Private finance – April, May, June

So, like I wrote about in this post, we have decided to have a buy-nothing year, and we started in April. I will try to remember to write a post at the end of each month, to sum up how the month went. Our annual goal is to save at least 50% of our annual income – and for the next decade, our savings is really paying of our debt and mortgage.

We started with going through all our stuff, and donating or selling the stuff we don’t use. This brought in DKK 9.050/ USD 1.400. Wow!

Since 1st of April we have bought 4 items: A new dishwasher, a dog trimmer, a chicken coop and 2 frying pans in Ikea (these were on our list as we really needed them). Before this ban I wouldn’t even had known how many items we had bought.

It hasn’t really been that difficult to change our ways, and I cannot really tell the difference in our lives from “before” to “now”. There is nothing I want that I don’t have, and I still eat deliciously, organic food and have a very nice time with friends and family. The mindless buying small stuff was easily stopped. We actually started this at new year, as for the larger things we “need” we have created a list. If we still think we need the items after 3 months on the list we can buy them (the frying pan has been on this list since January). The most difficult habit to kick is the take out food. None of us enjoys cooking, so it is very easy to just order something. We have now stocked up the freezer, spending a weekend cooking and freezing food in portion sizes, so we have our own fast food (that are much more healthy as well).

And with that – drumroll please:

In April we saved a whopping 83% of our income! We were very fortunate, as nothing broke this month, and we had tons of food in the freezer and cupboads so we spent very little on food. Also, we used the money we got from selling the stuff we didn’t use.

In May we saved 18% of our income! Expenses: Our dishwasher broke so we had to get a new one, and we bought half of an organic pig for the freezer, thus saving money in the long run. We had to stock up on some medication, and we spent twice as much on eating out as we usually do. Also, we invested in a used chicken coop, saving us money in the long run, but mostly because we really enjoy being surrounded by animals. We also bought a dog trimmer, thus saving on trimming. It cost the same as 1 trip to the dog trimmer. I can just see that Gauss is thinking “seriously Mahm, what was THAT all about??? Why did you do that to me??” – and surely, he looks better after a professional trimming, but I guess I will get better at it.

This is what he looks like un-trimmed (very cute, but also very, very hot):

In June we saved 49% of our income! Expenses: Our car broke down and needed an expensive visit to the garage and we bought some items for the garden that we need to be able to grow our own vegetables (dirt, plants etc). Also, we needed to bring Tesla to the vet, as he clearly had some pain in one of his paws. It is expensive to be a pet owner, but very much worth the expense 🙂 And what better cover photo for this post than Tesla.

For all 3 months we have kept to our budget for food and household items – we have gone slightly over budget with take-out. The fluctuation in the savings rate is due to the larger stuff we bought these month.

I am happy with our progress, but I am not happy with our take-out habit! (Well, I am, but not with the money spent on it 😉 So, focus on real foods for July!

July will have extra expenses to holidays and building the rest of the chicken coop. A realistic goal for July is saving 13% – I will be happy if we manage to save more 🙂

Also, just for comparison – the first 3 months, before we decided to really save, we saved only 15% in average each month.

Also I find inspiration reading Mr. Moneymoustace, The Frugalwoods and caitflanders (I really liked her book! Very inspiring!).


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