Author Topic: Uber Frugal January  (Read 36260 times)

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #350 on: January 25, 2018, 11:01:56 PM »
Day 25: Success

No spend day!

Packed lunch and snacks for flight.  Resisted urge to order a craft beer on the flight.

Monthly Spending to Date: $698.53/$1,750



TartanTallulah

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #351 on: January 26, 2018, 04:16:47 AM »
I continue to fail, not because of frittering or extravagance (we've been very good about minimising casual spending) but because big-ticket items keep coming up, most recently the need to replace the laundry liquid we use for sports kit, which we buy in bulk and which then lasts more than a year. And my car insurance is due to be paid before the end of the month.

I think my conclusion is that January isn't a good month to try to be frugal and when I'm on a retirement income I should lay aside some savings between March and November to accommodate December, January and February being expensive months. At the moment it's not a big deal, it just means we can't save as much in these months, but it will need to be planned for in the future.

Lichen

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #352 on: January 26, 2018, 08:04:30 AM »

I think my conclusion is that January isn't a good month to try to be frugal and when I'm on a retirement income I should lay aside some savings between March and November to accommodate December, January and February being expensive months. At the moment it's not a big deal, it just means we can't save as much in these months, but it will need to be planned for in the future.

I think this right here proves that the exercise was worthwhile, even if it doesn't go as planned! :) Knowing when to be uber frugal is an important part of an FI equation!

I can be hard on myself, so I enjoy reading these reminders that a failure isn't a failure if you learn something or hone a skill in the process - thank you!

LindseyC

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #353 on: January 26, 2018, 11:51:56 AM »
Ok. Day 26, I went nuts today and bought $80 of groceries, which is $80 over my monthly budget. However stars aligned and I received back $42 in grocery points so my groceries were 50% off. I could not turn that down, even if I killed the budget.

February goal, zero spend on groceries because I now have $70 worth of grocery points which I will use on fresh items: veggies, bread, eggs and milk. Everything else I am sure I will be able to get from my pantry and freezer. This will be a crazy challenge for me.

Otherwise I killed January. I bought very little outside of groceries and I kept my entertainment budget crazy low. I know this weekend I won't spend because I am working some extra hours and in my free time painting my floors. I will be busy!

CrustyBadger

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #354 on: January 26, 2018, 12:22:13 PM »
I think January just has too many days in it!   (Isn't this month over yet??)

TartanTallulah

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #355 on: January 26, 2018, 12:45:34 PM »
I think January just has too many days in it!   (Isn't this month over yet??)

Yes! The way I'm paid, I get December's paycheck on the 14th and then don't get paid again till 20th January, so one month's pay has to last more than five weeks during what is, for us, the most expensive time of the year. And the 20th January paycheck is already almost down to what, in most other months, would be surplus income that could be saved.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #356 on: January 26, 2018, 01:12:04 PM »
I think January just has too many days in it!   (Isn't this month over yet??)

Yes! The way I'm paid, I get December's paycheck on the 14th and then don't get paid again till 20th January, so one month's pay has to last more than five weeks during what is, for us, the most expensive time of the year. And the 20th January paycheck is already almost down to what, in most other months, would be surplus income that could be saved.

I think you had a really good point about needing to planning for extra January expenses.

 If you have kids, another really pricey month seems to be May.  Every year I forget and then am surprised at all the requests from schools, clubs, scouts etc for money -- $10 here and $15 there for this and that; field trips and camping trips and end of year celebrations, and so on.   You don't have to pay for them all of course, and the kids can and should cover some out of spending money.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #357 on: January 26, 2018, 02:05:31 PM »
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!

Things are looking doable!

Projecting spending looks to be between $1300-1400 for January.

jkitiara

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #358 on: January 26, 2018, 03:40:01 PM »
I started my uber frugal journal mid-month, so I intend to continue to mid-February. Also, a lot of what I did is setting us up for future frugalness.

1. Convinced hubby to take a step down in car size (at least $2000 less in purchase price, plus less gas)
2. Switched health insurance plan to HSA qualified "bronze" level instead of the platinum one we were on ($400 a month difference plus tax savings!)
3. Cooked dinner at home every night since we started. I'd estimate we would get takeout 2x per week, so probably nearly $100 per week savings. We tend to order a lot of takeout to have leftovers.
4. Cooked bean based instead of meat based at least once a week. Probably saves $20 per week.
5. Dragged laundry to laundromat rather than sending it out. Kiddo was not thrilled but it saves probably $50 per month.
6. Changed girls night out from dinner and drinks to just drinks at cheap happy hour. Savings, at least $30-40
7. Instituted a buy-nothing policy for the duration. No idea how much savings. Probably $100+. My Amazon habit was getting out of control.
8. Canceled a magazine subscription, returned several items that I had purchased that I decided we could live without and that I still had receipts for, and planned grocery and utilities payments to maximize our cc points.

Future: As soon as the car is in my possession, I believe I will give Costco a try.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #359 on: January 26, 2018, 06:08:02 PM »
There are too many days in this month!!  I had no idea what amount to set as a spending goal and I am going to try to spend no more until Thursday Feb 1 rolls around.   But here are my numbers so far:

groceries:                                      734/650
non-groceries:                               77/50
takeout,restaurants                     102/50
misc./tax/fees                              84/50
gas/car                                     91/90
clothing, ed, entertainment         141/100
TOTAL                                 1153/990

Weekends are always the spendiest times for me.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #360 on: January 26, 2018, 06:10:13 PM »

Monthly Spending to Date: $698.53/$1,750

That's a really impressive amount you (haven't) spent compared with what you have budgeted.  Are you keeping money in reserve to make some end of month payment, or do you usually spend $1750 a month but by being super frugal you have spend less than half that?

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #361 on: January 26, 2018, 09:45:55 PM »
Day 26: Meh

Visiting my family.   Spend $84.17 on six bottles of wine ($56.46) and groceries ($27.71).   When I'm home when my family we tend to just take turns paying for things.  My sister paid for lunch.  My mom bought tickets to a theater show tomorrow.  I grabbed wine/groceries.  I went shopping with my dad --- and I'm starting to understand how they blow through SO MUCH money.   No thought for what's on sale/cheap.  Just buying whatever strikes his fancy.  $3.69 for 8 oz of asparagus -- sure.  $4.00 for cilantro paste (WTF?) -- sounds great.  We need bread?  Let's get this fancy $5 garlic sourdough loaf.

Monthly Spending-to-Date: $782.70/$1,750

gaja

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #362 on: January 27, 2018, 05:07:49 AM »
Week 1: $10 (activities), $188 (food), $9 (transport).
Week 2: $94 (groceries) + $21 (eating out)
Week 3: $80 (transport) + $206 (food) + $70 (clothes) + $125 (eating out) + $56 (activities)

Day 22: $0
Day 23: $144 (new passports)
Day 24: $8 (groceries)
Day 25: $6 (snacks)
Day 26: $27 (groceries)

I'm also starting to feel very finished with this month.

YellowCat

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #363 on: January 27, 2018, 05:09:12 AM »
So, nearing the end of the month and technically we're over budget. This is because I pre-paid our CSA (farm share) amount of $200 for the summer. The CSA runs for 15 weeks June - October, and also happens to be run by my amazing parents! So they bring us huge baskets of fresh veggies, some squashes, and herbs, and all for ~$13.33 / week. It's pretty great, just shows as something of an artificial inflation on this month's food spending. You're asked to pay in advance so that they can buy seeds, sprout them, etc. and get the planting happening without their having to shoulder the entire burden upfront.

So, if I take that $200 out and mentally re-allocate it to summer grocery bills, we're looking at $3258.64 / $3300 with only a few days left in the month. I'm quite happy with that! I'm honestly not planning on any grocery shopping this weekend, with husband on a business trip Monday - Thursday and then both of us leaving on a 2-week international vacation on Friday. I may need to buy some bananas, snacks for airplane, etc. but I'll evaluate that mid-week and spend accordingly. I still have nearly $10 in my grocery budget of $330, so a fair bit of wiggle room. I should mention that our international vacation should be quite cheap, as we'll be staying with husband's parents at their apartment with only a little bit of hotel and restaurant action in the middle. Flights were paid for last year. I'm gonna try to maintain this $3300 monthly spending goal next month as well, despite the trip.

We did go out for an early anniversary dinner last night, and it was lovely. We went to a local middle eastern restaurant where our massive dinner for 2 was $20.14 (after I applied my $3 off $20+ coupon :)). It was very good food and a nice time. I spoiled the evening somewhat by crashing on the couch by 9pm, but oh well. That's life after a long week at work.
________________________
Non-Housing:
- Food & Dining: $390.33
- 2018 CSA (farm share): $200
- Shopping & Gifts: $120.71 / $0 (not budgeted for, gifts for family during Feb trip)
- Husband haircut: $15
- Lyft: $10.39
- Gasoline: $97.76 / $100 (2 fill-ups per vehicle, about average for us)
- Legal: $725 (husband citizenship application)
- 401(k) quarterly fees: $18.50

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: $121.39

Total: $3458.64
Target: < $3300
Remaining: -$158.64
Remaining (without CSA): $41.36

CrustyBadger

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #364 on: January 27, 2018, 07:18:33 AM »
So, nearing the end of the month and technically we're over budget. This is because I pre-paid our CSA (farm share) amount of $200 for the summer. The CSA runs for 15 weeks June - October, and also happens to be run by my amazing parents! So they bring us huge baskets of fresh veggies, some squashes, and herbs, and all for ~$13.33 / week.

Wow, what a great price!!  Very jealous!

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #365 on: January 27, 2018, 08:08:08 AM »
The month is almost over for me, as I leave tomorrow for an international work trip, so won't have any remaining January personal expenses. I'd say, overall, we did well.

-We stuck to most of our budget line items.
-I made some sidehustle that we applied to our unfunded 2018 goals
-I really, really got creative in the kitchen, and did even a better job of reducing waste & using leftovers/making our own.

Areas where we can continue to improve:
-Kid spending is still a soft spot. In some cases, they have their own money. But, the kids prefer experiences over "things", which I love. So, they often want to go to an activity that costs $10-12/each. They do their own sidehustle, but that money comes from me anyway. :-) I'm happy that they rarely, rarely ask for things, so this is an okay tradeoff.
-We overspent buying prepared breakfast & lunch items for the kids. This is because we are getting them to become independent preparing their own meals, so took a few easier options while they are learning the ropes. This is a good tradeoff, and we can slowly cut this down. I made pretzel bites, muffins & granola bars for next week, as an example.
-The "house" spending is sort of a black hole. My husband buys things we "need" that I don't know about. A wifi booster so we can use the wifi throughout the house. (We both take calls from home occasionally). A pool part I didn't know we need, etc. The list goes on, but it's the lack of visibility & overall category size that's a problem.

So, overall, I'm pleased with our frugal month. We still have A LONG way to go, but made some good strides that are becoming habits.

hal

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #366 on: January 27, 2018, 08:41:08 AM »
I think I'm going to call this month "done" for now, as I usually budget for the upcoming month on the last weekend of the month. We are doing grocery shopping tomorrow (Sundays always), but that food will be for February, so I'm going to date it in YNAB as Feb. 1.

So, I can basically assess my success.

Based on my initial goals:
  • Food spending was $262/$300 budgeted -- original goal was <300 for all food (groceries, coffee beans, and date nights
  • Eat meat only two times or fewer per week -- met this goal!
  • Trim the fat with online subscriptions (domain names, music service, etc.) that just need to go. -- I did this in part, but there is still work to do, mostly with shifting ownership of an old website to a new administrator
  • Read everyday from books I already own or library books. I have a spendy book habit. -- met this goal

Overall, it was a good month. I am most proud, now that I am looking at my YNAB reports, that my "fun" money was kept to under $50... this category has been a challenge for me in the past.  Today, I also sent away $900 toward my student loan, thanks in part to January's frugality.

horsepoor

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #367 on: January 27, 2018, 09:27:22 AM »
I have mixed feelings about this month:
  • Food spending really high, but expected b/c we bought two entire lambs, but then I went out at spent $250 on mostly food yesterday, and about to go stock up on salmon on sale at Fred Meyer; shouldn't need to buy any meat in February!
  • Went out to eat twice - sushi lunch with a friend I hadn't seen in over a year, and pizza and beer to bribe DH to take a video of me riding my horse; also grabbed coffee out 2x ($2 apiece)
  • Spent some money to kit out my home office since I'm teleworking two days a week currently.  Not strictly necessary, but I'm hoping to telework at least 1x a week going forward and the extra screen and proper keyboard will allow me to be more productive; before teleworking meant working on my laptop, which limited the types of work I could do on WFH days.
  • Replaced some ~20 year old mugs and warped, flaking, rusty sheet pans - bought the replacements at TJMaxx for a reasonable price - I've now instituted a moratorium on buying any more kitchen equipment this year unless something I use regularly actually breaks
  • Didn't buy any clothes or random horse equipment or books
  • Food waste minimized; the fridge has been pretty much bare of fresh food by Friday each week this month, and I've been making good use of stored food from the garden

Lichen

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #368 on: January 27, 2018, 10:07:31 AM »

Overall, it was a good month. I am most proud, now that I am looking at my YNAB reports, that my "fun" money was kept to under $50... this category has been a challenge for me in the past.  Today, I also sent away $900 toward my student loan, thanks in part to January's frugality.

Awesome! I feel you on the fun money challenge!

LindseyC

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #369 on: January 27, 2018, 01:05:52 PM »
I just sold a chair I bought ten years ago for $10! I did paint and upholster it over the years with items I already had so some work was done. Sold it for $25.

Funnily enough I was just going to donate if but didn't want to make the effort (muscles sore, I have been painting) I listed it super low in the hopes someone would just make my life easier and pick it up. And someone did. A lovely lady I talked to for an hour who said she would have paid $100. I laughed and told her my story and we both ended up feeling we got a great deal.
 
I did carry it out to her car for her. She was 5', I'm 5'11" I think the chair weighed as much as she did. :)

That's $25 to put back into the January pot to bring down my overage in groceries! I have a few more things listed I can hopefully sell this weekend!

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #370 on: January 27, 2018, 03:39:00 PM »
I just sold a chair I bought ten years ago for $10! I did paint and upholster it over the years with items I already had so some work was done. Sold it for $25.

Funnily enough I was just going to donate if but didn't want to make the effort (muscles sore, I have been painting) I listed it super low in the hopes someone would just make my life easier and pick it up. And someone did. A lovely lady I talked to for an hour who said she would have paid $100. I laughed and told her my story and we both ended up feeling we got a great deal.
 
I did carry it out to her car for her. She was 5', I'm 5'11" I think the chair weighed as much as she did. :)

That's $25 to put back into the January pot to bring down my overage in groceries! I have a few more things listed I can hopefully sell this weekend!

That's a great story!

I just sold 4 kids brainteaser toys for $22. Feeling super excited about it. My son owes me $60, so really he wins, but it gets junk out of our house. :-)

Carrie

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #371 on: January 27, 2018, 05:37:35 PM »
We had a good month. I'm expecting February to be even better since we won't have two big bills (6 mo auto ins and hoa yearly dues). We ought to have about a 70% savings rate for February. So... I'm already looking forward to a frugal February challenge which will include zero spend on eating out/take out/fast food,  and homemade valentine's for all the kids' classmates. Dh & I don't exchange over valentine's day because we're not consumer suckas.

chaskavitch

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #372 on: January 28, 2018, 07:14:39 AM »
I've signed up for the Frugalwoods challenge, but I'll definitely set some specific goals. 

1) Reduce alcohol spending from $50/mo - husband is trying to eliminate his drinking at home, and I'd rather have cake anyhow.
2) Meal plan for the whole month to eliminate last-minute grocery spending and pizza purchases.
2.5) Make sure there are delicious leftovers for husband to have lunches every day, so he doesn't "have" to go out and get food.
3) Stop buying worthless snacks at the grocery store - no more random Talenti pints, or single-wrapped pieces of cornbread, or energy bars that look tasty.  Hopefully this will also lead to better health overall.
4) Don't spend any of my spontaneous money in January - I have more than enough books and clothes and shoes.
5) Sell at least 1 thing on Craigslist or to a pawn shop.

1) We haven't spent any of our alcohol budget!  DH has been awesome with this - he has occasionally gone out for a beer with a friend, but he hasn't actually gone to a liquor store and purchased anything. 
2) This mostly worked?  DH is responsible for dinners on Tuesday so I have time to go to crossfit after work - we ended up ordering Chinese one night, and pizza another, unfortunately.  I am doing better about trying new recipes to get more of a rotation going on, though.  I made a chicken pot pie yesterday and just doubled it, so I have another in the freezer :)  Other than the chicken, it's so dang cheap!  Made my own (kind of sad) pie crust, and filled it with root veggies, basically.
2.5) Only semi-successful.  He just likes to get out of the house, I guess.
3) I've almost made this one.  I bought two savory granola bars to bring to work to prevent me from buying pop tarts from the vending machine, and I've only eaten one of them.  Somehow it helps to know that they're there.  Also, I bought a pint of Talenti Caribbean Coconut ice cream yesterday - apparently it's discontinued, and it's my favorite flavor :(
4) Yeah, spent my spontaneous money on some lularoe leggings on Facebook.  I only spent $10 on myself, the other $25 was on leggings for my sister, but I still spent it on something I didn't NEED.
5) Success! I had a ring from an ex boyfriend from literally 15 years ago that I've refused to just give away, because it cost a few hundred dollars, and I convinced myself I ought to get SOMETHING out of the relationship.  Sold it for $50 to a very nice older lady who "just LOVES rings!"  She has plenty of silver ones, and now she's building up her gold ring collection, lol.  I'm glad someone will finally enjoy it.

We also had a guy come from terminex for mouse remediation at the request of the owner of the other side of our townhome :(  They have to do both sides at once, which makes sense since we share a wall, but man $500 is a lot :(

Overall, not super frugal, and we went over on groceries, but this month did help me pinpoint some problems, and I've eliminated a few recurring expenses which will help in the rest of the year. 

NinetyFour

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #373 on: January 28, 2018, 08:15:28 AM »
Feeling pretty good about this month, especially if I can make it through the next few days without having to make another grocery run.*

Here are the deets:

Grocery:

$149.85 (very happy it is under $150!!)


Gas, Electricity, Water/trash/sewer:

$193.68 (partly out of my control, as I pay for what my tenant uses, and he is most definitely not frugal)


Phone:

$17.61 (yay Ting!!  Also, I totally reined in my data usage, so yay me!!)


Wifi:

$64.99 (grrrr....but nothing I can do unless I want to go without it, which I don't)


CC Annual Fee:

$75 (mad at myself about this one, but I think I would have lost the airline points had I canceled the card)


Medical/Health:

$10 co-pay for Dermatologist appointment 2 days ago.  This was important as I wanted her to check several spots for possible cancer or pre-cancer.


Gifts:

$100 for friends who watched my camper and house while I was on holiday
$30 to a foundation


Federal Quarterly Tax:

$318


Partial House Insurance Payment:

$31


Mortgage Payment:

$1300 (this includes a bit extra that goes to principal; my tenant pays $1200 in rent, so that almost covers the actual mortgage payment), it comes to


Attorney Fee:

$643.75 (for estate documents)


Eating Out:

$20.80  (It was a friend's birthday.  Plus, he gave me a check for $165 for something else.)


Taxi:

$30 (to get home from airport after holiday trip)

That total is $2973.88.

If I subtract out things that were needs (estate documents) and things I had no choices about (taxes, insurance, mortgage), it comes down to $681.13.  I am SUPER happy with that number!!!


* If my college's Farm Stand is open on 1/31, I may buy more of their yummy spinach.  But I won't eat it until February, so I may chalk it up to February's grocery spending.  ;-)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 11:21:46 AM by NinetyFour »

monstermonster

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #374 on: January 28, 2018, 09:30:12 AM »
My uberfrugal month wasn't really any different than a normal month, so that's something? Things that I'd like to work on going forward:
  • Used online Dress shopping (not actually buying) as a stress response - I didn't realize I was doing this, but it's totally a new thing I've been doing. I don't actually like shopping very much, but I think it's a "no fail" activity for me to default to when I'm stressed out.
  • Buying snacks when I'm stressed out - a larger proportion of my grocery budget was snacks than I expected, probably related to having a book deadline and wanting snacks as a comfort item
  • Using not wanting to spend money as an excuse to put off things that I should do for my long-term goals: dance class mainly

westtoeast

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #375 on: January 28, 2018, 10:32:34 AM »
I'm calling the month over today. I agree with other posters... January has felt really long!

I'm feeling "meh" about my month.

Transportation: $34 over budget
Groceries: EXACTLY on budget-- not a cent to spare.
Doctor: $20 over budget-- nothing I could have done about this one
Gym: Under budget-- I joined a gym for $44 a month, but because I started halfway through the month they won't charge me for January
Misc Expenses: $99 over budget. Yikes. However, this could have been worse. This weekend was going to be expensive but almost all my plans were cancelled or altered so I only spent a bit on bus fare.
Overall Spending: $728, excluding rent, utilities and loan payments ($78 over budget)

Wins: No clothing spending, minimal eating out spending, no unneeded physical items purchases
Fails: Continued to use Uber, went for expensive drinks twice, bought a week of groceries at Whole Foods

I'm going to do the Feb challenge, but with just a few specific goals shaped from my fails this month.

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #376 on: January 28, 2018, 10:33:34 AM »
Day 27: Meh

I'm home visiting family.  We went to a musical yesterday (mom paid).  And then went to happy hour and dinner which I ended up picking up - $77.39.  When I'm visiting, I'm in vacation mode.  But, if I end up moving here in the next few months, I'm going to need to reset expectations.

Monthly Spending-to-Date: $863.09/$1,750

pachnik

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #377 on: January 28, 2018, 10:43:10 AM »
I agree that January is a long month.  It is also a crappy weather month in the PNW - lots of rain and wind this year but fortunately no snow. 

I came in at $1663.00 so far with a few days to go.  December was $2,300.00 so it is a significant difference.  I wanted to get my eating out food spending down and it was about half of December's.  We did end up booking a cruise for the fall so not uber frugal.

wordnerd

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #378 on: January 28, 2018, 10:54:08 AM »
Mrs. FW's post today, coupled with a conversation with a forum friend yesterday, is making me consider whether my uber-frugal may be too frugal for me (at least long-term). Once I focus on cutting expenses, I can have trouble spending money on anything. Mrs. FW's email talked abut using substitution to live luxuriously. I think my issue is that I've already done a lot of substituting in my normal life, so cutting back further means not doing something at all.

As an example, I like going out to breakfast with my kid. We had kinda fallen into a routine of going to Dunkin' Donuts on the weekends, and some of that was mindless, so I tried to completely stop going. But, Dunkin' already was a substitution of a real meal out, which we pretty much never do. Today, I really wanted to go to take him out; it was raining, the library was closed, and a donut sounded amazing. We went, had a fun time people watching, and ended up spending $7 (bringing our eating out total for the month to $18). $7 is a negligible amount given our financial situation (and I valued the experience that I purchased with it), but I felt guilty about spending the money rather than eating at home and figuring out something free to do.

I don't know that this a healthy way to approach spending. I may need to figure out some balance before I FIRE, or I might end up feeling deprived for no good reason.

gaja

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #379 on: January 28, 2018, 02:09:17 PM »
Week 1: $10 (activities), $188 (food), $9 (transport).
Week 2: $94 (groceries) + $21 (eating out)
Week 3: $80 (transport) + $206 (food) + $70 (clothes) + $125 (eating out) + $56 (activities)

Day 22: $0
Day 23: $144 (new passports)
Day 24: $8 (groceries)
Day 25: $6 (snacks)
Day 26: $27 (groceries)
Day 27: $30 (groceries) + $15 (lørdagsgodt/candy)
Day 28: $380 (tickets for kids’ flight to visit grandparents)

We send the kids by plane to visit their grandparents a few times a year. It costs a bit more when they travel alone, but is very much worth it. Couldn’t hold of buying the tickets any longer, if we wanted decent prices.

The taxes on candy, soda, and other sugary products, have increased by 80%. Since the shops have run out of discounted Christmas chocolates, we really start seeing the price hike now.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 03:17:41 PM by gaja »

Rosy

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #380 on: January 28, 2018, 02:16:09 PM »
Came in under budget and even more important, met my savings goals.
Best of all - even though it was really hard to do - I did not spend any more money on jewelry/gemstones. Hoping that in three days I can say - I did it!
Then there are only 11 more months to go to stay on track:)

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #381 on: January 28, 2018, 05:40:07 PM »
Day 28: Success

I paid all of my housing expenses today, so spent $651.99:
  • $537.50 on Rent
  • $49.49 on Gas
  • $15 on Internet
  • $50 on Cell

I share a four bedroom house in a swanky DC suburb with three others, which keeps my rent and utility reasonable even in a HCOL area.  That's the highest our gas bill has ever been - understandable given how cold it's been and how old/leaky our house is, but hopefully it will be more reasonable moving forward.  I also pay a bit more of than my share of a phone plan that I share with my parents and my grandmother. 

Monthly Spending-to-Date: $1,515.08 / $1,750

Lichen

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #382 on: January 28, 2018, 06:23:26 PM »
I think we should be good with no more spending for the month, but I'm still planning a final update on 1/31.

We did go out on a cheap date last night, which bumped our entertainment overage up a bit more. Not as good as I would have liked, but such a vast improvement! Also purchased a few dollars worth of bulk bin spices, so we've pretty much maxed out the grocery budget for January.

Grocery 398.76/400
No spend 21/31 (Goal 23 no spend days)
Clothing/gifts 0/0
Entertainment 169.33/150

CrustyBadger

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #383 on: January 29, 2018, 04:27:05 PM »
This was NOT an Uber Frugal January for me, whatsoever, but I'm still trying to hang in there till the end of the month without shopping for anything not vitally necessary (despite my failures!)

My son asked me a week or so ago if he could have a shoe rack for his closet.  Since I"m not buying anything, I've been halfheartedly looking around for ideas as to how to make one from found objects.  (When I was in college, we all did the bricks + wooden shelves thing for instance...)

So I was thrilled tonight to see someone in my neighborhood posted they had a shoe rack to give away!  Just zipped over there around the corner and picked it up -- it's really nice!

HappierAtHome

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #384 on: January 29, 2018, 04:37:26 PM »
My son asked me a week or so ago if he could have a shoe rack for his closet.  Since I"m not buying anything, I've been halfheartedly looking around for ideas as to how to make one from found objects.  (When I was in college, we all did the bricks + wooden shelves thing for instance...)

So I was thrilled tonight to see someone in my neighborhood posted they had a shoe rack to give away!  Just zipped over there around the corner and picked it up -- it's really nice!

Perfect timing! I love it!

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #385 on: January 29, 2018, 09:19:18 PM »
Day 29: Success.

No Spend Day!

Monthly Spending-to-Date: $1,515.08 / $1,750

Linda_Norway

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #386 on: January 30, 2018, 01:25:34 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).

Making up a status at the end of the month:
1) Doing well. I ski on all my days off and I have walked to work once or twice a week in addition (15 km a day). That is 3-4 good workouts a week. I could probably do even better, but it is good enough for the moment.
2) So far so good, haven't bought anything at the cafeteria. Got a waffle for free once, and a cup of tomato soup for free.
3) I haven't been buying too many veggies. I try to shop a bit more often and only plan a few days ahead, so that it is easier to adjust the amount of veggies. I am also getting better at counting a certain amount of veggies as food for 2 meals.
4) I don't think I bought anything unnecessary, or anything at all. I almost considered buying a new winter coat on sale. But as my current 6 or so year old one still works, and looked like a nicer coat than the one on sale, I changed my mind.
5) No new clothes have been bought.
6) I am going to bed at decent times on weekdays. Often I bring along a book, but when I notice I am sleepy, I just turn off the light and go to sleep. Now I often use my earbuds preventively and I notice that it makes me sleep deeper.
7) I was doing so well with the alcohol rule for many weeks. But I became week yesterday evening and had a glass of homemade beer on a Monday night. I didn't even taste great, which was not about the beer, but just about my mood. I could have done without, but I felt a bit awkward and thought I deserved a nice beer.

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #387 on: January 30, 2018, 05:45:36 PM »
Day 30: Success

Spent $2.47 at grocery store (Turkey Pepperoni (6oz), Organic Salad Greens (5 oz), Soup, Green Peppers (2), Cucumber, Onion).  Will get $.25 back from rebate app.

Redeemed $7.98 in Paypal from a rebate app.

Monthly Spending-to-Date: $1509.57

haypug16

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #388 on: January 31, 2018, 01:26:01 PM »
Groceries = $200 ($204.65/200) - Close enough for me!
Dining Out = $100 ($134.27/100) Not terrible but could have done better
Entertainment = $50 ($47.56/50) - Check
Clothes = $0 (modified after joining the No Clothes Shopping Challenge) ($0/0) Check
Personal & Household items = $10 - ($8/10)  Check
Misc = $75 ($166.60/75) - Terrible! If I didn't have that Amazon Prime membership I would have been OK.

On to next month :)

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #389 on: January 31, 2018, 06:02:35 PM »
Day 31: Success

Spent $4.71 at the grocery store on Milk (32 oz), Turkey Sausage (13 oz), Broccoli (.7 lb), and Sesame Sauce x 2.  (Will get back $4.50 from rebate app.)

Overall, the month was a success - it was more frugal than my normal, but I still had a lot of fun.

Total January Spending: $1,514.92.   Significantly under my $1,750 goal, but just over my $1,500.00 stretch goal.
  • $668.16 on housing and utilities
  • $78.05 on groceries and alcohol (non-travel related)
  • $9.95 on entertainment
  • $364.91 on health care (year's supply of contacts)
  • $20 on transportation
  • $5.05 on shopping (personal care, household goods, misc)
  • $149.99 on travel (five day trip to Atlantic City)
  • $218.17 on family (this category accounts for all spending during two trips to visit my family --- we split expenses funny, so I break this out so it doesn't mess up my projections in other categories


I'm going to miss the accountability of this thread.  Hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and prosperous February!

Lichen

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #390 on: January 31, 2018, 09:23:06 PM »
Final check-in for January!

Grocery 398.76/400
No spend 24/31 (Goal 23 no spend days)
Clothing/gifts 0/0
Entertainment 169.33/150

I'm really, really, really happy with how this month went! We're trying to internalize the lessons, as well. We've already planned to entertain at home twice this month, thus negating any urge to go out with friends. Public accountability really helps me overcome temptation, so I made a point of checking in on the Frugal February thread already, as well!

Here's to all the Uber Frugalers -- thanks for sharing your journeys and inspiring me this month!

jkitiara

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #391 on: January 31, 2018, 09:43:52 PM »
I don't know that this a healthy way to approach spending. I may need to figure out some balance before I FIRE, or I might end up feeling deprived for no good reason.
@wordnerd this is a really great thing to realize. Mustachianism is supposed to make you feel badass, not nervous and guilty! When you set up your spending to align with your values you don't have to sweat $7.

YellowCat

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #392 on: January 31, 2018, 09:50:44 PM »
I'm calling it - we're done. Total spent for the month is $3617.83. Quite a bit higher than my ambitious $3300 target, but nearly $600 less than last year's average of $4203 per month. Also I got husband on board for a Frugal February, at least when we get back from our long trip on the 16th. So that's something...Overall I'm pleased with how the month went, though I see some low hanging fruit / room for improvement.
________________________
Non-Housing:
- Food & Dining: $400.66
- 2018 CSA (farm share): $200
- Shopping & Gifts: $131.18 / $0 (not budgeted for, gifts for family during Feb trip)
- Husband haircut: $15
- Husband basketball ticket: $112 (this is basically unheard of: neither of us are sports fans, but he went with work people while on a business trip)
- Lyft: $10.39
- Gasoline: $97.76 / $100 (2 fill-ups per vehicle, about average for us. I did just submit mileage for January work trips which will yield an extra $83.40 in my February paycheck.)
- Legal: $725 (husband citizenship application)
- 401(k) quarterly fees: $18.50

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: $147.78

Total: $3617.83

wordnerd

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #393 on: February 03, 2018, 07:14:48 AM »
Tallied my January expenses, and I'm pretty happy with the result. We had some "essential" expenses that we could have deferred but would've spent eventually anyway: $107 on brakes, $80 on two new car seats for the two year old (new baby will get his car seats), and $90 stocking up on diapers.

Even with that, we had a 87% savings rate. Dining out was $24 (2017 monthly average was $107), and I completely abstained from the work cafeteria (goal achieved!). Other wins: cut my own hair and am loving it and a good amount of frugal socializing. I've also set up free/frugal social engagements for every weekend in February, so I'm excited about that.