Monday 128: Getting Our Feet Wet with Uber Frugaling

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Monday, 23 January 2017

Three weeks into the Uber Frugal Month, and eight days to go.  Who’d have thought that such focus could yield such results?  For us, it is, and will continue to be a good thing.  I am curious as to what others have accomplished – perhaps the Frugalwoods will publish some stories for us.

Anyway, what have we accomplished?  Here is a bit of a list:

  • We changed our phone plan to one which is less expensive than the one we had, still staying with T-Mobile
  • Being more focused on the cost of food and working very hard to stay within the monthly budget of $350, even with a bread-baking party last Saturday.
  • Keeping our fingers off the “buy” button on Amazon has been hard to do – but we are doing it!
  • Focusing on just one month has made us think about more than one month – looking ahead for a whole year, now.

The phone plan covers four people with unlimited data.  We have changed so it will now be about $100 less per month, in part because it will be debited rather than set up to send in a check to pay for it.  We share the cost of this plan with the in-laws, so they pay half of the current (and future costs).  Everyone will win here.

Food costs have been rather high for the last two months, with Thanksgiving and Christmas adding a bit.  This month is the perfect time to regain that focus on what are we doing with our food and our money.  It’s a game, too, knowing that I have the money to spend, but not doing so.

Keeping our fingers of the “buy” button at Amazon has required a bit of self control.  The result, though, is no purchases to date on Amazon, which is rather a shock!  It’s also a form of withdrawal.  The positive side is that the credit card bill will definitely drop.

Focusing on just one month has made us think about more than one month – looking ahead for a whole year, now.  This is really powerful.  For some time I have been thinking of doing a sweep of all leftover money at the end of the month and dumping it into savings.  Uber Frugal Month made me finally create an Excel spreadsheet to project potential savings for the next year by potential extra cash, based on the monthly income and budget needs.  It’s quite a surprise.  Even with property tax – but not income tax – along with an erratic income – we could save almost $13,000.00.  That’s a shock.  And a pleasant surprise.  If we do $11,000.00 I will be very happy as we do have money earmarked for a couple of weeks on the road in August.

I really wish I had known more about money, debt, savings, and investing a long time ago!  Uber Frugal Month is helping us look toward the future in a very new and refreshing way.

 

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