lilac's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Post Reply
lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:50 pm

The details:
-Paid off house

-Two years of spending history analysed

-About to be dual income again after my maternity leave

-Small amount of debt due to house repairs and renovations I did while on mat leave
The goals:
1. Reduce grocery bill by half. It's embarrassing for me to talk about, even to non-frugal people, never mind this crowd.
2. Up our savings to 50% of our take home salary.
3. Quit my job and put my time and energy into the things/people I find important, like my husband and son, my parents and grandma.
Process:
1. Since I'm married and can't control my husband, I can only control my myself and what my son eats. My husband will probably use up our eating out budget by getting lunch everyday, so I'm not going to eat out anymore. I'm also giving up my ice cream habit, which should save another embarrassing amount of money. Now that I've found a bean recipe I will actually eat, I expect our meat consumption will go down and our grocery bill will too.
2. If I can reduce the food spending, dumping cable and tweaking a few other expenditures should do the trick. I am also considering going to cash for some expenses to keep them under control.
3. Time frame for this is before I turn 36, or about four years. I don't want to deal with finding daycare for my son for the summer after finishes kindergarten!


C-Dawg
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:15 am

Post by C-Dawg » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:54 pm

Have you talked to your husband about your plans/goals? Obviously you can't control him - but I think it would certainly go better if you could get on the same page about spending, even if that means compromises to keep both of you happy.


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:06 pm

Yes, I have. He's come around as I've been working on him over the years. :D
He's on board ditching cable. He's a very picky eater and he works out of a truck all day so it's been a challenge to find something he wants to take. I'm happy eating the same thing every day, but he needs more variety then just rice stir fry day after day.
Food expenditures are ridiculous in this house. It is the biggest expense in our house. I wouldn't mind it so much is we were buying mega-tasty or premium food, but we are not.


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:11 pm

Last night I had a dream I met Jacob. (He was a nice chap, at least the version my subconscious came up with.)
Recording this because if I'm dreaming it, I'm pretty distressed about how much money we are wasting and how much I don't want to return to work after seventeen months of practice ERE. I don't think I've ever been so highly motivated to save and if I'm forced to return to work, I better suck as much out of it as I can.


Country Hopper
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:40 pm
Location: leeds uk

Post by Country Hopper » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:55 pm

Have you tried this website to help save on food bills...
http://www.supercook.com/
Basically you input the ingredients you have at home and it gives a list of meal ideas. It's useful for when you have lots of leftover ingredients.
Might have been recommended on here before actually


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:05 pm

Thanks! It's bookmarked. I have heard of the site, but never felt motivated to actually seek it out.


cattledog
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:32 pm

Post by cattledog » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:54 pm

You sound a lot like me. I went back to work after my kiddo was born, but now I'm at home. The thought of dealing with summer/holiday/spring break/teacher conferences daycare was too much. I don't know how dual-income couple w/children handle working around bus dropoffs, school start times, etc. either.
My DH also likes to go out to eat and likes having cable TV. Since he is still working, I accept it and do the best I can with the remaining household budget.
We also have a paid off house and no debt. I like to save where I can though, but admittedly, I still have places to cut back (*cough* groceries *cough*).


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:59 pm

Upnorth, based on your username, are you in Canada? And, yea, I don't want to be like my friends with kids always rushing around, but I don't know if it's in the cards or me. I make 2/3s of our income.


jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 9062
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Post by jacob » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:43 am

Not watching TV regularly is probably the single biggest way to make a difference in one's life because it creates 3-5 extra hours each day where one will be motivated to do stuff: learn things, read books, ... a TV steals about 1000 hours each year which is enough time to otherwise become competent in a couple of areas or master one well enough to make money at it.
We currently have a TV at DW's insistence---it's a long standing battle between us that neither side is winning. I generally have to fight it somewhat so as not to lose too much time to just sitting at staring at it.
I've found that simply not having a TV is much better than the "we'll just watch it occasionally" approach, because occasionally quickly turns into "every day".


secretwealth
Posts: 1949
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:31 am

Post by secretwealth » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:57 am

Television also creates needs. Advertising has a tremendously pernicious effect, and even those who think they are too smart or too knowledgable are easily influenced by advertising, if it's properly targeted and pitched. T.V. ads, since they combine sound and sight in a very passive medium, are particularly powerful.


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:42 pm

Computer gaming is a way bigger time sink then TV for us. We have both shaken the WoW habit (I'm currently levelling my own little n00b), so I'm down to reading that turns into following links down the rabbit hole. My husband plays Skyrim, and it's a step up from WoW because at least he can pause or save and quit. We only watch tv for certain shows (about 1.5 hours a week), and they are all recorded so our exposure to commercials is pretty limited.
We can get almost all the shows we want via the tv station's website, so it's just a matter of me tweaking the computer hooked to the tv to make it easy for my husband to get the shows he wants.
And I agree, tv is a huge times sink, but for me, computer usage is a bigger fire.


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:52 pm

Did my numbers and food cost was reduced by 17% last month. I hope to get it up to 25% from the starting point when I do September's numbers.
I start work on Thursday (thus ends my dry run of ERE), so we will see how that goes. The money coming in will go toward saving 50% of our salary, but I see problems with me eating out. I can come home for lunch, but people will want me to hang out at coffee and have a bite... That's bad for my wallet and my waistline.


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:40 am

Work has not changed at all in the year and a half that I was gone. I find this really sad. I don't want to become like the company I work for. Scary.
I started a spreadsheet that adds up my profit for the day. I need to get out of there as soon as possible!


secretwealth
Posts: 1949
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:31 am

Post by secretwealth » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:07 am

Great progress--how did you reduce your food costs?


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:26 am

I started doing a lot more cooking. I also discovered a bean recipe about half way through the month that I really like and I eat it 5-7 times a week. Working is going to cut into cooking time, but I'm thinking I'll just spend Sunday afternoon making things and then I won't have to worry until Thursday about cooking again.
I think my son's appetite decreased a little too! :D


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:28 am

First full week of work done, 25 more weeks to go until I have a choice about staying or leaving!
I think I'm going to start keeping that part to myself from now on. Had a bit of an argument with my father about leaving my job. I didn't really expect him to understand as he's past retirement age and is still working. (FTR, I don't know if it's because he likes to work or has to.)
I'm relating to people at work about being back for the money, but when they start going on about how you have to make those payments on their lives, I just sort of nod and smile and make a remark like "Yeah, it sure can be, huh?" I don't know what else to say.
Also, was cruising around the boards, and read a post from Jacob where he talked about your hobby being your next job. I thought about it and realised that is exactly how I jumped from working with power systems to IT. Now that I know I did that and it works, I've got to start thinking about my next hobby.


GPMagnus
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:24 pm

Post by GPMagnus » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:27 pm

@ lilac Good for you! One of the joys / problems of ERE is that those in the Rat Race (your father included) have a hard time dealing with a different reality. I'm also happy you have been able to reduce your food costs. What about other costs?
As for cable, if you have internet you can always watch some shows on Hulu.com or d/l them. I find this focuses my watching and limits my exposure to commercials.


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:53 am

@GP I find it funny that my dad argued with me. He taught us to be critical thinkers and go against the grain if need be. Oh well.. Guess he had other grains that I was supposed to go against. As for Hulu, in in Canada and its blocked. At some point I will probably go with a proxy, but haven't the time to sit down and do it. Plus, I'm not sure my husband would be able to figure it out.


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:57 pm

I'm so very frustrated watching my husband suffer. He has a good hourly wage, but no hours, the bosses are always trying to get more out of him by breaking labour laws, and he's stressed right the hell out. I just called him to see how he is doing after getting crap from one of the bosses yesterday and accidentally scraping up his work truck today. And there he was, ordering lunch at the drive through, $10. And I know he ate breakfast out too.
If I didn't make 2/3 of the household money, it would make sense for me to quit my job and make his lunch every day. :P Me being at work is much more expensive then just putting our little guy in daycare. (And FTR, I hate that he goes every day, but would like him to go twice a week. I have had no luck converting my current job to part time and I won't make this hourly salary anywhere else.)
I'm not sure what the point of this entry is other then I'm really sad to see him suffer, and my buckets of money is not making us happy.
Twenty five more weeks until I have the option to leave my job.


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:23 pm

And to add, I took a quick peek at our spending for the month and if it continues on the same path, our food spending will be at 33% less this month. Of course, that means that my husband won't be eating out 2x a day 5x a week...


User avatar
bigato
Posts: 1526
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Post by bigato » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:37 pm

Hold on, lilac, please just don't give up, the day will arrive when you have your freedom!


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:22 pm

Wanted to keep the link to my money vs family question: viewtopic.php?t=2841
It's getting easier to leave in the morning. In the last three weeks of working, I've been keeping track of how much money I'm "wasting" on eating out. It's been kept to a day's wages so far, which is better then I did before I went on leave. I think we're still on track for a 25% reduction in grocery spending. I had to do a big shop this week for flour, sugar, oil, etc, and I also had to buy the little some supplies too.
A parcel of land came up that interested us, but it's 20km away from city limits (so add on city commute time to get to work) and it needs a house built on it. We keep wanting to buy something, but we are both still working and I just don't want to give up any more of our family time, just to spend it in a car!
103 more work days to go.


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:43 pm

Preliminary numbers for this month show that I'm at 25% again for food. We should have spent less, but we went out for lunch yesterday (only together time we've had in ages that was outside the house!) and my parents were in town and we ordered in pizza from our favourite (but expensive) pizza place. I also bought meat this morning from my butcher which cost nearly $70. We will be having a small local free range chicken for supper tonight, and ribs this weekend for my birthday. The rest was all ground beef, which I promptly portioned and froze.
We spent a little more than usual this month on the rest of the household stuff, some of that having to do with my return to work. We also spent another chunk of cash on finishing up the home renovations. The only room we haven't touched in the house is the kitchen and truth be told, I'm way too chicken to do it. Plus my 70 year old cabinets are actually wood and are in great shape. Maybe when I'm bored this winter, I'll slap a coat of paint on and put down a piece of flooring, but that's about all I'll be doing in that room.
99 more work days left. September net worth -0.5% due to prepaying six months of daycare.


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:45 pm

I went out for lunch today (again) with my husband. We should have just gone home. The food was shitty and late, plus it cost us $30. Most important:
I need to take a snack to work.
I was starving when I called him and said "Let's go out for lunch!" Before I was cranky due to hunger, now I'm cranky because I'm unsatisfied and poorer.


lilacorchid
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:31 pm

It's my birthday today! 32 years around the sun, hoping for at least as many more.


Post Reply