Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Week 4: Investments are a success!

This week: Expenses per day:  13,57$
Last week: Expenses per day: 19,54$
Total Savings this week: 109,04$

This update comes a little late, as I was quite busy during the last days, but I am very happy about my expenses. The coffeemachine is a great saver. I spent 4,50$ for half a pound of great coffee which lasted for the whole week (around 40 -50 cups I guess). What a great machine!!!
I managed to buy a lot of good food in farmer markets (bread, buns, baguette) and bought jam, turkey and salami. Tasty food and it saves again a few bucks to not eat warm every dinner. I do not regret the 33$ I have spent in restaurants this week and as mentioned last week, I will try to stay with the traditional "Friday indian restaurant visit"
Overall, I am very satisfied with this week and won´t change a lot of expenses in the coming week(s). To see how much I am really paying every week with my current budget I have to wait for some time, especially because of fuel costs and stuff that I buy rather unregularly. Respectively, the expenses are also quite low this week, because I refilled fuel for only 10$, but had to refill the car for 50$ during the current week, which will have a big effect in my next update :( .

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Week 3: Reducing Restaurant Expenses

This week I was able to buy most food in supermarkets.  The overall expenses for food are now caused by products from the supermarket. If you compare it with my first pie chart, the supermarket expenses took the place of "Eating Out", which is exactly how it should be.

The expenses for coffee could be slightly lower, but with the coffee and coffee machine this should be achievable over longterm. Syrup and coffee that I bought during this week are listed which explains the 29$ I spent for coffee this week. During the coming weeks I expect to save some dollars with it.

Reviewing my goals from the past week, I am able to say that the first two goals are achieved!  I spent only little money in restaurants, but bought and cooked a good amount of food that I bought in supermarkets.
I won´t continue decreasing my expenses in the coffeehouse. The coffee I drink there once or twice a week is what I enjoy as I meet friends there and won´t miss that. I am satisfied with the money I can save by brewing my own coffee in the morning.

So far so good. For the coming week I will just keep on saving. No special goals , no further changes. I was not able to spend less than 18$ a day this week, but again over 19 (19,54$).  All together I saved 67.24$ this week. The freshly brewed coffee from the Hudson River Coffeehouse will make the difference! I ll better start brewing a cup right now :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Week 2: Saved 10$ a Day

Original daily expenses:  29.15$
Week 2 daily expenses:  19.47$
I achieved my goal of spending less than 20$ per day.
During the past week I was able to decrease my expenses by 67.77$ which is great for now! Let´s have a look at my goals from the beginning and see what made the difference:

Goal No.1:  Buy food in the supermarket, not in cafés and pizza places:
Food expenses 1st week:  105.47$
Food expenses 2nd week:  74.55$
During my first "unchanged" week, I spent 83.67$ for food in restaurants and cafés.
I spend another 21.80$ for food that I prepared at home.
This week, I went to a supermarket to buy food which I would prepare instead of buying premade food from restaurants etc.  However, as I was moving to a new apartment and quite busy, I fell back to my habit to buy food somewhere, which finally cost 53.95$ :( .   For 20.60$ I was able to make food for 4 days and shared some of it with my girlfriend. I will focus more on preparing food at home after I finished moving, as it really saves a lot of money and is healthier.

Goal No.2:  Get a Coffeemachine!
I have a coffeemachine!   I still need to buy filters and coffee, but it will decrease my coffee expenses significantly.

Goal No.3:  Buy less in my favourite coffeehouse!
I ordered smaller sizes and tried to buy only "every now and then" food there. This decreased my expenses from 40.86$ to 24.20$. I cut my expenses nearly by half. I will try to save a little more here, as I am going to buy the grinded coffee for my coffeemachine here and hopefully make my own breakfast soon.

Goal No.4:  Go to Bakery only once a week!
Well, as the past week was quite busy, I did not really have time to visit the bakery. My expenses during the past week were 0$.  Saved another 17.70$!
I recognized that my expenses for fuel are nearly unavoidable, even though they are responsible for nearly a third of my weekly expenses. 

Goals for the coming week:
Create a more simple excel file...
Lowering the expenses to 18$ per day!
Make coffee with the coffeemachine!
Stop eating out everyday!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

10 Days are over: Let´s start saving!

Money spent for X in 10 days:
  • Fuel: 76.25$
  • Restaurants 37,80$
  • Costs for eating at home: 33,86$
  • Bakery: 17,75$
  • Coffee in Café: 32,75$   (!!!)
  • Food in Café: 28,20$  (!!!)
This is the distrtibution of my major costs during the last 10 days.  Many of these costs are unnecessary and I am optimistic to lower my expenses significantly. To my defense I need to add that the current semester break is to blame for some of the high expenses...  To track my savings, I have a counter on the right side of my blog which will show my current savings. My current average daily expenses are 29,15$. For the coming week I want to lower them to 20$. To be more motivated to excell in this exercise, I am going to put a big Piggybank (I am looking for one similar to this: My Piggybank ) on my desk.

My plans for the coming week:
  • Buying food for  breakfast, lunch and dinner at Hannaford or Walmart for several days ahead to avoid restaurant visits during weekdays.
  • Buying a coffeemachine
  • Reducing the "Daily Morning Hazelnut+Almond Large Iced-Coffee" to a "Every Other Day Normal-sized Hazelnut+Almond Iced-Coffee"
  • Going to Bakery only ONCE a week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Week 1: Where do my Dollars go to?

I tracked all my expenses for one week now and have a clearer idea where my dollars go to: The pie chart gives you a first impression, however: It is just one week and I will continue tracking every expense without significant changes for at least another week, before I start cutting down my expenses:

budget plan blog

The biggest potential for savings lies in my habit to eat at Pizza stores, Indian and Chinese restaurant.
Driving around is obviously another costy part of my life. During the coming weeks I will try to lower the costs by driving bus and walking to close places.
I see also a lot of potential for savings in my habit to buy coffee and occasionally breakfast at my favourite coffee place, but I am not sure yet to which degree I am willing to buy less coffee here..

Let´s see how my expenses are distributed in my second week, I won´t change my habits for now. In week 3, I will change my habits, try to lower my costs and start a "Savings Counter" to track how much I was able to save with the budget plan.