Author Topic: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)  (Read 26738 times)

lifejoy

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What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« on: May 05, 2014, 01:17:32 PM »
Share your financial weakness, and a gameplan to overcome it!

Mine would be chocolate, jewellery, and I'm a recovering shoe-a-holic.

Chocolate - trying to savour it, eat less of it overall, hopefully overcome the addiction ;)
Jewellery - trying to focus on what I already have, instead of what I want to add to the collection
Shoes - I've halted on shoes because I don't have a lot of closet space, and I don't want to have more shoes than I have space for. So, that's nice! But there is always space for chocolate and jewellery... Haha!

golden1

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 01:32:40 PM »
Food. 

Ever since I found MMM last year, I have made lots of strides - reducing my cable bill, killing my clothing and beauty budget, halving my cell phone budget, saving more for retirement but I can't seem to make headway on the food budget, partly because my family is resistant to change.  My husband still buys most work lunches and buys coffee every day, sometimes twice so that doesn't help, but there are one too many nights where I resort to take out instead of eating what is in the house. 

I am trying to start fresh this month starting with groceries mostly:
I purged my freezer and refrigerator of all bad food - which made me sick frankly- but it needed to be done because I needed to take inventory of everything I had.
I made a rough meal plan for the month and bought about 2-3 weeks worth of dinners on Saturday at the cheapest grocery store in town.   I spent about $200 in total but got a LOT of food.  This is generally easier this time of year because we break out the grill twice a week.  So now I am stocked for most of the month with meat.
I will shop once a week for fresh fruit/snacks for the kids/ perishables like fish,deli meats and dairy - attempting to keep it at around $100 a week.
I will allow one restaurant meal instead of my normal 2-3.

I hope to stay under $600-650 for groceries for the month - not great compared to mustacian standards, but good for me and my family. 

yyc-phil

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 01:36:06 PM »
Nice clothes. It has been easy to get around that weakness lately, as my wife owns a consignment store and I've been getting some awesome pieces such as suits, shirts, shoes, etc. from Prada and Paul Smith for next to nothing. Sadly, she is selling the store as I type, so I will have to come up with a new strategy to overcome that weakness.

lifejoy

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 01:43:12 PM »
Food. 

Ever since I found MMM last year, I have made lots of strides - reducing my cable bill, killing my clothing and beauty budget, halving my cell phone budget, saving more for retirement but I can't seem to make headway on the food budget, partly because my family is resistant to change.  My husband still buys most work lunches and buys coffee every day, sometimes twice so that doesn't help, but there are one too many nights where I resort to take out instead of eating what is in the house. 

I am trying to start fresh this month starting with groceries mostly:
I purged my freezer and refrigerator of all bad food - which made me sick frankly- but it needed to be done because I needed to take inventory of everything I had.
I made a rough meal plan for the month and bought about 2-3 weeks worth of dinners on Saturday at the cheapest grocery store in town.   I spent about $200 in total but got a LOT of food.  This is generally easier this time of year because we break out the grill twice a week.  So now I am stocked for most of the month with meat.
I will shop once a week for fresh fruit/snacks for the kids/ perishables like fish,deli meats and dairy - attempting to keep it at around $100 a week.
I will allow one restaurant meal instead of my normal 2-3.

I hope to stay under $600-650 for groceries for the month - not great compared to mustacian standards, but good for me and my family.

My fiancÚ buys his lunch every day, except for when I make a really delectable lunch for him and make sure he packs it. If you're willing to go through all that trouble, it might decrease the number of lunches your husband buys!

lifejoy

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 01:45:27 PM »
Nice clothes. It has been easy to get around that weakness lately, as my wife owns a consignment store and I've been getting some awesome pieces such as suits, shirts, shoes, etc. from Prada and Paul Smith for next to nothing. Sadly, she is selling the store as I type, so I will have to come up with a new strategy to overcome that weakness.

Hmm that is tough because it feels good to look good! Maybe you could focus on loving what you have, and saving space by not obtaining more? Minimalism blogs can be helpful: http://www.theminimalists.com/clothes/

HairyUpperLip

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014, 01:47:18 PM »
Nice clothes. It has been easy to get around that weakness lately, as my wife owns a consignment store and I've been getting some awesome pieces such as suits, shirts, shoes, etc. from Prada and Paul Smith for next to nothing. Sadly, she is selling the store as I type, so I will have to come up with a new strategy to overcome that weakness.

Hey man - I noticed you mention your wife's shop a lot and the ability to get some proper threads. Any chance I could get stuff from you (your wife's store)?  I like to have a proper brand name shirt or two for certain situations/events.

I'm not local to you so I can't just "stop in"

Thanks!

Kierun

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 01:50:49 PM »
Travel!

Current gameplan, obtain better paying employment or last resort go back to contracting.

homeymomma

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 01:51:27 PM »
Food!

My family of three (well, 2.5... We have a toddler) regularly goes over our $400 monthly budget. We even pass $500 sometimes. Facepalm.
I don't cook. I can, but I am terrible at it and I need a good recipe and every ingredient it calls for (very expensive, usually!). So my husband does the cooking. He is good at throwing together whatever is in the house, but he doesn't really think about the cost of ingredients. We used to be vegetarian years ago, but it was before we started budgeting so I don't know if it made a big difference.
We also buy food pouches for our toddler (gasp! I know.) they are just so much healthier than what I would otherwise have on hand for her. I always try to get them on sale but even then they're expensive. We probably blow $30-$40/mo on those.
Our worst offense is Starbucks. I know that's a terrible confession on MMM, but no matter where we live there's always one nearby, and it's just a nice reason to get out of the house for a little bit. We have another baby on the way and i don't see that habit going anywhere. Especially when it's bad weather, just having that destination as a reason to get shit together and get out is really nice. It makes you feel like a person again if you haven't otherwise been able to do anything other than take care of kids and maybe feed yourself that day.

Plans to improve? Always. I'm hoping we can substitute a trip to the playground for the Starbucks runs now that the weather is better. We go though about 1 food pouch per day, which we could possibly cut down if I can get my little one to eat whole fruits and veg with less resistance. A long-term goal!

Going to costco LESS often I think will help a lot too. We get our meat there, and always spend too much no matter how restrained we are. When we haven't gone for a while and we don't have meat, we tend to have vegetarian meals which are generally cheaper. Plus our kid likes beans way more than meat!

I'm also hoping my impulse spending goes down once I'm past the morning sickness part of pregnancy, but.p it will probably just switch to cravings instead! :)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 02:13:14 PM by homeymomma »

peppermint

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2014, 01:55:43 PM »
1. Iced coffees when the weather's hot.
2. Clothes.
3. Travel.

1. Go to the effort of making cold brew and ice cubes at home so I can make my own iced coffee.
2. I haven't bought any new clothes for the past few months and have been focusing on what I already have, it's going pretty well.
3. Travel- hm, I booked a bunch of summer travel already (which involves staying with friends, camping, cheaper accommodations but it is what it is)

yyc-phil

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2014, 01:58:44 PM »
Nice clothes. It has been easy to get around that weakness lately, as my wife owns a consignment store and I've been getting some awesome pieces such as suits, shirts, shoes, etc. from Prada and Paul Smith for next to nothing. Sadly, she is selling the store as I type, so I will have to come up with a new strategy to overcome that weakness.

Hey man - I noticed you mention your wife's shop a lot and the ability to get some proper threads. Any chance I could get stuff from you (your wife's store)?  I like to have a proper brand name shirt or two for certain situations/events.

I'm not local to you so I can't just "stop in"

Thanks!

It is an awesome little store, and having a small business has its reward, but it takes up all of her time (sad because I have so much free time and quasi-free airfare, as I used to work for an airline until last October).

We thought about on-line shopping/eBay but in Canada, shipping costs are a killer, unlike in the USA, so shipping anything to you would probably not make much sense. Not sure if I am breaking the forum rules if I post a link to her store's Facebook page, but in any case here it is. Apologies in advance if it is not allowed:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sass-Consignment-Boutique/141202513123

ruthiegirl

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2014, 02:08:56 PM »
My kids.  I am doing better much better -- reducing expenses, saying no expensive lessons, limiting activities, but it is damn hard when there are so many fantastic things to do with kids. 

greaper007

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2014, 02:16:10 PM »
Beer, but I make my own for about $3.50 a six pack for a big IPA.

Zikoris

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2014, 02:28:18 PM »
Travel - we spend well north of 7K/year on this. We're trying to make more of an effort to get places with mini kitchens when we're on the road, as it saved us a TON of money on a recent trip, and was a lot of fun (also, we were vacationing in Guatemala City, which is not a great place to be wandering around in the evening). We're also researching cheaper accommodations - we're using AirBnB for most of our upcoming summer Europe trip for the first time.

There are a couple other areas that I think are a bit extravagant, like my haircuts ($70 every two months), entertainment ($60/month for two of us combined), and soda ($15/month), but we have no plans to change them.

MayDay

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2014, 03:02:53 PM »
Eating organic/local foods.  We try to grow our own and buy in bulk.

Eating out.  It I was a multi-millionaire I would do it more often with no guilt.  Just isn't in the budget so we don't do it.


Cassie

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2014, 03:14:24 PM »
It used to be jewelry but now I never buy any.  The craving for it just left me which is good. Probably travel & eating out.  WE are taking 3-3 day trips and 1- 7 day trip this year but we did not travel for 2 years at all.  WE are trying to only eat out 2x/month instead of 4. 

lifejoy

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2014, 03:16:28 PM »
My kids.  I am doing better much better -- reducing expenses, saying no expensive lessons, limiting activities, but it is damn hard when there are so many fantastic things to do with kids.

If it makes you feel any better, my parents could be considered Mustachian and they said no to a lot of things as I was growing up. They taught me some good habits and I grew up to have a lot of respect for their choices. Add that to the fact that they are retired early, and I will never have to financially support them :)

Maybe thoughts like that will help you say no to some things? But I'm not a parent, so I can't imagine how hard it is.

shotgunwilly

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2014, 03:18:27 PM »
Bars. I spend a shocking amount on weekends when i'm out with friends. It's been a struggle for me.

Material things - My fishing equipment.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 03:20:52 PM by shotgunwilly »

lifejoy

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2014, 05:59:25 PM »
Bars. I spend a shocking amount on weekends when i'm out with friends. It's been a struggle for me.

Material things - My fishing equipment.

Me at bars - every second drink is a tall glass of water. Slows me down, and keeps me hydrated :)

iris lily

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2014, 07:31:07 PM »
wine

iris and lily plants

bulldog veterinary bills

geekette

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2014, 07:35:45 PM »
Ben & Jerry's.  A problem on so many levels...

eman resu

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2014, 07:36:05 PM »
Dinners/Drinks out.  My wife and I go out for dinner twice a week, often after a pit stop at one of several look-we-have-a-shitload-of-beers-on-tap joints that have popped up locally.  Basically, the plan is to wean ourselves from the habit by scheduling one night out a week for awhile instead of planning to go out "up to twice" when the feeling strikes.  We both like our own cooking better than any restaurant's... but it is fun to get out of the house.

   

BikerSaver

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2014, 07:41:27 PM »
  • Overseas Travel - Still need to seriously work on this.
  • Restaurants & Eating out - We've reduced this by 50% so far this year with fewer visits overall and fewer visits to spendy places
  • Books - I probably spent $2,000 on books last year.  There's really no excuse.  So far, this year, I've spent $0.  I'm reading through my bookcases this year

Emg03063

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2014, 07:56:42 PM »
Eating out.  Usually about $10/day.  I'm meeting my financial goals and have no intention of overcoming it.

kkbmustang

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2014, 08:16:06 PM »
1. private faith based school for our kids
2. Organic/grass fed food

The children will eventually graduate (college is already funded). Won't get over the food, but twice a month we stock up at the farmers market for less than Whole Foods or whatever.

Oscar_C

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2014, 08:23:20 PM »
Eating out, without a doubt. While I do remain under budget, I do spend a good amount on it.

Video games are a close second, but I mitigate that by swapping with my friends, so the cost remains really low.

Thrift store shopping is a third (assuming I can even find anything in my size anyway).

Ascotillion

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2014, 08:33:40 PM »
Eating out.  Usually about $10/day.  I'm meeting my financial goals and have no intention of overcoming it.
I'm glad someone else has this as well. I'm a uni student and I get a lot done at night on campus, when most other people have gone home. It used to be hard to stay there for long periods of time but I found that by "bribing" myself with a coffee and a burger or some noodles I can stay productive for a lot longer. I stick to good-quality takeaway places so it's not a meal made just of salt and fat, and it keeps me happy. My main financial goal right now is to graduate with an intact emergency fund and I'm on track!

expatartist

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2014, 08:37:12 PM »
Travel. Without a doubt. Most of it I do on my own, for career-related projects. They're investments but the payoff takes a long time.

We just had a nice weekend away (our 1st together in ~2 years, his trips home are usually solo) and had planned another for the end of the month with cheap tickets, because it's a rare chance for us to have 4 days off together, when there aren't 1.3 billion people traveling in China at the same time! But today I'm thinking we shouldn't go: there'd be part-time work opportunities lost as well. Your post came at a good time, LibraryJoy.

Heart of Tin

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2014, 12:21:05 PM »
Rent. I like my location. I like my management. I like living alone. I like the layout of my apartment. I like the southern facing windows. I like my quiet neighbors. However, I could easily cut my rent by $200 per month while still living alone and shorten my commute by moving. There's just no way I can get my savings rate above 65% without moving (or a raise). *Self facepunch of shame*

dcheesi

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2014, 12:29:09 PM »
Entertainment / social. I find it hard to say no to friends who want to eat out, do fun events, etc. Sometimes I feel obligated or don't want to leave them hanging; other times I just don't want to miss out myself.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2014, 12:59:45 PM »
1) Wife
2) Child #1
3) Child #2

I wouldn't trade them for the world, and we have made drastic improvements since we had "the talk", but they are my weakness. I've found willpower I never thought possible since changing to more mustachian ways, but my efforts only keep things in check since we have differing opinions of the word "need".

bekkah

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2014, 01:03:02 PM »
Rent. I like my location. I like my management. I like living alone. I like the layout of my apartment. I like the southern facing windows. I like my quiet neighbors. However, I could easily cut my rent by $200 per month while still living alone and shorten my commute by moving. There's just no way I can get my savings rate above 65% without moving (or a raise). *Self facepunch of shame*

Heart of Tin, I am in the SAME situation. I love, love, love my apartment. It's sunny, dog friendly, and in a great neighborhood. But I will never be able to increase my savings rate beyond 65% without moving. I literally obsess about this dilemma every day. So, to answer libraryjoy's second question, I don't have a solution yet!

soccerluvof4

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2014, 01:07:49 PM »
4 kids in select soccer= tons of travel , hotel expenses and food.  We continue to find ways to save and will keep working on it. Try to be frugal on most everything else during the week to absorb costs as well since its family time and entertainment as well for us.

Albert

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2014, 01:16:20 PM »
A lot of things really by the standards of this board. For examples I eat in the canteen at work every day (ca 10$) and occasionally eat out in the city as well (rarely less than 50$). I also travel a fair bit, the usual budget is 4-5k a year and that's without counting domestic trips. What saves me is no car, modest apartment, no dependants and high salary.

Heart of Tin

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2014, 01:17:17 PM »
Rent. I like my location. I like my management. I like living alone. I like the layout of my apartment. I like the southern facing windows. I like my quiet neighbors. However, I could easily cut my rent by $200 per month while still living alone and shorten my commute by moving. There's just no way I can get my savings rate above 65% without moving (or a raise). *Self facepunch of shame*

Heart of Tin, I am in the SAME situation. I love, love, love my apartment. It's sunny, dog friendly, and in a great neighborhood. But I will never be able to increase my savings rate beyond 65% without moving. I literally obsess about this dilemma every day. So, to answer libraryjoy's second question, I don't have a solution yet!

Okay. This is scary. Your username is, phonetically, my real name, bekkah.

Anyway, my best advice is to accept it as a form of concious spending, and work on improving the income side of things and reducing other spending catagories.

begood

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #34 on: May 06, 2014, 01:28:04 PM »
My entire way of life! Not really, but I do feel like we have so many places we could improve I'm not sure where to start.

Cars. We bought two of 'em - one in 2012, one in 2013. I discovered MMM in 2014, in case you wondered. :) They're Hondas. We usually drive a car a decade or more (we drove the last ones 14 and 11 years, respectively). We paid cash, so no loan, but they are definitely a luxury. OTOH, I adore my new CR-V as much as I loved my old CR-V. But it's a CR-V and not a Fit or an Insight or a Civic, so... luxury.

Travel is a big one for us - we live 400 miles from our closest family, and my only sibling and I live on opposite coasts.

Clothing my almost teenager is another big moolah suck. She grows so dang fast! We do get some hand-me-downs, and we shop at Target and Kohls instead of Hollister and Anthropologie, but still... it adds up.


ShortInSeattle

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2014, 01:36:41 PM »
1. Coffee
2. Eating Out
3. Travel

I'm not sure that I consider #3 a weakness really. I've been making 80% of my coffee at home (up from zero), and we eat out a lot less than we used to (2-3x week instead of nearly all the time.) So I'd say there is definitely progress.

SIS

kite

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2014, 02:11:55 PM »
Music lessons.
I restarted piano lessons in adulthood after a decades long break. Started with a borrowed keyboard,  but needed to graduate to a really good piano.
Then a few months ago,  I made use of a free guitar and signed up for lessons.   It won't be long before I NEED to upgrade to a Martin. 

S0VERE1GN

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2014, 02:13:50 PM »
BIG THING: Cars. love em. love working on them. I always need a project car. I will push back our retirement date just to give myself enough bonus cash from the stache to buy any play with vintage Porsches and to have a nice big garage. its my thing.

LITTLE THING: i still like grabbing an occasional lunch out. did the math and I spend probably $300/month on it. boo. could probably finance the car habit with a reduction in lunches. *lightbulb*

EDIT: i spend comically less than $300/month now that I do the math (better) . $56/month. I just assumed it was ridiculous. still more than I should but not that ridiculous.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 02:15:29 PM by S0VERE1GN »

lifejoy

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2014, 04:02:02 PM »
Travel. Without a doubt. Most of it I do on my own, for career-related projects. They're investments but the payoff takes a long time.

We just had a nice weekend away (our 1st together in ~2 years, his trips home are usually solo) and had planned another for the end of the month with cheap tickets, because it's a rare chance for us to have 4 days off together, when there aren't 1.3 billion people traveling in China at the same time! But today I'm thinking we shouldn't go: there'd be part-time work opportunities lost as well. Your post came at a good time, LibraryJoy.

I'm glad this thread is making you think! That's what it's all about :)

What is it you like about vacations? Have you ever been on a "staycation"? They can be pretty darn rad. You explore new places, see your own city through new eyes... me and my fiance are planning a staycation. We're making a list of new restaurants to try, and we might even pay a maid to clean our apartment so that it feels like a B&B or something. Haha! The way I see it, all the money we save on the physical travel can be spent on our "staycation". Actually, much less money than we would've spent on travel... but you get the idea.

Samsam

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2014, 04:12:18 PM »
I must acquire Arby's every month

Gray Matter

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #40 on: May 06, 2014, 04:21:43 PM »
Mine are:

1.  Convenience foods (things like pre-made pesto, brown rice pilaf from a box, so not completely unhealthy but less so than made from scratch and more expensive).  Not sure how hard I'm going to try to mitigate that, since I really don't like cooking and this is a compromise to all the eating out and take-out we used to do.

2.  My house.  I live in a more expensive neighborhood with more square footage than is required (2400 for five people).  But our neighborhood is walkable, safe, good elementary and middle school within walking distance, close to public transport, and has a lovely "small town" feel in the city.  I have lived in the 'hood for 20 years (three in a tiny apartment, six in our starter home, and now ten in this house).  Don't think we're going anywhere soon.  I have reduced cost as much as possible by refinancing to a 15-year at 2.95%, getting rid of housecleaner and gardener, and doing as much home maintenance as possible ourselves.


thepokercab

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #41 on: May 06, 2014, 04:53:02 PM »
Food, and stupid convenience food/coffee, especially Starbucks.  Try not to beat myself up too much about it though.  We don't spend a dime on anything like cable or netflix, and our cell phone spending is no more than $40 bucks a month.  And we don't own a car.  But for whatever reason, nothing turns me off more than a packed lunch.   

sunnyca

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2014, 04:58:40 PM »
My weaknesses are related to my two largest expenses- housing and my car.

I live alone in a 1,100 sq ft condo that I bought in 2010.  The mortgage isn't much for the area I live in (cheaper than rent), but it'd still be far more mustachian to have a roommate.

I have a Subaru Outback that I bought new, not used.  I love it and use it for my primary form of recreation (camping, hiking, etc), but still.. :(

Ian

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2014, 05:21:23 PM »
In terms of raw money, my gas bill during winter. I may get a space heater and try to even out electricity and gas usage to lower my costs this year.

As a personal weakness, probably food. I'm not too picky, but I find that without a certain level of variety I start becoming dissatisfied with my staples, which can lead to more expensive purchases. I'm trying to increase my list of cheap staples that I really enjoy.

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #44 on: May 06, 2014, 06:08:30 PM »
Coffee.

My wife and I spend $30/month on nice freshly roasted beans which we grind and brew at home.

I said in another thread that I'd rather buy used underwear than drink folgers every morning.  Not joking, not even a bit. :-)

HappierAtHome

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #45 on: May 06, 2014, 06:45:34 PM »
Socialising, as I tend to spend more on food (eating out or takeaway) when it's part of seeing friends.

I do try to encourage them to come over to my house and I'll cook for them. But as I'm the only one willing to do this, it means I'm always the one hosting, cooking a big meal and bearing the full cost. So while I LOVE doing that maybe every other time I see certain groups of friends, I won't do it every single time. Hence spending too much money :-P

I assume this will get easier as my friends settle down and become more domestic (I hope).

thebugsear

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #46 on: May 06, 2014, 06:46:19 PM »
My environmentally unfriendly, expensive, but oh so convenient Kuerig coffee maker.

expatartist

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #47 on: May 07, 2014, 02:18:31 AM »
What is it you like about vacations? Have you ever been on a "staycation"? They can be pretty darn rad. You explore new places, see your own city through new eyes... me and my fiance are planning a staycation. We're making a list of new restaurants to try, and we might even pay a maid to clean our apartment so that it feels like a B&B or something. Haha! The way I see it, all the money we save on the physical travel can be spent on our "staycation". Actually, much less money than we would've spent on travel... but you get the idea.

Excellent ideas, LibraryJoy. We tend to see every weekend as a staycation - becoming tourists in our temporary home. Usually that means seeing a new historic site every weekend.

Thing is, because of the economic disparity within China, travel within the country can be about the same as staying in the capital - this plane ticket costs about the same as a fancy dinner in a Beijing restaurant. Basic activities in Beijing (like a concert or film) cost the same as a night in a hostel room in the destination we'd selected.

However thanks to another coordinated knife attack in a train station (the guys arrived on a train originating from our intended destination), we are definitely staying put this month. This leaves more for the next "investment house fund" at any rate :S

yyc-phil

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2014, 09:22:40 AM »
What is it you like about vacations? Have you ever been on a "staycation"? They can be pretty darn rad. You explore new places, see your own city through new eyes... me and my fiance are planning a staycation. We're making a list of new restaurants to try, and we might even pay a maid to clean our apartment so that it feels like a B&B or something. Haha! The way I see it, all the money we save on the physical travel can be spent on our "staycation". Actually, much less money than we would've spent on travel... but you get the idea.

Excellent ideas, LibraryJoy. We tend to see every weekend as a staycation - becoming tourists in our temporary home. Usually that means seeing a new historic site every weekend.

Thing is, because of the economic disparity within China, travel within the country can be about the same as staying in the capital - this plane ticket costs about the same as a fancy dinner in a Beijing restaurant. Basic activities in Beijing (like a concert or film) cost the same as a night in a hostel room in the destination we'd selected.

However thanks to another coordinated knife attack in a train station (the guys arrived on a train originating from our intended destination), we are definitely staying put this month. This leaves more for the next "investment house fund" at any rate :S

As someone who has visited China since 1985, attacks like the recent ones in China are certainly tragic and worrisome. But when we put them in perspective and compare the rate of violent attacks in China with that of the USA, we might conclude that China is afterall a relatively peaceful country.

lifejoy

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Re: What is your weakness? (Related to your budget)
« Reply #49 on: May 07, 2014, 11:47:10 AM »
Socialising, as I tend to spend more on food (eating out or takeaway) when it's part of seeing friends.

I do try to encourage them to come over to my house and I'll cook for them. But as I'm the only one willing to do this, it means I'm always the one hosting, cooking a big meal and bearing the full cost. So while I LOVE doing that maybe every other time I see certain groups of friends, I won't do it every single time. Hence spending too much money :-P

I assume this will get easier as my friends settle down and become more domestic (I hope).

I used to be really good about ordering soup or salad with water, when eating out. Or whatever was cheapest. I've lost that kind of willpower, but for a while it was a great way to go out but keep costs down :)