Budget Wars | Don’t Break The Bank

August was a whirlwind of a month.

This past weekend was a whirlwind of a weekend.

C’est la vie.

Right?

September is here and with that comes everything fall, including PSL (would you know I’ve never even had one!).

So, as you know, I did a no-spend August. I thought it was going to be difficult, but surprisingly, it wasn’t. As a matter of fact, it seems to have pushed me back into the early days of our marriage – frugality. It literally made me go through and really ask myself if I needed that thing I was after.

So, although I seem to be posting a bit more on the topic of finances, I thought you might like the inside scoop on how we function financially.

Cell Phones

Let’s start with this.

I don’t have a cell phone plan.

Shocker, I know.

In our current society, wi-fi is readily available at any given place – there’s even wi-fi at the parks in our city. Really, the only place I don’t have it is while I’m driving – which would be redundant anyways. So, why do I need a cell phone plan?

I have a used cell phone and I use the MagicJack app for phone calls. I can use iMessage for anyone who has an iPhone and anyone who doesn’t, has my TextPlus number that they can text me at. All of that is free and works great! As far as emergencies go, every cell phone can dial 911.

Food

One of the things Brian and I have lived by (more so Brian than me) is not spending money frivolously on fast food. I have splurged a bit more over the years since our budget isn’t so strict, but we definitely keep it to once or twice in a month.

Shopping

Ok, this is something that can be broken up into a few different categories, but for the sake of this post, I’m going to lump them all into shopping.

Two words.

Price. Match.

I used to go through the flyers and bring them to the store to price match. Now I can just pull up the flyers on the Flipp app and price match through there.

As far as clothes shopping goes, I buy a few key things at outlets, but otherwise, I’ll head to the nearest thrift store.

I have a closet full of furs and leather jackets – all from the thrift store. The most I paid for any of that was $35 for the mink fur.

One of my favourite pieces of furniture in my house is my beloved mint green swivel rocking chair. I found it at the local thrift store and it was in pristine condition. It was being sold for $14, but they were having a flash sale on the day I went and I got the chair for $7. For real. You can’t beat that. Except maybe if your mom sits in it and it flips her backward – sorry Mom.

Now, you’re probably all wondering if I spend all my savings on makeup from Sephora. The answer? No. I usually redeem my credit card points on Sephora gift cards, thus creating the ability to purchase some higher end makeup products.

Which brings me back to the whole reason for this post.

Last weekend was the Sephora VIB appreciation sale and I redeemed some credit card points for a Sephora gift card. I had fully planned on ordering everything in my cart.

Except.

I got home and opened my cart, analyzed if I really needed all of those high-end products and it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t want to waste that money – even if it was a gift card. Every day of the sale I went back to my cart and asked myself if I really needed those items. You know what? I couldn’t answer. I just kept walking away from it.

So, the sale is over. My gift card is still sitting on my desk. My cart is still full. My life still carried on.

Sometimes we think that we need things to make us happy. When, although some things can make life easier, they won’t ever make you truly happy. I want to leave a legacy for my kids and grandkids…not a bunch of things attached to debt.

There are many other little tidbits like banking with no service fees, waiting for sales, etc. that we live by in our budget, but I think these are the main ones.

Budget Wars | August 2018

One of the most common things I heard after we paid off our mortgage was about how rich we now were.

I realized that people didn’t really get it.

Now, maybe it isn’t like this for everyone, but the few people I know that paid off their mortgage were all in the same boat…

Recovery.

Yes, recovering from paying off your mortgage. For us, we put aside things for a long time (like decorating our house) so that we could focus on getting out of debt. So once that mortgage payment was null, it wasn’t like we all of a sudden had $380,000 in the bank. I mean, that would be great if it worked that way! However, it doesn’t – unless we sold the house and became homeless.

Now we are at the place where we still have all of these things that we need to do to the house, so we are saving that mortgage payment until we have enough to get ‘er done.

So, that leads me to August.

Budget life.

August budget life.

No spending August budget life.

Yes, that’s right. I’ve decided I’m going to go the whole month of August without spending extra.

Guess what that means.

Bare minimum groceries

When Brian and I were first married and actually had no money, I spent $50 every other week on groceries. We survived. I’m sure we can do it again. Right?

Passing up amazing deals

I am one of those people who has an extremely hard time passing up a deal. I’ve recently run out of a few staple products that I use and they were available to add-on to my FabFitFun order for a fraction of the price – like I mean $7 instead of $30 and $20 instead of $100. Then I thought about it. I can live without these products. AAACCKK!! Yes, it’s true. Luxury is just that, luxury. Not necessity. I’m sure I can deal without these products for a bit.

Putting makeup on the shelf

Ok, I don’t actually mean giving up makeup. I do mean putting it back on the store shelves – not buying it. This one is a bit hard for me because I’m running low on lots of makeup products. For instance, I ran out of my foundation and I’m extremely low on my face cream. However, I have samples kicking around and will use those until September.

Funny story – I used a sample of foundation the other day that was a few shades too dark for me. No biggie. I just blended it well, wore clothes that helped and made it work. A friend saw me in the hall at Church and commented about how tan I was. I chuckled to myself and graciously said my thanks. Little did he know that all that tan would be washed down the drain later that day.

No take-out

This one is a stretch – especially because yesterday I took a nap and while I was sleeping Brian ordered a pizza. I mean, I wasn’t mad at the decision. Cheese Wheelz pizza is only the best pizza around! Plus, I didn’t have to cook. Wow, I’m totally distracted. Let’s move on.

Brian and I have Fridays off together, so we typically go out for breakfast for a cute little morning date/debrief from the night before. It’s one of my most treasured dates with him. However, this summer we have set aside our breakfast place to save that little bit.

We also used to order pizza or Chinese food or something once a week. That’s also something we’ve limited over the summer.

The great thing about this decision is that it’s forcing me to learn some mad cooking skills. I mean, I need my kids to like more than just my grilled cheese and chicken nuggets.

There are a few other things that I’m doing to save money, but all in all, I really just ask myself if it’s a necessity or if there’s a more efficient way to get it done. If it’s a necessity, I will buy it; if it’s not, I will pass it up.

Are you a spender or a saver? Is it hard for you to go a month without extra spending? Do you classify makeup and takeout as necessities? Am I crazy for doing this or do you think any little bit will help? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.