Author Topic: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019  (Read 29431 times)

afuera

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #150 on: February 04, 2019, 03:22:00 PM »
January Numbers
Home (PITI & Utilities): $2,277/$2,200 $77 over.  Had some home maintenance expenses that were higher than expected. 
Auto (Gas, Ins, Maint): $1,252/$500 $752 over.  My car had a blowout and when I took it in, the tread on all the other tires was <2.  New tires are expensive.
Subscriptions (Internet, Phone, Streaming, Gaming): $209/$200 $9 over.  Used a little more data than we should have.
Food (Groceries, Restuarants, Vitamin A): $561/$500 $61 over.  Stocked up on some meat for the freezer.
Pets (Sitter, Vet, Food): $315/$200 $115 over.  Curly girly needed her quarter annual hot spot shot and we had already bought some treats and toys for the month.
Shopping (Furniture, Home Décor, Toys, Clothes): $1,108/$200 $908 over.  :< Explained below.
Travel: $0/$400.  No travel this month.
Giving: $500/$500
Total: $6,222/$4,700 $1,522 over. 

I really didn't want to post this but since it is about holding myself accountable, I gritted my teeth and did it.  I don't regret any of the spending we did but it is clear to see we went a little hog wild on our shopping.  The other categories we went significantly over on were auto and pet which both were unexpected costs that couldn't really be avoided.   The biggest impact on our shopping was that I bought an espresso machine.  A $600 espresso machine.  It was a refurb off ebay that was about 50% off the cost of new but still.  I love it very much and use it every day, sometimes multiple times a day, but that doesn't change the fact that it was a completely extravagant/unbudgeted purchase.  The rest of the overage in shopping was due to fridge water filter and a couple things that made our house more livable but weren't really home improvement including a outdoor wood rack + cover, a fancy baby gate to keep the dogs out of the kitchen (RIP half chewed/swallowed steak that was stolen from the counter on 1/13), and a mirror for our master bathroom which we had never replaced after we flooded. 

I'm embarrassed by how far over budget we are but I don't regret anything we purchased except for some bad chinese takeout from a new place we tried.  All in all though, an ugly month as far as budget numbers.

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #151 on: February 04, 2019, 07:26:15 PM »
Final totals for the month are in:

January 2019
Total spending:
$5231 (goal $6000)
Savings Rate:
68.3%
Notes:
Rent: $1384
Groceries: $765 (goal $750)
Pets: $351
Electronics: $290
Restaurants: $138 (goal $150)

I am glad I started this challenge and am deciding to hammer down on my budgeting again. I used to track every dollar but slowly got away from it. Need to get it back in check.

Overall we were $769 under budget so that’s fantastic. Our grocery budget goal is $150/wk. we had 5 Thursday’s so 5 grocery store trips. We were $19 over budget, so that’s good.

We were slightly under our grocery budget.

We had high pet costs switching diets and an allergy test. Going to go up even more in February as we have another $500 test for our dog. Oh well, better than other alternative options.

We sold a bunch of hobby items for around $600ish. We bought an Xbox 1 we’ve been enjoying for $290 (we tracked that expense with our budget).

Overall I’m very pleased. February and March are going to be insanely hard to hit our budget. This week I have a work trip, and then Saturday I’m renting snowmobiles with friends then skiing Sunday. All in that’s going to be around $600, then as mentioned, the dogs $500 vet test.

In April we’re moving and will be paying rent at two places for 19 days, so that’s an extra $1200 or so.

A few good notes, however. This month we should be getting back a $6500 tax return. Also, for a work super bowl party we got these gambling squares. I’m absolutely not a gambler but wanted to be part of the “team.”  We spent $60 on squares and won $500 lol. Will use $250 of that to go towards this weekends trip which I can justify. Deposited the rest.

Also, next month is a 3 paycheck month which should put us near an 80% savings rate. All that’s good, but this year’s goal is primarily spending related as opposed to savings.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #152 on: February 05, 2019, 01:59:26 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
Klær = clothes
Mat = food

Here is the final picture for January 2019. Total amount of spending (only me, not DH) is 15.109 NOK (Norwegian crowns).

haypug16

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #153 on: February 06, 2019, 08:33:36 AM »

2019 goal
$3,610.70$25,000
$21,389.30 remaining for the year.

Spending for January was way higher than expected due to some unforeseen expenses (Vet mostly) but so far February is looking good. I'll need to really work on keeping the remaining months down in order to make up for January being over by $1,500!

lexde

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #154 on: February 06, 2019, 09:17:55 AM »
I'm in.

2019 goal is to spend sub-$24K. That shakes out to $2K per month.

January
Total Take-Home: $4,383.18 (+$2,167.00 tax return)
Rent: $895.00
Electric: $90.75
Internet: $44.99
Phone: $20.44
Groceries: $403.49 (big re-stock)
Home goods/maintenance: $69.41
Health/beauty: $108.77
Gifts/holiday: $59.54
Fitness: $139.00
Restaurants: $68.06
Date Night: $90.68
Misc.: $446.08

Total expenses: $2,569.95
Net: +$1,821.46 (+$3,988.46 with tax return)
Savings rate: 41% - not great.

2019 Budget Remaining: $21,430.05

January was a SUPER spendy month. Electric is high because my apartment has zero insulation (built in 1925 and one of my exterior walls is just a french door, plus only a window unit, so...). Groceries/date night/misc were big categories this month because I ended up buying a lot of groceries that got left after a breakup and had to re-shop. My fitness category is always this high, but it's the only program that I've stuck with long-term and I consider it a major investment in my mental and physical health. I go very consistently due to the price tag, and it keeps my stress levels way down and helps me cope with my high-stress job.

Although we are only 1 week into this month, I anticipate that it will be a much lower-spend month which should even me out to my goal pace.

lexde

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #155 on: February 06, 2019, 09:19:51 AM »

2019 goal
$3,610.70$25,000
$21,389.30 remaining for the year.

Spending for January was way higher than expected due to some unforeseen expenses (Vet mostly) but so far February is looking good. I'll need to really work on keeping the remaining months down in order to make up for January being over by $1,500!
I like the "remaining for the year" line and added it into my post as well. This is a really cool way of looking at it and I feel like it will help me put a hard-stop on more frivolous spending. Thank you!

haypug16

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #156 on: February 06, 2019, 02:31:15 PM »

2019 goal
$3,610.70/$25,000
$21,389.30 remaining for the year.

Spending for January was way higher than expected due to some unforeseen expenses (Vet mostly) but so far February is looking good. I'll need to really work on keeping the remaining months down in order to make up for January being over by $1,500!
I like the "remaining for the year" line and added it into my post as well. This is a really cool way of looking at it and I feel like it will help me put a hard-stop on more frivolous spending. Thank you!

You're very welcome. I think it'll be very helpful to know how much I have to spread out throughout the year. Instead of thinking nothing can be done about January I can look at it like this is now my budget for the next 11 months and figure out how to cut a few corners to still hit my goal.

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #157 on: February 08, 2019, 12:52:52 AM »
Uuuuugh. This morning I was looking online for tips on how to clean upholstery, and I came across a blogger who was talking up her fancy steam cleaning machine, which cleans nearly everything one can think of to clean. I remembered that once upon a time (pre-divorce), I owned such a thing, and I liked it very much.

NOW I WANT A FANCY STEAMING MACHINE. I have been looking at them all day. But if I buy one, I will have to report it to you people and hang my head in shame over this ~$120 thing. I will think of this gauntlet every time I use it.

This thread might just save me money!

JAYSLOL

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #158 on: February 08, 2019, 08:09:08 AM »
I almost joined this thread earlier this week, typed up most of a report for January spending, and then I chickened out.  It's too much work being totally honest about my spending, all those complainypants excuses don't write themselves.  So here's the summary instead

January: $269 over budget, insert waahh, waahh and excuses, excuses

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #159 on: February 08, 2019, 08:16:41 AM »
I almost joined this thread earlier this week, typed up most of a report for January spending, and then I chickened out.  It's too much work being totally honest about my spending, all those complainypants excuses don't write themselves.  So here's the summary instead

January: $269 over budget, insert waahh, waahh and excuses, excuses

Did you have any particular trouble area? Would it benefit from a plan of action to help that one category next month? One category to focus on is usually less overwhelming than a tiny bit over in a whole bunch of them =)

Life happens! That's part of budgeting, you know?

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #160 on: February 08, 2019, 10:13:48 AM »
January spend

Council tax and utilities  £303.16
Groceries                      £100.45 (see also: cash)
Dog                               £95.58 (worth every penny and more)
House and garden         £384.45 (mostly fabric for new curtains)
Books                            £18.56  (surprisingly low)
Cash                            £250.00  (groceries, petrol, quilting supplies, WI membership, new wellies, etc.  Some cash still on hand.)

Total                       £1,152.20

Looks about right.  Routine costs are reasonable but more "lumpy" expenditure is likely to be what catches me out.  Big recent expenditures on house improvements are coming to an end but will include some spending in the spring to finish things off.


JAYSLOL

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #161 on: February 09, 2019, 08:55:16 PM »
I almost joined this thread earlier this week, typed up most of a report for January spending, and then I chickened out.  It's too much work being totally honest about my spending, all those complainypants excuses don't write themselves.  So here's the summary instead

January: $269 over budget, insert waahh, waahh and excuses, excuses

Did you have any particular trouble area? Would it benefit from a plan of action to help that one category next month? One category to focus on is usually less overwhelming than a tiny bit over in a whole bunch of them =)

Life happens! That's part of budgeting, you know?

@Bracken_Joy That's true, both my income and spending are quite variable throughout each year, but my back-of-the-napkin math for budgeting is usually extremely close.  There were a few categories that went over, but most involved (warning: excuses ahead) the fact the we moved to a new house about 5 min from our old one which involved a lot of extra driving (fuel) as I did the move myself rather than hire movers/rent a truck.  Yup, a 13 year old Hyundai with a small utility trailer really can move a whole house, it just takes a lot of trips.  This also lead to us eating out more because we were busy.  Lastly, we bought some items for the new place, curtains and bathroom fixtures etc.  Also paid upfront for 6 months of piano lessons for DD.  Not moving again anytime soon would be a good plan of action for me, haha. 

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #162 on: February 10, 2019, 05:29:34 AM »


Total Jan: €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)

Food: €72
Travel: €59
Hairdresser: €25
Trip: €30
Maintenance: €30
Shopping: €4

I bought two new jars with lids to take breakfast with me on the go when I'm in a hurry in the morning. Maintenance is something that I spend more on than I'd like, but it's mostly parts/tools. Owning an old home and being cheap means lots of DIY.

philli14

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #163 on: February 10, 2019, 09:26:53 AM »
February Update

Cell phone (2018: $75/mo | 2019 GOAL: $10/mo): JAN: $24. | FEB: $0
Bill hasn't come in yet but I'm anticipating around 3$ (Sprint 1yr free promotion)

Gas/Fuel (2018: $160/mo | 2019 GOAL: $50/mo): JAN: $32. | FEB: $0
Still about 3/4 tank full, bike is now put together so hope I won't need to fill up

Restaurants/Bars (2018: $540/mo | 2019 GOAL: $300/mo):JAN: $13. | FEB: $0
Nothing yet. Next weekend doing some brewery hopping but would love to keep it under $50

"Shopping" (2018: $420/mo | 2019 GOAL: $150/mo): JAN: $426. | FEB: $131
Problematic category again. Hopefully last month with relatively high spending? Had to order more bike related parts, but the good news is the bike is FINALLY in riding condition.

Car (2018: $445/mo | 2019 GOAL: $100/mo): JAN: $54. | FEB: $0
Nothing needed for the car, don't anticipate needing anything this month.

Looks like shopping is going to end up being my difficult category this year (I thought it would be cutting back on restaurants..). 96 of it towards the bike, 35 on some pieces for the beer cellar. Unless something unexpected comes up, should be able to slide under the $150. Will need some big months later to start bringing that average down.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 09:33:03 AM by philli14 »

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #164 on: February 10, 2019, 04:44:12 PM »
This months budget was blasted away by skiing, snowmobiling, and strip clubs. Going to be an interesting month end. Was a very good, much needed vacation, however.

meerkat

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #165 on: February 10, 2019, 05:03:28 PM »
Accountability - I have not had time to properly do our numbers for January yet and we're already ten days into February. Also I'm looking at spending money on improving an area of our house, I'll probably spend the money anyway to attempt to improve the flow of stuff through a major traffic area but it's not strictly necessary. Also also, looking at getting new pots and pans but that's been a planned expense for ages, I just need to find the time to figure out what brand is decent for nonstick and make the order.

On the upside, I don't think I ate out at all for lunch last week which is unusual for me. Need to make time to batch cook lunches next week so I can keep this up.

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #166 on: February 11, 2019, 01:10:45 AM »


Total Jan: €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)

Food: €72
Travel: €59
Hairdresser: €25
Trip: €30
Maintenance: €30
Shopping: €4

I bought two new jars with lids to take breakfast with me on the go when I'm in a hurry in the morning. Maintenance is something that I spend more on than I'd like, but it's mostly parts/tools. Owning an old home and being cheap means lots of DIY.

Some impulse purchases today :( had to wait on the train station for a long time and it was cold, so I treated myself to a coffee then went into a bookstore to get warm. Spent €13,75. On the upside:the book I bought was 50% off and I've been wanting to read it for a long time, so it's not a complete impulse purchase.

Still, I should look like into getting a library card again. I looked into that a few years ago and back then the subscription fee was too expensive, but my income is much higher now + I think libraries are important. They need paying members to continue to exist. They've already downsized quite a bit in my city. I don't think I would be where I am now if it wasn't for the library in my hometown where I basically lived as a kid.

Rustychase

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #167 on: February 11, 2019, 11:14:17 AM »
Hi all!

I want to jump on the band wagon! I am diagnosed with bipolar disorder and the last year was absolutely horrifying in terms of money. Things are quite a bit better on that end now, so it's time to start remedying the havoc wreaked. I'll be starting to track stuff now, as I was just recently paid, so I'll definitely keep you all updated!

middo

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #168 on: February 11, 2019, 08:45:01 PM »


Total Jan: €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)

Food: €72
Travel: €59
Hairdresser: €25
Trip: €30
Maintenance: €30
Shopping: €4

I bought two new jars with lids to take breakfast with me on the go when I'm in a hurry in the morning. Maintenance is something that I spend more on than I'd like, but it's mostly parts/tools. Owning an old home and being cheap means lots of DIY.

Some impulse purchases today :( had to wait on the train station for a long time and it was cold, so I treated myself to a coffee then went into a bookstore to get warm. Spent €13,75. On the upside:the book I bought was 50% off and I've been wanting to read it for a long time, so it's not a complete impulse purchase.

Still, I should look like into getting a library card again. I looked into that a few years ago and back then the subscription fee was too expensive, but my income is much higher now + I think libraries are important. They need paying members to continue to exist. They've already downsized quite a bit in my city. I don't think I would be where I am now if it wasn't for the library in my hometown where I basically lived as a kid.

Wait - libraries cost money to belong to in Europe?  Ours (Australia) are free, except when you return a book late or lose it.

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #169 on: February 12, 2019, 12:17:31 AM »
At least in my country (NL) they do unfortunately. They are funded by local authorities and I think kids are free everywhere, but adults pay. They always had to pay but it used to be a token amount like €10/year but due to budget cuts over the last 10 years library memberships have become pretty expensive so there are less members every year.

Politically, organizations that are 100% dependent on government money are controversial, especially when they are considered to be only for the elite, like libraries, theatres, museums etc.

Those organizations are told to "work on their entrepreneurship" and if they don't bring in enough of their own money their budget will be cut. That's why my city's library has closed all of its locations except the big library downtown, rented out half of their downtown building and installed a coffee bar. The no-frills membership is €40, the full membership €70 and a very basic membership that only gives you internet access at the library (so you can't borrow books) is €20/year.

I don't spend €70 on books a year now, so my total costs would go up, but I do feel the library could use the support.

middo

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #170 on: February 12, 2019, 01:04:43 AM »
At least in my country (NL) they do unfortunately. They are funded by local authorities and I think kids are free everywhere, but adults pay. They always had to pay but it used to be a token amount like €10/year but due to budget cuts over the last 10 years library memberships have become pretty expensive so there are less members every year.

Politically, organizations that are 100% dependent on government money are controversial, especially when they are considered to be only for the elite, like libraries, theatres, museums etc.

Those organizations are told to "work on their entrepreneurship" and if they don't bring in enough of their own money their budget will be cut. That's why my city's library has closed all of its locations except the big library downtown, rented out half of their downtown building and installed a coffee bar. The no-frills membership is €40, the full membership €70 and a very basic membership that only gives you internet access at the library (so you can't borrow books) is €20/year.

I don't spend €70 on books a year now, so my total costs would go up, but I do feel the library could use the support.

Wow.  Thanks for explaining.  I'm happy to live somewhere that sees libraries as a right.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #171 on: February 12, 2019, 01:05:03 AM »
Wait - libraries cost money to belong to in Europe?  Ours (Australia) are free, except when you return a book late or lose it.

Not everywhere in Europe. In Norway libraries are free, also when you order a book from another library.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #172 on: February 12, 2019, 01:13:42 AM »
Divide roughly by 10 to make euros:

So far in February:
Home: 5136 (electricity, insurance, my cell phone)
Hobby: 1230 (Membership and event. I have requested 750 of the event to be refunded as promised)
Bonus program income: 156
Clothes: 458 (Replacement for sports shirt with holes)
Food: 1391
Savings: 10.000
Transport: 752 (this is only fuel, it included a trip)

Total spent: 8811
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 01:15:53 AM by Linda_Norway »

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #173 on: February 12, 2019, 06:48:06 AM »
At least in my country (NL) they do unfortunately. They are funded by local authorities and I think kids are free everywhere, but adults pay. They always had to pay but it used to be a token amount like €10/year but due to budget cuts over the last 10 years library memberships have become pretty expensive so there are less members every year.

Politically, organizations that are 100% dependent on government money are controversial, especially when they are considered to be only for the elite, like libraries, theatres, museums etc.

Those organizations are told to "work on their entrepreneurship" and if they don't bring in enough of their own money their budget will be cut. That's why my city's library has closed all of its locations except the big library downtown, rented out half of their downtown building and installed a coffee bar. The no-frills membership is €40, the full membership €70 and a very basic membership that only gives you internet access at the library (so you can't borrow books) is €20/year.

I don't spend €70 on books a year now, so my total costs would go up, but I do feel the library could use the support.

Wow.  Thanks for explaining.  I'm happy to live somewhere that sees libraries as a right.

Woah, that’s really interesting since here libraries are often seen as for the poor who can’t afford books. (They are free except fines.) When I enthuse about the Chicago Public Library and encourage people to use their branch, I sometimes see people actually wrinkle their nose! I don’t hear too many complaints about spending on public libraries though...but then again how would people complain about the unemployed without being able to say there are plenty of resources at the library for them to look for jobs? Ours have free internet/computers and you can also check out movies, music, ebooks, audio books etc. Plus free tax prep and other classes/workshops. On really cold day (like recently when it was -50 F) they also serve as warming centers for those who need it.

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #174 on: February 12, 2019, 08:31:28 AM »
We tell unemployed people to go to temp agencies because they always have plenty of jobs advertised in their windows :)
In my city's library homeless people are welcome to spend the day and they can get free coffee in the cafe.

I think the line of thinking is that only educated/rich/elite people read books. And considering the lack of protests I guess a large part of the population indeed don't care much about libraries. The thing about budgets is you have to make choices, and when local authorities need to make choices about spending, culture is not considered as important as health care, welfare or infrastructure. And within the culture budget, a pop music venue or something that attracts expats or tourists is more important than boring stuff like libraries or classical music or drama (that politicians like to call left-wing hobbies)

I'm extremely thankful to have had access to a great library when I was a kid. They gave me access to so much information, so many things I'd never heard of. They would have free summer reading programs that I participated in, they invited authors to talk about their work, offered all kinds of classes, I even had cheap music lessons there (that my parents couldn't have afforded otherwise).

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #175 on: February 12, 2019, 02:48:48 PM »
I'm extremely thankful to have had access to a great library when I was a kid. They gave me access to so much information, so many things I'd never heard of. They would have free summer reading programs that I participated in, they invited authors to talk about their work, offered all kinds of classes, I even had cheap music lessons there (that my parents couldn't have afforded otherwise).

+1.  I'm very grateful to have had access to good library as a kid.  I grew up fairly poor, and would probably not be where I am without that library.  @Imma -- just curious, did you grow up in the Netherlands?

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #176 on: February 12, 2019, 11:53:47 PM »
I'm extremely thankful to have had access to a great library when I was a kid. They gave me access to so much information, so many things I'd never heard of. They would have free summer reading programs that I participated in, they invited authors to talk about their work, offered all kinds of classes, I even had cheap music lessons there (that my parents couldn't have afforded otherwise).

+1.  I'm very grateful to have had access to good library as a kid.  I grew up fairly poor, and would probably not be where I am without that library.  @Imma -- just curious, did you grow up in the Netherlands?

Yes, I did :)

Peachtea

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #177 on: February 14, 2019, 06:18:08 AM »
Mid month update. Monthly budget to meet 40k goal is $3,333 ($1658 after rent). $829 is our half way mark, and our total so far is $886. Over budget, boo. Mostly due to high upfront travel costs and one fairly large goof. Not too bad, I think we can still come in under budget at end of month, but also not in align with “Frugal February.”

Blue = last month| Green is this month (so far..)

Rent: $1675| $0
Groceries & Personal Care: $577| $182
Travel: $275| $541- $115 friend’s (July) bridal shower lodging & activity fee; $425.81 (5 night) apartment rental for part of June vacation
Shopping: $125| $0
Eating & Drinking Out: $124| $133 - $8 water (@Hamilton!); $17.33 drinks w/coworkers; $92.94 nice dinner out (we splurged b/c we had a giftcard, but then we forgot the giftcard!); $14.49 lunch & coffee w/coworkers
Internet, Phone, & Electric: $71.33| $30 internet
Other: $107.45| $0

I’ve been pleased with my progress on trying not to get coffee out since going back to work. Pre-shutdown, coworker and I got a French press set up cobbled together at work and that has really helped. I cringed a little when I got coffee after lunch with the coworkers. First coffee out in two months...and my initial reaction was wow, this is so much better than the coffee I make. No wonder I’m addicted.

While we were under budget until the apartment rental posted, I was super excited that it did. I thought we weren’t going to be charged until April and it’s more useful to us now for cc points. We already used points for flights (paid $100/each in taxes in Nov) and 5 nights of hotel for our June vacation. I’m hoping to have enough points soon to book the remaining 5 hotel nights with points as well.

I have to say the idea of posting my expenses has definitely made me rethink a purchase or two. And the more regular, granular checks in keep me honest with myself, especially with the eating/drinking out category.

Slow&Steady

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #178 on: February 14, 2019, 07:10:16 AM »
Jan 2019
% of monthly budget spent
Household supplies/groceries: 94%
Eating out: 79%

Mid Feb 2019
% of monthly budget spent
Household supplies/groceries: 66%
Eating out: 69%

3 of 6 of us had to attend an out of state funeral that was not planned for so the eating out budget is mostly shot for the rest of the month. The grocery budget is over 50% because the monthly Costco trip happens in the 1st half of the month but last throughout the rest of the month.

Trifele

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #179 on: February 14, 2019, 08:42:24 AM »
Halfway through the month.  February grocery spending so far is $318, or 53% of our target $600 for two adults + two teenagers.  With a little effort we should be able to come in under $600 for the month. 

Gas spending is way down this month because I retired and am not commuting any more.  And still nothing spent this year so far on (1) eating out or (2) alcohol.  Wins!  I did have to buy some kids' clothes this month as they are growing.  Nothing spent so far this year for any clothing for the adults though.

Marching on!   


Linea_Norway

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #180 on: February 14, 2019, 01:44:59 PM »
Yesterday I spent over 200$ on a dentist visit. It was my annual control. Monday I felt pain in a part of my teeth. In that area the dentist found a starting hole with some bacterial growth, under an old filling. She said it would be best to remove and fill it now, instead of waiting and risking that the whole filling will have to be replaced later. Therefore the cost of an investigation, x rays, drilling and filling. Here in Norway we don't have such a thing as health insurance with dental coverage. Luckily I don't normally have a hole.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #181 on: February 16, 2019, 01:34:21 AM »
Well, to be fully accountable, I done effed up budget-wise.  Went to a local wholesale/liquidation place today because they had a clothing sale.  Their clothing is new, mostly quality brand name stuff for 10-30% off the original price which doesn't get me excited, but they had a special sale and stuff was like 80+% off the markdown price, so we basically loaded our car for like $200.  I bought a bunch of new Levi's jeans for $5 each.  Anyway, clothing budget is blown for the month (most of the year actually) but on the bright side I won't have to buy much for clothes for the better part of the next decade.  I'm thinking I might get my side-hustle on and go back tomorrow for the rest of the jeans, should be able to triple my money pretty quick on Facebook selling those..

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #182 on: February 16, 2019, 02:49:51 AM »



Total Jan: €508


Food: €108
Travel: €106
Hairdresser: €25
Trip: €30
Maintenance: €30
Shopping: €18
Fun: €25 (lunch for two during a bike trip on the first spring day)
Tuition: €486

This month will be a lot more expensive due to the tuition, but other than that I'm not dissatisfied. Shopping is two jars with lids for breakfast on the go and a book.

TNT

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #183 on: February 16, 2019, 01:48:04 PM »
Mid-month check in...

This thread is really helping curb my food spending! I'm well under budget for groceries and restaurants because having to report my numbers at month's end is definitely motivating me to behave. Unfortunately, last month's phenomenon of cooking at home leading to gaining weight has become a trend. The budget looks good but the scale does not. :(

Miscellaneous will be a bit high because I paid my annual membership fee for Costco. Next month I'll get my Costco Citibank reward, which will pay me back for the membership fee plus about $120. Huzzah!

Now...ahem...(ducks behind computer screen)

I booked myself and Kid-4 plane tickets to Madrid last night! This is my big spend item for 2019. It's been planned for a long time, and my tax refund will cover the majority of the trip, and it's totally conscious spending. Why do I feel sheepish about posting it here?

This thread really does its job, I tell ya.

Rustychase

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #184 on: February 18, 2019, 06:39:03 PM »
I've spent about $400 since the beginning of the month so far, between electric bill, water bill, internet, phone, and catching up on medical bills I've been behind on since last June...ready for Friday when I get paid again from both jobs!

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #185 on: February 18, 2019, 06:48:29 PM »

Now...ahem...(ducks behind computer screen)

I booked myself and Kid-4 plane tickets to Madrid last night! This is my big spend item for 2019. It's been planned for a long time, and my tax refund will cover the majority of the trip, and it's totally conscious spending. Why do I feel sheepish about posting it here?

This thread really does its job, I tell ya.

Way to keep on track!! I definitely agree on the accountability thing around here! Planned or not, there’s certainly a small amount of “guilt” for much past bare bones spending! I leave a TON of room for fluff in our budget but even this month we won’t hit it. Next month will be just as hard paying rent for two places for 19 days while we move.

thesavoryhello

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #186 on: February 18, 2019, 07:59:30 PM »
I'm in too! My partner and I averaged $2,861/month combined expenses in 2018. Goal for 2019 is to spend a maximum of $24,000 next year ($2,000 per month).

In January our expenses were $1,964. Most of that went to food and rent. We were on target last month (although quite close!), which is interesting because I felt like we were being spendy. For example we ate out a few times to celebrate my birthday, and we bought a lot of pet supplies because our angelfish started spawning and we got all excited about raising the baby fish.

We just started working towards FIRE last summer, and are enjoying brainstorming ways to be more frugal and make more money. In early February I accepted an offer for an $85/hr side gig that I'm excited about.

I hope that February is going well for everyone! I am hopeful for a sub-$2,000 month, we seem to be mostly on the right track so far.

meerkat

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #187 on: February 19, 2019, 05:59:09 AM »
Accountability - I have not had time to properly do our numbers for January yet and we're already ten days into February. Also I'm looking at spending money on improving an area of our house, I'll probably spend the money anyway to attempt to improve the flow of stuff through a major traffic area but it's not strictly necessary. Also also, looking at getting new pots and pans but that's been a planned expense for ages, I just need to find the time to figure out what brand is decent for nonstick and make the order.

On the upside, I don't think I ate out at all for lunch last week which is unusual for me. Need to make time to batch cook lunches next week so I can keep this up.

I've gotten the data imported and categorized last night but didn't have time to look at January's numbers specifically. I did have a burst of purchases from Amazon and Target (emergency pants purchases plus some other stuff) so I don't expect it to be pretty. Totally forgot about meal prepping lunches this weekend, boo.

In good news, the planned expense for improving the high traffic area of our house decreased by $70 because we found some old shelves we had stashed in the garage. They're in place now, if they work out they'll need sanding and repainting and if they don't work we will either figure out what would work better or just have nothing in that space. I still need to pick up one more item for that area though, it's probably going to involve ordering multiple things and returning whatever doesn't work in the space since none of the options I like are available locally - I just want to see it in person to get a better sense of scale and weight but apparently that's too much to ask for. One other good thing, I realized an old recurring charge I cancelled a year ago popped up randomly and I was able to dispute it before it sat around for too long.

philli14

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #188 on: February 21, 2019, 11:54:27 AM »
One Week To Go Update

Cell phone (2018: $75/mo | 2019 GOAL: $10/mo): JAN: $24. | FEB: $3
As expected.

Gas/Fuel (2018: $160/mo | 2019 GOAL: $50/mo): JAN: $32. | FEB: $0
Down to about 1/3 full, still hoping I can make it through the month!

Restaurants/Bars (2018: $540/mo | 2019 GOAL: $300/mo):JAN: $13. | FEB: $84
Splurged a little bit on the weekend, expecting one more dinner out this coming weekend. Should be well under $150, easily in the green.

"Shopping" (2018: $420/mo | 2019 GOAL: $150/mo): JAN: $426. | FEB: $173
Gonna try to break it down a bit more for you guys (and myself) for more clarity/accountability. 45$ spent on bike equipment (helmet, lights, chain lube), 11$ spent on cloth materials to sew some produce bags, 30$ spent on brewing ingredients for a Hazy IPA (grains, hops, yeast), $20 to e-file my tax return, 56$ on some barrel aged brews... So I'd say about 45$ necessary, 61$ not-necessary but not splurging, 56$ complete splurge :(

Car (2018: $445/mo | 2019 GOAL: $100/mo): JAN: $54. | FEB: $0
Nothing else anticipated!

Shopping again! Bike-related purchases should be done for now.. Will not buy any beer in March given that I'll have a 5 gallon batch of tasty brew to sip on.

EDIT: Messing around with some different formatting..


Category        2018 AVG | 2019 GOAL |   JAN |   FEB |
Cell Phone         $  75 |     $  10 | $  24 | $   3 |
Gas/Fuel           $ 150 |     $  50 | $  32 | $   0 |
Restaurants        $ 540 |     $ 300 | $  13 | $  84 |
"Shopping"         $ 420 |     $ 150 | $ 426 | $ 173 |
Car Expenses       $ 445 |     $ 100 | $  54 | $   0 |
---------------------------------------------------------
Total              $1630 |     $ 610 | $ 549 | $ 260 |
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 04:29:57 PM by philli14 »

middo

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #189 on: February 21, 2019, 03:16:42 PM »
I thought I would also do an update, as most of our expenses are done for the month.

                  Feb so far   Jan      2018 average
Food:          $261          $777   (598)
Non-Food:   $129          $337   (441)
Eating out:  $302          $656   (570)
Medical:      $437          $687   (603)
Kids:           $1561        $1257   (2806)
Mortgages:  $4982        $4962   (5122)
Utilities:      $3219        $872    (2045)
Transport:   $1208        $1193   (1819)
Holidays:    $106          $1459   (487)

Total:          $12205      $12,037   (14,491)  or a drop of 16%.

Utilities were horrendous this month, as rates ($1800) and many other bills all arrived at once.  We are paying the utilities on 3 properties, and have just reduced that two through a rental arrangement with our son.

We may still blow the holiday budget, as we are planning a holiday to see out son in a couple of weeks time (it's a significant birthday for him), which will leave a $1000 hole in the budget.  Planned spending is why we save, right?

Transport - a speeding fine for 10 km/h over (110 in a 100 zone, not far from the end of 110 section) for $322.  Ouch.  My wife will be more careful in the future she tells me.

The kids expenses are ticking back up.  Uni accommodation will add to it and it will be back to around $2000 a month from now on, with some extras for books ($600 coming up).

Eating out is still an issue.

We have cut our recurring telecommunications costs by around $150 per month over the last few weeks, so we should see that flow through shortly too.

Not as bad as I feared, not as good as I hoped.

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #190 on: February 25, 2019, 05:35:57 AM »
Total Jan: €508


Food: €165
Travel: €156
Hairdresser: €25
Trip: €30
Maintenance: €30
Shopping: €24
Fun: €25 (lunch for two during a bike trip on the first spring day)
Tuition: €486
Summer vacation: €160

I bought (another) new book, but I had a gift voucher so only spent €6. We bought tickets for our trip in July. For me this is an expensive month but other than the tuition and the summer trip I'm not really doing too badly. Due to family circumstances my travel costs will likely increase over the next month and so will my eating out costs. I'm just thankful that I can make the choice to spend more when necessary without getting into financial difficulties.

Slow&Steady

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #191 on: February 25, 2019, 07:43:21 AM »
Jan 2019
% of monthly budget spent
Household supplies/groceries: 94%
Eating out: 79%

1 week left Feb 2019
% of monthly budget spent
Household supplies/groceries: 87%
Eating out: 105%

3 of 6 of us had to attend an out of state funeral that was not planned for so the eating out budget is shot and I already had a lunch date with an old friend planned for today.  I am not going to skip that time with her because I need (mentally/emotionally) the friendship.

thesavoryhello

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #192 on: February 26, 2019, 05:46:06 PM »

3 of 6 of us had to attend an out of state funeral

I'm so sorry <3

Trifele

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #193 on: February 28, 2019, 06:03:36 AM »
And that's a wrap on February.  Good month, spending wise.  It helps that it's a short month.

Our goals are total monthly spending of $2700 for our family of four -- two adults + two teenagers, and keeping the total food spend under $600.   ($600 on food for a month is an aggressive target for us; last year we averaged $750.)  This month we met both targets.  :)  Other highlights of the month:  Nothing spent this year so far on eating out or alcohol.  Low point of the month:  Utilities continue to be VERY high.  We don't have a specific number goal (since utility usage fluctuates so much with the weather), but this is too high!  [punching self in face]  We need to redouble our efforts.


                   Total spend               Food               Utilities

January       $3869 (144%)      $656 (109%)         $539
February      $2223 (82%)       $593 (99%)           $558 (ouch)
 

Linea_Norway

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #194 on: February 28, 2019, 06:50:56 AM »
Two of my credit card accounts show purchases very late. I don't see the purchases I made yesterday. Maybe the places where I spent it send it in with some delay. So my February wrap-up will have to wait some days.

zygote

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #195 on: February 28, 2019, 09:00:05 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 again! Groceries were pretty steady at $260, eating out was $150.

-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. Success. Spent less this month, $230. That was for 6 tickets, so my average price is also better (<$40).

-I 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 replaced a toner I love that was completely gone.

Spent $3100 this month, including $800 towards a long-planned vacation. More than last month, but it's still a huge reduction in my monthly average of $3500 from last year. I'm also well on pace to hit my goal of $40k for the year.

philli14

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #196 on: February 28, 2019, 09:41:54 AM »
February now done, have to say it was a successful month. Looking forward to starting anew in March, target obviously going to be minimizing that awful shopping category. Thank you all for the motivation and inspiration!!


Category        2018 AVG | 2019 GOAL | 2019 AVG |   JAN |   FEB |
Cell Phone         $  75 |     $  10 |    $  14 | $  24 | $   3 |
Gas/Fuel           $ 150 |     $  50 |    $  16 | $  32 | $   0 |
Restaurants        $ 540 |     $ 300 |    $  49 | $  13 | $  84 |
"Shopping"         $ 420 |     $ 150 |    $ 301 | $ 426 | $ 175 |
Car Expenses       $ 445 |     $ 100 |    $  27 | $  54 | $   0 |
---------------------------------------------------------
Total              $1630 |     $ 610 |    $ 407 | $ 549 | $ 262 |
« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 10:14:56 AM by philli14 »

middo

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #197 on: February 28, 2019, 05:48:25 PM »
Final February numbers:
 
                  Feb so far   Jan      2018 average
Food:          $376          $777   (598)
Non-Food:   $110          $337   (441)
Eating out:  $310          $656   (570)
Medical:      $496          $687   (603)
Kids:           $2385        $1257   (2806)
Mortgages:  $5013        $4962   (5122)
Utilities:      $3219        $872    (2045)
Transport:   $1476        $1193   (1819)
Holidays:    $1307         $1459   (487)

Total:          $14692      $12,037   (14,491)  or an increase of 1%

Utilities and holidays busted our budget.  We booked a holiday to see our son on his 25th birthday, for a short fly-in overnight and fly out the next day. 

Next month will be better.  Promise.

*Edit - total expenses so far $26729.  Last year (on averages) $28982 .  This is still down 8% so far for the year.  Aim is at least 10%.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2019, 05:51:03 PM by middo »

philli14

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #198 on: February 28, 2019, 08:43:22 PM »
Final February numbers:
 
                  Feb so far   Jan      2018 average
Food:          $376          $777   (598)
Non-Food:   $110          $337   (441)
Eating out:  $310          $656   (570)
Medical:      $496          $687   (603)
Kids:           $2385        $1257   (2806)
Mortgages:  $5013        $4962   (5122)
Utilities:      $3219        $872    (2045)
Transport:   $1476        $1193   (1819)
Holidays:    $1307         $1459   (487)

Total:          $14692      $12,037   (14,491)  or an increase of 1%

Utilities and holidays busted our budget.  We booked a holiday to see our son on his 25th birthday, for a short fly-in overnight and fly out the next day. 

Next month will be better.  Promise.

*Edit - total expenses so far $26729.  Last year (on averages) $28982 .  This is still down 8% so far for the year.  Aim is at least 10%.

Sounds like a front-loaded year.. here's to a good couple of months to bring those numbers down!! If not, you're still down on total expenses AND your listed expenses (accounting for inflation) :)

TNT

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #199 on: March 01, 2019, 10:02:52 AM »
February is a done deal. The numbers look pretty, but that's mostly because my income taxes came through, so the "Financial" category shows an income tax expenditure of -$1,818. The federal government, it seems, pays me to live here.

I have to admit that as the numbers started to gel as the month came to a close, I very nearly decided to abandon this challenge. I looked back on my spending, and even though it's higher in a lot of areas than any good mustachian should allow, there really aren't any decisions I regret making. After a week or two of contemplation, I did go ahead and buy the steam cleaner I mentioned upthread. I'm not sorry.

What's really holding me back from the SR I'd like to have is the fact that my 18-year-old is still costing me a significant amount of money, even though she's technically an adult. It does show up as a big spending category, but in reality it's much more of a parenting issue than a spending issue. I'm trying to be patient and hope that she gradually takes over more of it, or all of it, and stops...ummm...doing dumb things with her money.

BUT with all that said, I've also realized that this challenge is REALLY helping with my grocery budget. I came in under budget for the first time in [many, many months], just because I want the number to look nice for you people. :)

ETA: I’m taking the spreadsheet down because the name changes didn’t save and this version showed our first names. Too lazy to start over.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 04:07:33 PM by TNT »