Frugal Living in my new Place
In my old house, I had my grandmother's old standing freezer. This made it easy to stockpile flour, cornmeal, vital wheat gluten, bread from outlets, and other various items. Now that I live in an apartment, I had to take that into consideration in my months-long search for a new place. I specifically picked an apartment that had a basement storage unit. While I have some things stored in there for obvious reasons, I also utilize that space for food storage. I made a short Youtube video about it, but I purchased some five-gallon buckets with screw lids. In these, I store my vital wheat gluten, flour, sugars, and rice. Eventually, I will buy a few more I can store oats and beans in. For now, my beans are on a shelving unit where I keep shelf-stable items, along with gallons of water, cooking oil, and various items I got on super sale.
In a past post, I talked about how I am now a proponent of air drying my laundry. Not only do I save a lot of money (as I only have to pay for washing) but it's better for the environment. To that end, I have a couple of drying racks that work well, but they don't hold as many items as I would like. This is because they're fairly small which also makes it harder to hang bulky pants and towels. To get around this, I purchased a clothing rack as well. It has two levels for hanging clothes, so I hang all the shirts, towels, and various like items on that using hangers. It works fantastic!
I've been making bread in my two bread machines for years, but they never seemed to come out quite right. Sure, they were still delicious but seemed to be lacking some density. Finally, after a bit of research, I've learned to make the perfect loaf, so now I do NOT buy bread anymore. I make it myself and since I have two machines, I can make a lot of fun flavors.
4. Spending Freeze
I'm a saver by nature, but I'm always looking for new ways to ramp that up. It seems like, even though I don't spend much money on non-necessities, that I still seem to spend a bit of money at least every few days. When I look at what I'm getting, it's not like I'm wasting money or anything, but I'm not buying anything that couldn't wait. So, I've decided to do spending freezes here and there. Currently, I'm on a two-week spending freeze. Besides some bills that I have to pay this week when I get paid, I'm not spending money on a single thing. I have all the food and supplies I need stocked up at home, and now that my daughter is out of school for the summer, I'm going to be walking back and forth from work.
I've always been the dad of the house, hollering at anyone trying to turn up or down the thermostat. When I was apartment hunting, I mentioned in item 1 that I specifically picked one that had a storage unit. I also had other criteria, one of those being a basement/garden apartment. Having a unit underground or partially underground means you save a lot on your utility bill. We had a couple of 90+ degree days already, and it stayed a cool 73 in my place. The unit has ceiling fans in the bedrooms and living room, so while the upper units around me ran their air conditioning, I ran my fans. My first bill was so small, I nearly cried!
6. New Goals
Now that my past is behind me, I can focus on new goals going forward. I've already touched on one before, but I plan on having my four-month emergency fund beefed up to six months by the end of summer.
I'm also diligently tracking all of my expenses outside of my monthly bills so I can see how much I'm spending in different categories. This way I can determine how much I spend on food, for instance, and where I can cut down on certain expenses.
Now that I have my stockpile set up and running, I want to pad that up over the summer. Since I do so much of my cooking and baking from scratch, I need a good amount of supplies. Supplies deplete quickly so having a good surplus is always good. Besides, you never know with our economy how things will look by the end of the year.
I'm saving up for a new car. My old car is on its last legs, and so I'm going to let it sit as much as possible for the rest of the year. I want to get a new car and could easily get a loan for one right now, but I do not want to have a large debt again - especially considering how hard I worked last year into this one to get debt-free. I plan on having 50% for a down payment so I can lower my monthly payments and interest rate. This means waiting until I get my income tax refund next year to help bulk up the amount I'm already saving.
And that's it. That's what I'm currently doing in my frugal lifestyle. This, of course, will only benefit me on the road to FIRE. Do I need to be quite this frugal? Well, I'll let you decide but I will say one thing: I'd rather save it now so I can spend it later.
Have a great week, friends, and I'll be back in a few days. I've got a lot of fun posts on the horizon, as well as some writing. Also, if you're subscribed to my newsletter, a new one is coming tomorrow!