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General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: magnet18 on August 20, 2018, 12:04:15 PM

Title: Spendless September
Post by: magnet18 on August 20, 2018, 12:04:15 PM
My spending for this summer thus far has been pretty out of control, and I am not happy about it.  I initially thought about savings rate September, but that quickly becomes a game the highest earners win.  Seeing who can spend the least amount of money seems like a more level playing field.

Rules: (open to suggestions)
1. Money "spent" on investment obviously doesn't count, and we can include any appreciating asset in that, such as mortgage principal.
1.a. Maintenance costs on that asset obviously count as spending.

2. Non-monthly costs can be amortized, i.e. an annual expense that falls in September can be divided by 12

3. No cheating by stocking up on a whole months worth of consumables or pre-paying all your bills on the last day of August, play fair.


My plan is to update weekly, and my goal is to spend less than $1000 combined between the wife and I, and the first $550 will be rent and car payment, hitting it hard!

Share your goals, and thoughts!
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: haypug16 on August 20, 2018, 12:43:29 PM
I'm very interested in this. I'm currently doing the Uber Frugal August but want to keep my momentum going.

My goal for August is $2,000 and I will keep that as my goal for September with a stretch goal of $1,600
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: magnet18 on August 20, 2018, 01:49:54 PM
I'm very interested in this. I'm currently doing the Uber Frugal August but want to keep my momentum going.

My goal for August is $2,000 and I will keep that as my goal for September with a stretch goal of $1,600

Very cool!  Great work with uber frugal August!

What is your sans mortgage goal?

My goal is to really focus on the things i have immediate control over, like food and gas and utility budgets, so those who are mortgage free don't have a giant leg up

My intent for September is to set my new baseline.  Since downsizing to the RV 6 months ago things have been crazy, maintenance costs here and car breakdowns there and of course weddings and a lost job

I did very well last winter saving for the RV.
August is the first month with a new, stable income for my wife since April, time to put the credit card away and get back to it
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: alleykat on August 21, 2018, 08:24:19 AM
I am a little hesitant because I do need a new bed but I will join in. I am going to aim for 1600, might be a little tight but I think I can do it.  I have been spending a little bit out of control so I need to regain my composure.  The mindless spending is real.

Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: ixtap on August 21, 2018, 08:42:16 AM
After "Cafes have the only reliable public internet June,"  "Furnish a new home from scratch July," and "Just one, I mean two, more things August," I am definitely in. We are taking some friends on vacation, but we are travelling in our sailboat, so there won't be many costs for that.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: haypug16 on August 21, 2018, 08:58:19 AM

What is your sans mortgage goal?


My Mortgage is $412 a month (my half at least) so sans mortgage goal would be $1,588 and stretch goal of $1,188.

Once I take out my Mortgage payment I have;
$250 for Medical Ins
~$170 for Utilities
$200 for Groceries (trying to get this to $150 in Sept)
~$60 for gas (I hope to ride my bike to work more to lower this but I pretty much fill up every two weeks)
$120 for cellphone (not just for my phone! SO no face-punching needed)
~$50 pets
$50 dining/take out (will try to keep this "reasonably low")
$45 for Donations
$36 for Fitness (couple yoga class if I even get around to it)
$150 in Misc of which $60 is set for a specific purchase
Totaling $1,131 ($457 below my goal and $57 below my stretch goal)

I can't imagine what I would spend the $457 on during the month but I know it happens. TBH it's usually food related or something I throw into the "Misc." Category.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: tryingtosave on August 21, 2018, 09:07:11 AM
I would also like to spend less as i have been buying too much random things throughout the summer. I see that you guys included what I consider "fixed" spending. ex. Mortgage, car payments, utilities, etc. I am not sure if we should include those since I can't really cut them out in a pinch. In my case, multiple kids in daycare, sports/classes for kids, support for parents, etc. Besides from my "fixed" spending, i definitely want to spend less on everything else that i have control over.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Zola. on August 21, 2018, 09:49:02 AM
I am in! October is always an expensive month for us, two car payments for insurance come out on the same month, and the cars usually get serviced then.

If I have an uber frugal September that will go a long way.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Bee21 on August 22, 2018, 02:12:51 AM
I will jump in, though the numbers will be embarrassing. We'll have school holidays (extra childcare) and also 2 long weekends coming up, plus some medical expenses (dentist, hospital parking and GKW. Anything  between 50 and 5k ). September looks expensive. The aim is to track spending, keep food costs under 150 per week, no clothes, no books, no unnecessary spending. I will also have to be creative for the school holidays.

Travel/entertainment spending will be high so I need to keep the rest under control.It will be a fun month with those 2 trips already planned, plus I have already committed to a a fundraising trivia game (support the school and increase social connections).

i am bracing myself for the medical expenses. This year we are getting close to 10k....
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: westtoeast on August 23, 2018, 11:38:25 AM
I should probably jump on board-- it's been a very un-mustachian summer.

Goal is to keep under $800 (rent, utilities, & student loan excluded). This number needs to cover all transportation, medical, groceries/food, toiletries and miscellaneous expenses. I'd like to completely avoid: clothing shopping, unnecessary Uber, eating out, buying groceries at WF.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: clarkai on August 23, 2018, 03:20:02 PM
I will jump in, but I'm going to focus on my biggest non-fixed expenditure: Food.

Only the mortgage and the school loans are bigger, and those are both fixed, so this seems like an obvious focus for us. This year, on average, we have spent ~$450 a month on food, including both groceries and eating out. The reasonable goal will be to spend no more than $300 in September, and the stretch goal would be spending no more than $200. This is for two active adults in a medium-high cost of living area.

It is the start of the school year, and I've worn out a significant number of my work clothes, so there will be some spending there. I aim to keep it low by buying used.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Dee_ on August 24, 2018, 06:53:45 PM
In! Our expenses have been a little out of control lately, though I partially blame the excessive amount of travel (mid-20s wedding season, whoo) we're doing this year. Also contributing has been the unfortunate situation of one of our friends getting diagnosed with a rather severe congenital defect (why it didn't get diagnosed in childhood is...a  long story) and there's been a lot of long-distance hospital trips with them lately & the associated eating out.  So that's no fun.

But, the goal is sub 500 for September.

including: groceries & all eating out
excluding: charitable giving, mortage, the root canal for DH the first week of September, and associated costs for possible wisdom teeth extraction for me (ack)
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Bee21 on August 25, 2018, 05:25:24 PM
We have a rainy weekend so I am planning to ambush the husband with my plans of tracking every dollar we spend. At least this month, but preferably for the rest of the year. He just announced that he wants to spend 2k on the boat before the big October trip. the man is on a bit of a spendy streak lately (already spent several hundred dollars on his very own father's day present, because he just had to have extra tools. Mind you, those tools were already twice used), so I will have to rein in the spending.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: gillhamface on August 30, 2018, 11:34:43 AM
I am in, too! Uber Frugal August helped me rein in my spending.

My goal is spending less than $1600, $550 of which is my mortgage/utilities. I have a couple of professional memberships that come due this month, so I calculated that in this month, too.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Percolate on August 30, 2018, 01:24:26 PM
August was an annoyingly high spend month for me with booking travel, and some computer and car repairs. I kept my total food budget (groceries + eating out) at around $215, which I'm proud of though. Looking to improve that and lock it down even more in September. My rent+utilities comes out to about $750/month so I feel like I could conceivably keep my total expenses below $1000 for a month. I'll make that a stretch goal though, and shoot for $1400.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: middo on August 30, 2018, 06:58:39 PM
I'll join in.

We just had a horror month in August, with 3 lots of council rates all due at the same time.  We could have spaced out the payments, but decided to just pay them and be done with it.  ($4000 for those outside Australia). 

My aims:

Food:  $500
Non-food groceries:  $200
Alcohol and eating out:  $100
Medical:  $450   (includes of health insurance)
Transport:  $400

Total:  $1850

I'm not going to include our household bills, as they will be lower than usual due to timing issues, and mortgage and children accommodation at Uni costs are also being quarantined as they won't change.  We are also renovating and repairing the rental we have just moved into, so I won't include those costs. 

We also have the challenges of kids coming to visit, so eating out and alcohol may get blown in a single celebratory dinner.  I'll see how that goes.

Under $1850 and I will feel like a winner for September!
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: zeli2033 on August 31, 2018, 09:38:11 AM
I'm in for this challenge! I will be focusing on all expenses except rent and the student loan, which we're throwing all extra cash at until it's paid off next year. Two adults living in a MCOL area who like to grab dinner out when we're tired after working so food is our biggest hiccup for sure. Goals:

Groceries (includes non-food items): $700
Restaurants/Cafes: $75
Personal Care: $179
Transport: $75
Utilities: $50
Entertainment (incl. subscriptions): $50
Total: $1,129 or less.

Whew! Already feels like a stretch just looking at it, lol. But excited to see where we net out!
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Dee_ on August 31, 2018, 05:38:31 PM
Had a friend come in from out of town, so dropped $60 on medium-fancy dinner for 3 adults. Not the best way to do it, but wanted to treat friend and hadn't seen them in ages.

Good thing it happened before September 1st :p

Here goes for real, folks. *cracks knuckles*
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: middo on September 02, 2018, 05:14:06 PM
I'll join in.

We just had a horror month in August, with 3 lots of council rates all due at the same time.  We could have spaced out the payments, but decided to just pay them and be done with it.  ($4000 for those outside Australia). 

My aims:

Food:  $500
Non-food groceries:  $200
Alcohol and eating out:  $100
Medical:  $450   (includes of health insurance)
Transport:  $400

Total:  $1850

I'm not going to include our household bills, as they will be lower than usual due to timing issues, and mortgage and children accommodation at Uni costs are also being quarantined as they won't change.  We are also renovating and repairing the rental we have just moved into, so I won't include those costs. 

We also have the challenges of kids coming to visit, so eating out and alcohol may get blown in a single celebratory dinner.  I'll see how that goes.

Under $1850 and I will feel like a winner for September!

Last night I took my Dad out for dinner as a Fathers Day treat, (it was Fathers Day in Australia).  There goes the Alcohol and eating out budget for the month.  Already up to $136 for the month, when hoping to spend less than $100.  At least my home brew will be ready this week, so no more alcohol purchases for a while.  I include the homebrew kit costs under my alcohol expenses.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: AFrugalGuy on September 02, 2018, 08:25:55 PM
I'm in! My goal is to keep monthly spend under $3k as I have been successful in accomplishing that since May (savings rate: 65% of net income). This includes $1522.50 in my share of the rent.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: clarkai on September 03, 2018, 07:39:27 AM
I will jump in, but I'm going to focus on my biggest non-fixed expenditure: Food.

Only the mortgage and the school loans are bigger, and those are both fixed, so this seems like an obvious focus for us. This year, on average, we have spent ~$450 a month on food, including both groceries and eating out. The reasonable goal will be to spend no more than $300 in September, and the stretch goal would be spending no more than $200. This is for two active adults in a medium-high cost of living area.

It is the start of the school year, and I've worn out a significant number of my work clothes, so there will be some spending there. I aim to keep it low by buying used.

We did a test run last week because there's no time like the present to start working on improving your money habits, right?

Anyway, we came in under $35 for a full week of food! We did it by meal planning with an eye towards frugality, and by working to use up the pretty large quantities of dry goods that we have. What was really great is that we didn't feel deprived at all! Looks like that sub-$200 grocery budget is within reach after all!

Also, we didn't spend any non-food money so far this month, though 2 days doesn't really count for much!
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: zeli2033 on September 03, 2018, 09:18:48 AM
So far, we are at $119.22 of our food budget. Didnít realize weíd have to buy more green coffee beans to roast which can be a hefty bulk purchase. To keep this monthís spend down, we only bought 2 pounds instead of the normal 10lb bags this time.

Clarkai, $35!? Thatís amazing for a week of food! Beyond using up dried goods you have on hand, any other tips/tricks to share?
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Dee_ on September 03, 2018, 10:33:07 AM
Heh, so not off to a great start.

Spend 20 on groceries this weekend, that's fine. $20
Forgot to order seed garlic, so did it this morning. $22
Stupidly cut myself with a rusty razor blade while working on the house, went to the emergency room for a tetanus shot. Copay $100

This should be a quiet week though, and my stated budget allows for ~125/month, so if I can keep it under wraps this week everything should still be a-ok.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Bee21 on September 03, 2018, 11:43:58 PM
One weekend trip done (around 230 with eating out and fuel). It included the in-laws'  lunch (fathers day!). No regrets, was a great social weekend with heaps of people and lot of fun.

Food was 170 (150 regular plus extra bits and nibbles to share for the happy hour), we didn't buy any drinks as we had leftover beer from previous trips and we shared a bottle of coffee liquor we got as a present before. I also persuaded the kids not to buy any presents for dad at the fathers day stall (hate that they take advantage of kids, selling them the overpriced crap for mothers and fathers day).

I had to take a few days off sick,  so there will be a few extra medical expenses coming up. I budgeted for the dentist and the hospital parking, but this will be on top of that. Will also need physio eventually but this month is full of medical appointments so that might have to wait till October.

There is an extra coffee catchup this month I want to attend (for people with similar medical condition.) This one won't break the bank and I really need to make some connections in this area. Apparently, it is not only for patients but for medical specialists as well, so I definitely want to meet the doctors who are experts in this field. I am also looking for a new gp, as ours has no idea about this condition. He was open about it, but it is getting increasingly frustrating that I have to make my own research all the time. I prefer a real doctor to dr google. It is 75$ for an appointment just to write the referrals to the specialist and he does not always send us to the right places. Eh, long story. Anyway we will need one of these referral writing appointments this month too, gotta organize that too.

My friends are also on a strict budget this month, so they cancelled the girls lunch, we'll meet at someone's house instead.

There are two events I look forward to in the next 2 weeks: a fundraising trivia night (33$) and a cooking class (my birthday present, 49$ with a groupon). I also signed the kids up for a roald dahl event at the library (free), a free ukulele lesson, the music school's open day and I will need to organize their school holidays soon. With me being sick this week I don't think work will let me have any extra days off this month. I hope the grandparents will be willing to look after them for a day at least, otherwise vacation care is 160$ per day and we will need to cover 5 days.

Kids also got 10$ each to spend at the book fair at school.

So, that's all so far. Spendless September is looking spendy.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: haypug16 on September 04, 2018, 07:53:40 AM
So far I've been doing pretty well;

Sept 1st - $14.90 (dining out - $35.10 remaining)
Sept 2nd - $0.00
Sept 3rd - $22.06 (groceries - $177.94 remaining)
Sept 4th - $55.00 (Bus pass/Gas - $5 remaining)
Total spend = $91.96/$1,588
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: magnet18 on September 04, 2018, 12:01:02 PM
So far things have been OK...

Sept 1.   $54.53   ($20 groceries, $25 gas, $8.54 Taco Bell)
Sept 2.   $3.58  (groceries, ramen)
Sept 3.   $68.79 ($48.80 groceries, $9.57 poop bags for the dog (2 year supply), $6.84 for Ting mobile phone number I don't use and need to do something about)
Sept 4.   $115.47 ($57 storage unit (RV living), $52 unplanned vet visit (first in 3 years), $6.47 DW bought salad at work)

Total so far is $238.79, not the greatest start 4 days in, but it's a bit frontloaded
$12.38 "wasted" on taco bell and an un-needed phone bill

Other upcoming expenses will be
$200 rent&utilities (maybe less since we dog-sat for the landlord for 5 days)
$354 minimum car payment (I count it in this, since it is a calculated luxury)
$368 RV payment (home, so I don't count it in this, but I'll count the interest)
$350 in gas will be spent in a few weekends on a long planned trip in the rv

and DW has a bachelorette party this weekend, of course it's a 3 day weekend mini-vacation destination party (apparently the trend?), hopefully that doesn't break the bank
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: ixtap on September 04, 2018, 12:06:42 PM
I just bought LED bulbs for the boat. The good news is that we finally found bulbs, rather than having to replace all of the fixtures.

Other than that, just food so far.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: catccc on September 04, 2018, 01:02:44 PM
I'm in for spending less this month (and the rest of the year, but let's start with a month).  But based on the numbers people having been throwing out here, I'm gonna blow your numbers away... in a bad way.  Although, we did just have a pretty frugal holiday weekend, so that is good!

As of 9/4/18 at 2:54 pm EST:
$67.37 groceries,
$5.00 cell phone (data top up, US mobile prepaid)
$14.45 DH's fun fund

We use YNAB and DH and I each have what we call a fun fund for our "anything goes" type purchases that fall outside of regular family spending.  Each fund is loaded up with $600 for the year in January, and we can add any money gifted to us individually that we choose not to invest.  Yes, this is a bit frivolous, but we like to earmark some $ for a little bit of fun.

I'm really going to try to crack down on stuff like eating out this month.  But I know I'll have some other expenses, like kids activities, with the start of school upon us.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: clarkai on September 04, 2018, 09:27:35 PM

Clarkai, $35!? Thatís amazing for a week of food! Beyond using up dried goods you have on hand, any other tips/tricks to share?

Thanks! I was pretty impressed with myself as well :)

We are eating a lot of meals based around some legume + grain. I am also avoiding expensive additions, like avocado and coconut milk (splurged this week, still hoping to come in under $35... we'll see.) I basically opened up a bunch of links for legume-based meals, and closed any link that that something like avocado, coconut milk, mangoes, bell peppers (they are stupidly expensive here), and so forth, and used that for my meal planning. Went shopping after making a list of the things we needed for those recipes, and only got those things.

This week I didn't stick to the shopping list as well because there were some things for sale that I decided to stock up on. Canned pineapple chunks for a dollar each was one of them- I'm going to make some pineapple fried rice soon! Still, we're currently under budget, and I think we have enough ingredients to carry us through until Saturday. And we still have $4.89.

These are a few of the recipes I used, to give you an idea:
http://winfriendswithsalad.com/win-friends-lentil-ragu/
http://www.cookshideout.com/nepali-dal-bhat-national-dish-of-nepal-recipe
https://www.chefdehome.com/recipes/651/roasted-tomatillos-chickpea-curry (this one has coconut milk, but only a little bit, so it got through the screening process)
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: clarkai on September 04, 2018, 09:51:30 PM
Totally forgot to post our spending:

Misc: $2.39 (Store bought brownie treat after a long day of work- disappointing. Next time I'll just save up enough brownie points to make a batch at home.)
Food: $30.11
Electronics: $32.30 (Had to replace a couple cellphone chargers- one was left behind in Belgium, and the other was lost when one of the housemates moved out. Alas.)

Not so bad so far! And the food budget is doing pretty well. Wish we didn't have to buy the chargers, but that's the rub. Although technically the need for the chargers was originated in July and August, so if we were more on top of things we would have dealt with it before Sept, but we didn't. 
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: middo on September 04, 2018, 10:21:03 PM
I'll join in.

We just had a horror month in August, with 3 lots of council rates all due at the same time.  We could have spaced out the payments, but decided to just pay them and be done with it.  ($4000 for those outside Australia). 

My aims:

Food:  $500
Non-food groceries:  $200
Alcohol and eating out:  $100
Medical:  $450   (includes of health insurance)
Transport:  $400

Total:  $1850

I'm not going to include our household bills, as they will be lower than usual due to timing issues, and mortgage and children accommodation at Uni costs are also being quarantined as they won't change.  We are also renovating and repairing the rental we have just moved into, so I won't include those costs. 

We also have the challenges of kids coming to visit, so eating out and alcohol may get blown in a single celebratory dinner.  I'll see how that goes.

Under $1850 and I will feel like a winner for September!

Last night I took my Dad out for dinner as a Fathers Day treat, (it was Fathers Day in Australia).  There goes the Alcohol and eating out budget for the month.  Already up to $136 for the month, when hoping to spend less than $100.  At least my home brew will be ready this week, so no more alcohol purchases for a while.  I include the homebrew kit costs under my alcohol expenses.

Tracking my actual spending 5 days in:
Food: 24
Non-Food: 10
Eating out: 166
Medical: 354
Transport: 38

So far: $592

The medical expenses is front loaded for the month, so apart from eating out/booze, it is all below my challenge level.  Lets see if I can keep that down.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Percolate on September 05, 2018, 12:06:11 AM
09/01 - $0
09/02 - $18.78 - Renter's insurance
09/03 - $0
09/04 - $0

So far so good! Was inspired by this thread: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/eat-all-the-food-in-your-house-take-2/ and am gonna try and delay grocery shopping until I've eaten everything or just about everything in my apartment, which I think might be able to carry me till Sunday, we'll see.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Nederstash on September 05, 2018, 02:27:27 AM
I'm joining in! My budget for groceries for the rest of the month is 100. So far I've also spent 31 on gas+parking and 9.25 on eating out.

Expected spending this month:
Groceries: 100
Gifts: 30
Gas: 15 (my work will comp travel and I don't anticipate using the car much outside of work)

I've slashed my 'Going out' and 'Personal' (hairdresser etc) to zero, because I've overspent on those in the summer.

Bills are all on automatic pay, so no need to worry about those.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: haypug16 on September 06, 2018, 08:59:56 AM
I think I'll just total up by category instead of date.

Health/Medical = $0/250
Utilities = $0/150
Groceries = $45.15/$200
Gas/Buss = $55/$60
Cellphone = $0/$120
Pets = $0/$50
Dining Out = $25.79/$50
Entertainment = $0/$20
Donations = $0/$45
Fitness = $0/36
Misc = $20/$150
Total spend $145.94/$1,131

Dining out budget is half gone, I need to get some self control with that. Otherwise I think everything is looking good so far.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Bee21 on September 06, 2018, 09:13:03 PM
Presents for 2 kids parties 18 (got some heavily discounted whatnots)
Dentist 50 (out of pocket)
GP 3◊38 (and husband will need to fork out the money for 3 specialist appointments, xray, ct and GKW)
130 for food (includes medicine)

Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Percolate on September 09, 2018, 12:53:23 AM
09/01 - $0
09/02 - $18.78 - Renter's insurance
09/03 - $0
09/04 - $0

So far so good! Was inspired by this thread: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/eat-all-the-food-in-your-house-take-2/ and am gonna try and delay grocery shopping until I've eaten everything or just about everything in my apartment, which I think might be able to carry me till Sunday, we'll see.

09/05 - $0
09/06 - $0
09/07 - $0
09/08 - $0.50 - Stamp to mail a letter

Total so far - $19.38

According to my logs, 5 days without spending any money is a personal record for at least this year, possibly longer. This is has been pretty difficult though. Despite tracking all of my expenses manually in a spreadsheet for years I never noticed how rare it was to go a day without spending money until this exercise.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Bee21 on September 09, 2018, 03:14:40 AM
I decided to bow out. Medical bills are piling up and husband is on a spending spree, so there is not much I can do this month. Hopefully he will have bought every power tool he desires by October and I can join the October challenge.😣
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: middo on September 09, 2018, 05:44:22 AM
I'll join in.

We just had a horror month in August, with 3 lots of council rates all due at the same time.  We could have spaced out the payments, but decided to just pay them and be done with it.  ($4000 for those outside Australia). 

My aims:

Food:  $500
Non-food groceries:  $200
Alcohol and eating out:  $100
Medical:  $450   (includes of health insurance)
Transport:  $400

Total:  $1850

I'm not going to include our household bills, as they will be lower than usual due to timing issues, and mortgage and children accommodation at Uni costs are also being quarantined as they won't change.  We are also renovating and repairing the rental we have just moved into, so I won't include those costs. 

We also have the challenges of kids coming to visit, so eating out and alcohol may get blown in a single celebratory dinner.  I'll see how that goes.

Under $1850 and I will feel like a winner for September!

Last night I took my Dad out for dinner as a Fathers Day treat, (it was Fathers Day in Australia).  There goes the Alcohol and eating out budget for the month.  Already up to $136 for the month, when hoping to spend less than $100.  At least my home brew will be ready this week, so no more alcohol purchases for a while.  I include the homebrew kit costs under my alcohol expenses.

Tracking my actual spending 5 days in:
Food: 24
Non-Food: 10
Eating out: 166
Medical: 354
Transport: 38

So far: $592

The medical expenses is front loaded for the month, so apart from eating out/booze, it is all below my challenge level.  Lets see if I can keep that down.

9 day in:

Food:  $100 / $500
Non-food groceries:  $68 / $200
Alcohol and eating out:  $250 / $100
Medical:  $354 / $450   (includes of health insurance)
Transport:  $58 / $400

Total:  $830 / $1850

Lets see how the rest of September pans out.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: ethereality on September 09, 2018, 02:12:16 PM
After "Cafes have the only reliable public internet June,"  "Furnish a new home from scratch July," and "Just one, I mean two, more things August," I am definitely in. We are taking some friends on vacation, but we are travelling in our sailboat, so there won't be many costs for that.

Haha, story of my life this summer as well. Just moved to New York City with a two mismatched folder chairs as my only furniture.

Gotta get back to my regular spending this month.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: zeli2033 on September 10, 2018, 08:28:58 AM
Updated spending so far:

Groceries/Household Goods: $325 / $700
Restaurants/Cafes: $22 / $75
Personal Care: $139 / $179
Transport: $32 / $75
Utilities: $45 / $50
Entertainment (incl. subscriptions): $47 / $50
Total: $610 / $1,129

Since this past weekend we bought food for this upcoming week, I feel we're just about tracking toward our goal. Additionally, most of the other groups that are near maxed out are due to recurring standard bills so I'm not foreseeing too many issues with being at the max budget. We also aren't driving much so the amount spent in our transport budget may get us across this month's finish line with only one tank of gas purchased.

@clarkai, thank you for sending over a few recipes and sharing some tips! I'm really excited to try that lentil Ragu out.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: JanetJackson on September 10, 2018, 09:25:04 AM
I'm going to jump in for the remainder of September. 
I just loaded up on Groceries on the 1st, paid rent, and paid almost all other bills... I'm going to try to make it through the rest of September without spending more than $50 additional on food (including any restaurant incidents).
This is a little off-format, but I hope I'll still be allowed on this thread, as I need a little incentive.

I've found myself straying away from food I already have to purchase rather impulsive cravings-based Aldi items (like.. how much hummus does one person NEED?)Ö I had 1/2 a thing of celery and 3 apples go bad last month... as well as some frozen fish that I bought in early August that I haven't even CONSIDERED eating.... and I have already noticed that I'm considering the Dollar Tree Annie's Organic soup (a great find!) that is in my cabinet... and instead wanting grocery store instant rice packs and salad bar. 
Those soups don't expire until next year, but I do have some tofu that expires on the 18th that I need to marinate, bake, freeze and eat.

Dear Self: Stop.  Buying.  Stupid.  Groceries.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: catccc on September 11, 2018, 10:41:52 PM
Well, not doing so hot here, but I'm gonna keep trying, anyway.  We followed up our frugal holiday weekend with a very non-frugal 'out-of-town family visiting us' weekend.  This meant some dining and entertaining.  Just did a costco run this evening and that was $175. 

I'm not even gonna post total numbers here.  Just commentary.  I promise I'm trying, though!
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: haypug16 on September 12, 2018, 09:40:34 AM
September 12th Update
Health/Medical = $0/250
Utilities = $0.62/150 (Internet is $50.62 and I get reimbursed $50 from my work)
Groceries = $115.02/$200
Gas/Bus = $57.75/$60 (I'm actually getting a credit for $55 from the MBTA because long story short they suck)
Cellphone = $0/$120
Pets = $0/$50
Dining Out = $52.42/$50 (went over already!!!)
Entertainment = $10.99/$20
Donations = $35/$45
Fitness = $0/36
Misc = $-64.20/$150 (I got a $100 credit on my United card for signing up so I'm putting the credit here)
Total spend $207.60/$1,131

Goal $1,588 and stretch Goal of $1,188

Not doing too bad. I knew I would go over on the dining out I was just hoping it would be after the first half of the month. Other categories are on track. I need to calculate the Utilities and add them in but there shouldn't be any surprised there.

ETA Original goal and Stretch Goal
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: middo on September 12, 2018, 03:27:28 PM
13th September update (nearly half way)

Food:  $148 / $500
Non-food groceries:  $85 / $200
Alcohol and eating out:  $265 / $100
Medical:  $354 / $450   (includes of health insurance)
Transport:  $172 / $400

Total:  $1024 / $1850

Still looks like I can make it, but the eating out is going to take another hit this weekend, as we are going to the football finals.  Alcohol will be drunk, food will be bought.  (I haven't been to the football in over 2 years, so this is a treat.)
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: gillhamface on September 14, 2018, 07:58:47 AM
So far, I'm $398 / $1,600 but most of my big spending hits later in the month.

Food: $138
Gym: $30
Misc: $198
Gas: $31

I'm definitely doing some work-related-stress food purchases, so I need to try and curb that. :)
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Much Fishing to Do on September 14, 2018, 08:26:04 AM
So far, I'm $398 / $1,600 but most of my big spending hits later in the month.

Food: $138
Gym: $30
Misc: $198
Gas: $31

I'm definitely doing some work-related-stress food purchases, so I need to try and curb that. :)

That is quite amazing.  With this kind of spending I think you'll take care of the work-related-stress food purchases by FIREING soon!
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Percolate on September 16, 2018, 07:30:23 PM
09/01 - $0
09/02 - $18.78 - Renter's insurance
09/03 - $0
09/04 - $0

So far so good! Was inspired by this thread: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/eat-all-the-food-in-your-house-take-2/ and am gonna try and delay grocery shopping until I've eaten everything or just about everything in my apartment, which I think might be able to carry me till Sunday, we'll see.

09/05 - $0
09/06 - $0
09/07 - $0
09/08 - $0.50 - Stamp to mail a letter

Total so far - $19.38

According to my logs, 5 days without spending any money is a personal record for at least this year, possibly longer. This is has been pretty difficult though. Despite tracking all of my expenses manually in a spreadsheet for years I never noticed how rare it was to go a day without spending money until this exercise.

9/09 - $71.62 - Groceries
9/10 through 9/15 - $0
9/16 - $32.11 - Groceries

Total: $123.01

Rent & utilities, internet, Audible subscription, and a car insurance adjustment are going to be paid later in the month, accounting for those additional costs (675.30 + 43.13 + 15.72 + 14.67 = 748.82), I'm at $871.83 for the month. Will likely have to fill up gas once in the next two weeks, which is usually around $30. So long as I spend less than 100 on groceries the rest of the month and there are no surprises, I'm on track for my stretch goal of <$1000.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: haypug16 on September 17, 2018, 09:30:07 AM
September 17th Update
Health/Medical = $62.58
Utilities = $100.94
Groceries = $170.70
Gas/Bus = $2.75
Cellphone = $0
Pets = $0
Dining Out = $52.42
Entertainment = $10.99
Donations = $35
Fitness = $0
Clothes = $104.58 (wasn't planning on buying clothes but I'm now 9 weeks pregnant and needed some maternity pants)
Misc = $-64.20 (I got a $100 credit on my United card for signing up so I'm putting the credit here)
Total spend $475.76

Goal $1,588 stretch goal $1,188

Things are looking pretty good so far. The month is more than half over and most of the major bills have been paid. This may be my frugalist month yet. Even with the $100 clothes purchase!!!
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: zeli2033 on September 17, 2018, 11:10:20 AM
Updated spending so far:

Groceries/Household Goods: $415 / $700
Restaurants/Cafes: $31 / $75
Personal Care: $139 / $179
Transport: $39 / $75
Utilities: $45 / $50
Entertainment (incl. subscriptions): $54 / $50
Total: $723 / $1,129

We haven't finished our final Costco run for the month yet so that will definitely be a chunk of the remaining budget. But we went over our entertainment budget this month because DH really wanted to purchase a season of a show he loves on Amazon.  We also have a lot of plans with friends this week and weekend - most of which will be cooking food at someone's house but some of which will be going out so our restaurant budget will likely get used up.

All in all, not too bad a showing though thus far...
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Dee_ on September 17, 2018, 11:22:59 AM
Heh, so not off to a great start.

Spend 20 on groceries this weekend, that's fine. $20
Forgot to order seed garlic, so did it this morning. $22
Stupidly cut myself with a rusty razor blade while working on the house, went to the emergency room for a tetanus shot. Copay $100

This should be a quiet week though, and my stated budget allows for ~125/month, so if I can keep it under wraps this week everything should still be a-ok.


Since last time:

$26 new arrowheads, prepping for hunting season
$55 groceries + new water bottle (not strictly necessary)
$58 groceries + tools for bike repair
$5 outing with friends
$24 pet supplies. got $25 off of $50 and free shipping, so that's 30 days of pet food + a pet watering fountain (the fountain not strictly necessary, but the cat has been running over to stare at the toilet every time we flush. I think she likes watching the running water)

I've got about $30 of not-strictly-necessary spending in there but we're still at $313 for the month, even with an unexpected $100 medical expense. Feeling pretty optimistic. Eating from the pantry certainly helps with the grocery.

ALSO turns out the #$@%! dentist submitted the insurance incorrectly, so we had to pay $950 OUT OF POCKET and hope to get reimbursed by the insurance company afterwards. Good grief. It's times like these I'm glad we have savings and positive cash flow every month, otherwise that could have been a major disaster.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: catccc on September 17, 2018, 11:40:15 AM
Okay, I said I wasn't doing numbers, but here are some, anyway.  I'm aiming to stay under $3,200 for September.  Yes, that would be an improvement!  YTD through August is $39,800, an average of $4,975/month.  But we had some travel earlier in the year ($6,551), and that is a lot of it.

We are at $1,395 right now with $1,767 of anticipated expenses for the balance of the month.  (Anticipated expense include $1,526 of rent and utilities, plus some estimates for other items.)

This month I paid up front for a couple of after school care programs that are held a couple times a week through early December.  I'm not going to spread those out, just keeping it cash basis for simplicity's sake.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: clarkai on September 17, 2018, 08:56:02 PM
Totally forgot to post our spending:

Misc: $2.39 (Store bought brownie treat after a long day of work- disappointing. Next time I'll just save up enough brownie points to make a batch at home.)
Food: $30.11
Electronics: $32.30 (Had to replace a couple cellphone chargers- one was left behind in Belgium, and the other was lost when one of the housemates moved out. Alas.)

Not so bad so far! And the food budget is doing pretty well. Wish we didn't have to buy the chargers, but that's the rub. Although technically the need for the chargers was originated in July and August, so if we were more on top of things we would have dealt with it before Sept, but we didn't.

Update!

We're sitting at $155 for food- because my partner did a bulk purchase of olive oil ($52) that's on sale. We've also bought most of the ingredients for this coming week, so we'll see how it goes. I think we'll definietly make our goal of $300, and we might make our $200 dollar goal, maybe.

On the other hand, we've spent ~$300 building a shed for bikes, which is very necessary, as our house contains 6 people and 8 bikes, and all the bikes are in the living room right now because there's literally nowhere else to put them. We commute every day and don't have a car, so I feel like it's a good trade off.

Aside from that, I spent $1 on a child's jacket to rip the sleeves off and put over my bike handles as a windshield. So far, it's working better than the gloves that finally wore out ever did.

Aside from that, it's pretty much mortgage and utilities.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: middo on September 18, 2018, 03:57:27 PM
18th September update (over half way)

Food:  $303 / $500
Non-food groceries:  $117 / $200
Alcohol and eating out:  $481 / $100   OMG
Medical:  $354 / $450   (includes of health insurance)
Transport:  $291 / $400

Total:  $1546 / $1850

It's going to be a challenge from here.  Going to the football two nights in a row, and getting their late so we had to buy food there has really blown out the Alcohol and eating out numbers.  Once a year...
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Penn42 on September 19, 2018, 07:36:58 PM
I'll go ahead and stop in by this thread!

Here are my September expenses thus par in fantastic list form!

Rent - 250
FU - 150
Groceries - 72.79
Car Insurance - 48.45
Transportation expenses - 61.02
Phone - 17.30
Chase Southwest Annual Fee - 69
MISC - 34.37
Fun Money - 38.77

Total - 741.7

Upcoming expenses in the last third of the month will be some more groceries, my internet bill, and probably a date night out (which would fall into the Fun Money category).  Trying to keep it to $900 this month.


Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: zeli2033 on September 23, 2018, 05:25:23 PM
Spending as of 9/23:

Groceries/Household Goods: $659 / $700
Restaurants/Cafes: $64 / $75
Personal Care: $179 / $179
Transport: $204 / $75
Utilities: $45 / $50
Entertainment (incl. subscriptions): $54 / $50
Total: $1,205 / $1,129

Well.. An unexpected car repair reared it's ugly head this month, pushing our auto/transport expenses up pretty significantly. At least it was pretty minor in the grand scheme of things and we could easily cashflow it (a feat that would not necessarily have been true a couple of years ago). If that hadn't have come up, we would only be at ~$42. But oh well!

Doing well on the food front. We completed the grocery shopping for the rest of the month so we should be able to hold the line under budget for that line item. All in all, still a pretty good showing that I hope we can maintain for this last push.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: catccc on September 24, 2018, 08:40:21 AM
Unexpectedly ate out this weekend, but it was worth it, IMO.  Despite what I would consider less than gung-ho efforts to cut expenses this month, we ARE doing better than usual.  About 1 week to go!  We are already past our previous month total estimate of $3,162 (currently just shy of $3,300), but that's still good, and it will still be the lowest spend month if we stay under $3,457.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: haypug16 on September 25, 2018, 08:44:59 AM
September 25th Update
Health/Medical = $87.83
Utilities = $100.94
Groceries = $229.07
Gas/Bus = $32.75
Cellphone = $119.72
Pets = $80.46
Dining Out = $160.57
Entertainment = $10.99
Donations = $35
Fitness = $4.99
Clothes = $104.58
Misc = $22.64
Total spend $969.54

6 days left to go and I think I will make it somewhere close to my stretch goal of $1,188. I just have a $100 medical bill and then need to buy food for the rest of the month. I may get another pair of maternity pants as well but will try to get those at the thrift shop.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: haypug16 on September 27, 2018, 09:00:22 AM
September 27th Update
Health/Medical = $187.83
Utilities = $100.94
Groceries = $238.51
Gas/Bus = $32.75
Cellphone = $119.72
Pets = $80.46
Dining Out = $185.02
Entertainment = $66.29
Donations = $35
Fitness = $25
Clothes = $104.58
Misc = $51.59
Total spend $1,227.69

4 days remaining in the month. I just went over my stretch goal of $1,188 but well under my goal of $1,588. This weekend I'll be going to the Big E (bid county fair type thing in MA) Tickets are $15, then I'll be buying some food for maybe $30, and possibly some Christmas gifts if I see anything good, then probably getting dinner with the people we're going there with. So it's probably a $100 day. Other than that no more expenses except groceries of maybe $20. So I should still come in under budget by a couple hundred bucks. :)
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: zeli2033 on September 28, 2018, 08:09:58 AM
Whelp - we fell into a pizza this week. And a couple of beverages as treats during the work week.

Groceries/Household Goods: $675 / $700
Restaurants/Cafes: $99 / $75
Personal Care: $179 / $179
Transport: $204 / $75
Utilities: $45 / $50
Entertainment (incl. subscriptions): $54 / $50
Total: $1,256 / $1,129
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: clarkai on September 28, 2018, 06:01:03 PM
We ended up spending $309 on food this month, going over our budget by $9 for two adults. I think that's pretty good, especially considering that some of that is a bulk oil order, and we didn't sort out dish soap, tp, etc from the grocery bills. Cool beans.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: middo on September 29, 2018, 04:03:46 PM
30th September.

Food:  $527 / $500
Non-food groceries:  $208 / $200
Alcohol and eating out:  $1036 / $100   OMG
Medical:  $388 / $450   (includes of health insurance)
Transport:  $526 / $400

Total:  $2685 / $1850

I thought about not posting my numbers for this month, because I am embarrassed by the alcohol and eating out figure.  But, it is what I spent.  It turns out that when you eat out with your adult children, and go to the pub with them, you spend way too much.

Most of the other figures I am reasonably happy with.  They are a little bigger than my targets, but less than my normal recurrent spending.  Next month...
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: zeli2033 on September 29, 2018, 06:18:19 PM
30th September.

Food:  $527 / $500
Non-food groceries:  $208 / $200
Alcohol and eating out:  $1036 / $100   OMG
Medical:  $388 / $450   (includes of health insurance)
Transport:  $526 / $400

Total:  $2685 / $1850

I thought about not posting my numbers for this month, because I am embarrassed by the alcohol and eating out figure.  But, it is what I spent.  It turns out that when you eat out with your adult children, and go to the pub with them, you spend way too much.

Most of the other figures I am reasonably happy with.  They are a little bigger than my targets, but less than my normal recurrent spending.  Next month...

I completely understand where you're coming from. At many times I have been...ashamed/embarrassed/insert-chosen-feeling to either start a gauntlet challenge or report my progress in one due to how I felt about the progress I'd made/not made/whatever.

Ultimately I think a willingness to be honest with ourselves and others here is one of the best ways for us to change if that's the goal. If we aren't real about where we're at, it's easier to shove it in a corner and stop paying attention to it. And if we don't pay attention to it, the odds of us actually being able to address it are slim to none. Cue cycle of consumerism we came here to avoid (this is my experience at least).

Thank you for being honest and showing us what progress looks like because it IS progress that you posted. You posting may show someone else who feels the same way that they're not alone and they can be honest about where they're at too. And being honest about it is the first step to doing something about it :)
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Penn42 on September 29, 2018, 07:26:26 PM
I'll go ahead and stop in by this thread!

Here are my September expenses thus par in fantastic list form!

Rent - 250
FU - 150
Groceries - 72.79
Car Insurance - 48.45
Transportation expenses - 61.02
Phone - 17.30
Chase Southwest Annual Fee - 69
MISC - 34.37
Fun Money - 38.77

Total - 741.7

Upcoming expenses in the last third of the month will be some more groceries, my internet bill, and probably a date night out (which would fall into the Fun Money category).  Trying to keep it to $900 this month.

Final total ended up at $941.14.  I forgot that my annual $30 safe deposit box fee is in September and the $941 figure also includes $26.09 I will be reimbursed for that I spent working on a project for a coworker. That doesn't really count, but I like to track each transaction that appears on an account.  So into the spreadsheet it went.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: middo on September 29, 2018, 10:09:57 PM
30th September.

Food:  $527 / $500
Non-food groceries:  $208 / $200
Alcohol and eating out:  $1036 / $100   OMG
Medical:  $388 / $450   (includes of health insurance)
Transport:  $526 / $400

Total:  $2685 / $1850

I thought about not posting my numbers for this month, because I am embarrassed by the alcohol and eating out figure.  But, it is what I spent.  It turns out that when you eat out with your adult children, and go to the pub with them, you spend way too much.

Most of the other figures I am reasonably happy with.  They are a little bigger than my targets, but less than my normal recurrent spending.  Next month...

I completely understand where you're coming from. At many times I have been...ashamed/embarrassed/insert-chosen-feeling to either start a gauntlet challenge or report my progress in one due to how I felt about the progress I'd made/not made/whatever.

Ultimately I think a willingness to be honest with ourselves and others here is one of the best ways for us to change if that's the goal. If we aren't real about where we're at, it's easier to shove it in a corner and stop paying attention to it. And if we don't pay attention to it, the odds of us actually being able to address it are slim to none. Cue cycle of consumerism we came here to avoid (this is my experience at least).

Thank you for being honest and showing us what progress looks like because it IS progress that you posted. You posting may show someone else who feels the same way that they're not alone and they can be honest about where they're at too. And being honest about it is the first step to doing something about it :)

Thanks for that. We had a chat about our spending literally an hour ago, and "not going to the pub/restaurant" was my wifes first suggestion, which I heartily concurred with. Homebrew and home cooked next month.

And yes, it is progress.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: haypug16 on October 01, 2018, 08:20:38 AM
Final September numbers
Health/Medical = $187.83
Utilities = $100.94
Groceries = $266.15
Gas/Bus = $32.75
Cellphone = $119.72
Pets = $80.46
Dining Out = $191.27
Entertainment = $96.29
Donations = $35
Fitness = $25
Clothes = $104.58
Misc = $110.62
Total spend $,1350.61

Goal was $1,588 so I came in ~$230 under :) Even though some of my categories were higher than I budgeted (Dining Out) I still had my lowest spend month of the year. Now I just need to keep this momentum going though the rest of the year I may be able to get close to my yearly spend goal.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: catccc on October 01, 2018, 10:09:02 AM
Well, it was one of my lowest cash out months, but not the lowest.  Glad to be along for this ride.  Anyone starting a low spend challenge for October?  This was great for me!
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: Percolate on October 02, 2018, 10:41:00 AM
Final tally

$675.30 - Rent + Utilities
$176.36 - Groceries
$43.13 - Internet
$22.43 - Gas
$18.78 - Renter's Insurance
$15.72 - Audible
$14.67 - Car Insurance
$10 - Refill of Laundry Card
$0.50 - A stamp

Total $979.88 / $1000

Probably the lowest spending month of my adult life, which gave me a savings rate of about 87% for the month. I don't think I can sustain it though, it felt like I was doing some kind of fasting. Didn't buy anything new, didn't eat out once. The last time I bought socks was around this time last year and they're starting to have holes in them so I found myself eyeballing the calendar for when I could spend money again and adding stuff to my Amazon shopping cart in preparation.

It's kinda cool to see this is as near the minimum I might need to live on my own though. A friend is planning on moving in with me a couple months from now which would cut some of the bigger expenses in half as well.
Title: Re: Spendless September
Post by: magnet18 on October 09, 2018, 01:14:27 PM
I haven't forgotten about the thread I started!  I finally sat down to tally it up and the numbers are embarrassing, but knowing is the first step to getting better


Normal Expenditures   $2,081.95   
Mortgage & Rent   $85.03   
Dog   $61.57   Unexpected vet trip
Utilities   $108.19   Includes phones & Music
Insurance   $244.38   
Gas & Fuel   $254.36   
Groceries   $752.98   !?!  Need to investigate, usually much lower
Alcohol & Bars & Parties   $112.49   Bechelorette party
Eating Out   $78.08   
Misc   $14.95   flexjobs subscription
Charity   $250.00   Remainder of 10% earmarked in tithe account
Shopping   $119.92   Wife got some much needed clothes
      
Repairs/Maintenance   $940.91   
Auto Parts   $207.96   Oil changes and Battery for Jeep I need to sell
Home Improvement   $732.95   Replace Furnace
      
Infrequent Expenditures   $1,733.76   
Tuition   $1,321.72   paid 4x per year
Vacation   $412.04   
      
Debt Paydown   $2,143.25   
Car Payment   $353.78   
Motorhome Regular Payment   $367.59   
Motorhome Principal Payment   $1,421.88   
      
Income   -$9,479.17   
Taxed   -$6,698.22   Income after witholding
Tax-free   -$2,780.95   401K & HSA

So if I count my motorhome principal as saving, my total spend was
About $5500, $1400 of that being tuition
I calculate a savings rate of only 42% :(
Optimism though, worst case if I lived like this every month, I could still retire in my 30s

I already spent $1000 on a new toilet for this month, and plan to spend $1000 on a woodstove, then things should slow down considerably.  November and December should have savings rates in the 60s-70s