End of the Super Lean Spending Month

We survived our (sort of) Super Lean Spending Month!

We had 8 “No Spending” days.  This was not in our goal for the month, but it was nice to see we didn’t spend anything on 8 days.

We had a net savings of $336.98!

We spent less than our monthly average (for the last year) in our Food, Food Out, and Entertainment categories.  We spent more in the Household Goods category BUT we did purchase something we really wanted with Christmas money (that as of today hasn’t been removed from the savings account!)  If we remove this purchase, our savings would be $606.98 and the Household Goods category comes in well below average.

What did we learn???  That we really like going out.  It was very difficult to stay home for meals the first 2 weeks.  We didn’t spend any money on alcohol out.  We ended up keeping our social obligations with others finding it humorous that we ordered water to drink in a bar.  (We still left a tip!)

Could we cut our food budget??  Yep.  The question/discussion we had on Sunday revolved around how we scrimped for so many years, do we really want to go back to eating the “cheapest” things just because they are cheap??  We both agree that we do not want to do that BUT agree we could cut other stuff from the food budget.  We did purchase ice cream last night that earlier in the month we said no to.  Maybe moderation in the extras are what we need to do.  It was really nice having steak at home this month (instead of eating it out).  We did spend less than average, so we obvious cut out something!!

Here is our spending weekly recap and our daily expenditures.

 

Super Lean Spending Update #3

We have completed another week of Super Lean Spending.  One no spending day (5 so far this month!)  Even one no spending day is a positive!

This week was less stressful – it seems like our realizations last week were beneficial for our mental well being/outlook.  Here is the link for our Super Lean Spending calendar.

Our food/grocery amounts have decreased!  This was closer to a “normal” week for us.  We still purchase food items several times a week.  We have found this decreases our food waste.  It seems like our food category is going up less than our food out category is dropping!

Our Food Out category is extra lean compared to normal too.  Barb had 2 lunch meetings for work this week but it is still less than our normal eating out costs for a week.

Overall, this was a good week.  We didn’t feel as deprived – maybe we can get used to decreasing our spending in the food out category more regularly.  We expect this category to be high next week due to a few social obligations.  Hopefully we can keep the costs to a minimum.

 

 

 

Super Lean Spending Update #2

So another week has passed and we are definitely spending less in the food out category ($105.58).  This is really good for us after 2 weeks.  (Last year our food out for February was $610)  We have only spent to eat out for Friday dinners and to reload the Starbucks card for the month.  Here is our Spending Calendar.

Now the downside:  we turned down several social events to not spend money already this month.  We really didn’t like saying no!   Going to the movies, happy hour, dinner, breakfast, and coffee shop to chat with friends and family are an integral part of who we are.

While at dinner last night intentionally alone (and we only spent $34.92), we had a discussion about how we were feeling about our experiment.  We were both feeling a little obsessed with not spending anything extra to the point of feeling guilty if something extra was added at the grocery store.  This can’t be healthy for us!  Guilt can do some really weird stuff to your body.

We are committed to the Super Lean Spending Month Challenge but have made the realization that our social life is important to us.  We will continue to only go out just once a week for the remainder of the month.  The first invite is the one we will go with!

We also have finally reached a point in our lives that stressing over every item purchased is not necessary.  Could we go back to the bare-bones budget we had years ago if we had to?  Yep.  Do we want to live every day like that when we don’t have to?  Nope.

 

 

Not So Lean Spending Day

As you can see on our Super Lean Spending Month Calendar today was NOT a Super Lean Spending Day.  We spent a whopping $424.87

Grocery shopping was about normal ($135.08)  It might be a little more than usual since we are planning to eat all meals at home this week and take a lunch every day to work.

Household goods was excessive ($269.26)  BUT we did purchase 2 new skillets that should last a “lifetime” haha  and an olive oil dispenser.  We are using money we set aside from Christmas for these items but according to the budget, they are purchases this month.

Entertainment was a new DVD (Hell or High Water, $12.92) that if it is as good as the reviews lead us to believe, we will watch it more than once and will loan it to those who want to borrow it.

Work related was a wireless mouse for John’s new work Surface Pro.  He really hates using the mouse pad on the keyboard and for $7.61 it is worth it.  You would think our employers would pay for this but they don’t.

How is your budget looking for the month?  Will it be leaner than usual this month?  Ours isn’t looking too lean at this point!  We did have 2 of the first 5 days as no spending!   Gotta count the successes!!

Also joining us in this Super Lean Spending Month Challenge are Life as I Interpret It and The Minimalists Next Door.

February Super Lean Month and Decluttering Update

February is our SUPER LEAN SPENDING MONTH.  We are changing the name from the more common Spend Nothing Month.  We know we will spend money on something!

So today is our first day since Barb got paid (on the last work day of the month) and John gets his check tomorrow (the first work day of the month).   We both get paid once a month.  It is actually easier once you get used to it – it could also be that we’ve been once a month for about 25 years.  You pay all the bills up front – no saving a certain amount for the mortgage, etc.  Then you know exactly how much you have to spend for the next 30ish days.  We are doing this for February since it only has 28 days this year – yes, we like to play mind games with ourselves!

Today (Jan 31, 2017) we spent $70.53  I know it doesn’t look like we are off to a great start in minimal spending.  This purchase included dryer sheets, dishwasher detergent, and ziploc bags for the freezer.  I know, plastic bags are bad.  We just find it so much easier to divide the stuff we need to freeze into the bags for later use.  We also purchased eggs, applesause (I make our own during time off, while we are working it gets bought!), yogurt, almond milk, beets, and a pork loin.  This should cover at least 2 dinners and several breakfasts.  We’ll see!  We are also planning to use up as much as possible from the pantry and freezer.  Food will still need to be purchased – we don’t have much extra stored anymore.

Decluttering update:  625 items left our house and garage in January!!  We have over 1/4 of our 2017 gone already!   It’s hard to not be excited!  Kiddo #2 removed 71 stuffed animals and the rest was from our disaster in the garage.  Hard to believe we have so many items that can still leave the house.

Let us know if you decide to try a Super Lean Month as well!  We know Life As I Interpret It will be joining us.  She also did a “sample” month for January.