Every Day

Going Bare Bones

This is not going to be a savings on utility post today. Instead I want to tell you that we are cutting our budget to the bare bones for the next couple of months and why.

You all know that we are retired so we have a fixed amount of income every month. This amount comes from many years of savings and investments, a pension, and social security. So we know how much we have to spend and we try not to spend it every month so that we continue to invest and save. Many of our friends spend down their income each month now that they are retired. We still live as frugally as we always did. We don’t waste our money but rather we buy when we have a need and just a few wants. It is still a joy to watch our savings and investment income go up month after month. It is a joy to know that we have enough to live out our lives and be comfortable. It is a goal to leave our family an inheritance like we never had.

As I have told you before, I grew up poor. I didn’t know it at the time because there was always barely enough. But when we got married so young, I knew we had to make every dollar count. There are times when we tighten our belts and times when we loosen it. 

Right now it is a time to tighten it! Even though we have the money we need in savings and investments, we want to save the money we need over the next few months out of our monthly amount so that we don’t have to touch those savings and investments.

We already started building that up over the past couple of months but we have not gone bare bones. Now we will and I will tell you why.

You all know that we charge some expenses every month on two major credit cards to reap the rewards. One stipulation that we have for the use of credit cards is that we never pay interest. When we get our bill every month, we pay it in full when it is due.

The past couple of months, those credit card amounts have gone up because expenses have been higher. I needed a large clothing purchase because of my diet, we have some household projects and repairs in the works, we had some travel and associated costs with that, and we had about $3,000. in dental bills out of pocket. It would have been more if we hadn’t purchased a dental discount plan which was $1147. for a year. Last months credit card bills totaled over $2900. which were paid in full. This month’s credit card bills totaled over $4600. I have sent in the payment for the largest one which was over $3600. The other credit card will get paid when it is due in a few days. We continue to pay no interest.

We have school taxes due again in September. They will be just under $5,000. We save all year for those but I would like to be able to not withdraw from those savings to pay them if possible. Time will tell if we can do it.

We have dental appointments again this month. I do know that Hubby needs some major work so we will have more high bills. 

We want to save over a $1,000. for large rock bottom food purchases at Thanksgiving to restock our freezer. You all know that certain items go to rock bottom once a year and Thanksgiving gives us many of those prices.

We continue to eat from our freezer and pantry stockpiles so that we will have room to stock up on those sales. Since we have enough food to eat only from the stockpiles the next couple of months, I will not be buying much food. Matter of fact, every food purchase on my lists will be scrutinized and crossed off if I deem it unnecessary. 

In November, I want to stock up on turkeys because we love turkey, it is on my diet, and they are at the cheapest price all year. Plus you all know that it is a great time to stock on canned soups, stuffing, and lots of other items. Christmas will bring great prices on hams which I will also stock up on. My goal is to eat a lot of $.49 to $.99 a lb. turkey and under a $1.00 per lb. ham next year. That is the cheapest meat I can buy. I know some of you can stock on $.39 a lb. chicken quarters. We don’t get those prices here in the Northeast. 

We also have many birthdays in the Fall leading right up to Christmas. I want to build a large fund for those gifts. And we will have property taxes to pay in January of about $4700. We had an increase in our assessment for both property and school taxes. With new building in our housing development, those assessments will continue to go up. Our town reassesses every year or two. 

So I will keep you updated on the many things we are doing to keep our everyday costs low. I would like the credit card bills to be just bare bones the next couple of months. And I really mean I will cut them to the bone!

If you have goals that you are saving for whether it be for a house, college fund, retirement savings, Christmas gifts, charity giving, etc., join me in making a goal to do what needs to be done. If your income has been reduced or you have been laid off from a job, join me in going bare bones and doing what has to be done to stay afloat. 

What are some of your goals for the next few months?

6 replies on “Going Bare Bones”

Sounds like a great goal! No doubt you can achieve it – you are very focused. After taking 3 months of unpaid time off of work, my goal is to rebuild our savings. We have enough to pull from of course, but I want to rebuild our savings to cover the amount we used during my sabbatical. We also cash flowed many projects, & traveled more because of my time off. We will be back where we started by October, I hope.

We are also hoping to refinance our mortgage, given rates are dropping. We have a house in the bay area (e.g. large property price), so any drop in interest is a huge difference. We are trying to pay our house off in 10 years or so, and the interest would be a hugely valuable improvement on our plan

Refinancing your mortgage is a great move. Drops in interest mahe a huge difference especially if you have a big mortgage. Good luck to you on your 10 year goal.

You sound like us not wanting to pull from savings.Good luck rebuilding after your sabbatical.

My goals are to stop mindless spending. An iced tea here and a candy bar there does nothing for my account or my waistline. Build a bigger savings and keep trying to shave down the monthly bills. Your blog is such a joy for me. I swear every time i start to sway towards spending too much your posts are right on time with the boost i need to keep being mindful. Thank you!!

Hi Amanda,

It's good to hear from you. Thanks for the compliment. Your goal of stopping mindless spending is something that I have struggled with over the years. Sometimes it just creeps right in.

Great goals! My goal was/is to pay off the HVAC loan (4425.00) and the 401K Loan (4500.00) by the end of the year and I can't believe its August already. I am not sure in refinancing would be cost effective option for us since we just bought this house a year ago and only plan to have it another 3 years maybe. But I can cut back on groceries and misc "aka Amazon" spending

Hi Patti,

I wish you the best of luck getting your goals done by the end of the year. Paying off loans is so freeing. Amazon is a bad one for me.

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