Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wrapping up Low-Spend January

Wow, keeping track of things is so much harder the longer you put it off.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am closing January as of 1/25, since I won't be spending anything anymore. So, for Carla's Low Spend January, these are my totals...

I had a monthly budget of $100 for gas, $120 for groceries and $80 for misc/personal expenses. That was it. A total of $300 to spend on everything else that wasn't a bill or debt. Sounds reasonable.

During January, I managed to:
- Spend $102.94 in food. $17.06 leftover.
- Spend $52.00 in misc/personal. $28 leftover.
- Spend $84.52 in gas. $15.48 leftover.
- 24 no-spend days (including 5 future days, but I know for a fact I wont be spending)
- Two nights out having fun.

And I still kept it under budget? Heck yeah. Total leftover is $60.54. That will be used as a snowflake towards CC1. I am most surprised about the gas being under budget. I literally used a whole full tank to pay for the weekend I went to watch movies and then watch the football game, but apparently, I was still under, and my car is now the proud owner of a full tank. Again. I spoil that car too much.

Slightly ashamed of how high my personal budget is, considering it mostly goes on going-out nights. I still need to buy a pair of black work shoes and a pair of jeans to replace the ones that got paint all over them this past summer. But thanks to Carla [cough cough] the jeans will have to hold off, as she already has us gearing up for a second round of Low-Spending!

Her new title is Boot-Camp Sergeant. I did a double/triple-check on her last post about the Low-Spending February, and she mentioned 'another challenge' in March... the slave driver! (We still love her though. It's good to have someone to push us on these things.) So I'll be writing about that later on, as I have to modify the decluttering challenge because of my own restrictions.

As for the rules given back in January...
1. Track purchases. Done.
2. Start with the “sealed pot challenge”. Done too.
3. Menu plan & shop from a list. Yup! This helped a lot.
4. Find free & cheap activities to have fun. Failed, I think. $28 for movie tickets and $15 for pizza to watch the game arent free activities. But they were definitely fun.
5. Focus on simplicity, organizing, & donating/tossing. Fail. I still have the bag of clothes mocking me. I've never really donated clothes or anything else (I often just give them to my dad and he takes care of it).
6. Pay off cut-off emergencies. None happened. That I know of. Hurray!
7. No “pre-stocking-up”. Done.
8. Switch to all-cash. Done for the most part. I may resume during March or April, but I'm going back to cards for February.

Glad tomorrow is Friday! Thanks for the challenges, Carla! It will be hard to top this up in February, but I will certainly try.


  1. I hope February is even better for you!

  2. You did awesome on the challenge! What a great snowflake to put towards your cc! And you are right, she is a boot-camp Sgt!!!

  3. Great job on the challenge. Carla rocks!!

  4. She does keep us going doesn't she? We would all be out here messing around with our measly debt repayment strategies, and she kicks our butts into these challenges. But I have to say I do better with them. The thought that I will have to admit failure just isn't an option. Go buy some new pants!

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    1. sorry misspellings! -great job in january! we all do love carla - she is like boot camp ;) love it

  6. It looks like you did really well!

  7. You did awesome this month!! You should be proud of yourself!! I'm looking forward to see what you do next month & you crossing off your "donate bag of clothes" off your list!!! ;)

  8. Well done Tanner! I'm simply amazed at your frugality! It costs me about $50 to fill up my car, and it's a very small car! So I don't know how you did it! Keep it up!

  9. good job! my husband and i are doing a frugal fast for february...this should be fun (NOT!)