February Expenses and Grocery Challenge Results!

Last month, I challenged myself (and you!) to try to spend $80 or less on groceries in the month of February. Well, I am here to tell you that I…….

FAILED!

But I wasn’t super far off, and I learned a lot. I spent a grand total of $92.98 on groceries, which is still my lowest month in the last 8ish months since I started tracking expenses. There are a few caveats. That does include a whole chicken plus some herbs I used to make it that I brought to a super bowl party. It also includes some snacks I had to bring to a meeting. And half a pork shoulder for another party. On the other hand, my mother shipped me some Amazon groceries1She forgot the challenge was going on. as a Valentine’s Day gift (thanks, Mom) which I happily consumed. So I semi-unintentionally “cheated”. Anyway, I think it all comes out even in the end, so I’m still saying I failed.

Still, less than $25 a week isn’t too bad. It was mainly accomplished through buying cheap or discounted items from Kroger. Like chicken in the ballpark of $1/lb, not quite expired yogurts for 19 cents each, and fruits that are on the cheaper side like whole pineapple.

Will I continue to spend <$100/month? Heck no! I just went to costco and spent almost that much today :). But I do have a new reference point though. I know what’s possible. And I think the exercise has made me a more thoughtful grocery shopper. I’ll probably try it again in the future.

Mostly due to a low grocery and restaurant budget, this ended up being a pretty good month:

Income was pretty standard. I tried my hand at electric scooter charging. I think it’s mostly not worth it, unless you don’t value sleep very much and have some extra time on your hands. If I didn’t spend most of my free time running, I’d probably do it more. Maybe I’ll write a full post about it sometimes. That sounds like fun.

Speaking of running, that was a big expense category this month, but I also won some prize money at a race which I think I’ll actually receive in March. That should take care of that! I was also hit the $450 Sapphire Reserve annual fee, which I just called $150 since I’ve already received my $300 travel credit this year. Even with the annual fee of the Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Trifecta is still the best credit card combo available.

Alright, time to look at some averages. I’m starting to really like this >30% saving rate in the last couple months.

Categories  February January Rolling 7 month Average 
Saving rate  34.0% 38.0%  28.6% 
Time to Financial Independence2Based on this. Assumes a starting net worth of $0, so actual numbers are a little better than what’s shown.  25.2 years 22.8 years  29.0 years 
Monthly Expenses  $1724.68 $1725.36 $1832.89 
$ Required to be Financially Independent3Multiply the above by 300 $517,404  $517,608  $549,863 

Until next week!

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