Author Topic: Getting ready to embark on $500 February  (Read 7494 times)

hoyahoyasaxa

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Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« on: January 22, 2013, 07:53:11 AM »
So here's our situation: My wife and I live in a neighborhood in Queens about 3 miles outside of Manhattan.  We pay $1525 for a one-bedroom apartment and are hoping to move into our first home sometime in the next year or two.  At the moment, I'm searching for work- I worked for a campaign consultant through the election.  My wife makes $2028 in take home pay for her job as a manager at a museum.  I'm taking home around $1450 a month from unemployment for the time being.  Our expenses are generally somewhere in the $3000 neighborhood, including our rent payment, so roughly $1500 on everything else.  But we're issuing a challenge to ourselves for February- we're going to live only on my wife's income - that means spending just $500 on everything else aside from housing in February.  I'm not entirely sure if we can do it, but I have hopes- I'm going to start a thread in the journal section of the MMM forum on February 1st and log any expenses we incur each day.

sheepstache

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 10:44:49 AM »
Hola to a fellow New Yorker, and good luck!

nofool

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 12:11:43 PM »
Dang. I don't think I'll be able to cut my variable expenses to just 500. But props to you guys! 

swick

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 03:20:51 PM »
Good Luck!

Here is a great thread on using up staples and saving money on food. Hope you'll pop in!

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/throw-down-the-gauntlet/fire-drill!-skip-this-week's-grocery-shop

grantmeaname

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 07:01:34 PM »
Good luck! I may try and spend $500 on everything in February, but unlike you real people I don't have to pay health insurance or a couple other random bills like that. My fixed expenses (food/rent/utilites) are like $475, so that may be a little too ambitious.

c

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 07:03:38 PM »
Ha, I was just running numbers today to see how I could get my expenses down to the bare bones as I've been a bit lax lately. I think that after mortgage and maintenance $500 should be do-able for everything else. I will join you in this challenge.


Paul der Krake

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 07:38:09 PM »
You can definitely feed a couple and have a fun life with $500. Unless you have a yearly bill such as car registration/insurance or some membership renewal coming up, you should do just fine.

I'd join but my insurance would eat up 75% of the $250 budget for someone single... Maybe March!

c

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 05:39:59 PM »
I told my husband and my sister than I'm in on this.  I will aim to keep all my expenses/spending within $500 for the month of February, expect for mortgage and a doctor's bill.

hoyahoyasaxa

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 08:38:58 PM »
That's awesome, c!  Good luck to you!  We'll see how it goes for the both of us.

Jack

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 01:47:21 PM »
I don't think I can do it, but I'm going to join in on this challenge. However, I'm going to exclude other debt repayment (student loans etc.) as well as the mortgage. I'm also going to exclude vehicle registration (due March 1) and home-improvement/gardening-related expenses (I consider those to be more similar to investments than consumer spending).

It's going to be really challenging because just my utilities (electric, gas, water, internet access, Netflix and newspaper) are about $200/month, my commuting costs are another $100+, and my current food spending is nowhere near the $200/month it's going to need to be to succeed.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 01:49:04 PM by Jack »

Herbert Derp

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2013, 02:27:21 AM »
It's February 2, and I have $276.20 total available to spend until my paycheck next month. Let's do this! Note that I already paid off my bills for the month amounting to around $1000.

hoyahoyasaxa

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2013, 09:09:19 AM »
Good luck to those joining in.  Journaling the month here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/journals/$500-february/

Jack

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2013, 09:32:46 AM »
I bought $40 worth of biodiesel yesterday -- $460 left.

c

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2013, 07:41:21 AM »
I bought $13 worth of groceries yesterday, that's it for spending so far. I also resisted the urge to sit and get coffee, and I packed snack and filled my water bottle when I ran an errand.

Herbert Derp

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2013, 11:41:49 PM »
I spent $44.69 at Walmart to buy supplies for a Super Bowl party, and $2 to see a movie. This leaves me with $231.51 for the rest of the month...
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 12:37:07 AM by Herbert Derp »

Jack

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2013, 06:26:02 AM »
I bought $63.18 worth of groceries and $11.33 worth of pet supplies yesterday -- $385.19 left.

Jack

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2013, 07:15:08 PM »
I bought $27.39 worth of groceries yesterday and spent $11 on lunch at work (it was my boss's birthday, and three of us took him out to lunch and chipped in for his meal) -- $346.8 left.

Herbert Derp

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2013, 11:09:06 PM »
$55.49 spent this week on groceries, snacks, and other stuff. Plus, $27.22 went towards my electric bill. So that makes $82.71 spent, with only $148.80 remaining. I need to make this last.

JamesL

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2013, 12:04:08 AM »
I'm in :). I'll do my challenge at $250 though b/c I don't pay for food or housing (live with my parents)
So far, 2 Dr. appointments= $40 (copay) (injured my foot lol)
and my anual fee for my credit card = $20
$70 facial (trying to get rid of acne)
$10 parking (I hate downtown at night)

$140 for the first week.

Jack

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2013, 10:27:12 AM »
$11.54 in admission for a networking event on Saturday, $29.25 in groceries and $33.58 in fuel yesterday -- $272.42 left.

Considering that it's only halfway through the month and I still have utilities to pay, I think I'm a little over budget.

CNM

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2013, 10:41:25 AM »
I've been doing this exact challenge this month!
I put everything on my credit card, other than my mortgage, childcare, and utilities expenses.  So, my cc has most of my "wants" items on there.  This is what I have spent so far this month:

162- gym membership (yeah, I know this is ridiculous, but there it is)
16.23- baby supplies
66.19- groceries
24.77-groceries
44.75- dry cleaning
15- charity
-----
$328.69

Even though I'm getting pretty close to $500 and I still have a long way to go, the only other expenses I foresee is grocery which should be under $150 for the remainder of the month.  It'll be veeery close though!


Jack

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2013, 10:43:38 AM »
Even though I'm getting pretty close to $500 and I still have a long way to go, the only other expenses I foresee is grocery which should be under $150 for the remainder of the month.  It'll be veeery close though!

You're not including utilities in your $500?

CNM

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2013, 01:26:05 PM »
Right, no utilities.

Herbert Derp

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2013, 01:42:47 AM »
$210.75 in my bank account, $173.71 on my credit card. This means I have $37.04 left to spend for the month, with ten days to go. I can do it.

Jack

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2013, 06:53:22 AM »
$96.22 on groceries yesterday (which included a few staples; 20 lb bag of rice etc.), $5.75 for parking twice at City Hall last week* -- $170.45 left.

I am now officially over-budget on groceries for the month. I hope my utility bills will be low enough to bail me out, but I'm not confident that they will. : (

(*I attended meetings as a representative of my community association, so that parking expense could be reimbursed. I'll just think of it as an in-kind donation instead, though.)

CNM

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2013, 10:18:03 AM »
I spent some money on a dinner with my husband this weekend but I still have ~$81 left to spend.  I don't really need too many groceries- perhaps a few vegetables but no expensive items like fish or meat so I think I can make it!

I also signed up for a challenge for March.   In addition to the savings gained from not spending money that I work so hard to earn, I'm hoping that participating in these challenges will make me less desirous of material things altogether.

CNM

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2013, 11:13:49 AM »
Damn it, I went over this weekend.  I bought baby formula and some baby food making supplies and went a little too crazy at the grocery store AND bought a book.  I went over by EIGHT dollars. So, I blew it.  And I still need to get some wipes as I'll probably run out next week.  Luckily I doubt I'll have any expenses for the remaining four days of this month. 

Looking ahead- I'm going to try this all again in March.


Jack

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2013, 01:31:29 PM »
It turns out my utility bills (which were last paid at the end of January) aren't due until a few days into March. Nevertheless, I'm going to include them as if I were going to pay them today:

$58.61 - Electricity
$69.06 - Water/Sewer
$63.72 - Natural Gas
$29.99 - Internet
$7.99 - Netflix
===
$229.37 - Total

So, damn. I'm now $58.92 over, and still plan to buy another ~$40 worth of biodiesel and maybe ~$2 of bananas before the end of the month. (Plus I still need to figure in my newspaper subscription, which I can't look up easily because it's debited from a Mint-incompatible account.)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 01:47:31 PM by Jack »

Herbert Derp

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Re: Getting ready to embark on $500 February
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2013, 03:54:59 AM »
February is over! Here are my totals:

Rent: $927.31 (this includes my water/sewage/trash bill because it is added to my rent)
Bills: $85.07 (phone, electricity, and internet)
Other: $233.29
Total: $1,245.67

So not including the rent, my total spending was only $318.36. Not too shabby.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 04:39:29 AM by Herbert Derp »