January 2018: uber frugal month?

So I started off 2018 with the goal of doing an Uber Frugal Month challenge (among other goals, with varying degrees of success) for January. And then I broke that with a car repair and a plane ticket to LA over my birthday weekend.

Yet again, here’s where emergency funds are amazing: I didn’t break (much of) a sweat swiping my credit card for either of those transactions (and to be fair, the plane ticket was decidedly not an emergency. That came out of my Tip Yourself savings which is not earmarked for emergencies). Those pushed my spending up much higher this month, but I was not worried about covering them.

I’m leaving for LA next week and I cannot contain my excitement. That $370 is already well-spent and I’m not even there yet!

The numbers

Rent

$1050.00

My half of rent
Internet and utilities

$74.39

My half of utilities, ouch. January/the end of December was cold
Groceries

$156.57

The thing about not spending money elsewhere is that I inflated my grocery spending a bit. I can’t help that Kettle chips were on sale!
Student loans

$110.25

Automatic loan payment
Gas

$8.13

Barre membership

$104.69

Clothing

$31.71

A pair of tennis shoes. I walk 5 miles a day and should probably have more than one pair of walking shoes!
Restaurants/bars

$23.36

Personal care

$18.89

Charitable giving

$95.00

As promised, this is what I made minus taxes for the shift I worked the day of the Women’s March and sent to Planned Parenthood. Because yeah, birth control and women’s reproductive health are important!
Misc shopping

$33.87

I bought some thermal curtains to hopefully keep out some of the cold, mesh produce bags (no more getting plastic ones ever!), and a new water filter for the fridge. I’d say the no-spend month was a success on this front!
Misc dues/subscriptions

$117.00

I prepaid for a year of Spotify to save on two months’ worth, so this is way higher than normal
Medical

$4.63

I’m at the point where I’ve hit my deductible but still need to pay for out-of-pocket expenses like prescriptions
Vacation*

$369.50

I’m going to LA over my birthday weekend!!!!
Car*

$280.40

At least it’s not $350!
Total spending:

$2478.39

Paychecks and other income

$2380.18

Only one of my paychecks in January reflected my newly-raised 401(k) contribution (previously 13%, now up to 20%). This will look lower going forward
Side hustle income

$980.68

This is incredibly high because I got December’s paycheck, and then work switched to sending us our wages weekly through Paypal instead of a monthly check. This was a good month to get paid double!
Total income:

$3360.86

Total:

$882.47

Honestly, even with the two unplanned large purchases, that’s…respectable. Not Uber Frugal Month challenge numbers (although my spending minus those was $1828.49, which isn’t too far off from last month), but not horrible, either.

Savings are great!

I’m going to do here what I did in November and show a slightly different table with my savings app transfers:

Total spending:

$2478.39

Paychecks and other income

$2380.18

Only one of my paychecks in January reflected my newly-raised 401(k) contribution (previously 13%, now up to 20%). This will look lower going forward

 

Side hustle income

$980.68

This is incredibly high because I got December’s paycheck, and then work switched to sending us our wages weekly through Paypal instead of a monthly check. This was a good month to get paid double!
Transfers from savings apps

$649.90

Tip Yourself money for my plane ticket and money from my Qapital goal to build up a $1,000 emergency fund for my car
Total income:

$4010.76

Total:

$1532.37

Heyo, look at that 38% savings rate! It’s cheating to call it that for the month, but it makes me feel better to post that number than the actual number. 🤷‍♀️

Debt payoff

My goal back in December was to have my consumer debt paid off by the end of March. I’m sooooooo excited to say that I’m now predicting it’ll be gone by the end of February instead! And I’ll get a whole extra month of being able to save my side hustle income instead of sending it to debt! (Although maybe I’ll send that extra month over to my student debt instead to get that paid off sooner than my current goal later this year.)

Credit card balances as of January 31st: $2,415.79

Credit card balances predicted for February 28th: $0.

My Qapital savings goal for $1,650 to throw towards credit card repayment just got fully-funded, so that’s a large chunk of the money that’ll have to go towards debt repayment to have it gone. I obviously have more to go, but that’s a bunch of it.

It’s gonna happen, y’all.

19 Replies to “January 2018: uber frugal month?”

  1. Congrats on the consumer debt free! That’s gotta be an awesome feeling and a big weight off your shoulders.

    Side note, I didn’t realize you could pay for Spotify annually up front! Totally doing that right now as I pay for all my siblings (partial Christmas gift) and they really like it so it’s not going away anytime soon.

    1. Thank you! It’s going to be awesome. I might fall slightly short but here’s hoping the incredibly ambitious goal forces me to get it done in the next few weeks!

      Yeah Spotify was running a promo around Christmas of $99 for the year. I don’t know if that’s still an option but definitely worth looking into!

  2. Congrats on being consumer debt free by the end of the month! I also did an Uber Frugal Month in January, but I also booked flights for a summer vacation and paid a years worth of health insurance premiums so total spending is very high, even though I was very frugal otherwise.

    What will your next goal be once you’re consumer debt free?

    1. Thanks, E!

      I’ve got $1k left of student loans so I’ll be knocking that out soon so I’m completely debt-free. After that, I’m going to focus on getting my savings/investing rate as high as possible for a while (and building up a vacation fund since that’s something I’d love to have).

  3. Congratulations on the payoff! That is SUCH a good feeling. You seem like you really have a good handle on where your money is going.

    I can’t believe that’s what they charge for rent in DC! I knew it was expensive but whoa!

    1. Thank you!

      Yeah the horrible thing is my rent is pretty damn cheap for what I’m getting and where I live in the city. It’s super expensive here.

  4. hey Erin!

    I like the idea of the uber frugal month challenge. I had a “no spend” challenge before and I learned a lot from it. It helped me control my spending and challenge myself to have fun at the same time. I learned that I didn’t need a lot of stuff to stay happy.

    Congrats on being consumer debt free by the end of this month! I know you’re going to feel so much more free!! 🙂

    BTW, I think your LA ticket is worth it. I went there last September and it was great. I LOVE it there… the weather is great 🙂 A LOT better than where I am at least (in Toronto) haha!

    1. Thank you! I’m already feeling that freedom and I’m not quite done yet!

      You’re right, it was so worth it. I already want to go back!

      Thanks for reading 🙂

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