Pursuit of Frugal November 2014

I just tallied up our October spending : $6,485*

(*this does not include savings or extra mortgage payments)

Pursuit of frugal November 2014 Messy MoneyUgh! It was a spendy month.  Our spending stresses me out.  Maybe you can tell? This brings me to this months Pursuit of Frugal.  Sometimes it feels like I am treating the paper cuts, while ignoring a hemorrhaging spending wound elsewhere.

Last week we found the PERFECT house and it sold before we could even set foot in it.  I was so disappointed because it was ideal – in terms of size, neighbourhood and price.  It would have meant a teeny-tiny mortgage and that much closer to freedom.  I guess I will just have to keep swimming.

 Pursuit of Frugal

1.  We are still surviving without cable.  We did sign up for Netflix though but still we are keeping over $100 in our pockets every month.  I am also now addicted to Orange is the New Black and my husband is fascinated with World War 2 in color (history nerd).  I think we might make it after all.

2. We shut down the &^%$#!! hot tub for the winter.  This will save us between $50-$100 a month in electricity.  It is sad in a way because sitting in the hot tub during a snowfall is amazing.  It is not $100 amazing though.  We also have two people interested in buying the hot tub, even after hearing me complain about it endlessly, so we will see if it gets a new home.

3. Programmed the thermostat.  It worked like a charm for our heating bills last year.  My husband is picky about the temperature and he didn’t even know it was programmed.  Tricky!  This year I have decided to drop the daytime temperature by another couple of degrees to see if I can tough it out.

4. Recycled last years Halloween costume. My son did not mind one bit.

5. A couple of months ago I cancelled one of our newspaper subscriptions. Yes, we had more than one!  Savings $14.70 a month.


Now it is time for me to turn my attention to Christmas.  Last  year Christmas spending was $1,350.  Hoping that I might be able to trim this a bit without being a Scrooge.  I am not the biggest fan of the season, which makes me really popular with my family and at holiday gatherings. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate the meaning and spirit of Christmas, but that is not what the experience has been for me.  Is that a terrible thing to say?  Maybe one day I will make peace with it.

Hope everyone has a frugal month and thanks for reading.

P.S. Wow I just reread this – and please know I am not as depressed as this sounds.

26 Comments


  1. We just cut out our newspaper subscription. We still go and buy it on Sunday but the cost of delivery had increased so much that we’re now saving $8 per month. That might not seem like a lot but it’s nearly $100 over the course of a year, that’s November’s heating bill!
    Money Beagle recently posted…Wrapping Up The Never Ending Paint ProjectMy Profile

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    1. It certainly adds up – the recurring fees are the ones that need the most attention (in my case anyway). Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. That is quite a tally for the month! But your small reductions will have a big impact in terms of getting things under control. I admire your decision to sell the hot tub and to lower the temperature of the house through the winter. Those moves indicate that you really mean business. I’m fascinated by your comments on Christmas. I love Christmas and all the visiting and preparations and time for family and friends. I hope that you write more about it – you’ve made me curious.
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Fruclassity Commandment #8: GratitudeMy Profile

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    1. I loved your Fruclassity post! I will probably write about Christmas to explain – I think some of my Christmas stories might shed some light on things. My very first Christmas – someone stole our Christmas tree. No joke.

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    1. It is pricey and when we bought it we pictured using it all the time – does not happen so it works out to about $100 a soak. Could take a bath in champagne for that $. LOL

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  3. We have an above ground swimming pool which only get used about 3 1/2 months of the year and between electricity and upkeep it’s really not cost effective. Might be time to take it down. For your cable fix, check out web sites for most of the networks, they offer full episodes for free.
    Brian @ Debt Discipline recently posted…Technology Review: LoopPayMy Profile

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    1. I long for a swimming pool – but we live minutes for a really nice body of water so we do try to take advantage of that. The people I know that have pools (i really should try to get more friends with pools???) really do enjoy them.

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    1. That is a good idea. When we travel we try to stay at hotels with pools and hot tubs so it is a treat. Maybe it will be gone soon, at least we don’t have to worry about it for a few months.

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  4. Sorry to hear it wasn’t a great spending month, and more so that you missed out on that house! You’ve created one positive for me though – I feel like I’m not alone with my savings challenges! So many of the frugal bloggers I see are able to spend so little, but I feel like it’s a bit of a struggle for me. Your October spend has been about my average for the past 12 months, which has meant very low savings, but like you, I want to work hard to improve it.

    Here’s to a fantastic November!

    Cheers,

    Jason

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    1. Thanks Jason. I was just over reading Two Strange Cookies blog and they managed an 82% saving rate in October. Wow. I am not even close. SO GLAD to hear there are others with same spending levels!!!! I feel so spendy when I look at what others are getting by on. It is a process that is for sure.

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  5. I didn’t think you sounded depressed, just factual. We also do Netflix and share the cost of Hulu with my mom. Between the two we have all the TV we could possibly want.

    As far as Christmas, I have mixed feelings about it. I love the season but I hate the family politics that go along with it.

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    1. Ah yes the family politics can be difficult. My favorite Christmas I was sick and forced to stay home with my mom and we sat around in our PJs and watched movies and ate grilled cheese sandwiches. It really is the little things (or the things that go terribly wrong) that create the best memories.

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  6. I get overwhelmed by Christmas too. I almost dread it every year just because of all the consumerism. I receive too much and I buy too much. Talk about depressing!

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    1. Christmas can be overwhelming – we celebrate 3 times to be able to include extended family. Excessive at for sure. Wishing a stress free Christmas. (Gosh it is not far away!)

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  7. Wow, I didn’t think you sounded depressed at all. I have to say, I love your posts. They’re very thought provoking and detailed. I love the cuts you made in your budget. A little pruning here and there can really add up in the long run. Happy November, May! 🙂

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    1. Thanks. Glad I didn’t sound depressed – because sometimes I think my posts read that way. I might join in some of your minimalist challenges in the new year.

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    1. It’s a work in progress. Here’s to a better November.

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  8. Nah, not depressed – it’s called life can be a mother as DH says. I hope you’re able to sell the hot tub! Netflix has also been a worthy friend in our quest to remain cable-free.

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    1. Netflix saved my marriage LOL. Most of the time I forget we have a hot tub. Kind of sad. Here’s hoping November is wonderful and better than October.

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  9. Spendy month, indeed! Hope the next few months are in much better shape.

    When we bought our house, it had a hot tub and I made them remove it as a condition of the sale. I could not afford to keep it running / keep it up and I knew it. I couldn’t afford the house if they had left it! Those things are really drains…
    Kirsten recently posted…My Last Day at WorkMy Profile

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    1. Not sure how much more we can do on the spending – that is sad – but I will continue to work on it each and every day. Happy to hear you were smart about the hot tub. Wish I was. Thanks for coming by.

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    1. My kids are addicted to YouTube. Sometimes we sit around and watch Russian Car Crash compilations – it is a weird guilty pleasure.

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