Author Topic: Low Spend September & October Challenge  (Read 23346 times)

haypug16

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #200 on: October 25, 2017, 10:49:51 AM »
I'm at $1,447.48 for October. One of my lowest months ever. All that's left this month I believe is any grocery shopping, gas, and dog food I need to get during the week. With $352.52 remaining in my budget this should be easy *knock on wood*

I hope to carry this low spending forward especially with the holidays coming as well as some house renovations planned for next year I need all the help I can get.

katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #201 on: October 25, 2017, 07:45:16 PM »
I'm so so so far out of this challenge now. My normal budget is still normal and lowish spend, but my money is escaping my wallet to buy shelves to build a pantry wall in my eensy kitchen (done last weekend) and this week likely a couch as my new roommates (yay $) aren't so keen on my furniture-less living room or trying to cram our collective food/pans/dishes into four cupboards.

Tass

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #202 on: October 25, 2017, 08:34:32 PM »
Yeah, my mid-month minivacation solidly ruined this effort for me. Bought a $100 Broadway ticket for my anniversary with my bf. Not bad at all for Broadway, but hardly necessary - and on top of the extravagant (for me) restaurant spending. I did just manage to pay $2.50 for groceries (pasta x2, bananas x2, lime), but it was mostly a trip to pick up what I forgot when I spent $46 a few days back. (That was a bulk-buying purchase, so still pretty good.)

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #203 on: October 26, 2017, 04:38:51 AM »
Spent another $30 on grocery items (caved after a tough day and bought some easy comfort foods). Also had a bus never show up and chose a $5 Uber ride over waiting at the stop for an hour. I've been doing a lot of side hustle tutoring and writing lately, which is great, but a downside is a small increase in some spending like this. When I have an evening tutoring session, I'm much less likely to be able to wait an hour for the next bus. Hmm.

So now I have $5 for the rest of the month (if I want to stay under September). This actually might be possible since I've already got groceries and don't have any commitments this weekend.

I definitely spent more on unnecessary things than I wish I did. Sounds like I'm not alone! I do want to remind folks that even if you didn't make your target spend, you still were successful if you had a lower spend than you would have otherwise! I know that I resisted some purchases because of the accountability, and that's awesome. My spending is at an all time low, even with "slip ups." Thanks everyone!

westtoeast

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #204 on: October 29, 2017, 11:28:34 AM »
How's the month wrapping up for everyone?

I'm doing my final post here, because I won't spend during the next two days.

I had a bunch of health related spending pop up the past few days ($180). AND my phone stopped working, which resulted in about $125 to replace. I know there are cheaper options out there, but I have a nice low phone bill due to staying on my family plan and I really do love having a smartphone... it serves so many purposes from the camera to the bus tracker to accessing podcasts to music access to all the apps that I use at work.

So this all leaves me at $1783. That's a lot higher than last month. BUT my unnecessary spend wasn't terrible. Again, just reminding myself that there was plenty that I didn't buy, which makes unexpected expenses easier to absorb.

Thanks to all who participated in this TWO MONTH LOW SPEND challenge! I'm going to take a little break from intense tracking because I know with the holidays there are bound to be little things that come up-- I'm going to send my "savings goal" amounts right to those accounts and then not worry about the rest. I'll be back in January ready for another round :)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #205 on: October 29, 2017, 11:44:14 AM »
So I want to thank this thread! I didn't do *all* that good on the low spending (looking at you, alcohol, dinner we couldn't avoid with family, etc). BUT, someone made mention of side hustlin to make a little extra. Because of that, I signed up as a sitter on an app service. And I've been doing booming business! I made $100 this month, and already have scheduled stays more than $200 next month, and another $200 already in December. It's a little silly, because I could easily work more at my FT job and make way more than that... but I kinda hate my job right now, so this is way better! Being home, and pups, and getting paid for it.

So the low spend months worked, just not quite how I'd expected ;)

Also, this month WAS lower than September (by like $1200), but with no vet bills that's to be expected =\

hal

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #206 on: October 29, 2017, 12:39:31 PM »
I ended up not doing so badly for the month; my overall activity on YNAB shows as $4,288.93. But of that total, $2660.68 went to my student loan, so my spending overall was $1,628.25.

Toward the end of the month, I splurged (and borrowed from my next month’s personal spending category) in order to get something I have wanted for a long, long time:  a bike repair stand. My front derailleur needed adjustment and there were some other creaky noises, so I finally bit the bullet and spent the $150 for a decent stand. I should have done it much sooner!

katscratch

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #207 on: October 29, 2017, 05:25:36 PM »
I haven't added up my spending yet (will in the next couple of days) but I know I have a lot of non-critical spending. Including taking the kids out to eat twice - but totally worth spending time with them. I have avoided spending at most social events and there have been a lot more than I'm used to, so I feel good about that - the social drinking especially has been a crutch for nerves and it's too easy to get food then a second drink - I've been good at sticking to either one drink only or nothing at all lately.

wordnerd

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #208 on: October 29, 2017, 05:42:08 PM »
I spent $60 this weekend, which is REALLY high for me, but I feel good about the purchases. $30 was for consignment maternity clothes (online from Schoola which I found about here), which, in addition to what I already have, should get me through my pregnancy. I also bought two groupons for $15 each--one for a family pizza night and one for a date night with DH. Those were definitely unnecessary, but I'm still happy with them. We'll get free babysitting for our date, since I babysat someone else's kids this weekend, so $15 for a date night isn't bad. So not the strongest finish to the challenge, but I think I did well overall.

haypug16

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #209 on: October 31, 2017, 07:06:53 AM »
Total spend for October is $1,634.85 which is $165.15 below budget. Considering I have about $500 in dental expenses this month I realized that my monthly goal is really to high and I can get by on less. Normally my monthly goal is $2,000 but I hardly ever stick to it. This challenge (plus being away on a work trip) help keep my spending down. I think I can safely lower my monthly spending to $1,800 every month going forward.

OP, Thanks for creating this thread :)

horsepoor

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #210 on: October 31, 2017, 02:11:51 PM »
October Recap:

$70 over on groceries - I think I undershot my budget a little considering the pantry restocking I did at the beginning of the month, buying spices, and being on work travel. 
$23 over on restaurants - only one $18 takeout bill when not on work travel.  Stayed well under per diem when traveling, made my own coffee etc.
$15 over on gas thanks to my gas guzzling horse trailer puller getting some exercise this month

Unintentional win:  big purchase this month was a used saddle, which ended up not fitting my horse, and is on it's way back for a refund.  I found another one to purchase for $500 less that will hopefully work.  Nearly ran off to buy an extra saddle cover, then remembered I have an unused one somewhere that I just need to dig up.

Just sold an unneeded horse blanket on eBay for $300.  Net to me ~$270, partially offsetting the saddle purchase and other shit my horses "just had to have."

Changed dog food and a horse supplement to save $45/month going forward.  $540/year!

Lazy/unMustachian moment - calling the garage door guy rather than trying to troubleshoot and fix ourselves.  DH is not handy, and it's a busy time of year for him.  I get resentful when I take on too many of those types of tasks on my own. 

Lazy win:  Deciding I don't need to rework the veggie beds as much as I'd planned, and hence haven't bought any project materials

Mustachian moments - canned tomatoes, transplanted perennials instead of buying new plants, stayed out of stores and away from non-horse related shopping.

Off the Wheel

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #211 on: October 31, 2017, 09:27:13 PM »
Alright, let's see how this panned out!

September:
$120 - gym membership
$369 - parking and gas (husband pays the insurance, I pay our carpool's daily parking and half the gas)
$369 - personal care... I got my hair done. It costs $200+ (I KNOW) but it only happens twice a year?!
$525 - travel (ferries mostly, and the incidentals of a wedding trip back east)
$557 - shopping. Terrible. Mostly face punch worthy, though a fair amount of this was gifts for family birthdays.
$500 - food and dining. ($80 for a group drink at the wedding, $97 at coffee shops, $43 on fast food, $142 restaurants)

Total discretionary = $2440 :(

October:
$39 - domain hosting for my website
$120 - gym membership
$268 - gas/parking
$456 - shopping (mostly crafting/homemade Christmas gift items - this should decrease in November)
$333 - pets (doggy daycare & treats.. I KNOW)
$240 - cleaning service (I know :()
$304 - travel (ferries)
$36 fast food
$75 - coffee shops
$262 - restaurants
$377 - groceries
$344 - cell phone (this is 2 months of bills. Cell plans/data in Canada are ridiculously expensive, and I have long distance packages for extended family and also work.)

Total discretionary = $2854

I really need to rein in my spending. My goal is $2000 outside of mortgage/fixed.

YellowCat

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #212 on: November 02, 2017, 08:03:19 PM »
I donated $100 yesterday for Puerto Rico hurricane relief - trying to put my money where my mouth is. If any of you fine folks are interested, the Puerto Rico National Chamber of Commerce has sponsors who are matching donations dollar-for-dollar, so you can get more bang for your buck (https://www.nprchamber.org/disaster-relief) This is absolutely not "frivolous spending" and I'm glad to be in a position to contribute for food, medical supplies, satellite phones, and water filtration systems, necessities which most of us take for granted. Okay - off my soapbox now :) But please do go and check it out.

Thanks for posting this-- used the link you provided to make a small contribution. Nice reminder that while we are trying to cut back as much as we can, likely we can all spare to help in situations like this.

@westtoeast - Awesome! Glad you found it useful. I figure if I can spare that amount supporting my hobbies or going to restaurants or whatever (though I'm trying not to) I can certainly also spare that amount to support the purchase of basic supplies for people who desperately need them. Plus 100% matching is pretty great.

In other news I had a splitting headache last night and didn't want to even think of cooking, so Brown Bear (DH) and I went out for Thai food. We did our usual of splitting one bowl of soup and one massive entree (with extra veggies) and the total with tip was $21.50 :/ It was very tasty and convenient, but we could have easily managed to find something to eat at home if we'd been able to conquer headaches and apathy... My spending goal for the month, and honestly for November and December as well, is to be sub-$3k, and we're currently at $1702.27 including our mortgage payment. With Brown Bear's car payment ($326.33, to be withdrawn later this month) that leaves us with $971.40 for additional groceries, gas, bills, whatever. I think we should be able to easily stay below that. Here's me putting the goal down in writing to hold myself accountable!

Our spending so far this month: $1776.09
Mortgage: $1221.52
Food & Dining: $251.38 (and only $144 is groceries! Too many restaurants here for sure...)
Donations: $126.39 (Puerto Rico and a recurring local food bank donation)
Bills and Utilities: $92.16 (Electric, Gas, and Internet -- pretty low actually, but we haven't turned our heat on yet this year)
Auto & Transport: $34.17
Shopping: $23.30 (yarn to finish a Christmas present plus dollar store balloons & decorations for a baby shower we hosted)
Fees: $18.50 (Quarterly HSA fees through work, unavoidable)
Doctors Appointment: $8.67

So overall about $130 of that is frivolous non-grocery dining + shopping. Not as bad as I feared, actually :) Also I had a frugal win today - sold my old dishwasher for $50 on Craigslist. It was my first Craigslist sale and very exhilarating! It was so easy...

Had a bit more frivolous spending over the past couple of days...
- $6.25 on fresh donuts at the local cider mill (one of our favorite ways to celebrate the autumn)
- $6.00 for a chicken shwarma wrap which I split with my husband last night. This was supposed to be a snack but ended up being dinner...oops!
- $35.30 for a brand new pair of Clarks ankle boots and a long sleeved knit top at my favorite local consignment shop. I'd recently realized I only had one pair of work-appropriate winter shoes (in black) so when I lucked into these comfortable brown leather boots for ~$28 I just bought them. I'm sure they'll get a lot of use, especially if they're as waterproof as they appear to be.

I had a few wins already this weekend as well:
- I brought two pairs of beautiful but almost never-worn pairs of shoes to said consignment shop in hopes of making a few bucks once they sell. I really loved the way they looked but neither pair fit quite right and I hardly ever wore them, as they pinched my toes. I'm not sure if comfortable heels exist, but I haven't found them yet.
-I donated a trunk-full of clothes, shoes, CDs, decorations, computer accessories, binders, etc. to the local Goodwill. It's right next door to my grocery store of choice (Aldi) and it's such a relief to have that heap of stuff out of the basement. Also completed my grocery run at the same time -- $46 for two big bags full of food!

Current monthly household spending stands at $2585, up from last week mainly due to my husband's car payment being withdrawn ($326), a hospital bill for me ($138 - urgent care visit for a dog bite earlier this fall (ouch and ugh)), a little bit of misc. restaurant spending (husband), and the usual groceries and gas. I still think we can come in below my goal of $3k for October, especially seeing as there's only ~1 week left and I'll be travelling for business 10/31-11/3 and all of my spending will be on the company's dime.

Final post-mortem is attached. We overdid it this month, blew right past my goal of sub-$3k, so I'm determined to do better in November!

partgypsy

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Re: Low Spend September & October Challenge
« Reply #213 on: November 03, 2017, 07:31:11 AM »
Here are the totals for past 2 months.  Some wins, is that I have been able to consistently keep grocery down compared to previous years, without much sacrifice. Years before it was 900-1100. Restaurant is also down. Some big wins I went on a trip in Sept, and also a beach trip in Oct (used points for 2 free nights) but was able to keep restaurant and other travel expenses down.  Other big win, is in miscellaneous. I admit, I was an Amazon junkie. I'm not perfect, but I do think, do I really need this?  It also helps that I have piles and piles of stuff in my hallway from decluttering. So much waste! Yes a lot of it was gifts or hand-me downs, but the rest are things that I bought to solve some need or want. I can't go back and undo those purchases, but I can change what purchases I make in the future.   
SEP    groc 615.      restaurant 103.2   car 305   medical 0     clothing 0    travel 61    misc  354
OCT       696                            112              304               0                0           14              186   
2016 ave   917                       245               286                 111             80        135               658


ETA- I compared total ingo outgo from last year, and on average I'm spending an average of 738 less a month!  However that is about the difference ex contributed to household, that I'm no longer getting, so it's not like I am saving that money. But I am almost at break-even, which is better than I hoped.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 07:47:33 AM by partgypsy »