February 2017 debrief

feb

 

TRACKING

  •  # Buy nothing days : 9 days
  • # times used S’mores Maker (aiming for 6 uses in 2017): 0 – I suspect this will be pulled out in the summer
  • # times ate out/purchased take out: 2
  • # activities with loved ones: 9
  • % over or under budget: 2% under budget

CELEBRATE:

  • I was aiming for an uber frugal month but rather than dip into savings I used money that was within my monthly budget to pay for yoga classes and cover some of the vacation costs
  • Still behaving quite will with my concussion and I’m definitely seeing improvements
  • I’ve switched internet providers and will be seeing a $20 – $30 change in price

DIP INTO SAVINGS/CREDIT

  • My vacation line definitely took a hit! But allin all I was good.

KEEP IN MIND

  • March often gets expensive as I usually have lots of joint birthday celebrations. As I’m still recovering I haven’t scheduled anything so I may be just fine
  • I did so well in January and February that I gave myself a reduction in budget. I find if the money is available I tend to spend it. I need to remember the budget cut in case I find that I’ve cut too much
  • Some groceries were purchased using points and I wasn’t home for a week this month
  • I hope to keep the spirit of uber frugal month alive in March

OVERALL

February has been a success! I definitely felt treated but my budget wasn’t stretched!

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monthly Debrief:January 2017

January

TRACKING

  •  # Buy nothing days : 19 days (as of the 29th)
  • # times used S’mores Maker (aiming for 6 uses in 2017): 0
  • # times ate out/purchased take out: 6
  • # activities with loved ones: TBD
  • % over or under budget: 7% under budget (I’ll be doing some spending today so this will change a bit)

CELEBRATE:

  • Uber Frugal Month was a huge success! We spent a bit more than half the budgeted amount on groceries and I’ll be able to put a sizable chunk into my Fun Fund.
  • In spite of my injury I didn’t soothe myself with purchasing things.
  • This time last year I had 7 months to go on my consumer debt! Now the only debt I have is my mortgage. Paying it off in 10 years no longer seems like a crazy idea.
  • ML is debt free!!!!!

DIP INTO SAVINGS/CREDIT

  • I was able to pay for my parents car repairs from my savings and then get reimbursed

KEEP IN MIND

  • February is going to be tough! I’ve got a conference, loads of lunches that got moved from January and I’m out of town for a chunk of it.
  • Don’t get caught up in sale hype. If you don’t need in the foreseeable future don’t buy it (Looking at you tinned veg that was ‘on sale’)
  • I probably won’t be this far under budget next month as I did cancel a lot of things this month
  • I hope to keep the spirit of uber frugal month alive in February.

OVERALL

I’m really pleased with this month’s spending! Previously illness meant ‘treating myself’ to feel good food, a new book or a game of some sort. This time it meant free audiobooks on YouTube, Bunny cuddles, and making use of all my Christmas tea.

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Debriefing December 2016

december

 

TRACKING

  •  # Buy nothing days :14 days
  • # times used S’mores Maker (aiming for 8 uses in 2016): 2+0=2
  • # times used champagne saucers (aiming for 7 uses in 2016): 4+4=8
  • # times ate out: 9
  • # activities with friends/family: 14
  • % over or under budget:1% over budget.
  • % of goal put toward ML’s debt: 100%

CELEBRATE:

  • ML is consumer debt free!
  • Starting the year in the black!
  • I’m tracking my budget here rather than my income. I got a bit of an increase in November as certain automatic payments aren’t taken in November so my gifts were able to come out of this excess.

DIP INTO SAVINGS/CREDIT

  • Used my gift line to cover some items
  • Used my vacation line to cover additional time after the conference
  • Used the buffer to cover gifts

KEEP IN MIND

  • December is an odd month for overspending; January is a time to reset.
  • No is a complete sentence! I need to learn how to say it nicely to people when their suggested events do not fit into our budget.

OVERALL

November seems so long ago! I felt good in the month but my gift line began to stress me. I also went a bit overboard already in December so I’m going to work at not let my spendthrift side take over.

Image courtesy arztasumia via freedigitalphotos.net

Debriefing November 2016

november

TRACKING

  •  # Buy nothing days :10 days
  • # times used S’mores Maker (aiming for 8 uses in 2016): 2+0=2
  • # times used champagne saucers (aiming for 7 uses in 2016): 4+4=8
  • # times ate out:6
  • # activities with friends/family: 8
  • % over or under budget:.3% over budget.
  • % of goal put toward ML’s debt: 100%

CELEBRATE:

  • ML and I celebrated our anniversary on a budget and t was fantastic! We took a couple days just for us
  • Though I was over budget it was my bills that had me this way rather than overspending
  • I’m tracking my budget here rather htan my income. I got a bit of an increase in November as certain automatic payments aren’t taken in November so my gifts were able to come out of this excess.

DIP INTO SAVINGS/CREDIT

  • My gift line has been cleaned out
  • My insurance didn’t cover all of an appointment so the savings went to that
  • my dream got paid out of my Life Happens line

KEEP IN MIND

  • Next year I need to figure out my Christmas gift line so I’m prepared
  • No is a complete sentence! I need to learn how to say it nicely to people when their suggested events do not fit into our budget.

OVERALL

November seems so long ago! I felt good in the month but my gift line began to stress me. I also went a bit overboard already in December so I’m going to work at not let my spendthrift side take over.

Image courtesy arztasumia via freedigitalphotos.net

Debriefing October 2016

October

TRACKING

  •  # Buy nothing days :16 days
  • # times used S’mores Maker (aiming for 8 uses in 2016): 2+0=2
  • # times used champagne saucers (aiming for 7 uses in 2016): 4+0=4
  • # times ate out:7
  • # activities with friends/family: 5
  • % over or under budget:0.21%
  • % of goal put toward ML’s debt: 100%

CELEBRATE:

  • This was quite similar is stress to June yet I stuck to my budget!
  • I paid for my Christmas gift with ‘excess’ money so I
  • Took on a zero waste challenge and started composting again

DIP INTO SAVINGS/CREDIT

  • We dipped into savings to fix the stove, purchase Christmas gifts and support a friend’s Norwex business

KEEP IN MIND

  • Christmas shopping and planning needs to be done in November
  • We don’t have a lot of plans in November so hopefully this helps me put a bit extra into the gift line
  • No is a complete sentence! I need to learn how to say it nicely to people when their suggested events do not fit into our budget.

OVERALL

I’m so happy with us! I’m a bit concerned as I have less than $200 for gifts at the moment as this means I’ll have to really tighten up November and December to give what I had wanted.

Image courtesy arztasumia via freedigitalphotos.net

Debriefing September 2016

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TRACKING

  •  # Buy nothing days :17 days
  • # times used S’mores Maker (aiming for 8 uses in 2016): 2+0=2
  • # times used champagne saucers (aiming for 7 uses in 2016): 4+0=4
  • # times ate out:4
  • # activities with friends/family: 8
  • % over or under budget:.3% over budget. This is actually a win since my bill issues could have led me to be 8% over budget.
  • % of goal put toward ML’s debt: 100%

CELEBRATE:

  • This was the first full month of ML and I not seeing each other a lot due to both our jobs. We not only didn’t blow the budget on food expenses but we didn’t get into a  single disagreement!
  • I spent less on food overall, both in our grocery and eating out categories.

DIP INTO SAVINGS/CREDIT

  • We used our savings to pay cash for a new couch!
  • Savings were used to start Christmas shopping

KEEP IN MIND

  • The garden has ended so I need to go back to ensuring that we’re purchasing fruits and vegetables that are both budget friendly but are actually healthy.
  • October promises to be another full month with ML being away a lot and my job having a few high profile projects. This can easily impact our spending as well as our health.
  • No is a complete sentence! I need to learn how to say it nicely to people when their suggested events do not fit into our budget.

OVERALL

I’m really proud of September! I think this is the first September that neither of us got sick in a very long time. It was a bit painful in August when we looked at our calendars and realized that we would be having time together a maximum of once per week. I was nervous because I worried that we could easily feel overwhelmed and not supported. However, we had set a plan and were able to maintain it.

In the end, we had quality time with each other, didn’t eat out on ‘accident’ i.e. not making lunches, and didn’t have a messy home.

Image courtesy arztasumia via freedigitalphotos.net

Debriefing August 2016

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

TRACKING

  •  # Buy nothing days :12 days
  • # times used S’mores Maker (aiming for 8 uses in 2016): 2+0=2
  • # times used champagne saucers (aiming for 7 uses in 2016): 4+0=4
  • # times ate out:6
  • # activities with friends/family: 15
  • % over or under budget: 1% over budget
  • % of goal put toward ML’s debt:100%

CELEBRATE:

  • I spent over $100 more on bills than anticipated but was way less than $100 over budget!
  • I did a lot of work in our home that resulted in the space feeling even better.
  • That one percent over budget is the exact amount of my last purchase which was for Bunny as I’ve found a medication for her to try for her arthritis and as I was there I opted to purchase food for her.

DIP INTO SAVINGS/CREDIT

  • Used medical line to pay for therapy
  • Used my gift line for presents
  • Used my home renovation line to put a down payment on a sectional

KEEP IN MIND

  • September is going to be a busy month work-wise so I need to be flexible both with my budget and myself
  • Bunny may be seeing an increase in her budget line as we’re getting her things to help her legs.
  • No is a complete sentence! I need to learn how to say it nicely to people when their suggested events do not fit into our budget. This is from last month but it’s still true and definitely something I struggle with.

OVERALL

This month was fantastic! Yes, I went over budget but since I paid my furniture bill twice I’m not feeling badly about it. This just means that I will be done payments 1 month earlier than anticipated.

I’ve noticed that I’m consistently over-budget no matter how hard I try to stay within it. Something always seems to happen. This isn’t awful but it’s a reminder that I seem to consistently push my limits. When I’m over budget for something that helps me in the long run, I don’t mind it. This is the case in August. I’m over budget by a bit less than the extra furniture payment. In my mind this is a win.

I’m also pleasantly surprised that I didn’t feel stretched to my limit in Auugst considering that I had ~$100 less to play with it. 1% over budget when I had that experience is absolutely amazing!

Image courtesy arztasumia via freedigitalphotos.net

 

Debriefing July 2016

July

TRACKING

  •  # Buy nothing days :14 days
  • # times used S’mores Maker (aiming for 8 uses in 2016): 2+0=2
  • # times used champagne saucers (aiming for 7 uses in 2016): 4+0=4
  • # times ate out:4
  • # activities with friends/family: 20
  • % over or under budget:.23% over budget My budget geek is showing when I start tracking in decimals!
  • % of goal put toward ML’s debt:35%

CELEBRATE:

  • ML & I hosted my parents a bunch of times and hosted a large family barbecue
  • I took a week’s vacation and actually relaxed
  • ML and I began chatting about our values and enjoying a deeper understanding of our individual relationships with money.
  • I froze vegetables and made pickles!
  • I bounced back from June! I was able to put money towards ML’s debt even if it isn’t as much as I had planned. I’m hoping that tracking if I can keep my promise will stop me from overspending.

DIP INTO SAVINGS/CREDIT

  • Used medical line to pay for massage treatments
  • Used my fun fund to stay in budget and cover some fancy hair products
  • Used that lovely gift line for grad gifts and my parents’ anniversary gift

KEEP IN MIND

  • As July was spent cleaning up June’s mess I wasn’t able to put as much to ML’s debt. August is my opportunity to help him battle his.
  • I met with an Insurance/Investment advisor and we clicked.
  • No is a complete sentence! I need to learn how to say it nicely to people when their suggested events do not fit into our budget. This is from last month but it’s still true and definitely something I struggle with.

OVERALL

This month was great in general. Even when certain lines didn’t stay in budget I was able to keep the overall show on the road!

Image courtesy arztasumia via freedigitalphotos.net

 

Debriefing June

TRACKING

  •  # Buy nothing days : didn’t track; it was a bit overwhelming since I spent a lot
  • # times used S’mores Maker (aiming for 8 uses in 2016): 2+0=2
  • # times used champagne saucers (aiming for 7 uses in 2016): 3+1=4
  • # times ate out: 9
  • # activities with friends/family: 8
  • % over or under budget: 24%+ over budget;

CELEBRATE:

  • ML & I hosted both our families separately for Father’s Day and then hosted them jointly along with family friends another weekend
  • June was my crazy work month and we made it through with a relatively clean house, no sniping at each other and were able to host as well
  • I learnt what doesn’t work for me right now in terms of having money in an account so I will be leaving my paycheque in my LOC

DIP INTO SAVINGS/CREDIT

  • Used medical line to pay for massage treatments since my shoulders have decided they’d like to spend some quality time with my ears.
  • I had anticipated being ~13% over budget and I blew by that figure and dipped into debt. A huge part of it was forgetting how exhausting working 12 hour days can be. Next year, I’m going to start a small savings for June

KEEP IN MIND

  • Even with breaking the bank in June, I’ve devised a July budget that should allow me to regain my step back. I just need to be diligent.
  • No is a complete sentence! I need to learn how to say it nicely to people when their suggested events do not fit into our budget. This is from last month but it’s still true and definitely something I struggle with.

OVERALL

This month was a bit of letdown after the high in May but it was a great chance to learn more about my relationship with money. I’m looking forward to seeing if my adjustments to my July style help me maintain my debt free status.