Wednesday, February 3, 2021

I am linking up today with The Stylish Six here!

During the month of January, I participated in a frugality challenge from Frugalwoods blog. I did not take it to the extreme, but it was a way to re-set after the excesses of the holidays.

I think that frugality gets a bad rap. Do not confuse it with cheap, stingy, or any other word with a negative connotation. To me, it means to save where I can or when it does not matter to me so that I can spend out (a Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin term) or splurge where it does matter to me. Example: I am happy with library books and I think about how much money that frees up for shoes! Ha!

The other point I want to make is that money is a very personal issue. It is easy to look at others and judge, but that is really not for us to do.

“Frugality is not about depriving yourself; it is about being strategic with your resources.”

I really enjoy the Frugalwoods blog. The posting is not really very regular, but when they do post, it is very well thought out and very thought-provoking. They also have a book! I have now participated in their Uber Frugal Month a few times. I am not too strict about it like I mentioned, but it does reign you in. Each day you get an email asking you to examine different aspects of your life. The above is from one of the daily posts.

Grocery Bill: The boys were still home until January 9. They also came home for MLK three day weekend and were home parts of other weekends. I want to make sure their favorite foods are in the house and I want them to feel comfortable. I got our grocery bill down to $400-$500 when it was just Tom and I from August-November and I was pretty happy with that!

Kroger – January 6 – $88

Kroger – January 13 – $101

Kroger – January 16 – $70

Kroger – January 16 – $22

Amazon Smart Pop – $10

Kroger – January 20 – $109

Kroger – January 25 – $95

Kroger – January 29 – $75

Total for January: $570

Notes: This seems kind of high, but January is a LONG month and it was for four people for some of the weekends with very little take out. I am o.k. with this. Also, it was almost all online grocery shopping. I only set foot in Kroger maybe twice this month? Also, I was intentional and kept record so that made me more aware. I also really have learned to use my freezer and to cut down on food waste. Plus, can I mention how many nights I cooked when I did not want to? I feel like the money saved those nights should go to my shoe fund, too!

January Amy Clothing/Hobby:

Did I need anything? That is not the point! I feel like this is my hobby, too. I do not really have any hobbies that require money. Maybe cooking when I need a specialty ingredient or piece of cookware?

I started out really strong with very few purchases, but then I picked up speed. I do want to say that I had at least a 24 hour waiting period on each item.

Here are my January purchases:

This cream tunic with pockets came as a set with the fuzzy vest that is up next. I bought this from a Facebook boutique. It is a very thick material and I think it is good quality.

It came with this fuzzy vest. The set was $40. I have actually worn the vest with black more than with the cream tunic. I love this vest. It is so luxurious feeling. It is also a nice quality.

This is the Amazon sweater I talked about yesterday in my Prime Purchases post. It is a great sweater at a higher Amazon price point of $35.

My former student is making sweatshirts and I wanted a festive Valentine version. It was $20.

This was from another Facebook boutique and I thought it was so unique. It is kind of a light super soft sweater. It was $27. I think this is excellent quality, too, and I like having things that not everyone else has.

I went in one of my favorite boutiques about three times this month to look around and to visit a top I was thinking about. The boutique is about a mile from my house and it is pretty expensive but they have great sales. I found this pink camo on the sale rack for $20. I usually try to avoid impulse purchases on sales racks but I had been wanting more camo and I did not have anything pink. It is a top, not a sweatshirt, and I think this will work well into spring.

On another trip into the same boutique I decided to get this off of the $20 sale rack. I wanted more tie dye for spring. This is a really cool material. It looks like a sweatshirt but it is a cooler fabric. Both this piece and the pink camo are by a brand called White Birch.

And, I brought this Savanna Jane home after almost a month of thinking about her. It was $62 – gasp.

And, finally I bought these Vionic booties off of Amazon. I also talked about these yesterday.

I am super happy with my purchases. You cannot get a top from Target for $20 anymore so I thought the $20 purchases were really good. Also, most of these will work into spring. I do not plan to buy any more winter clothes unless it is a stupid good deal on something I have wanted.

January Frugal Wins:

No book purchases – nice stack of library requests. I started one book and did not finish and now I am on another book. I have been so busy and when I do have downtime I want to mindlessly read the internet or watch t.v.

Eat at home – Have eaten at home most nights. Also, I am really trying to cut down on food waste by eating all of our leftovers or freezing them to bring out later.

Coffee at home – I did spend $12 on my new coffee contraption and then $20 on local or gourmet ground coffee

Water in car – I always keep water in my car and try to get a lot of my water in when I go out to run errands. This also keeps me from picking up a coffee.

Maximize savings – I feel like I have been saving so much money by not going into stores, not getting much food outside of the home, and not making many Amazon purchases.

Do your Return – I have a tendency to make do and not do my returns. I have been really good about this!

Examples:

Amazon sweater – was not perfect so sent it back and got smaller size.

Amazon sweatshirt – was not perfect and did not like the quality, plus I ordered another one from a former student and helped her out with her business.

Kroger Clicklist fail – they gave me wrong thing and I returned it for $8. In the past I sometimes would’ve just kept the wrong thing.

Verizon Cell Phone Savings – signed up for Autopay and have a $30 discount per month, finally uploaded my teacher ID for a discount (cannot remember the exact discount), and am using the $900 in gift cards I got to pay my monthly bills and we just had one come due mid-month. Yes, you read that right; we switched from ATT to Verizon in November. They have a “bring your own device” rebate where you get a $300 credit for each device/phone you bring that is unlocked or can be used with a Verizon plan; you can use this gift card in their Verizon store or to pay your bill. Jack, Mason, and I now are on this plan. Tom’s phone is covered by his work. So, by paying attention, reading the fine print, following up on things like this you can really save money.

My Why:

College – It is very important to me to help the kids get out of college with little to no debt. How can a kid making $40,000 out of college ever pay back $100,000? We want the kids to have some skin in the game but we know that we also have to help set them up to be in the best shape possible. Right now we are paying for everything but their small loan. I consider all of their scholarships they earned to be their portion, too. They worked really hard in high school and are seeing the financial reward.

Home Renovation – If you are a home owner there will always be something. We are doing our projects in stages and I am fine with it.

Mortgage Free by Retirement – I do not want a mortgage payment when I retire. I feel like this will bring so much freedom.

Travel – When the world is safe again, I want to be able to travel again and have money to do so.

One of the days of the frugal challenge was to know your why. Why are you trying to be frugal when you can? What are your financial goals? Do you have a fashion budget or a clothing allowance?

Amy

11 thoughts on “What I Wore Wednesday – January Fashion Purchases and Frugality

  1. I love the fuzzy vest! And your “whys” are so meaningful and important. Love it. The best thing my parents did for me was pay for college, but I did my part and stayed home one year, was a dorm RA one year for free room and board, had a few small scholarships but I also worked part time through college to pay for bills. We hope to help H & H as much as we can, but it seems overwhelming to have two kids in college at once for four years

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  2. Very good “whys”. We have been more conscious about our spending since we took the time to actually make a budget…on a spreadsheet…we plan for each month, and save for bigger expenses throughout the year, and then reconcile the budget at the end of the month. We have certainly saved more money during the pandemic, and I think that when things get back to normal, we will not return to some of our “old ways” of spending. Also, I would like to know how you get your grocery bill so low.

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    1. Thank you! Spreadsheets scare me so I’m not at that point! I/we could do much better. I don’t know that we really saved during the pandemic with renovations and two going to college at once! I don’t think my grocery bill is that low. What do you spend on groceries? We eat mostly ground beef, chicken, fish, and sausage so maybe that helps?

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  3. I love your description of being frugal. I consider myself to be a frugal person, but have gotten away from it in recent years. Now with one, soon to be two, in college, I’m trying to be more intentional about spending money. The 24 hour wait period is a great idea, as are the library books. Regarding the cell phone, a few years ago I switched the kids and I to a prepaid plan – AT&T. We buy our own phones, so this was a perfect idea. I pay around $75 / month for three lines with unlimited talk/data. No contract either if we decide to change. Thanks for linking up with Prime Purchases! Tanya – The Other Side of the Road

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    1. Thank you! It’s a constant struggle to be frugal! There are so many temptations. The ATT deal is great! We are paying way more than that. I didn’t know that was an option.

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      1. Prepaid is a great option if you already own the phone. Most carriers have their own prepaid version that you can ask about in a store (or go online and research.) 🙂

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  4. I am trying shop smarter this year! I love how you kept track of everything. I think the $20 camo and tie dye were a good purchase and I love them both. Can’t wait to see how you style those white boots.

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    1. Thank you! Tracking is both eye opening and embarrassing sometimes. I think the camo and tie dye were probably the best buys but I have worn the Teddy Bear vest the most. It will have a shorter season. I am starting to doubt myself on the white boots! I have to be brave and it has to be dry outside!

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