Author Topic: OCTOBER - budget - optimizing  (Read 2748 times)

Rosy

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Re: OCTOBER - budget - optimizing
« Reply #50 on: October 29, 2018, 02:21:09 PM »
You are welcome to join me in yet another frugal monthly budget challenge:) for the month of October 2018. I am declaring October the month for optimizing.
BIG SNIP............

OK - time to look at the results for October.

1. Side income - total is $335 ($250 plus $85 in misc) - more than doubled expectations:)
2. Cut the cable - is still in limbo, but antennas should arrive soon. To be continued in November.
Definitely replacing the company router with our own, we will try both Roku and Hulu along with Netflix and return whatever doesn't work.
3. Free oil change and tire rotation - did not happen, because it isn't time yet, may do in Nov or Jan.
4. Done - checked Mr. R's cc rewards points - he needed extra points to get to $25. Made sure he used the right:) card for extra (planned) expenses.
5. Done
6. Done - allocated $85 from the side income to the quirky $1K savings challenge - $915 to go - to be continued in November.
7. Car insurance - dropped the ball on that one - to be continued in November.

Cut down the dining out expenses by $150. - nice win there:) not a hard and fast goal, but we try to keep it in check.  Groceries - up overall since we made a trip to base, but the huge savings will be felt for months to come - so I count that as a win.

Overall on track with all savings goals - whew:). Counting our blessings.

Hope everyone did fantastic - see ya in November:)

Penn42

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Re: OCTOBER - budget - optimizing
« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2018, 07:01:49 PM »
I successfully switched to Geico a few days ago.  I switched up some of my coverage choices, but still saved $60 off my 6 month premium after seeing how the same changes would have effected my last policy.  It's pretty bare bones insurance, but I don't drive a ton and it's not a car that's worth collision or comprehensive. 

I also paid the 6 month premium using my Chase Southwest card to meet the minimum spend as I had planned to do.  And on top of that I went to a weekend training for work and they paid me 300 big ones for attending.

All in all a pretty good month. 


catccc

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Re: OCTOBER - budget - optimizing
« Reply #52 on: October 30, 2018, 10:21:08 AM »
I need to keep spending under $171.12 for the rest of the month to meet my goal of staying under $4,100.  We have 9 days to go, $45 is planned spend (internet bill) plus we will surely need some gas and groceries in the coming days...  If we make it, it will be a close one.  (And if we don't, it will be a close one.)

Well, we blew it, necessary car repair @ $200.  One day to go.  Honestly, we could have tried harder this month, but all in all it was okay.  Not great, but okay.

philli14

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Re: OCTOBER - budget - optimizing
« Reply #53 on: October 30, 2018, 05:24:42 PM »
Update on how the month is going! Groceries already a little high cause I needed some staples from costco. Next weekend I have to attend a wedding out of town so the dining out budget might take a bit of a hit this coming week.

Shopping/Misc budget (avg. $600): 0/50
Grocery budget (avg. $401): 63/200
Gas (avg. $198): 0/50
Bars/Restaurants/Dining out (avg. $665): 34/150

Oct 15th update

Shopping/Misc budget (avg. $600): 26/50
Grocery budget (avg. $401): 104/200
Gas (avg. $198): 46/50
Bars/Restaurants/Dining out (avg. $665): 125/150

Survived wedding, spending way less than I expected! Had to fill up the tank but that'll easily last me the rest of the month. Restaurants is getting tight but freezer is stocked with food, no trips left planned for the month so I'm confident.

Next month my prime membership renews automatically (119$.. ouch). I reached out to Amazon, and since I've been a customer since 2009, they knocked 10$ (was hoping for more, but better than nothing) off my upcoming membership so I've already started optimizing November.

Halfway mark of the month. Looks like it'll be tight but don't expect any more spending outside of groceries for the rest of the month.
Oct 22 Update

Rough weekend... Car battery went kaput on me. However, I mitigated the damage by trying to be as MMM as possible! Was quoted 159.99$ by Autozone for the battery + labor. Refused, did a little shopping around and found an equivalent battery from Costco for 74.95$ without labor. Bought it, watched a couple youtube videos and installed myself (turns out it's REALLY easy.. but I'm not very competent with car-related things so it still felt good to do)

Regardless, over on shopping category. Also over on eating out. Really thought I would be able to last, but I did some socializing for Dodgers/Brewers and ended up over. Oh well!

Shopping/Misc budget (avg. $600): 109/50
Grocery budget (avg. $401): 153/200
Gas (avg. $198): 46/50
Bars/Restaurants/Dining out (avg. $665): 169/150

End of October Update
Shopping/Misc budget (avg. $600): 187/50
Grocery budget (avg. $401): 194/200
Gas (avg. $198): 46/50
Bars/Restaurants/Dining out (avg. $665): 190/150

Fairly certain I won't have any other expenses for the rest of the month so will post my final update. Had a pretty lazy last bit of the month.. Gas and groceries ended up being comfortably within my budget. Shopping I really screwed up due to the battery issue with my car and some unexpected end of the month expenses. However.. overall I'd call the experiment a great success. Well below my monthly averages for each of the categories, and didn't feel like I had any worse of a month enjoyment wise. Although, I do enjoy beer tasting and restaurant discovery a little too much to limit myself on dining out as much as I did this month. Moving forwards though, I like 50$ as a budget for gas (one fill-up), 200$ for groceries and will try to limit shopping to $100 moving forwards. Little bits at a time.

Thanks for setting up this challenge!

EDIT: when I break down "shopping" into voluntary purchases vs. "emergency/necessary" purchases.. only spent 27.60! Makes me feel a little better.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 05:32:46 PM by philli14 »

Enough

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Re: OCTOBER - budget - optimizing
« Reply #54 on: October 30, 2018, 07:33:41 PM »
Didn't post, but I silently decided to join in at the beginning of the month.

Here's the summary of my attempt at frugal October:

Non-mortgage budget: $1975.  October Goal: <$1,000.  Actual: $847

Breakdown:
Category      Sum
Entertainment   29.5
Fast Food     7.28
Furnishings   15
Gas & Fuel    88.37
Groceries      123.48
Hair Cut       16
Co-Pay         15
Restaurants   80.51
Service Fee   6.12
Shopping      47.97
Internet       32.99
Utilities        92.95
Vacation       291.69
Grand Total   846.86


The vacation expenses could definitely have been cut back.  It was a three day trip to DC with free lodging and airfare covered with points. So the $292 is just food, drink and transport for 3 days which is definitely excessive.  It helped that there were no large one off or scheduled expenses in October (ex. 6-mo insurance premium or repairs)

About a year ago I adjusted my monthly budget from $1500 to 1975 and I've felt like recently I've needed to reset my baseline expenses from lifestyle inflation.  Looking forward to seeing how November goes

mountain mustache

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Re: OCTOBER - budget - optimizing
« Reply #55 on: October 30, 2018, 08:06:25 PM »
I ended up mostly meeting my goals, and having the lowest spend month in a long time. I did go and do a big stock up today at Costco, because I live in a tiny town far away from any good (affordable) food, and I had a Drs appointment 2 hours away (also the nearest location of Costco) and wanted to take advantage of being there. I'm putting it on November's budget, because all of the food will get eaten then and beyond!

Groceries- $156/$200
Gas- $107/$100- this was due to said 2 hours away Dr appointment, and really cheap gas at Costco!
Personal Care- $15/$30
Eating Out- $17/$20
Misc- $106/$100
Unecessary jacket purchase- $150

I had one big unnecessary purchase in the whole month, and that happened today. On my way home from my Drs appointment, I stopped at this little store that hand makes really great hoodies/jackets in this tiny mountain town, and I'd been waiting for them to make a color in a particular jacket that I loved. I just popped in with no plans to buy anything, but saw the color I'd been waiting for, in "tall" sleeves (for my crazy long arms) and just decided to buy it. It fits amazingly well, it's hand made an hour from my home, and I don't feel guilty at all...except that it ruined the spirit of my uber frugal month!

My total with my above spending, plus my fixed spending (rent, health insurance, medical bills, etc) came to :
$1864




middo

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Re: OCTOBER - budget - optimizing
« Reply #56 on: October 30, 2018, 09:28:49 PM »
My end of month figures:

Food:  $558 / 500
Non-food groceries:  $528 / 200
Alcohol and eating out:  $130 / 100
Medical:  $440 / 450   (includes of health insurance)
Transport:  $1219 / 400

Total:  $2875 / 1850

If we remove the yearly car registration, it drops to $2113, which is still over. 

Some analysis: 
  • Food - we now have a freezer full of meat, which we did not have at the start of the month, so not so surprising we went over.  Should be back down next month.
  • Non-food groceries - this included new sheets for our bed ($60) and lots of other stuff.  I will have to look more closely on why it was so high, but lots of clothing/stockings/make up for my wife ended up in here
  • Alcohol / Eating out - was WAY down on last month, but a little high.  I bought some home brew that was going out cheap, and it will keep me going for a few months. My wife also had a couple of coffees/cake out.
  • Transport at $457 as the recurring cost was a little high, but included a battery for a motorbike too.  Actual fuel and public transport costs were down to $385, which is a big drop for us.  Happy with this!

Overall not the best month, but not too bad.  It will be better next month!

philli14

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Re: OCTOBER - budget - optimizing
« Reply #57 on: November 01, 2018, 12:38:16 PM »
Also realized today that I only drove 138.5miles this month which is a great feeling! Unfortunately that did involve having to fill up a tank, but I have an estimated 325miles left on my current tank.. so if I can maintain that same level of driving I shouldn't have to fill up for the rest of 2018!

(It's an interesting thought/realization.. although in reality I have a trip planned that involves 20h of driving)

catccc

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Re: OCTOBER - budget - optimizing
« Reply #58 on: November 02, 2018, 10:20:55 AM »
Also realized today that I only drove 138.5miles this month which is a great feeling! Unfortunately that did involve having to fill up a tank, but I have an estimated 325miles left on my current tank.. so if I can maintain that same level of driving I shouldn't have to fill up for the rest of 2018!

(It's an interesting thought/realization.. although in reality I have a trip planned that involves 20h of driving)

I like this idea of minimizing mileage.  I get in my car without much thought since I do need it to get to most places... but I probably could try grouping more outings or trying to stay closer to home when I can.

magnet18

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Re: OCTOBER - budget - optimizing
« Reply #59 on: November 03, 2018, 08:04:35 AM »
End of month update

Home improvement: 2919/2500.00
Charity: 700/700
Groceries: 313/300
Eating out: 336/40
Gas: 247/255
Events: 52.23/52.23
Misc: 405/


So I've learned we like to eat out.  \_(ツ)_/  Should cut back on the random lunches at work, but most of that is quality time with family once per week, I'll talk it over with DW.  Given how mind bogglingly busy I am and how sparse energy is at the moment I'm inclined to say I don't particularly care given the overall picture.

Groceries stayed nicely in check this month!!

Total savings rate was only about 33%, mostly because of home improvement.  Home improvement should taper off sharply this month, to be replaced by the "Destroy debt by December" challenge, and I expect the savings rate to skyrocket in January!

As is, if not for the home improvement spending, even with 10% to charity, it would be in the 60%s, which means we're only actually living off 30% of the income!