Frugalwoods’ July UberFrugal Month starts tomorrow! And like the high school students I work with (and the one I sometimes was), I’m doing my homework the night before. Mrs. Frugalwoods laid out a pretty lengthy prep-list to get the most out of the challenge. I did the first one… and then stopped. Until now! Like my essays in high school, this will be long, meandering, and mostly only interesting to me!
Establish Goals: See this post!
Review last month’s spending & categorize expenses: See here’s why I stopped. #Excuses. I wanted to make sure that I was perfectly accurate, so I wanted to be done with all my June spending, which didn’t happen until today.
Anyway, here we go! Let’s do the numbers!
- Rent: $720
This is really the amount I pay into the joint account with my man to cover rent, utilities, cat expenses, when we go out (which we rarely do), etc.
- Doctors/Medicine: 354
Yep. An expensive month. Dentist and doctor stuff.
- Travel: $1036
Plane tickets, plane tickets, plane tickets. Language classes in Spain. Still need to rent an AirBnB.
- Groceries: $212
- Gas: $22 (oh yeah! I only filled up my car once this month!)
- Phone: $28
- Cat expenses: $104
But wait, wasn’t that supposed to be included in the rent stuff? Yeah, but I forgot, so I paid for her vet appointment with my card. She’ll need to go back this month for the airline paperwork, but hopefully it will be less since she won’t need shots.
- Restaurants & coffee out: $411
Yeah, you thought I was cool with my $22 gas and my $28 phone. And then we get to this monstrosity! What was I thinking!
- Entertainment: $15.28
A movie and a song that I bought for work and will be reimbursed for.
- Gifts: $73.61
Mostly money for cool high school girls I know who are graduating. And cards to put the money in.
- Moving expenses: $1,000. This isn’t necessarily spent yet. My man and I just both put in some extra money to the joint account this month to cover our moving costs. And confession time: I don’t keep as much track of our joint money as well as I do my money. Laziness? Subconscious misogyny? I don’t know.
So with the exception of the rent, all of these are discretionary expenses in that I could reduce or eliminate them if I really needed to. And tbh, I could reduce our “rent” spending if we needed to, but my man is really frugal and I trust his financial judgement on what we should sock away. We don’t end up spending the full $720 every month, but it’s nice to have when we want to treat ourselves or like, decide to move across the country.
What can I eliminate entirely? What can I reduce? Honestly, I don’t think I could eliminate any of these expenses entirely.
WHAT? I know. I’m a terrible uberfrugaler.
Rent: It is what it is. This is what we’ve agreed upon and it doesn’t bother me.
Doctor: Yeah, this will probably go down I hope. But I do have to see my optometrist this month and buy a year’s supply of contacts, so it might be close to the same.
Travel: Now I’m committed. Need a place to stay. Don’t think there are other things I need to purchase in July though.
Groceries: I feel like this is pretty low already. I am committed to eating all the things we’ve already got in the apartment though, so I’m trying to plan meals around a lot of rice and beans.
Gas & Phone: Not even. I’ve got these on lock!
Cat: will come out of the joint account. So we’ll pay for it, but the cost won’t count against my budget!
Restaurants: This has to go down. I want to bang my head against the table every time I see that number. How is that even possible? For what it’s worth, all of that is with friends too. My husband and I haven’t gone out all month. Lessons for July: Have people over instead! Don’t go to the great but expensive bar! Don’t get apps! Don’t drink! Especially don’t get drunk and generous and pay for everyone because you just want them to know how much you appreciate them!
Entertainment: I’ve committed to going to Hogwarts before leaving California.
Gifts: Still have girls I love graduating. Still gonna give them $. It’s not a lot, but it has meaning in my heart which is a little weird for me. There aren’t many girls left, and I do have cards I can use instead of buying new ones, so I can lower but not eliminate.
Moving expenses: We’re going across the country! Who even knows!
This is getting long! Let’s wrap it up, Canter!
What can I substitute?
I could give thoughtful cards instead of gifts to coworkers for my good-byes.
I could use cards I already bought.
I could have people over to my cute apartment instead of going out and pack my own food at Hogwarts (at least some, gotta get some Bertie Botts).
I could sub water for alcohol. Better for my body anyway.
What can I in-source? I have no confidence in my ability to in-source the things we need for this month. I need to get my car and bike checked out before this massive move! I can’t do that myself!
But–I did see the property team at work changing the oil on one of their trucks this week, so I could buy oil and get them to show me, then wait until we’re moved to get the necessary 90,000 mile check (I’m still a couple thousand miles away from this so I’m not terribly worried about waiting a few months), and we’re shipping the car, not driving it. This has the advantage of giving me a new skill and letting me find a mechanic who knows about winterizing cars. Not a thing we really deal with here in San Diego. I could also just avoid having the bike tuned up until I’m in Rochester, again where people know how to winterize transportation devices.
Whew! Mrs. F still has four more steps to prep for the uber frugal month, but I’m running out of steam and words, so I will save them for tomorrow’s posting! Check back here tomorrow morning for more fascinating insights into my spending!