This month my challenge to myself is doing a Frugal month. Well, actually, this is the first of three – mr L and me have decided to keep this up through October and November as well.
What’s a Frugal month, then? Short answer: a month when you spend as little as you possibly can.
Longer answer: I got the inspiration from the Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month Challenge. The Frugalwoods goal is to retire at age 33, and move from the city to a homestead. Their method: frugality. (I highly recommend this blog for inspiration on living frugally!)
For us, the motivation is similar but different. We both passed age 33 a good while back, my husband is planning early retirement when he turns 61 a couple of years from now. I’m already working part time (20 hours/week), and have no plans of upping that since I’m recovering from burnout/fatigue syndrome and never want to go there again. We know that when he retires his income will drop to about half of what it is now. But then it will stay at that level for the rest of his life. When I turn 65 I too will get a monthly income, wich will be just a little less than it currently is. But since I just reached 50, thats a long way off yet…
Our present financial goal is to have no debt at all, and preferrably a nice buffer saved up when he retires. These months will serve us in two ways: we will be able to save enough money that we can pay of the mortge on the house in full by december. And we will get a baseline for how tight a budget we can live by if we have to, good to know since we know that our income will drop.
So, our ground rules are: no expences that are not absolutely necessary. Food and medicin is necessary, and gas for the car since my husband needs it to get to work. Water, electricity, insurance, internet too. But we cancelled Spotify and Netflix and some other unnecessary stuff. We both have clothes and shoes for the season, so new won´t be necessary for now.
We rarely eat out, and these months we won´t be eating out at all. And we´re going to try to empty the freezer… We both have slight hoarding tendencies when it comes to food (“this is such a find, I´ll buy two and put one in the freezer!”), but these months we will make a weekly menu based on what is already in freezer and cupboard. And not buy new until we have made meals out of all the mysterious bags that seem to grow from nowhere in the back of the freezer…
I´ll let you know how we´re doing in a while, and give you a full report at the end of the month.