Author Topic: Low Spend September & October Challenge  (Read 3970 times)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #50 on: September 12, 2017, 08:09:03 AM »
Plugging along over here. Dog's appointments weren't as brutal financially as expected- $107. (Brutal emotionally, but hey, at least it was relatively cheap suffering!) Then my appointment was the $107 we expected. I'll pick up meds from that today, so YTBD how much.

Weather was pretty good yesterday, and air wasn't hazardous quality, so DH and I rode bikes to the store after he got done with work. Picked up chocolate and wine ($6.99 for the wine). Definitely didn't need to spend any more on alcohol this month, but the ride was great and its really tasty wine.

We'll also see today how much gas is costing. I've been holding off filling up, hoping it'll drop down again a little bit. Either way, I need to fill now, so it'll get filled.

Glad to hear stuff is generally going well for people!
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Tass

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2017, 10:20:37 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?

Buy one get one [free]. Not one blackberry... one container.

alewpanda

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2017, 10:23:19 AM »
Yesterday I only spent 10.00 to ship a previously made gift to its recipient.  Yeah, shipping isn't cheap, but the gift was :)

Today is a necessary spending only day.  I have to get the dogs meds (70ish), I need to fill up my tank (25), and we really, really need groceries (took out 60.00 in cash so I am forced to stick within that budget).  Hopefully thats all that will need spent today.  Should be spending the evening painting and patching some walls/ceilings.  And dinner will be meat from the freezer we are trying to clean out and veggies in a stir fry.

I will be meeting a few people from the buy and sell facebook site too...so some cash coming in as well :)

haypug16

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #53 on: September 12, 2017, 03:16:16 PM »
*Update

Spending (this includes all necessary bills, not just me going out and spending money, lol) 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
Sept 7 - $27.28
Sept 8 - $25.00
Sept 9 - $67.66
Sept 10 - $12.99
Sept 11 - $113.56
Total for Sept = $516.58 (almost halfway through the month so that looks pretty good, I hope to get a few more zero days in there)
Goal for the Month = $2,100

allsummerlong

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #54 on: September 12, 2017, 06:34:51 PM »
Little update...

- Have had 3 no spend days this month so far: Sept 1, 10, & 12.

- Felt a fairly strong temptation to buy new fall work clothes. RESISTED! I don't buy clothes very often at all, but the summer changing to fall is a trigger for me. I have enough clothes.

- Went to a party at friends' - brought a homemade dish to share & some cheap (but still tasty) wine.

- Groceries are still a little high, but better than they have been recently. I keep finding staples that we use a lot at really good prices & stocking up. I figure that will save $ in the long run. 

- Eating down the pantry & freezer, as well as from the garden.


Discretionary so far ($CAD):

Gas: $43
Groceries: $219
Restaurants: $13
Pets: $57 (4 mos food)
Work Supplies: $0 (Getting reimbursed so I am removing)
Charitable donations: $10
My fun $: $42
DH's fun $: $44



Goal: $1800
Fixed: $635 ($441 housing & $194 utilities)
Discretionary to Sept 12: $428

1800-635-476 = $737 remaining for month or ~$41/day



katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #55 on: September 12, 2017, 06:42:36 PM »
Why is it that when I decide I'm not going to buy wine or whiskey, that is when I REALLY WANT WINE or whiskey? Everything else is easy to resist - fancy cheese, event tickets, takeout coffee. But wine.... Last year toward the end of winter, tea was a dandy substitute. But right now, with my indoor temp around 78 at 7:30pm it's not appealing. Yet an evening on the porch WITH WINE and a book totalllllly is.

I'm guessing that liquor is coded in my psyche as "luxurious leisure" and it is knowing that I'm not currently at that "level" that is really bugging me, rather than the alcohol itself.


Tonight I am avoiding the ticket purchase and a likely drink purchase for a local band that a friend wants me to go to. Will walk the dog and ride my bike after dark and think about wine, haha.

alewpanda

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #56 on: September 13, 2017, 09:01:25 PM »
We wanted ice cream the other day.  Made homemade pudding from scratch to fix the itch without spending any money.

No spending today besides a work related meal which will be reimbursed.  Got 20.00 in cash from selling off some items on a buy and sell site.


Just looked over our spending so far for September.  Only 50.00 of it has been something besides necessary bills, essential groceries, debt repayment or essential dog supplies!

That is a small miracle!  My husband had commented on how it felt like reconciling the registry seemed to be easier...that there were fewer transactions than normal.  Sure enough....way fewer!

katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #57 on: September 13, 2017, 09:19:29 PM »
alewpanda that's my favorite thing in the months I spend little - not having to reconcile as many transactions!

Today:
$32 on gasoline (I'm on call overnight and was below 1/8 tank)
$13 Aldi - cat litter x 2, potatoes. Wanted lots of cheese. Still want wine.

Ragdoll

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #58 on: September 13, 2017, 10:33:05 PM »
I hope it's better late than never. I just decided tonight I need to really buckle down and I love a good challenge. We already have plans to see a concert with relatives from out of state on Friday which will include dinner out (hubby and I are dieting so we will split something), a hotel for a night and an Uber. However it will be fun and time with family. So worth it. However, it doesn't mean I can't cut back otherwise. My goals through the next month:

-eat out no more than once a week
-cook breakfast (I can skip if I don't but hubby will stop and get fast food on the way to work if I don't feed him at home.
-use food in fridge, freezer, and cabinets, buying only when necessary.
-no food waste!
-no new clothes, even for concert!
-bathe and groom my fur baby instead of going to the groomer
-give myself a pedicure (even for the concert!)
-cancel bi-weekly house cleaning
-watch the thermostat!

I may think of more but so excited to join this challenge!z

horsepoor

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #59 on: September 13, 2017, 11:02:52 PM »
No spending Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

I've been tempted to indulge is some retail therapy due to some work stress the last two days, but held tight, reviewed finances and thought about achieving my goals.  Took a nap instead. 

Today I spent $5 on a burrito at the place near the office since they are closing and moving to a far-away location on Friday.  Also spent $35 at the Asian Market for a gallon of rice wine vinegar and a big tin of sesame oil.  Only $62 left in the grocery budget for the month, but I think can do it.

Tass

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #60 on: September 13, 2017, 11:34:11 PM »
I spent $70 on a 2-month fitness class today, and then filled out the paperwork to get $60 of it reimbursed by my grad program. +$10 brings my unnecessary total to $22.

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #61 on: September 14, 2017, 04:56:31 AM »
Nice choices everyone!

Things have gone a little better for me this week.
September 10: $12 (groceries... tea, dairy free milk, a few other items)
September: 11: $0
September: 12: $5 (birthday card), $40 (drug store...bulk laundry detergent, new hair brush, and a prescription)
September 13th: $0

Yay, no unnecessary spending so far this week! The hair brush was to replace one that broke.

I'm considering starting to list things that I resisted buying each week, and then transferring that amount into my long term savings. This week I resisted buying a winter hat for $18. I also have successfully avoided Ubers this week so far... gotta keep that up!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #62 on: September 14, 2017, 08:30:45 AM »
Well uh... I guess my spending will be going down some. Had to help the dog pass yesterday. So there won't be any more vet bills there. We probably could have returned her food (tons of unopened cans, since we had to switch types so many times- so like 6 flats of 12). I just couldn't bring myself to bother, it felt crass. So we donated all her food and all her meds to her vet.

Uh, needless to say the "no alcohol" budget went away. Just bought wine at the store though, so not as expensive as going out or something.

Also, I won't be taking care of the dog's health needs anymore, so I might pick up more work shifts. Being at home without her right now isn't appealing.

Not quite how I planned to do my low spend challenge, but we'll see how this works out with my savings rate I guess.

Misc other:
-Got a mailer for a $9.95/mon local gym I could have biked to. Turns out that doesn't include their pool or their classes, and there was a $99 sign up fee. Not even going to pursue looking at their other plans. We have a home gym, I don't need to spend $30-40/month for access to a pool too.
-Been biking a lot.
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katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #63 on: September 14, 2017, 09:28:48 AM »
Oh no :( I'm sorry, Bracken_Joy.

My last pet to pass had a smorgasbord of unopened fluids, food, and medication. I donated it too. It felt right, like he could help another pet.

In light of my daily complaining and this news - I'm firmly behind your wine purchase! A toast to your pup's life and your excellent care.

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #64 on: September 14, 2017, 12:25:48 PM »
Bracken_Joy, I'm so sad for you. That's really hard.


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allsummerlong

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #65 on: September 14, 2017, 12:58:47 PM »
Really sorry to hear about your dog, Bracken_Joy
 :(



horsepoor

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #66 on: September 14, 2017, 01:51:15 PM »
I'm sorry to hear about that, Bracken.  :(

Mongoose

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #67 on: September 14, 2017, 01:59:13 PM »
I'm so sorry Bracken_Joy. It is so sad to have to say goodbye. :-(

I'm going to join in for the remainder. Several years of deferred spending caught up with us in late summer. One car needed major repairs and the other had to be replaced. Thankfully we had paid off all our consumer debt and were in ok shape to weather it. We currently have the new-to-us vehicle on a loan until we move savings around to pay it off.

We also ended up doing quite a bit of catch up spending...neither kid had shoes that fit, etc. Our goal now is to keep from having any lifestyle creep (our income has started to pick up and I really want to save every bit of the increase).

1. DH is dropping his work gym membership. It was supposed to end up giving him all the money put into it back from a wellness incentive but they didn't give full credit for it. Plus it ended up being more expensive than advertised due to hidden fees. Not sure if we'll end up with the $450 payout for being "active". We're extremely unhappy with the program and raised a stink with HR over their changing rules. We might be able to still get the money without a gym membership or buying a Fitbit but will definitely save $42.50/month by dropping the gym fees.

2. Keep eating at home. We've been doing very well at not eating out much. I'd like to cut it to $0 but am happy with our progress towards this.

3. Dropping alcohol for awhile. We only have it in moderation some weekends but after cutting back that far I think even one drink may be disrupting my sleep. Plus, it's not a need. Ditto for desserts. I'd rather have FI than wine and chocolate.

4. Pay off newly acquired vehicle ASAP to avoid finance charges.

We don't need any clothes, shoes, household goods for the foreseeable future. No trips planned. Our electricity rates decrease by half starting tomorrow. Best time of year to tighten our belts.

Freshwater

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #68 on: September 14, 2017, 07:32:24 PM »
I'm so sorry to hear your news Bracken Joy.. tough times :*(

Yesterday we nearly bought the latest series of GoT to watch at $24. It's the only thing we buy to watch apart from the Netflix subscription and the weekly 99c itunes movie, but I want to wait til there is a 20-25% of itunes voucher offer to top up our account. So we deferred the spending to save about $5. We have plenty of other things to watch :)

All this week we have had home cooked food from scratch so we've done really well. Tonight we are making burritos with leftovers. Five days in a row without convenience food or takeaway is unheard of lately! I spent $80 at the supermarket and got stuff for about 12 meals. Got lucky with some half price marked down casserole beef for slow cooking. My challenge for next week is to spend no more than the $40 of supermarket reward points I've saved up. We'll eat mainly from the pantry and our garden.




Tass

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #69 on: September 14, 2017, 08:36:27 PM »
Sorry to hear your update, Bracken_Joy.

As I was putting my laundry today, I reminded myself: sigh, I've been putting off buying more hangers but I really don't have enough. Then I realized I could get rid of clothes instead, and procrastinate hanger-buying forever. (I very rarely buy clothes, but my mom likes buying them for me, and her taste is decent. I have clothes to spare.) So now I have a donation pile!

allsummerlong

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #70 on: September 15, 2017, 12:13:36 PM »
Update & confession -

I did end up buying a few new work clothes items. I am a teacher and being around kids and classrooms destroys clothes pretty fast. I tried to avoid it, but I did have to buy some new tights (most of mine had holes or runs and I wear them to work every single day - eventually the damage becomes too bad) and 3 shirts. A few of my previous years' shirts (which I had gotten a lot of good use out of) had stains or rips that could not be repaired. I have a small (capsule) wardrobe, so the clothes that I do have get worn very very frequently and eventually wear out. It's unavoidable even though I take good care of them.

I do try to salvage the damaged shirts for fabric/sewing or other uses before tossing.


The good news is that we have a little extra $ coming in this month than we expected, so our SR (goal: >80%) should not be affected. I also plan to cut back elsewhere in my $1800/month budget to balance out the clothes cost.


Discretionary so far ($CAD):

Gas: $82
Groceries: $225 (very happy about this! Pantry & garden are serving us well)
Restaurants: $13
Pets: $57 (4 mos food)
Charitable donations: $40
My fun $: $42
DH's fun $: $44 
Clothing (work): $135 $100 (returned one item)


Goal: $1800/month
Fixed: $640 ($441 housing & $199 utilities)*was $5 higher than I expected
Discretionary to Sept 15: $603

TOTAL:
1800-640(fixed)-603 (discr.) = $557 remaining for month or ~$37/day


« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 04:37:59 PM by allsummerlong »

Imma

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #71 on: September 15, 2017, 12:42:19 PM »
I'm sorry for your loss, Bracken_Joy! It's always hard to say goodbye to a pet that has been a member of your family for so long.

I'd like to join this thread. I do need to reign in the spending a bit. We're still very far away from FIRE and we have some upcoming bills. Our spending is already at the near-bare bones minimum, but we did eat out over the summer a few times and I replaced some clothes for the upcoming winter that really needed to be replaced. We are having our summer vacation in september due to the nature of our jobs, and we're doing some much needed home renovations during our time off. My s/o will also have some time off in November and will do some more work on his own. It's all DIY but we still need materials and tools and it always ends up more expensive than you want it to be. It's all necessary spending and we're doing it as cheap as we can, but still, I'm trying to reign it in as much as possible.

Some things we're doing to save money:
- we don't have a car and are renting a van to take stuff to the dump. A friend of ours is moving and we're renting the van together to save money.
- we are also buying her fridge, freezer and washing machine that she doesn't need in her new place. They are all about a year old and we're paying 300 for them all. Our current fridge/freezer combination is barely working any more, the freezer is barely freezing while the fridge is freezing too much. It's 15 years old, so we'll probably save on electricity too. Our washing machine isn't broken yet, but it's 11 years old and making strange noises and will probably break down in the near future. It''ll be nice to know we have the replacement in the garage. We'll also get some shelving and cupboards for free from her.
- this is kind of a weird one, but due to medical issues I'm currently on a liquid diet (which basically means I drink only Fortisip for 2 months) which is boring, but works miracles for my health and is paid for by the insurance company, there's no co-pay. It means half of our grocery budget can to go renovation materials instead. When my s/o is back at work, he eats there often, so an even bigger chunk of our grocery money can be put to better use.
- I'm not buying a new or new-to-me winter coat, instead I took my 15-year old woolen coat to the dry cleaner's once again. For 16 it looks great for its age - not brand new, but no one would guess it's that old. I took my boots to the cobbler's too and had them re-heeled for 8. My s/o bought two secondhand sweaters for 5 each and only needs one pair of jeans, I only need two more pairs of 100 denier tights but these can wait until next month.

katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #72 on: September 15, 2017, 04:45:02 PM »
Welcome, Imma!

UGH. I made sure before a social event yesterday to eat a big meal at home. Then met a friend for happy hour where I totally spaced ordering off the happy hour menu and spent $22! Then stuck to my planned spend of french fries after the event. But dang. I'm totally fine with why I'm spending money establishing new friendships, but my budget is not at that level this month. I declined getting tickets for a performance tomorrow, though, since I already spent that amount on things I wasn't planning for.

Meal planning tonight before grocery getting tomorrow. That at least went well this week!

allsummerlong

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #73 on: September 16, 2017, 09:57:31 AM »
My main concern with spending this month has been the double in-laws birthday... both FIL & MIL. Spending $ on gift-giving is really big in DH's family and we always feel pressure to do something big. It's pretty different from my family where we just visit with or phone each other or give small homemade gifts if anything.

I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out what to do, as DH usually wants to spend $100-$125 per person, per b-day. We also have the same problem at Xmas.

Here is my plan... (further suggestions welcome)

Invite MIL & FIL over for dinner. They love when I cook for them. I will make a nice meal from scratch including a fresh pie. Wine. Flowers. They have been having a rough time recently with some health stuff & stress, so I think they will enjoy being pampered by us. We will have a really nice visit with them. As for gifts, I have a LOT of various homemade jams and preserves & I will make up a little gift basket for them. DH will probably also want to buy them something small... we typically get them tickets to events or other experiences b/c they DO NOT need any more STUFF.

Any other suggestions?? Family is really important to us, but I want it to be more about quality time and being together and less about spending a certain "acceptable level" of money.

Jaayse

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #74 on: September 16, 2017, 12:03:42 PM »
I'm going to give this a shot even though things are complicated right now, here is my September so far, the whole month of housing is reflected:

Spending:
CA HOA:                  $190.00
CA Mortgage (PITI):$1751.48
CA Parking Spot:        $37.50
Rental Fees:            $578.53
Italy Hotel:            $2880.00 - paid for by my job somehow
Car insurance:           $56.10
Cell phone:                10.00 (euros)
Travel:                       93.00 (euros)
Food & Personal:     $287.83 

Total:                 $5781.44
                            103.00 (euros)

Income:             
Rental Income:        $1421.47
???:                        $1454.00
1/2 month check:    $4008.63

Total:                      $6884.10

So, I'm moving for my job to Italy, and until I move into my new house here I have to stay at the hotel.  In order to get paid back for the hotel I have to view at least 10 houses every 10 days, pay for the hotel every 10 days out of my pocket, and then get reimbursed. 

I managed to rent out my house in California for 2k a month, however this month there are extra fees for the cleaning, extra keys, garage remote (left it in my car that is being shipped overseas), and new tenant fee so I only got the $1421.  I wanted to sell the house, but the condos are under litigation until April 2018 so I am renting it until after then and hoping the housing market holds out.

I don't know how much I'm getting paid right now, and I don't know exactly how they are paying me back for the hotel... maybe that is some of the mystery money they deposited in my account.  My actual personal spending is pretty small, and includes the 2nd half of a trip I took up to Milan but I can't help but cringe looking up at the totals...  On the bright side, the housing totals are for the whole month and my groceries for the next week I bought today, so only my personal spending and the final week of groceries will change and I still have the other half of my month's paycheck.
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Tass

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #75 on: September 16, 2017, 03:55:07 PM »
allsummerlong, from someone without any in-laws, that sounds like a really sweet gift/gesture. And definitely more memorable than a generic "stuff" gift.

I got paid $30 today for my jury duty last month, so I'm going to let that counterbalance the $25 Amazon purchase I've been putting off. (Athletic swimsuit and reflective tape for bike safety.) Total unnecessary spending $47.

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #76 on: September 17, 2017, 10:58:07 AM »
Welcome new folks! Jaayse, what an exciting move!

I'm giving my success this week a solid "meh."
Sept 14: $8 (falafel, dinner out with SO); $56 (groceries for the week + a few canned items for the emergency bag I'm building)
Sept 15: $6.50 (Uber... uh... something has gone wrong with my bus home from work and sometimes it just does not show up! I could have done the hour long walk home, but it was Friday after a long work week and I caved)
Sept 16: $14 (passport photos done at UPS-- Grrrr this seems really high but I was nervous to try and meet the specific requirements myself... I've heard they are really picky about pictures being just right); $10 (stamps-- needed to mail in identity confirmation documents to Vanguard and mail my passport application... this passport thing is getting super pricey, but I do have stamps left over)
Sept 17: $0

Necessary: $90
Unnecessary: $14.50

On the bright side, I have resisted some purchases. I shunned all convenience foods at Trader Joe's. I also filled up my Amazon cart with some random crap I wanted, let it sit for a day, and then removed all of it. Finally, I upped my pre-tax monthly contribution amount by another $300 to squeeze myself a little bit more. I'm feeling pretty ruthless about spending. What have you all resisted buying in order to succeed in this challenge?

Also, I just decided-- I'm removing my Uber app from my phone. I got by without Uber for years before I had a smartphone and I was fine. I've allowed myself to get used to the convenience.

katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #77 on: September 17, 2017, 03:56:28 PM »
I resisted purchasing wine until today.... I'd completely forgotten it was legal to buy on Sundays now and it was one of the most impulsive purchases I've made this year! Holy smokes. Backsliding on emotional purchasing recently....hence my increased involvement here :)

I was thinking yesterday about the WHY. Then started a journal because I feel like I keep using other people's threads as my personal therapy breakthroughs ;) But I think it's not even about the wine itself (I'm old enough that I don't drink it at night anymore and my body doesn't respond nearly as well as it does to whiskey) -- it's about the ability to buy it whenever I want. It's what takeaway coffee represented a few years ago, and actual food before that. I'm at an overall economic level that I can afford to keep my belly full, so wine is the "thing".


I have resisted going to Ikea. I won't admit whether I currently have an Ikea tab open in my browser... I don't have a couch after finally getting rid of one that was old and super comfy and a leftover from my friend living with me and also smelled a bit like pee (?)(and the stuff I pulled out from the inside when cleaning it....ummmm yeah it was definitely a college couch!). I've been watching Craigslist for decent looking small loveseats/sofas, but part of me really likes the open space in my small living room. My son and his friends, however, end up in a bedroom all sitting on a bed. So a couch would still be beneficial to my overall home. So far the Craigslist searches have not led to much, and it's very appealing (as a single wimpo that has nobody handy local to help me bring a couch into my house) to buy a new dust-mite bedbug-free flat pack job from Ikea.  Considering it with my property tax refund. But I am still in hair on fire stage of life. So: to be determined. And still watching Craigslist and NextDoor.


---------------------------------

Spending this weekend:
Friday $0
Saturday $0
Sunday $22 groceries, $18 box wine, $33 at co-op for tincture (allergy/asthma) and wheat-free flour. TWO things for $33 compared to a week's worth of groceries for $22! I've been putting off repurchasing for a while because of cost. I have a mild wheat allergy (among a million others, hence the tincture in addition to a bazillion pharmaceuticals) that makes my skin feel like it's on fire so I've become accustomed to avoiding baked goods entirely during warmer months. Oatmeal alone hasn't been cutting it lately.




Little wins: I've made my breakfast/lunches for the workweek. Am planning to bike to work now that the air quality is a little better. Have no major social plans that require spending this week (yet- Wednesday is looking dicey).

westtoeast, I think I feel about my car the way you do about Uber. Your giving up Uber is very motivating to me, to abstain from driving.

wordnerd

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #78 on: September 17, 2017, 06:34:13 PM »
I slipped up today and got my mom a much too expensive birthday gift. Gifts are my love language, and I don't have much of an outlet for them since DH doesn't like receiving gifts. And, she will love it. Oh well...I've been doing well overall.

Time to get back on the horse, or the bandwagon, or whichever mixed metaphor I'm looking for.
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Tass

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #79 on: September 17, 2017, 09:11:48 PM »
Backslid a little this weekend. I agreed to pick up some groceries for my roommate and then spent ELEVEN DOLLARS on avocados, which is a crime against humanity. Guess I'm a real millennial now. I also spent $15 on a sushi date with my long-distance boyfriend since he was in town.

Unnecessary spending: $73 (Yikes! Adds up fast!)

My goal now is to stay within my grocery budget after the avocado disaster, which means I have $24 for the rest of the month. If I can eat through this week on the food I already have (should be easily within reach!) then that will fall into place easily. I also should be able to get away with not buying any gas this month.

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #80 on: September 18, 2017, 04:37:53 AM »
As I was putting my laundry today, I reminded myself: sigh, I've been putting off buying more hangers but I really don't have enough. Then I realized I could get rid of clothes instead, and procrastinate hanger-buying forever. (I very rarely buy clothes, but my mom likes buying them for me, and her taste is decent. I have clothes to spare.) So now I have a donation pile!


Ooh, I'm totally copying this. I am also in that situation where I have around 2-3 less hangers than I need for all my clean clothing. I like the idea of using the hanger number to determine how much clothing you get to keep!

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #81 on: September 18, 2017, 04:38:51 AM »
westtoeast, I think I feel about my car the way you do about Uber. Your giving up Uber is very motivating to me, to abstain from driving.

Yay! Let's hold each other accountable here :)

katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #82 on: September 18, 2017, 06:45:12 AM »
It's a deal :)

Tass I once spent $25 on avocados -- a whole lot of them; they were on sale, but still!

wordnerd I've started looking more at my whole year when it comes to gifts, for the very reason that sometimes I end up finding a great gift that is more than I would normally spend. I budget monthly for that 'bucket' so on the occasion I've gone a little over, I just wait to fill it back up. So far it's worked out that I haven't shorted anyone (I hope, ha!).

horsepoor

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #83 on: September 18, 2017, 08:09:55 AM »
I've been hanging my head in shame over last week's spending spree, but I'm coming clean now. 

#1 - my old lunch box molded, and I tried washing it, but it still has mold spots.  Ordered a very fancy pants soft side cooler from Amazon that will be better for traveling.  Also ordered a coffee dripper/carafe combo to keep at the office, which might pay for itself over the long haul in making my own instead of going to Starbucks when afternoon sleepiness is occasionally too much for mere tea.

#2 - a few fall clothes, new purse and running socks.  Three tops, two work pants, capris for the gym, and two pairs of Smartwool socks.  About $150 there.  The work pants will let me use the rest of my wardrobe better while I work on losing 10#.  Two of the tops are a basic type that I wear a lot, and wear through a couple per year, so I grab them when I can find them.  The purse - I'm making peace with the fact that I'm now a nylon-purse carrying woman, and I think I've finally found the perfect one. 

#3 - stuff for my dog - a reflective vest, fleece jacket, new leash and collar, and a pad for where he eats (he's old and will lay there contemplating his food for an hour, then eat each kibble one by one; he seems to enjoy the pad).

#4 - several other random items that will be useful, but were not at all necessary, such as a charging station for our electronic devices, and a spare umbrella to keep at work.

Spent zero all weekend though, so that's something?

Imma

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #84 on: September 18, 2017, 09:25:03 AM »
I spent zero all weekend too! I wanted to go to the shop for some DIY stuff but the weather was bad and I didn't want to get all wet ( we don't have a car). During the DIY I removed some screws from stuff I removed that were still usable so I saved those. No matter how many boxes of screws you buy, you're always in need for one or two spare screws in a size you didn't buy.

Tass

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #85 on: September 18, 2017, 09:37:48 AM »
Tass I once spent $25 on avocados -- a whole lot of them; they were on sale, but still!

My problem was that I planned to buy them on sale, but it turned out the ones that were on sale were all rock-hard. And since they weren't [all] for me I couldn't just decide to try another time. So I bought the pricey ones. (Well, the medium ones. Still refused to pay $3/avocado for organic.)

TartanTallulah

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #86 on: September 18, 2017, 02:57:17 PM »
I knew I'd have to transfer money back from the linked savings account into the checking account after the balance of the cost of our vacation in November had been taken out at the beginning of September, but I was horrified at how much. The checking account went from being 200 in credit to the savings account to "owing" the savings account 900. Even allowing for the cost of helping our youngest daughter move to college, this seemed a ridiculous amount. How had we managed to trickle away so much money? Then DH got his payslip for this month, and it included reimbursement for the cost of attending a course a few weeks ago. [Penny drops.] That should put us back on target for having paid for the vacation out of our aspirational retirement budget of 2000 a month by the time we travel.

Youngest daughter has also taken over payment of her mobile 'phone contract. That's over 40 a month we'll no longer be spending (though it's more than offset by what we'll be paying towards her upkeep in college), and when I renegotiate my 'phone tariff in October I expect another 20 a month to come off our expenses.

For the next six weeks I'll be working long hours and won't have time for any frivolous spending apart from a couple of planned meals out with friends. The only major expenditure looming is my passport renewal, and I can avoid spending on garden plants and accessories by restricting myself to the boring but essential digging and weeding tasks during the little time that's available.




alewpanda

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #87 on: September 18, 2017, 06:07:57 PM »
I am notoriously bad about over spending on groceries, so the last two weeks I've taken out cash to limit my grocery spending.  I make a list of needed items, estimate the cost, and then take out that amount.  I took out 60.00 last week and 80.00 this week and spent under both times!  The change goes into the change jar which gets rolled and deposited into savings, and the small bills get funneled into the car loan.  I like that I've been wasting very little food each week, and that my grocery spending is looking like it will come in under budget this month!


Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #88 on: September 18, 2017, 06:24:44 PM »
Yeah... sooo.... kinda fell off the wagon for a bit.

-No clothes spending:
Fail. Costco had tank tops. I need work tank tops. $6.20 for 3.

-No more alcohol spending:
Fail. 2 more bottles of wine, a bottle of whiskey, and beer out with a friend happened in the past week.

-No more restaurant spending:
Fail. Went to the city we used to live in and got lunch with friends we haven't seen in a year.

I'm going to give myself a pass, since this is one of the worst weeks of my life. Not hyperbole. I'll try to get back on track heading on.

One good thing: my other contract will resume next week most likely, so I'll increase my income again a bit.
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Freshwater

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #89 on: September 19, 2017, 03:43:35 AM »
 

#3 - stuff for my dog - a reflective vest, fleece jacket, new leash and collar, and a pad for where he eats (he's old and will lay there contemplating his food for an hour, then eat each kibble one by one; he seems to enjoy the pad)


At the risk of adding more expense to your month - has your dog had a dental recently? A bad tooth might be slowing down his eating.

katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #90 on: September 19, 2017, 07:26:47 AM »
Bracken_Joy I say you definitely get a pass on last week. 

alewpanda, wow, great job! It sounds, too, like you're establishing reproducible habits, not just spending less now and will have to spend more later.

horsepoor

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #91 on: September 19, 2017, 07:44:48 AM »
 

#3 - stuff for my dog - a reflective vest, fleece jacket, new leash and collar, and a pad for where he eats (he's old and will lay there contemplating his food for an hour, then eat each kibble one by one; he seems to enjoy the pad)


At the risk of adding more expense to your month - has your dog had a dental recently? A bad tooth might be slowing down his eating.

He had a checkup in July, but he's always eaten like that, skipped meals, etc.  He'll eat a lot faster if there's an egg on top of the kibble, and he can crunch right through lamb bones. ;)

Yesterday:  $11.73 at the grocery store for the week, leaving $50, which should be enough, even with my dad visiting this weekend.  I might be buying a whole lamb before the end of the month, but keeping the other groceries in check will bring in total grocery spend at about the same as an average month.

The fancy pants cooler arrived yesterday and is bigger than I thought, even though I looked at the measurements.  Will probably return it.

Got a $15 mail-in rebate check yesterday, and will deposit it, and the other $18 one that is kicking around today.

Next weekend's riding lesson was canceled due to horse not being physically up to it yet after her injury, so accidental savings there.

Tass

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #92 on: September 19, 2017, 09:15:40 PM »
Well, my unnecessary spending is back down to $51, as the purchased swimsuit was too large in one dimension and too small in another. It doesn't seem to cross swim designers' minds that tall women are not merely short women scaled up. (Anyone have a recommendation on tall reasonably athletic swimsuits? One-piece isn't a requirement but it does have to have shorts.)

katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #93 on: Today at 08:56:59 AM »
I've heard Lands' End from friends (recommended to me as a tall woman with normal/wide shoulders and hips and small cup size). I've never tried them on, however.

I'm visiting a friend today and planned to bake something to bring. It didn't happen (note to self: testing new allergen-free recipes at the last minute is a terrible idea) so will stop by the co-op on the way. To offset that spending I may skip a new friend's performance tonight ($6 ticket with a lot of temptation to also purchase a drink to offset my nerves at going somewhere new/talking to someone new/etc/etc/excuses....although I'm the master of bringing wine or whiskey in a travel mug....).

Overall I feel that I have cut down on the spending-with-abandon I did through July and August, so that's the right direction, but October needs to be dialed in even further.

allsummerlong

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #94 on: Today at 11:44:08 AM »
Really enjoying reading about everyone's successes and challenges. Thanks all for sharing! I find keeping the frugal mindset is so much easier when you have people to share with. :)

Have had to do a few stock ups at the grocery store this week - ran out of basics like olive oil and eggs. I have also been doing a lot of cooking as gifts for people - birthdays and also a close friend has been having some medical issues so I cooked them up a couple batches of soup & a huge apple crisp.

FYI, 'Fun' $ below is our $80/month personal discretionary budget to spend on things like entertainment, coffee, alcohol, going out with friends, etc...  Went this route after realizing that we had cut back too hard in the past. Needed to have more balance. We're debt-free aside from small mortgage, have a strong SR, and have achieved our initial NW goal, so we feel we can now loosen the strings a little, so to speak, but still keeping it within reason as far as annual spending goes.


Discretionary so far ($CAD):

Gas: $118
Groceries: $329
Restaurants: $13
Pets: $57
Household Supplies (TP, detergent, freezer bags, etc): $18
Charitable donations: $90
My 'fun' $: $67
DH's 'fun' $: $71 
Clothing (work): $67 (returned another item, didn't fit right)


I originally thought my fixed spending would be $635, but it is actually $650. Electric bill (2 mos) was $5 higher & phone bill was $10 higher than expected.


Goal: $1800/month
Fixed: $650 ($441 housing & $209 utilities)
Discretionary to Sept 15: $830

TOTAL:
1800-650(fixed)-830 (discr.) = $320 remaining for month or ~$32/day

---------------
ETA: I ended up making a donation for the Earthquake in Mexico after I posted this, so I changed my totals.
« Last Edit: Today at 12:08:34 PM by allsummerlong »

allsummerlong

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #95 on: Today at 11:51:27 AM »
allsummerlong, from someone without any in-laws, that sounds like a really sweet gift/gesture. And definitely more memorable than a generic "stuff" gift.

Thank you, Tass. Gift-giving definitely is something I struggle with. Would rather DO something meaningful as opposed to just buying some junk. After having helped a family member downsize & majorly declutter, I've seen what happens to the meaningless junk that people accumulate over their lives. :(