Author Topic: Ultra frugal July!  (Read 4992 times)

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #50 on: July 09, 2017, 11:29:37 AM »

Nice planning :-) I was thinking, "Where do you find lots of free events?"

London makes it easy to find loads of events, lots of tech meetups do drinks and pizza etc. Also went to the YHA AGM yesterday, as I was interested in how it works and how trustees are elected, and they feed you lunch as a nice bonus :).

Izybat

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #51 on: July 09, 2017, 02:36:46 PM »
We went grocery shopping today, and I was very pleased with our $55 food bill ($10 of which was for my husband's "must have" monsters). When you compare that to our usual $100-150, it's awesome. Operation clean out the pantry and freezer is in full swing, and leftovers will be eaten many times this week.

TX2RVA

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #52 on: July 09, 2017, 04:32:51 PM »
I'm doing well so far (I think).  I did buy a refurbished Garmin 230 ($133) as a birthday present and reward for losing 18 pounds since the beginning of the year.  I'm down to 19.5% bf (I'm a female) my goal is 16%.  I just want to have a six pack even if I don't maintain it. I'm 38 now and I have something to prove to myself.  Just because I'm nearing "middle age" things don't have to fall apart!

akzidenz

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #53 on: July 10, 2017, 03:48:30 PM »
I "saved" $114 today by canceling an order for something!

So my greatest barrier to a more frugal life is that I'm immersed in a culture of consumption. I have a lot of expensive hobbies that I'm slowly pulling back on and trying to find ways to enjoy more frugally, but it's so easy to read forum posts talking about cool new things and constantly feel tempted to buy them. A month ago, a lot of blogs I follow were talking about this Kickstarter project for a very beautiful-looking desk organizer. I backed it on an impulse because it looked so cool.

Today I thought—wait. I don't need this! My desk has drawers and I always prefer to put pens and pencils in the drawer at the end of the day! I don't plug in my phone at my desk! Why was I so excited to spend $114 on this?

I found a blog post once that suggested listing out, for any desired purchase, the following things:
  • What I want — in this case, a fancy desk organizer.
  • Why I want it — it looks aspirationally beautiful, like it belongs in the home of a Scandinavian "creative" with their shit together and a perfect Instagrammable life.
  • Problem I think it will solve — my messy desk and feelings of lifestyle envy.
  • Feelings I think it will address — it will keep me organized and make me look cool.
  • What I really want — to have a serenely organized home where I feel I have a place for everything. Really, I already feel I own Too Many Things, so perhaps what I really want out of an organized home is to have fewer things that aren't useful to me.
Writing this all out made me realize: if I buy this, it is not going to serve the purpose I want it to. Also, it's $114 when I could instead clean up my desk at the end of the day. A novel concept!

So I canceled my "backing" of the project (it's got 3 days to go and has been tremendously popular, so I don't feel like I'm pulling the rug out from a tiny indie maker who was relying on my backing to do the project). And hopefully this will make it a bit easier, next time, to not buy things I don't need.

recklesslysober

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2017, 04:41:31 PM »
I "saved" $114 today by canceling an order for something!

So my greatest barrier to a more frugal life is that I'm immersed in a culture of consumption. I have a lot of expensive hobbies that I'm slowly pulling back on and trying to find ways to enjoy more frugally, but it's so easy to read forum posts talking about cool new things and constantly feel tempted to buy them. A month ago, a lot of blogs I follow were talking about this Kickstarter project for a very beautiful-looking desk organizer. I backed it on an impulse because it looked so cool.

Today I thought—wait. I don't need this! My desk has drawers and I always prefer to put pens and pencils in the drawer at the end of the day! I don't plug in my phone at my desk! Why was I so excited to spend $114 on this?

I found a blog post once that suggested listing out, for any desired purchase, the following things:
  • What I want — in this case, a fancy desk organizer.
  • Why I want it — it looks aspirationally beautiful, like it belongs in the home of a Scandinavian "creative" with their shit together and a perfect Instagrammable life.
  • Problem I think it will solve — my messy desk and feelings of lifestyle envy.
  • Feelings I think it will address — it will keep me organized and make me look cool.
  • What I really want — to have a serenely organized home where I feel I have a place for everything. Really, I already feel I own Too Many Things, so perhaps what I really want out of an organized home is to have fewer things that aren't useful to me.
Writing this all out made me realize: if I buy this, it is not going to serve the purpose I want it to. Also, it's $114 when I could instead clean up my desk at the end of the day. A novel concept!

So I canceled my "backing" of the project (it's got 3 days to go and has been tremendously popular, so I don't feel like I'm pulling the rug out from a tiny indie maker who was relying on my backing to do the project). And hopefully this will make it a bit easier, next time, to not buy things I don't need.

I struggle with my aspirational self as well. Good for you for recognizing that you can meet your wants in a different way!

Something that resonated with me was developing the ability to truly appreciate an item without having to own it.

westtoeast

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #55 on: July 11, 2017, 11:34:30 AM »
Trying to reconcile taking advantage of deals with reducing my spend this month. Today is a big day of sales (I'm thinking other stores are trying to compete with Amazon Prime Day).

Some basic stuff I will always need to replace at some point is on sale (vitamins, supplements, face cream, my favorite sneakers that I'll undoubtedly need to replace at the end of summer, the blouses I use in my capsule).

So do I buy now knowing I'll save in the long run? Financially it's the right choice. But I hate spending so much at once and participating in a day of national consumption feels icky.

Hmmm.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Izybat

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #56 on: July 11, 2017, 05:02:23 PM »
I'm having a similar conundrum. I want to try to DIY my Christmas presents this year (which would require buying some supplies), and I know it would be better to get an earlier start so I have time do to what I want and not cheat at the last minute and buy presents. However,  Uber Frugal Month. Decisions, decisions.

Fire2025

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #57 on: July 11, 2017, 05:48:28 PM »
I'm having a similar conundrum. I want to try to DIY my Christmas presents this year (which would require buying some supplies), and I know it would be better to get an earlier start so I have time do to what I want and not cheat at the last minute and buy presents. However,  Uber Frugal Month. Decisions, decisions.

Can you use this opportunity to use up the crafting stache?  I'm going to try to do all the rest of my crafting from the stache this year.  Fingers Crossed.

Izybat

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #58 on: July 11, 2017, 05:52:19 PM »
I'm having a similar conundrum. I want to try to DIY my Christmas presents this year (which would require buying some supplies), and I know it would be better to get an earlier start so I have time do to what I want and not cheat at the last minute and buy presents. However,  Uber Frugal Month. Decisions, decisions.

Can you use this opportunity to use up the crafting stache?  I'm going to try to do all the rest of my crafting from the stache this year.  Fingers Crossed.
On some of my ideas, yes. However, I also decluttered my house last summer and got rid of a bunch of stuff I forgot I even had. I'll have to see what I have left.

Fire2025

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #59 on: July 11, 2017, 06:27:30 PM »
I'm having a similar conundrum. I want to try to DIY my Christmas presents this year (which would require buying some supplies), and I know it would be better to get an earlier start so I have time do to what I want and not cheat at the last minute and buy presents. However,  Uber Frugal Month. Decisions, decisions.

Can you use this opportunity to use up the crafting stache?  I'm going to try to do all the rest of my crafting from the stache this year.  Fingers Crossed.
On some of my ideas, yes. However, I also decluttered my house last summer and got rid of a bunch of stuff I forgot I even had. I'll have to see what I have left.

Well what do you need?  I have a ton of stache.  Happy to create a Buy Nothing MMM forum group!!!!!!!!!  HAHAHAHA!!!!!

westtoeast

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #60 on: July 12, 2017, 04:50:08 AM »
I'm having a similar conundrum. I want to try to DIY my Christmas presents this year (which would require buying some supplies), and I know it would be better to get an earlier start so I have time do to what I want and not cheat at the last minute and buy presents. However,  Uber Frugal Month. Decisions, decisions.

Can you use this opportunity to use up the crafting stache?  I'm going to try to do all the rest of my crafting from the stache this year.  Fingers Crossed.
On some of my ideas, yes. However, I also decluttered my house last summer and got rid of a bunch of stuff I forgot I even had. I'll have to see what I have left.

Well what do you need?  I have a ton of stache.  Happy to create a Buy Nothing MMM forum group!!!!!!!!!  HAHAHAHA!!!!!

Oh if only! I'm actually the new admin for my Buy Nothing group so I've been spending a bunch of time on the page. It's amazing.

I think it's OK to purchase any items that you can't find around the house, on Buy Nothing, or at Goodwill right now during the Ultra Frugal July. It's about mindful spending and it sounds like you are doing that. Also, if you'll be buying the items no matter what you are just delaying spending and getting behind on gift making just to satisfy a mental desire to "achieve the month."

I decided to purchase the sale items I needed, since deferring would just end up costing more. However, I'm spreading out the purchases over a few months on my Mint account. That way, instead of going way over budget this month but getting a free pass on spending next month, I am actually limiting my spending a bit more over the next three months. So I'm manufacturing what would have happened if I bought the items naturally as the need arose over July, August and Sept. Does that make sense?

I also completed my capsule wardrobe! Its final form consists of crewneck sweaters (navy, maroon or dark green), a few long cardigans (navy, black) collared blouses to be worn under sweaters or alone (fun prints that compliment sweater colors), two stretchy work skirts, two stretchy work pants, 2 skinny jeans, a black sheath dress (wear with scarf, over blouses, under sweaters), tall boots, ankle boots, black flats and boat shoes. Now I need to figure out whether to get rid of the random clothing items that don't fit in well, like unique funky dresses I bought at thrift stores years ago. My plan going forward is to not intentionally buy anything new for the capsule, but if something that fits perfectly comes across my path (Buy Nothing or Goodwill) I'll grab it.

Izybat

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #61 on: July 12, 2017, 03:42:52 PM »
So I have to admit, being on an "uber frugal month" combined with a piece of wisdom I found on the Frugalwoods site has really helped me say no to several purchases this week (mostly eating out). The quote I found from their site that helped was basically (paraphrasing): Spending money on whatever it is that you use to cope with not liking your job is ensuring that you'll have to work at that job even longer.  Gotta say, this was pretty eye opening. I've heard similar stuff before (in "Your money or Your Life" it's all about trading off your life energy for things), but for some reason this one really sunk in. I really dislike my job and would love to be able to leave it immediately, but I'm nowhere near FIRE. Being frugal can only help that cause.

Thanks for all the thoughts about the Christmas crafts. I haven't fully decided what to make yet, so I don't know what supplies I'll need, but I'm hoping to get an better idea soon.

Izybat

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #62 on: July 13, 2017, 04:40:01 PM »
I'm very proud of myself today. I decided (after avoiding it forever) that I was finally going to make a price book. I wanted a small spiral bound notebook to put it in. I had two choices, Walmart or Office Depot. The notebook was probably going to be more expensive at Office Depot, but Walmart is... temptation central. I was going after work, and I knew I would be hungry, and Walmart sells food (Office Depot doesn't). Ultimately, I went to Walmart, and lo and behold, school supplies are out. Now office supplies are a weakness of mine (no idea why really, I just love them). However, I managed to get into Walmart, grab exactly the notebook that I wanted, and get out without making any other purchases. $2.13 total. I'll take it!

Venera

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #63 on: July 15, 2017, 03:57:05 AM »
Without realising that UFC July was coming up, I inadvertently completed an uber frugal June on my own, and am continuing with July. Unfortunately that means that eating out of the pantry is no longer an option. I have reviewed all my recurring expenses and renegotiated and cancelled a whole lot.

Like with decluttering, I find that I can do culling in waves. At first I go for the low hanging fruit and am blind to other fat I can cut, but on the second and third wave, more areas of excess become visible.

I am enjoying the re-calibration of my spending and the lowering of my perceived threshold of "too much". Coincidentally, Frugalwoods published a blog post on this very topic today.

TartanTallulah

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #64 on: July 19, 2017, 04:10:30 AM »
Payday tomorrow, so it'll be the end of my July challenge. I failed. But the failure was due to necessities (car services, a set of tyres, gallons of creosote to try to prolong the life of the garden fence, two young adult offspring with birthdays) rather than to frivolous splurging.

I need to keep my eye on the big picture, the 20-month picture, and not be distracted by short term challenges.

My next rational plan is to leave only retirement budget + the £300 a month that goes out to DH's SIPP and my S&S ISA in the checking account from each month's pay and see how well we manage to live off that. If I've judged my FIRE date and expenses correctly, we'll be able to save enough each month for vacations. If not, we'll have the vacations and I'll plan for OMY, because I know from experience that not getting a dose or two of sunshine in the winter is not an option.



Izybat

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #65 on: July 19, 2017, 03:51:09 PM »
I started the challenge late (on the 6th, I think), and my goal was no more eating out, no more alcohol purchases, and lower the grocery bill by eating what was in my house. I have not eaten out once in the these two weeks, a record for me I think. I have also done really, really well at working through our pantry and freezer, including forcing myself to eat leftovers that I would have normally thrown out. I did break down on the alcohol part and buy some, but hopefully I can keep it just to that. Overall, I'd say I'm doing pretty well.

SAfAmBrit

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #66 on: July 20, 2017, 01:43:49 AM »
Moving from the June challenge - it is lonely there! I am on my own for 6 weeks. I am 3 weeks in and the challenge is to spend less than $50 per week on gas, food and personal spend. I am eating down the pantry, cleaning, decluttering...... If I succeed I put $100 in savings to show my family it can be done. So far so good - I have spent $74.67 over 3 weeks - never over $50 per week. Here is to week 4.
Another good week - $3.87. I had run out of my tea - (my SD has black tea and I am struggling with it) so I bought my tea and picked up 2 bread rolls. Total over 4 weeks $78.47. Food is getting a little challenging but it is achievable.
Week 5 my spend was $32.11 - I went to winco and bought some bulk product. $106 total on 5 week spend. I am in my final week - SO back on Saturday. I think I have done extremely well. Electricity is $154 (summer kills the electric) was $215 last year - I wanted to cut it by 1/4 and have 1 more day to go so this should be achievable too.

Final numbers on Sunday.

SAfAmBrit

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #67 on: July 26, 2017, 10:59:45 AM »
Moving from the June challenge - it is lonely there! I am on my own for 6 weeks. I am 3 weeks in and the challenge is to spend less than $50 per week on gas, food and personal spend. I am eating down the pantry, cleaning, decluttering...... If I succeed I put $100 in savings to show my family it can be done. So far so good - I have spent $74.67 over 3 weeks - never over $50 per week. Here is to week 4.
Another good week - $3.87. I had run out of my tea - (my SD has black tea and I am struggling with it) so I bought my tea and picked up 2 bread rolls. Total over 4 weeks $78.47. Food is getting a little challenging but it is achievable.
Week 5 my spend was $32.11 - I went to winco and bought some bulk product. $106 total on 5 week spend. I am in my final week - SO back on Saturday. I think I have done extremely well. Electricity is $154 (summer kills the electric) was $215 last year - I wanted to cut it by 1/4 and have 1 more day to go so this should be achievable too.

So SO arrived Saturday we ended the week on $58 - overspent - (apparently he needs real food???) - however I will take the win of $164 over 6 weeks (target was $300). Additionally the electricity bill came in $161 which works out to be exactly 1/4 of the bill. So I guess I can consider my experiment a success.

Izybat

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Re: Ultra frugal July!
« Reply #68 on: July 26, 2017, 03:48:56 PM »
Well, I'm on day 21 today. My original goals were no eating out, no alcohol purchases, and lower the grocery bill. I've blown the alcohol no-spend challenge (oops). I haven't eaten out at any restaurants, though I have to say I've sorta substituted twice by going to the grocery store to impulse buy food (because then, obviously, it counts as groceries and not as "eating out", right?). Though even with the two impulse grocery food splurges, we're still WAY under last month for groceries, so I'm calling it mostly a success as of right now.  I just have to stay strong.