Author Topic: Low Spend September & October Challenge  (Read 3969 times)

westtoeast

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Low Spend September & October Challenge
« on: September 02, 2017, 08:47:47 AM »
Hi all,

Anyone else feel like they loosened up their budgets a little too much over the summer? I'm ready for a low spend challenge. I'd like to try to cut all "luxury" or unnecessary purchases for September and October. I think these are the perfect months to slim down spending because November may require some (hopefully thoughtful) holiday spending. I've also been reading along with the "has the forum gone soft?" thread and it's making me want to check on my own hedonistic adaptation!

My goals are to only spend money on rent, utilities, and reasonable grocery store foods and toiletries. My challenge areas will probably be resisting the urge to go thrifting for cute fall sweaters and not taking Uber rides. I'll be searching actively for free festive fall activities and finding some fall baking recipes. I'm also thinking of searching through the homemade X-mas thread to see if there is anything I can start working on now.

Would anyone like to join and help hold each other accountable?

 

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2017, 09:16:04 AM »
OH GOD YES I need this challenge. In particular, we need to clamp down on alcohol spending, and avoid further clothes spending, and cut back down on "time with friends" spending. (I'm glad we increased the entertainment spending temporarily, but it needs to get reeled in again).

There will continue to be insanely expensive and unavoidable medical and vet costs, but that's a big part of why I want to do this!
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wordnerd

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2017, 10:04:26 AM »
I'm in! I unofficially started in August, since July was a disaster with a big international trip. August was a success, and we had our lowest spending month in over two years. Ready to keep the momentum going!
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2017, 10:08:31 AM »
I'm in! I unofficially started in August, since July was a disaster with a big international trip. August was a success, and we had our lowest spending month in over two years. Ready to keep the momentum going!

Wow! Congrats on last month.

What were the big changes last month that enabled that? Just discretionary spending cut backs, or "fixed" stuff too?
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wordnerd

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2017, 10:15:53 AM »
I'm in! I unofficially started in August, since July was a disaster with a big international trip. August was a success, and we had our lowest spending month in over two years. Ready to keep the momentum going!

Wow! Congrats on last month.

What were the big changes last month that enabled that? Just discretionary spending cut backs, or "fixed" stuff too?

Our fixed costs are low (we've averaged about $2300/mo for all spending for about 4-5 years now), but I had gotten into a few spendier habits that were tacking on a couple hundred bucks a month. I don't want to have lifestyle inflation since we're planning to FIRE in May, so I cut out the occasional lunches and dinners out and random purchases I don't need. I kinda think of it as getting back to my healthy spending diet. :)
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allsummerlong

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2017, 10:40:22 AM »
July was a disaster with a big international trip.
OH GOD YES I need this challenge.

OMG SAME :)

We are both in education & do not get paid between June 30-Sept 15/30. We have savings set aside each year to last the summer, but this year we did some lengthy international travel and need to rein it back in.

August wasn't too bad once we got back home. Lots of free & cheap activities to do in the summer, plus all the garden produce helps keep food bills down.

Hoping to go back to barebones for Sept / Oct. These are typically our frugal-est months as we are busy focusing on work again. These challenges always help a lot for support & accountability!!

Aiming for +80% SR for both months. Main focus will be on food spending as it tends to creep up when we are busy w/ work.
Good luck everyone!

« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 10:42:29 AM by allsummerlong »

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 10:53:46 AM »
July was a disaster with a big international trip.
OH GOD YES I need this challenge.

OMG SAME :)

We are both in education & do not get paid between June 30-Sept 15/30. We have savings set aside each year to last the summer, but this year we did some lengthy international travel and need to rein it back in.

August wasn't too bad once we got back home. Lots of free & cheap activities to do in the summer, plus all the garden produce helps keep food bills down.

Hoping to go back to barebones for Sept / Oct. These are typically our frugal-est months as we are busy focusing on work again. These challenges always help a lot for support & accountability!!

Aiming for +80% SR for both months. Main focus will be on food spending as it tends to creep up when we are busy w/ work.
Good luck everyone!

Lots of similarities here! I had an international and a domestic trip and I also work in education... I did set aside a chunk for summer but it was barely enough and I had to steal a bit from my long term savings to cover my September rent (although I will be able to pay myself back when I get my first paycheck in two days).

Thanks to everyone who has joined so far! This is going to be really helpful.

I'm going to post what I've bought (and spent) each week on Saturday. I think knowing that others will see my "shameful" spending will help keep me on track.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2017, 10:56:59 AM »
Yeah I'm hoping social accountability does it for me, too. I'm guessing $4k in fixed or semi-fixed costs this month, and another up to $1k in medical+vet+pharmacy. Really want to keep everything under $5.5k, which will allow us to save $2k this month.
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horsepoor

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2017, 03:23:11 PM »
I will jump in!  Two personal trips out of state and a couple purchases made August fairly expensive.  I want to make sure I have some extra cash on hand in case of a government shutdown.

This is the time of year I'm tempted to run out and buy new clothes, so I'll focus on restraining myself there.  The ponies already got new winter blankets and should be adequately wardrobed as well.  I've also been tempted to buy new books lately, but need to focus on reading what I have (specialized horse training books).

We still have meat in the freezer from last year, and lots of eggs and veggies coming in from the garden, so I'm aiming to keep the grocery spend low. 

I will be keeping up with riding lessons as I'm able though, since the weather is usually ideal for riding between now and mid-November. 

allsummerlong

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2017, 03:37:22 PM »
Just spent my first $ of the month... Sept 1 was a no spend day. :D

Today I spent: $52 CAD. All on groceries:

- I am canning a huge batch of salsa from garden tomatoes & needed cilantro, limes, and apple cider vinegar for the recipe.

- Got a REALLY good price on ACV (~50% off) so I stocked up within reason.

- Bought some local nectarines for a large batch of jam. It's a large outlay of $ now, but gives me low-sugar jam for about 80% cheaper than buying similar jam outright. My DH goes through a LOT of jam & I really enjoy making it.

- I also try to produce as little trash as possible (not zero waste, but as close as I can get), so I do pay slightly higher prices for things like onions, carrots, potatoes, etc.. b/c I don't by the mesh or plastic bags. Just loose.

My spending goal for Sept is <$1800 CAD ($1450 USD) for everything except *including* housing & utilities. $1748 remaining ;)

Posting here is already helping me to keep saving $ in the forefront of my mind. Thanks!!


Edit: The $1800 is for everything including housing & utilities! Typo ;)
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 05:56:41 PM by allsummerlong »

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2017, 11:33:31 AM »
Ok, since yesterday was Saturday I suppose I should post my first few days of spending. It's not pretty because it all happened before I decided to make this challenge!

Sept 1: $60, vitamins (prescribed by doc, necessary & will last months)
Sept 2: $18, Uber (to and from doc appointment, this was hedonistic adaptation); $30 (treated a friend to lunch because she treated me in the past); $6 (cotton balls & floss-- necessary); $52 (groceries from TJ's-- necessary, avoided treats)
CHALLENGE BEGUN
Sept 3: $5 (train fare); $3 (movie rental on Amazon)
Total Necessary: $123
Total Unnecessary: $48 (yikes)

Today my SO & I were going to go see Close Encounters of the Third Kind in theaters (one of my fav movies, it's being re-released for its anniversary) and then were going to eat out at a burrito place afterwards. BUT we decided to stay in, pop popcorn and rent the same movie on Amazon instead, which saves a ton. Feeling good about this first frugal decision of the month. However, we are also going to poke around our favorite bookstore, so I've got to resist and remind myself that I've got a pile of books from the library to read at home.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2017, 12:20:56 PM »
Spending so far this month... sigh, got the bad news our mortgage payment is increasing by $40/month =( They mis-estimated on taxes, boo.

Sep 1st: $6 groceries (needed, for canning salsa); $115 vet (necessary. Ongoing issues with the dog. Corneal ulceration monitoring); $26 booze (unnecessary)
Sep 2nd: $44 local 'everything store'. $28 canning jars (48 of them, good price, necessary, we're out), $16 beer for friends coming over (unnecessary); $19 groceries (necessary)
Sep 3rd: $540 remainder due picking up 1/4 cow (necessary)

Well, so far I think it's bloody obvious where our unnecessary spending all goes... alcohol! $42 unnecessary spending there.

Hopefully we'll do better from here on out. At least the alcohol was cheaper than going out with our friends? Still, they would have been fine with just food, or we could have asked them to bring drinks, they're the frugal sorts too and totally willing to take turns with all of that.
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wordnerd

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2017, 12:32:49 PM »
Only three days in, and I face a dilemma. A friend wants to go on a weekend yoga retreat in October, and I am interested in joining...BUT, it's $600 (and a weekend away from my kid). But, I do want to go on a yoga retreat at some point, and now that I'm pregnant again, it might be awhile until I can do it if I don't go now...I probably shouldn't do it (sigh).

ETA: I left out the "not" in the last sentence. Freudian slip!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 12:34:26 PM by wordnerd »
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ixtap

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2017, 12:44:09 PM »
We are supposed to be on an ultra frugal vacation; eating ramen and beans, anchoring in places where there are no temptations to spend...a tropical depression, an issue with the boat and old injuries had other ideas. $30/ night for our current dock and $20 for our big night out still isn't bad, but it isn't free. And we now have a major repair project to address when we finally get home.

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2017, 04:23:35 PM »
Only three days in, and I face a dilemma. A friend wants to go on a weekend yoga retreat in October, and I am interested in joining...BUT, it's $600 (and a weekend away from my kid). But, I do want to go on a yoga retreat at some point, and now that I'm pregnant again, it might be awhile until I can do it if I don't go now...I probably shouldn't do it (sigh).

ETA: I left out the "not" in the last sentence. Freudian slip!

Hmm, tricky. Do you have a special travel fund you can pull from? Or perhaps you could find some things to sell from your home so that you "break even" and stick to your spending goals.

wordnerd

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2017, 04:31:51 PM »
Only three days in, and I face a dilemma. A friend wants to go on a weekend yoga retreat in October, and I am interested in joining...BUT, it's $600 (and a weekend away from my kid). But, I do want to go on a yoga retreat at some point, and now that I'm pregnant again, it might be awhile until I can do it if I don't go now...I probably shouldn't do it (sigh).

ETA: I left out the "not" in the last sentence. Freudian slip!

Hmm, tricky. Do you have a special travel fund you can pull from? Or perhaps you could find some things to sell from your home so that you "break even" and stick to your spending goals.

I thought about earmarking my side gig money for it (since my side gig is new, it still feels like found money), which would more than break even, but I think I'm not going to go. The time away from the kid is a bigger factor than the money at this point in life.
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TartanTallulah

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2017, 11:56:50 AM »
I'll join. Mostly to keep myself accountable. I haven't done badly over the summer months, and actually came in 200 under budget in August, but DH and I have a vacation in November and I'd like the cost of it to have been absorbed into the budget by the time we go. So that's my personal "challenge" for this period of time.

It's not normally an expensive time of year for household bills, and I'm going to be working long hours which will keep me away from potentially spendy hobbies as well as helping to fill my retirement coffers.

And at the moment I'm so desperate to be retired that anything that helps carry me through two months in the office is welcome :-)



allsummerlong

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2017, 12:04:56 PM »
perhaps you could find some things to sell from your home

I would really like to do this! We live in a small space w/ limited storage and have a pretty large amount of musical instruments & gear that aren't being used.... The problem is that they are my husband's, lol! ;)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 08:36:14 PM by allsummerlong »

horsepoor

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2017, 12:10:32 PM »
Four days in and zero spend so far!  That is only because CostCo is closed today.  Tomorrow's challenge will be going there and buying only coffee and avocado oil.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2017, 12:21:43 PM »
Trying to do all my canning on the cheap still. Don't want any of our garden produce to go bad. Drove out to a farm stand to get canning grade romas. So I paid ~$0.78/lb, rather than the $1.99/lb that all the stores near me have.

Spending ??s- at some point we need to get fenders put on DH's bike so he can keep riding once the rains start. I'm torn about deferred spending. The cost has to happen sometime. There aren't really any sales I've seen if we just wait. *shrug*. Not sure if it's worth waiting (but then there will be time crunches with hunting season) or just getting done now.
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horsepoor

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2017, 08:12:23 PM »
Four days in and zero spend so far!  That is only because CostCo is closed today.  Tomorrow's challenge will be going there and buying only coffee and avocado oil.

I realized I'm already lying to myself.  My horse had bodywork done on the 1st that I was attributing to last month's spending.  So $50.

Costco run today set me back $45.  3# of coffee, 1 liter avocado oil, seaweed packets, and croutons and a case of water for DH (football related activities).


Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2017, 08:29:40 PM »
Well... that went poorly.

Fires = smoke = DH and I stuck inside = stir crazy and limited cooking options and fussy = going out to dinner with BIL and finace to talk about their wedding = offering to cover = $93 meal.

=\ So much for LESS restaurant spending this month. That's already more than the past 2 months combined.
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westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2017, 04:34:01 AM »
Well... that went poorly.

Fires = smoke = DH and I stuck inside = stir crazy and limited cooking options and fussy = going out to dinner with BIL and finace to talk about their wedding = offering to cover = $93 meal.

=\ So much for LESS restaurant spending this month. That's already more than the past 2 months combined.

Off topic, but these fires are so sad. My family is in Oregon, and I was just in the Gorge a week ago... hard to imagine how its going to look now. Here's hoping you guys get some rain really soon.

I think the restaurant spend is understandable considering conditions over there-- can you cut back in another area to break even? This probably doesn't work for everyone, but I lump all my expenses (aside from rent, loan payments, groceries and bus pass) into one category so if I do something spendy I'll compensate in other ways so as not to make my Mint account turn red. 



haypug16

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2017, 08:52:56 AM »
I'm in! I just got back from my Honeymoon which included $4K in unexpected Vet costs. I really need to buckle down these next 2 months (and beyond) to get back on track.

Spending so far this month:
Sept 1 - $50.75
Sept 2 - $47.94
Sept 3 - $25.28
Sept 4 - $101.93
Sept 5 - $0.00
Sept 6 - $44.19
Total for Sept = $270.09
Goal for the Month = $2,100

I got back on the 5th so really just starting the challenge today. Goal for the rest of the week is to only buy food and pay any necessary bills.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 06:42:49 AM by haypug16 »

horsepoor

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2017, 09:48:51 AM »
Well... that went poorly.

Fires = smoke = DH and I stuck inside = stir crazy and limited cooking options and fussy = going out to dinner with BIL and finace to talk about their wedding = offering to cover = $93 meal.

=\ So much for LESS restaurant spending this month. That's already more than the past 2 months combined.

Off topic, but these fires are so sad. My family is in Oregon, and I was just in the Gorge a week ago... hard to imagine how its going to look now. Here's hoping you guys get some rain really soon.

I think the restaurant spend is understandable considering conditions over there-- can you cut back in another area to break even? This probably doesn't work for everyone, but I lump all my expenses (aside from rent, loan payments, groceries and bus pass) into one category so if I do something spendy I'll compensate in other ways so as not to make my Mint account turn red.

The fires are absolutely hideous.  We are not even working the horses beyond what they can do in a walk now.  I was also in the gorge last week and hiked to the top of Multnomah Falls.  Can't believe that is all burned up now.  :(  The smoke really settled into Boise Monday night, but it got worse again last night.  Kids are being kept indoors at recess and the sun is barely visible today. 

Back on topic:

Spent $3.50 on cream for coffee this morning.
Anticipated spending today:  $5.00 refilling water jugs
$40 at feed store - bit of a quandary because I really only need a $10 item, but have $10 off of $50 coupons, but between dog food, horse feed, chicken feed and other supplies, I'm always needing something and might as well stock up when I have the coupon in hand.
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allsummerlong

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2017, 10:55:33 AM »
Well... that went poorly.

Fires = smoke = DH and I stuck inside = stir crazy ......

Off topic, but these fires are so sad. My family is in Oregon, and I was just in the Gorge a week ago... hard to imagine how its going to look now. Here's hoping you guys get some rain really soon.

The fires are absolutely hideous.  We are not even working the horses beyond what they can do in a walk now.  I was also in the gorge last week and hiked to the top of Multnomah Falls.  Can't believe that is all burned up now.  :( 

Yes, the fires are absolutely devastating this year. We are having the worst wildfire year on record here in BC, with many homes and farms destroyed. Lots of evacuations. 1.1 million hectares burnt so far & they say some of the largest fires may last through to the spring as smouldering embers.

Really sorry to hear about what is happening in Oregon - sounds like a very special spot for many of you :(

As for:
Quote
can you cut back in another area to break even? This probably doesn't work for everyone, but I lump all my expenses (aside from rent, loan payments, groceries and bus pass) into one category so if I do something spendy I'll compensate in other ways

This is what I try to do too, if something unexpected pops up. Aim for a low overall month spend, but the amounts per category can shift depending on what happens.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 10:57:04 AM by allsummerlong »

wordnerd

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2017, 11:55:48 AM »
perhaps you could find some things to sell from your home

I would really like to do this! We live in a small space w/ limited storage (800 sqft) and have a pretty large amount of musical instruments & gear that aren't being used.... The problem is that they are my husband's, lol! ;)

Ha! I have the same problem. There are several things I want to sell, but it's currently a no-go. :)
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gravitysmiles

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2017, 03:20:51 PM »
Yes! I'm in. I love this thread! I was pretty good last month actually, except that we went out of town one weekend and spent a bit too much on bars.

My goals for this month: Zero unnecessary spending, just rent, groceries, utilities. Zero eating out and no meat or dairy products. Unfortunately, (well, not THAT unfortunately) it's my anniversary next month. Any suggestions for a gift...?!

Spending so far:
$33 on groceries
$36 on gas :(
$117 on car insurance (it goes down to $70 next month, woo!)
$60 on my phone (lord help me with my mobile phone addiction)
$10 on a gift for my apartment manager for watching my cat

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2017, 08:50:49 AM »
Ugh. "Other" expenses are piling up. $99 for husband for a work expense (although this *should* be reimbursed, in theory). I need to renew my professional insurance, which will probably be like $110. Then others I accounted for are rolling in- luckily with one bill way less than I expected! My insurance didn't cover the last of this lab, so it was $129, but for whatever reason they covered this most recent one, so it was $29! Makes me happy. $50 health cost today, then it'll be vet and doctor extravaganza Monday. Probably... $200-250 vet, and $170 doctor. Then probably some prescriptions, of unknown cost. Oh, and one of known cost next week, $69.

We're taking a couple weeks off drinking, too, so that'll save some money there.

I'm hoping for the rest of the month: NO more restaurant spending and NO more alcohol spending. And NO clothes, although we're doing well on that so far.
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gravitysmiles

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2017, 10:06:06 AM »
Ugh. "Other" expenses are piling up. $99 for husband for a work expense (although this *should* be reimbursed, in theory). I need to renew my professional insurance, which will probably be like $110. Then others I accounted for are rolling in- luckily with one bill way less than I expected! My insurance didn't cover the last of this lab, so it was $129, but for whatever reason they covered this most recent one, so it was $29! Makes me happy. $50 health cost today, then it'll be vet and doctor extravaganza Monday. Probably... $200-250 vet, and $170 doctor. Then probably some prescriptions, of unknown cost. Oh, and one of known cost next week, $69.

We're taking a couple weeks off drinking, too, so that'll save some money there.

I'm hoping for the rest of the month: NO more restaurant spending and NO more alcohol spending. And NO clothes, although we're doing well on that so far.

It sucks when unexpected but necessary spending eats away at us. The no drinking, no restaurant, no clothes are totally within your control though! It all balances out. I've also been thinking of cutting back to only two drinks a week total.

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2017, 01:46:58 PM »
A few unexpected expenses for me as well....

9/3, $18 (visited a Trader Joe's with wine, bought two $4.99 bottles in addition to the baking soda and lemons I stopped for)
9/7, $110 (my passport is expiring and I need it for April... I don't want to risk waiting too long, but this is a bummer price tag... I could have waited until this challenge was over, but I'm spending the money either way and this gives me peace of mind)
9/7, $6 (Uber, something seems to have changed with my bus route and no bus was coming for a while and I needed to get home quickly so that I could eat dinner and change for a work event this evening-- not happy about this one, but cheaper than ordering take out.)

So not great overall, but I haven't spent on clothing, eating out or entertainment. My goal is to make the two bottles of wine I bought last the whole month-- I won't spend any more on alcohol this month. I do have the challenge of going out with friends tomorrow night, I need to resist buying any drinks out. I'll bring one of the wine bottles to my friend's house for before.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2017, 02:02:42 PM »
This is almost comical. I posted my last post complaining about weird but unavoidable expenses... and then went to print papers I need for work today... and 2/4 inks are out. They aren't even the inks I need to print, but the printer won't run with them empty. We tried all the "usual" tricks to get it to run anyway. But alas, it didn't work.

$60 later... finally printed 4 friggin black and white pages.
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allsummerlong

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2017, 02:45:07 PM »
Not doing too badly over here, but I am sure we will have some unexpected expenses like you all at some point between Sept-Oct... Dodged the bullet so far, but I feel for you all. Been there!

My overall budget (all $CAD) for Sept is $1800. Fixed housing & utilities take up $635 of that, leaving $1165 for everything else. I have a ballpark of what I would like to spend in each category, but if one gets out of hand, I will try to make up for it in another one. I am a little worried about some upcoming birthdays, as DH sometimes likes to go overboard with spending $ on bdays. We shall see!

So far:

Gas: $43
Groceries: $131
Restaurants: $13 (Not necessary, but we got some snacks at a beach concession on the last day of our vacation)
Pets: $57 (~ 4 months worth of food)
Work supplies: $10
Donation to Charity: $10
"Fun" $ for me: $29
"Fun" $ for DH: $20
Total discretionary to date: $313

Re: "Fun" $ - I know... not exactly the frugal-est, but we budget for $80 each per month on average for whatever treats we each want. It is our entertainment, social, hobby, & alcohol budget combined. We are debt free aside from our small mortgage and have a strong SR & NW, so we allow ourselves these small splurges. That's my justification, anyway ;)

Total =
1800 - 635 (fixed) - 313 (discretionary) = $852 remaining for Sept

ardrum

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2017, 04:02:50 PM »
I love low spend challenges!  Remember the spirit of the phrase "Luxury is just another weakness."

This week I spent $0 commuting, walking to/from work in both sunshine and rain.  I spent $16 on groceries so far as I am "eating down" excess food I have already.
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alewpanda

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2017, 09:30:20 AM »
I am in!  We simply need to stay on target this month and next...and cut down on already trimmed "extras".

We are fixing up the house ($$$) to sell, dealing with some vet/dog health issues that will hopefully be managed soon ($), and we have several family birthdays/weddings approaching.  Most of the gifts are already made/bought inexpensively, but we will travel in October and November, and we are trying to do those as cheaply as possible too.


Also, saving for moving expenses, the potential to end up double-dipping on rent/mortgage money until everything changes hands, and just the chaos of selling/moving. 

I also have goals regarding 'extra' monies.  I've been selling off stuff and downsizing our junk as we prep for the move, so I have been using it as a reminder not to buy more (don't want to move it) and challenging myself to make certain amounts in certain timeframes.  Also, we have to eat up the freezer food in the next two months....pantry challenge!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2017, 11:19:23 AM »
I am in!  We simply need to stay on target this month and next...and cut down on already trimmed "extras".

We are fixing up the house ($$$) to sell, dealing with some vet/dog health issues that will hopefully be managed soon ($), and we have several family birthdays/weddings approaching.  Most of the gifts are already made/bought inexpensively, but we will travel in October and November, and we are trying to do those as cheaply as possible too.


Also, saving for moving expenses, the potential to end up double-dipping on rent/mortgage money until everything changes hands, and just the chaos of selling/moving. 

I also have goals regarding 'extra' monies.  I've been selling off stuff and downsizing our junk as we prep for the move, so I have been using it as a reminder not to buy more (don't want to move it) and challenging myself to make certain amounts in certain timeframes.  Also, we have to eat up the freezer food in the next two months....pantry challenge!

Sounds like we've got some similar money leaks going on! I forgot about the birthdays and wedding though =o
Wedding gift I bought through cardpool (gift card- they're moving cross country and combining households, so GC will be appreciated I think) so 7.5% off, but still like $46 sigh. Not sure yet what to do about my mom's birthday, then FIL's birthday is coming up. UGH.

Also frustrated I didn't see these coming further off, totally forgot about them
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westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2017, 11:23:54 AM »
Ok, Saturday Update!

9/8, $20 (Total cost of a girl's night out... this happens literally twice a year and the location is inaccessible by public transport, so we needed to Uber there and back. I brought one of my Trader Joe's wine bottles to my friend's house before, and didn't buy any drinks out, so I actually feel decent about how this went.)
9/8, $42 (Groceries for the whole week)
9/8, $15 (GRRRR stupid Equinox hack!!!! I decided to shell out the $5 per company required to freeze my credit because the Equinox site stated that I was probably compromised. SO angry that I had to pay out my money to compensate for their mistake, but didn't want to risk taking the time to file as an identify theft victim. I honestly think I'm just going to keep my credit frozen and just do the temporary un-freeze when I need to apply for a lease or credit card. Makes getting new travel cards much more annoying though.)

Total Necessary: $57
Total Unnecessary: $20

Low spend weekend plans: Go watch other people's dogs at a dog festival, begin working on paintings for the calendars I'm making as homemade holiday presents, batch cook a bunch of chicken curry, read library books, do exercise videos for free from Fitness Blender, and spend a bit of time on my little side hustles.

How'd everyone else do this week? What low spend activities will you be up to this weekend?

alewpanda

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2017, 02:20:16 PM »
So far this weekend:

Watched old Community episodes last night, in between painting for me and studying for CCNP for hubby.  Ate at home; no monies spent.

Today: Hubby worked on deck and I cleaned our freezer and filed paperwork.  I am working to consolidate some retirement accounts/establish what kind of fees are involved in them.  We are in process of getting our finances together....we have paid off the student loans and are probably 9 months (ish) from paying off the one car, so thats cool!

Tonight: free dinner for me at an appreciation banquet thing at our church.  Hopefully meeting a buyer beforehand from a facebook buy and sell site.  Also baking a ham from our freezer for meals this week.  After the dinner, we may make homemade popcorn and watch some Community again.  (Its been our weekend 'chill pill' the last few weeks)



horsepoor

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2017, 03:37:59 PM »
Feeling crummy today is working in my favor; I haven't had the energy to leave the house to grocery shop.  Not that it's a long list.

Ended up spending $51 at the feed store after coupon stocking up on the dewormers the horses will get in November.  They were $1 off and in-stock, often they go out of stock when there's a sale, so it seemed wise to grab them.
Spent $60 on vehicle maintenance on Thursday, $3.69 on unhealthy gas station treats yesterday.

The vegetable garden and chickens are providing tons of food right now, so the grocery bill is looking great; only $46 spent so far, and a very short shopping list this week.

I'm afraid I'll need to take one of my horses to the vet next week though.  She stuck her leg through a fence at the end of August and she has kind of plateaued in her healing despite my best efforts to treat her myself.

Tass

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2017, 05:58:48 PM »
Oh I'd love to jump in on this!

Goals:

No entertainment spending in Sept.
I should be able to keep this to 0; my only August expenses were camping permit and orchestra participation fee.

Minimize restaurant spending Sept-Nov.
To be honest, the goal here should be 0, but I tend to cave when my long-distance boyfriend is in town and wants to go on a date. We usually eat pretty cheap, and go dutch. So, as little as possible.

No Ubers!
Self-explanatory. This will be easy until I have to get to the airport in mid-October.

So far in Sept my only frivolous spending has been $11.84 on a graphic novel. The art just doesn't turn out as an ebook, which is how I tend to read my library books.

I may also be purchasing an athletic swimsuit in the next few weeks. Can't do laps in a bikini.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 06:03:49 PM by Tass »

mleroux79

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2017, 05:16:05 AM »
I'm in ! I would like to spend less than $1,250 per month for these two months. The only big expense will be a wedding we will happily be attending.

katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2017, 05:20:40 PM »
I'm joining. Last week I decided I need to rein in my spending this month and would not spend anything when out with friends. Yesterday I planned for biking to a festival with new friends and packed my own food and coffee...then spent all day and most of the night out and ended up spending THREE TIMES what I would normally, even with eating my own food half the day. ACK.

Packing all my meals during the workweek is paramount.

NO entertainment spending. This means not going to 3 events I'd planned on - but my budget really cannot tolerate the spend right now.

Biking to work to save on gas. Even when I'm on call during the workweek - this is the big hindrance for not getting rid of my car entirely; I need to be within 45 minutes on off shifts and am definitely over that by bike. Debating selling my car (used, that I stupidly financed, the first car I've ever financed and regretted it immediately) and buying an ebike that I can equip for winter.

Today- no spending. Cooking food for work tomorrow that I already have in the house. Big shop tomorrow and cookup planned on my day off Tuesday.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2017, 06:49:51 PM »
So far have managed an entertaining and social no-spend weekend. Yesterday we went to a MMM potluck meetup in a park. Today we went hiking with friends then had them over for lunch. (Just cost of gas and ingredients, already own a years northwest trailhead pass). Then we went to a free electric vehicle event so DH could ogle the pretty pretty Teslas. Helped BIL move a free mattress. Supporting frugality secondhand! Also picked up a freebie TV with issues from my inlaws. If DH can get it to work, we'll have a bigger, newer, sharper, louder TV, for free. Otherwise our old TV still works, so who cares =) He gets a tinker toy for a while.

*ahem* and I'll blissfully try to ignore the MINIMUM of $280 in medical and vet spending that will happen tomorrow, and the $69 prescription, and and and... Ugh.
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Freshwater

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2017, 07:59:09 PM »
I've got a speeding fine on the way to me as a result of a moment of inattention (saw my friend going the other way, was thinking about her not watching my speed). Soooo, I need to find about $116-269 worth of savings as penance (depending on how far over the limit I was).

I'm going to shop the pantry as my key strategy. Our food budget is about $130 a week normally. Hopefully DH won't complain too much as he's just had a boy's weekend eating out everyday for 4 days.

I'll also have a no spend month on snacks and drinks when I'm out.

Other than that, I don't really spend anything! I'll see if I can find anything to sell. Maybe it's the motivation I need to do a furniture restoration project I've put off for years.

horsepoor

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2017, 09:24:46 PM »
Stayed at home and didn't spend a dime today!

Yesterday got a little spendy on the groceries.  I think I ended up at $107, which included 6 bottles of wine, two 4-packs of the tonic water I like since it was on sale (should last a while).  I should still be able to stay under budget for the month though.

Horse was looking better last night, so I may have dodged a bullet on the vet bill front.


katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #45 on: September 11, 2017, 09:24:52 PM »
Wow, great job yesterday everyone!

I stuck to just my meal planning list today for groceries. No impulse cheese purchases :)

JonnyFromCanada

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #46 on: September 11, 2017, 10:43:37 PM »
In August I spent $327 on restaurants/fast food/coffee and $286 on booze. Adds up to $614 of silly spending.

Today is September 11th (a third of the way through the month) and I've only spent $10.72 on fast food and $13 on coffee/tea. Still some fat to cut, but hey, a big difference.

Tass

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #47 on: September 11, 2017, 11:13:59 PM »
Spent $4 on BOGO blackberries instead of $1.50 on bananas. No regrets, but technically frivolous. I am kinda sad I don't have fancy cheese to spread on toast with them, but hey, I didn't spend $8 on fancy cheese.

Freshwater

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2017, 12:04:16 AM »
I didn't buy a flavoured milk when I was at the supermarket yesterday, even though they were calling my name, so that's $3 saved because of the challenge. I've also put off filling up because fuel is about $1.38 a litre and I'm hoping it might drop in a day or two and save me $10 :)

Freshwater

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2017, 12:04:54 AM »
Spent $4 on BOGO blackberries instead of $1.50 on bananas. No regrets, but technically frivolous. I am kinda sad I don't have fancy cheese to spread on toast with them, but hey, I didn't spend $8 on fancy cheese.

What's BOGO?