Author Topic: Uber Frugal January  (Read 35747 times)

wordnerd

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #400 on: January 28, 2018, 10:54:08 AM »
Mrs. FW's post today, coupled with a conversation with a forum friend yesterday, is making me consider whether my uber-frugal may be too frugal for me (at least long-term). Once I focus on cutting expenses, I can have trouble spending money on anything. Mrs. FW's email talked abut using substitution to live luxuriously. I think my issue is that I've already done a lot of substituting in my normal life, so cutting back further means not doing something at all.

As an example, I like going out to breakfast with my kid. We had kinda fallen into a routine of going to Dunkin' Donuts on the weekends, and some of that was mindless, so I tried to completely stop going. But, Dunkin' already was a substitution of a real meal out, which we pretty much never do. Today, I really wanted to go to take him out; it was raining, the library was closed, and a donut sounded amazing. We went, had a fun time people watching, and ended up spending $7 (bringing our eating out total for the month to $18). $7 is a negligible amount given our financial situation (and I valued the experience that I purchased with it), but I felt guilty about spending the money rather than eating at home and figuring out something free to do.

I don't know that this a healthy way to approach spending. I may need to figure out some balance before I FIRE, or I might end up feeling deprived for no good reason.

gaja

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #401 on: January 28, 2018, 02:09:17 PM »
Week 1: $10 (activities), $188 (food), $9 (transport).
Week 2: $94 (groceries) + $21 (eating out)
Week 3: $80 (transport) + $206 (food) + $70 (clothes) + $125 (eating out) + $56 (activities)

Day 22: $0
Day 23: $144 (new passports)
Day 24: $8 (groceries)
Day 25: $6 (snacks)
Day 26: $27 (groceries)
Day 27: $30 (groceries) + $15 (lørdagsgodt/candy)
Day 28: $380 (tickets for kids’ flight to visit grandparents)

We send the kids by plane to visit their grandparents a few times a year. It costs a bit more when they travel alone, but is very much worth it. Couldn’t hold of buying the tickets any longer, if we wanted decent prices.

The taxes on candy, soda, and other sugary products, have increased by 80%. Since the shops have run out of discounted Christmas chocolates, we really start seeing the price hike now.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 03:17:41 PM by gaja »

Rosy

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #402 on: January 28, 2018, 02:16:09 PM »
Came in under budget and even more important, met my savings goals.
Best of all - even though it was really hard to do - I did not spend any more money on jewelry/gemstones. Hoping that in three days I can say - I did it!
Then there are only 11 more months to go to stay on track:)

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #403 on: January 28, 2018, 05:40:07 PM »
Day 28: Success

I paid all of my housing expenses today, so spent $651.99:
  • $537.50 on Rent
  • $49.49 on Gas
  • $15 on Internet
  • $50 on Cell

I share a four bedroom house in a swanky DC suburb with three others, which keeps my rent and utility reasonable even in a HCOL area.  That's the highest our gas bill has ever been - understandable given how cold it's been and how old/leaky our house is, but hopefully it will be more reasonable moving forward.  I also pay a bit more of than my share of a phone plan that I share with my parents and my grandmother. 

Monthly Spending-to-Date: $1,515.08 / $1,750

Lichen

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #404 on: January 28, 2018, 06:23:26 PM »
I think we should be good with no more spending for the month, but I'm still planning a final update on 1/31.

We did go out on a cheap date last night, which bumped our entertainment overage up a bit more. Not as good as I would have liked, but such a vast improvement! Also purchased a few dollars worth of bulk bin spices, so we've pretty much maxed out the grocery budget for January.

Grocery 398.76/400
No spend 21/31 (Goal 23 no spend days)
Clothing/gifts 0/0
Entertainment 169.33/150

CrustyBadger

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #405 on: January 29, 2018, 04:27:05 PM »
This was NOT an Uber Frugal January for me, whatsoever, but I'm still trying to hang in there till the end of the month without shopping for anything not vitally necessary (despite my failures!)

My son asked me a week or so ago if he could have a shoe rack for his closet.  Since I"m not buying anything, I've been halfheartedly looking around for ideas as to how to make one from found objects.  (When I was in college, we all did the bricks + wooden shelves thing for instance...)

So I was thrilled tonight to see someone in my neighborhood posted they had a shoe rack to give away!  Just zipped over there around the corner and picked it up -- it's really nice!

HappierAtHome

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #406 on: January 29, 2018, 04:37:26 PM »
My son asked me a week or so ago if he could have a shoe rack for his closet.  Since I"m not buying anything, I've been halfheartedly looking around for ideas as to how to make one from found objects.  (When I was in college, we all did the bricks + wooden shelves thing for instance...)

So I was thrilled tonight to see someone in my neighborhood posted they had a shoe rack to give away!  Just zipped over there around the corner and picked it up -- it's really nice!

Perfect timing! I love it!

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #407 on: January 29, 2018, 09:19:18 PM »
Day 29: Success.

No Spend Day!

Monthly Spending-to-Date: $1,515.08 / $1,750

Linda_Norway

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #408 on: January 30, 2018, 01:25:34 AM »
I also like to stay focussed on a monthly basis.

Goals for January:
1) Stay active. If possible, go cross country skiing. Or go hiking to work, winter not being an excuse.
2) Don't buy stuff at the cafeteria at work. This month I bought 3 things, one expensive cake thing, one lunch and one coffee bread. 3 unnecessary things too many.
3) Don't buy too many veggies in a row. Just eat up what you have before anything spoils. This usually goes well, but sometimes I loose focus and buy mindlessly.
4) Don't buy more stuff that I don't really need. This month I bought a couple of things (second hand) that I could have lived without.
5) I don't need new clothes.
6) Go to bed on time to be in better shape during the day. Not use half an hour extra on reading in bed.
7) Like December: no more drinking alcohol on normal weekdays, except for Friday. Also, max 1 bottle of wine per week (for the 2 of us).

Making up a status at the end of the month:
1) Doing well. I ski on all my days off and I have walked to work once or twice a week in addition (15 km a day). That is 3-4 good workouts a week. I could probably do even better, but it is good enough for the moment.
2) So far so good, haven't bought anything at the cafeteria. Got a waffle for free once, and a cup of tomato soup for free.
3) I haven't been buying too many veggies. I try to shop a bit more often and only plan a few days ahead, so that it is easier to adjust the amount of veggies. I am also getting better at counting a certain amount of veggies as food for 2 meals.
4) I don't think I bought anything unnecessary, or anything at all. I almost considered buying a new winter coat on sale. But as my current 6 or so year old one still works, and looked like a nicer coat than the one on sale, I changed my mind.
5) No new clothes have been bought.
6) I am going to bed at decent times on weekdays. Often I bring along a book, but when I notice I am sleepy, I just turn off the light and go to sleep. Now I often use my earbuds preventively and I notice that it makes me sleep deeper.
7) I was doing so well with the alcohol rule for many weeks. But I became week yesterday evening and had a glass of homemade beer on a Monday night. I didn't even taste great, which was not about the beer, but just about my mood. I could have done without, but I felt a bit awkward and thought I deserved a nice beer.

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #409 on: January 30, 2018, 05:45:36 PM »
Day 30: Success

Spent $2.47 at grocery store (Turkey Pepperoni (6oz), Organic Salad Greens (5 oz), Soup, Green Peppers (2), Cucumber, Onion).  Will get $.25 back from rebate app.

Redeemed $7.98 in Paypal from a rebate app.

Monthly Spending-to-Date: $1509.57

haypug16

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #410 on: January 31, 2018, 01:26:01 PM »
Groceries = $200 ($204.65/200) - Close enough for me!
Dining Out = $100 ($134.27/100) Not terrible but could have done better
Entertainment = $50 ($47.56/50) - Check
Clothes = $0 (modified after joining the No Clothes Shopping Challenge) ($0/0) Check
Personal & Household items = $10 - ($8/10)  Check
Misc = $75 ($166.60/75) - Terrible! If I didn't have that Amazon Prime membership I would have been OK.

On to next month :)

eliza

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #411 on: January 31, 2018, 06:02:35 PM »
Day 31: Success

Spent $4.71 at the grocery store on Milk (32 oz), Turkey Sausage (13 oz), Broccoli (.7 lb), and Sesame Sauce x 2.  (Will get back $4.50 from rebate app.)

Overall, the month was a success - it was more frugal than my normal, but I still had a lot of fun.

Total January Spending: $1,514.92.   Significantly under my $1,750 goal, but just over my $1,500.00 stretch goal.
  • $668.16 on housing and utilities
  • $78.05 on groceries and alcohol (non-travel related)
  • $9.95 on entertainment
  • $364.91 on health care (year's supply of contacts)
  • $20 on transportation
  • $5.05 on shopping (personal care, household goods, misc)
  • $149.99 on travel (five day trip to Atlantic City)
  • $218.17 on family (this category accounts for all spending during two trips to visit my family --- we split expenses funny, so I break this out so it doesn't mess up my projections in other categories


I'm going to miss the accountability of this thread.  Hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and prosperous February!

Lichen

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #412 on: January 31, 2018, 09:23:06 PM »
Final check-in for January!

Grocery 398.76/400
No spend 24/31 (Goal 23 no spend days)
Clothing/gifts 0/0
Entertainment 169.33/150

I'm really, really, really happy with how this month went! We're trying to internalize the lessons, as well. We've already planned to entertain at home twice this month, thus negating any urge to go out with friends. Public accountability really helps me overcome temptation, so I made a point of checking in on the Frugal February thread already, as well!

Here's to all the Uber Frugalers -- thanks for sharing your journeys and inspiring me this month!

jkitiara

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #413 on: January 31, 2018, 09:43:52 PM »
I don't know that this a healthy way to approach spending. I may need to figure out some balance before I FIRE, or I might end up feeling deprived for no good reason.
@wordnerd this is a really great thing to realize. Mustachianism is supposed to make you feel badass, not nervous and guilty! When you set up your spending to align with your values you don't have to sweat $7.

YellowCat

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #414 on: January 31, 2018, 09:50:44 PM »
I'm calling it - we're done. Total spent for the month is $3617.83. Quite a bit higher than my ambitious $3300 target, but nearly $600 less than last year's average of $4203 per month. Also I got husband on board for a Frugal February, at least when we get back from our long trip on the 16th. So that's something...Overall I'm pleased with how the month went, though I see some low hanging fruit / room for improvement.
________________________
Non-Housing:
- Food & Dining: $400.66
- 2018 CSA (farm share): $200
- Shopping & Gifts: $131.18 / $0 (not budgeted for, gifts for family during Feb trip)
- Husband haircut: $15
- Husband basketball ticket: $112 (this is basically unheard of: neither of us are sports fans, but he went with work people while on a business trip)
- Lyft: $10.39
- Gasoline: $97.76 / $100 (2 fill-ups per vehicle, about average for us. I did just submit mileage for January work trips which will yield an extra $83.40 in my February paycheck.)
- Legal: $725 (husband citizenship application)
- 401(k) quarterly fees: $18.50

Housing / Fixed:
Mortgage Payment: $1221.52
Car Loan: $326.33
Internet Bill: $26.98
Electric Bill: $42.29
Quarterly Water Bill: $142.44 ($47.48 per month Sept - Dec 2017)
Charity: $147.78

Total: $3617.83

wordnerd

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Re: Uber Frugal January
« Reply #415 on: February 03, 2018, 07:14:48 AM »
Tallied my January expenses, and I'm pretty happy with the result. We had some "essential" expenses that we could have deferred but would've spent eventually anyway: $107 on brakes, $80 on two new car seats for the two year old (new baby will get his car seats), and $90 stocking up on diapers.

Even with that, we had a 87% savings rate. Dining out was $24 (2017 monthly average was $107), and I completely abstained from the work cafeteria (goal achieved!). Other wins: cut my own hair and am loving it and a good amount of frugal socializing. I've also set up free/frugal social engagements for every weekend in February, so I'm excited about that.