No Buy/Low Buy, No/Low Buy Update, Spending

No/Low Buy Update: Week 7

Every Monday during 2022, I am posting an update on what I spent for the week as a way of keeping myself accountable for my No/Low Buy Year. Also, in order to see my true savings, I am also tracking items I was tempted to buy but didn’t. 

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This last week dragged. Perhaps it was the dark dreary weather, or just the fact that I’m not getting outside very much (darn foot!). It seemed that I had had too much time on my hands and fell into old patterns of browsing stores online. Items magically found their way into online carts! Thankfully I came to my senses and completely clicked out before buying anything. Well, except for some sandals…but I’ll explain that below.

What I spent February 14 – February 20th:

  • Groceries: $29.06
  • Household/Personal Care: $82.00 (another replacement fry pan, and misc. personal care – all replacements)
  • Gifts: $81.19 (more birthdays/baby shower)
  • Sandals: $43.00 (sandals)
  • Eating Out: $56.00
  • Auggie the doggie: $471.72 (yearly pet insurance premium, dog food and dog walking)
  • OTC Medical: $18.95 (compression socks)
  • Road trip: $89.95 (gas, tolls and food)

Total Spent: $872.41

What I almost bought but didn’t:

  • Sweater(s) from The Loft: $100.00 (a gorgeous sweater was on sale, and a couple of other things that needed to be added to cart so I wouldn’t have to pay for shipping.)
  • San Diego Hat Company: $40.00 (a foldable sun hat for my upcoming trip)
  • Kitchen mats: $48.00 (Actually purchased, but returned! Ugh, an ugly pattern of mine rearing its ugly head – but I prevailed!)

Total: $188.00

The Takeaway

Although it seemed like a spendy week, a big chunk of the spending was for the annual pet insurance. I’m truly hoping that this is the last large pet expense I will have to make (at least for this year 😉 )! It’s a good thing he’s cute because he’s been a very expensive addition to our family.

We did get away for the weekend to see my parents, and we brought a few meals. Gas was a bit high, but other than that, we didn’t spend much.

My foot issues continue, and finding the right shoes to wear has been difficult. Caring for my feet has taken precedence over saving money and finding supportive, high-quality shoes is a must. Stores don’t usually carry my size so I have to purchase online and hope for the best. After returning three pairs of shoes, I finally found one that was comfortable. I’m hoping by the time I take my trip next month, they will feel even better — it’s hard to tell right now with my foot not quite right.

I wish I spent less this week, but I did resist some purchases. In that regard, I do think this no/low spend challenge is working. I’m controlling my urges (for the most part) and not adding extra clutter to my home. There is always room to improve, of course, and every day I keep reminding myself of why I’m doing this in the first place. And that is WAY better than anything I could possibly buy.

So, how was your week? Did you stay on budget?

No Buy/Low Buy, No/Low Buy Update, Retirement Journey, Spending

No/Low Buy Update: Week 5

Every Monday during 2022, I am posting an update on what I spent for the week as a way of keeping myself accountable for my No/Low Buy Year. Also, in order to see my true savings, I am also tracking items I was tempted to buy but didn’t. 

Photo by Pixabay on

Another week has passed, and this one was a doozy. I think all of my February spending was done in the first 7 days! At least I’m hoping….

What I spent February 1st – February 6th: (I don’t list my normal bills, i.e. mortgage, utilities, etc.)

  • Medical: OTC $37.99 (A new heating pad)
  • Groceries: $319.95 (Two weeks’ worth)
  • Pet Expenses: $875.68 (Neutering, meds)
  • Gasoline: $77.66 (Two fill-ups)
  • Spontaneous Giving: $260.27 (Sam’s Club delivery to my parents)
  • Household: $19.05 (Office supplies)
  • Gift: $50.00 (Parents 66th wedding anniversary)
  • Misc.: $23.30 (New bible)**
  • Charity: $103.29 (Granddaughter’s fundraiser at school)
  • State Tax Filing Fee: $40.00 (includes my son’s taxes)
  • McDonalds: $25.00 (a weak moment — for me, my husband and daughter)

Total: $1,832.19

Oh my. That is a lot of spending for one week. The pet expenses were expected, saved for, and ready in the bank. The groceries surprised me a bit, but then again, I didn’t shop at Aldi. Both cars needed gas. I will ALWAYS have a spontaneous gift category for my parents. The two ‘questionable’ expenses were McDonald’s and the new bible. I have a bible that I use every day, but it is large. I wanted a more compact one to take with me when I travel. In my world, taking a bible with me on a trip is a need. The McDonald’s lunch? Ugh. A complete and utter fail. Not only for my wallet but for my waist. I anticipate next weeks’ expenses to be a lot lower.

Things I was tempted to spend money on this week but didn’t!

  • A planner perfect subscription: $44.00
  • Ordering in dinners 2x: $100.00
  • An exercise bike: $400 – $1500

Total: $544.00 – $1,644.00

The first two items were normal ‘wants’ for me. I’m getting used to them, and getting better at ignoring them. However, the exercise bike was new. I went to the orthopedic surgeon this week and my foot is not healing – it is still broken. He is giving me another 4 weeks to see if it will heal, but if not there will be surgery. It’s already been twelve weeks. Twelve weeks of no exercise. Twelve weeks of lying around. I’m gaining too much weight and I need an exercise program. I thought maybe an exercise bike would be good. I even had my husband research them, but the prices were ridiculous. I decided to search exercising with a broken foot on YouTube. I found several videos that featured ‘chair’ aerobics. In fact, I now have a whole playlist of exercise videos that I can do with a broken foot. That will have to be my jam until I can walk again. Expense diverted.

Unexpected/Expected Money Received.

Sometimes I receive extra money during the month that I wasn’t expecting, or expecting but not knowing the exact amount. I thought I would include it in my updates. Here is what I received in February so far:

  • Rakuten: $88.00*
  • Chase Rewards: $80.22
  • Celebrity Cruises: $261.37 (port tax refunded from a canceled cruise. 😦 )

Total: $429.59 (A nice bump to my savings account!)

I hope next week is more on the low spend side. Even though I’m staying within my approved spending categories, I would like to stay below $1800 in variable spending each month. It didn’t happen this month, but given that I had a large vet bill, I should be okay going forward.

How was the start of February for you?

** Rakuten is an online cash back program. I signed up years ago – it doesn’t interfere with my online spending — it just gives me money back for the purchases I make. I know it’s not going to make me wealthy, but the checks have been a nice bonus. And with prices on the rise, this is an easy way to get some of the money back. RAKUTEN is running a new program — if you sign up, you will get $30! If you sign up using my link here, I will get $30 too! There is no obligation on your part, just an easy way to get more money in your pocket. ;). Please note that I will never suggest something that I don’t wholeheartedly believe in. If you are an online shopper, this is a no-brainer. 😉

Thank you in advance to all those who would like to try it!! xoxo

Click here
Goal Setting, No/Low Buy Update, Spending, Spending Freeze

No/Low Buy Update: Week 3

Every Monday during 2022, I am posting an update on what I spent for the week as a way of keeping myself accountable for my No/Low Buy Year. Also, in order to see my true savings, I am also tracking items I was tempted to buy but didn’t. 

Consumer Spending Update: Economic Confidence Down in January - Rasmussen  Reports®

Well, well, well. After looking at my spending, Week 3 proved to be a bit more spendy than I thought it was. My daughter and her entire family came down with Covid so I helped with their meals all week. I also purchased meals for my parents and had them delivered. These expenses come out of a ‘spontaneous giving’ account, which is my very favorite to fund. I get so much pleasure out of blessing others. It is money well-spent. However, the extra eating out for us? Not so much.

I also purchased a pair of sneakers that were recommended by my orthopaedist to wear as my foot heals. They were expensive — but I consider that a medical purchase. Normally I would have gone directly to Amazon, but because I banned myself from using them, I searched and found another company that sold these specific sneakers. The bonus? They were $20 cheaper with free shipping! I’ve found this to be true on many items that Amazon sells — they do not have the lowest prices on everything.

What I spent (January 17 – January 23):

  • Spontaneous giving: $257.12
  • Take Out: $106.00
  • Medical: New Balance shoes (for my broken foot): $152.96
  • Personal Care: $15.93

Total: $532.01

I’m disappointed that I spent so much on take-out again but other than that, not a bad week. Since half of this spending was for a really good cause, I’ll call it a win! 😉

But, this week was not without its challenges and temptations!

On Saturday, I had to pick up an item at Walmart. BJs was right next door and I thought I would just go in and look around. I thought it would be a good way to do some walking and stay out of the cold (bad idea). Dang if three items didn’t end up in my hands. I carried these items around the store for about 20 minutes. When my foot started to hurt, I had to make a decision. Do I take these items home? (All on my NO BUY LIST, mind you). Thankfully I had all of you in my head as I was making the decision to purchase, and I ended up leaving all three items in the store. 😉

Here are the items I was tempted to buy this week but didn’t:

BJ’s temptations:

Total: $100.23 (including tax)

Isn’t it amazing how much impulsive purchases add up if you succumb to them?

This challenge is working. 🙂

How did you do this week?

If you missed it, here are my weekly No/Low Buy Challenge Updates:

Week 1

Week 2

Cash Savings, No/Low Buy Update, Spending

No/Low Buy Update: Week 2

If you are new here, every Monday during 2022, I am posting an update on what I spent for the week as a way of keeping myself accountable for my No/Low Buy Year. Also, in order to see my true savings, I am also tracking items I was tempted to buy but didn’t. This is proving to be very eye-opening, for sure!

Week 2 was interesting. I was actually able to grocery shop! Since breaking my foot, I had been doing a combination of Walmart pickups, Instacart, and/or sending my husband out with a list. I was so excited to be out and about that I went a wee bit overboard. I was curious if I would see empty shelves, as I had been reading about food shortages, but I didn’t experience it. I got everything on my list and more. 😉

What I spent (not counting regular bills) January 10 – January 16:

  • Lint brush $18.96 (the dog hair is out of control!)
  • Take Out for 3 from a nice restaurant: $73.84
  • Groceries (two weeks worth): $267.00
  • Household: $20.00
  • Dog bed: $18.99

Total: $398.79

I’m pleased with this week’s spending. The amount for groceries is for two weeks, so it averages to about $135/week. We decided to use our ‘once a month’ dining out for a nicer restaurant in our area this week. We did takeout and ended up watching a movie on Netflix while we enjoyed our meal. Auggie is no longer sleeping in his crate and needed a place (other than our bed) to sleep, so I found a great deal on a dog bed at Aldi. Thankfully he likes it, and manages to sleep most of the night on it.

It could have been a much spendier week if I succumbed to my temptations, however.

Items I was tempted to buy:

  • Cordless Vacuum. $400 (dog hair!!)
  • Lunch out: $20.00
  • New budget book: $18.00
  • DaySpring bible: $55.00
  • Snowman mug: $15.00
  • Rent Punchline (a movie): $3.99 (This was only on Amazon, and I’m not doing Amazon anymore.)

Total: $511.99

Truth be told, I almost caved for the cordless vacuum. The dog hair is really getting to me. Instead, I settled on the ChomChom lint brush. It works. I also was quite smitten with Candace Bure’s DaySpring website. But, I remained strong and stuck to my No/Low buy and ‘saved’ $512!

How did you do this week?

If you missed it, here are my No/Low Buy Challenge Updates:

Week 1

Medical Expenses, Spending

The true cost of a broken foot. (It’s not just medical.)

This past November, while walking the dog, I tripped and fell. Unfortunately, I was not only left with a few bumps and bruises, but also a fractured foot. We had just gotten back from a 5-night cruise to the Caribbean for my 60th birthday. It was a trip that was cherished, as we had spent the whole month before housebound recovering from Covid. However, despite having Covid, I was still able to get outside and walk. Breaking my foot, however, left me couch ridden for several weeks.

Eventually, I was getting around using crutches and wearing a boot. But it made doing simple tasks extremely difficult. I wasn’t able to drive a car, go grocery shopping, cook meals, clean the house, walk the dog, or do anything else that required a lot of movement or standing. Thankfully my husband was still working from home several days a week and had picked up a lot of the slack. However, he was extra busy at work, so I needed to find alternative solutions to the jobs I usually did. I ended up hiring a dog walker, ordering Walmart pickup and/or groceries online, ordering take out when my husband didn’t feel like cooking and hired some cleaning help. And the extra costs added up.

(If any of you feel like you don’t contribute to the household because you don’t work outside the home, talk to my husband. He will tell you that you are more valuable than you know. 😉 )

Here is a breakdown of the various expenses I incurred during the last nine weeks.

  • Extra medical expenses: walking boot, crutches, scooter: $375.00
  • Doctor visits (co-pays): $635.00
  • Dog walker: $250.00
  • Extra fees, tips by ordering online groceries: $100
  • Ordering take-out: $300
  • Cleaning services: $800 (1st time cleaning services charge over $500 for a first ‘deep’ clean. I know, ridiculous. And they didn’t even do a good job. No more.)

Total out of pocket costs: $2,460


This was a good exercise in realizing that it’s just not medical bills that you need to worry about when an accident happens. If you are injured and are responsible for specific chores, jobs, etc., you will need to figure out who will do those jobs while you recover, especially if it lasts for more than a couple of days. It only took one silly little trip on the sidewalk and I was out for almost three months. Thankfully I didn’t need surgery, or it would have been longer.

My foot is healing. I’m no longer using crutches or wearing a boot. The pain is still there, especially at night, but it is much better than before. I anticipate I will be doing my own cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping very soon, as well as taking a stroll down the street with the dog. And I can’t wait.