Author Topic: Uber Frugal January  (Read 12075 times)

LindseyC

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #250 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 #251 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 #252 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 #253 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 #254 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 #255 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 #256 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 ;)
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clarkai

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #257 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 #258 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 »
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appleseed

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #259 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 #260 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.

allsummerlong

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #261 on: January 12, 2018, 01:56:44 PM »
Is anyone else not really finding UFJ to shift their habits much from normal?

I am finding that it is shifting me back to my normal habits from 2014-16. In 2017, we definitely had some lifestyle inflation creeping in, and this has been a really great opportunity to reset back to where we were at. I'm also doing the "Absolutely No Clothes Shopping in 2018" challenge which is also helping with this reset. So far, so good!

Today I am making a huge 4-litre batch of veggie & 4-bean chilli (using dried beans & some odds and ends from the fridge/freezer). I ended up having to buy a few groceries yesterday, so not a no-spend after all. Spent $10 on fresh fruits & veggies for 4 recipes: the chilli, spicy udon noodle stir-fry, roasted squash soup w/ coconut, and a huge salad bowl that I make regularly. I'll freeze the chilli and soup for work night meals. Also going to make & freeze some cornbread to go w/ the chilli.

Grocery spending is still WAY down from usual...  Helps having DH away for work with meals paid ;) I am realizing how simply & little I eat on my own and how much more DH eats (makes sense, he is bigger & more active!).

Spending so far:

Housing & Utilities:
$724 - Semi-Annual Property Tax *I technically have until early Feb to pay this, but I want to get it over with
$285 - Monthly strata fees
$71 - 2 cell phones
$11 - Netflix
$62 - Electricity bill for Nov/Dec
TOTAL: $1153 (1153/1425 CAD)

Everything Else:
$37 - Gas
$114 - Groceries
$40 - My personal (40/40) *Yikes, that got used up fast.
$23 - DH personal (23/40)
$5 - Misc household (batteries)
$10 - Charitable donation
TOTAL: $229 (229/915 CAD)

katscratch

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #262 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. 
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MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #263 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 #264 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 #265 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 #266 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 #267 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 #268 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.


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Malkynn

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #269 on: January 13, 2018, 06:42:04 AM »
I forgot to update here for awhile because I have an ongoing thread tracking my every penny spent on another smaller forum.

However, heres my update:
Weve spent a lot this month, but wasted very very little.
Most of our spending has been to stock up on things that were well priced after Christmas, and only things that we definitely would buy anyway.

DH had to spend $25 on a lunch out with his new boss and new team, and he had to take a $50 taxi, which really was unavoidable due to timing. Otherwise, we have spent minimally on groceries (<$60), bought 4 bottles of wine and 2 beers for when we had house guests, plus the in-stock laminate countertop for 20% off.

This weekend, we will be having an at-home get together with a dear friend who is also frugal. Hes back from an extended trip away and hes a total foodie. Instead of going out, we typically go to his place. We bring good wine and ingredients for a big vegetarian dish and he has a massive spread of cheeses, charcuterie, pts, olives, breads, nuts, etc.

We will spend all day together cooking, talking, drinking, etc.
Its not cheap, but its A LOT cheaper than going out for a similar quality experience.

Next weekend we have our construction friend back to install our new countertop (which I have waited years for), he will throw in a free faucet if he has one that fits, and he offered to do it for free, but there have been some complications, so DH has offered to pay him $100 for some of the added challenges that have popped up.

Overall, were doing very very well.
Im starting to realize just how passively the thought of buying things was always passing through my head. Its startling once I realized it. I was always good about not spending in general, but I hadnt no idea how frequently every day I was contemplating buying things.

This morning alone I contemplated buying one of those sunrise lights because the mornings here are soooo dark and without an alarm its hard to get up early when its dark. DH read about some kind of water proof sport socks and I immediately considered buying them for him for his winter running/biking commute, I then looked around the room and contemplated buying paint to change the colour.
Yeah...I apparently think about spending all the time.

frugalkristen

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #270 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 #271 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.
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eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #272 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 #273 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!
My Journal

Countdown to Freedom:  91 days; 12 weeks of classes; 36 days of classes

Luckyvik

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #274 on: January 14, 2018, 12:16:47 AM »
Jan 14th- Grocery shopping $76. Should last all week + may need to supplement with some fresh meat for me, saving heaps since DH became vegetarian, I’m still eating meat but a lot less


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chaskavitch

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #275 on: January 14, 2018, 08:44:48 AM »
I am failing big time.

I am TERRIBLE at saying no to my husband when it comes to food.  Terrible.  So we've had Chinese food when I was late coming home, pizza for dinner on his night in charge of dinner, tacos out yesterday after a hike, and he has Starbucks 3 days in a row because I didn't know we ran out of coffee and he neglected to buy more.  /sigh.

I did call Comcast after they raised our rates to negotiate back to our previous price, but they charged us for this month before it went through.  I also called my gym to pause my membership ($5/mo instead of $34), but again, they charged me for a whole month before the change was effective. 

Also I have no idea where my grocery money went this month.  We're way more than halfway through our budget. 

If nothing else, Uber Frugal January has made me slightly more ashamed of these things, lol.  I'll try to rein it in the rest of the month, but overall our budget is a sad panda for January.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #276 on: January 14, 2018, 10:33:02 AM »
2 weeks down, $334 spent. ($100 of that is car depreciation)

Looking to come in under $1500 for January ($550 being Rent Utility at the end of the month, and the $100 for car depreciation)

Actual cash outlay outside of rent should be $850!

"A small house can hold as much happiness as a big one." - Fortune Cookie

29 Months till FI - Stop by, or stay a while.....
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/fire-by-thirty-five-chronicles-36-months-till-sabbatical!/

westtoeast

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #277 on: January 14, 2018, 10:39:55 AM »
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!  :)

Would love to hear what ideas you come up with! We are also trying to figure out fun free/cheap things to do out of the house when it is about 12 degrees (4 with windchill). All the indoor activities seem to cost money... eating out, going to a movie, visiting a museum... 

ixtap

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #278 on: January 14, 2018, 10:51:05 AM »
Are there activities at libraries in your area?

Is there a community theater looking for an audience for dress rehearsal?

Museums often have a free day at some point.

Can you go to the mall for people watching without being tempted to spend?


LindseyC

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #279 on: January 14, 2018, 11:13:36 AM »
I am doing great this month. As of right now I am willing to bet my apartment size freezer will be empty by the end of the month so I can thaw it out and potentially leave it unplugged until my fridge freezer/pantry is cleaned out. My groceries for the month are still under $100 which is the monthly goal and I have tons of food left to eat up.

As mentioned previously, I earned an extra $100 and spent it on a few necessities. Outside of that I have spent:

Toiletries: $7
Gum: $3 (should have been $10 but they were on sale and I had a $4 coupon)
Eating out: $3.50
Paper towels: $6 (this will last me a year because I rarely use them)
Haircut: $26

The only other non-bill spending has been for groceries and gas and both are inline with the budget.

hal

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #280 on: January 14, 2018, 02:11:19 PM »
Glad to hear of others successes this month. So far, we are still on track. The only exception is that I went slightly over budget for my dining out category. My SO and I celebrated 5 years together, using a gift card to a nice restaurant. The bill came out bigger than the gift card balance, which was fine... I dont intend on purchasing fuel this month, so I moved some money around in my budget to account for a great meal.

wordnerd

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #281 on: January 14, 2018, 02:54:29 PM »
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!  :)

Would love to hear what ideas you come up with! We are also trying to figure out fun free/cheap things to do out of the house when it is about 12 degrees (4 with windchill). All the indoor activities seem to cost money... eating out, going to a movie, visiting a museum...

I live in the South, so my definition of cold is a little different, but it's a challenge here too. I've found having friends over/going over to others' is a great cold day activity. Today we went to a friend's to make "vision boards" for 2018 (basically, cutting up magazines to make collages for our hopes for the year; sounds hokey, but fun social time and pretty much free for host and guest). We've also done board game days.

Yesterday, we went to the library for over an hour, which is a pretty standard weekend activity for us. I have monthly yoga membership so there's no marginal cost to using it, and it's great for cold days.

allsummerlong

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #282 on: January 14, 2018, 04:55:00 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!  :)

So glad I wasn't the only one who let things slip a little in 2017! I know we can bring things back in line :)

Had a big grocery shop this weekend. That brings our totals up, but hey.. we need to eat and the pantry was getting BARE. Needed to restock some essentials/staples like oil, milk, root vegetables, tea, and pasta. BUT, I avoided the temptations of fancy cheese and wine. My two favourite temptations! ;)

Frugal fail: DH convinced me to eat out on Friday since he was so excited to be home from working away this week. Did keep it at $27. Could've been worse.

Housing & Utilities:
$724 - Semi-Annual Property Tax *I technically have until early Feb to pay this, but I want to get it over with
$285 - Monthly strata fees
$71 - 2 cell phones
$11 - Netflix
$62 - Electricity bill for Nov/Dec
$64 - Mortgage Interest
TOTAL: $1217 (1217/1425 CAD)

Everything Else:
$74 - Gas
$236 - Groceries
$27 - Restaurant
$40 - My personal (40/40)
$32 - DH personal (32/40)
$14 - Misc household (batteries, TP)
$10 - Charitable donation
$7 - Bday gift for young family member
TOTAL: $440 (440/915 CAD)

HappierAtHome

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #283 on: January 14, 2018, 05:15:16 PM »
My SO and I celebrated 5 years together, using a gift card to a nice restaurant.

Congratulations on your anniversary!!

Lichen

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #284 on: January 14, 2018, 07:07:48 PM »
We did it! We had a wonderful mini-vacation and we managed to stick to our goals! Our AirBnB hostess provided us with a selection of local coffee beans and a grinder, as well as oatmeal, granola, and yogurt cups. This took care of the three breakfasts! We hit up the grocery store right away and stocked up on a few easy items. We also brought trail mix from home.

Outside of the scheduled meetings I had at the university, we did a lot of hiking and beach strolling -- both free.  It rained almost the whole time, but we know what western WA is like in January so we dressed for the weather and would not be deterred. Rain and 40 F temps were a welcome change from the snow and freezing temps we left behind, anyway!

Bellingham is a hot bed of craft breweries, so we had to plan carefully to stay within our entertainment budget. We hit a different brewery for lunch and dinner each day. We'd split one of the cheaper appetizers and each get a different beer.  We also timed dinner so it fell within happy hour on Thurs and Friday. The only exception was Friday night, where we hit up a couple of breweries that don't serve food. We ate at the cottage before heading downtown to soak up the vibe and a couple of drinks each.

We're getting close to our grocery max budget, but there are only two more bread/milk trips left in January so we should be okay! We also maxed our entertainment budget, so we'll have to hold strong to our goals. Fortunately, this trip really cemented our primary goals of moving and my continuing education. I think we are now both firmly on the same page on what we are working toward!!!

Grocery 329.49/400
No spend 10/31 (Goal 23 no spend days)
Clothing/gifts 0/0
Entertainment 150.33/150 Oh noes! We went .33 cents over! I think I'll give us a pass on that one ;)

westtoeast

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #285 on: January 14, 2018, 07:25:13 PM »
Are there activities at libraries in your area?

Is there a community theater looking for an audience for dress rehearsal?

Museums often have a free day at some point.

Can you go to the mall for people watching without being tempted to spend?

Great ideas. We did each end up spending $7 to go to a matinee movie... but I also did some googling and found that multiple museums are free for the holiday tomorrow! Will try to get to one of those.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #286 on: January 14, 2018, 08:29:28 PM »
We did it! We had a wonderful mini-vacation and we managed to stick to our goals! Our AirBnB hostess provided us with a selection of local coffee beans and a grinder, as well as oatmeal, granola, and yogurt cups. This took care of the three breakfasts! We hit up the grocery store right away and stocked up on a few easy items. We also brought trail mix from home.

Outside of the scheduled meetings I had at the university, we did a lot of hiking and beach strolling -- both free.  It rained almost the whole time, but we know what western WA is like in January so we dressed for the weather and would not be deterred. Rain and 40 F temps were a welcome change from the snow and freezing temps we left behind, anyway!

Bellingham is a hot bed of craft breweries, so we had to plan carefully to stay within our entertainment budget. We hit a different brewery for lunch and dinner each day. We'd split one of the cheaper appetizers and each get a different beer.  We also timed dinner so it fell within happy hour on Thurs and Friday. The only exception was Friday night, where we hit up a couple of breweries that don't serve food. We ate at the cottage before heading downtown to soak up the vibe and a couple of drinks each.

We're getting close to our grocery max budget, but there are only two more bread/milk trips left in January so we should be okay! We also maxed our entertainment budget, so we'll have to hold strong to our goals. Fortunately, this trip really cemented our primary goals of moving and my continuing education. I think we are now both firmly on the same page on what we are working toward!!!

Grocery 329.49/400
No spend 10/31 (Goal 23 no spend days)
Clothing/gifts 0/0
Entertainment 150.33/150 Oh noes! We went .33 cents over! I think I'll give us a pass on that one ;)

Love Bellingham! We used to drive from Seattle to Vancouver often, and stop in Bellingham on the trip. Such a fun place. We're now in the Bay Area, and there's nowhere quite like it.

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #287 on: January 14, 2018, 11:12:42 PM »
Day 14: Success

Still on vacation, today I spent $15.25:
  • $2.25 on a bus trip - public transit FTW
  • $5 on a tip for dinner/drinks in the lounge
  • $8 on tips for the bartenders at the Video Poker bar where I watched the Steelers lose :-( and the Penguins win :-)

But, maybe don't ask how much I've lost gambling.  It could make a mustachian weep.

Monthly spending to date: $601.46/$1,750

Linda_Norway

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #288 on: January 15, 2018, 02:08:37 AM »
I also like to stay focussed on a monthly basis.

Goals for January:
1) Stay active. If possible, go cross country skiing. Or go hiking to work, winter not being an excuse.
2) Don't buy stuff at the cafeteria at work. This month I bought 3 things, one expensive cake thing, one lunch and one coffee bread. 3 unnecessary things too many.
3) Don't buy too many veggies in a row. Just eat up what you have before anything spoils. This usually goes well, but sometimes I loose focus and buy mindlessly.
4) Don't buy more stuff that I don't really need. This month I bought a couple of things (second hand) that I could have lived without.
5) I don't need new clothes.
6) Go to bed on time to be in better shape during the day. Not use half an hour extra on reading in bed.
7) Like December: no more drinking alcohol on normal weekdays, except for Friday. Also, max 1 bottle of wine per week (for the 2 of us).

1) Saturday and Sunday: cross country skiing. Today: Hiking to work. Before this is wasn't in good health to do too much.
2) Haven't bought anything at the cafetaria.
3) Doing well. We have a correct amount of veggies and don't let them spoil.
4) We haven't bought unnecessary stuff. DH received a gift card. He spent it on stuff we need. Including replacement of a CO2 cylinder that we use for beer brewing. The old (ancient) one had a crappy lock and the shop doesn't want to fill it up anymore.
5) No new clothes are bought. DH is sewing me a new jackets to replace an old one that is worn through. This is done mostly because he is very much in the mood to be sewing.
6) Trying to go to bed at decent times. Last evening I wanted to see a show on TV that started a little late and wasn't available online earlier. I went to bed straight after that. And still managed to get up at 6 am.
7) Still doing well. Not drinking on weekdays, other than Friday. And still drinking only 1 bottle of wine per weekend by the two of us, divided over Saturday and Sunday.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #289 on: January 15, 2018, 02:11:36 AM »
The is by the way not an ber frugal month. Last year, my cashback credit card let me choose what to get cashback on. I choose groceries the whole year and got 3% back on all my groceries. This month groceries were not an option. I had to choose between buying clothes, buying electronics and something else that I don't spend money on. I think I chose clothes, but I'm not buying anything.
I hope that from next month on, I will be able to choose groceries again. But maybe they discovered that it is too expensive for them...

Luckyvik

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #290 on: January 15, 2018, 04:21:47 AM »
Monday 15th No coffee bought, I have to take it easy on the free machine at work though, I’m drinking too much coffee.
Lunch was leftovers. Did buy roast chicken for dinner, half for dinner and half for tomorrow’s lunch and wedges plus made salad. So lunch win but dinner fail. The chicken is the same prize if I had bought from supermarket but the wedges were unnecessary.


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Wanttobehome

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #291 on: January 15, 2018, 06:01:13 AM »
8th to 15th Jan

 3 X no spend  days
100 groceries
50 for future day out 

Going on a trip later in the year paid for by family as a birthday present.

I have started to plan what I am doing / want to achieve over the year and asking presents that will help me achieve them.

I have received a new suitcase , for Christmas, for my trip later in the year.
This works out better than trying to think of something at the last minute when asked for ideas.

No other spending

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #292 on: January 15, 2018, 07:02:45 AM »
I am having trouble making any large changes to spending through the UFJ - I seem to have already done a lot of the assignments.  I joined MMM after years of low income to halt the lifestyle creep that had started so the last year and a half was finding my way back to frugality that I had been living with through by first being a SAHM and then Hub's job loss and career change.
I am using the UFJ to start conversations with Hubs.  It is reaffirming current actions or tipping us over the edge when we are discussing something.  So now that I think about it - even the opportunity to open a conversation about frugality is a good thing.
A good example occurred on Friday night. Hubs was burnt out from the week.  He called to say he was going to be able to come home soon and should we just go out for dinner.  I had been thinking about what would be a great dinner while I was still working.  - Chicken soup - really chunky and loaded with chicken and steaming warm.  The kids had already agreed that it would be edible.  So even though I hadn't even started making it or pulled the stock out of the freezer, I said I would make X and it would be ready at X time - could he wait for that?  It would be about the same time as restaurant food would hit the table, and we wouldn't have to go outside.  Would this have happened if I hadn't been doing UFJ.  Probably not.
Seeing the possibilities

frooglepoodle

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #293 on: January 15, 2018, 07:44:29 AM »
I haven't been checking in daily since I haven't felt like I've been doing a great job of being uber-frugal.

I've spent $330 on groceries this week, including some staples I was out of, which almost everything I need through the end of the week already purchased. My stretch goal for groceries was $400, which miiiiiiight be possible though I'm not sure. I'm trying to stock the freezer since I'll be out of town most of the first half of February and my husband doesn't really cook, so if I only reach my non-stretch goal of $450 I will be happy with that since it will mean February food spending will be very low!

I have also stuck to my aims of not buying any clothing or craft supplies. I've been working on projects using materials I already have!
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

Forum journal

haypug16

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #294 on: January 15, 2018, 09:31:01 AM »
Week 2 update;

Groceries = $200 ($164.58/200) - Not much left for the month but I know I wont need anything at least for this week and can probably get buy on very little for the last week and a half buy eating the food I already have in the house
Dining Out = $100 ($76.57/100) - I was really bad on Friday. I got sushi and bought DH and I really yummy smoothies on the spur of the moment without looking at where I was with this category. I have a dinner out planned for the end of the week so I'm going to see if I can use a gift card to help keep this category down
Entertainment = $50 ($35.57/50) I expect to hit this goal no problem
Clothes = $0 (modified after joining the No Clothes Shopping Challenge) ($0/0) so far so good
Personal & Household items = $10 - ($8/10)
Misc = $75 ($30/75)

Bee21

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #295 on: January 15, 2018, 03:18:48 PM »
So, last week of school hols, 2 birthdays (incl party) down,  the rest of the month should be fine.

We are buying school shoes today.

the wins so far:
grocery spending within budget
Birthday party spending (under 100 for 25 people, morning tea for kids, lunch for family. Can't believe how expensive the pinata can be damit)
No clothes shopping
1 book only (4 or 5 ? Can't remember) plus ordered 4 from the library (80 cents each, but I usually have them waived on library amnesty day)
Packed lunches for myself and husband (mind you that will end this week as he is working long days 200km away again and there is no way to store or keep it cool on site )
Childcare. (Friend offered to babysit and I got some annual leave to cover most of the days. We needed to pay only for 3 days)
Dentist (covered by insurance)
Free kids entertainment via the library and the science centre.

Fail
Unplanned trip (was a fantastic weekend, no hard feelings)
The book I bought (on impulse of course)
Entertainment and eating out are borderline (still within budget, but obvioysly not uberfrugal)
Husband bought some gazingus pins for his boat. (Like a toilet roll holder, cos I don't know how we managed without it in the past 9 years)

Mind you, some of the eating out is beneficial, as it somehow taught the kid that the food I make can be much better and they stopped pestering me for it ☺

Malkynn

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #296 on: January 15, 2018, 06:53:03 PM »
Finally managed a no spend day, thank god.
Weve actually been great at not spending on anything wastefully, but seeing that tally sky rocket is nauseating. Were at over $1800 in variable spending and were only halfway though the month!

Actual normal monthly spending is pretty good, food groceries are at ~$150 so far, its the large amounts of things that we stocked up on plus the new countertop that are tipping the scales.
We stocked up on a few months worth of: paper products, laundry detergent, protein powder, Vega One, hair dye, premium cat food, and cheap for Canada $6/bottle wine.

I noted that food spending is actually up so far, but thats because were doing a lot of cooking for people as entertaining instead of going out. So groceries are looking like an extra $40-50 per month if we entertain a lot, and so far weve had people over or brought food to someone elses house every weekend this month.

Ill just have to account for this when looking at grocery spending, but even then food spending has still been low as Ive been prioritizing particularly cheap recipes.

LindseyC

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #297 on: January 15, 2018, 06:58:43 PM »
I spent $17 on a date afternoon with my SO on Sunday and some friends. That brings my entertainment for the month to $23 total. I feel that's pretty reasonable, but I am definitely curbing it for the rest of the month as a small mini challenge to myself.

I ran my numbers and so far this month I'm at $156 of "extra" spending and to offset that I earned an extra $100. I am going to try to earn another $100 extra in the next two weeks just to cover all extras.

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #298 on: January 15, 2018, 11:19:25 PM »
Day 15: Success

Still on vacation - headed home tomorrow afternoon.  Spending today: $11

$3 on tip for dinner.
$8 on tips for bartenders.

Monthly spending to date: $647.59/$1,750

(Noticed an error in my spreadsheet, so prior month-to-date reports may have been under reporting spend.  I'm too lazy to go back and try to correct those.)

HappierAtHome

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #299 on: January 15, 2018, 11:21:53 PM »
Hosting mums' group tomorrow on (relatively) short notice. Thought about getting to the shops to buy treats, but instead I'm knocking together a few things from the pantry and it's not costing any extra :-)