come hell or high water.

I'd like to add another goal of doing something generous once a week in December. I don't like the way my savings goals make me feel about charity/gifts sometimes, so I will deliberately make a gift or donation once a week that is outside my usual wheelhouse. Holiday gifts for family don't count, annual charitable gifts to my usual favorite charities don't count. This week I bought a Christmas gift for my friend's teenage daughter to encourage her in her musical pursuits. I think I'm going to put in a gift card for my friend and his wife, too - they are frugal but struggling financially after he was laid off. Trying to decide if I should make it for something practical like groceries, or something like Amazon or Walmart so they can use it for gifts if they want.
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ixtap

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 11:58:40 AM »
November worked out quite well for me, so I need to come up with a new goal or two for December.

Me too!  Thinking about it - my "December" started on Friday, since I only get paid once a month.

I usually consider Friday as the end of the week. I know other people struggle with weekends, but my husband generally keeps me on the straight and narrow. Unless he agrees to get me a new phone instead of helping me figure out how to purchase a new microphone for the old one. But that was a Wednesday.

I am basically aiming for a no spend December, excluding gifts. And I fully expect gifts to be on par with grocery savings as every volunteer organization and family member attempts to stuff us full of goodies. I just need a really cool, yet cheap, gift idea for young adults, as I have five of them to buy for this year.

PJ

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 12:39:31 PM »
November worked out quite well for me, so I need to come up with a new goal or two for December.

Me too!  Thinking about it - my "December" started on Friday, since I only get paid once a month.

I usually consider Friday as the end of the week. I know other people struggle with weekends, but my husband generally keeps me on the straight and narrow. Unless he agrees to get me a new phone instead of helping me figure out how to purchase a new microphone for the old one. But that was a Wednesday.

I am basically aiming for a no spend December, excluding gifts. And I fully expect gifts to be on par with grocery savings as every volunteer organization and family member attempts to stuff us full of goodies. I just need a really cool, yet cheap, gift idea for young adults, as I have five of them to buy for this year.

Are you crafty? 

My downstairs neighbour (a young adult - about 25?) just showed me a couple of small cross stitch projects she did for a couple of friends.  One was a snarky saying, the other a cactus - many similar examples to be found here:

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=cactus+cross+stitch&qpvt=cactus+cross+stitch&FORM=IGRE

Both were simply framed in an embroidery hoop.  To be honest, my first reaction was "how hipster!" and my second thought was "...but cute."  But if you stitch, they'd probably only take a couple hours each, and you could choose a theme that works for each young person - a bicycle for the cyclist, a boom box or retro cassette tape for the music lover, a dog or cat for the animal lover - even a moustache for the aspiring mustachian!
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 01:12:32 AM »
These are my December goals:
1) Don't buy meat and fish. Empty the stuffed freezer first. -> still busy doing this. Haven't bought meat and fish in december for use at home.
2) Do daily exercises for my back as I want it to give me less trouble. -> forgetting this almost every day.
3) Now that there is snow close to home: go cross country skiing and improve my condition. -> Done every weekend.
4) Get enough exercise when we visit the family around Christmas (8 days with a lot of food all day long). Say no to food we don't want to eat. -> To be implemented from the 22nd of December
5) Up to the 22nd of December, drink alcohol less often, maximum 3 days a week. -> So far in December no drinking on Mon-Thur.
6) Get my weight down to 67kg. -> Today 67.8 kg.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 04:29:51 AM by Linda_Norway »

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 10:24:08 AM »
December goals:
1) Stay on track on work trip. Not financial related, but health & fitness related. It's tough for me, given jet lag, crazy schedules, airport/hotel food
2) Work out a minimum of 15x.
3) One meal out (date night with my husband). Not counting work meals out, as I'm not paying & will be out of the country.
4) No more holiday shopping. My list is complete & checked off.
5) Limit food spending (including meal out) to $800. This is a lot, but we host 8 people for a few days, and 6 people for another chunk.

bucketsofrain

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2017, 04:41:10 PM »
This is a great idea! I was just thinking about how I've really let my eating out spending go way up. I love eating out, but I want to spend my money about restaurants I'm excited about, not a restaurant I go to because it sounds better than cooking or whatnot. I'm also about to start a job at a speciality food shop, which means I could spend a lot at work, too. I want to make sure I don't fall into that trap. So, my foodcentric December:

1.) Eat out only deliberately.
2.) Eat down the freezer and pantry, especially since I just asked for more food things for Christmas.
3.) Don't let my grocery spending go above $150/month. (I live with my BF, and we don't combine money, so this is not the entire cost of our household groceries, but a good goal for me given my new proximity to delicious food.)

haypug16

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2017, 11:27:29 AM »
I'm in for December. I started slacking in November after the first half of the month (at least for posting)

1. Have 12 no spend days. I had only 6 in November so I want to see if I can double that.
2. Stick to Meals Out budget of $150 a month. This should be plenty but my monthly average tends to be around $200. No reason for that. $150 should cover a couple dinners and a couple lunches for the month. My ultimate goal for 2018 is only $75 a month! bringing it down to $150 is the first step to reach that goal.
3. Donate/Sell 31 items. 1 for each day of the month
4. Fix my flat on my bike! This flat was my biggest excuse for November. Once fixed I will ride my bike to work on the nicest/warmest day of the week. 

Tass

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2017, 12:30:11 PM »
This fits perfectly with my biggest struggle right now, which is to limit my internet usage to be deliberate rather than aimless. (That includes you guys. Sorry.) So here's a list:

1) See how close I can get to 0 social media use on weekdays. ...starting tomorrow.
2) Maintain biking and swimming improvements.
2.5) Change my bike chain.
3) Work ~2 hours a day while on break. (Not very mustachian, but I'm a grad student.)
3.5) Start online science writing course.
4) Cook a lot.
5) Read a lot.

I'll try to check in on Sundays as my internet-allowed day.

pachnik

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2017, 12:41:32 PM »
I'm in too.  Been eyeing this thread and thinking "What a good idea", so here I am. 

1.  Go to the gym 3 mornings per week rather than 2.
2.  Go to an evening yoga class on a Monday or Tuesday, if I am not going out any other week night that week.  (I find it hard to get out of the house in the winter evenings after work.) 
3.  Do a written Step 10 in the evening. 


GardenBaker

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2017, 12:55:40 PM »
I'm in! Here are my goals for December.

1.) Maintain No Gain - Do not gain any holiday weight
2.) Move More - Workout at least 5 days / week to further along goal 1 above
3.) Clean the house more regularly; using the Roomba consistently counts :)
4.) Minimize grocery shopping to clean out pantry and freezer.

Mongoose

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2017, 03:29:14 PM »
Yay! Welcome everybody. I find the group accountability so encouraging. And I love seeing the diversity of everyone's goals.

We added a meal out today because I had to take kid to doctor. No problem. Co-pay in cash and the meal expense came out of my grocery budget. We normally would've packed a picnic lunch but we could only get an appointment that meant leaving right now.

Moustachienne

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2017, 03:46:15 PM »
I've been loving the name of this thread too.  Rather than a lot of sub goals, my main theme for December is "deliberate".

This will mean planning activities, spending, etc to avoid both spur of the moment splurges and/or missing out on seasonal fun due to lack of planning.

The one specific change I'm going to make is to get up between 6-6:30 most mornings.  Mornings are my best time but since retiring in July, I've been drifting towards later and later hours to match the husband and cat. And those late evening hours are when most aimless TV watching/web surfing takes place for me. 


fluffmuffin

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2017, 09:00:21 AM »
I've been loving the name of this thread too.  Rather than a lot of sub goals, my main theme for December is "deliberate".

This will mean planning activities, spending, etc to avoid both spur of the moment splurges and/or missing out on seasonal fun due to lack of planning.

Totally agree with this, Moustachienne. I did the November challenge and had some life stuff happen that meant I technically "failed" on 3/4 of my goals, but I think it was still an overall success in that I buckled down on a few areas that I'd been struggling with recently. With the stuff I've got going on in December, it's not realistic for me to try to be super-rigid about any one specific spending category. But I do want to be very deliberate about how I'm allocating my financial resources, and not let poor planning result in spending money on unnecessary silliness.

I do have two concrete goals that don't involve restricted spending: work steadily on a contract/side-gig/project/thing that's due at the end of the month, and take advantage of my free time over the holiday break to get some substantial writing done.

ixtap

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2017, 07:37:52 PM »
Dec 1: a literal no spend day. However, I found out today that the traditional "pay for the volunteers" dinner has been set at $20/ volunteer. Not sure why we weren't informed before the RSVP deadline.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2017, 06:33:47 AM »
Yesterday I did not follow my own goal and did not do exercises for my back. Today I made up for it with an hour cross country skiing, which is good training for practically all musles and good stamina training. Pretty good circumstances for skiing close to our home. I hope we can do it again tomorrow. It as good to have started this hobby again this winter, as I very much enjoy it.

ixtap

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2017, 08:39:24 AM »
Dec 2: Early morning meeting. A month ago, I would have stopped at McD's on the way, but not today. However, I am assuming that I will have to pay for my lunch on base. This challenge is really making me realize how the often it is assumed we will pony up, without making any statement in the event invitation.

Update: the meeting let out 3 hours early, allowing me to go home for lunch!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 01:51:12 PM by ixtap »

akzidenz

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2017, 02:11:15 PM »
I'd like to add another goal of doing something generous once a week in December. I don't like the way my savings goals make me feel about charity/gifts sometimes, so I will deliberately make a gift or donation once a week that is outside my usual wheelhouse.

Dollar Slice, I love this goal. I became very conscious in 2017 how much of my life felt just wastefully luxurious—and how I could cut spending a little bit and make more donations. I'm donating 3% of my take-home right now, and I think I'd like to up that to 5% in 2018. Becoming more frugal in general will help!

1. Have 12 no spend days. I had only 6 in November so I want to see if I can double that.
2. Stick to Meals Out budget of $150 a month. This should be plenty but my monthly average tends to be around $200. No reason for that. $150 should cover a couple dinners and a couple lunches for the month. My ultimate goal for 2018 is only $75 a month! bringing it down to $150 is the first step to reach that goal.
3. Donate/Sell 31 items. 1 for each day of the month

haypug16, I'll probably steal these goals too! Adjusted a bit…I spent $200 on eating out in November, but my normal is more like $400+, so I might just try for $200 again.



Here are my goals:
  • Save 50%+ this month. My stretch goal is 55%, if I'm extremely frugal and cautious!
  • Spend about $200 on eating out. I managed this in November, but my norm is $400+.
  • Work out 2x/week. I was at 3x/week over the summer, and then slipped…

Dollar Slice

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2017, 03:28:34 PM »
I'd like to add another goal of doing something generous once a week in December. I don't like the way my savings goals make me feel about charity/gifts sometimes, so I will deliberately make a gift or donation once a week that is outside my usual wheelhouse.

Dollar Slice, I love this goal. I became very conscious in 2017 how much of my life felt just wastefully luxurious—and how I could cut spending a little bit and make more donations. I'm donating 3% of my take-home right now, and I think I'd like to up that to 5% in 2018. Becoming more frugal in general will help!

Glad you like it :-)  I think I've become a little tight-fisted because I keep having job scares and I don't feel good about my job prospects in general (working in print publishing). I also have some health concerns and I worry about becoming disabled. I really like seeing my savings accounts increase because it makes me feel safer. But in reality, part of this is just me having anxiety issues... I have more than most people in the US (and the world) and philanthropy/charity is really important to me. So I'm trying to kick my own ass a little bit.

This ended up being kind of a weird week and I didn't really sit down to deliberate until today. I decided the gift I mentioned in my earlier post should not count toward this goal because it's too similar to things I've done before. I did a couple of other things that were also too similar to things I've done before (like sneaking $80 into a tip jar for someone I know is low-income and has been dealing with some kind of IRS nightmare and having to pay accountants etc). In the end I sat down today and decided to make a charitable donation to an organization I haven't donated to before and is quite different to donations I've made in the past. The money will go to pay off unpaid school lunch bills for kids whose parents can't keep up with expenses. There's a lot of reasons why parents might not be able to pay those bills, good and bad and indifferent, but the kids shouldn't be the ones to suffer or feel ashamed.

Now I have a whole week to come up with something else. I want it to be harder for me. Not financially, but psychologically, to challenge myself and my point of view.
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Mongoose

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2017, 08:29:27 AM »
Very nice! Dollar Slice, I love your giving goal. We quit donating when income crashed and I'd love to get to a place financially where it's feasible to regularly donate again.

We ruthlessly decluttered three rooms plus the kids clothes. Have two big bags of outgrown stuff to donate (we didn't buy most of it, we get a lot of hand me downs). One other room got partially done before we ran out of steam. Our house seems so much cleaner and more open already. The kids rooms and the kitchen are next.

Forgot to add: finished one of my 7k races and was very pleased with it. We didn't eat healthy last night though (disgustingly greasy pizza) and I feel awful today. Just reaffirms that we need to eat better!
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 08:31:33 AM by Mongoose »

Moustachienne

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2017, 09:48:27 AM »
I've "deliberately" planned out a number of get togethers with friends this month.  Family is still a bit of a wild card but that's OK.

My goal of getting up just after 6am has not been met; I've been getting up around 7am.   It is occurring to me that it might be good to accept 7 as my baseline rather than fight myself for 6.

I got up at 6am for 30 years for work/commute but now I'm retired!  I'm still a morning person but there's no particular virtue in getting up at any particular time.   Going to deliberately play with my morning routine this month to find out what feels right.  :)

bucketsofrain

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2017, 09:54:43 AM »
This is a great idea! I was just thinking about how I've really let my eating out spending go way up. I love eating out, but I want to spend my money about restaurants I'm excited about, not a restaurant I go to because it sounds better than cooking or whatnot. I'm also about to start a job at a speciality food shop, which means I could spend a lot at work, too. I want to make sure I don't fall into that trap. So, my foodcentric December:

1.) Eat out only deliberately.
2.) Eat down the freezer and pantry, especially since I just asked for more food things for Christmas.
3.) Don't let my grocery spending go above $150/month. (I live with my BF, and we don't combine money, so this is not the entire cost of our household groceries, but a good goal for me given my new proximity to delicious food.)

Well, on Dec. 1, I kind of failed my first goal. Oops. I went out to dinner to a place I have wanted to go to since the summer, but the timing was more due to laziness than deliberate choice. So, I failed there, but I am going to keep working on this this month.

I have been doing a good job with eating down the freezer and pantry so far. No grocery spending this month yet. I am starting the new job tomorrow, and it will be quite busy in the beginning, so today I will probably make some coconut lentil recipe I saw so that my fridge is stocked and I don't succumb to eating out.

haypug16

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2017, 11:23:53 AM »
1. Have 12 no spend days. 0/12
2. Stick to Meals Out budget of $150 a month.bringing it down to $150 is the first step to reach that goal. $0/$150
3. Donate/Sell 31 items. 1 for each day of the month 3/31
4. Fix my flat on my bike! 0/1

Day 1 and 2  - Spend some money on Groceries so haven't had a no spend day yet. No meals out though. Donated 3 clothing items to Savers. Have not fixed the flat yet.

ixtap

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2017, 11:31:57 AM »
Dec 3: Giving my husband his free hair cut, then off to our half priced (instead of free) volunteer dinner. No spend 2/3

Dec 2: Early morning meeting. A month ago, I would have stopped at McD's on the way, but not today. Made it home for lunch, free dinner party. No spend 2/2

Dec 1: No spend 1/1

Linda_Norway

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2017, 01:26:57 PM »
Today we did another 1,25 hour of cross country skiing.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2017, 03:19:11 PM »
I downloaded a "goals" app last night and put all my PT exercises into it so that it will remind me and I'll have the satisfaction of checking off the little boxes every day. I keep getting more exercises so it was getting harder to keep track of everything.

Now I have a whole week to come up with something else. I want it to be harder for me. Not financially, but psychologically, to challenge myself and my point of view.

I've decided this week that, to challenge myself, I am going to give a small(ish) amount to a different charity every single day. I'm thinking about doing only non-financial donations (e.g. donating toys to needy children, warm clothes to the homeless, food to the hungry, books to underfunded schools, etc.) but I'm not sure I can pull that off since it's a lot of extra work. But I want to see if choosing specific items to donate might get me thinking about it in a deeper way. Thinking about what people need and why, and what they would need the most, and what hardships they face without it.
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MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2017, 06:08:13 PM »
December goals:
1) Stay on track on work trip. Not financial related, but health & fitness related. It's tough for me, given jet lag, crazy schedules, airport/hotel food
2) Work out a minimum of 15x.
3) One meal out (date night with my husband). Not counting work meals out, as I'm not paying & will be out of the country.
4) No more holiday shopping. My list is complete & checked off.
5) Limit food spending (including meal out) to $800. This is a lot, but we host 8 people for a few days, and 6 people for another chunk.

1st full day on my work trip. Jet lagged & not feeling amazing, but for #1 & #2, had a healthy breakfast this am (minus sugar I put in my latte, because. . . it's a special thing I only allow myself when traveling) & made it to the gym! The sweating/work out actually helped quite a bit with the jet lag!

Tass

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2017, 07:38:24 PM »
1) See how close I can get to 0 social media use on weekdays.
12/1: 39 minutes on facebook
12/2: 0 time

2) Maintain biking and swimming improvements.
12/2: Last formal swim class (one hour practice)
12/3: Biked 8.8 miles

2.5) Change my bike chain.
3) Work ~2 hours a day while on break. N/A - I'm still working for real!
3.5) Start online science writing course.
4) Cook a lot.
5) Read a lot. Starting my third book of the month on 12/3.

I've decided this week that, to challenge myself, I am going to give a small(ish) amount to a different charity every single day. I'm thinking about doing only non-financial donations (e.g. donating toys to needy children, warm clothes to the homeless, food to the hungry, books to underfunded schools, etc.) but I'm not sure I can pull that off since it's a lot of extra work. But I want to see if choosing specific items to donate might get me thinking about it in a deeper way. Thinking about what people need and why, and what they would need the most, and what hardships they face without it.

If it makes a difference in your decision, financial donations go a lot further at most charities. Like, at food banks, donating money allows them to get more food by buying in serious bulk, and to pick exactly what they know they're short on.

It's always good to donate if the alternative is throwing away (clothes you don't wear anymore, etc), but buying an item to donate is usually not cost-effective.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 09:52:50 PM by Tass »

Dollar Slice

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2017, 08:45:46 PM »
If it makes a difference in your decision, financial donations go a lot further at most charities. Like, at food banks, donating money allows them to get more food by buying in serious bulk, and to pick exactly what they know they're short on.

It's always good to donate if the alternative is throwing away (clothes you don't wear anymore, etc), but buying an item to donate is usually not cost-effective.

I am fully aware of this, and I normally donate cash. But this is meant as more of a growing/thought exercise for myself, and being a little less efficient with a few small donations is not the end of the world if it can change the way I think about charity for the next forty years.

I am a very efficient-minded person, like most MMMers, so what I'm hoping for here is that I would do a good deal of research, thinking, and asking questions in order to more fully understand what is truly needed/wanted by whichever charity I pick each day. Instead of taking the easy way out (put it on the credit card) or the feel-good way out (buying the cutest teddy bear in the store for Toys for Tots)... this week I want to do the work and learn about what is truly needed, and better understand what the underlying problems are. I think it will be good for me.
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Tass

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2017, 09:51:12 PM »
If it makes a difference in your decision, financial donations go a lot further at most charities. Like, at food banks, donating money allows them to get more food by buying in serious bulk, and to pick exactly what they know they're short on.

It's always good to donate if the alternative is throwing away (clothes you don't wear anymore, etc), but buying an item to donate is usually not cost-effective.

I am fully aware of this, and I normally donate cash. But this is meant as more of a growing/thought exercise for myself, and being a little less efficient with a few small donations is not the end of the world if it can change the way I think about charity for the next forty years.

I am a very efficient-minded person, like most MMMers, so what I'm hoping for here is that I would do a good deal of research, thinking, and asking questions in order to more fully understand what is truly needed/wanted by whichever charity I pick each day. Instead of taking the easy way out (put it on the credit card) or the feel-good way out (buying the cutest teddy bear in the store for Toys for Tots)... this week I want to do the work and learn about what is truly needed, and better understand what the underlying problems are. I think it will be good for me.

I hope you find it useful! I didn't mean to belittle your intentions at all, that efficiency gap is just something everyone should know about. Clearly you already do.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2017, 10:07:04 PM »
I hope you find it useful! I didn't mean to belittle your intentions at all, that efficiency gap is just something everyone should know about. Clearly you already do.

I appreciate the comment anyway :-)  The more I try to explain my idea(s) to other people, the better I understand what changes I want to happen in my head, I think. I want to spend time and brainpower on it, and discussing it helps!
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zeli2033

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2017, 11:14:41 PM »
In the spirit on the monthly challenges, I'm proposing a deliberate December...because it's not a great month to be uber frugal but a good time to keep things under control. My goals for this month are to set up for finishing 2017/starting 2018 strong.
...
Starting a little late but new to the forums and want to try something small this month while I gear up to smash student loan debt!

December Goal is to cut our dining out expense by 50% (monthly average has been $225). So far:

12/2: ($10.50)

westtoeast

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2017, 05:12:57 AM »
Oooh just found this thread! I really need this. After a lot of uber frugal months I fell apart in November due to some health related and other large purchases. However, I'm done with holiday gift shopping so I may be able to really make some progress this month.

My goals:
1) No eating out
2) Uber only to doctor or tutoring appointments that I truly cannot take a bus for (like today)
3) Restart exercise routine now, so that I break even with holiday indulgences
4) No clothing spending
5) Check library before buying Kindle books
6) Generally thinking carefully about all spending

without_a_map

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2017, 06:05:52 AM »
A few days late but I'm in! Feeling a bit directionless and like a few bad habits are sneaking in, so a bit of group accountability will be helpful! Several things I'd like to work on:

1. Take breakfast (I don't like eating too early and I leave home at 7am!), lunch and a flask of coffee to work when I am in the office (most days) - no buying sneaky sandwiches or pain au chocolat from the bakery
2. I've got some physio exercises to do to help with a sore hip so do those 3x day as required
3. Persuade OH to try Lidl for food shopping, and compare prices to our usual shop - hope to make the change permanent if we see a big difference
4. We always go food shopping on a Sunday morning and get McDs breakfast before, so try and not get McDs for 1 week (ambitious haha)

Wish me luck!

Mongoose

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2017, 08:06:34 AM »
Very inspiring! I'm especially loving hearing everyone's thoughts on what is and is not working. I tend towards all-or-nothing goals and it's helpful to see others with more balance perhaps adjust goals as you go to reach a desired end point.

1. Limit eating out. We ended up later than expected at kids choir concert so we grabbed dinner. Need to rethink how we schedule so that nights in town that end after 5:30 have picnic or snacks.
2. Clothes buying: limit to 2 pairs of jeans for DH that we can get using rebates. Spending: $0. Done. Now we need to just not buy other clothes.
3. Gifts: I have 1 gift to buy and have a goal of making the second gift I still need. Spending: <$20. Exactly on budget. Now I just need to make the second gift.
4. Keep up exercise. I have signed up for two 7K road races over the winter and need to keep training for them. Goal is to keep to my scheduled exercise times/durations. Mostly keeping up with this.
5. Healthy eating...Thanksgiving overindulgence has left my jeans a little snug. December goal is to cut sugar and focus on lower carb eating. DH has decided to join me for a 3 week challenge starting today. I'm already craving sugar.
6. Budget...finish up the yearly paperwork and get everything organized to better track spending in 2018.
7. Finish my decluttering challenge. It got derailed earlier this year due to a family emergency but I'd like to get it all checked off this month. Great progress this weekend.

haypug16

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2017, 08:39:39 AM »
1. Have 12 no spend days. 0/12
2. Stick to Meals Out budget of $150 a month, bringing it down to $150 is the first step to reach that goal. $7.90/$150
3. Donate/Sell 31 items. 1 for each day of the month 3/31
4. Fix my flat on my bike! 0/1

Dec 3 - Bought a coffee for DH and I while we were out in Boston last night, so a spend day and a meals out amount! Put 6 CDs and a pair of shoes in the Savers bag to donate this weekend. I won't count it until I actually drop it off though. Tire still not fixed :/

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2017, 08:57:51 AM »
this is a great title.
One of my early successes was around the neighbours gathering.  I like to host an event for all the neighbours before Christmas.  Last year the event was planned for an early evening.  The invitation said 7 to 9.  One of the neighbours didn't even arrive until almost 10 and that kind of gave permission for the remaining guests to have another.  One of them had already had enough and I was tired.  He proceeded to drink a whole lot more and really piss me off with insults.  My husband fell asleep on the sofa and I went into the kitchen and started cleaning up.  One of the others came into the kitchen and said they would get him to leave but that took almost an hour.
So this year I decided to make the gathering for 3-6.  I then made a crock pot dinner that would be ready at 7 and invited friends to come at 6 for dinner.  They are good enough friends that I could explain the strategy of having the neighbour party ending before some one got belligerent drunk.  I also had enough food that any hangers on could be offered some food with us- and a couple of the kids did.  Everyone else declined and went home.  It went beautifully according to plan.  And I didn't have beer slipped on the sofa to clean up the next morning - in fact clean up was done by 10pm - and everyone had an excellent time.

Now I have to make plans to avoid family conflict, accidentally eating gluten and over scheduling myself.  All of that contributes to spending and eating and weight gain.
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ixtap

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2017, 10:43:44 AM »
Dec 4: DH did some plumbing troubleshooting yesterday, so I have to spend money today to fix that particular problem. At least it isn't an impulse buy. No spend 2/4.

fluffmuffin

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #41 on: December 04, 2017, 10:54:41 AM »
The weekend went well in the ways that I laid out for myself (no silly spending due to lack of planning + got started on the side gig stuff + was ahead on writing from the week), but MMM would be ashamed of the amount of money I splashed out. Met a friend for lunch! Met another friend for coffee! Impulse-bought a delicious beer that they were doing tastings for at the grocery store! Bought two pieces of artwork! Got a new-to-me dress!

Happy with all of the money I spent, though. I'm really frugal in some ways and extremely not-frugal in others.

RedmondStash

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #42 on: December 04, 2017, 11:07:33 AM »
Funny, since Friday was my last day at work, I am torn between going in and having lunch with friends at work a few times in the next few weeks and embracing the austerity of FIRE. Begin as you mean to go on, etc.

Good post.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #43 on: December 04, 2017, 04:45:46 PM »
December goals:
1) Stay on track on work trip. Not financial related, but health & fitness related. It's tough for me, given jet lag, crazy schedules, airport/hotel food
2) Work out a minimum of 15x.
3) One meal out (date night with my husband). Not counting work meals out, as I'm not paying & will be out of the country.
4) No more holiday shopping. My list is complete & checked off.
5) Limit food spending (including meal out) to $800. This is a lot, but we host 8 people for a few days, and 6 people for another chunk.

1st full day on my work trip. Jet lagged & not feeling amazing, but for #1 & #2, had a healthy breakfast this am (minus sugar I put in my latte, because. . . it's a special thing I only allow myself when traveling) & made it to the gym! The sweating/work out actually helped quite a bit with the jet lag!

2nd day of work trip, and got in another workout. Was in the gym at 5:15 am, so I thank jet lag. Feeling way better & more in control, having my workout complete.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2017, 08:44:31 PM »
My therapist is trying to kill me one heel raise at a time, but I am still on my every-damn-day PT exercises streak since sometime in October. I did 130 heel raises today... I may need to ice that sucker a second time. It is still swollen.

My one-week daily-charity mini-challenge is going well. It's really motivating me to think about things a lot more. On day one I donated a big package of socks to a local place supporting homeless LGBTQ+ teens. It will get cold very soon, so it seemed like good timing. I often see homeless people with no socks and shoes that are barely holding together. (I have great sympathy for people with uncomfortable feet right now...) On day two (today) I donated a bunch of single-day transit passes to a program supporting newly-arrived refugees. They listed it as one of their highest-urgency needs, which makes a lot of sense. These folks arrive here with next to nothing, certainly they don't have cars to get around. The passes will help them get to appointments, job interviews, English classes, the grocery store, etc.

So far so good.
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haypug16

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #45 on: December 05, 2017, 07:12:15 AM »
1. Have 12 no spend days 1/12
2. Stick to Meals Out budget of $150 a month $7.90/$150
3. Donate/Sell 31 items. 1 for each day of the month 3/31
4. Fix my flat on my bike! 0/1

Dec 4 - Spent no money yesterday :) 1 down 11 to go. Ate leftovers at work and home so no meals out. Put 3 books in the donate bag for this weekend, but not counting until I actually drop them off. I have 10 items in the bag I believe. Flat not fixed, who knows maybe tonight is the night I get to it.

fluffmuffin

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2017, 10:19:42 AM »
My therapist is trying to kill me one heel raise at a time, but I am still on my every-damn-day PT exercises streak since sometime in October. I did 130 heel raises today... I may need to ice that sucker a second time. It is still swollen.

My one-week daily-charity mini-challenge is going well. It's really motivating me to think about things a lot more. On day one I donated a big package of socks to a local place supporting homeless LGBTQ+ teens. It will get cold very soon, so it seemed like good timing. I often see homeless people with no socks and shoes that are barely holding together. (I have great sympathy for people with uncomfortable feet right now...) On day two (today) I donated a bunch of single-day transit passes to a program supporting newly-arrived refugees. They listed it as one of their highest-urgency needs, which makes a lot of sense. These folks arrive here with next to nothing, certainly they don't have cars to get around. The passes will help them get to appointments, job interviews, English classes, the grocery store, etc.

So far so good.

This is a really awesome challenge to set for yourself, Dollar Slice.

ixtap

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #47 on: December 06, 2017, 05:28:18 PM »
Dec 6: Groceries and Christmas gifts fall within my no spend parameters. It took so long, that not grabbing fast food or at least something ready made from the grocery store was a monumental task, but I passed it by and put back the shoes I almost got for myself. No spend 4/6

In other news, I confirmed that Aldi's and Smart & Final are not generally cheaper than my usual store. Whicj sucks because they are closer. However, S&F does have bulk whole wheat flour that comes out less per pound than anywhere and today they had the Italian sausage pasta sauce that Hubby likes. And large eggs for $2.49 a dozen?! Had to go walk back across the parking lot to Aldi's.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #48 on: December 06, 2017, 10:53:50 PM »
Still on my PT-exercises-every-day streak. I did extra today because the patient after me canceled, so my therapist had a lot of time to spend with me. That meant I got an extra-long pain-massage, where she finds all the weird little muscles that are all tensed up from walking funny on my post-op foot, and hurts them until they cry uncle. :-P  (Me crying uncle doesn't count. The first session, she told me to let her know if the pain was too much to bear, and when I finally said it was, she said "OK! I'm going to do that three more times.")

My one-week daily-charity mini-challenge continues successfully. On day three I donated some Spanish-language and Spanish/English bilingual children's books to a local organization that helps mothers in poverty from pregnancy until the kid is old enough for kindergarten. 25% of people in this city speak Spanish as their first language, and I am guessing Spanish-language books are harder to find/less-often donated. They had a wishlist of books they would love to get, so I picked some of those. (Still trying hard to get what is needed most according to experts and not what I think people ought to need in some kind of fantasy-land where giving a kid a cute teddy bear makes everything OK.) On day four (today) I donated some tuna-fish-and-crackers meal kits, a huge box of granola bars, and a big box of band-aids to a local organization that drives a bus around to hand out food, toiletries, etc. to homeless people. All of those things were on their list of recommended items to donate, and I tried to choose the most practical-yet-nutritious-yet-enjoyable food items for a homeless person to take with them.

I did really disappoint myself this week, though. An acquaintance of mine has been going through some terrible times - her husband was in a very serious car accident while they were out of town about 800 miles from home. He has been in ICU/hospital for weeks and may not ever be able to work again. In the meantime she had to take unpaid leave from work to stay with him and neither of them is getting a paycheck. She had to finally go home and leave him there because they were running out of money and she needed to go back to her job and he is not well enough to travel :-( Heartbreaking. So she posted a gofundme this week, and I thought: I'll donate next week. This week is my "stuff, not money" donations mini-challenge. This can be my generosity-thing next week!

Maybe 12 hours later I saw it come up on Facebook again and I said to myself, yup, next week for sure, I'll donate. And I was trying to decide how much to send and all that. And then it hit me. I am using a fucking generosity/charity challenge to justify DELAYING A CHARITABLE DONATION when someone I care about is in dire need. I'm just going to let this money sit in my checking account, to fit in with my stupid arbitrary rules. What the actual fuck is wrong with me? Seriously!? Ugh. This isn't a game! Anyway, I donated to that, and it doesn't count toward any kind of challenge, because this sort of thing is why I need to do this challenge in the first place. And I still feel like an asshole.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 10:55:47 PM by Dollar Slice »
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Frugal Lizard

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Re: Deliberate December
« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2017, 05:27:24 AM »
For the first time in the many years that I have meant to do this - I attended a vigil to recognize gender based violence. Every year at the beginning of December, I mean to do something.  Then some excuse or forgetfulness happens and I say "next year".  Not this year.
Last evening, right after dinner, I bundled up and walked to a small park to join many others to acknowledge the women that were killed at the Ecole Polytechnique and the many murdered and missing Indigenous women and the unbelievable number of women just in Ontario that have died at the hands of men.  The meeting location was indoors at a local business but from there we walked to a memorial to a woman killed by her husband. There were red dresses hanging from the trees.  Black frames held red cards with the victim's name along with the date and location of their murder where distributed along the sidewalk and pathways, propped up against sign posts and railings.  There were so many names.  We lit candles and the wind died down enough for a brief time while there was a moment of silence so the candles stayed lit.  Then one by one each attendee blew out their candle with a promise to take another step. My step is to continue to talk about gender based violence with my son, my nephews and well anyone who will listen....
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