Tuesday, October 16, 2012

31 Days to Financial Freedom, Day 16: Past vs. Present

This marks the halfway point for this 31 Days journey, and the 46th day that our family and I changed our ways for the better.  We are in such a better place today than we were on August 31st. 

So, I wanted to show you exactly was has changed between August 16 and October 16.  Here is our spending from August 1 - August 16, and October 1 - October 16.

Eating Out

I have no idea how we spent that much money in groceries in the first 16 days of August, especially considering how much we also spent eating out.  This is the result of not properly planning our meals, not having a budget, and not having a shopping list!  We made 17 trips to the grocery store in August, meaning I was having my husband buy food that we needed for dinner that night, versus either using what we already had in the house, or having him shop once a week.  We've made nine trips to the grocery store so far in October, but that's mostly trips for just milk or just bread (yes, I'm slacking on the homemade bread) because we go through those pretty quickly.
Average cost per day in August:    $23.98
Average cost per day in October:   $ 5.56

We made one trip about 60 miles south, and another trip about 120 miles south during this time in August, which is why our gas amount was so high.  That's an extra 360 miles on the mini-van and in the gas tank.
Average cost per day in August:    $15.90
Average cost per day in October:   $10.00

Eating Out:
Again, how did we spend this much eating out and groceries?  On more than one occasion, we ate out for lunch and dinner! 
Average cost per day in August:    $12.99
Average cost per day in October:   $ 1.02

In August, our daycare weekly tuition was $168, and that was reduced to $115 in October due to our son starting kindergarten.  August's bill amount didn't include our mortgage payment.  This is how messed up our priorities were!  The only bills I had paid at this time in August were one previous month of Pen's student loan, another payment on another of his student loans, the utilities payment from the previous month, out satellite bill (comes out automatically), two weeks of daycare, and our car insurance (again, comes out automatically).  So far this month, I've paid our mortgage, 2 weeks of daycare, both of Pen's student loan payments, out satellite payment, and our car insurance. 
Average cost per day in August:    $54.31
Average cost per day in October:   $76.02

*Sigh*  Again, this is money spent at gas stations and convenience stores on little stuff that added up!  What a complete waste of money.
Average cost per day in August:    $ 4.33
Average cost per day in October:   $   .45

This includes a $134 trip to Target and a $102 shopping spree at Fashion Bug, along with useless other crap.  We went away for a weekend, and I forgot to pack shirts for me, which happens often.  My husband says I do this subconsciously so that I have an excuse to go shopping, and I think he's right.  October's shopping is for Halloween costumes.
Average cost per day in August:    $21.46
Average cost per day in October:   $    .62

Sure, money went into our savings account, but it also came right back out.  Just a reminder, we save $400 per month.  $200 comes out of each of my paychecks and goes right into a separate account.  Previously, we would have to withdraw all or a portion of that $200 so we wouldn't be overdrawn on our main checking account.
Average cost per day in August:    $ 1.98
Average cost per day in October:   $12.50

Total Average cost per day in August:    $134.95
Total Average cost per day in October:   $106.17

Sure, our total average cost per day wasn't all that different, but look at where the majority of our money was going!  On food, we were spending an average of $41.30 per day in August!  Now we've got that down to $7.03.  What a difference!  I am so thrilled with our progress.  And by doing little stuff like this, it shows me that the changes we are making are really working.  Plus, I'm 8 pounds lighter than I was on September 1st! 


  1. Thank you for sharing this. We are starting a new adventure of wanting to cut back and this helps a lot.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! It's so great to see such immediate results. We can see our savings account balance and checking account balance growing every month. I'm so glad our experiences can help you on your journey!