August 2020 No Spend Recap

August 1st

  • Total Cash: $7,312.84
  • Liquid Investments: $3,000.57 (3 Month CD)
  • Savings Goal: $15,000.00
  • Money Left to Save: $4,686.59
  • Current Car Debt: $12,232.04
  • Current Student Loan Debt: $46,251.38

August started with high hopes with going back to the salon part time and working Saturdays. I really missed the creative part of being a hair stylist. Typically salons pay between 40-60% of the total amount charged to clients. I estimated that I would make 50% commission or between $24 and $39 per hour plus tips. Unfortunately the pay was not what I expected. It was $9 per hour. Not nearly close enough to the 50% mark. I resigned my position after the first week. I’m still hopefully that a salon position will open up closer to the 50% mark so that I can maximize my time.

Since the part time salon job did not work out, I have been focusing on my expenses. Inspired by reading America’s Cheapest Family, my primary focus is on how to reduce food expenses. We spend about $35-38 per day for all of our meals and snacks. I recently took an inventory of our grocery items and noticed an opportunity to reduce some expenses. Mr. BMM enjoys a Clif bar with lunch when he is at work. I offered to make homemade Clif bars and he gladly accepted the offer. Mr. BMM even got a recipe from a friend who made bars that he tried before. While there are upfront costs of buying all of the ingredients, most of the ingredients are things that we usually buy so I expect the cost per bar will be less than a Clif bar.

I had some unexpected purchases this month. As much as I did not want to spend money after spending money on Mr. BMM’s birthday and our staycation last month, life happens. Here is what I spent money on besides the typical groceries and gas.

  • $30 – purchased an insulated water bottle – A glass reusable bottle does not work in the summer if you want to drink cool water.
  • $150 – replaced our Ninja – Replacements are approved. This was a necessary replacement since I used our old Ninja at least once a day.
  • $180 – purchased a summer motorcycle jacket – Some how this purchase did not make my approved list despite the fact for the past three summers I have been looking for a new motorcycle jacket. Summer motorcycle jacket was clearly not on my mind in the middle of winter. I could see how that happened.
  • $210 – replaced my smashed up broken phone – Replacements are approved. This was a necessary replacement. While I love having low tech or no tech days, I needed a phone to authenticate myself while I work from home. Working from home saves more money than the cost of this phone over my expected 3+ years. I also bought a $30 phone case to help save my phone the next time it bounces down a flight of steps and lands on concrete.

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Mr. BMM and I are continuing to pay a little extra towards our three home loans each pay. I know it’s going to go slow at first as we focus on the first home loan until that snowball grows. After we pay off the first loan the other two will go much quicker.

Paying off debt is more about the art of having patience. Don’t you think? I mean you likely get paid every two weeks. You know in advance how much of your pay is going to go on debt but you literally have to wait every two weeks to pay off debt. I keep thinking of the saying that “Roman was not built in a day.” But my goodness it was probably built in three days! All joking aside paying off debt is most certainly testing and strengthening my patience each day.

Side bar on the money talk. My trainer commented about how laid back Mr. BMM and I am. Mr. BMM is laid back. I only heard him yell once in over 13 years. He was pretending to be the old BMM. Do you know this is probably the first time someone has ever commented that I was laid back? Laid back is not the old BMM. Honestly I agree with her that the new BMM is laid back. I’m learning to pick my battles and let karma do the rest. I also don’t feel the need to say no to something fun because I have laundry to fold. That laundry could wait. There will be rainy laundry days when I could only wish for some sunshine. Guess this whole minimalist thing is really working. Cheers to minimalism!

black and white typewriter on green textile

My August financial goal was high and a bit scary. I was afraid to completely fail and put my goal out into the universe but I knew I needed to set the bar high. I needed to challenge myself. Even if I got close, I would still call it a win because I worked hard.

My August goals were as follows:

  1. No phone with Mr. BMM – Getting better and better each day. Still working on it. The new phone with No Screen Time feature is really helping me.
  2. Save $2,000 in cash. How did that work out? Broken phone, smoking Ninja, new motorcycle jacket
  3. Write three times a week – DONE.

What Am I Doing Differently in September? I’m going to start paying an extra $750 per month towards my student loans. Each month I will be making a total monthly payment of $1,107.93. Earlier this week when I logged into my student loan account to make this happen, I looked at Mr. BMM and said “it’s finally happening. I’m going to pay this loan off in 43 months as long as my salary remains the same or increases.” Mr. BMM smiled and acknowledged how hard I have been working towards this goal.

until debt tear us apart brick wall vandal

I know that my original plan was to wait until I had $15,000 saved so that I could put $4,000 towards my Roth and have it fully funded for 2020 first. But I am in a fortunate position right now. Collectively we have the ability to support a short term emergency. And my student loans are at a higher rate, 4.31% to be exact, than I could earn with cash sitting in the bank or other short term investments. It makes more sense to closely monitor my expenses, save cash at a slower rate, than it does to wait much longer to start paying off my student loans. Remember, Rome was built in three days! Just kidding.

In addition to paying an extra $750 towards my student loans, I want to save $1,250 next month in cash. I will be taking the funds from 3 month CD and moving them to my ROTH. I need $1,000 more to fully fund my ROTH. After my ROTH is fulling funding, I am going to reevaluate my financials and see if I can apply more money to my student loans.

Without further ado, here is a summary of what happened during my August 2020 no spend month:

Increase in cash: $1,975.10

Decrease in debt: $414.89

August 31st

  • Total Cash: $9,288.12
  • Liquid Investments: $3,000.39 (3 Month CD – Matures 9/30)
  • Savings Goal: $15,000.00
  • Money Left to Save: $2,711.49
  • Current Car Debt: $12,058.32
  • Current Student Loan Debt: $46,010.21

Current Savings/Debt Payoff Rate: 37.5%

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