Spend Less August Outcome

home_cookingI finally have a chance to tally my end results of the Spend Less Challenge hosted by the wonderful Musings of a Midlife Mom.

Previously, my family was spending an average $1200 per month on food alone.
We deemed not to eat out and we stuck to it.
Savings: $600 πŸ™‚

I racked up some extra income to help pay down my CCs (my 5 month personal challenge).
Done! πŸ™‚
Total made: $191.78

My goal was to send off $202 a week to pay down my CC.
Done! πŸ™‚
Still on track.

But it didn’t all come up roses. If you remember, I had to dip into my savings account because of my son’s expensive day, buying my ex groceries, and our unfree Universal Studios trip.
Total: -$931

The end result:
I did save $600 by spending less.
I made $191.78 selling stuff on Half.com and accepted an advertising deal on MoneyFunk.

Feelings on the month:
It hasn’t been easy. Not eating out is working out fine. But, limiting ourselves in the grocery store has us feeling the restraints a bit. Especially on my DH. Like being used to having unlimited papertowels that we buy at Costco. Now, we don’t go to Costco. And we only buy what we need for the week at the grocery store. Meals must be carefully planned and “extras” are limited.

But this challenge is only until the beginning of December. We can do it. We’ve discovered spending our time hiking or hanging with friends (all proved to be frugal so far) really help in our challenge. You look at things a different way.

I do like that I spend more time crafting at home, or cleaning out clutter, or finding a good book to read. Addressing a budget has you finding creative, but good ways to live. It takes time to adjust. But, can you imagine…if one gets used to living on a budget so that you can pay off debt sooner. Isn’t it all worth it? I think so!

It just came to mind… about finding “creative, but good ways to live”. I feel the limitness that my budget creates and am aware that I cannot spend what I do not have to spend. So, what did I decide to do? I decided to take on the Earn More Challenge started by Planning for Everything. If I don’t have the money to spend than I am gonna go out and make more! LOL

So, now its the September’s EMC (earn more challenge) that will hopefully help me rehabilitate my Hawaii/Emergency fund! Onward! πŸ™‚

p.s. – I had no idea this group would grow so large. I think its really cool!

18 thoughts on “Spend Less August Outcome

  1. Sharon

    You did an excellent job, especially with a couple of “mishaps”. I’ll be posting soon regarding the earn more challenge…I’m still formulating my plan! πŸ™‚

    1. admin

      Thank you. I have to say that I am happy that we did technically save, but feel neutral about the end result due to dipping into our savings. If it wasn’t for paying off my CCs… we would be about $131 short.

      But, I do have to say… in certain areas I feel that we are getting better. Especially in the are of food. πŸ™‚

  2. jpkittie

    YOu did a great job this month – I am super proud of you! (and maybe by december, you will be so used to spending less at the grocery that you may not even go back to your old ways!!!) Good luck with your challenge this month!

    1. admin

      Oh thank you, jpkittie. I do think by December we will continue to do great in the food area. Although, I do intend on going back to my Costco shopping. I miss the bulk shopping. But eating out… I don’t miss that too much. I could live with home cooking. πŸ™‚

  3. Ms. MoneyChat

    you did an excellent job. the savings on food is very impressive. getting over that “hump” has always been the hard part for me. i’m so excited about your family’s hawaii goal that you would think it was my trip! i’m excited to see how september shakes out for you. i can hear your mental wheels turning so i’m certain there will be some extra income earned.

    1. admin

      Oh thank you. We did a great job on the food! And I don’t miss it too much. The rest of the fam seems to be doing okay with not eating out so much, too.

      The wheels are definitely clicking, but I am having some reservations about making the Hawaii trip happen. I suppose its a bit of self doubt. But I did say that it is the courage & the confidence that seizes most of us in our tracks, right? I guess I need to give myself a little self-help and to just believe I can make it happen!

  4. @Lyddzz

    I also had to non-renew my costco card last month..=[ boo…but I’ve been shopping at Fresh n Easy and i’ve saved more in the checkbook… I am the only one in my household who’s working…(i’m the sugar mama hehe) so I’ve had to really really budget… thx for the inspiration really… somehow reading ur blog (and others) I feel that i’m not alone and I might just be able to see some light in lieu of this all…although…seeing the light is not good right? jaja… I alway get confused if I’m suppose to walk towards the light or not!
    Loving ur blog =D

    1. admin

      You make me laugh! I use Fresh & Easy for my quick “i forgot something at the store” trips. I don’t know if I could use them for my everyday shopping.

      So you’re the sugar mama, huh? You have the control, huh? Doesn’t sound to shabby. LOL. Least you are budgeting. You realize you only have so much to spend and are sticking to it to the best of your ability (right???).

      Just know that by budgeting you are one major step closer than most people out there! Most people do not know where their pennies are going! And running an addictive downward spiral to never, neverland.

      With a budget you can build your empire. It may be slow, but with a budget and a goal… you’re gold. Keep up the good work.

      Love the Light comment. LOL.

  5. rtc

    Not eating out is a huge step! The fact that your family isn’t complaining is a tribute to your planning and cooking skills! WTG!

    1. admin

      Thank you! I have to comment though… it is very hard planning 7 days of meals instead of 5. lol. I really need some new ideas. And it can be tough not eating out. Especially when you had a rough day. But the planning does definitely help. And crockpot meals are god sent during a busy week!

      Maybe i will try this planning a month’s worth of meals thing that is going around the blogosphere. Might be worth my time.

  6. Iris Robin

    This is great! You’re doing wonderful. It’s good to see your persistence through all of this. Really inspiring. I know it can be hard sometimes, but I always like to think how creative being frugal can really make you.

    Getting over these hurdles are all life learning experiences, and you seem to be handling them wonderfully! Keep it up!

    1. admin

      Thank you, Iris! I have two choices: be ignorant of the debt or continue to fight to succeed. As hard as the latter could be, I choose to persist. But it is hard! I think though… that you just get to a point where you say, “enough is enough”! And you deal with the obstacle.

      But, I have to say that you and other readers are the true inspiration for all this. It is so great to have such a wide support group. I know I could not have come this far with out you all. πŸ™‚

  7. Jules

    Hi just found your blog, and have only read this post so far ;o) It sounds like you are doing great keep it up.
    We’ve been living frugally for over a year now and have managed to pay off the ccs Yah! However we did still use them, though we always paid them off at the end of the month, which was great. Recently we have moved over to using cash cheque or debit card only, now the amazing thing is since doing this we seem to have more money. Its weird, what hapened? Do we consider if our purchases are really necessary before handing over cash rather than cc? I don’t know but I like having money saved!

    1. admin

      Welcome! Glad you found my site. πŸ™‚ And thank you.

      And congratulations! Paying of the cc’s is important. Yeah! I think we do consider out purchases more when using the debit card. Because we are aware that when the money runs out, it runs out. Where as the cc we can make the purchases and pay later mentality. But least you are paying your cc’s in full at the month’s end. Congrats!

      I like money. πŸ™‚ It’s nice to have more in the account.

  8. Carolyn Jung

    Kudos to you for shaving so much off your grocery bill. That is really awesome! Even though the economic downturn has been devastating in a lot of ways, one upside is that I think we’re all learning that we can live without a lot of STUFF. So much of what we used to spend money on aren’t necessities. And when they’re not there, we don’t really suffer. That’s a good lesson learned.

    1. admin

      Thank you. I think the other upside is that living FRUGAL is the new black. It’s not a shameful thing to now live within your means. πŸ™‚

      ps – thanks for the great recipe!

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