It’s May already, so another month has passed. We are already four months into our Buy Nothing Challenge! We bought one thing this month and April wasn’t our best month grocery-wise. But other than that, we’re actually doing quite good! Let’s dive into our April update.
If your new to our challenge and want to read the start of our challenge and the updates so far, you can check them out here:
- Buy Nothing Challenge
- Buy Nothing Challenge – January Update
- Buy Nothing Challenge – February Update
- Buy Nothing Challenge – March Update
This month I displayed things a bit different. Last week I made a spreadsheet with all of our expenses per month, so now I can use that data for my monthly update. Plus I really like these pie charts :)
This gives you a little bit more insight into our expenses. I will elaborate on a couple of categories.
Our oldest son (L from now on) celebrated his 5th birthday and we combined it with Easter for an Easter & Birthday lunch for the family. Well, that really ups your grocery bill ;) More than € 100 in the groceries category is from the party.
Even without the party, we spend over € 500 on groceries again. We really should be able to stay below € 500 for the 4 of us. Now we do have two boys and especially the oldest one already eats more than I do and my husband eats a lot too.
Even with two boys that eat a lot and a husband that can eat for three people, we should be able to eat for € 100 – € 125 a week.
I want to keep track of our meals in May and what our normal meals actually cost us to gain some insight. I was already looking into this yesterday and some meals cost actually more than I thought. And then we also have breakfast, lunch, fruit and other snacks.
I’m making a month-planner for our meals. It contains dinner only at the moment, with the prices per meal. If it turns out to be a handy tool, I will share it later on the blog.
Eating out € 215.00
My husband and I went out for lunch for the first time when the boys were at school. I loved it! Definitely have to do that more often.
We also went out for dinner for my husband stepmom’s birthday, so we paid for all four people as a gift. We don’t try to save on these things as we really enjoy it and we love to make memories.
We planned to go out to eat together last Monday, but I was not feeling well, so we had to cancel unfortunately. Hopefully we can go soon!
There were some broken lights and the light switches and dimmers needed some adjustments. Expensive stuff, but it was necessary.
L really needed new shoes, new boxer shorts and a few t-shirts as he grew out of everything. They grow so fast! It was also his birthday, so there’s also some gifts in the children category this month.
Also, the border of the trampoline was broken and since we had a lot of kids coming for L’s Birthday and the weather was going to be great to be outside all day, we needed to replace it before accidents would happen. Really glad we did, because all the kids were jumping on it all day long.
We didn’t have a place to eat in the garden anymore, because our old table broke in two. It never really was an outside table, but we used it anyway as it was already old and too ugly to put inside :) It survived long enough to use during our first summer in this house.
We still have a lot to do in the garden since we moved here last year, so we didn’t want to buy a lot of garden furniture before we exactly know how the garden is going to look.
And then the picnic tables were on sale. They usually aren’t sold for less than € 100 and now we got this one for € 52.99. Even secondhand we couldn’t find anything this cheap. We bought it the day before the party and we have used it a lot already. We love it!
What also happened this month: we got solar panels!
We haven’t paid for them this month though. We actually applied for a loan for the solar panels and the solar water heater and solar collectors we are also getting soon.
In the Netherlands, you can apply for a savings loan when you are investing in things like solar panels or when you insulate your home. The loan has an interest rate of 1.9%, so it’s pretty cheap money. We rather have the loan and invest our money against a higher interest rate. It’s kinda the same as why we don’t pay off our mortgage.
I think we did good this month, except for the groceries. But it’s always good to have room for improvement! It’s fun to dive into our meals, it gives so much insight! I will share next month how that went with my own planner.
I still think sometimes about buying things, but more and more it becomes normal to think about it before just running to the shop and buy it. For example, my fitbit, which I really love, is broken. Well, the band is, the tracker itself works perfectly.
After thinking about buying a new one (they aren’t cheap…!), I decided to glue it first. Well, that didn’t really work so I taped it in the end. It doesn’t look great, but it works. So now I have given myself some time to think about a replacement.
Does any of you have a fitbit? Which one? Pros and cons? I’m thinking about the Fitbit Charge 3 or the Inspire HR.