Month of Scrooge Challenge Week 4.2 and a Summary

Finally the month of February comes to an end and with it my Month of Scrooge Challenge.  As it turns out my efforts to spend as little money as possible instead turned into probably what will be one of the most expensive months of the year.   But hey that’s life and if anything is a reminder of why savings is an excellent idea!

Again feel free to check out my previous weeks posts, Week 1, 2, 3, 4.

And see below how the last two days for the month of February went.

Monday 27/02/17

Today brought with it some car anxiety.  First after the service the previous Friday I had to leave with an orange check engine light and multiple assurances by the mechanic nothing bad would happen.  Therefore it was a return to the mechanic today to try to ascertain the problem.

Also my teenage Toyota got a new scar added to her bumper as I made an incredibly stupid mistake when leaving work the other night and almost tore it off to my frustration.  Thinking I’d have to actually get some smash repair work done due to it hanging over my rear wheel I thought I’d shop around for quotes.  Turns out I didn’t!  The smash repairer smacked it back into place and told me not to waste my money!  What a good guy!

I also decided I deserved breakfast out and purchased myself a coffee and chocolate chip pancake to accompany the gigantic banana I brought from home to eat.

And because I love my junk food I bought a whole load of chocolate goodness and some tortilla chips.  OY!

I renewed my CTP greenslip today and NSW Car registration.  A sum total of $1013.19.   This is not inclusive in the below total because the money has come from my slush fund but jeepers owning a vehicle is expensive!

Spend $19.88

Tuesday 28/07/17

Well thank goodness I have no reason to spend any money today!

Spend $0

Total Weekly Spend $19.88

Total Spend for the month on monthly budget.

Week 1 $55.09

Week 2 $564.53

Week 3 $144.08

Week 4 $549.86

Week 4.2  $19.88

Total Monthly Budget Spend $1333.44

And there you have it folks I have failed my challenge and have overspent my monthly challenge by $88.44

If we were to include the extremely fantastical price I could not pass up on travel to Hawaii and also renewing my vehicle registration for another year the grand total would be in excess of $3000 almost trippling that budget.

Since it came from savings accounts and was completely planned for I have chosen not to include this in the total.  The reality is my survival budget would not include any of these costs.  If it came down to it, to reduce expenses in a dire emergency, I would get rid of my car because I don’t actually need one but I choose to own one.  Secondly I would not be traipsing overseas to Hawaii as opposed to paying for a roof over my head.

Where did I go wrong on my challenge?

What can I say, food is still my current budget nemesis.  My tummy speaks and I react. If I were to curb my love of junk food this cost would decrease significantly, but alas that is still a work in progress.

I also think it is important to have some blow money, something fun in the form of a personal allowance.  I did not however budget an allowance for the month  but spent money regardless as if I did on some very unnecessary items, the lotto tickets and kindle book I’d purchased to name a few.

What about the good stuff?

Well I managed to save a heap of money and to be honest I’m not disappointed with the end result because it is still at a point where I want it to be.  My costs are not excessive and again reinforces the validation of having a well stocked slush fund and savings accounts without any debt whatsoever.

As you’ll note I was able to grab a fantastic deal to Hawaii because I had already begun to save for my next trip.  I was able to pay for my car registration without batting an eyelid though I am peeved that it increases every year despite by car dropping in value.  I could also pay my rent without any trouble even when I was underpaid by my employer!  That my friends is a result of good budgeting and planning for the future.

Now that a major expense for the year is done and dusted I anticipate the next few months to be more financially viable and all about adding money back into my coffers.

Month of Scrooge Challenge Week 4

I am in the final countdown of my Month of Scrooge Challenge and please feel free to click on the link to find out what this is all about!  However if you don’t want to, essentially this is my effort to spend as little money as possible for the month of February.  It helps me to gage where I am in my monthly budgeting costs, and if I am being realistic or just pulling a figure out of thin air.

Feel free to backtrack and check out my spending history in  Week 1, 2 ,3.

Now on to to Week 4!

Monday 20/02/17

I am exhausted today.  I have not been sleeping well over the last week and may need to upgrade my pillows very shortly.  If my neck is not hurting when I wake up, either I haven’t slept long enough or it’s just too damn uncomfortable!  A problem newer, firmer pillows should alleviate, but not this month because I have a challenge to conquer!

I did however manage my daily walk, and cooked up another batch of meals for the coming few days!  This week is red curry chickpeas on rice, and a large rockmelon to chow down for desert!  Looking forward to it!

And a birthday gift of money that was planned for next month came out early due to certain circumstances!  I won’t include this in my budget spend but if I did it is an added $150 which has come out of my slush fund. .

Spend $0 

Tuesday 21/01/17

Despite another night of minimal sleep I felt like I was bouncing around on my walk as if I had a lot of energy to burn.  I also have a few hours of work scheduled tonight.

A chocolate craving hit at the precise time I arrived for work.  Before I knew it I was at Woolworths Double Bay spending money.  I did however score some ciabatta rolls and hot cross buns at a reduced price along with my craving hit!

Spend $6.94

Wednesday 22/02/17

In my efforts to eat down my pantry items I have made a menu a couple weeks in advance.  I am liking that this budget challenge is motivating me to do something I have been meaning to do for months.  It allows me to clear out the old canned foods, dried beans and other bits and pieces that have been sitting around, which also means no food waste!

Spend $0

Thursday 23/02/17

My car needs to be filled and a fresh fruit top up is in order…..along with a few other goodies.

Spend $27.77

Friday 24/02/17

Time has arrived to renew my car registration.  Though it wasn’t budgeted for in my monthly expenses, the funds have already been saved because I have a slush fund.  Now I could’ve chosen to wait to next month a mere 5 days away to renew in order to make my challenge look neat and tidy but I admit I am impatient when it comes to matters like this.  I have to get it done immediately.  Still in my efforts to be transparent here is the cost spend on this today $281.

I also had my monthly haircut and grabbed some fizzy water and other goodies from the grocery store.

Rent also needed to be paid.

Spend $491.15 (not inclusive of my car service)

Saturday 25/02/17

One more late night supermarket run after work.  A few good baked goods scored at half price.  I also purchased a roast chicken for some dinners in the coming week, veggies and fruit.

Spend $24

Sunday 26/02/17

Almost at the end of my challenge but again little reason to dish out the dollars.

Spend $0

Total Weekly Spend $549.86

Month of Scrooge Challenge Week 3

This week has been a spendy week.  It seems I spent money on every single day apart from one.  Crikey! Does this mean my Month of Scrooge Challenge is not going so well?  Read on to find out.

Feel free however to backtrack a little if you are interested in how I went in days whence – Week 1 and Week 2 is available for your perusal.

Monday 13/02/17

I was all set to have a no spend day and depending how you look at it, while I did spend money none of it was towards my monthly budget costs.  In fairness if I did not have a job I would not have spent any money for this but I am all about being transparent when it comes to finance.

So I have booked a return trip to Hawaii because to put it simply the price was too good not to.  The cost of the flight was $516 return via Jetstar (a budget offshoot of Qantas).  Note this price does not include checked luggage, meals or entertainment, but we all know that I am a traveller who can do without these luxuries.  However I did pay an additional $49 each way for the privilege of sitting in the bulkhead seats (more leg space) figuring that it is the one luxury I am willing to pay for on a ten hour flight and is affordable too!

Altogether the total price of my flights was $622.53 (credit card payment fee included).  Now that my friends is too good a price to simply let go!  I also pre-booked a room in a hostel (double bed private) that required a 10% deposit and also paid immediately for travel insurance a must!

Please note also  this cost has not come from my monthly budget but from the designated travel budget which I have set up for this year.  Happy birthday to me!

Spend $0 however if were were to include the travel costs $807.20

Tuesday 14/02/17

Nothing much going on today, a gas top up and my monthly vehicle insurance was debited.

Spend $47.31

Wednesday 15/02/17

Despite efforts to rid myself of junk food I couldn’t help but head out to buy myself a fix.

Junkfood 1 Me 0

Spend $7.34

Thursday 16/02/17

Today was spent reading and catching up on some much needed sleep.

Though I didn’t head out my mobile phone bill was due to be paid

Spend $50.19

Friday 17/02/17

I am finally on the last dregs of my gigantosaurus watermelon. A new fruit top up is in order because breakfast without fresh fruit is heinously wrong!

Some groceries are needed and hopefully that will be it for a a few days or more!

Spend $12.28

Saturday 18/02/17

Busy at work today and no reason to spend any money

Spend $0

Sunday 19/02/17

Try as I might not to, I am seriously craving me some chocolate.  One final grocery shop perhaps and I still have 9 days to the end of the month!

Spend $26.96

Total Weekly Spend $144.08


Month of Scrooge Challenge Week 2

On to week 2 and my challenge to spend as little as I possibly can.  If you have just arrived to my blog you can find out all about my Month of Scrooge challenge right here  followed by how my first week on the challenge fared.

So far I am feeling confident that I will succeed in this challenge, and though it seems easy the truth is I have created habits that have lead me to this point.  It’s important to remember because  it didn’t just happen overnight.  I was at different points in my life, terrible with credit cards not to mention the overpaid cost of my education.

Slowly and surely I have learned new habits and now for the most part I do not think about it.  But I am still prone to my own impulses as a human being and you’ll see in the week that followed I did act on some of them.  As much as I hate it, this is me keeping it real once again for all of you out there.

So how did I do?

Monday 06/02/17

Hot as heck here and the last thing I want to do is move.  So I have settled in for today into a spot of writing, reading and just keeping out of the heat.

Spend $0

Tuesday 07/02/17

It seems I got carried away with how to spend $30million in Oz Lotto.  One lotto ticket purchased online.

I have also finished listening to my audio books purchased through Audible a few years ago.  Every so often I like to re-listen to my favourites and because I walk everyday and get tired of listening to music, I like to listen to books as an alternative when I walk.  Thank you public library for the free top ups.  And they have a series there from Charlaine Harris on there.  (New to me but old series).  So yay means no buying audible books for a while!

Spend $10

(Sadly not a winning ticket…womp womp)

Wednesday 08/02/17

Internet top up today and that’s the extent of it.

Spend $30

Thursday 09/02/17

Some grocery shopping, my rent was also paid and some of it came out of savings this week which is another good reason why savings are important.  There has been a mix up with my pay and I’ve received a mere fraction of what is owed to me.  Something which I usually pick up immediately but for some reason did not discover until later that night.

So to the back up savings it was.

I then spent the better part of the day cooking black beans and batch cooking dinners for the next week.  I’ve been meaning to eat through my pantry for a while in order to restock and get rid of the old, so I will be having a lot of bean, chickpea and lentil dinners as my main meal bases in the foreseeable future.  I love beans, but admittedly have been lazy in the last few months because eating  means soaking, boiling then cooking something in which I loathe.

This challenge however has been the perfect incentive to get it done and not waste food ideal for all frugalities out there.

Spend $507.49 (Rent $440, Groceries and Household Consumables $67.49)

Friday 10/02/17

Hot hot hot today means I pretty much want to do nothing and in turns means no spending.

Spend $0

Saturday 11/02/17

Again the weather is scorching.  It’s a stay inside kind of day with the fan running at full blast!  And on an impulse moment I decided I needed to go buy a dutch mini pancake pan from Aldi.

Turns out they have no pancake pans but since I was there money was spent.

Spend $17.04

Sunday 12/02/17

A little cooler weather but still dang hot in my books.   No reason to spend money today so that’s  a good thing.

Spend $0

Total Weekly Spend $564.53

Who-eeee.  It’s now 16 days to the end of February and at this point I am right where I want to be, lucky considering a very unnecessary purchase this week and last.

Does that mean I have budgeted too much and could’ve gone lower?

Month of Scrooge Challenge Week 1

This challenge has started off being a bit of a humbug.  It seems as soon as I laid the groundwork for my month of scrooge I decided to spend money and on stuff I didn’t even need.  If the start is anything like the end of it I am simply doomed to fail.  Still it’s only been a few days in and I am fairly confident I can pull it all back in!

No time like the present to start clearing the pantry too and I hope to reduce my food costs by eating through the large stock pile of beans and more beans I have had laying around for a while!

Wednesday 01/02/17

I had no spending impulses today, but it was kind of blah and I ended up feeling bored out of my skull.  This is not a good mix for me because when I get bored….bad stuff happens.   I start googling, reading reviews and then I find myself buying a newly released book.  Sure it’s part of a series I have followed for the last three years but I had no intention of buying the final book of the series because the last two have been bitterly disappointing.  Then I began to read the reviews of the book and before I found myself saying no I was clicking yes on Amazon Kindle and purchasing said book.  Grrrr….and to make it worse it wasn’t all that good…..Oh well!

If anyone is interested it’s the Fever Series which up until and including Iced was very good by the author Karen Marie Moning.  Then it all went a skewer when the author decided to reintroduce characters who’s story had already been told…Why?  So there I spent Wednesday night skimming the book because I just had to know what happened.

I also ahem indulged in a bit of fantasy and got carried away in early retirement scenarios and figured I could bypass all that if I won lotto, so I bought a ticket….jeepers!

Spend $31.99 (Book $21.99, ticket $10.00)

Thursday 02/02/17

After waiting twenty minutes on the phone with the NZ Embassy to confirm my passport has been delivered I then ran around trying to locate my passport.  Because of where I live there’s a few places it could’ve ended up!  Also I made butter chicken and rice for a few dinners this week only I subbed the chicken for lentils and chickpeas!  The sauce is a bit too tart for my liking but as long as it’s palatable I will eat it.  Here’s hoping!

Spend $0

Friday 03/03/17

Nightshift does me over.  Must sleep before I turn into a zombie.

I also ate my too tart butter chickpea lentil curry and was pleasantly surprised.  I liked it but admittedly will not be purchasing this sauce again.  I would’ve added some coconut cream if I’d had some to offset the tartness but at least it’s edible.

Spend $0

Saturday 04/03/17

It’s overcast and very humid.  I also had a hard time waking up this morning because it’s the second day after a nightshift and always leaves me feeling whacked out.  Still all is well.  I got my walk in, sweated buckets and now I am aiming for a productive day.  Productive not so much but then I decided perhaps it would be wise to do my grocery shopping top up today rather than Sunday night.

I scored a couple of bargains on cheese and bacon rolls at Woolworths.  They are on special this week $2.90 for four however because I went in the evening they were marked at half price also.  So I got two lots of rolls for that bargain price.

I also topped up on fizzy water and bought a gigantic watermelon for 89 cents a kilo at Aldi.  Only to find out that Coles were selling rockmelon for $2.  Grr…Yes I could’ve bought one as well but in this heat and hardly any room to refrigerate stuff I wisely stuck to my gigantisaurus watermelon instead.  To avoid waste I only buy what I can eat and rarely waste food.

Spend $23.10 (Aldi $12 Woolworths $11.10)

Sunday 05/03/17

Work today and by golly I could not wait to leave and get home.  Only to come out at 10pm and find that it’s hot as a heater outside.  Still because I did my shopping yesterday meant no need to visit Woolworths today.

Spend $0

Total Weekly Spend $55.09