Frugal February is OVER! This is my final update, albeit a couple days early but I already know I will finish out the last two days frugally, so we're good to go here.
As a recap, I started out the month of February with $60 in my wallet for "Frugal February" with the intention of not spending it and also having a "no spend month" aside from essentials like bills, gas and food. Overall, I feel I've done pretty well.
My wallet no longer contains the $60 though because things did come up as I thought they would. Here are some of the following things I've purchased with the $60:
~ Valentines for my daughter's class.
~ A few Valentine's Day cards for my family and chocolate for my daughter.
~ A "memory book" fee for my daughter's field trip to a book bindery.
~ A gift for my mother's birthday.
~ Subway sandwiches/salad for myself and my family.
~ Mailing a package at the post office for my Etsy shop (I didn't have to use my cash for this
but I did anyway).
~ One smoothie from Nekter.
~ Two kombuchas (one for me and one for a friend).
I now have $3 remaining in my wallet. What I've learned is that most of my money is spent on other people. As a minimalist, I'm not big into buying stuff for myself. Most of my extra cash in a typical month goes toward food like smoothies, coffee, Subway salads or a salad from somewhere else like Wendy's when I'm on the run.
So, the most difficult part of the month was waiting until I got home to eat things or having the desire to eat whatever I've taken with me in the car when I head out to work or run errands. As mentioned in my last update, it was also tough eating fresh foods from home every day. I don't like grocery shopping very often so my produce runs out faster than I'd like since we have to eat it before it spoils. Because of this, I rely on salads to go or smoothies a lot of the time. Since I cut that behavior for the month, I really started to feel malnourished. Lol.
I suppose there's a good balance somewhere in this. It would probably include going to the grocery store more than every two weeks but I cringe at the thought, so an alternate option is to go to the Farmer's Market more to purchase produce when I haven't been to the store in a while. I also don't think it's unreasonable to buy fast food salads on a weekly basis. When I buy the ingredients for a salad it costs the same, if not more, and then I have to assemble it all myself. Plus, there are a lot worse things to spend money on than salad so I think I'm doing pretty good.
My final takeaway from Frugal February-
I've learned to use things I already have instead of rushing out to buy more. I've also been frugal with my business and it was okay. I ran out of post cards that say thank you that I include in orders so I wrote out thank you notes in calligraphy instead; easy and free.
I've learned to try new grocery brands that are cheaper, used parking meters instead of expensive parking garages, made iced coffee at home instead of going to Starbucks, and spent time with my family doing free activities like bike riding, hiking, going for walks and playing basketball. I've also been on the lookout more for coupons and money saving apps and other deals that I wouldn't necessarily bother with otherwise.
I've also had fun restarting my trip odometer every time I go out to see which route is the least amount of miles to save gas. Everything counts and even cutting off 1-2 miles per trip saves money and the most valuable aspect of life- time.
This has been a great learning experience and going into Manifesting March, I have an appreciation for what I have that I know will carry me into some positive manifesting vibes. :)
How did you do? Did you join in the fun all month? Let me know in the comments and stick around for the beginning of Manifesting March soon!