Author Topic: August August  (Read 16876 times)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: August August
« Reply #50 on: August 05, 2015, 04:42:09 PM »
Oh! I missed this. We've been doing this. I failed abyssmaly at No buy July (we moved...) but DH is on board this month! Eliminating restaurants is a big goal- not a huge budget anymore (used to be $500+), but still about $200 last month. This is a double goal since it dovetails with health goals as well. Only exception was some big planned expenses of our home gym (about $300) and a grill ($140). Otherwise, we're planning on keeping to no unnecessary spending this month!

Brilliantine

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Re: August August
« Reply #51 on: August 05, 2015, 04:56:36 PM »
Gaaah! I though we might have a shot at August August. 

I can justify the duct cleaning that the buyer required to waive the inspection contingency if the house sale closes within a couple weeks. ($677)

I can maybe justify the hiking shoes ($110) for her because she needed them and hiking is very important for us at this point in our lives and the tennis shoes in which she were hiking were hurting her feet. But I think this purchase alone automatically disqualifies us from the August August. :(

And I won't even get near the DW "hobby" ($190) spending. She thought it was necessary.... I will say no more on that topic. 

And then there's the vet visit ($89), the Costco membership renewal ($110) which happened to happen in August, and so on and so forth... Story of my life...

Britan

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Re: August August
« Reply #52 on: August 05, 2015, 07:55:22 PM »
Surprisingly not doing bad, all things considered.

The pros:
+ 2 weeks "staycation" with the new puppy means I've only had to fill my gas tank once, and that should last me the next 2 weeks!
+ New puppy is sick. Ok not a plus in most respects, but it means we literally can't go eat out anywhere.
+ Landlord had a party this week. Free dinner cooked by Not Me! I didn't even care about the cost savings here, I was just happy I didn't have to cook dinner!
+ Puppy kibble has proved sufficient as training treats. No need for fancy filler junk treats!

The cons:
- Did eat out twice the day we brought puppy home ($50). Now that I'm officially on vacation, I've resolved to cook every meal though.
- Some of the initial supplies for puppy didn't work as planned. Needed a smaller collar, fake grass pad because he refused to take to paper pads, etc. All in all: $65. Well spent, though. Everything we got has proven indispensable.
- Puppy vet visit, diagnostic test, and medicine ran $159. Worth it. The last few nights have been...trying. And I'm glad it seems to be almost over. I might actually get to sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time tonight!

So not great, but most of it was budgeted for, and we should be set up to do well the rest of the month.

horsepoor

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Re: August August
« Reply #53 on: August 05, 2015, 11:10:47 PM »
Ha! I see vet expenses are a recurring theme.  I had to spend $104 on my dog's pain meds today, but at least got a $15 mail in rebate.  She has been on a mix of Tramadol (cheap) and Deramaxx (expensive) and I was contemplating switching her to just the Tramadol, but she was on just that for a couple days before getting the Rx refilled, and started clearly having more trouble negotiating the stairs, so Deramaxx it is.  I don't think this is the kind of thing that should be counted against august August, as a necessity to keep our sweet puppies happy and healthy.

Helvegen

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Re: August August
« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2015, 10:10:44 AM »
8/1 - $0
8/2 - $0
8/3 - $0
8/4 - $0
8/5 - $0
8/6 - $5

Kid is taking a cooking course at her summer care and they are having a bake sale to show off what they have learned. I gave her $5 to buy us something. I also told her to bring home the recipe for the zucchini bread they made because it was pretty good. I'll have to wait another week to make it with her because I have no (usable for this purpose) zucchini atm.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: August August
« Reply #55 on: August 07, 2015, 06:17:30 PM »
DH and I are feeling a major victory! We need to build a little fenced area for the dog (right now we need to watch her full time when she's out), and our landlady doesn't want to pay for the materials. We were originally going to put off until next month and do it as cheap as possible later on. But then! Someone mentioned pallet fencing. So we went on craigslist, and lo and behold, there was a bunch of pallets available for FREE in great condition from an auto shop. We filled the back of the truck and away we went. We still have screws left over from our last project and are borrowing the power tools. We will probably have to buy something to really stabilize the gate area, but that should be minimal cost, and we're still brainstorming.

Anyway, I was pretty excited. When we priced out building the fence, we were looking in the $250-300 for doing most of the work ourselves. Nooooo.

Workingmomsaves

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Re: August August
« Reply #56 on: August 10, 2015, 08:50:22 PM »
Took the kids to a water park on Saturday spent 40 on food and admission.  Then had to get my son a car seat as grandma is picking him up from prek 2 days/week so another 30 bucks.  Otherwise we are on target.  Hoping nothing else comes up.

forummm

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Re: August August
« Reply #57 on: August 11, 2015, 05:29:58 AM »
We've had a couple things like a baby shower gift and having a networking lunch in pursuit of a new job. But pretty limited still.

Helvegen

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Re: August August
« Reply #58 on: August 11, 2015, 05:17:38 PM »
8/1 - $0
8/2 - $0
8/3 - $0
8/4 - $0
8/5 - $0
8/6 - $5 Kid didn't buy us anything, so we got the cash back.
8/7 - $0
8/8 - $0
8/9 - $0
8/10 - $0 + scored 3 free day passes to the local swimming pool!
8/11 -$0

Looks like this Saturday we have to make an unexpected trip across the border. Probably won't be more than $50, but still, wasn't planned for. Oh well. Makes it more important to stick to the budget and not spend extra.

forummm

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Re: August August
« Reply #59 on: August 11, 2015, 05:50:30 PM »
8/1 - $0
8/2 - $0
8/3 - $0
8/4 - $0
8/5 - $0
8/6 - $5 Kid didn't buy us anything, so we got the cash back.
8/7 - $0
8/8 - $0
8/9 - $0
8/10 - $0 + scored 3 free day passes to the local swimming pool!
8/11 -$0

Looks like this Saturday we have to make an unexpected trip across the border. Probably won't be more than $50, but still, wasn't planned for. Oh well. Makes it more important to stick to the budget and not spend extra.

Wow, is this counting groceries and utilities and such too?

horsepoor

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Re: August August
« Reply #60 on: August 11, 2015, 09:55:02 PM »
Outside of gas and grocery type stuff, I did buy a white shirt and three ties that are part of my horse showing garb.  I didn't strictly need them, so this is sort of a fail, but OTOH, I'd been planning to purchase them for almost a year now, and my only real show this year is the last weekend of the month. Total outlay there:  $30. 

I'm going on a horse shopping trip this weekend, so I guess if I end up buying, that will be a hard fail, huh?

Helvegen

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Re: August August
« Reply #61 on: August 12, 2015, 12:14:33 PM »
8/1 - $0
8/2 - $0
8/3 - $0
8/4 - $0
8/5 - $0
8/6 - $5 Kid didn't buy us anything, so we got the cash back.
8/7 - $0
8/8 - $0
8/9 - $0
8/10 - $0 + scored 3 free day passes to the local swimming pool!
8/11 -$0

Looks like this Saturday we have to make an unexpected trip across the border. Probably won't be more than $50, but still, wasn't planned for. Oh well. Makes it more important to stick to the budget and not spend extra.

Wow, is this counting groceries and utilities and such too?

This is tracking unbudgeted spending per day. I can't stop spending money period for a month. My landlord wouldn't appreciate that. :p

Faraday

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Re: August August
« Reply #62 on: August 12, 2015, 08:32:22 PM »
The idea is just to challenge yourself. How low can you go? And by buying nothing unnecessary (and doing necessary things inexpensively) you can see that you really don't need to spend that much. In July, I bought about 25 pounds of peanuts because the price was good. Even though I was shooting for a low total expense, I still stocked up on good deals. And going 2 months in a row makes a lot of sense. Why can't every month be a month for great savings?

Ok, ok. I think I'm tracking. Don't discard any good MMM advice for the goal of spending the least possible amount, but if there's an opportunity to whack something, take it (ie: like trying to ride the ebike into work every day in the month of August so that I'm buying zero gas for the Honda Insight rather than the $60/month I'm spending now....)

We're doing well. No frivolous expenses at all. I've found customers for my duck eggs, so this month, went cash flow positive on the ducks. We're letting ourselves actually run out or get close to running out of some items and we aren't feeling that normal "panic" we get when we are about to run out of an essential staple. I've done without almond milk successfully for almost a week, will get more this weekend at Aldi.

We've not been to buy groceries since the end of July, we'll wait to go to the store this weekend if the TP holds out another couple days. We've got the list honed to a fine point - only essentials. Been running on the cupboard and fridge and it feels just fine.


Bracken_Joy

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Re: August August
« Reply #63 on: August 29, 2015, 12:39:30 PM »
Okay! Not quite to the end of the month yet, but there shouldn't be any more expenses for me.

August was our cheapest month ever! Thank you guys!!!

We spent just $2,200! And this was with major expenses like: 6 months of car insurance premiums and buying a gas BBQ. And since we brought in $5.5k this month, that means we lived on 40% of our take home income! Goal next month: sub-2k expenses! I'm already in the Savetember challenge.

And to imagine, a year ago we were spending an average of $4,000/month.

choppingwood

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Re: August August
« Reply #64 on: August 29, 2015, 01:18:20 PM »
Okay! Not quite to the end of the month yet, but there shouldn't be any more expenses for me.

August was our cheapest month ever! Thank you guys!!!

We spent just $2,200! And this was with major expenses like: 6 months of car insurance premiums and buying a gas BBQ. And since we brought in $5.5k this month, that means we lived on 40% of our take home income! Goal next month: sub-2k expenses! I'm already in the Savetember challenge.

And to imagine, a year ago we were spending an average of $4,000/month.

Good for you! That's a really impressive change!

horsepoor

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Re: August August
« Reply #65 on: August 29, 2015, 04:09:15 PM »
Outside of gas and grocery type stuff, I did buy a white shirt and three ties that are part of my horse showing garb.  I didn't strictly need them, so this is sort of a fail, but OTOH, I'd been planning to purchase them for almost a year now, and my only real show this year is the last weekend of the month. Total outlay there:  $30. 

I'm going on a horse shopping trip this weekend, so I guess if I end up buying, that will be a hard fail, huh?

I found a horse, but no money is changing hands until the pre-purchase exam which is September first, so I guess that doesn't officially count?  OTOH, I have been hard-failing because I've already purchased a bridle and lead rope for new horse.  I sort of forgot about this challenge until I logged in just here and now.  Oops.  Must consider all the equipment I already have and not run out and buy new, shiny stuff because "ooh, pretty new horsey to dress up!!!11!"

forummm

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Re: August August
« Reply #66 on: August 29, 2015, 04:38:23 PM »
Okay! Not quite to the end of the month yet, but there shouldn't be any more expenses for me.

August was our cheapest month ever! Thank you guys!!!

We spent just $2,200! And this was with major expenses like: 6 months of car insurance premiums and buying a gas BBQ. And since we brought in $5.5k this month, that means we lived on 40% of our take home income! Goal next month: sub-2k expenses! I'm already in the Savetember challenge.

And to imagine, a year ago we were spending an average of $4,000/month.

That's great! Put it in your 401k or IRA :)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: August August
« Reply #67 on: August 29, 2015, 06:07:48 PM »
Okay! Not quite to the end of the month yet, but there shouldn't be any more expenses for me.

August was our cheapest month ever! Thank you guys!!!

We spent just $2,200! And this was with major expenses like: 6 months of car insurance premiums and buying a gas BBQ. And since we brought in $5.5k this month, that means we lived on 40% of our take home income! Goal next month: sub-2k expenses! I'm already in the Savetember challenge.

And to imagine, a year ago we were spending an average of $4,000/month.

That's great! Put it in your 401k or IRA :)

No 401k, but yeah, it's currently going into DH's tIRA. We're putting in $200/week to catch up to max it out. Still trying to figure out what happens with mine, since I'm hoping to hear back from jobs soon! I know spousal contribution stuff depends on total earnings for a non-working spouse... so I'm not sure what happens if I don't find a job! I guess I'm worried I'll contribute to my tIRA then find out it's not tax exempt? I'm still trying to figure tax stuff out, and first year filing jointly =\

forummm

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Re: August August
« Reply #68 on: August 29, 2015, 07:14:14 PM »
Okay! Not quite to the end of the month yet, but there shouldn't be any more expenses for me.

August was our cheapest month ever! Thank you guys!!!

We spent just $2,200! And this was with major expenses like: 6 months of car insurance premiums and buying a gas BBQ. And since we brought in $5.5k this month, that means we lived on 40% of our take home income! Goal next month: sub-2k expenses! I'm already in the Savetember challenge.

And to imagine, a year ago we were spending an average of $4,000/month.

That's great! Put it in your 401k or IRA :)

No 401k, but yeah, it's currently going into DH's tIRA. We're putting in $200/week to catch up to max it out. Still trying to figure out what happens with mine, since I'm hoping to hear back from jobs soon! I know spousal contribution stuff depends on total earnings for a non-working spouse... so I'm not sure what happens if I don't find a job! I guess I'm worried I'll contribute to my tIRA then find out it's not tax exempt? I'm still trying to figure tax stuff out, and first year filing jointly =\

A working and non-working spouse can still max both their IRAs as long as the working spouse has enough earned income ($11k).

Bracken_Joy

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Re: August August
« Reply #69 on: August 29, 2015, 07:35:52 PM »
So I could still contribute, the issue would just be if the total income exceeds limits for a household for traditional IRA deduction? Looks like it's $98k mAGI for married filing jointly with a retirement plan through work.

Hmm, so pretty sure no matter what we'll be able to take the full deduction for both of us. Awesome. Thanks for the help forummm, you pointed me in the right direction as always!

One more question for anyone who knows: am I correct in understanding that I can have IRAs with multiple companies, so long as I don't contribute to them the same year? Ie, I have an old Roth IRA with wells fargo, and I really don't want to deal with them (very small amount in it, too). I would like to go through Vanguard. I can just open a Vanguard and contribute there, correct?

forummm

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Re: August August
« Reply #70 on: August 30, 2015, 06:20:36 AM »
So I could still contribute, the issue would just be if the total income exceeds limits for a household for traditional IRA deduction? Looks like it's $98k mAGI for married filing jointly with a retirement plan through work.

Hmm, so pretty sure no matter what we'll be able to take the full deduction for both of us. Awesome. Thanks for the help forummm, you pointed me in the right direction as always!

One more question for anyone who knows: am I correct in understanding that I can have IRAs with multiple companies, so long as I don't contribute to them the same year? Ie, I have an old Roth IRA with wells fargo, and I really don't want to deal with them (very small amount in it, too). I would like to go through Vanguard. I can just open a Vanguard and contribute there, correct?

Even if your income is too high to take the traditional IRA deduction, you can contribute to a Roth IRA. At some point if your income gets too high to contribute to a Roth IRA, you can still contributed to a Roth IRA by doing a "backdoor Roth" contribution. Roth IRAs are nice too.

You can have as many IRAs as you want to. And you could even contribute to multiple IRAs in the same year, as long as the total contribution amount between all accounts is $5500 or less. But you could also just roll over the WF IRA to Vanguard. It would probably be a better idea to do that since Vanguard generally has better investment options and fees than WF. No tax would be involved. Probably a phone call or two and a signature. I think you can have Vanguard initiate the transfer for you. I think Vanguard has a $1000 minimum for IRAs but I'm not sure.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: August August
« Reply #71 on: August 30, 2015, 08:23:28 AM »
Thanks!

I know Roth vs traditional is a hot debate in FI circles. MadFIentist seems very anti-Roth (except doing backdoor Roth). I think you're the first person on the forums I've seen who likes Roth.

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Re: August August
« Reply #72 on: August 30, 2015, 08:37:54 AM »
Thanks!

I know Roth vs traditional is a hot debate in FI circles. MadFIentist seems very anti-Roth (except doing backdoor Roth). I think you're the first person on the forums I've seen who likes Roth.

I think it depends on tax brackets. Most early retirees will be in a lower tax bracket when they retire than when working, so traditional is a higher priority than a Roth. However, maxing both traditional and Roth is the best of both worlds.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: August August
« Reply #73 on: August 30, 2015, 08:58:57 AM »
Thanks!

I know Roth vs traditional is a hot debate in FI circles. MadFIentist seems very anti-Roth (except doing backdoor Roth). I think you're the first person on the forums I've seen who likes Roth.

I think it depends on tax brackets. Most early retirees will be in a lower tax bracket when they retire than when working, so traditional is a higher priority than a Roth. However, maxing both traditional and Roth is the best of both worlds.

You mean a traditional for one person and a roth for the other? Because otherwise, I thought you could only do one or the other per year (to $5,500 per person). Am I wrong about this?

Oh! And it was GoCurry Cracker I was thinking of, not MadFIentist. This post: http://www.gocurrycracker.com/roth-sucks/

(Obviously I'm not debating, I don't know enough for that- just trying to beef up my knowledge! So assume earnest tone, lol)

forummm

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Re: August August
« Reply #74 on: August 30, 2015, 09:37:32 AM »
Thanks!

I know Roth vs traditional is a hot debate in FI circles. MadFIentist seems very anti-Roth (except doing backdoor Roth). I think you're the first person on the forums I've seen who likes Roth.

I think it depends on tax brackets. Most early retirees will be in a lower tax bracket when they retire than when working, so traditional is a higher priority than a Roth. However, maxing both traditional and Roth is the best of both worlds.

You can't max both traditional and Roth IRAs. You can contribute up to $5500 per year per person. You could do part of that in traditional and part in Roth. Or one person go Roth and the other person traditional. But only up to $5500 per year per person in total.

You can max out 401ks and other work-based retirement plans in addition to your IRA.

Thanks!

I know Roth vs traditional is a hot debate in FI circles. MadFIentist seems very anti-Roth (except doing backdoor Roth). I think you're the first person on the forums I've seen who likes Roth.

Roths are great. I've maxed mine every year since 2000. At this point I would prefer a deductible traditional, but I make too much to get the deduction. Roth is the next best thing. When I first started I made so little that my taxes were so low (or zero) so it made sense to use a Roth then too.

forummm

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Re: August August
« Reply #75 on: August 30, 2015, 11:05:21 AM »
Okay! Not quite to the end of the month yet, but there shouldn't be any more expenses for me.


ditto! (great job, btw!!)

Our monthly expenses were just about $1800 CDN. This is for 2 adults & 1 cat. Slightly higher than I was hoping, but we did have some unexpected household & medical expenses (replacing broken household item, much-needed cold & flu medication, and an unexpected dentist visit, for which we had to pay our deductible). Overall, very pleased & looking forward to Savetember!

The details:
$670 - Mortgage interest & Insurance / Strata fee (HOA)
$115 - Internet/Phone
$120 - gas
$450 - groceries
$70 - restaurants
$70 - health
$10 - pets
$125 - household
$15 - entertainment
$135 - gifts
$20 - misc

Very nice!

forummm

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Re: August August
« Reply #76 on: September 01, 2015, 06:27:43 AM »
Our august August expenses

$215.93   Utilities
$182.00   Groceries
$87.77   Eating Out
$392.40   Misc (125 for medical and 54 for part of some home repair)
401.00   Insurance (prorated) and property tax (prorated)
311.00   Interest expense
1,590.10   Total Expenses

A record high savings and savings rate for us in a month where we only had 2 paydays. But we couldn't quite get back down to last month's record low spending.

Faraday

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Re: August August
« Reply #77 on: September 01, 2015, 10:17:34 AM »
$152    Utilities
$82       Internet and phone
$25       Republic Wireless
$13       Net Ducks
$427.60    Groceries (incl food for lunches at work)
$28       Gasoline
$32       Misc medical
$243    Property insurance and taxes
$276    Mortgage Interest
$12        Service Charges (Counter checks moving money around)
$232    Restaurants (OMG)
$80       Bike Trailer
$1,603    Total

Targeted areas for improvement in Savetember are Utilities, Groceries, Misc Medical, Mortgage Interest, Service Charges and Restaurants. In August, these were $1374. I believe I can reach $1000 or less on these starting today (Sept. 1).

August August net savings Increases Compared to July:
+$5000 for mortgage principal
+$2000 Vanguard Roth IRA
Pre-tax savings were unchanged from prior levels.
Looking to increase savings numbers for Savetember.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 10:24:49 AM by mefla »

forummm

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Re: August August
« Reply #78 on: September 01, 2015, 12:07:33 PM »
That's pretty bomb, Mefla! I bet that's a pretty high savings rate. How did it feel living during the month? Something you could keep doing forever?

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Re: August August
« Reply #79 on: September 01, 2015, 12:55:00 PM »
That's pretty bomb, Mefla! I bet that's a pretty high savings rate. How did it feel living during the month? Something you could keep doing forever?

YES YES YES. Definitely something I could keep doing forever. More importantly, something I could improve on and then live on the improved version forever.

Well, I just realized I'm wrong about this. I didn't include pro-rata monies for yearly auto insurance and I have to set aside money for taxes in case there's a problem.  But I can get "in the neighborhood" pretty reliably.

Other tangential babbling deleted... :-)

« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 03:49:12 PM by mefla »

forummm

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Re: August August
« Reply #80 on: September 01, 2015, 01:51:39 PM »
Mefla, all you would need to do is add up your take-home pay for August. If it's $3,206 or more (1,603/3,206 =50%), then you have over a 50% savings rate.

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Re: August August
« Reply #81 on: September 01, 2015, 03:34:31 PM »
Mefla, all you would need to do is add up your take-home pay for August. If it's $3,206 or more (1,603/3,206 =50%), then you have over a 50% savings rate.

Take home pay for the month was $5727.  The added amounts put toward the mortgage principal and Roth IRA include the savings from No-Buy July.  :-)

forummm, this exercise was exactly the kick-in-the-pants I needed - it might be a good idea to formalize the exercise into a kind of "Training program for Young Mustachians". I track everything using Personal Capital and my various web-based windows into the different resources, but nothing shows me "How much I'm saving in a month" and until these two threads, that amount was actually a little mysterious to me up until now because there's no line item that says SAVINGS in anything I've got.

I guess that's a good argument for tracking budgets in a spreadsheet, or using YNAB?
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 03:55:57 PM by mefla »

forummm

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Re: August August
« Reply #82 on: September 01, 2015, 04:37:18 PM »
Mefla, all you would need to do is add up your take-home pay for August. If it's $3,206 or more (1,603/3,206 =50%), then you have over a 50% savings rate.

Take home pay for the month was $5727.  The added amounts put toward the mortgage principal and Roth IRA include the savings from No-Buy July.  :-)

forummm, this exercise was exactly the kick-in-the-pants I needed - it might be a good idea to formalize the exercise into a kind of "Training program for Young Mustachians". I track everything using Personal Capital and my various web-based windows into the different resources, but nothing shows me "How much I'm saving in a month" and until these two threads, that amount was actually a little mysterious to me up until now because there's no line item that says SAVINGS in anything I've got.

I guess that's a good argument for tracking budgets in a spreadsheet, or using YNAB?


That's a 72% savings rate. Pretty badass! And you still saw stuff you could cut back on.

Faraday

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Re: August August
« Reply #83 on: September 01, 2015, 05:53:47 PM »
That's a 72% savings rate. Pretty badass! And you still saw stuff you could cut back on.

I may have spoken too soon, the Season of InsanityTM begins with Halloween in October (running through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day and ending with the conclusion of the Easter season.)

I'm thinking ahead to Thanksgiving and Christmas - those two holidays are hell on frugalism. Maybe I start setting aside money so I can provide a budgeted amount? (Rather than letting things be left to chance, as I've done in the past.)

forummm, muster all the wisdom and incantations you can in Savetember and <whatever October is>. Things could go all to hell for me after that...

Anje

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Re: August August
« Reply #84 on: September 03, 2015, 05:06:25 AM »
I'm in.
Holiday with travels in July means it's time to cut back and go basic in August. Also: august is the month of bounty. So much free berries and mushrooms and what not right now. Bonus of this is: spending time picking, harvesting and preserving stuff means no time to get bored and go spend money.
Ah, well. Time to sum up august.
On the positive side: travel expenses were as expected (plane ticket and hotel for holiday). Food ended up way below budget, so fall bounty paid off.
On the negative side: ended up buying a new vacuum. My old one has been on it's last leg for nearly a year, and I finally just had enough and got a new one. Also went overboard on the clothes-budget. Got a pair of quality shoes. They'll last me years, but cost 1.5 monthly budgets. (Jikes!)