My last post was pretty positive despite being about spending. Today's is also about spending but it isn't as postive.

I'm starting to get really down on myself because of how May is going. It's not going well. I'm on track to have to take $1,000 to $1,500 out of savings to get through the month.

What's in name?

Sometimes, I feel like a fraud. I’m posting under the name Ms. Frugalette but I often feel like I’m not living up to the moniker. Living frugally is still a challenge for me. I’m making progress but I’m still spending on things I believe someone who calls herself Ms. Frugalette wouldn’t or shouldn’t spend money on.

Cutting grocery costs

One of the areas that I consistently spent too much money on was food - both groceries and going out to eat. Cutting going out to eat seems like a no brainer - just don’t do it. However, it means that I have to have food to eat at home and I need to remember to bring food to work for breakfast and lunch. That requires meal planning.

Family and Holidays

One of the things I’m really struggling with in my journey as Ms. Frugalette is how to handle family and holidays. We are right in the middle of Easter and Mother’s Day... 

April 2017

I'm trying not to be disappointed with April 2017. I spent less than I did over the last 15 months and I managed to double my average savings rate 31.8% for the month vs. 15.5% monthly average since January 2016. I was able to put $200 aside to contribute against my 401(k) loan (I can only make additional contributions of $1k or more per my 401(k) plan documents). I wish I spent less on restaurants but that will be a focus for May along with continuing my success with buying less.

Let's take a look at how I did:

Buy Nothing Month

I declared April Buy Nothing Month. The definition was pretty flexible. I would buy groceries and household necessities but I wouldn’t buy anything we didn’t need. There were a couple things I purchased that I wouldn’t call necessities but I think I did pretty well overall.

Historical Financial Data - 2016 and Q1 2017

I read Your Money or Your Life many years ago but I remember that it started with an instruction to first take a look at where I’ve been before I start focusing on the future. I have all my financial data in Mint so I took a snapshot of my assets and my debt for the past two+ years. I also reviewed my expenses but that will be another post.

Regrets, I have a few

I’m going to be totally honest in this blog (anonymity is a good thing) so I’m going to share financial information that I usually keep secret.

I did not learn financial responsibility from my parents. As a matter of fact, my mother hasn’t met a financial windfall that she couldn’t turn into financial disaster.

2016 and Q1 2017 Expenses

I documented my asset and debt balances over the last two years in a previous post. I’m going to discuss my expenses for 2016 and the first three months of 2017 so I can pinpoint mistakes that I made and areas of focus for the beginning of my FIRE journey.