Itís time that I posted, before I do the next monthís Financial Summery.
I only just updated my Excel so here are the figures for past month not posted so far.
This for period of 28 days each as I looks like I missed one somewhere. As I work on 28 day cycles, my dates may be out to calendar months so here are the figures that will bring it up to date as its every near the end of next 28 day cycle.
Reviewing my monthly daily living allowance
These are the categories for this challenge.
Items === Approx. Budget===Spent
Clothes ====$35===== $24.00
Fares== ====$15 ====$10.00
Entrainments== $15 ===$66.35
Gifts & Donations ==$35===$45.60
Medical & Diabetes Expenses ===$6.05
Personal Allowance =$90 ===$85.34
Note only one amount is a no spend
Budgeted for this period $550 spent $292.27 so under budget by $252.73
No spending days 14 of 28 days
Personal allowance covers confectionery, lotto, books, stamps, craft & hobby supplies.
Eating out including meals out with family and friends, we all go Dutch.
As for Medical & Diabetes Expenses - this is the extra out of pockets amounts that came up over this period just on medicine that is not covered be refund claims.
My credit cards are still paid in full each month this period I finished paying off my painting and awning that were put on Credit Card it was $937.00.
I do keep my bill money separated from this summery. This year I will be budgeting around $650 per period month to cover all my bills and bills for this period it came to $173.41
My grocery bill came in under budget for this period.
If any changes to my spending habits will need to come out of my daily living allowance categories of my budget as my bill categories are very tight now. I was very tight in some areas of this daily living allowance over this period but I did work out in the end.
Still need to work on a Grocery category and personal allowance as I got to stop spending money on books, I think this is my biggest downfall most of my personal spending is spent on books.
I am donating some old books to a number of charity stops around the place that I will never read or never read again as I need the plastic containers that they are stored in as this will save money by recycling the plastic containers that I own.
Strategy - Do remember what you have stored before you go and buy more of the same.
Strategy: - Track your daily spending down to the cent by writing it down daily.
Viewing the 'Downsizing' Category
Itís time that I posted, before I do the next monthís Financial Summery.
For someone that doesnít do a lot of gardening I have a lot of stuff that are garden items. What I have done will stop me buying items that I have already bought and need to be used up. I do gardening in waves when I have the energy to work on it. We have the right weather for gardening here! I just that I do it so rarely other than mowing the lawn it takes me so long to do the whole garden front and back.
I needed to get started on redoing the storage areas so that the painters can work in that area. The less I need to move later the better. I would like to just move just once when the painter arrive and not need a clean-up then. So anything not needed, I will dump now and other things stored in other areas. I have started working on the smallest storage area will work my way through all three areas over the next few weeks putting all the same items back together again. If I donít find what I need at the time I go and buy more and then when I have these clean-out I find have double of some stuff and none at all other items.
I finally got around to getting some quotes on my painting the outside. Still waiting for the last one to come in then will decide.
Strategy - Do remember what you have stored before you go and buy more of the same.
I finely finish culling my pictures and getting them back to one set of pictures each. I donít know how many copies of my sonís trips were in the download but I just kept seeing the same pictures now the fun part is tagging these pictures in Window 7 Picture Gallery. Seeing that there were over 24000 pictures to start with and I do have a job on my hand, I am planning to just do my own pictures and scanned ones. The others I will burn to DVD and remove some too!
I bought my next voucher for my prepaid mobile phone this costed $40.00 and thinking of have one ahead so will buy another voucher in the next week or so, so that I am ahead as the place that I buy them from isnít open on the weekends.
I went shopping today and bought a new iron for less than half price off the RRP of $79.00.
This is the fifth in this series
I eat very basic plain food so I can get away without having all these artificial additives in my food more about that later. I do buy canned food and packaged goods but only the one I want and are good for my health. If I donít understand what in the product from reading ingredient list, I am likely to leave it on the shelf.
On occasions I will find a very good buy in the marked down bin of item that I could make from a recipe found in cookbook or on the internet, I then may buy it to try out then find a way in making that item myself, I do keep the packaging or label for a reference then set out to find similar recipes or methods to make that item. You have to remember that we in Australia do not have any coupons like you have in America so the price you see on the supermarket shelf is the price are going to pay unless itís marked down or on special in some way.
Single household shopper may not need 10 cans or packets of the same to get these specials deals so we will need to look for other ways or places that sell in singles a can or packet at that price. The other day I saw an offer of Mars candy bars 18 share packs in store the shelf price $2.79, near it was a table with these same Mars candy bar share packs with $4.00 on it didnít make sense so I asked the staff about it, it was buy 2 packets @ $4.00 or single pack @ $2.79. They are doing this quite a lot lately with other lines.
Only you can workout what food you like and get in your local area you live in.
Here in Australia we can get most things but if they are imported name brand as listed in American or British recipes they can be far too expensive on limit food budget. The answer is in substitution of local or cheaper items from your own area. So look at whatís cheaper in your area and learn to like and cook with these kinds of foods.
I do buy canned tomatoes as I have worked out that when fresh are expensive then I can use the cans for cooking. I try to grow some cherry tomatoes to use in fresh salad and use canned tomatoes for cooking. Only buy when on special at the cheapest price you can find. For a single household just buy 6 - 10 at a time unless you are making soup out of them. I bought 50 cans of tomatoes a few years ago now I still have 7 cans left to use. Far too many!
As for frozen goods I only buy the basic vegetables single packets of spinach, peas, beans & corn and a store brand mixed a vegetable that is diced for quick use, if money is real tight then mixed vegetables and peas and use whatís cheapest in fresh only and make do with these. As for the others frozen good on if the special is 50% off or bigger packet for the same price and then on special I may buy some at times.
I do buy jams buying only the ones I will use in a can and decant it into jars. As for honey I buy 3kg containers of my favorite when I can then decant this overtime the last lot took 3 years to use up but then honey will keep for 7000 years if sealed well.
Bottle sauces, spices & herbs, vinegars these will brighten up your dishes. Look into buying one or two seasonings starting with salt & pepper in each shopping trip so budgeting for these over time will build a good supply up.
Bottle Sauces over time buying a few that match your foods that you eat and in your recipes that you are using. There are some recipes around that will give list of what you need for this. Look into make your own sauces too! I will buy some fancy sauces for some dishes so that I know how they taste like but then look for a more basic version or these if they are in the bargain bins then will buy them again if cheap enough.
With spices & herbs I will buy a little bigger size than the supermarket size and give some of it away to friends if they use it! I have found that buying it in Asian or ethnic specialty grocery store I can buy it for around same price but almost 3 times a much. So check your supermarket out in their normal spice & herb area then ethnic specialty area for a price check & sizes then out outside for other specialty grocery store or deli.
See what you like in the way of pasta, rice, grains that you use to bulk out your meals. Just buy the variety you will use not every variety named in cookbooks. I use basmati rice and buy this on special in 2 to 5 kg bags. Forget buying in small bags unless you are just trying out to see whether you like it or not. Keep rice & pasta in the refrigerator if you have room there. But well sealed, I keep them there but the open container is out on the bench to use. Rice has a bay leaf in it.
Vinegars are a must have in the kitchen but only buy what will use in your kitchen use and in small amounts unless you are making chutney and pickles. Check your recipes for what ones you need and then buy them over time.
Cereals can be handy but expensive so I stick to just one, rolled oats or oatmeal and in the summer I may make up a http://tightwadkitty.savingadvice.com/2007/02/25/my-special-...
I use powdered skim milk (nonfat milk) for all my dairy needs. I will buy if I find some UHT milk on special then I will buy 2 cartons to have on hand for visitors and use up myself when it come nears the use by date.
Over the years I have been able to make a stockpile of extra foods mainly when GFC was on and now working my way though this, to reduce it down to a more normal level to buy when Iím are opening the one to use or 4-6 spare. I will not be affected if there is another recession any time soon.
My main aim now where possible use & buy on basic items that you can make food from scratch, thatís most food lines sold in supermarkets today. Somewhere on the internet you will find that recipe you will need or just look at the ingredient list on the can or package for clues of what should be in it.
Forget all the humbo jumbo of flavor enhancers, preservatives, emulsifiers, vegetables gums etc, do you want things to last that long. If they are natural and can be bought easily you could use them at a pinch.
This is a short run down of somethingís I am doing to shop without coupons.
Some other ideas can be found in this ebook Save on Grocery Shopping on this http://filebox.vt.edu/a/anflynn/ebooks/grocery.pdf
In our area itís this time of the year again, over a full year about 8 suburbs get a week get to put out rubbish thatís too big for our bins, you are allowed to put out only certain items but you do get a list of what can be put out. Like old electrical items or furniture but the some things you have to take any doors off to make them safe and children canít climb into them. I put out two very old TV 30 year plus ones, well the copper scavengers came calling the first night they took the electric cords off everything, next day some more came with cordless drills and took all the valuable metals inside the TVís and microwaves. They can have it as they had been sitting here for next Kerbside Pickup anyway.
I did a bit of scavenging myself; I found a good dinning room chair that just needs coat paint and cushion. 10 medium size garden pots that I have run out off, waste tidy bin that just need a wash, pair of old fashioned salt & pepper shakers that I will sell or give to Op Shop, Maui Girl brand new backpack, hemp shopping bag Save the Planet kind, folding cooler bag that will be ok to keep in the car, a print of old city will need to have better look at it but not valuable, piece of green cloth thick and big enough to make a bag or cover a stool with and small galvanized letter box still usable.
If I went out and bought this all stuff I would be looking at around $160 worth. The chair alone is worth $80 at IKEA new, Backpack $30 as itís a brand one and I pick up a second one just awhile ago not so new but washable again Maui Girl brand.
Itís time to start removing some of the papers around here, I just picked up a file in the filing cabinet at random and it just had old flyers for school supplies for 2004. Now why did I keep them itís time to move forward I think? I am still working on the very old print outs, as I do have quite of number of folders to go though. If they donít make any sense then they are going, I donít think I will ever finish this task any time soon.
When I first got my computer & printer, I didnít connect to the internet for a few years as I was still learning about computers & printers. I didnít know much about downloading so I printed off the net when first got it. Now itís time to go though some of these old printouts that I had made then. This was when money was very short and I became very interested in frugal living or ways of cutting costs big time. Some of these printouts are no longer available on the net or very hard to fine as these websites have been revamped or closed down years ago. Anything of interest now I will keep and get rid of the rest as most are more than 10 years old. The only one that I still can get online is http://www.stretcher.com/index.cfm all the others have gone or no longer have this information.
Some of it makes very interested reading now and I can see how these did shape my ideas over time but its time to let go.
Over the past few weeks I have been working my way though Garage Sale (Yard Sale) storage area. This is the area which I place anything needs to go at some time. I have had a few tradesmen here over the past year or so and have not got into that area for while. If any needed to be move they just move it out of the way and everything ended up in that area. So that I no longer know whatís there for certain anymore!
Very near my storage area for my bulk toilet paper and empty bottle stash. As I couldnít get into this area without a clearout but I didnít find any toilet paper so far but found 5 large boxes of empty bottles. I will cull them down to one box and give away or recycle all the others.
Two boxes in the front on left are to be culled further and all the others boxes to be recycled or given to a jar maker in the basket. They are just taking up to much room.
Update:- I will put up the photo again when crashing of photos stops.
I have set up a zoning system for my house downstairs, there is about 15 Zones in all for that part of the house. This way I can work on one zone at time and not feel overwhelm by how much there is to do or being able to fine something if I need to look for it. As each zone have only the simular things in it. So when you tidy it up after removing anything unnecessary stuff its easy to find things. All the boxes are labelled that will give you an idea what may be inside but not labelled in away that would make it easy to take a box and you would not know about it. As most are books so learning would be Brain food. This is one box that will go when I get to it next but it not in Zone 7.
I did about hour there; I did find a few empty boxes from items that I bought that are no longer under warranty so I could remove them to the recycle bin. I also found one box of books that needs a new home so I empty one plastic container of odd and ends and use it. Again the label tells me whats likely in it but not a stranger. It looks a lot better I will do some more work in that area until I am finish. Its 4 metres square as are most of the Zones in my system. Today I am planning to review the odd and ends that I remove from that container. I have five large containers or bags to check on before I finish this Zone 7 or I get bored with it. I will find a few treasures in these containers as when I clean up for visitors, I bag or box up everything that in the way and take it downstairs.
I do need to get into the one next door to it soon! It will be falling on the floor if the cats have a play in that area.
No Spending Day
Oh dear what I have I started here!
Its time to use the make up and toiletries that I have in one of my stockpile cupboards, most are now out of date so they cant be sold but are all sealed so I use them over time. Just need to remember what is there. Enough deodorants, soaps, shampoo and conditioners, tooth paste, toilet paper, foundations, lipsticks, hand creams, face creams and masks to last a few years.
What was I thinking of buying more shampoo and conditioners when I had so many in the first place. I do use a lot more conditioner that shampoo so will start by using up some of the samples that I have first of whatever there is there.
I did sell for Avon at one time and bought a lot of samples then stop selling, I need to use up this stuff first, same goes for some of creams and masks too! Its almost 5 years since I bought it and I am still using this stuff up. I have been taking samples away with me when I went on holidays but my holidays are so few now!
Here just a sample of my sample stockpile
Shampoo& conditioners - 10 of one kind
Shampoo -6 of another kind
Shampoo & conditioner of Head & shoulders -10 sets from sample bags these are most the latest ones.
Two Face masks tubes so very old that plastic tube are perished and have emptied them into a container as they were the same kind. Plus 20 sample masks to use up before I start on any of the six that are there tubes.
I just gave myself my first mask for a year. That was with my 12 year old stuff with perished tube. I do know how old it is as it has my old job store tags still on it.
Oh dear! Waste Not, Want Not and this is just the tip of the pile.
I banked $50 today