Author Topic: Just started...current progress  (Read 1807 times)

HappyFeet02

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Just started...current progress
« on: March 03, 2023, 05:32:44 PM »
Hello,
I found MMM a few months ago after watching the documentary Get Smart with Money. After reading on here I realize I have already been structuring a bit of a FI lifestyle. I worked at a high paying (for my career job) for five years and was able to fully buy my car and pay off 80% of my mortgage as a result. I then took a less stressful and less hours job which has left me with less cash flow but also more time and energy for things I enjoy. I am planning starting to try for a child in the next few months so am hoping to bank some cash for maternity leave and beyond as well as get some more of the mortgage paid down.

I have always been fairly good with money but for the new year decided to try a new challenge to cut back on my spending a bit and see what happens.  Here are some things I've done:

A) Food - this is a big one in my area (Ontario, Canada) food prices are rising (quickly) so decided to take on the challenge of decreasing the food bill
1) PC Optimum Deals and Flipp app - while I previously knew these existed I hadn't got into them too much. Currently, I buy hardly anything which is not on sale. So far my deal of the year is the absolutely free club sized lasagna as a PC Optimum coupon on the app which was valued at 19.99 (there were really no strings attached, I literally walked into the grocery store and only got that item). Doing price matching and point collecting at my regular grocery store.
 2) Too Good to Go App - this is discounted food which is destined for landfill and is sold at 75% off. Currently this is where all my bread products come from at a few different local bakeries which participate. My last $5 bundle has lasted me a month with still some left in the freezer.
3) I came on the forms and it was suggested to look for grocery wholesale or scratch and dent store. I was pretty sure there was not one near me but... guess what opened about 20mins from my house a month ago. I bought all my pantry goods for the month extremely discounted. Guess where I'll be returning
4) Most days before I packed a lunch for work although maybe once a week I'd buy lunch. Similarly, I wasn't a regular coffee shop stopper but again maybe once a week with a coworker if they asked on a break. This has all stopped...none of these purchases in two months
5) I have stopped all take out food and delivery (again I didn't do this too often but probably a couple of times a month). Instead I grab a couple of frozen pizzas or microwave dinner when they are on sale at the grocery store and being more organized meal prepping. This way I always know there is an easy ready made meal so I don't have to impulse stop after a tiring work day.

All in all, my food bill has decreased about $200 a month. Next food step is waiting for spring to try out my gardening. We have a local seed library where you can get seeds for free. I have also been saving up old food containers for seed starting so I think the only initial cost will be about $10 for some seed starter. If anyone has any cost saving ideas or gardening tips (I'll be a beginner) that I've missed do share.

Toiletries:
1) I already use reusable menstrual products - DIVA cup and Knix so that was helpful
2) I am also an 80yr old a heart and have always used handkerchiefs instead of Kleenex. My current one was my grandmother's who died about 10yrs ago so that thing has saved a whole lot of boxes of Kleenex especially since I have allergies.
3) During the initial days of the pandemic (think toilet paper hoarding) I had cut up some old t-shirts I was going to throw out and socks with holes in them and used them as reusable toilet paper for urination (still used paper for number 2s). I probably halved the toilet paper budget for about six months however then a friend moved in with me and there was no way I was going to admit the reusable toilet paper so it hit the garbage. Wondering if I should resurrect this idea for the next bathroom budget saver...
No new changes here but continuing some old money and environmental hacks

The art of negotiation:
1) Called cellphone provider and told them I was too poor to keep paying my phone bill (a little white lie never hurt anyone...right?). It got knocked down $30 a month pretty effortlessly
2) A call to the internet provider (again I was too poor) resulted in another $25 in savings a month.
Next steps here is to an insurance broker for car and home insurance bartering

Entertainment:
1) All books and DVDs are from the library (they always have been except for about 10 favorites of each)
2) I cancelled Crave, I have a Netflix account borrowed from my family and the cable tv I don't need multiple streaming systems

Debt:
1) I am in my 30s but don't have any except my mortgage (and it is not so large) - so that helps a lot

Bank Accounts
1) I just recently opened a high interest no fee bank account on a promo my bank had. For next 5 months I have a higher rate of interest and moved a bunch of my cash in there. I have noticed a bunch of banks have high promo interest rates or signing bonuses. I am thinking I may have to take advantage of this in the next little while. If anyone has some suggestions for Canadian banks please share...

Anyone, have any good tips they use and want to share? I am a bit on a roll and am liking saving some money. I'd love to get some pointers from everyone else.

Nederstash

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Re: Just started...current progress
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2023, 02:56:03 AM »
Wow, you're on a roll! I think you've been focusing very hard on reducing your outgoing cash, like lowering your groceries, getting deals on things you consume. But that's just one part of the whole financial story. Reducing your output can only save you a portion of your income. But there's no limit to how much cash can grow. It can go down to 0% of course (in that case... don't sell! Buy more!) or it can go up 7%, 10%, 100%... 1000% over time. There's no upper limit. Investing can take your saved dollar to a whole new level.


If you've cleared all non-mortgage debt and you have an emergency fund of 3-6 months, use the rest of your savings to invest. There's a lot of information out there, you should definitely start reading up on it. The basics: don't put all your eggs in one basket, don't sell (especially not out of fear) and keep the costs low.

You're already killing it on the savings front... now get it to the new frontier!

jnw

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Re: Just started...current progress
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2023, 11:04:29 AM »
Congrats! How about churning credit cards along with bank, savings and brokerage accounts?  How much per month do you pay for cell service, I pay $12 per month.

SunnyDays

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Re: Just started...current progress
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2023, 01:43:26 PM »
Exactly what is the high rate your bank is offering?  I haven't dealt with banks in 30 years and never will again.  Credit Unions are way better - mine is offering 3.5%, plus we almost always get a bonus on the interest every year.  They also reliably increase the rates when the BoC does.

Josiecat23503

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Re: Just started...current progress
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2023, 05:52:21 PM »
You are off to a good start, OP!  As was said before, cutting expenses is only part of the equation; the real heavy lifting over time is done by slow steady growth in the market.

With regard to the reusable toilet paper, installing a bidet is one of the best decisions we've made.  It took about ten minutes, very simple to do with common tools and we use reusable cloths bought on Etsy. 


eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Just started...current progress
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2023, 09:00:42 PM »
Welcome to the club! That's a heck of a list already. Another big hit for me is ensuring your thermostat is set seasonally (warmer in summer, cooler in winter), your weatherstripping seals doors & windows, & you have appropriate sunshades or curtains to control indoor temperatures as passively as possible - some money will always be going out for utilities, but passive reductions in use add up fastest. Real insulation in the structure is vital but can only do so much if the house is drafty. Organizing your errands for minimum driving pays off surprisingly quickly, too. If you want to take on additional projects, making your own pizzas is somehow still cheaper than frozen, plus often tastes better. Check out the sub-$200 grocery budget thread for inspiration. Paper egg cartons are the best for starting seeds, if you eat eggs.

I suppose if you want a "frame of mind" question, I was surprised to read you threw out your reusable toilet cloths given everything else you said about them. I can understand "normalizing" some habits for household harmony with roommates, especially if it's temporary, but why would you throw them out altogether? (But then that's MY inner 80-year-old talking.)

Chris Pascale

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Re: Just started...current progress
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2023, 08:42:17 AM »
cut up some old t-shirts I was going to throw out and socks with holes in them and used them as reusable toilet paper for urination

Very smart.

Chris Pascale

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Re: Just started...current progress
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2023, 08:43:34 AM »
I had a bit of a come to Jesus moment when we moved from a 5 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apartment before buying our current place.

Posted it on this forum already, but here it is: https://grumpusmaximus.com/worth-your-life/

Kmp2

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Re: Just started...current progress
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2023, 12:09:49 PM »
cut up some old t-shirts I was going to throw out and socks with holes in them and used them as reusable toilet paper for urination

Very smart.

That's AWESOME! 
When DD was a baby I made a whole bunch of flannel diaper wipes to go with our cloth diapers. I figured we were doing poopy laundry anyways why not?
When the pandemic hit, I joked that the TP hoarding was ridiculous we'd just go back to cloth wipes (which I still had), if we ran out. My Aunt didn't just think I was eccentric but Bat Sh*t Crazy. I know a few families that do personal cloth wipes (each person in the house has their own pattern)... and their kids really dislike TP when they are out and about - it's scratchy in comparison to fuzzy flannel.


P1

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Re: Just started...current progress
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2023, 11:03:49 PM »
A $25 bidet has been one of my best investments. Bought a big pack of tp 4 years ago and Iím only running out because I leave it for guests.

Just Joe

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Re: Just started...current progress
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2023, 08:46:49 AM »
cut up some old t-shirts I was going to throw out and socks with holes in them and used them as reusable toilet paper for urination

Very smart.

That's AWESOME! 
When DD was a baby I made a whole bunch of flannel diaper wipes to go with our cloth diapers. I figured we were doing poopy laundry anyways why not?
When the pandemic hit, I joked that the TP hoarding was ridiculous we'd just go back to cloth wipes (which I still had), if we ran out. My Aunt didn't just think I was eccentric but Bat Sh*t Crazy. I know a few families that do personal cloth wipes (each person in the house has their own pattern)... and their kids really dislike TP when they are out and about - it's scratchy in comparison to fuzzy flannel.

Or a bidet... Like GuitarSteve says a shower nozzle on a hose works well too.

JupiterGreen

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Re: Just started...current progress
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2023, 12:23:35 PM »
A $25 bidet has been one of my best investments. Bought a big pack of tp 4 years ago and Iím only running out because I leave it for guests.

Can you tell me about your bidet? Like what brand, where did you get it, and did you need to get a plumber/electrician to install it? I really don't want to spend any money on stuff, but I'd consider a bidet if it would save us money in the long run.  $25 isn't too pricey, I think they were in the hundreds the last time I looked.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!