It’s October, and we’ve reached our first full quarter at the John & Jane Doe Guide to Money and Investing! I’m studying for a midterm for a tax preparation class and taking a better blogging class, so I thought I’d give an update on some of the things I’ve been writing about lately.
We’ve been on the 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero Challenge, and I’ve written a lot of articles about it. It’s helped us really reduce our food waste, both because we are buying less and because we are able to see what we have more easily. Making a food inventory really helped us design meals around what we have. With fewer new food options around the house, I’ve been much more diligent about making lunches out of leftovers. We haven’t completely eliminated waste, but we’ve been throwing out much less.
One trip I’m pretty sure I’ll be making during the first week in November will be Trader Joe’s, but I’ll be following the advice of Mel at BrokeGIRLRich: Take cash and don’t go on an empty stomach. I haven’t decided on the budget yet, but I know that I should be able to use the trip to stock up on some of the nuts and fruit I usually use for holiday cooking.
I continue to work on trying to work on our five year-old’s financial literacy, and she now gets a weekly allowance. She gets $5 per week, but has to save 50 cents and put 50 cents in the giveaway jar. So far, she continues to spend most of her allowance on in-app purchases for her “free” Kindle games. I had gotten worried that she was getting pretty spoiled during the first week of #31DaysLWSZ, and I’ve been more conscious of how I’ve been treating her requests for treats (both food and activities). She’s adapting, but we’ll have to see how it progresses moving into the holiday season.
Thanks to the lovely personal finance committee, Jon and I have recommitted to budgeting and are using October to reset our habits with getting everything down on spreadsheets. Sometimes, you need to get stuff down on (electronic) paper to point out the obvious, and we need to both cut expenses and raise income. We’re okay, but we could be doing much better about saving for retirement and Little Bit’s college tuition bills. I’m grateful that circumstances have made us more aware of this now rather than later.
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