March 2018 Review And Expense Report

It feels weird, but good, to realise that we are in April already. How time flies! While my Instagram feed is getting flooded in pictures of spring greenery and new life of March, here up north, we are still waiting for that elusive day when nighttime temperatures are steadily above freezing and melting begins in earnest.

Excited rumourmongers stalk the weather forecasts and hope it will be this time. Snow is melting outside, making for somewhat lethal walking conditions, but we are excited, spring is coming!

April saw us hosting my father for a few days in Easter, which meant going out to eat and sharing a few beers afterwards. We also indulged something horribly in candy over Easter, being neither healthy nor frugal. Ops.

On the positive side, our continual saving and investing, even in spite of being in the red and having guests over, I still managed to get my negative net worth down to the five figures in NOK! Woop woop! That zero line is inching ever closer, and I feel confident I will reach it within the year. Barring a mortgage, it’ll only be up from there!

A month of extremes

March was a month that saw me working two surprise 14 hour days back to back at work, which made me break my perfect streak of never buying dinner at work (valid since I started last May) by getting food twice in a row.

I don’t feel bad about these two dinners, as I know they are exceptions to the rule, and I would not have been able to keep my head with me all night on just oatmeal alone. A woman needs her vegetables too!

On the other side of that coin, I also made my first few pennies online with sidehustles in March! I hope to be able to keep steadily building this up to a sustainable level, just like the little baby blog has grown from a few views a week to steadily getting several views every day. Slow and steady!

Financial independence game checklist

Am I allowed to do a bit of shameless self-promotion? It is my blog, after all, isn’t it?

I was inspired by the Choose FI episode about the milestones of FI, and thought: “Hey, maybe I could make a cheerful checklist with a board game feeling and try to gamify our way to FI a bit?”

So I tried! I made one for people who primarily sidehustle to FI, and one for people who primarily save their way to FI:

I am having quite a lot of fun with making these things. With so many days off in Easter, both Mr. Frugasaurus and myself have been hard at work trying to build on our sidehustles. In some ways, to such an extent that we realise we’re not really having a sustainable work/life balance at the moment, and should probably try to cut back a bit.

But it is so nice to feel that sense of accomplishment as you finish something and put it out into the world! Practice makes perfect, I suppose, and we do work now with the intention of being able to get more free time in return later.

Candy easter

Oy wey.

The week of Easter has seen astronomical candy expenses compared to our normal. I don’t even think we went this nuts over the holidays!

We really just went full on enabling mode, and kept buying stuff we know ourselves and the other person likes.

It was not even because prices dropped, because they didn’t.

There is only one thing to do about this, seeing as we both want to eat a healthy, balanced diet with lots of vegetables, and that is to cut way down, back to our intention of one unit of candy per week or less.

No added sugar

So in the spirit of all those “No spend” months I keep seeing cropping up everywhere, I am going to try to do a “no-added-sugar” month of April.

I already broke it the first of April because we were visiting friends and there was chocolate (and I didn’t think about doing it until Monday), but none the less. A less than perfect streak is no excuse not to give it your all the rest of the month!

Here comes the sun

March was a good month socially. Towards the end of the month, we turned our clocks forward (a practice Mr. Frugasaurus and I abhor as it throws our rhythm out of whack twice annually for no reason), and suddenly, it felt like summer!

A cold and wintery summer, but summer all the same!

It was the light, of course.

Going from walking to and from work in the dark of winter, the sun now rises around 6 am. I can watch it from the couch as I get my morning writing in before work.

In the evening, it does not set until after 8 pm, and increasing every night. I can’t tell you how much this does for my energy levels. Having sunlight still outside after dinner just makes me more awake and energetic. It feels as if I get more hours out of the day, and it is amazing.

It is a bit strange that the longer days took me by surprise so much, seeing as I walk to work every day and see the seasons change around me daily. But it did, and I am happy it did.

Expenses and savings:

Curious about the nitty gritty details of this month? All expense reports are in Norwegian kroner (NOK). For a somewhat representative picture, US and UK residents can remove a zero.

  • Saving: 13 710 (a mix of investments, mortgage savings and emergency fund)
  • Fixed expenses: 5 700 (rent, electricity and phone bill)
  • Groceries: 3 230 (ahem… candy mayhem of budget destroyers)
  • Student loan: 1 500 (steadily decreasing, over 1 100 to the principal)
  • Various: 1 390 (LED light bulbs, museum ticket, plants and soil, +)
  • Social: 760 (dinner out and some drinks while hosting guest)
  • Transport: 500 (includes weekly bus pass while hosting guest)
  • Sidehustles: 50 (Etsy listing fees, postage)

March savings rate: 51%, hooray!

How did your March look this year?

12 Comments on “March 2018 Review And Expense Report

  1. Impressive saving rate! Your grocery bill was still awesome, despite the candy debacle. My husband and I are the worst at spending over $400 each month on groceries. Definitely working on cutting that back!

    Saving 50% of income is much harder than we anticipated, so kudos to you guys! Hopefully we hit our groove soon, and saving that feels like nothing.

    • Thanks! We are working on cutting down our groceries too, it’s a bit of a struggle because we’ve finally come to the place where we feel like we can relax a bit financially. So to balance frugality and reward for a couple of foodies can be a challenge!

      We are lucky with our savings rate, since we never inflated our lifestyle much beyond broke college student. It would be so much harder if we had ten or so years of heavy lifestyle inflation behind us!

    • Thank you so much! Checklist games really help keep me motivated, so I hoped someone else might feel the same way!

    • Hooray indeed, real chuffed with that! And thank you so much! I am so glad other people like them too!! ??

  2. These look fantastic! Great job. I’m building a bachelorette party printable on Etsy right now and loving the process. Other bloggers can link to your product with an Etsy affiliate link if you find anyone who wants to support you.

    • There are Etsy affiliate links? I had no idea! Thanks for the tip, and the compliment! Printables are a lot of fun!

  3. 50% savings rate is amazing!! I recently achieved that for two months running and I felt really happy (though I know I won’t be able to do it every month).

    • Thanks, and congrats on your own savings rate! I think falling behind once in a while is ok. You’re still miles ahead of many other people!

  4. The daylight is soooooooo wonderful, isn’t it?! It took me by surprise as well and I am LOVING it!

    Also wow I absolutely love your printables! I really like the idea of digital downloads but have always wondered what I could make to sell. The Pillars of FI idea if genius!

    • Yeah, I am enjoying going from dark to sunrise on our morning work session, and I’m loving it!

      Thank you! I wonder about that as well, I think it just takes a bit of trying and failing in some niche you feel passionate about!

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