April Fool's Gold Panning for Budgets

Since breaking my tablet and not being around the forum as much my spending has been escaping my scrutiny.

Add to that I just accidentally sent a $4000 payment instead of a $400 payment that I can’t reverse, on a $2400-$2800/month post-tax (pre-retirement savings etc) salary and that’s a big Whoopsies.

Anyone else feel like focusing on budget-ish stuff this month?

I’m going to go back and look at March spending in the morning and make sure my recurring line items are still what I think they are then outline my plan for the month.


On a finance forum???


I’m trying to work out exactly what we can spend on our renovation. So I need to review my budget with Ponder while both sleep deprived and work out what a nice house will save us in terms of daily living expenses.



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Oooh I am very much looking forward to following your whole renovation process but this bit is one I’m especially fascinated by in different regions and different house goals :heart_eyes:


I’m torn because if I say yes I might have to stop buying stupid shit




I am in but have one single big looming item on my list, and that is to actually talk with Sweaty about our individual finances so we can plan buying a house on a more specific timeline. I have been ashamed to have the conversation specifically because of my consumer debt, but it’s approaching a place where I feel less shameful about it, and we’ve been together 5 and a half years, I don’t think there’s going to be a problem if he learns the exact number given that he already knows I have debt and am stressed about it. Anyway, yeah, we need to have a family finances conversation so we can plan for the future without doing so blindly!


Good on you!

I have spent far too much on eating out. I should focus on my budget in general. Im in

Yes, I should finish making my budget this month so that I can follow it


Yes, I should finish making my budget this month so I can ignore it.


Errrr…budget? What’s that?

I’m going to take @katscratch ‘s advice and tackle one thing a month. This month, I will figure out what our fixed recurring bills are/will be (I.e. mortgage, utilities, property tax, daycare, etc), and then go from there. Let’s see how much money we can spend on the many many renovations that we need to do on the house.


I really need to control my food/grocery spending.


Me too, but I have no idea how to do so until we’re fully vaxxed and thus going into stores in-person again. The delivery charges and tips (and higher prices overall when we use sources that have neither a delivery charge nor take tips), and general inability to shop around for sales is killing us.

I’d welcome any advice! Unless we just let things ride for a month until dose 2 has fully kicked in.


My problem is not delivery fees actually. We have still been going to the store this entire time. We just go early or late so there are less people. We do go out to eat as well but we just go through the drive thru or pick it up then eat in the car or at home. I just need to have some damn willpower to stop buying all the things just so I can keep a well-stocked pantry. And I need to stop spending so much on take-out.

Do you have a friend you trust to go to the store for you and pick up things to leave at your door? I know a few people doing that instead of using delivery or higher-fee services like Instacart.


i am in

Sadly, not really, anyone who we’d normally ask for that sort of thing is higher-risk than we are and similarly isolating.

Here, everyone seems to have the same idea re going early or late… we tried that but our city stores are small and always packed, now that they’ve done away with capacity limits. Sigh.

Keeping a stocked pantry is definitely part of our issue as well. I have never in my life had so much food in the house, same for the cat food stash. I keep worrying that everything’s going to go to shit again or the supply chain issues that happened a year ago will return. That is probably ridiculous and I do not need to keep a stash of EVERYTHING and stocking up on EVERYTHING when I see it’s available. Our supply chain is much better but there’s still random stuff we can’t find sometimes, staples like tofu or certain fruits or veg. Like, we couldn’t get any green onions for a few weeks? WTF?

I do try and keep a stash of stuff Boyfriend eats often, as he is way less flexible around food than I am. I could do a better job of forcing myself to use what I have as I don’t mind making substitutions when necessary.

We’re bad about takeout too. We try to limit it to once a week but lately we’ve been failing at that for no reason other than “fuck it, everything sucks, let’s order something delicious.”

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Today I was all ‘let’s go out to get fancy sliced deli meat for lunch’, but the shadowy one was ‘don’t we have eggs?’ Which true. And substantially cheaper than deli meat.

I think it was Frugalwoods who had a very defined set of specific low cost standard meals. I think they went further than would be ideal for me, but we do have a series of very easy & low cost that we default to (e.g. okonomiyaki is just cut up cabbage and eggs and some sauces and can be done in 20 minutes when I’m tired) and the ingredients last a while so we limit food waste.

Sort of like the people who put out their exercise clothing/running shoes out the night before if they are trying to start an exercise habit.