Author Topic: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019  (Read 21340 times)

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #100 on: January 12, 2019, 04:59:42 AM »
Spending 2019:
Food: 7
Travel card: 57
Home repairs: 80

Will probably have enough money on my card to last me for the rest of the month. Will do a big food shop today, we are totally out of options now.

Nice job @Imma!

I'm now at
Food: 32
Travel card: 57
Home repairs: 80

Tonight we have a date night :) We rarely do special date nights, but it's our 5-year anniversary today so it's a special day. Turns out we both planned a surprise for the other (I planned to see a movie, he planned dinner) so we will have a long and expensive night doing both. I'm pretty sure we'll stay under 100 and we hardly ever do expensive things together, so we don't mind the cost at all.

We were still poor when we got together so we never got into the habit of spending money on expensive activities or gifts, even though we could afford it now.

Nederstash

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #101 on: January 12, 2019, 06:46:44 AM »
Weeelll... I'm going over budget. Not regarding my regular expenses, but my holiday to Iceland in the summer. I had planned to spend 1500 euro all in for this 7 day holiday (per person), but now that I've booked everything, I'm already at 1450 euro! Ack!

Part of this is because I was perhaps a bit too optimistic on prices for the high season. Good luck finding a hotel for less than 150 (75 each). But another part... man, we did pack on the fun. A helicopter tour, whale watching, boat tour on the glacier lake with icebergs. Super fun and I don't really regret booking it... but holy hell, my budget is blown. That stinks. We kept piling on because we kept thinking 'well, we're only there once!'.

Still need to buy gas, food and drinks for the week so I'm guessing the total will go to 2000 per person, so 500 over budget. I did get an unexpected return on my gas bill for 442 euro so most of this will be covered, I'll tighten my budget this month to cover the rest.

Hope I'll remember this lesson in 6 months time and don't think "Oh what the hell" when I'm in full holiday spirit.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #102 on: January 12, 2019, 07:32:08 AM »
Weeelll... I'm going over budget. Not regarding my regular expenses, but my holiday to Iceland in the summer. I had planned to spend 1500 euro all in for this 7 day holiday (per person), but now that I've booked everything, I'm already at 1450 euro! Ack!

Part of this is because I was perhaps a bit too optimistic on prices for the high season. Good luck finding a hotel for less than 150 (75 each). But another part... man, we did pack on the fun. A helicopter tour, whale watching, boat tour on the glacier lake with icebergs. Super fun and I don't really regret booking it... but holy hell, my budget is blown. That stinks. We kept piling on because we kept thinking 'well, we're only there once!'.

Still need to buy gas, food and drinks for the week so I'm guessing the total will go to 2000 per person, so 500 over budget. I did get an unexpected return on my gas bill for 442 euro so most of this will be covered, I'll tighten my budget this month to cover the rest.

Hope I'll remember this lesson in 6 months time and don't think "Oh what the hell" when I'm in full holiday spirit.

Check out alternatives, air B&B and camping.

Gin1984

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #103 on: January 12, 2019, 08:10:21 PM »
I had real craving for Taco Bell, and gave in but instead of eating a full meal I just bought one taco to get over it. Not the best solution, but better than I would have done before.

Trifele

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #104 on: January 13, 2019, 05:57:26 AM »
Had a close call yesterday near dinnertime, when we were all REALLY wanting to go out to eat, but we resisted and made dinner at home instead.

We don't normally eat out very often, but due to our crazy house construction (doing it all ourselves and living in the house while we're doing it), we have been making do with a temporary 'kitchen' in our basement with a hot plate and microwave for the past three months.  It gets a bit challenging to (a) eat healthy and (b) not eat the same things every day.   

If we make it another month like this (no kitchen) without eating out, that will be badass. 

Linea_Norway

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #105 on: January 13, 2019, 06:43:24 AM »
Had a close call yesterday near dinnertime, when we were all REALLY wanting to go out to eat, but we resisted and made dinner at home instead.

We don't normally eat out very often, but due to our crazy house construction (doing it all ourselves and living in the house while we're doing it), we have been making do with a temporary 'kitchen' in our basement with a hot plate and microwave for the past three months.  It gets a bit challenging to (a) eat healthy and (b) not eat the same things every day.   

If we make it another month like this (no kitchen) without eating out, that will be badass.

For three months! That is a very long time. I consider it acceptable if you get some form of healthy take-out once in a while and lots of otherwise preproduced foods. I have been it that situation myself, just for 1 month, I think. At that time we also occasionally ate warm-up in the microwave frozen lasagna from the grocery store. There is only so much you can do with a microwave and one stove.
You can always get a bag of mixed and washed salad to accompany a not so nutricious dish. Our store has bags of frozen pasta/rice meals with lot of vegetavles in them. Those seem very health and only require 5 minutes in a wok.

meerkat

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #106 on: January 13, 2019, 10:10:16 AM »
Had a close call yesterday near dinnertime, when we were all REALLY wanting to go out to eat, but we resisted and made dinner at home instead.

We don't normally eat out very often, but due to our crazy house construction (doing it all ourselves and living in the house while we're doing it), we have been making do with a temporary 'kitchen' in our basement with a hot plate and microwave for the past three months.  It gets a bit challenging to (a) eat healthy and (b) not eat the same things every day.   

If we make it another month like this (no kitchen) without eating out, that will be badass.

Oh we did this last year! Our food spending actually went down that month somehow (maybe we should never have a kitchen as a way to reduce our food costs...) We did a lot of grilled cheese and quesadillas on the George Foreman grill, burgers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - like you said, not the healthiest. We moved our fridge out to the garage which was also stuff storage instead of car storage for a while, but having access to a fridge and grill was greatly helpful. We also had figured out the cheap eat out food in advance and allowed ourselves one per week I think, but it usually provided leftovers. We did eat lunch out a lot more often so leftovers were for dinner the next night instead of lunch, but it's cheaper to eat out for lunch than for dinner.

Good luck with the kitchen!

Cassie

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #107 on: January 13, 2019, 10:45:29 AM »
Use, we found out the hard way with AT&T that when one of our phones died after we paid them off early we had no recourse.  They said if we hadnt done that we would have gotten a new phone without paying much.

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #108 on: January 13, 2019, 11:03:34 AM »
Use, we found out the hard way with AT&T that when one of our phones died after we paid them off early we had no recourse.  They said if we hadnt done that we would have gotten a new phone without paying much.

Thanks for the info. I can see that and something to keep in mind.


Last night my wife and I went out to dinner at our favorite (not cheap) Mexican place. Their food is amazing and we love their margaritas. The margaritas are expensive at $10/ea, and we often get 2 a piece. Its easy to tell myself well just get 1, but once were there and really want another, the first one makes it easy to talk ourselves into a second.

So... while we were getting ready at home, we made margaritas with stuff we already had! We said if we have 1 at home itll be easier to stick to 1 at dinner. We drank our margaritas at home, got to dinner, and didnt even feel like having any with dinner! Also, we had a $25 gift card we got for Christmas. I also went with the enchiladas ($18) instead of my normal fajitas ($28).

We ended up with a $43 bill (+tip) minus our $25 gift card. There have been many a times where we left there $90-$100 lighter! Even better, we had enough left over for our breakfast this morning.

Peachtea

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #109 on: January 13, 2019, 05:33:23 PM »
Slightly under budget half way through the month. Monthly budget to meet 40k goal is $1658 after rent. 50% mark is $829 and were at $807.41. Woo!

Groceries & Personal Care: $299.82
Travel: $272 - Train tickets to go home in February and Thanksgiving.
Shopping: $125 - bulk cat food, 6 months of wet food.
Eating & Drinking Out: $67.16 - $10.92 drink w/friend; $56.24 Q1 wine subscription.
Internet, Phone, Electricity: $30 internet.
Other: $13.43 - $6.53 movie rental; $6.90 soda at movie theater.

The holiday train tickets were a big win, its normally 3x more even when booking months ahead. This time I booked so far in advance I got them less than base fare. Hurray! The quarterly wine subscription is from a small winery we like...did I mention we added some life style creep last year? Yet, Im very excited for it to arrive, sooo...

The funny thing is were only slightly under budget, yet Ive felt like weve been really frugal. I think its because weve done a lot of free or almost free activities this month. That and Im furloughed so no coffee outs (feels like Im spending no money). But the larger purchases have outweighed my lack of coffee apparently. More motivation to spend less the second half of the month!

Peachtea

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #110 on: January 13, 2019, 05:37:08 PM »
Spending 2019:
Food: 7
Travel card: 57
Home repairs: 80

Will probably have enough money on my card to last me for the rest of the month. Will do a big food shop today, we are totally out of options now.

Nice job @Imma!

I'm now at
Food: 32
Travel card: 57
Home repairs: 80

Tonight we have a date night :) We rarely do special date nights, but it's our 5-year anniversary today so it's a special day.

Super impressive Imma! Especially the food budget. Congrats on your anniversary!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #111 on: January 13, 2019, 05:45:17 PM »
Okay. First week up.

Expected/Fixed:
Rent
Electric
Gym membership
Google Music
Food for the dog
Charity
(Debating sharing these costs specifically)

Variable/Elective:
Deposit for vet appointment (new vet since we moved. Pup's baby teeth haven't all fallen out, so we want to get those checked and plan for her getting fixed)- $60 deposit, appointment will be $170, then TBD on procedures
Groceries - $147 so far. We came home from Christmas out of town to an empty fridge. Includes a large haul of produce and some coffee coming tomorrow from Imperfect Produce. Also just replaced a ton of nuts and seeds I ran out of. Those should last a while, but they're spendy all at once.
General household- some plastic lids for mason jars. Been dragging my feet on this for a long time, but we needed more. We store a lot in glass. Also getting a draft stopper for the front door. We've been using a towel, but the only spare towel is an incredibly ugly 'dog towel'. Downsides- needs to be picked up every time we wash the dog. Also ugly as sin. I probably would have kept with the towel or found a less ugly towel, but husband decided it was a Thing. He rarely does this, so I'm happy to oblige on this. All in all, it was just under $26. I got $25 amazon credit this week for completing a study, so well timed- less than $1 out of pocket.
Student loan payments- we decided to kill all the loans above 4% interest. Previously we'd been letting all the 4-5% interest rate ones ride. But we got a big lump of cash from selling the house, and already put shittons in the market ($11k IRAs, $10k brokerage, set up to add $2k brokerage per month, and we'll be doing 2019 IRAs soon- another $12k). So $7,525 later, we're down by 3 loans, ALL of my husband's loans are gone, and outstanding student debt is less than $10k, at 3.61%

Second week summary here:
Groceries are artificially low, as one store we go to we're working through gift cards (got them on a cyber monday sale, bought $500 worth for $400, and got 6% on rewards CC still). Anyway, since that purchase was Nov or Dec, I haven't wanted to double count them.

Gas: $39 (one fill up)
Groceries: $183
Utilities: $96
Health spending (doc, pharmacy, acupunture): $173
Social spending (scone and coffee for me at book club, beers for husband with the guys at the same time): $25
Pets: $193 (vet appointment, dog food)
Hobby cost (rash guard for husband): $14

Total non-rent, non-student loan spending so far: $925

Trifele

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #112 on: January 13, 2019, 06:35:01 PM »
Had a close call yesterday near dinnertime, when we were all REALLY wanting to go out to eat, but we resisted and made dinner at home instead.

We don't normally eat out very often, but due to our crazy house construction (doing it all ourselves and living in the house while we're doing it), we have been making do with a temporary 'kitchen' in our basement with a hot plate and microwave for the past three months.  It gets a bit challenging to (a) eat healthy and (b) not eat the same things every day.   

If we make it another month like this (no kitchen) without eating out, that will be badass.

Oh we did this last year! Our food spending actually went down that month somehow (maybe we should never have a kitchen as a way to reduce our food costs...) We did a lot of grilled cheese and quesadillas on the George Foreman grill, burgers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - like you said, not the healthiest. We moved our fridge out to the garage which was also stuff storage instead of car storage for a while, but having access to a fridge and grill was greatly helpful. We also had figured out the cheap eat out food in advance and allowed ourselves one per week I think, but it usually provided leftovers. We did eat lunch out a lot more often so leftovers were for dinner the next night instead of lunch, but it's cheaper to eat out for lunch than for dinner.

Good luck with the kitchen!

Thanks @meerkat!  Yes we do have our fridge, so that is super helpful.  Ooh -- a small grill would be really useful . . . Good idea! 

Slow&Steady

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #113 on: January 14, 2019, 08:09:30 AM »
Had a close call yesterday near dinnertime, when we were all REALLY wanting to go out to eat, but we resisted and made dinner at home instead.

We don't normally eat out very often, but due to our crazy house construction (doing it all ourselves and living in the house while we're doing it), we have been making do with a temporary 'kitchen' in our basement with a hot plate and microwave for the past three months.  It gets a bit challenging to (a) eat healthy and (b) not eat the same things every day.   

If we make it another month like this (no kitchen) without eating out, that will be badass.

Oh we did this last year! Our food spending actually went down that month somehow (maybe we should never have a kitchen as a way to reduce our food costs...) We did a lot of grilled cheese and quesadillas on the George Foreman grill, burgers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - like you said, not the healthiest. We moved our fridge out to the garage which was also stuff storage instead of car storage for a while, but having access to a fridge and grill was greatly helpful. We also had figured out the cheap eat out food in advance and allowed ourselves one per week I think, but it usually provided leftovers. We did eat lunch out a lot more often so leftovers were for dinner the next night instead of lunch, but it's cheaper to eat out for lunch than for dinner.

Good luck with the kitchen!

Thanks @meerkat!  Yes we do have our fridge, so that is super helpful.  Ooh -- a small grill would be really useful . . . Good idea!

When we were remodeling our kitchen we lived off the crock-pot... we now have an instant pot and that would have provided so many more options.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #114 on: January 14, 2019, 08:14:06 AM »
Had a close call yesterday near dinnertime, when we were all REALLY wanting to go out to eat, but we resisted and made dinner at home instead.

We don't normally eat out very often, but due to our crazy house construction (doing it all ourselves and living in the house while we're doing it), we have been making do with a temporary 'kitchen' in our basement with a hot plate and microwave for the past three months.  It gets a bit challenging to (a) eat healthy and (b) not eat the same things every day.   

If we make it another month like this (no kitchen) without eating out, that will be badass.

Oh we did this last year! Our food spending actually went down that month somehow (maybe we should never have a kitchen as a way to reduce our food costs...) We did a lot of grilled cheese and quesadillas on the George Foreman grill, burgers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - like you said, not the healthiest. We moved our fridge out to the garage which was also stuff storage instead of car storage for a while, but having access to a fridge and grill was greatly helpful. We also had figured out the cheap eat out food in advance and allowed ourselves one per week I think, but it usually provided leftovers. We did eat lunch out a lot more often so leftovers were for dinner the next night instead of lunch, but it's cheaper to eat out for lunch than for dinner.

Good luck with the kitchen!

Thanks @meerkat!  Yes we do have our fridge, so that is super helpful.  Ooh -- a small grill would be really useful . . . Good idea!

When we were remodeling our kitchen we lived off the crock-pot... we now have an instant pot and that would have provided so many more options.

IP allows so many easy meals. I do a pork ramen in there often, and one of my favorite lazy meals (egg drop soup) could easily be done in there as well. The saute function really opens up SO many options!

Trifele

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #115 on: January 15, 2019, 03:25:37 AM »
Yes, during our kitchen build we have used the crock pot a couple of times.  And I have wondered about the Instant Pot.  People seem to love them, but I don't get it -- probably because I haven't used one! :)

Second grocery trip of the month came in at $151 for the 4 of us (two adults, two teenagers).  Continuing to try to push that down. 

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #116 on: January 16, 2019, 02:42:30 AM »
Mid month update:

Food: 90
Travel: 63
Fun: 30
Home repairs: 80

Date night ended up cheaper than expected because we didn't make it to the cinema in time. Instead we bought drinks and snacks on the way home and watched Netflix. I paid the monthly fee for my sewing class. The annual maintenance of the central heating system is coming up, so this will be an expensive month for home repairs. We like to make sure our home is well maintained - we used to live in a rental and the landlord didn't believe maintenance was cost effective. We learned valuable lessons there and nr 1 was outsourcing maintenance of important things (like central heating) if you can't DIY it is well worth the money and convenience.

Our food budget is fairly low, because there's just 2 of us and we live simply: oats for breakfast, bread for lunch and seasonal veggies for dinner. We don't eat a lot of meat or exotic food and honestly, during the week we are sometimes just so exhausted when we get back from work we end up eating grilled cheese sandwiches, soup or pancakes.

Trifele

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #117 on: January 16, 2019, 03:12:53 AM »
Welp, there goes my goal to have a below-average spending month.  I went to the dentist yesterday and I have to have a crown put on.  Hopefully that will do the trick and I won't have to proceed to a root canal.  The $ is the least of it.  I have very serious dental phobia and this all makes me ill.  I barely slept last night, but fortunately they were able to fit me in today for the crown.  So at least I won't have days of this dread.  Just want to get through it, pay the bill and move on.   

zygote

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #118 on: January 16, 2019, 10:03:55 AM »
@Trifele Ugh, my sympathies. I really hate the dentist too. Cleanings aren't so bad but any kind of other work is awful. Does your dentist do nitrous oxide? I have to pay extra for it but it is 100% worth it. Makes it way more manageable. Either way, sending good thoughts to you today! I hope the crown placement goes well and that you can avoid the root canal.

philli14

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #119 on: January 16, 2019, 06:23:17 PM »
2018 finances finished up:

Things that really stood out that I will be monitoring in 2019 include:

Cell phone ($75/mo): Late 2018 I switched to Sprint to take advantage of the 1 free year unlimited data/talk/text. I expect this to average out to less than $10/mo. SAVINGS: $65/mo
Gas/Fuel ($160/mo): Ouch. Lots of driving and travelling. Plan on biking more, doing fewer road trips. Hoping to average less than $50/mo. SAVINGS: $110/mo
Restaurants/Bars ($540/mo): Double ouch. This is clearly where I bled the most. Love trying out new food and craft beer.. I think overall I do pretty well budget wise, but looking back I can't help but be disappointed I spent quite this much. This is where I get a lot of pleasure in my life, so aiming for $300/mo is still ridiculously generous but a little more mustachian. SAVINGS: $240/mo
"Shopping" ($420/mo): Unfortunately in trying to keep mint somewhat simple, I tend to lump miscellaneous things into "shopping".. Kinda wish I had separated the category into more sub-categories for better analysis. Regardless, I can recall some purchases that weren't quite necessary.. I'll aim to keep this leftover/miscellaneous category to under $150/mo. SAVINGS: $270/mo
Car ($445/mo): This will be an easy one. The bulk of this was tied up in the purchase of a new (used) vehicle. So I would anticipate need for one oil change (which I do myself), car registration, then maybe a couple unexpected repairs... $100/mo would be plenty to budget. SAVINGS $345/mo

If I can tackle those categories, there is potentially $1030/mo that I can save, for $12,360 more post-tax dollars in my pocket. Fingers crossed.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 06:29:23 PM by philli14 »

Trifele

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #120 on: January 17, 2019, 03:54:36 AM »
@Trifele Ugh, my sympathies. I really hate the dentist too. Cleanings aren't so bad but any kind of other work is awful. Does your dentist do nitrous oxide? I have to pay extra for it but it is 100% worth it. Makes it way more manageable. Either way, sending good thoughts to you today! I hope the crown placement goes well and that you can avoid the root canal.

Thanks @zygote!  Crown is on.  My insurance paid half, so out of pocket cost was $675.  The tooth was in worse shape than I realized and it took them 2 1/2 hours to do the repair.  The dentist was very kind. They don't have gas, but they gave me a couple Ativan beforehand.  I was still a shaking wreck, but at least I got through the door and got it done.

I'll wear the crown for a few weeks, and see if the pain goes away.  If it does, then I won't need the root canal.  ($$$$$)  Fingers crossed.

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #121 on: January 18, 2019, 08:24:38 AM »
Food: 100
Travel: 63
Fun: 55
Home repairs: 80
Phone bill: 20
Clothes: 70

I spent 70 on clothes for a special occasion, but I made sure to buy versatile items that I can wear to work and parties. I don't have a lot of clothes and most of what I have is pretty casual, so unsuitable for this occasion. I spent 25 getting 5 years' worth of pictures printed. I have been meaning to do this for forever and now I had a coupon.

The special occasion will be in Feb but I'm planning to make an appointment at the hairdresser and with a photographer that day too. I have very long hair and I'm not good at doing my own hair, so when I have special occasion I usually pay the hairdresser to do my hair (which costs 25 and happens maybe twice a year). I need new pictures for my business website, so I'm planning to have some pictures taken in the morning. That way, I don't have to get dressed up twice. I don't have any friends who can do my hair unfortunately (we're all the ponytail-type) but at least my hairdresser is not that expensive.

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #122 on: January 18, 2019, 10:59:20 AM »
Were crushing our budget so far this month. Our spending is $1200 under where we were last month at this time, and last month we were very near our budget.

Next month will be a little more challenging. I have a work trip where my cousin lives so Im going to spend a few extra days with him. Hes been one of my closest friends my whole life (same age, grew up in same small town) and we dont see each other as much anymore. Well go out to eat some, bars, renting snowmobiles for a day, etc. wont be cheap but worth it, and may still make our budget. In turn, since my wife will be home alone and doesnt work she will be pretty bored. We just moved to a new city so dont know many people. I offered to pay for her sisters gas and their food and entertainment for her and her two sisters if they make the few hr drive to come visit. Her sister doesnt make much (literally about 1/15 of my income) and her other sister is only 4 years old, so I have no problem contributing to them having an enjoyable weekend.

Vibrissae

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #123 on: January 18, 2019, 08:07:25 PM »
Jumping in on this.... A little more than halfway through the month, and I'm a little more than halfway through my budget, so that's not bad. On the other hand, I was trying to do the Frugalwoods' Uber Frugal January, and I really blew it out with a couple of unbudgeted things that are probably worth at least two face-punches each. One was a birthday lunch and gift for my best friend, and I spent way more than I usually would on that, but her life has been a disaster for the last year+, and I wanted to give her something nice. The other was a long-planned reward for hitting a major weight loss goal: a massage. At least I got an intro rate on it.

Other than those, I'm pretty much on track with everything. No "miscellaneous spending" aside from those two things (miraculous!). The cats' annual checkup came in at about $82 less than I'd set aside for it, so that was nice. I should squeak just under budget for groceries, and I got a bunch of things that will last me well into next month. And I budgeted $0 in my "eating out" category--I did give myself $100/mo for "spending money," and some of that has gone toward eating out this month, but I used to give myself spending money *and* eating out money (and I usually went over budget on the latter), so this has cut those two categories together by at least half.

The Splurge is my biggest expense category so far, with gas/electric second and groceries/goods third.

Let's see how the rest of the month goes....



Slow&Steady

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #124 on: January 21, 2019, 08:42:13 AM »
% of monthly budget left (as of 1/21)
Household supplies/groceries: 25%
Eating out: 60%

There SHOULD be only small grocery purchases the rest of the month.  I leave tomorrow for a 4 day work trip and the family will be eating stuff in the pantry/freezer that is outside of my diet limitations, I am hopeful that will equal almost 0 grocery spend for this week.  I do think they will probably utilize some of that remaining eating out budget but I feel DH has an excuse.  Juggling all 4 kids by oneself is difficult so I will be happy if they can just manage to keep that within the budget. My expenses will be reimbursed.

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #125 on: January 21, 2019, 11:46:47 AM »
I just barely managed to close the freezer door yesterday, so this week will be cheap in groceries: we're trying to not buy anything until we have at least two empty drawers. Also got a small tax return and a potential new customer, so doing ok on the income side too :)

philli14

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #126 on: January 21, 2019, 01:45:08 PM »
1/21/2019 update on my "key categories"

Cell phone (2018: $75/mo | 2019 GOAL: $10/mo): $24. Won't be any more this month, had some roaming charges from trip out of country.
Gas/Fuel (2018: $160/mo | 2019 GOAL: $50/mo): $0. Expecting a $30 fill-up this weekend.
Restaurants/Bars (2018: $540/mo | 2019 GOAL: $300/mo): $0. Really trying hard this month. Have a planned brewery trip this weekend but aim to keep it <$30.
"Shopping" (2018: $420/mo | 2019 GOAL: $150/mo): $128. Some spontaneous purchases, some required. More than I was hoping for this month.
Car (2018: $445/mo | 2019 GOAL: $100/mo): $54. Did my first oil change by myself, full synthetic. Couple tools i didn't have so should be cheaper moving forwards.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #127 on: January 22, 2019, 01:33:53 AM »
Here is the graphic of my 2019 spending so far. Divide the numbers by 10 to make Euro's and by a little more than 10 to make $.

The big grey bar is "home". This month we had a high electricity bill, because it is winter. We also had to pay the half-year bill for the state TV. The green bar is food. Over the entire year my expenses of home and food often end up equal.

Handel = buying stuff
Helse = health
Hjem = home
Hytte = cabin
Klr = clothes
Mat = food

The "handel" amount is negative, because I got paid back a Christmas present that I gave to someone else. It didn't fit her.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 01:37:22 AM by Linda_Norway »

Slow&Steady

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #128 on: January 30, 2019, 08:26:55 AM »
Jan 2019
% of monthly budget spent
Household supplies/groceries: 92%
Eating out: 63%

There are less than 2 full days left for Jan so these numbers should be pretty accurate but might need to be edited slightly.  I know DH plans to pick up some tortillas today and maybe a few other small items. 

WE ARE UNDER BUDGET!! That almost never happens and I need to make sure that DH gets almost all of the credit for this. He hates budgeting and hates staying in the budget and does most of our food shopping so I am really excited that he seems to be understanding how stressed out I was because we were always over budget.  Hopefully this continues to get better. Now my dilemma is that if I tell him how excited I am and how much is left in the budget, he will probably want to get take out tonight for dinner.

zygote

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #129 on: January 30, 2019, 09:18:17 AM »
I'm on track to spend ~$44k this year, and I would love to get that down to ~$40k in 2019.

Final numbers are in for 2018, and I spent $42,874. Rent is by far my biggest expense (HCOL) and is pretty well optimized for where we are. However, there's plenty to cut elsewhere:

-2019 goal is to spend less on dining out than I do on ingredients from the grocery store. Success so far. Groceries were $250, eating out was $66!! The eating out number is artificially low because my wife paid for some meals she wanted that I still got to enjoy, but even if I had paid my half I'd still be way under last year's average.

-I see a lot of theater, and that's also important to me, but I want to put in more effort making sure I get the lowest priced tickets possible through rushes and lotteries. Generally a success. Spent <$450 on 8 tickets. Some for this month, some for future dates. Put a lot of effort into getting lowest prices possible between rush, discounts, and buying in person to avoid fees.

-I also spend too much on personal care items like skincare. I need to stick to my routine, use up what I've got, and stop trying new products. Definitely a success! Only bought more of the deodorant I love this month.

Spent $2900 this month, including a $500 vet bill. That's a huge reduction in my monthly average of $3500 from last year. I don't think I can keep that up every month due to some upcoming lumpy expenses (mostly travel), though I did manage it even with the unexpected pet illness. It feels great to know I can get under $3000 if I'm really paying attention.

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #130 on: January 30, 2019, 05:02:24 PM »
Im getting pretty excited for this month end! Unfortunately my credit card lags 3-4 days so I wont have a final tally until a few days after the month is over. My goal is $6000 in spending and I think Ill be around $5200, which is great (for me).

Next couple months will be hard. Expensive trip in February and moving in March and will be paying 19 days rent on current place and a full month on the new place while we move.

middo

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #131 on: January 30, 2019, 08:21:37 PM »
I'm in.  Current spending per month (for the last 12 months) is as follows:

Food:         $598
Non-Food:  $441
Eating out: $570
Medical:     $603
Kids:          $2806
Mortgages: $5122
Utilities:     $2045
Transport:  $1819
Holidays:   $487

Total:        $14,491 per month

My aim is to drop this by 10% overall.  Some are fairly fixed, such as the kids money which is for accommodation at university, or mortgages, which won't change until the end of the year 2019 when we sell a property we are renovating.

Things that should reduce the most are: 
  • Transport - as we shouldn't need to buy a vehicle like last year, and will drive a lot less.
  • Utilities - which should reduce for a number of reasons, but our son taking on some expenses and a house being mothballed as holiday home will reduce these.
  • Food - aiming for under $500 per month.
  • Non-food - there will be less clothes purchases as we are set up for the colder climate we are now in.  :(
  • Eating out - this has jumped around this year depending on when our adult kids are visiting.  Meals out and visits to the pub seem to be the main culprits.  Coffee adds up too.  Aiming to halve this one.


I'll check in later to see how it works out.

January spending will be very close to this.  Last year averages in brackets for reference:

Food:         $777   (598)
Non-Food:  $337   (441)
Eating out: $656   (570)
Medical:     $687   (603)
Kids:          $1257   (2806)
Mortgages: $4962   (5122)
Utilities:     $872    (2045)
Transport:  $1193   (1819)
Holidays:   $1459   (487)

Total:        $12,037   (14,491)  or a drop of 17%.

Some notes: 
  • Food and eating out were higher than they should have been due to having extra bodies in the house (at least one extra all month), and being on holidays.
  • Kids expenses were down, but will go back to normal levels next month.  They were reduced as we had the extra kid at home, rather than at university.
  • Utilities were cheap this month, which was good as it included electricity bills, but will be up next month as one properties rates are due then.
  • I'm hoping to get transport and but some repairs are due and that may make the costs about the same
  • We booked a holiday for April and have paid for some of it, but not all.  We will also have a holiday in July that we need to start booking.  Holiday costs will be up for a little while.

Overall I'm reasonably happy, but really want to see some of the more discretionary spending brought back down.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #132 on: January 31, 2019, 04:25:22 AM »
Jan 2019
% of monthly budget spent
Household supplies/groceries: 92%
Eating out: 63%

There are less than 2 full days left for Jan so these numbers should be pretty accurate but might need to be edited slightly.  I know DH plans to pick up some tortillas today and maybe a few other small items. 

WE ARE UNDER BUDGET!! That almost never happens and I need to make sure that DH gets almost all of the credit for this. He hates budgeting and hates staying in the budget and does most of our food shopping so I am really excited that he seems to be understanding how stressed out I was because we were always over budget.  Hopefully this continues to get better. Now my dilemma is that if I tell him how excited I am and how much is left in the budget, he will probably want to get take out tonight for dinner.

Maybe your husband is right. Budgets are supposed to restrain you from spending too much. But they also allow you to spend more than you need, if there is anything left in the budget (like the takeout you mention). Maybe your husband just buys no more than enough in quantities and focuses on cheap ingredients. Maybe he should do most of the shopping from now on. And don't tell him there is anything left on the budget.

Peachtea

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #133 on: January 31, 2019, 06:24:22 AM »
Under budget! Monthly budget to meet 40k goal is $3,333 ($1658 after rent). Total for month is $2951; under by $382. 

Rent: $1675
Groceries & Personal Care: $576.61
Travel: $272 - Train tickets to go home in February and Thanksgiving.
Shopping: $125 - bulk cat food, 6 3 months of wet food.
Eating & Drinking Out: $124 - $10.92 drink w/friend; $56.24 Q1 wine subscription; $8.69 drink w/coworkers; $47.49 drinks (for 2) at going away party
Internet, Phone, Electricity: $71.33 - $30 internet; $41.33 electric
Other: $107.45 - $6.53 movie rental; $6.90 soda at movie theater; $14.99 HBO; $11.98 Netflix; $66 annual website fee; $1.05 in-app game purchase

Groceries are still higher than I would like. Its not my realm though so hard to keep down.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #134 on: January 31, 2019, 10:08:24 AM »
Well under budget.

$995 in spending if I don't count vehicle depreciation ($200).


TNT

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #135 on: January 31, 2019, 08:01:37 PM »
Well, I've been all excited to report spending numbers I was really happy with, but today, on the LAST DAMNED DAY OF THE MONTH, I unexpectedly had to make $657 worth of repairs to my car. That changed a month with a surplus of more than $400, which would have been a huge step in the right direction, to a negative month. HUMBUG.

Kid-4 started working a temporary job at a really nice wage about two weeks ago, so she's picking up more of her expenses. It's a huge relief! This job will last until mid-April. I'm still covering her car insurance, half of her car payment, and for the first half of the month, I paid for her food and gas. She's taken over food and gas now that paychecks are coming in.

Food and grocery is over budget (I try for $10/day, so $310 for January), partly because of that meal out early in the month that I confessed to in a previous post, but partly because about a week ago I started stocking up my kitchen to start making food at home again. I've been sustaining myself on takeout and restaurant food since I first got too sick to cook, about two years ago. It's time! I've been back in the kitchen for about a week now, and it's kind of fun again. I've gained a pound, though. Oops.

Some of my spending is high by mustachian standards, but overall I'm happy with it. Here's to a frugal February!


naj89

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #136 on: January 31, 2019, 08:08:35 PM »
@TNT -- this is a really nice layout.

For the general group, I am wondering how you figure post-tax investments into your budget. For example, Roth IRA contributions. Do you take that out before your net income for budget purposes, essentially reducing your paycheck by your investments before adding it to your spreadsheet? Or is Investments a budget category for you?

These categories that most have are very similar to mine, but I have a also an "Investments" category for those post-tax items that I DCA to each month.

TNT

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #137 on: January 31, 2019, 08:34:14 PM »
@TNT -- this is a really nice layout.

For the general group, I am wondering how you figure post-tax investments into your budget. For example, Roth IRA contributions. Do you take that out before your net income for budget purposes, essentially reducing your paycheck by your investments before adding it to your spreadsheet? Or is Investments a budget category for you?

These categories that most have are very similar to mine, but I have a also an "Investments" category for those post-tax items that I DCA to each month.

I have "investments" listed in YNAB as a budget item, but I have it set to be excluded from my income and expense report (shown above). Having it as a budget item creates a credit to balance the debit from my checking account when I invest, but I don't really consider it spending.

Trifele

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #138 on: February 01, 2019, 03:23:15 AM »
We were way over target for January.  :(  Target was $2700, and actual spend was $3869 = 143%.  Most of the overage was emergency dental work.  Booooo.   

My main focus for the challenge was to get grocery and utility costs down from last year's average.  Succeeded on the groceries and came in $95 lower than last year's average.  Utility costs were only slightly lower than last January.  As our house build progresses, the house tightens up, and the weather warms up, the utility bill will drop so there's that to look forward to.

Wins from the month were (slightly) lower food and utilities, and ZERO spending on clothes, eating out, and alcohol.   

Top 10 spending categories for January:

Medical/Dental:     $ 687
Groceries:            $ 656
Utilities:               $ 539
Kids:                   $ 309
Taxes:                 $ 200
Donations:           $ 180
Insurance:           $ 175
Household:          $ 172
Memberships:      $ 163
Gas:                    $ 140
   

mikemustang

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #139 on: February 01, 2019, 05:53:35 AM »
My monthly spending is almost always consistently the same. Electricity costs more during the summer here in AZ, but the rest of my bills stay the same. Here's a breakdown by month on average:

Property tax - $100
Homeowners insurance $35
Car insurance - $100
Gasoline - $80
Car maintenance - $50
Food - $250
Electricity - $75
Water/Trash - $65
HOA - $65
Phone -$40
Internet - $50
Gym - $20
Netflix - $12

That adds up to $950 and those bills are about as low as I can get them without forgoing basing needs or choosing cheaper unhealthier foods.

Last month my take home income was $6,350. I worked a lot of overtime at the end of December, usually it's closer to $5k. My savings for January was $4,800. So I still managed 75% savings rate. I was trying to figure out where the additional $600 went and looked back and saw I paid off the credit card I used for all the Christmas gifts.

I typically track my monthly income and spending and at the end of every month I write everything down in a composition notebook. It's fairly consistent that I save closer to $4k of the typical $5k income but I never make an effort to pay much attention to the percentage of income I'm saving. After reading this thread I think I can do better in 2019.

I'm going to pay closer attention to where I'm at during the month and set a goal of 80%+ each month and if I'm not hitting that target I either need to reduce spending somewhere else or work more hours. I'll admit, I get lazy with work sometimes. There are weeks where it's hard to get motivated to work more than 40 hours. I think having a goal like this will boost my motivation to save more.

philli14

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #140 on: February 01, 2019, 09:29:02 AM »
January Update

Cell phone (2018: $75/mo | 2019 GOAL: $10/mo): $24. Went over due to roaming charges from trip back home to Canada
Gas/Fuel (2018: $160/mo | 2019 GOAL: $50/mo): $32. One fill up, still nearly full to start February.
Restaurants/Bars (2018: $540/mo | 2019 GOAL: $300/mo): $13. One trip to In-N-Out :)
"Shopping" (2018: $420/mo | 2019 GOAL: $150/mo): $426. Man this hurts. $150 for work-visa-related documentation, $100 for bike parts/tools, 176$ in miscellaneous, including multiple reserve collection BBA stouts from previous years that I stumbled upon and couldn't help myself (I have a beer "cellar" with some stuff aging.. it's a relatively expensive hobby but makes me very happy)
Car (2018: $445/mo | 2019 GOAL: $100/mo): $54. Self-performed synthetic oil change

Pretty average start to the year (a lot of you are off to a great start!!). Looking at my key categories, I did well in all but two. $150 of the shopping was necessary, about $100 of the shopping was important and needed to be done eventually, and the rest was no where near necessary. I'm happy with my restaurants/bars, somewhat made up for the shopping issue. Looking forward to February, I'm hoping to see car, gas/fuel at 0$ (the $100 important shopping was new tires, inner tubes, brake pads and bike repair tools that I'll be using this weekend to fix up a bike I got free on Craigslist!); and to see cell phone at <5$. My girlfriend and I already agreed to no gifts for Valentines day for the purposes of diet, financial and consumerism.

Overall, spent $549 in the key categories, down $1091 from my $1640 average in 2018. With plenty more room for improvement.

Love reading everyone's updates, inspirational and a reminder that I have a lot of work to do!

ooakosiryan

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #141 on: February 01, 2019, 02:34:14 PM »
January was a great month! I had a lot of fun, and I feel like it was very productive. I spent quality time with my wife and friends, called my parents more than usual, recorded a song with a friend, increased my fitness level, and took care of myself with physiotherapy, massages, acupuncture, and cupping. And all of this didn't cost much. Here's all my January spending:

Library late fees: $0.75
Haircut: $40
Movie theatre: $3.60
Groceries: $22.51
Drinks out: $20
Restaurants: $41.30
Total variable spending: $128.16

Total fixed expenses: $485*

Total of all January expenses: $613.16

I had initially challenged myself to spending $1,000 or less per month, but after January I'm thinking that's not much of a challenge. To make this more interesting, I'm changing my goal to  less than $700 per month. Looking forward to February!!!

__________________
*FYI, here are my fixed expenses that will stay the same each month (note that these are just my own personal costs, so if they seem like half of what you'd expect it's because I split the bill with my wife):

Rent: $425
Tenants insurance: $5
Electricity/heat: $30
Internet: $20
Mobile: $0
Netflix: $5
Total fixed costs per month: $485

Nederstash

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #142 on: February 02, 2019, 01:57:29 AM »
The January numbers are in! My spending is very high, but does include a trip of a lifetime :) that aside, my spending on eating out is ridiculous and needs to go right down. Groceries are a little high, I'd like to have this in the 175 range. Everything else was below/on budget, so pretty happy overall!

Incoming: 3805
Outgoing: 3474
Investing/saving: 331

Breakdown of spending:
The big one: 1650 toward my summer holiday to Iceland!! I'm also paying half of my mom's expenses in exchange for crossing off an old debt that was gathering dust, but weighed on my soul nonetheless.

Fixed expenses (mortgage, insurance etc) 1325
Variable spending: 498
 - groceries 193
 - going out/eating out: 114
 - personal: 22
 - gifts: 50
 - cats: 30
 - gas/parking: 89

philli14

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #143 on: February 02, 2019, 09:48:50 AM »
January was a great month! I had a lot of fun, and I feel like it was very productive. I spent quality time with my wife and friends, called my parents more than usual, recorded a song with a friend, increased my fitness level, and took care of myself with physiotherapy, massages, acupuncture, and cupping. And all of this didn't cost much. Here's all my January spending:

Library late fees: $0.75
Haircut: $40
Movie theatre: $3.60
Groceries: $22.51
Drinks out: $20
Restaurants: $41.30
Total variable spending: $128.16

Total fixed expenses: $485*

Total of all January expenses: $613.16

I had initially challenged myself to spending $1,000 or less per month, but after January I'm thinking that's not much of a challenge. To make this more interesting, I'm changing my goal to  less than $700 per month. Looking forward to February!!!

__________________
*FYI, here are my fixed expenses that will stay the same each month (note that these are just my own personal costs, so if they seem like half of what you'd expect it's because I split the bill with my wife):

Rent: $425
Tenants insurance: $5
Electricity/heat: $30
Internet: $20
Mobile: $0
Netflix: $5
Total fixed costs per month: $485

I'm impressed. Friendly reminder that I'm living a shockingly luxurious life even while trying to be Mustachian. Can I ask you how you manage to have a 22$ grocery budget? Was this an anomoly this month?

Would kill for a grocery budget that's about half my haircut budget :)

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #144 on: February 02, 2019, 09:55:54 AM »
Great to see so many detailed responses here! Using some of the information to compile my own month end data. I have a couple final expenses from 1/31 (groceries, haircut) Im waiting to go through then Ill give it the full shakedown.

Ive honestly thought about this thread quite a bit this month knowing Im gonna have to justify why, If I dont meet my budget!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #145 on: February 02, 2019, 10:48:39 AM »
Okay, Jan numbers are in! Not including the more than $7k in student loan pay off we did, we spent $5300. $600 of that was medical expenses, so all in all this was a good month for us.

Unusual expenses this month:
$150 in professional expenses
$193 in pet/vet
Aforementioned $593 of OOP medical expenses

The next two months will be hot steaming budget hell since I'll be paying for a ton of testing, meds, and another IVF cycle. That should add a good ~$28k, but some of those bills trickle in (UGH), so it'll probably work out to an extra $5-15k per month for the next 3 or 4 months.

I think I'm going to track my 'core' expenses also, which is my expenses excluding medical spending or 'over and above' debt repayment. That would be $4,715 for January. I think my goal will be to try and keep these core expenses below $5k/month.

Gin1984

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #146 on: February 02, 2019, 06:24:59 PM »
We seriously over spent on going out.  Partly because my husband was out of town, partly because I had to stay overnight in my work town and majorly because we ate out at sit down restaurant twice instead of once. We do have enough to make up for based on gas we did not use after the polar vortex, but I'd prefer to see if I can just make up over the next two months by cutting our eating out. I'll see how that works.

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #147 on: February 03, 2019, 12:33:34 PM »
Food: 100
Travel: 63
Fun: 55
Home repairs: 80
Phone bill: 20
Clothes: 70


Ended the month at this:


Final spending for Jan 2019.

Food: 170
Travel: 113
Fun: 55
Home repairs: 80
Phone bill: 20
Clothes: 70

Total: 508

We took a short trip with friends this weekend, but kept it pretty frugal. We went to a gig that we already bought tickets for last year, we had a cheap dinner, I had two drinks and we shared a cheap hostel room with the whole group that ended up costing 20 per bed. I don't mind sharing a room with friends at all, but now I can afford a private room I'll never share with strangers again. In the morning we got breakfast from the grocery store before driving home.

Spending Feb so far:
Food: 37
Travel: 40
Hairdresser: 25
Trip: 40 (estimate, we'll split the fuel costs and I'm waiting for them to let me know how much I owe them)

ooakosiryan

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #148 on: February 03, 2019, 09:54:50 PM »
January was a great month! I had a lot of fun, and I feel like it was very productive. I spent quality time with my wife and friends, called my parents more than usual, recorded a song with a friend, increased my fitness level, and took care of myself with physiotherapy, massages, acupuncture, and cupping. And all of this didn't cost much. Here's all my January spending:

Library late fees: $0.75
Haircut: $40
Movie theatre: $3.60
Groceries: $22.51
Drinks out: $20
Restaurants: $41.30
Total variable spending: $128.16

Total fixed expenses: $485*

Total of all January expenses: $613.16

I had initially challenged myself to spending $1,000 or less per month, but after January I'm thinking that's not much of a challenge. To make this more interesting, I'm changing my goal to  less than $700 per month. Looking forward to February!!!

__________________
*FYI, here are my fixed expenses that will stay the same each month (note that these are just my own personal costs, so if they seem like half of what you'd expect it's because I split the bill with my wife):

Rent: $425
Tenants insurance: $5
Electricity/heat: $30
Internet: $20
Mobile: $0
Netflix: $5
Total fixed costs per month: $485

I'm impressed. Friendly reminder that I'm living a shockingly luxurious life even while trying to be Mustachian. Can I ask you how you manage to have a 22$ grocery budget? Was this an anomoly this month?

Would kill for a grocery budget that's about half my haircut budget :)

lols yeah, it was an anomaly this month. Our usual grocery spend is about $150 per month split with my wife, so $75 each. But in January we decided to raid our freezer and pantry. We tend to forget about that food, and sometimes it sits there for a year. So we thought we might as well deliberatly eat it haha. So yeah, groceries in January were just for the fresh things we needed to supplement our freezer and pantry food.

I'm impressed with your breakdown too! You did really well with the restaurants/bars!! Your number for shopping looks like a lot, but I think most of it is well spent, like the bike stuff :)

Good luck in February!!

philli14

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #149 on: February 04, 2019, 10:26:47 AM »

lols yeah, it was an anomaly this month. Our usual grocery spend is about $150 per month split with my wife, so $75 each. But in January we decided to raid our freezer and pantry. We tend to forget about that food, and sometimes it sits there for a year. So we thought we might as well deliberatly eat it haha. So yeah, groceries in January were just for the fresh things we needed to supplement our freezer and pantry food.

I'm impressed with your breakdown too! You did really well with the restaurants/bars!! Your number for shopping looks like a lot, but I think most of it is well spent, like the bike stuff :)

Good luck in February!!

Ah gotcha, makes sense. Smart to do a pantry raid, did that a couple of months ago and it was a fun challenge. Thanks for the support! This type of challenge is always easier with some external eyes on you for accountability. Hoping I can deliver better on the shopping this month :) Good luck to you too I'll be looking forward to the updates!