Frugaler February: Recap

It’s time to recap how we did during Frugaler February! Sure, you’re reading this on February 27 and chuckling “but there’s still today and tomorrow!” I, however, only have time to write on February 27, so this post is what you get.

As you may recall, here are the rules:
  1. Eating in restaurants is limited to once a week.
  2. Coffee out is fine if it means I’m working in a coffee shop on my projects for a couple of hours. Muffins and related yummies are now generally on the no-go list (the expanding waistline is real, and I like baking more than coffee shop muffins).
  3. Don’t shop much–this is generally easy. Buy mostly essentials/needs, avoid the rest.
  4. I must move this body at least 3-4x/week. I’d gotten one good week in in January, after having an endless cold, only to spend most of last week injured. Ha. So this category needs work.
  5. Less booze. I like to imbibe. A glass of wine at night is fine by me. But maybe fewer nights? And probably not out as much, since booze is big money when it’s not happy hour.
So how’d we do?

We did generally very well at this. We ate out on Fridays, capping our weeks with a dinner we didn’t cook. We cheated twice-ish: once, we also got Chipotle on Saturday, and last Sunday friends we hadn’t seen in a while invited us over for games and Chinese take-out. The perk here is that technically Sunday started a new week, one that ends on a Thursday, so we did a pretty stellar job here. Another minor purchase: I got a slice of pumpkin bread and a yogurt parfait in the caf yesterday because I was hungry and working a very long day. It was worth the $4.75, but technically I broke the rules.

Category 1.

I broke the rules twice. Once, I got coffee as I started a long drive on a bleak gray day. And yesterday I got one on the way in to work for my very long day; I didn’t have coffee left in my office as I’d forgotten to get packets at the grocery store this last weekend. Not too bad, tho.

Category 2.

We did a great job here, tho things cropped up we didn’t initially expect that became essential-ish. One, decorations for a party we’re throwing for my inlaws this weekend. Two, a little gift for a young friend of ours who turned 12. Three, a donation to the endowment of an org I preside over that I meant to make in January and needed to make before our board meets this Friday 😆

Category 3.

Unrelated to money, but related to money. I signed up for StepBet–this was a $40 outlay that should go under category three, except that if I do what I’m supposed to do, I get my $40 plus some. I’m considering it neutral cash but the threat of losing $40 makes me get my steps in daily. I’ve been walking around the mall, over and over, on these cold days. I hate the mall, so this tells you how much I value $40.

Category 4.

Yeah, I probably did the least well here. I got a drink with every Friday dinner, and last night bought one while on a work dinner (work won’t buy booze). That’s my guiltiest splurge throughout February. I generally only imbibed on class days and weekends, so that’s some cutting back, but if I mean to do this, I need to actually mean to do it.

Also part of Frugaler February was reconsidering my kickboxing membership; I’m letting it go for now because I rarely make it, so that’ll save me $600. I may spend it later, but not now.

Overall, we did really well.

We had some unexpected essentials–an expensive plumbing repair and ill cat. What can you do. But we didn’t go out when bored (really hard in the long, dark winter) and we ate damn near everything we cooked and cooked nearly everything we ate. We won’t really see the benefits until my February credit card statement, which closes right about now, comes due at the end of March, but it’ll be really nice to have that smaller bill.

In the meantime, it’s almost Moderate March.
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