Author Topic: Low Spend September & October Challenge  (Read 12031 times)

haypug16

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #50 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

katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #51 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 #52 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 #53 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 #54 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 #55 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 #56 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 #57 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 #58 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 #59 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 #60 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 #61 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 #62 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 #63 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.

Fresh Bread

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #64 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 #65 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!

Imma

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #66 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 #67 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!

Jaayse

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #68 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 #69 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 #70 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 #71 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 #72 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.

Tass

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #73 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 #74 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 #75 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 #76 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 #77 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?

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #78 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 #79 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 #80 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 #81 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 #82 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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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #83 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 #84 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 #85 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 #86 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 #87 on: September 20, 2017, 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.

Imma

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #88 on: September 21, 2017, 03:51:49 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. :(

We try to avoid meaningless gift giving too. We have just given my inlaws a gently used Ikea kitchen cupboard. They can't afford to replace their entire kitchen all at once and are buying new cupboards one by one. We don't need this one anymore and it's the design they have chosen for their kitchen. In return we've asked for a home cooked dinner. We give each other a lot of edible gifts, both of us like to cook and so does my MIL.

We have decided to give a special friend a christmas gift hamper and we're trying to collect gifts she's going to use in advance. We don't want to buy a pile of meaningless crap. So far I've bought a few fabrics of her favourite designer (she's a sewer). She has lots of allergies so edible gifts are quite difficult in this case. 

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #89 on: September 21, 2017, 05:09:03 AM »
9/18: $18 (food from Whole Foods-- walked there as a form of entertainment, splurged on a non-dairy ice cream)
9/19: $10 (snacks for a meeting at work-- I was on snack duty); $5 (BOA account fee-- I've never gotten this before, need to call and figure out why and how to avoid each month)
9/20: $32 (ended up at an outlet mall with a friend-- considering how much I tried on and liked, this was definitely restraint, and I purchased an open cardigan that I felt was missing from my wardrobe.... but it is still clothing shopping, which I self-banned)
9/21: $0 (not going to buy anything today!)

I did have a work event at night last week, and I remembered to pack up enough food so that I could stay at work and avoid Uber/food costs, so that's my small win for the week.

Stay strong everyone! I feel like this is the time of the month that folks (me included) start to waiver in these challenges. Let's all see how many 0 spend days we can having in the next week and finish out the month strong. Hoping everyone wants to keep going for October!

lemonverbena

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #90 on: September 21, 2017, 05:40:15 PM »
Hi, I'm jumping in late. We have to really watch the spending for the next couple weeks so as not to bounce a check to the hospital. My husband was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (we found out by way of a diabetic emergency). So, he'll need meds for the rest of his life. On the plus side, he can't really drink alcohol or smoke pot or eat in restaurants anymore, so that offsets the cost of insulin and syringes and all that. So, my goals are to keep costs low, and also to do those things we really should have done nine years ago when our first child was born... write a will and trust, get life and disability insurance, etc.

9/21: $786 the biggest and last of the hospital bills (thank goodness for health insurance or this would be so much worse!)

katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #91 on: September 21, 2017, 06:08:54 PM »
westtoeast, that was a great pep talk! I'm in for October for sure.

I spent $10 on cheeses yesterday to bring to a friend's house. She provided wine and a whole tray of delicious snacks and hours of great company.

Skipped seeing a friend perform last night. 

Have plans tomorrow at a brewpub and Saturday at a small music venue. Aiming for total spend under $20 for both.


Welcome, lemonverbena! This sounds like a time of big transition for you and dh!

haypug16

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #92 on: September 22, 2017, 01:15:29 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 - $10.83
Sept 6 - $44.19
Sept 7 - $27.28
Sept 8 - $25.00
Sept 9 - $67.66
Sept 10 - $47.99
Sept 11 - $113.56
Sept 12 - $21.78
Sept 13 - $73.84
Sept 14 - $127.66
Sept 15 - $257.45
Sept 16 - $46.00
Sept 17 - $282.68
Sept 18 - $98.18
Sept 19 - $23.97
Sept 20 - $73.20
Pending Transactions = $85.06
Total for Sept = $1,679.38
Goal for the Month = $2,100  $420.62 remaining for the month. It shouldn't be too hard to reach my goal but I know I could have done better. Everyday I spent money on something. Next week and October I will try to reign it in even more.



badscooter

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #93 on: September 22, 2017, 01:37:32 PM »
Great thread! I'll try to join in the thread for October's low spending challenge. :)

Tass

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #94 on: September 22, 2017, 04:02:02 PM »
I spent $10 on work lunch today. D: It's been a crazy week and I just didn't plan my cooking ahead. I tried to at least appreciate it as a luxury: sitting in the sun under palm trees, listening to music, with a rare meat-containing meal... My break isn't so far from other people's vacation dreams. Better not hedonistically adapt to it.

Unnecessary spending: $61

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #95 on: September 23, 2017, 08:05:14 AM »
Saturday Update:

9/22: $57 (health/medical)
9/23: $35 (Groceries, will last all week); $20 (new sheets-- ours ripped)

Total Necessary: $112

I'm also $13 under budget for groceries, which is a big win for me. That's one of my biggest budgeting challenges and while I aim to keep it under $250 a month I often go a few dollars over.

There is still a full week left of the month, but I don't think I'm going to have any more expenses come up, so I'm going to put down my semi-final September numbers (maybe doing so will also help me not spend any more).

Necessary Spend Total: $480 (-$110 passport renewal = $370)
Unnecessary Spend Total: $128.5 (-$30 pre-challenge eating out = $98.5)

Overall this month, when I add in bus pass and rent/utilities I spent $1463. This is right around my planned budget, unfortunately, but if I remove the unusual passport expense then it looks like I spent about $140 less than usual. Not bad-- that's my number to beat for October!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #96 on: September 24, 2017, 08:53:09 AM »
Tanktops I had bought didn't work (attempted to become scarves, completely defeating the "cover my scrub pants for when I squat down at work" function. So back they went, and $0 clothes spending is preserved I guess. I still have to keep my eye out, my current tanks are starting to become dysfunctionally loose.

Otherwise, we bought 1 more bottle of wine, and then I think everything else had been pretty affordable. Went to a family wedding. Wore stuff we already own. Did lunch with my MIL and she bought (although we paid for that in its own way, both husband and I felt pretty sick after >.< bleh, good reminder why we never go out anymore!) Other than high gas spending (decent drive to wedding, and we'll go to a meetup a ways away today), but I think we're doing pretty well overall right now.

Medical spending is still comically high for me, but hey, that's the nature of non-insurance-covered conditions I guess.
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ixtap

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #97 on: September 24, 2017, 09:22:52 AM »
Well, we spent more than expected on vacation, but it was mostly safety spending plus four meals and two snacks out in a three week span


In the two weeks since returning, we have spent on groceries, home repairs and two meals out: one McDs due to poor planning and one boule of clam chowder to show support for a local restaurant and celebrate the fall weather.

Some time soon I need to buy my winter shoes, but I haven't found them yet. It looks like I will likely need a new fleece for this winter, as well. Hubby's needs should be similar.

The big spend for October will be Mom's paragliding. And I am thinking of going up at the same time.

DL21901

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #98 on: September 24, 2017, 12:07:28 PM »
Holy shit! Folks, you have no idea who I am but I wanted to say that I was looking at my statements in preparation for contributing, and realized I had completely forgotten to cancel the amazon prime membership before the free trial expired.

Fortunately was still eligible for full refund since we hadn't placed any orders since the membership started. You just saved me $100!

Now, to actually contributing: goal is NO unnecessary spending for the remainder of Sep-Oct starting today. My DH and I are usually pretty good at avoiding unnecessary spending.  Just looking to tighten the belt a little and make it a challenge. Committing to sharing all of our non-recurring spend here. Please call me out if you think I'm mis-categorizing "necessary" :p

We do have a camping trip coming up next week, but we don't need any new supplies and spending should fit inside out normal grocery budget.

We're also adopting a fur baby (adult cat of a friend, rescued out of a bad situation and isn't getting along with friend's current cats)  but she's coming with carrier/bed/beginning food supply. I'll mentally budget for a litterbox and some litter, but barring medical needs she shouldn't need anything new for a while.


Spending so far for September:
Unnecessary:
$2    coffee with a friend. Shoulda gotten hot water and brought my own tea bag, the usual strategy
$9    sandwich at the airport. Not going to feel too guilty about this one, I haven't figured out a good way to make non-soggy tasty sandwiches that travel well. If anyone's got suggestions let me know.
$15 fees & fines. Ha, this one's on DH. I'm usually the leaky money in the household.

Necessary:
$45  grocery
$18  two take-n-bake pizzas - one for a friend that's recently had a baby. Counting this as grocery.
$18 public transit and an Uber, saved my elderly mother a long car trip to come pick me up at the airport. Worth it.

Necessary: $81
Unnecessary: $26

Living like a student is easy when you're still a student.

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #99 on: September 24, 2017, 12:30:07 PM »
Holy shit! Folks, you have no idea who I am but I wanted to say that I was looking at my statements in preparation for contributing, and realized I had completely forgotten to cancel the amazon prime membership before the free trial expired.

Fortunately was still eligible for full refund since we hadn't placed any orders since the membership started. You just saved me $100!

Now, to actually contributing: goal is NO unnecessary spending for the remainder of Sep-Oct starting today. My DH and I are usually pretty good at avoiding unnecessary spending.  Just looking to tighten the belt a little and make it a challenge. Committing to sharing all of our non-recurring spend here. Please call me out if you think I'm mis-categorizing "necessary" :p

We do have a camping trip coming up next week, but we don't need any new supplies and spending should fit inside out normal grocery budget.

We're also adopting a fur baby (adult cat of a friend, rescued out of a bad situation and isn't getting along with friend's current cats)  but she's coming with carrier/bed/beginning food supply. I'll mentally budget for a litterbox and some litter, but barring medical needs she shouldn't need anything new for a while.


Spending so far for September:
Unnecessary:
$2    coffee with a friend. Shoulda gotten hot water and brought my own tea bag, the usual strategy
$9    sandwich at the airport. Not going to feel too guilty about this one, I haven't figured out a good way to make non-soggy tasty sandwiches that travel well. If anyone's got suggestions let me know.
$15 fees & fines. Ha, this one's on DH. I'm usually the leaky money in the household.

Necessary:
$45  grocery
$18  two take-n-bake pizzas - one for a friend that's recently had a baby. Counting this as grocery.
$18 public transit and an Uber, saved my elderly mother a long car trip to come pick me up at the airport. Worth it.

Necessary: $81
Unnecessary: $26

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