Frugal January

We made it through all of January without going out to eat, woohoo! That definitely makes an impact to our savings, and I'm happy to start the year on that foot. HOWEVER, I LOVE going out to eat, so this is definitely not a long-term commitment. And admittedly, we did this in January; I think this would have been more difficult if we had done this in May or any warmer weather month where there would have been a stronger desire to get out of the house.

Because we weren't going out to eat, I had little desire to go outside for anything else on the weekend. In fact, I only left the house once and that was to go to Jungle Jim's to shop for our 7 continents celebration food.  It was cold outside anyway, so this wasn't a huge deal, but as an introvert, it can be too easy to fall into the trap of not leaving the house, so that isn't a behavior I would want to encourage. Francisco is worse about this, and he would probably never leave the house if I didn't prompt him to lol.  So, definitely a big consequence of this decision was we didn't go out, we didn't go mindless shopping at Target, we lived very inexpensively because we were just at home watching TV lol.

An unintended consequence is that I had far fewer cocktails. Usually our Friday meals will always include an alcoholic beverage, but that wasn't the case when we made meals at home. We had margaritas once, and we made gin cocktails last weekend, but it was a very small drink. The biggest indulgence was the daiquiris from our 7 continents celebration. I did spend one weekend pseudo-sick, so that makes sense, but overall, I was almost surprised at how few drinks we had this month. We weren't even trying to be healthier in that regard haha! I think part of it is since we weren't leaving the house on Saturdays, half the time I wouldn't even change out of my pajamas, and I feel much more inclined to have a drink after I feel like I've started the day and at least put some pants on.  :P  

I use to track our budget and expenditures, and I found it interesting to look at our spending from this January vs. last.  The yellow is last year's data, and the green is this year.
Gifts: We had a post-Christmas return in 2017, and 2016 had a small shipping charge.
Fees & Charges: This was just the fee Fidelity charges for my old Purdue retirement account. It's actually the most transparent fee out of all the accounts I have, which is one of the reasons why I haven't rolled this account over.
Shopping: We did SO much less shopping this year. This just included my subscription boxes and Francisco bought a box and some toiletries from Target. It looks like we hit up ALL the post-Christmas sales last year.
Bills & Utilities: Last year only included the internet bill, but this year the timing was right so that we paid both the Time Warner bill and the Duke Energy bill in January.
Food: We spent around half of our food budget compared to last year!
Auto: Roughly the same.
Home: No changes in rent.
Business Services: This category just includes purchases I've needed to make for work, and I am then reimbursed for.  I don't mind since I get the extra credit card points. I should see the reimbursement in my next paycheck.

So, we spent a quarter less this January just by staying home more!


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