Monday, March 20, 2017

Five and Five: A March Progress Report

I haven't taken a good look at my frugal wins in comparison to my budget busters recently. More than half way through March with spring on our door step, seems as good a time as any to reflect. I'm focusing on things that could perhaps have been avoided or done differently, and things I was successful at doing differently, not just the regular course of life such as wedding and shower gifts and daughter now driving. However, taking advantage of on-line deals saved money on the wedding/shower from, and insurance is drastically lower for good students, so we tok advantage of our daughters smarts

Let's start with the bad and get it over with.

Clogged Sink Fix- $319 later and I have a functioning sink. That is good, because I have been limping along for far too long. Reminder to self, to do more to keep it from clogging in the first place.

New Vacuum- At $148 including tax, not on sale and not part of the planned spending. I am using household maintenance and appliances for both these two costs, so the money is there. However, those dollars would have been better spent on repairs or enhancements that add or keep value, not maintenance, but life  and dirty homes are like that.

Extra Gas- I split my first Friday off into to afternoons due to work reasons. I also did not have any telecommuting days as I've been playing catch up since missing so much work in February due to illness. Combined, this meant two extra trips into the cities, costing a minimum of $13 in extra gas, and if the federal mileage costs are accurate, $69.44 in total care expenses at $0.56 per mile.

Food waste- Just plain and simple, too much. I had done  a medium shop in mid February, and so many items never got eaten or used up, shoved to the back of the refrigerator. This month I threw cottage cheese, moldy lettuce, slimy spinach, and orange juice as a few examples. As hard as I try, we seem to have more still than I think is acceptable.

Shower planning and a second glass of wine-Well, I didn't need any wine, when I met my sister n law to plan our nieces shower, but I had tow glasses.It was already a day where I left for work at 7:00, and wouldn't be home until nearly 10:00, so decided to indulge a little. Still $6.75 a glass, at a pizza pub, might be a bit steep. DH was happy with the pizza leftovers at least.

And the Wins-

Thifted brand new dress pants- At $8.99, a pair with tags still on, priced in the store at $50 came home with me. My work wardrobe is quite lacking these days, and these are a good neutral gray that will work with the transitioning weather.

Made use of wedding shower leftovers-As much a frugal win for DD1 as me, we ate up the food leftovers, and I am buying back unused items that otherwise might have gone to waste.

No baggage check fees- another frugal win for my off spring, as DD2 ended up not having to pay checked luggage fees as she carefully packed to fit in a carry on size. It could have cost her $80 extra for her trip expenses, and instead, she came home with that money. 

No late fee-DH noticed VISA added a $27 dollar late fee. We are not late with bills, so called, and no questions asked, was removed and credited.  

Skipped lunch delivery last Wednesday-This was happenstance, but the office team ordered lunch one day, and I must not have been around. I happily joined them with my own home packed lunch. I still had the camaraderie without the hefty cost. 

How about you? Where were you able to keep expenses at bay, and where did you find dollars leaving your wallet quicker than you would have liked? 

14 comments:

  1. Life happens and vacuums are necessary for most of us. I would not count that as a win or loss. It is a "just happens" item.
    Congrats on all your successes and truth be told we all have tossed slimy spinach or liquid bell peppers or whatever. It just happens also!

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    1. I'm bothered that vacuum purchase was spur of the moment and no researching price, but it was essential.

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  2. Just being curious, what brand vacuum cleaner you bought?
    I don't have that much food waste. Very careful to freeze the over purchased produce. I usually don't buy orange juice.

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    1. It was a Shark, with a removable canister-trying to save my back! I go in streaks where I do really well on food waste,and then things get out of control due to something like a vacation, illness, work project, and I lose my attention to what is on hand.

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  3. Lots of successes in there. Excellent. Car needed a new fan belt and brake pads, but we did manage to get some deals on the paint. I guess doing the decorating ourselves is also a saving. Arilx

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    1. If you need a car, it is a necessary expense, but oh how I hate the unexpected repairs,even when we set money aside just in case.

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  4. ALWAYS money leaving my wallet/debit card too fast...
    But that's life in the McVal house.
    We've had the same vacuum for just almost 20 years. I'm the only one that knows how to use it... :\

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    1. Wow-that is a good vacuum. My old one works, it just gets clogged so fast an din places that are difficult to unclog, so I end up spending way too much time doing housework, then I let it build up, which make sit worse.

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  5. I think our most eye-watering unexpected bill this month has been the £202.00 that I spent on the cat today.... A trip to the vet, injection and three months supply of drugs. Jx

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    1. But our fir babies need those things. We will have the spring round for pup soon.

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  6. If I make it to the end of March without digging into savings it'll be a miracle! I'm trying to use my misc budget line for a few other things this month, like buying british pounds and paying for an oil change and tire rotation. Realistically those two bills should be covered by savings but I'm trying to keep all the $$ in my savings accounts. It's a bit of a game, a challenge, so we'll see if I can do it or not. My frugal hack for the month has been MAKING my contributions to get togethers (baked a cake etc) instead of purchasing goodies at a much higher price.

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    1. Stretch months like March are tough. We are aided because the way the calendar falls, it is three paycheck month, but otherwise, we would probably be there as well.

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  7. It's been an expensive month for us; some planned, some unexpected. Payday is this Friday and it can't come soon enough!

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    1. And your attic room is completely wonderful! I am amazed at how you stretch the funds and have created such a home that any top designer would struggle to pull together, with 10X your investment. They wouldn't have you though. Cheers to pay day Friday1

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