Here’s how the last month shook out:
- Income: Great. Supplemented the stipend with some solid tutoring money and $60 for a research study1Done back in December that also involved a free bowl of oatmeal. Win-win!
- Rent, Internet, Running, Medical/Dental, Charity, Cell Phone, Electric: Pretty standard. Not much to report. We still don’t use the heat, but we’ve got a lot of stuff plugged in and we use the oven and washer/dryer. Still, electric was pretty good this month and I actually paid a little more than 1/3 cause Joe and Other Roommate were gone a lot.
- Groceries: Not bad, but not as good as I imagined it would be given that I had a lot of food going into the month. More on this below!
- Restaurants: Pretty out of control. I’ve been thinking that instead of all these little purchases I should just not eat out at all for 2 months then go to a ridiculously fancy dinner. But that would involve missing a lot of social opportunities. Still might try it. Blog experiment??
- Car: Driving is expensive. I should use the electric bike more often (I’m a wimp in the cold).
- Travel: Out of control as usual.
- Misc: A little high but when Zac Brown Band is coming to your city money is no longer an object. Also I really thought getting rid of ads on the Accuweather app would speed it up but it’s still terribly slow.
- Profit and Saving rate: Crushed it this month! I’ve kind of had an unspoken goal to save $1k in a month for a while now, and I finally did it. Also 38% is my highest saving rate since I started tracking expenses back in September. Great success.
Summary and Averages
|Categories||January||December||Rolling 6 month Average|
|Time to Financial Independence2Based on this. Assumes a starting net worth of $0, so actual numbers are a little better than what’s shown.||22.8 years||29.6 years||29.7 years|
|$ Required to be Financially Independent3Multiply the above by 300||$517,608||$551,007||$555,276|
February Grocery Challenge
For a long time, I’ve felt that I’m really bad at grocery shopping. I just go to the store, wander around, waste time, and even though I’m trying to be frugal still spend more than I expect to. But I think I’ve been getting a little better at it lately, and want to see what I can do if I push myself a little. With that in mind along with inspiration from Lauren’s experience living on a food budget of $2/day, I would like to announce:
THE FEBRUARY GROCERY CHALLENGE: Spend $80 or less per person on groceries this month.
That’s right, I’m challenging YOU to do it with me. And if you already bought groceries before reading this we won’t even count that against you–you can start now. Another caveat: If you’re making something for a super bowl party you can deduct those costs from your total4Since this applies to me, hehe.
The math works nicely in February to exactly $20 per week. My plan is to visit the grocery store 4 times and try to stay under that budget each time. Honestly, when I think about it it seems very doable. But we’ll see if I–I mean WE–can pull it off. Good luck!