September has almost passed, and it’s time to evaluate the results of our first Frugal Month. Did our frugal focus have any affect on our economy? Oh yes, definitely!

According to my notes we’ve only bought food for 1 600 SEK this month. That includes one lunch at a restaurant for me. I went on a trip with a group of people, we rode a bus for hours and had lunch together. In that situation I choose not to bring food and eat alone on the bus, frugal month aside. Mr Livslevandes and I have not been eating out at all together. We have instead eaten a lot of food that was stored in our freezer.  We’ll see what happens with our costs for food next month, now that that’s gone. Or maybe we won’t, not yet, since there are still a lot of edibles in there… And there have been additions during September, lingonberries, root vegetables (parboiled by us), and some leftover meals.

Our overall costs are 40% lower this month than the average of the last 10 months before. This was a month without big expenses like mortgage  on the house. But we did buy wood pellets enough to last the whole winter. We managed to save 51% of our income this month. (And that’s even though I only work 20 hours a week!)

One of our goals with this frugal challenge is to find out if our income will sustain us when mr L retires in a couple of years. This month would have been no problem at all with the reduced income he will get from his pension – we would have been able to put away money for savings anyway. That feels really good to know.

Our other goal is to pay off our mortgage completely by December this year. This month has taken us a big step closer to that goal!

The month has passed by quickly, and we haven’t really met any big challenges. Except maybe when the shops started selling heather plants. I usually buy a bunch for our front porch at this time of year. This year I went out into the woods and gathered some juniper branches and wild heather instead. Together with the battery-driven candles we bought last year, it turned out ok. The heather plants aren’t very expensive, so I didn’t save a lot of money – but if I set myself a challenge I try to live by it. Although I did buy new batteries for the candles. I couldn’t think of anything to replace them with – live candles would be even more costly over time. And I do feel it’s valuable to have some lights out now that the evenings darken so fast. I ended up paying 120 SEK for batteries, but they will keep the lights on in the evenings until December.

But that was my greatest challenge this month,  and it wasn’t so bad. Have you tried avoiding spending? What did you find it hardest to not buy?