Author Topic: Uber Frugal January  (Read 36744 times)

CloserToFree

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #200 on: January 08, 2018, 09:16:30 PM »
Really delayed in joining this thread, oops.  I'm doing the Frugalwoods challenge too.  Here are my goals (note some of these aren't money related or even in furtherance of frugality):
1. No buying food at work; bring lunch and ample snacks.  (Can use a gift card to a coffee shop around the corner if absolutely necessary.)  I used to be great at this but fell into the bad habit last summer/fall of buying a Coke or small things here or there at our cafeteria and want to get back on the wagon.
2.  Do 15-20 minutes of exercise a day (a lowly amount, I know).  I'm pregnant so this will mostly be prenatal yoga, walking, or light exercises/videos at home.  The cold weather and a bout of major fatigue messed with the daily walking habit I had set up.  My muscles are totally mush and while I don't want to do anything strenuous given the pregnancy (due in late March), I want to slowly get my tone back and keep my circulation flowing.
3. Get back into swimming - try for once a week.  See above.
4. Continue clothes buying ban.  13 months and counting!
5. Do more cooking and meal planning.  DH does almost all the cooking in our household and is an awesome cook, but I enjoy it in small doses and making yummy things helps prevent me from giving in to the urge to eat out, pick up snacks at bakeries/coffee shops, etc.  Made my first loaf of bread the other day, and made homemade yogurt for the first time in 5+ years too.  Would love to do this regularly.  Plus need to up my meal planning game - that's always a huge help for minimizing grocery and eating out spending.
6. Don't go overboard with the frugality (spend on things we value). This may seem odd for an Uber Frugal monthly thread, but we only have a couple months to go before kid #2 arrives and I don't want to squander that time pinching pennies as far as experiences go.  For example, we have a fun weekend trip planned coming up, and I want to get in some date nights/ 1:1 time with DH before we become a family of 4 and effectively become housebound for awhile.

horsepoor

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #201 on: January 08, 2018, 09:31:40 PM »
No spend days are scarce this month.

Today:  $3 arena fee, $6.40 at Lowe's to replace a safety cable on the horse trailer, $94 on horse supplements (even after using a 50% off promo code), $41 on gas for the truck (used points for 50c off/gallon or $11).

poko

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #202 on: January 08, 2018, 09:35:41 PM »
Doing pretty well so far! Only $72 non-mortgage spending so far. Tomorrow will be VERY expensive as I am taking my cat in for a radiation treatment that was scheduled back in November. She will be at the vet until Saturday :( and then in somewhat quarantine at home for 3 weeks until she less radioactive!!

I'm also traveling to the UK on the 26th, which will be expensive. I might continue "super frugal" mode until the end of Feb to make up for these larger than usual outlays. 

Linda_Norway

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #203 on: January 09, 2018, 01:56:58 AM »
We have been eating the meat in the freezer during December. So it recently was so empty that I have filled it up a bit again.
New goal for this month is to use up more of the frozen leftover portions in the freezer. Last week we ate 2 commercial bags with frozen food (rice, veggies, meat and sauce, relatively healthy pre-made food). This was because we had a lot to do and did not have extra energy to do proper cooking.
We still have a pile of frozen boxes of cooked pears (brought in from leftover from my work's fruit basket on Friday afternoons). And some boxes of sweet potato mash. I should make a plan on how to use it up.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 07:25:20 AM by Linda_Norway »

frooglepoodle

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #204 on: January 09, 2018, 05:06:47 AM »
Made a Target run yesterday, but only got needed things from the list (and a trampoline for my son using a gift card from Christmas). Some of the items could probably have been purchased elsewhere for slightly cheaper, but one stop saves gas and. Plus, when running errands with a toddler it's worth a few extra dollars not to have to make multiple stops. I did NOT buy anything from the dollar section at the front of the store (seriously, why bother? 99% of it is cheap crap) and passed up the maternity clothes since I'm determined not to buy anything new until I've exhausted all my secondhand options.


gaja

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #205 on: January 09, 2018, 11:46:50 AM »
Week 1: $10 (activities), $188 (food), $9 (transport).

Day 8: 0
Day 9: $23 (groceries)

We have also had som work related expenses (parking, computer equipment), but those will be reimbursed, so I don't see the point of counting them here.

wordnerd

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #206 on: January 09, 2018, 04:17:27 PM »
No spend day today, and tomorrow should be as well. Yesterday should've been no spend but I ended up spending $25 on treating my kid's pink eye (probably money well spent). I'm going to try to go all month without buying anything in the work cafeteria. I'm feeling optimistic.

ixtap

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #207 on: January 09, 2018, 04:32:16 PM »
I lost track, but today was the first time I left home since Friday, so there are at least 3 no spend days lined up there. Yay nasty winter bug?

HappierAtHome

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #208 on: January 09, 2018, 04:40:49 PM »
Okay, I'm back on track!

I've set a realistic goal for grocery spending for the month - slightly lower than my average spend last year, and we've done a bulk stock-up this month which usually pushes the total higher. So staying within budget should be slightly challenging, but not impossible.

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #209 on: January 09, 2018, 05:23:43 PM »
Day 9: Success

Went to the grocery store and spent $6.26 - $3.17 on a bottle of wine and $3.09 on lettuce, cucumber, yogurt, organic cereal, ricotta cheese (8 oz), and BBQ sauce.  I'll get back $.75 from rebate apps. 


Frugal Wins:
  • Used four coupons to save $7.99 at the grocery store.  I don't often bother with coupons because I'm lazy/disorganized, but maybe I should pay more attention to them going forward.
  • Stopped by the library to drop off read books and pick up holds.
  • Stopped by Panera for my free bagel.
  • Packed my breakfast, lunch, and a snack for work.
  • Eating leftovers tonight.

And, not exactly a frugal win, but an industry connection reached out to me today to see if I would be interested in discussing career opportunities.  In the city where I want to move.  I thought I'd likely have to wait until after FIRE to make the move, given the limited number of positions in my niche field in target city.  And, I'll have to disclose to my boss if I pursue the opportunity beyond an initial consult which could impact my current employment.  The 'stach gives me a safety net to let me explore my options.

Monthly Spending: $526.37/$1,750
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 05:27:02 PM by eliza »

YellowCat

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #210 on: January 09, 2018, 06:21:12 PM »
Day 9: Stocked up on groceries today: $69.89. I think this will be enough to get us through to the weekend of the 20th, or at least close.

Other frugal wins: for dinner I had random leftover bits: an apple, sauteed zucchini, 2 eggs, toast from husband's homemade bread, the last of an avocado hiding out in the fridge. I packed my lunch (as usual) and grabbed some free snacks at work as a special treat.
________________________
Non-Housing:
- Groceries: $176.96 / $330
- Gas: $53.14 / $100
- Fast Food: $1.83 / $0 (not budgeted for)
- Shopping: $51.15 / $0 (not budgeted for)
- Legal: $725

Housing / Fixed:
Mortgage Payment: $1221.52
Car Loan: $326.33
Internet Bill: $26.98
Energy Bill: $42.29
Quarterly Water Bill: $142.44 ($47.48 per month Sept - Dec 2017)
Charity: $174.14 (based on last month)

Total: $2941.78
Target: < $3300
Remaining: $358.22

HappierAtHome

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #211 on: January 09, 2018, 10:28:53 PM »
Accidental frugality: Baby Ewok started screaming soon after I arrived at my mums' group catchup, so I did not spend $4 on a coffee. Regretting missing out on my grownup time though.

Carrie

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #212 on: January 10, 2018, 08:16:51 AM »
7- no spend
8- no spend
9- had to buy some clothes, oldest boy grew a few inches (it seems) and the cold weather is still here so he needed long pants. Bought two pairs for $6 at Walmart, along with some other winter clearance clothing for the rest of the family. Total was $53, but I'm going to return two things I bought for myself for $11 (revised total $42 for 8 items of clothing + bananas).  Spent some money at Home Goods for a new compost bin (the old one got a crack in it and was nasty), bought 12 cloth napkins on clearance. $28. Wine store: $50. Vet visit for heartworm positive dog: $76. 'Twas a spendy day.
10- no spend
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 08:24:14 AM by Carrie »

Rosy

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #213 on: January 10, 2018, 08:51:05 AM »
I'm in for January 2018.

2017 was the most $$$ I have spent in one year in 15 years, it's all sorted out now, but I'm still left with an unexpected car payment, which throws a wrench into my major goal of $50K by the end of next year, 2019.

Main goals:
1. - 0 - credit card balances - every month in 2018
2. Save 100% of SS money each month - all of 2018
3. Don't buy anything - unless it is absolutely necessary or already planned.

See how comfortable my new budget is and re-evaluate both my new budget and my new goals for February.
I'm saving up for both a (long, expensive overseas) trip in Aug 2018 and the $50K goal - we'll see how it all shakes out when I'm three months in.
Maybe the best thing for me would be to just find a way to make $256.05 extra income each month, to offset the car pmt.

So my challenge really is - what can I do to bring in or save $256.05 a month in 2018?

First-week result

1. -0- credit card balance - failed - there will be a balance on one card this month $466 balance carry over - I could pay it off, but then I couldn't save up for my two main goals this year. So I'm sticking with my savings plan and biting the bullet on interest, might be zero?, not sure.
2. Save 100% of my SS money - yup, that is one of my big goals and it is happening:)

3. Don't buy anything unless necessary or already planned:
Planned purchase - printer $89 plus tax
Gasoline $27
Resisted going out to eat and going to Starbucks or the bookstore - Score.

No other purchases. I think my COLA might add up to $50 or so by the time they take out for increased insurance costs. Waiting for all payments to come through. I'll have final numbers by Feb 1.
I reworked the budget and I think it will all work out fine in the end.
Started a new journal to help me stay badass long enough to at least meet my two new goals.

Spent:
7.19 - Large fries and coca cola - that's just insane! Five Guys - free peanuts:) Took some home for the birds in my garden. I indulge about once every six months, sometimes even only once a year - 'cause, really, it's one big potato and some peanut oil - insane price:)
33.20 Hair Salon - oh so worth it, because my new stylist is awesome. You know when an old lady gets "several" compliments on her hair from strangers even - you know she's good.

So far all well within budget - except for the printer, which will make my budget rather tight for the rest of the month, unless I pay it out of my slush fund, which is a bit low for my comfort - so I am dithering...:)

I will be returning a Christmas gift today and I am at a loss what to buy at Penney's - I don't need anything. Hopefully, they will give me a gc type credit for later.

gaja

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #214 on: January 10, 2018, 12:05:14 PM »
Week 1: $10 (activities), $188 (food), $9 (transport).

Day 8: 0
Day 9: $23 (groceries)
Day 10: $8 (groceries) + $8 (pads and candy*)

*definetly a need, not a want

appleseed

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #215 on: January 10, 2018, 12:47:58 PM »
We finally got our car jumped yesterday (it actually kept me from spending to not have it working, so it wasn't a big deal). I ended up spending $8.99 for my oldest (6) to get a haircut. He decided to trim his hair on his own, so it was necessary. We usually go to the barber down the street, but great clips sent a coupon for $5.99. I thought of the uberfrugs, and we tried it. He got a decent haircut, and I saved $9.

Today I went grocery shopping and will buy gas later, but it's my first grocery trip of the year. Got a lot of discounts and coupons plus didn't go beyond my list except for real good sales on staples. Bought discount ripe bananas for banana bread, which I'll make this afternoon.

Oh and I bought some supplies for a sewing class I teach, so I think I can count those as business expenses.

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #216 on: January 10, 2018, 05:34:52 PM »
Day 10: Success

No spend day!

Packed breakfast, lunch, and snack for work.  Eating leftovers for dinner.  Drinking water.  Reading a library book.  Watching hockey.  Happy as a clam.

Monthly Spending: $526.37/$1,750

LindseyC

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #217 on: January 10, 2018, 05:52:27 PM »
I'm late to the thread, but I am in. I am actually doing an uber frugal 2018 but for January specifically I want to eat up my pantry/freezer, spend under $100 for groceries and also do a no buy month with one exception.

I earned an extra $100 and decided to buy a few practical things I needed:

The worlds warmest gloves ($55) as i did not have a good pair and I noticed in the extreme cold that one hand (which I broke a few years ago) was beginning to hurt quite a bit.

I also spent $35 on two shoe organizers. In December I had a Christmas miracle when my aunt who volunteers at a thrift store brought me 15 pairs of mostly new shoes that was donated by one estate. I have large feet for a female and prefer supportive shoes, these were very expensive shoes (average $200) that mostly still had their tags on and receipts in the original boxes. I have never owned so many shoes in my life, it's amazing. To keep them clean and tidy, I needed a good place to store them, hence the hanging organizers. I consider this an investment in my feet for at least a decade.

I also bought unlimited Viber minutes to call my snowbird parents $4.50 and an elf light from the thrift store for $10 - which was completely impractical but, I have wanted one for years and promised myself I would not buy one until I could find it second hand.

So that's my extra $100 gone, but to worthwhile things (mostly). So far a third of the month is over and I have only spent $3.50 on eating out and my groceries are still well below $100. It's been a pretty successful third so far. Oh and since December 27th I am down 2.5lbs!!! Bonus!!

Lichen

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #218 on: January 10, 2018, 07:50:38 PM »
We leave town tomorrow for four days, which means the spending fast will be lifted. Going to be as Uber Frugal as realistic while still enjoying ourselves on our anniversary trip. We are challenging ourselves to come home with some money still in the entertainment budget!

The last two days have been no spend, as well. After my umbrella debacle while waiting for the bus yesterday, I thought I'd need to buy a new one. Mentioned it to my mom, who offered me a nice, never used umbrella. Seems my dad's company gave them out at a trade show a couple of decades ago, and he brought home the leftovers. Both the company and my dad are now gone, but their memory lives on in these umbrellas with the logo emblazoned on the handle :D

Grocery 285.63/400
No spend 9/31 (Goal 23 no spend days)
Clothing/gifts 0/0
Entertainment 0/150

Bee21

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #219 on: January 11, 2018, 01:31:35 AM »
Hell.  Back to school is getting more expensive. I ordered the stationery packs back in november and they won't be arriving. Refund will also take a couple of weeks. Am royally displeased to put it mildly. The last thing I want is to go shopping with the kids for school supplies.

Good news is, kids have no cavities (=uberfrugal). Insurance covered the checkup. I dragged them through a major shopping centre without buying anything.

Small wins, little wins.

AmandaPanda

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #220 on: January 11, 2018, 05:35:51 AM »
LindseyC what are the worlds warmest gloves? Iím curious!

We are trying our hardest and have definitely cut costs, but things always come up. Currently the husband is in his hometown because his dad is in the hospital. This means he is purchasing all meals out :(. He is trying to he reasonable, though.

LindseyC

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #221 on: January 11, 2018, 06:19:00 AM »
LindseyC what are the worlds warmest gloves? I’m curious!

The brand is called Auclair Gloves. I bought them at Sail (an outdoor store here in Canada) they are a mix of leather and other materials. I wanted the palms and around the fingers to be leather so I could drive easily in them and also shovel snow with no slipping. I also wanted them to be longer down my wrist and with a strap to tighten around the wrist to keep out snow. They are lined with something soft and warm - I have no idea what. I don't know the "name" of them as I threw out the tags, but they are waterproof, good to -30 and flexible. They were regular $115 but I got them on sale for $55 (including taxes) more then I have ever spent on gloves in my life, but arthritis in one hand is now a concern and I am hoping they last many years.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 06:22:20 AM by LindseyC »

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #222 on: January 11, 2018, 05:36:53 PM »
Day 11: Semi-Success

Spent
$16.17 - electricity bill.
$26.80 at the grocery store - $21.19 for a box of wine and $5.61 on groceries (blackberries, apple, ham (2 oz), turkey (2 oz), cheddar cheese (8 oz), frozen roasted corn x 2, yogurt.  Will get $2 back from rebate apps.

I'm headed out of town for a long weekend tomorrow --- so went a bit spendy on the wine and food (mostly wine) to take with me - but hopefully it will help me limit the dining and drinking out while on vacation and ultimately save money.

Monthly Spending: $569.34/$1750

Edited because I forgot I paid my share of the electric bill this morning.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 05:46:42 PM by eliza »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #223 on: January 11, 2018, 06:16:17 PM »
Well, that was a failure.

Alcohol spending: $13. Got bad medical news. Not coping great. Husband and I both just really wanted a damn drink. Went and bought a bottle of whiskey.

Good whiskey. Poor coping skills.

wordnerd

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #224 on: January 11, 2018, 06:24:24 PM »
I'm so sorry to hear that @Bracken_Joy. Wishing you peace.

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #225 on: January 11, 2018, 06:55:53 PM »
Well, that was a failure.

Alcohol spending: $13. Got bad medical news. Not coping great. Husband and I both just really wanted a damn drink. Went and bought a bottle of whiskey.

Good whiskey. Poor coping skills.

@Bracken_Joy - I'm sorry to hear that.  Sometimes you need to cope however you need to cope - no judgement.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #226 on: January 11, 2018, 07:13:21 PM »
Thanks guys.

Sometimes life has other plans than a cheap month, you know? =\

At least we went for a cheap whiskey, hahaha.

AND insurance partially covered a couple lab tests I thought would be 0% covered, so that's a few hundred saved right there.

YellowCat

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #227 on: January 12, 2018, 06:30:38 AM »
Day 10: $0 (me) but husband spent a little bit at the airport, coming back from his business trip. He's not actively participating in this challenge, though, so perhaps I can't hold it against him :)
$2.86 at Starbucks
$5.29 for a snack (groceries)
$10.39 for a Lyft ride. This may be reimbursable through work, depends on if he wants to claim it or not.

Day 11: $0
Day 12: Should also be zero. I'm working from home today (though sadly husband isn't) because my motivation is flagging *and* the weather is completely terrible: rain, freezing rain, sleet, snow, repeat. At least it was a lot warmer yesterday (50F?!) and all of the previous round of snow melted. We're having dinner with friends tonight, at their house, and tomorrow will likely be hibernating and hiding from the weather. So perhaps tomorrow will be no-spend as well. I might poke my head out to go to the library, but based on how I feel right now that may be overly ambitious :) I'm just in full-on hibernation mode!

________________________
Non-Housing:
- Groceries: $182.25 / $330
- Gas: $53.14 / $100
- Lyft: $10.39 / $0 (not budgeted for)
- Fast Food: $4.69 / $0 (not budgeted for)
- Shopping: $51.15 / $0 (not budgeted for)
- Legal: $725

Housing / Fixed:
Mortgage Payment: $1221.52
Car Loan: $326.33
Internet Bill: $26.98
Electric Bill: $42.29
Quarterly Water Bill: $142.44 ($47.48 per month Sept - Dec 2017)
Charity: $174.14 (based on last month)

Total: $2960.32
Target: < $3300
Remaining: $339.68
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 07:17:49 AM by YellowCat »

LindseyC

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #228 on: January 12, 2018, 06:59:44 AM »
Bracken_Joy - I'm sorry to hear about your news, but your attitude regarding the cheap whiskey and finding the silver lining about saving money on tests, will serve you well. I have been sick for about 4 years now and have discovered that humour (even dark humour) and finding the smallest bit of positivity, is the one thing that makes everything just a little bit easier to deal with. You got this!

*********
I am still doing good for the month. I did spend $26 on a haircut (including tip and taxes) that I should have got well over a month ago but had bronchitis and wasn't feeling up to sitting still for it. I don't even feel slightly guilty about that expense.

I also called my CC company yesterday as they had applied a payment in a wonky manner. Turns out they have a glitch in their system so they have moved my no interest transfer end date from February 1st, to October 1st. This was not my intention when I called, I just wanted to verify why it was applied the way it was, I had the funds to pay it all off any way.

However, I'm taking advantage of this offer to pay down my LOC which does have interest rates applied to it (albeit very low) so I have just saved a little extra money. I can't wait to be out of debt, getting sick for a few years really messed up my earning ability and finances but being positive about it, it will only be a few years until I am back on track and in the grand scheme of things, it is a curve ball that I can deal with.

horsepoor

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #229 on: January 12, 2018, 08:18:34 AM »
Bracken - sorry for your troubles; the whiskey is understandable when life delivers a hard blow.

While it's creepy how much Google knows about me, it saved me a credit card late fee as I had missed a very small credit card bill that is due tomorrow by popping up a notice on my phone.  Was able to go in and set up a payment and avoid the late fee, which would have been about as much as the bill itself.

Diligently cooking at home and not making purchases.  We're eating a lot better in the new year, which means spending a fair bit on veggies and needing to to stock up again this weekend.  The question is whether I go to WholePaycheck while downtown for a meeting today, or do I hit WinCo tomorrow?

Non-frugal confession:  our microwave suddenly started arcing horribly.  Last time this happened, I tried replacing the waveguide cover and it didn't fix the problem.  I was going to take 2 weeks to get the waveguide cover for this particular model, and I was skeptical that was the problem as it wasn't in nearly the shape the previous one was when problems started with the last microwave.  Called DH and had him buy a new microwave after work yesterday.  Lame I know, but I just didn't want to deal with it.


MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #230 on: January 12, 2018, 09:19:37 AM »
Our January has been less frugal on the food side (re-stocking the fridge after being gone + unplanned meal out). But, the other categories are going well.

I need to learn to let some things go on the food side. My husband is lovely, however, when we run out of something, he wants to immediately replace it. I like to use a replacement until our next planned store trip. (E.g., we ran out of cucumber for the kids lunches, but had carrots that could have been swapped). He really, really struggles with this. He went through a phase where he had no money for food, and running out clearly brings back challenging feelings. I need to just let this go. Oddly, it's almost always around fresh produce, which is good for us & a variety of options is good.

Serendip

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #231 on: January 12, 2018, 10:16:37 AM »
Our January has been less frugal on the food side (re-stocking the fridge after being gone + unplanned meal out). But, the other categories are going well.

I need to learn to let some things go on the food side. My husband is lovely, however, when we run out of something, he wants to immediately replace it. I like to use a replacement until our next planned store trip. (E.g., we ran out of cucumber for the kids lunches, but had carrots that could have been swapped). He really, really struggles with this. He went through a phase where he had no money for food, and running out clearly brings back challenging feelings. I need to just let this go. Oddly, it's almost always around fresh produce, which is good for us & a variety of options is good.

So great that you are understanding MaybeBabyMustache.

 I am similar to your fellow and really like to buy replacements before we run out--my partner like to buy things almost daily since we have a little shop right near to us.
He doesn't understand why I buy oatmeal before we have run out..or pumpkin seeds..or onions but I think I feel more comfortable knowing we have healthy options always available at home (to prevent us grabbing food out so much!)


Carrie

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #232 on: January 12, 2018, 12:02:38 PM »
1-11 $44 groceries to get through the weekend, mostly fresh fruits & veggies, milk
1-12 Some spending today - winter clearance clothing $25 (3 men's long sleeve shirts, 2 women's sweaters, 1 women's sherpa hoodie, 1 boys fleece pants) $10 large bag coffee.

Should be no spend days until Tuesday when we'll need more groceries, probably, but if I can squeeze a few more days I will.

Doing great on gas consumption - both cars still have 3/4 tank, we'll get through until February easily. :)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 01:42:57 PM by Carrie »

pachnik

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #233 on: January 12, 2018, 12:19:32 PM »
This thread is definitely keeping my 'eating out' spending down.  December was kind of bad for buying a coffee on the way to work etc.  So I am glad for this re-set.


katscratch

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #234 on: January 12, 2018, 12:28:38 PM »
I've done well this week. Stir crazy stuck in house amazon window shopping last week but I didn't give in to the impulses.

I did end up spending after a bike ride last night when I couldn't find my drink ticket. Turns out my friend thought it was a beer coaster and had it under his glass ;)

clarkai

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #235 on: January 12, 2018, 12:38:51 PM »
We're still doing pretty good, though I'm waiting until the 14th to do the money update. One cool thing was that we had a meeting at a restaurant, and instead of ordering food, we shared one tea. Pretty good, considering past behavior. On the really awesome end of things, my husband is finally really on board with frugality. This is huge! He's been kinda nodding his head along, but now he's starting to take some initiative and act frugally on his own. Probably partially at least because of the frugalwoods challenge.

monstermonster

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #236 on: January 12, 2018, 01:19:06 PM »
Is anyone else not really finding UFJ to shift their habits much from normal? About the only thing that's changed is I don't go get coffee out (which I do about 3 times a month usually, totally $9-12). I guess I don't have a lot of fancy wiggle room in my budget so being uber frugal is just... not that much? I mainly buy rent, food, groceries, utilities, and my gym membership (on contract so I didn't stop cut it out, also I value it!).

Groceries for the month have come to $72.44, with $5 of that being coffee for home.

We don't store a lot of food at home so "eat down the pantry" took about 2 days. Honestly, we should've probably gone the opposite and stocked up, as we have no emergency food rations other than all our homemade freezer hot sauce and tomato sauce from the summer CSA.

I guess it's good that "uber frugal january" isn't much different than regular life.

Total spending for month as of 1/12: $787.29

Rent: $615
Household Goods: $14.26 (every 6 months TP restock, cleaning liquid)
Health Insurance: $37
Groceries: $72.44 ($4.98 coffee for home)
Extra Food/Drink $4.60 burrito during unexpected extra shift
Gym Membership $43.99


« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 01:28:37 PM by monstermonster »

appleseed

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #237 on: January 12, 2018, 01:30:25 PM »
I'm happy to say I went a whole week without a trip to coffee shop in town. Partially because it was too cold to go out, but I also think accountability to this thread is helping me break the habit.

I did buy dinner out on Wednesday that I was not planning (took my dad and kids out) but used my drink reward (Panera) for my dad and had water. He is always buying us meals, so it's good to treat occasionally.

Did a mystery lunch today at a fast causal restaurant.  If I factor in driving, I probably broke even after food costs for what it pays, but I took my two youngest out for a treat, and it was near a store I need to go to for class supplies anyways.

Personal capital has me at spending $315 this month less compared to this time in December, which is great. Groceries at $200 so far for month. Need to make my apples and local eggs run to orchard tomorrow morning, but that's usually under $20, and we can make what we have last until the following weekend.

A friend gave me a 5# I bag of potatoes - recipe recommendations? I love potato soup, but the rest of family not smitten. 

wordnerd

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #238 on: January 12, 2018, 01:38:16 PM »
Is anyone else not really finding UFJ to shift their habits much from normal? About the only thing that's changed is I don't go get coffee out (which I do about 3 times a month usually, totally $9-12). I guess I don't have a lot of fancy wiggle room in my budget so being uber frugal is just... not that much? I mainly buy rent, food, groceries, utilities, and my gym membership (on contract so I didn't stop cut it out, also I value it!).

Groceries for the month have come to $65, with $5 of that being coffee for home.

We don't store a lot of food at home so "eat down the pantry" took about 2 days. Honestly, we should've probably gone the opposite and stocked up, as we have no emergency food rations other than all our homemade freezer hot sauce and tomato sauce from the summer CSA.

I guess it's good that "uber frugal january" isn't much different than regular life.

I feel this a bit. My main change also has to do with coffees/lunches out. I think I should be able to cut eating out from $100 average to under $30 this month (obviously I could cut it to $0, but I have a couple of work lunches).

Other than that, I don't really feel like I'm making too many changes compared with an average month. It's definitely nice to feel frugal again after gift-buying in December. Generally, though, our budget is already pretty optimized. I go to the library, socialize with friends (taking homemade goodies), and hang out with my kid. I don't buy "stuff" for the most part. I guess wine would be an area that I could normally cut back on, but I'm pregnant anyway, so it's moot point. I could cancel Netflix, and I still may. I'm keeping my yoga membership. It's a steal, and I 100% value it.

This week, the only transaction I've made is a $25 medical expense. If you exclude that, I've had 5 no-spend days in a row, which doesn't feel that unusual.

katscratch

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #239 on: January 12, 2018, 02:21:22 PM »
I find the UFJ exercises from Mrs. Frugalwoods to be most helpful when I'm starting to feel more spendy on non-necessary items. It helped a lot last year when I was coming off of a few years of working with extremely consumeristic folks and starting to feel my mindset shift that direction.

This year I'm starting from a decent base of lean spending, so it's just refining what is truly valuable to me. Last year I cut out literally everything that was not 100% required to live life. This year I'm not really the Uber part of the challenge because I am ok with taking my kids out for brunch when my son is in town, or joining friends in a drink after a bike ride.

If my goal were to optimize saving money I'd be approaching this differently, I should note. 

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #240 on: January 12, 2018, 02:35:12 PM »
Our January has been less frugal on the food side (re-stocking the fridge after being gone + unplanned meal out). But, the other categories are going well.

I need to learn to let some things go on the food side. My husband is lovely, however, when we run out of something, he wants to immediately replace it. I like to use a replacement until our next planned store trip. (E.g., we ran out of cucumber for the kids lunches, but had carrots that could have been swapped). He really, really struggles with this. He went through a phase where he had no money for food, and running out clearly brings back challenging feelings. I need to just let this go. Oddly, it's almost always around fresh produce, which is good for us & a variety of options is good.

So great that you are understanding MaybeBabyMustache.

 I am similar to your fellow and really like to buy replacements before we run out--my partner like to buy things almost daily since we have a little shop right near to us.
He doesn't understand why I buy oatmeal before we have run out..or pumpkin seeds..or onions but I think I feel more comfortable knowing we have healthy options always available at home (to prevent us grabbing food out so much!)

I look at a packed fridge & immediately panic, think of all of the ways I'll need to be creative & start to use things before they go to waste. I grew up in a family where you DID NOT let food go to waste. To ensure that, you had a few (read: 2-3) fresh options on hand, and the rest was canned or frozen. My husband looks at a packed fridge, and feels secure & happy. Ahhh, life! Who knew there were so many emotions behind a packed fridge? ;-) Net/net, we have the money, don't actually waste much food (although, I do work at it), and fresh fruit & vegetables seem like an appropriate area of compromise.

Bee21

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #241 on: January 12, 2018, 03:05:53 PM »
The funny thing about this ufj for us is, that we have way more than usual eating out expenses. We rarely eat out, maybe once a month, it is always part of the entertainment budget. So it is a big treat. But it is school holidays and we are out and about more than usual. The birthday girl requested a sushi train lunch for her birthday (50) and yesterday they were treated to pancakes (2 for 1 with a coupon) and a really cool ghost story in a restaurant which is a converted church (and is on the local ghost trail). They loved it. The science centre with all the cool activities was free, i could barely drag them out in the end. And also I didn't have to pay a bus ticket for them as the driver just waved us through. Packed my coffee and water. We were walking almost 1000 steps yesterday in the blazing sun, so they totally deserved a special (27$) pancake lunch.

So yeah, i think we are usually more frugal than this, but I knew that I won't spend school hols with them in the park at the end of the street checking out the local flora and fauna. We are still within the 150 entertainment budget, so all good.

Next week I am taking them to the museum (free +travel costs), minigolf (15), a different library. We will also start a photobook with all the things we did so that they can show them to their friends when they return to school.

In other areas, we are doing well. No clothes shopping. Spent 236 on food in the past 2 weeks.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #242 on: January 12, 2018, 03:58:55 PM »
We're on track for our lowest spend month since we became a family of three.

westtoeast

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #243 on: January 12, 2018, 04:48:20 PM »
Things are going OK here, but not amazing. I'll need to stay consistent for the rest of the month because I haven't left myself much breathing room.

JAN BUDGET:
Transportation (Bus, Train, Uber) < $100 $63/$100-- This is not fantastic. I'll likely go over on this. I'm thinking I'll take some transportation money out of my Misc Expenses budget. I took Uber a few more times... this is my biggest weakness and I'm not making progress on changing my ways. I think I've been feeling burned out after ten years of public transportation. I need a face punch to get me back on track. Uber really stands out as wasteful hedonistic adaptation in what is otherwise a fairly frugal lifestyle. I'm trying to get back into running, so I might try to run home from work a few times a week, which will also help with transportation costs.
Groceries < $250 $180/$250-- ugh, a bit high here as well. I got a ride to Whole Foods and bought some food there. The stuff I bought should last a while though. I should be able to make my budget if I'm careful with meal planning for the last few weeks.
Medical < $40 (fixed) $20/$40
Fitness < $50 $0/$50-- haven't signed up for any classes yet.
Misc Expenses < $200 $104/$200-- Hmm. Some unneeded spending this week. Was invited out to an event at one of those arcade game bars where I purchased an overpriced drink (no cheap options) and some game tokens. Haven't played an arcade game in a decade so... worth it? Also purchased a Kindle book not available at the library. I also replaced some personal care items.
Clothing = $0 $0/$0-- put some things in an online cart... and then left them there! Thanks, 72 hour waiting period!
Eating Out = $0
$0/$0-- This is going to be broken on Monday morning. Was invited to brunch with a friend. I'll be able to spend less than $10 + train fare. Maybe I shouldn't have put $0 for this category because it doesn't give me any flexibility. I can't bring myself to not see a friend because I don't want to spend a few bucks. And honestly, I think the cost would be fairly similar if we went to a store and bought ingredients and cooked together.
TOTAL SPENDING GOAL: $645 $367/$645

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #244 on: January 12, 2018, 07:55:31 PM »
Day 12 - Success

Guys, I'm on vacation!  Wooo!  It feels great to get away. 

Spending Today: $23.50
  • $7 - Happy Hour Beers
  • $13.50 - Dinner
  • $3 - Tips at the Casino

There will probably be more tips at the casino since I'm going back out to do a little more gambling, but I'll add them to tomorrow's tally for simplicity's sake.  In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not counting my gambling losses as "spend" since I keep my gambling bankroll in a separate account and don't generally treat it as part of my budget.
 Currently I am up $13.50 <----- this will not last.

Monthly Spend: $557.71/$1,750

Luckyvik

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #245 on: January 12, 2018, 09:38:57 PM »
Ok, finally finished reading the whole thread!

I’m starting from 8th Jan as before that I was away on holidays.

I was buying a lot of coffee at work last year, I’m now aiming to not buy any coffee at work for the whole of January, we have a free coffee machine at work so I will drink that instead, not as nice as bought coffee but not terrible.

Mon 8th Jan - 4.99 protein shake for lunch
9th- No spend, made my own lunch
10th- No spend, ate leftovers for lunch, evening attended a market research group, they fed us plus bonus took some of the leftover food home in my lunch container.
11th- Met DH for lunch, our finances are combined but this came out of his ‘allowance’. Dinner was free leftovers from the market research +salad I made
12th- Did not work, wasn’t feeling well, no spend.
Sat 13th- Went out for breakfast- the plan is to eat out once a week only and breakfast is enjoyable + cheaper than dinner, $35 out of DH’s allowance.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

frugalkristen

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #246 on: January 13, 2018, 10:36:35 AM »
So far so good.  I'm still eating food on hand - with plenty left for the next few weeks.  And I've only spent money one day this month - $42.06 at Walmart on a couple marked down roasts.  This was actually a splurge but will come in handy for nice meals on holidays.  My boyfriend is not participating in this challenge (although he has hardly spent anything this month) so he did get a pizza and chicken wings to watch TV with my son (they are good friends - I was actually at a work event that night).  Not very frugal but we did get many meals out of it. 

It's actually very easy for me to have "no-spend" days.  The biggest challenge is finding stuff to do in the middle of winter.  I would love to get out of the house tomorrow and do something fun.  I've been googling like crazy trying to find something free!  :)

gaja

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #247 on: January 13, 2018, 12:13:11 PM »
Week 1: $10 (activities), $188 (food), $9 (transport).

Day 8: 0
Day 9: $23 (groceries)
Day 10: $8 (groceries) + $8 (pads and pain medication (=candy))
Day 11: $10 (groceries)
Day 12: $6 (bought lunch) + $6 (snacks) + $2 (groceries at factory outlet)
Day 13: $11 (candy) + $20 (groceries)

We've had a lot of small purchases the last week. On one hand, it is great that most days we've managed to only buy what we needed, on the other hand, all the small sums add up. Tomorrow should be a no spend day. Next week I'm really not sure. The girls and I will be at the school for deaf, and could in theory spend nothing all week, since we will get food there. But we do like to do something fun while we are in the big city. It is rather boring to just sit in the boarding school dormatory and look at the walls all week. We need to go to a art store one of the days, since one of DD10's birthday gifts was that she could spend $10 on coloring pencils. I think she is planning to get as many different shades of red as she can. DH is staying at home, and thinks the $20 in groceries we got today should be enough to last the week.

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #248 on: January 13, 2018, 07:03:10 PM »
Day 13: Semi-Success

I wasn't exactly UBER frugal.  But, it was decent for being on vacation.   Today, I spent $28.50.

That was:
$6 - Tips in the casino last night and today.
$8 - Lunch - yummy meatball sandwich
$14.50 - Beers while watching hockey/football at two different bars.

Monthly Spending to Date: $586.21/$1,750

NinetyFour

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #249 on: January 13, 2018, 08:35:49 PM »
I'm doing pretty well.  Like @allsummerlong said upthread, I was a bit of a spendypants in 2017, and this challenge is helping me rein in things.  In fact, I hope to keep expenses super low at least until I retire in 100 days, because I think I will need ALL THE MONEY in my retirement!  :)

Did a big grocery shop today--'twas a challenge to carry it all home!

Have resisted coffee shops.  Actually, I have given up caffeine, so.....

Haven't not driven my vehicle since I retrieved it after my house sitting gig over the holidays.  And I plan to not drive it much this month (my workplace is 1.5 miles from my house).  :)

Grocery:  $104.40 out of $150
Phone:  $17.61 (gotta love Ting!!)
Water:  $80.59 (includes sewer, trash, and recycling for my house and my rental)
Part of my house insurance:  $31
Wifi:  $65 (grrrrr....)
Estimated Quarterly Taxes:  $318
Taxi from the airport to my house after holiday trip:  $30
Thank you gift card for friend who babysat my vehicle while I was on holiday:  $50
Thank you gift card for friend who checked on my house while I was on holiday:  $50
Credit Card annual fee:  $75 (grrrrr...)
Charity:  $55

Keep up the great work, everyone!