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September No-Spend Challenge: We're in the home stretch! Stay Strong Finish with us - Page 58

post #1141 of 1358
Quote:
Originally Posted by excitedtobeamom View Post
I haven't been posting everyday like I did in the beginning but we are still doing great! I just made $200 today selling cloth diapers that we don't need anymore and I put it directly towards our debt! Yeah! We haven't bought anything that wasn't budgeted, except a $120 medicine that I needed unexpectingly, but what can you do about that? I am amazed at how much I have cut our grocery bill! This month has been awesome and eyeopening for us! I hope to finish very strong! That is over $1150 towards cc! Yeah!

Wow! Congratulations!
post #1142 of 1358
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamalotusyoga View Post
OK MDC Mamas: Need your good vibes, thoughts and prayers. I am going to the Naturopath on Wednesday, been off my PPD meds for 2 weeks and feel a little "crazy" although I quit taking them because I felt "crazier" on them than off. Weaned myself off and hoping the ND can help me feel normal with some sort of supplements or help. I'll keep you posted...
Good Luck. I'll be thinking of you I had ppd after both my kids. Be gentle with yourself.
post #1143 of 1358
Haven't been posting to this thread but have been inspired by it and this forum. DH and I have been trying for almost a month now, to cut back on spending and reduce debt. DH was away on business and caught Dave Ramsey's radio show and decided to change the way he looked at fiances, etc. I just wanted to share one success for this month... We decided no more spending money at restaurants at any time (no fast food, no take out, no delivery, no date nights out, etc.) We also decided to limit my grocery spending to no more than $75/week (we are a family of 5) and do a one time Costco run, which was $135. We have stuck to this budget!!! We did the math last night and crazy as it seems we used to spend $1000+ on food per month (including Costco every week, grocery store at least once a week (at least $100/week for grocery store alone) and fast food or restaurants at least 2-3x a week. We have spent about $335 on groceries and I plan to spend about $50 next week to finish out the month! That is over $600 in savings just on food (I also haven't purchased anything else this month--which is probably a first for me...no $5 here, $15 there, etc. Just wanted to share our sucess for September. I'm so happy we able to do this and we are desparately trying to pay off one of my student loans.
post #1144 of 1358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamsmama View Post
Haven't been posting to this thread but have been inspired by it and this forum. DH and I have been trying for almost a month now, to cut back on spending and reduce debt. DH was away on business and caught Dave Ramsey's radio show and decided to change the way he looked at fiances, etc. I just wanted to share one success for this month... We decided no more spending money at restaurants at any time (no fast food, no take out, no delivery, no date nights out, etc.) We also decided to limit my grocery spending to no more than $75/week (we are a family of 5) and do a one time Costco run, which was $135. We have stuck to this budget!!! We did the math last night and crazy as it seems we used to spend $1000+ on food per month (including Costco every week, grocery store at least once a week (at least $100/week for grocery store alone) and fast food or restaurants at least 2-3x a week. We have spent about $335 on groceries and I plan to spend about $50 next week to finish out the month! That is over $600 in savings just on food (I also haven't purchased anything else this month--which is probably a first for me...no $5 here, $15 there, etc. Just wanted to share our sucess for September. I'm so happy we able to do this and we are desparately trying to pay off one of my student loans.
Congratulations!!
post #1145 of 1358
Congrats Adamsmama! Can I ask what you are cooking/eating on $75 a week? I can get mine to about $95 a week (but I do have 7 in the family) and I'd love to get it lower. I have a feeling it will go higher this winter when the farmers market closes though
post #1146 of 1358
Yikes! I blew it! Landsend.com got me again. $130.00! DP just received the package and gave me the honey, you have to be more careful with your money than this...speech. Ack. Worse than yelling. It is for the kids, but I could have gone thrifting, like I had planned. I tried to justify it by saying that I would save gas by ordering on-line and not driving to the thrift store...but even I am not buying that one! : Sigh. Back in the saddle again.

What was my mantra again? Money in the bank is my safety net...things are not security...the kids need me more than designer clothes...
post #1147 of 1358
Sept 1: $140 for Labor Day Weekend party supplies
Sept 2:
Sept 3:
Sept 4:
Sept 5:
Sept 6: $244 groceries/personal care items/meals
Sept 7: $6
Sept 8: $16.22
$25
Sept 9: $40
Sept 10: $13.19
Sept 11: $7.33
Sept 12: and I *made* $10 from a box of clothes I sold on Craigslist!
Sept 13:
$32 for fruit platters for home school party.
Sept 14: $68 on the CC
$33.56 new mouse
Sept 15:

Sept 16:
Sept 18: :$20 pizza, DH came home woohoo and I wanted to spend time with him and not in the kitchen
Sept 19: $120 @ Sears saved $40 with FREE PAINT!
$18 Michaels for yarn
$7 coffee
$18 lunch
$40 corner market
Sept 20:

Sept 21:
Sept 22:
Sept 23: bought my supplies to make 2 stores a stash of socks, but also ordered 2 things for myself that weren't necessary total $18.
post #1148 of 1358
From Adamsmama: (I also haven't purchased anything else this month--which is probably a first for me...no $5 here, $15 there, etc. Just wanted to share our sucess for September. I'm so happy we able to do this and we are desparately trying to pay off one of my student loans.

GOOD JOB, MAMA!!!! It is hard, but very possible and so much less stressful than living on the edge all the time. Good work.
post #1149 of 1358
Sept 1
Sept 2
Sept 3
Sept 4 $10 misc, Groceries
Sept 5
Sept 6 $6 misc
Sept 7
Sept 8 $9 fast food, Gas
Sept 9 $10 Fast food
Sept 10
Sept 11
Sept 12
Sept 13
Sept 14 Groceries
Sept 15 $10 on alcohol
Sept 16 $1.55 TH coffee
Sept 17
Sept 18
Sept 19 $85 misc, Gas, Groceries
Sept 20
Sept 21 $1.35 TH coffee, Groceries
Sept 22 $10 on Bread Machine YAY! (Garage sale!), $7 on 9 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 6 coffee cups YAY!(thrift shop!) $16 grocery store (mostly a ton of apples)
Sept 23

Budgeted spending this month:
Groceries 418/175 <-----Shamelessly over.
Gas 68/55 <------went over gas amount, but I filled the tank and it should last into Oct. So yay, I was right that $50/mth on gas is normal for us.
Gifts 49.50/50
Clothes 35/20
post #1150 of 1358

Questions for all...

I am trying to figure out better ways to function frugally. At this point, I am doing okay, but I want to make it easier and better.

First of all, how do you all keep track of expenses?

Second, do you pay credit cards at the beginning of the month or wait until they are due, to encourage yourselves to leave the money in the account as long as possible, because it has to go toward the cc bill?

Lastly, how can I make a budget if I am not sure how much I will make?

Thanks for your help!!!
post #1151 of 1358
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRIBE View Post
Congrats Adamsmama! Can I ask what you are cooking/eating on $75 a week? I can get mine to about $95 a week (but I do have 7 in the family) and I'd love to get it lower. I have a feeling it will go higher this winter when the farmers market closes though
Well---we stocked up on some food at Costco which was $135. He bought a huge thing of lunch meat, 2 pack of Sara-Lee bread, cereal, eggs, milk, hotdogs (I know -- not the most healthy, but cheap), hot dog buns (super cheap at Costco!), frozen potatoe wedges, cheese, frozen breaded chicken and frozen pizzas (these were for cheap, quick meals--so no more temptation to eat out if I couldn't cook a full dinner, etc.) We also bought diapers and wipes at Costco (we do cloth/sposies parttime on my two preschoolers -- 2.5yr and 4.5 -- my oldest is SN/possibly autistic and is having a lot of trouble using the potty).

At the grocery store I buy canned tomatoes to make homemade pasta sauce, a lot of pasta (it was on sale this week), 3 packs of meat (ground turkey (2), roast), some frozen and some fresh veggies, a bunch of fresh fruit, gallon of milk, orange juice (on sale), oatmeal, flour, yeast (to make homemade bread incase we run out), ricatta cheese, yogurt ...

We don't buy soda or juice. My two preschoolers eat a lot of grilled cheese, fresh fruit, and eggs. (They are extremely picky eaters--but they don't eat fully meals, usually with us, so leftovers go a long way). My third is only 4 months is bf.

I try to keep my freezer stocked with meat that was on sale (even things like chicken cordn blue -- sometimes b1g1 deals are really great prices and it doesn't take long to bake and throw in some baked potatoes, etc. I've been shopping the sales and trying to keep within a price limit at the same time.
post #1152 of 1358
Sept 23: s, home and not leaving the house today!
post #1153 of 1358
Quote:
Originally Posted by imahappymama View Post
I am trying to figure out better ways to function frugally. At this point, I am doing okay, but I want to make it easier and better.

First of all, how do you all keep track of expenses?

Second, do you pay credit cards at the beginning of the month or wait until they are due, to encourage yourselves to leave the money in the account as long as possible, because it has to go toward the cc bill?

Lastly, how can I make a budget if I am not sure how much I will make?

Thanks for your help!!!
Welcome to the thread!!!

I try not to leave the house with my credit card or debt card. I pay cash for my groceries.

I will keep the reciept until I get home and then I will record what I spent here in this thread. Then it goes in the recycling!

I pay the CC off as soon as I can! Money in my account is to much of a temptation to me! I will sometimes just pay a part of what I owe with my first pay of the month and then save a little for rent....in case I don't earn more that month : and then pay the balance of my CC later when I get paid again.

I think you need to know at least the minimum amount of money you will earn or have each month to make a budget.I add up what I will have and then add up what I need to spend it on.For things like food that can be played with and I can try and save money with that. BUt rent and bills normally stay the same.
post #1154 of 1358
Quote:
Originally Posted by anniej View Post
Michelle - focus on what you do want in a nannying job and it'll come. If you want, let us know too, so we can all put our energy towards that.

I'm so sorry they did that to you. Can you demand some kind of severence pay?
I'm going to try and focus on what I really want in my next nanny job.

I'm just bummed b/c I think they knew what they wanted and they knew that I wasn't going to be offering that so they should have not given me the job OR they should have told me it was just until they found someone else.

I can't really get any severence pay. They did say they would give me a little extra though. I had a written agreement with them,but neither of has signed it yet b/c we didn't use it for the 2 week trial and were just finalizing things on it now. It did say that 2 weeks notice should be given though.I'll just be glad when they show up Monday with what they owe me from last week and the things I left at their place.

It really gets me mad though at the way she was on and on about how she wanted something long term and all this. She made me feel very comfrotable and like I had some job security there. I have abandonment issues from my past and I think they've been triggered by this whole thing.

I am looking really hard for something now and am waiting to hear from 2 families. So I have my fingers crossed!

Please do send me some good energy so that I'm able to find something soon. I just went off welfare and don't want to get back on that!


Ashley how are you and your kids doing?
post #1155 of 1358
Sep 1 - = Expensive backpack
Sep 2 -
Sep 3 -
Sep 4 - Another good day. Only bought a loaf of bread and batteries for the camera to tide me over until groceries tommorrow
Sep 5 - $2.12 for coffee & a bagel for breakfast $3.12 for soup and a cookie to go with my sandwich at lunch...I was so hungry.
Sep 6 - Unplanned lunch out with a friend $16.00
Sep 7 -
Sep 8 - Paid for a printer my sister got with her laptop for $20 (which we really needed - ours was from 1998) which was fine since it was planned, but then I realized I forgot to bring some stuff for the baby that we really needed so I spent $20 I really shouldn't have needed to spend:
Sep 9 - Truck had more problems: so I had to buy coolant and oil, not frivolous, but not planned.
Sep 10 - Bought breakfast this morning because I was tired and cranky.
Sep 11 - Only spending today was on some Christmas presents that were budgeted for.
Sep 12 - Ended up going out for lunch
Sep 13 - Only budgeted spending
Sep 14 -
Sep 15 - No spend day
Sep 16 - Only spending was on a planned trip to Canada's Wonderland
Sep 17 - No spend day
Sep 18 - Bought a coffee this morning and my lunch today. The macaroni & cheese I brought just wasn't appealing today.
Sep 19 - Bought take out for breakfast, lunch & dinner today :
Sep 20 - No spend day
Sep 21 - Only budgeted spending today
Sep 22 - Bought groceries today and stayed within budget. We are home for the rest of the day so there should be no more spending.
Sep 23 - No spend day

No Spend Days: 6/30
No Restaurant/Take-out Days: 13/29

Happy Fall everyone!
post #1156 of 1358
Quote:
Originally Posted by imahappymama View Post
I am trying to figure out better ways to function frugally. At this point, I am doing okay, but I want to make it easier and better.

First of all, how do you all keep track of expenses?

Second, do you pay credit cards at the beginning of the month or wait until they are due, to encourage yourselves to leave the money in the account as long as possible, because it has to go toward the cc bill?

Lastly, how can I make a budget if I am not sure how much I will make?

Thanks for your help!!!
I track my expenses by always using my debit card. I almost never put anything on credit, and I only take out cash if it's money to blow :

I pay my credit card as soon as I have the money for it to ensure that it gets paid. Credit card and savings money is priority #1 that it gets 'paid' as budgeted. Our savings comes out on the first of the month.

How we do it is we advance the month. On the last day of the month, DH and I put our designated amounts into the joint account. On the first day of the month, the rent cheque gets cashed and savings gets automatically transferred. Groceries and household bills are debited from that account as the month goes on. How it works in practice is, if we're short before the end of the month, it comes out of the grocery budget. There's no choice about sticking to the budget because that's *all* the money that's in that account.

Credit cards, cell phone bills, and personal care are paid out of our own personal chequing accounts, and what we do with that money is *none* of each others' business.

I find the month-in-advance way makes it really easy to track how you're doing, because it's not like money is going in and out all the time. It just goes in once and gets depleted as we go. If there's money left over it just stays in there in case we need it next month.

If you're not sure how much you'll make, you're going to have to have some kind of flex budget. You do probably know or are able to estimate your fixed expenses though - rent/mortgage, utilities, debt repayment etc. What I would suggest you do is budget for your fixed expenses and give a generous estimate for groceries. Then add 10% to that amount for contingency. That's your budget. Anything else you make can be spent on personal care, eating out, entertainment, etc. If you're short, don't spend anything on personal care etc. and suck it up and buy beans and rice to save on groceries. I would suggest that you consider debt repayment or savings a fixed expense and consider that non-negotiable.

If you have a bit of cushion in the bank, try the month-in-advance...you don't know how much you'll make this month, but you know how much you made last month.

HTH! Good luck
post #1157 of 1358
Good for you Michelle. It seems like they weren't the right fit for you anyway - so you, the universe is watching out for us always. It sounds like you've got some good gigs coming up on the horizon though, so maybe one of them will be a better fit? I'm focusing on that for you - to find the right kind of family that fits your needs, too.

Thanks for asking about us. We're actually doing ok. It's just funny how it ebbs and flows. The police in NY called last night and woke us all up at 2 am to talk to me b/c DH was trying to file an assault charge against me. It appears he couldn't make it stick b/c I haven't heard back from them.

I found a part time nanny today for the kids so I can get busy on my new job. When I placed the ad, I put the intention out that I wanted to find a retired school teacher who was a grandmother and guess who the only person to answer my ad was? You guessed it! She's really, really great; I'm so excited about her. I was really up front and told her I was completely flexible and this wasn't long term - that I was headed back to NY in a few months.

On the spending front, things are fine. I need to pay my CC bill, but I have to wait to figure out how I'm working my bank accounts since I had to close my business acct last week so DH couldn't clean me out. So, I know I'm paying interest, but for now, it's ok. But, it's just that one credit card balance out there - every single other thing I owed has been paid off. Feels so great to have done that!

I spoke with a mediator today, so here's to hoping that we can mediate this out and not use the courts (and waste our money on lawyers that we dont need). DH seemed amicable about it, so I'm really focusing on us getting out of this with water under the bridge and making forward movement for the sake of our kids.

Thank you all for being there for me right now. You've been wonderful.
post #1158 of 1358
1 -
2 -
3 - 13.65 art supplies on 50% sale
4 - 31.08 pet stuff
5 - 160.67 groceries
6 -
7 -
8 -
9 -
10 - 83.98 dog food on sale
11 -
12 - 148.23 groceries
13 -
14 -
15 - 21.44 groceries
16 - 100.25 groceries
17 - 78 Renn Fest - dh decided to go with us so we had double entrance fees, plus it cost 15 for dd & i to ride the elephant (they did not have a sign and we only found out the price when we were next; i didn't want to dash dd's hopes at the last minute)
18 - 130.24 household - unbudgeted but necessary except for 1.57 for muffin while shopping
19 - 134.22 groceries - i forgot that dh is not buying the things he normally buys this month so even though the budget looks busted his cc will be much lower
20 -
21 -
22 -
23 -

frugal progress:
use budget
hang/rack dry laundry
stay home
turn off the flippin' TV!

groceries (including pets) 679.87/400 (changed to be more realistic)
misc (includes renn fest visit) 91.65/40
household 130.24/0

overbudget 461.76

sarah
post #1159 of 1358
Sept 1 - spent $7, saved $29.60
Sept 2 - spent $35.05 (groceries), saved $1.55
Sept 3 - spent $19.54 (eating out), saved $17.06
Sept 4 - spent $0, saved $36.60
Sept 5 - spent $36.97 (eating out) , saved -$0.37
Sept 6 - spent $24.94 (groceries), $10 (cash for carnival on Sat.) , saved $1.66
Sept 7 - spent $24.05 (lunch out - planned), $12 (gas) , saved $0.55 - $95.04 in unplanned cc charges
Sept 8 - spent $15 (co-pay), $10 (antibiotics), $61.49 (inhaler spacer), $6.37 (snacks at the drug store), $8.96 (dinner out) , saved -$65.35
Sept 9 - spent $5.61 (dinner for work), saved $30.99
Sept 10 - spent $10.14 (dinner for work), $12.45 (groceries), saved $14.01, PAID OFF cc charges $23.45 (gas), 22.41 (lunch out) PAID OFF
Sept 11 - spent $35.71 (groceries), saved $0.89
Sept 12 - - spent $16.04 (groceries), $11.02 (lunch), and $5.74 (lunch @ work yesterday), saved $3.80
Sept 13 - spent $33.12 (groceries), saved $3.48
Sept 14 - spent $23.65 (lunch out), 7.54 (shampoo), saved $5.41
Sept 15 - spent $10.72 (lunch out), 24.49 (potty treat, groceries, medicine), saved $1.39
Sept 16 - spent 9.73 (dinner @ work) , saved $26.83 spent $32.46 from the savings fund for new pants
Sept 17 - spent $13.12 (lunch), $23.17 (groceries and medicine), $4.77 (pizza @ work) , saved -$4.46
Sept 18 - spent $33.21(lunch w/family) , saved $3.39
Sept 19 - spent $7.28(dinner@work) , saved $29.32
Sept 20 - spent $22.47 (lunch), $6.49 (contact solution) , saved $7.64
Sept 21 - spent $13.86 (lunch), $9.62 (groceries), $10.45 (Starbucks) , saved $1.84
Sept 22 - spent $37.90 (groceries), saved -$1.30
Sept 23 - spent $14.08 (lunch) , saved $22.52

Total saved so far this month: $135.07

Total on credit cards: $95.04

Stayed home this morning, then bought lunch for work. I have to go to the doctor tomorrow, though, so I don't know how much that's going to cost me.
post #1160 of 1358
9/1 -rent, oil, savings. +$6.21
9/2 +$4.37
9/3 +$14.49
9/4 +$5.29
9/5 -$10, +$45
9/6
9/7 -$10, +$68
9/8 -$4.95, +$20.19
9/9 +$6.57
9/10
9/11 -$387.45 tuition
9/12 -$58 groceries, +$2.50
9/13
9/14 +$25
9/15 +$31.41
9/16 +$12.39
9/17 +$5.05
9/18 -$58 groceries
9/19
9/20 -$17 winter clothes for DS
9/21 -$9.75 gas bill
9/22 -$16 heating pad and medicine--necessary but not budgeted, +$3.09
9/23
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › September No-Spend Challenge: We're in the home stretch! Stay Strong Finish with us