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Frugal Month Begins

January 2nd, 2018 at 01:34 pm

We did a big grocery store run on New Year's Eve. We were out of quite a few things, but it feels like we overbought. That may be a good thing as we go into the frugal month.

In some ways, I'm not really planning to start until our daughter heads back to school on Saturday. I did however put cash in our Everyday budget categories and it far less than normal. The amount is $783...and that's for half the month. I know, it doesn't sound that frugal. But yet, some of those are needs, and some have a little fluff in them that I hope not to spend at all.

Groceries are lower and I hope to come in lower than I budgeted. My husband and I are dieting this month, so I expect that will help our food budget. Less snacks!

Fuel is the about the same, slightly higher as we have one trip out of town. I also expect a toll bill this month. I hope to keep myself out of stores, thus only driving will be to school and grocery store.

Spending money is normal. Most of that is allowances for the girls. One gets $17, the other gets $125. The remaining $20 should be for the month to cover parking and tips to baggers at the commissary.

Restaurants is at $60 because I expect one meal out for four people when we are out of town. My husband is also using this category for coffee at work. Not happy about this, but the thermos plan didn't pan out, so he buys a cup for $2 almost every day.

Clothing is at just $25. I'd rather put something in there than nothing. If I find some clearance shirts within that budget, I may buy them for my daughter, but for the most part, I am not going shopping. In the end I hope it is saved.

Household goods is at $20. I know we will need dishwasher detergent and dish soap. Most other household items we should be stocked up on.

I did not put anything in Alcohol or Entertainment. We will not be paying for entertainment in the month of January. And I am committed to no alcohol in the month of January. I think my husband is as well.

Personal care is for haircuts and personal care products. We are well stocked at this point. The only thing that could change is the need for some vitamins, but I do have Swagbucks to redeem for Amazon gift cards, so those could be covered that way.

The gifts category would only be used for postage. I may sew my sister a gift for her birthday late in the month, so that is money I would need to mail it to her.

And the Pet category is a need. I bought our cat food for the month and we will need another box of litter.

Now as I said that is really only for half the month. I will replenish groceries and fuel at the mid month payday. And as you can see some balances are less than budgeted that is because some items purchased (like groceries) were bought on December 31 and but came out of the January budget.

It's cold here in the Southeast! Cold enough that school start times are on a two hour delay today. Cold enough the Army is on a two hour delay! As of 8am it is 14 degrees, and feels like 8. Now I know that those of you in the midwest are far colder, and you are still having school and work!

I'm not looking forward to our heating bill. I'm sure many of you feel the same. We were quite mild though for part of the month, so maybe that will help spread out the cost.

6 Responses to “Frugal Month Begins”

  1. scottish girl Says:

    I like the way you keep track of these Smile

  2. alliecat79 Says:

    It has been as low as -9 here the past two days and overall, in the 1-2 range prior to that. Our January heating bill is going to be ugly. I love the app you're using to track expenses. Is it a computer or phone app?

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    alliecat, we use YNAB. I have the classic version, so there is an app and a desktop application. I believe the newer versions are web based, but there would still be an app for your phone. If you want something that is free, consider EveryDollar which is a Dave Ramsey product. This screenshot is just one portion of YNAB.

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Our thermostat has been varying wildly. We keep trying to set it at 66, but it'll go down to 60, and then all the way up to 76!! I don't remember it doing this last year - our gas bill is going to be scary ... (-16 the other night ...)

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    FT, your thermostat may be going out. I'd replace it. Or I guess it could be the furnace itself, but I was hoping to point you to a small fix.

  6. frugaltexan75 Says:

    CCF - Here's hoping for the small fix

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