Buy Nothing Challenge – May Update

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And then it was June, so it’s time for the May update of our challenge. It was a busy month with some more days out with the family than usual. Making memories together is always good! The weather is getting better every day and we are outside a lot.

New to my Buy Nothing Challenge series? Check out all the updates here:

The chart

 

I changed the categories a bit this month to have less categories and a better overview:

  • Household expenses: Everything related to the house, from the energy bill to home decor, upkeep and internet.
  • Groceries: Groceries including hygiene products and household products.
  • Entertainment: Going out for dinner, takeaway food, fun things with the family, trips and holidays.
  • Children: Daycare (minus subsidy), diapers, clothes, babysitter and other stuff related to the children.
  • Insurance: Healthcare (plus medical bills) and other insurances.
  • Other: Gifts, the dog and anything that doesn’t fit any other category.

Household Expenses

The household expenses are a lot this month because of the yearly charges for our water authority. Other than that, there were no special expenses in this category this month.

Groceries

Just above the € 500 boundary, we’re close this month! We tracked our meals partly and got to see how much our meals cost us. It does give a lot of insight, but I didn’t really had time to figure out a handy system yet, so I will save that for this month.

I plan to track a week in June and then review that week to look for improvements.

Entertainment

My husband and the boys went to an amusement park for a whole weekend with the boys’ grandparents and their niece and nephew. They stayed there for 2 nights and had a lot of fun. And I enjoyed some much needed me-time :)

We also went to some indoor and outdoor playgrounds this month and my husband and I went out for dinner and to the cinema while my mom watched the children.

Children

I also included daycare in the costs now. Only 1.5 month to go as we cancelled it when the summer holiday starts. During the summer we don’t need daycare and we don’t know yet if we need it after the holiday as our youngest will also start school shortly after the holiday.

This means I will have all the school hours for my blog and stuff around the house, which is approx. 2.5 hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 5.5 hours on Tuesday and Thursday. Plus the hours that my husband is home.

Expenses: We bought some clothes for L, as all of his t-shirts were too short. We found some really affordable ones, so I’m happy about that. We didn’t buy anything we didn’t need and I didn’t buy anything for myself while we were shopping!

Solar Panels

Our solar panels are doing a great job and we already made more than 1000 kWh since they were installed on April 30th!

The yield per day of our first full month with solar panels:

Solar Panels May 2019

Our energy bill doesn’t lower directly, that takes a while probably. In the Netherlands, we pay the same amount every month, with a correction yearly.

We will also get a solar water heater and solar collectors, hopefully this month. So then our bill will eventually lower a lot. And we will probably receive back a decent amount of money each year for all the kWh we produced but didn’t use.

Conclusion

I notice that I’m starting to value things more every month. And as I’m trying a lot of the cheapest brands in the supermarket, I notice that for some things, I actually will stick to a brand that costs a little bit more, because it really is a better product.

And for lots of things, I always get the cheapest one now as it tastes almost exactly the same as the expensive brand. I suggest to try it out instead of just sticking with expensive brands because you’re used to it.

And you, are you used to expensive brands?

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hi Janneke,
    I’m so jealous! I would love solar panels on our house, it would really help keep the power bill down.
    The wife an I looked into it, but being in Sweden and the size of the roof, it would probably only cover 1/3 of the power bill. I guess any amount is better than none? Also, it may add to the resale value of the house?

    I am currently contemplating wind power as we live in a pretty windy area. I would only need 2 small wind turbines to generate most of our power needs. The benefit is that we would get more power than solar, and it generates power year round. Drawbacks include council approval, no rebate and potential noise
    Are you in a pretty good position to utilise the sun?
    Matt

    1. Hi Matt,

      Our roof is pretty large, so we could fit 23 solar panels. We produce a lot more than we need actually, but we can sell it back to the energy company. And the roof is in a perfect spot for the sun. We have another roof, a smaller one, and there we will place some solar collectors to go with the solar water heater.

      It will make the value of the house go up, at least I think it does.

      I don’t think I would like to have a wind turbine in my back yard, unless it;s a really big yard and it’s not next to the where you sit all the time. I assume I will go crazy from the moving shadows all the time on sunny days. And the sound of course. No idea how much noise the small ones make. If you own a farm with a large plot of land, then I would go for it. Otherwise I would try something else.

      Solar Panels are getting better all the time, so in time, you can produce more with less panels. So in a while you can probably produce a good part of your usage with them. If your roof is in the right direction of course.

      Janneke

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