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Spending Freeze!: January Spend-Less Challenge - Page 2

post #21 of 177

a. Who you are:  Sarah, mom to dd(8). We homeschool and I work at a local after school child care program where I can take my daughter. We're also trying to have a hobby farm.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and:  I'm working on trying to stay current and stay within my budget. VERY bad about not following the budget! I need to make enough money to buy health insurance. I currently don't make enough to qualify for the rebate/help (about 45% of poverty level) and medicaid is not offered to non-disabled adults in VA. My job is limited to 20 hours a week so I will be looking elsewhere to earn more money. Luckily, we should have some goat kids and piglets to sell this year, but there will also be vet expenses, registration, etc. so I'm not sure how much we'll actually clear. I need the health insurance because I just found a lump in my right breast. I'm trying not to panic yet because I have at least 2 that are benign (biopsied 5 years ago) growing in my left breast. I'm trying to tell myself that they're very likely the same type of tumor. I've also adjusted our menu so that, as soon as I get a routine of food prep going, I'll be eating at least a little of over 22 different fruits/veggies/herbs every day. As of today, I've also added in turmeric and flaxseed oil; doing ground flax seed in my food.


c. How you plan to get there:  I already track everything, but need to do a (much) better job actually staying within the budget. I need to get better at actually remembering to use envelopes. I have started rack drying as much as possible, but need to stay on top of the laundry to stay away from the dryer.

 

This month, I have to get back on track using the drying rack and have to make sure that I check the library to renew books every day.

 

key:

no spend - thumb.gif     

budgeted spend - winky.gif       

over budget or not budgeted - greensad.gif   

hung clothes on rack -  hang.gif

 

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Edited by meandk0610 - 1/1/14 at 12:57pm
post #22 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post
 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

 

:throb No spend.

 

Okay, I can stop right here and enjoy this perfect year.

 

:twothumbs :rotflmao

post #23 of 177

OK, the holidays are over, the much-loved visiting family has gone home, the shopping is done, the social obligations have slowed down, and the credit card bill is coming. It's time to focus on streamlining. I need a declutter challenge too!

 

a. Who you are

 

I'm Melissa, a homeschooling, very-part-time WAHM to two kids.

 

 

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and c. How you plan to get there

 

The end of 2013 was kind of bust. I went way over the budget I set for holiday spending duh.gif For a variety of reasons, DH's paychecks will be very small for the next 6-8 months. We'll have my small monthly paycheck as well, and a tax refund to bolster our small savings, but I really need to cut down on spending. Thankfully, the kids received some money and lots of gift cards for Christmas, so they'll be able to satisfy some of their own needs and wants for a little while! My main goals for January are as follows:

 

• Stay within the budget parameters we've set for ourself. I zeroed out any debt we were carrying from previous months' budgets, so we're starting with a clean slate. I did increase my grocery budget, because we need to start eating better, and I find that very hard to do on $600 a month for a family of four. I increased to $700, but I'm willing to go up to $800 if I have to (we don't really buy disposable/paper products except for TP, and toiletries/supplements come out of a different budget, so this is just food).

 

• Stop small but significant budget leaks--for example, library fines, food out because I forgot to plan ahead and pack something, 99-cent Kindle books, etc. :eyesroll

 

• Generally tighten up and conserve where we can--for example, remembering to turn off lights and turn the heat off before we leave the house, turn off power strips, etc.

 

• End the month with not a single budget category in the red. 

 

Key: 

No unplanned/unbudgeted spending: thumb.gif

Unbudgeted spending: irked.gif

Ate at home all day: yummy.gif

----------------------

No-unbudgeted-spending days: 0/31

 

1/1: yummy.gif Spent some money, but I bought some sheets I've been waiting to buy because the white sales have started. Used a gift card and got over $200 worth of sheets for $21. ETA: $1.30 for an extra night on a Redbox movie. Didn't realize The Lone Ranger was 2.5 hours long!

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Edited by melissel - 1/1/14 at 6:06pm
post #24 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by meandk0610 View Post
 

I need the health insurance because I just found a lump in my right breast. I'm trying not to panic yet because I have at least 2 that are benign (biopsied 5 years ago) growing in my left breast. I'm trying to tell myself that they're very likely the same type of tumor. I've also adjusted our menu so that, as soon as I get a routine of food prep going, I'll be eating at least a little of over 22 different fruits/veggies/herbs every day. As of today, I've also added in turmeric and flaxseed oil; doing ground flax seed in my food.

 

:grouphug That's so scary. I have a friend who also has a history of lumps. She still has to deal with the stress every time a new one shows up, but thankfully, they have all been benign. Keep up your positive attitude and healthful habits!

post #25 of 177

Key:

No spend - :thumb

Budgeted spending - :eyesroll

Necessary unbudgeted spending - :(

Unneccessary unbudgeted spending - :angry

Spending that was fiscally harmful - yikes2.gif

 

1:  :( - had to get equipment for Xmas gifts not included with the gift

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post #26 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by melissel View Post
 

 

:grouphug That's so scary. I have a friend who also has a history of lumps. She still has to deal with the stress every time a new one shows up, but thankfully, they have all been benign. Keep up your positive attitude and healthful habits!


Thanks very much! It is scary; I've spent the past few days since feeling the mass either crying or trying to figure out some way forward.

post #27 of 177

a. Who you are-

I'm Erin, I have 3 boys (ages 8y, 5.5y, and 18mo) We homeschool & I work 1 day a week cleaning houses & occasionally babysit.

 

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)-

I want to stay within my strict budget & meet savings goal for this month. We have no savings and would like to save for a deposit on a house & car repair fund. I have written a pretty tight budget for this year, the only thing that will make it easier (besides planning ahead for everything) it to make a little money from home. I have some little things to sell & am hoping to open an etsy shop later this year.

 

c. How you plan to get there-

Stay on top of meal planning & food budget

Stay at home & no driving 2x a week

Try and go to mainly free holiday activities

Sell a few things online

 

 

:love no spending

:thumb budgeted spending

:p no driving/stay home

:( unplanned spending

post #28 of 177

Key:

No spend - :thumb

Budgeted spending - :eyesroll

Necessary unbudgeted spending - :(

Unneccessary unbudgeted spending - :angry

Spending that was fiscally harmful - yikes2.gif

 

1:  :( - had to get equipment for Xmas gifts not included with the gift

2:  :eyesroll - we eat out weekly at a friend's coffee shop, partially to support her and partially cuz the food is great and we get to spend time together

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post #29 of 177

:thumb no spend/budgeted

nono.gif not in the budget, stupid spending

 

December 31 -- :thumb gas and groceries, nono.gif 3.00 to vacuum out the van, nono.gif 18.50 New Year's Eve trip for ice cream

January 1 -- :thumb

January 2 -- :thumb groceries

January 3

January 4

January 5

January 6

January 7
January 8

post #30 of 177
key:

no spend - thumb.gif     

budgeted spend - winky.gif       

over budget or not budgeted - greensad.gif   

hung clothes on rack -  hang.gif

 

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2:    winky.gif  hang.gif I called the library to have them renew things I couldn't renew online so that I wouldn't have any late fees. Yay for small-town libraries! Meanwhile, I'm having a lot of trouble shoveling as much food down as my menu plan says I should be eating. It's a lot of vegetables and I feel full for a long time. I'm not trying to lose weight, but I am trying to get all of my nutrition needs met via food (though I currently take a high-dose multi and other supplements).

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post #31 of 177
Thread Starter 

:throb No spend.

:throb

 

Made bread yesterday and a pot of black beans with bacon.  DD1 is making some berry/coconut ice cream with my help.  More homemade ice cream to come, I hope.

post #32 of 177

I started out the New Years good, made food to bring to the beach with us & quickly threw together some food to make veggie chili in the crockpot for dinner. I know coming home from the beach hungry would have been bad & I would have wanted to p/u some burritos or something. Homemade chili is much cheaper (plus I used frozen tomatoes from our garden in it). 

 

Today I went to Costco & the HFS so I have already spent about 25% of our food budget but we have a lot of food now! Lots of Organic stuff on sale this month at Costco! I am thinking about ordering some bulk items from Azure Standard but I need to make the time to research prices!

 

 

a. Who you are-

I'm Erin, I have 3 boys (ages 8y, 5.5y, and 18mo) We homeschool & I work 1 day a week cleaning houses & occasionally babysit.

 

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)-

I want to stay within my strict budget & meet savings goal for this month. We have no savings and would like to save for a deposit on a house & car repair fund. I have written a pretty tight budget for this year, the only thing that will make it easier (besides planning ahead for everything) it to make a little money from home. I have some little things to sell & am hoping to open an etsy shop later this year.

 

c. How you plan to get there-

Stay on top of meal planning & food budget

Stay at home & no driving 2x a week

Try and go to mainly free holiday activities

Sell a few things online

 

 

:love no spending

:thumb budgeted spending

:p no driving/stay home

:( unplanned spending

 

1- :love

2-:thumb

post #33 of 177

a. Who you are

Jessica, mama to 3 littles (11yo DS, 6yo DD and 1yo (on the 3rd!) DD) and partner in life to one great guy. I woh part time as an educational consultant and run a small, parenting business online as well.

 

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

I've vowed to start budgeting our money better because I want to be a good steward of what we have (even if it is small right now). I'm planning to pay off my consumer debts (my car + credit cards) this next year. After that's paid off my goal is to save 3+ months of income in our emergency fund.

 

Plus also I need to buy a new phone (the baby dropped mine last week and half the screen is black now).

 

c. How you plan to get there

I started working with Mint software last month and went WAAAY overbudget in many line items but I think I've got the hang of it now. I've set up a reasonable budget and know now what my pitfalls typically are.

 

I'm planning to make and eat food from home at least 25 days out of the month with dining out not costing me more than $20 this month.

 

I'm  a Starbucks addict but I've budgeted that in. My habit before was to get coffee in the morning (half the time a pastry too) and then convince myself that it was okay to get it in the afternoon also (especially right after payday when the bank acct looks so nice!). Now I'm down to short coffees only, once a day and NO food items. I also try to bring my own cup to save money and the environment!

 

I'm also trying to wittle down our grocery budget (last month we spent $630. Trying to get it down to $350-$400). I've stopped buying grass-fed, pastured meats for a little while and have stocked up on cheap but filling stuff like dried beans, potatoes, etc. I don't have much of a pantry stash so stretching the food is really hard!

 

I did my taxes today and am just waiting for the irs to get their stuff together so I can file. Getting back enough to pay off my car and have money "left over." Excited about owning my car again!

 

ETA: I'm also working on increasing my cash flow by selling on Ebay, Craigslist and Diaperswappers. So far things are going quite well. A couple hundred extra each month is worth the hassle of posting to Ebay and shipping!

 

Unbudgeted spending nono.gif

Ate at home all day :yum

No spend/budgeted spending :love

0/6, 0/$20 fast food/dining out

 

1st - $10 gas, :love

2nd - $33 Turbo Tax, $40 credit card pymt, $1200 mortgage pymt :love

3rd -

4th -

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6th -

7th -

 

 

Looking forward to saving all of the monies with you!

post #34 of 177

Yesterday I bought a purse on Etsy, but it was budgeted spending since it replaces the one my sweet DH bought me for Christmas that was twice the price (I just can't bring myself to carry a $150 bag!). We also spent $85 at the grocery store, but I stocked up on GF pasta with a sale and coupon and natural chicken that was on manager's special, plus I bought supplies for the next day or two since we're snowed in (Gotta get the bread and milk!!!!! :p). I managed to restrain myself from buying a Kindle book everyone raves about, even though it was ONLY $1.99. I know my library has it, and I didn't really like it the first time I tried reading it anyway!

 

 

Key: 

No unplanned/unbudgeted spending: thumb.gif

Unbudgeted spending: irked.gif

Ate at home all day: yummy.gif

----------------------

No-unbudgeted-spending days: 0/31

 

1/1: irked.gif yummy.gif Spent some money, but I bought some sheets I've been waiting to buy because the white sales have started. Used a gift card and got over $200 worth of sheets for $21. ETA: $1.30 for an extra night on a Redbox movie. Didn't realize The Lone Ranger was 2.5 hours long!

1/2: thumb.gif yummy.gif Etsy bag: $72 (budgeted because it replaces a more expensive gift). Groceries: $85 (budgeted).

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Edited by melissel - 1/3/14 at 6:55am
post #35 of 177

a. Who you are? - We are two working parents with two dds (7 yo and 9 yo).  Dh pays the bills and does all of the food shopping, so there is not much I have to spend money on.  I don't even want to see the visa bill for December, but I already feel guilty about it.  

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)? - I want to start saving for dds college.  I am convinced that education (even vocational training) is the key to living comfortably.

c. How you plan to get there? - For January, I don't plan on spending any money unless I absolutely have to.

 

:thumb

:thumb Resisted eating lunch out with a friend (went with her but ate leftovers back in the office)

4

post #36 of 177

Sarah/meandk0610 - Sorry to hear about your health issues. Sending positive vibes!! :goodvibes

 

I'm not going to track super specifically here, but I'll color code blue for a positive goal-meeting day and red for negative (totally subjective, I know - trying for as many blue days as I can!)

 

Jan. 1 - Was away for New Year's, but kept receipts, so I can track what we spent.

Jan. 2 - Got back and paid all outstanding bills. Yikes - DH's parking ticket (duh.gif), car registration, girls' school fees I thought I had paid plus fine (duh.gif), store CC, and set up new electronic car payment.

 

Jan. 3 - Checked accounts. So far, so good. Need to deposit my draw from my business - that will cover the above stuff. DH already spent 3/4 of the reg. food budget for this week, so I have about $50 left. We should be set up for next week. Hopefully that can be one of the $21 Challenge weeks. Also meal planned dinners for the next 5 days. Going right now to catch up on Mint!

post #37 of 177

:nod  No Spend/ Budgeted Spend

shake.gif  Unnecessary/ Un-budgeted Spend

 

1.  :nod

2.  :nod

3.  :nod

post #38 of 177

Found another "trick" I may use to save for the holidays (plus some) in 2014:

 

http://lifehacker.com/this-trick-is-easy-for-those-who-get-paid-weekly-every-1488323343/@MelaniePinola

 

Essentially you save a dollar amount each week corresponding to the week of the year, i.e., in week 1 save $1, in week 2 save $2 more, in week 3 save $3 more - and on up to $52 in the last week, until you end up with over $1,300 at the end. Nice!

post #39 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragana View Post
 

Found another "trick" I may use to save for the holidays (plus some) in 2014:

 

http://lifehacker.com/this-trick-is-easy-for-those-who-get-paid-weekly-every-1488323343/@MelaniePinola

 

Essentially you save a dollar amount each week corresponding to the week of the year, i.e., in week 1 save $1, in week 2 save $2 more, in week 3 save $3 more - and on up to $52 in the last week, until you end up with over $1,300 at the end. Nice!

 

Just to throw a variation out there, I've seen other people talk about doing this in reverse, starting with $52 and counting down. Their reasoning was that this way you were getting to the low dollar amounts around the holidays, when finances were tighter, and you were saving the high dollar amounts early on when you're more gung-ho about the idea. FWIW!

post #40 of 177
Thread Starter 

:throb No spend.

:throb

:throb *Disciplined* spending

 

....even if that discipline only made $3 difference in my wallet, it was the self control that counted.

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