Friday, February 15, 2013

Frugal February: Halfway to Heaven

Oy. We're at the halfway point of Frugal February and well... it's kind of apt, because I'm half-impressed with my mostly half-assed behaviour so far. It's been a challenge, no doubt about it, but a welcome one; I like thinking before I hand money over, and I'm extra chuffed if I have a no-spend day. In my post about my goals for the month I outlined 5 areas I wanted to improve upon. Come, friends, and let's see how I'm doing.


I took 12 taxis in January, and wanted to quarter that number down to 3. Yeeah.. might have been a bit ambitious there. Especially since I've been working late this past week and a coworker has offered to split a cab with me a few times. All told, I've taken 6 cabs so far which is twice what I wanted to take but half of what I did last month. There's still time to turn this around and come under what I did last year but we are gonna put this in the "defeat" column for now.

2. Coupons

I have an overflowing envelope of coupons and I always forget to use them until they expire. The process of ordering, clipping, filing and tossing them is soothing but essentially useless. I've made a pact to use at least 6 this month and I'm not that far in - I've only used 1. But it was $1 off something we actually needed (detergent) and it was already 50% off to begin with so I was definitely cock of the walk (read: annoying, strutting person in that supermarket) that day. I've been using other types of discounts (more on that in a later post) but I could be doing more to use up the product coupons I already have. In my defense, the reason we haven't used a lot of coupons is that we haven't gone grocery shopping very much. Just twice since we've started the month and mostly for fresh foods and produce (for which coupons are sorely lacking). But still, I'll work on it.

3. Pretty frock purchases

This was tough because on day 3, my favourite pair of pants started to wear away in the leg and I was devastated and yet, determined to not buy a replacement. I have to admit, I lost the battle today and replaced them. But at least I got 30% off- right? RIGHT?

Today's little shopping outing for Galentine's Day was the first I've had this month and I'm pretty proud of that. Normally, I'd be popping into stores every few days, but I've been making a conscious effort to not even tempt myself. This has been an enormous issue, especially with the proliferation of online sales as of late, but I've avoided almost all of them. The two things I bought today were less than $100 - still not ideal but good for me. This one's a "not bad" so far.

4. Eating Out

This is definitely where I thought I'd fail the most but, honestly - I've been pleasantly surprised by how well I've done. I ate out 12 times last month and limited myself to 6 this month. So far I'm at two eat outs (one with a coupon from my sister, one coffee date with a friend) and two eat-ins (one pizza order when The Boy was too sick to move and Indian food I literally just finished eating before I typed this sentence). This is amazing, you guys. I'll try to keep it up (we haven't done V-day dining yet) but I'm pretty impressed with how well I've done on this so far, frankly. Call it a "success".

5. No "Lazy" Fines

So far so good on this one, too. No library fines (because I've decided to stop reading- gives you wrinkles) (okay, fine, kidding), no unnecessary bank fees, I even paid back some debts here and there. I've paid in cash where I can and have made my own breakfast (thus saving me cafeteria fees) all but two days this month. I'm doing really well on this front. I'm going to eat a brownie to celebrate. Success.

So, not bad so far. Just having the constant drumbeat in the back of my head to save money has helped me put more money on my credit card and more money against my debts. I'm still cringing occasionally but all in all, go me. Until March. Then hold on to your fucking hat. (okay, fine, kidding) (maybe)

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