Corona and the “barebones” budget

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mnnice
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Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by mnnice »

Often discussed here is the idea of barebones vs desired lifestyle in retirement. I was just thinking that this month maybe a good example of what constitutes barebones for many households.

It should be for my household. We really have not spent any money on anything particularly “extra”. Just groceries, household supplies, and a tank of gas. We haven’t been so bored that we have resorted to “recreational “ online shopping. :D

Normally we use more money for travel, fuel, eating out/breweries/coffee shops, clothes, movies, and live music. This month has been walks, reading, scratch cooking, and using our streaming services like crazy.
bloom2708
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by bloom2708 »

Yes. There is a lot of fluff in everyone's budget. Most everything we have is fluff.

The problem is, the economy runs on the fluff. At least the current economy does.

We'll see what the reset does over the next months.

I bought Rise of Skywalker. Ordered some coffee from Intelligent Blends. Bought some black t-shirts from Amazon. Keeping a little fluff.
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frugalmama
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by frugalmama »

Very good point. My income has now been effectively cut in half until August most likely. I redid my budget last week when I started realizing the reality of the situation as I wasn't willing to part with some of my savings goals. I spent more on groceries, but we've cut in a lot of other places such as gas, extracurricular activities for the kids, and entertainment. We are experimenting with Kindle Unlimited right now to see if it would be a good fit for us (2 month free trial), so that may eventually be an added expense as we do like to read.

What I'm realizing, as usual in these types of situations, is that it actually takes very little to make me happy in life.
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mnnice
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by mnnice »

bloom2708 wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:08 pm Yes. There is a lot of fluff in everyone's budget. Most everything we have is fluff.

The problem is, the economy runs on the fluff. At least the current economy does.

We'll see what the reset does over the next months.

I bought Rise of Skywalker. Ordered some coffee from Intelligent Blends. Bought some black t-shirts from Amazon. Keeping a little fluff.
I wasn’t debating that the economy runs of fluff. I was just saying that because of the pandemic most fluff is just not particularly available for variety of reasons.

We are still drinking some of the best coffee on the planet (at home like we do everyday). It’s fluff but it is not going away from our budget anytime soon and really should be included in the barebones budget if it is that inelasticity for us. Just like you can lower your property tax by moving to a lower tax place or cheaper place in the same area it really doesn’t matter if you are unwilling to move.
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HomerJ
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by HomerJ »

frugalmama wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:10 pmWhat I'm realizing, as usual in these types of situations, is that it actually takes very little to make me happy in life.
Hot showers are an unbelievable luxury. Hope those don't go away.

Other than that, a good book, a bologna and cheese sandwich, and some diet Coke, and I'm pretty happy.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
delamer
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by delamer »

You make an interesting point.

But if you pay your mortgage/rent at the 1st of the month, your biggest budget expense is likely coming in 12 days. Not to mention utilities and maybe property taxes (if not part of mortgage payment).

I know many retirees don’t have mortgages though.
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by JGoneRiding »

Unfortunately for us almost 50% of our budget is mortgage and day care. Then taxes are about 25% ish. So the 25% left doesn't leave a lot of weight room. Most is consumed by basics.

Where I can control: eat cheaper food, no entertainment besides Netflix and the internet, no new clothes. Less gas. We keep the house at less than ideal temps.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by JDCarpenter »

Yep. We already knew from the numbers what our comfortable non-travel budget was. Just wish we weren't having to live it! (Barebones is relative, of course. We see no need not to grill tenderloin, and the contents of our wine cellar are technically sunk costs.)

Oh well. This too shall pass. :beer
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Chip
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by Chip »

JDCarpenter wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:42 pm the contents of our wine cellar are technically sunk costs.
We think of ours as liquid assets. :beer
ScaledWheel
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by ScaledWheel »

Our largest discretionary expenses are travel and restaurants, so we are actually able to save a lot more money during these times. That is, as long as we can both keep our jobs, which is the biggest worry.

We don't budget but do have aggressive savings goals, so as long as those are met we are comfortable spending the rest. We are cutting down on discretionary shopping to reduce the number of times we come into contact with other people, so those savings could also be significant. I still have an entire bookshelf of books I bought because they seemed interesting but never got around to them.

As a natural introvert, I don't have many issues with staying at home most of the time. Though this has definitely confirmed that I want a home gym when we buy a house. I'm going dust off my gaming computer and put in some time playing games I really enjoy but don't normally have time for. Both of these (the gym and the games) have non-negligible capital costs but are pretty much free afterwards, so I'm lucky in that sense.
winterfan
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by winterfan »

I think it's kind of fun to challenge myself to save money, usually by cooking at home, mending/making do rather than purchasing new, etc. I don't think it's much fun when one of the options is taken away, if that makes sense.

However, we've ordered takeout from neighborhood restaurants three times in the last week, which is unusual.
atdharris
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by atdharris »

Given bars and restaurants are all closed/take out here, I am taking this time to save money. More drinking and cooking at home means a lot less money spent. I also don't plan to buy new clothes or anything like that right now.
ImUrHuckleberry
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by ImUrHuckleberry »

JDCarpenter wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:42 pm Yep. We already knew from the numbers what our comfortable non-travel budget was. Just wish we weren't having to live it! (Barebones is relative, of course. We see no need not to grill tenderloin, and the contents of our wine cellar are technically sunk costs.)

Oh well. This too shall pass. :beer
Most of my wine cellar is 70 miles away in an offsite near work. Was planning to purchase an 800 bottle cellar in April to bring everything back to my house, but that plan is on hold at the moment as I'm afraid the shipment may never make it here. Plus I'm afraid of losing my job so all discretionary spending is on hold.
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windaar
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by windaar »

If things got tight the first things we would shed:
Restaurants
Landscapers
Athletic Club
Cleaning Lady :(
vacations
And I drive my 10 year old Honda another 5 years!
Nobody knows nothing.
fasteddie911
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by fasteddie911 »

I guess our budget was barebones already. Our spending hasn't changed much except we're spending less on groceries, just focusing on grocery essentials and minimizing grocery store visits overall. But also spending more on take out to minimize grocery store visits and support local businesses.
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by StoopieHippo »

I'm actually doing my best not to live off the barebones budget. I'm in Seattle and there's talk of something like 40% of our restaurants not making it. I'm trying to support the ones in my area when I can instead of living off the barebones budget. I guess it helps that I'm in healthcare, so I won't be laid off or losing my pay anytime soon.
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by stoptothink »

HomerJ wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:47 pm
frugalmama wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:10 pmWhat I'm realizing, as usual in these types of situations, is that it actually takes very little to make me happy in life.
Hot showers are an unbelievable luxury. Hope those don't go away.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025014/

I haven't taken a hot shower in years; a combination of the above, frugality (hey, I'm saving the hot water for the wife and kids), and also it is incredibly refreshing after the initial shock.

I'm with frugalmama, my already frugal family is realizing that we can be happy with even less. We're doing without fresh produce and bread right now, and eating some things out of food storage we normally wouldn't (ie, rice in everything), and my kids haven't even noticed.
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by smitcat »

mnnice wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:01 pm Often discussed here is the idea of barebones vs desired lifestyle in retirement. I was just thinking that this month maybe a good example of what constitutes barebones for many households.

It should be for my household. We really have not spent any money on anything particularly “extra”. Just groceries, household supplies, and a tank of gas. We haven’t been so bored that we have resorted to “recreational “ online shopping. :D

Normally we use more money for travel, fuel, eating out/breweries/coffee shops, clothes, movies, and live music. This month has been walks, reading, scratch cooking, and using our streaming services like crazy.
"Often discussed here is the idea of barebones vs desired lifestyle in retirement. I was just thinking that this month maybe a good example of what constitutes barebones for many households."
Good point - as a quick estimate it looks like we will be between 30-40% of our budget this year. Like everyone else we are hoping this will pass more quickly and then we can return to the original budget or even go over it to 'make up' for lost time.
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WoodSpinner
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by WoodSpinner »

stoptothink wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:00 am
HomerJ wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:47 pm
frugalmama wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:10 pmWhat I'm realizing, as usual in these types of situations, is that it actually takes very little to make me happy in life.
Hot showers are an unbelievable luxury. Hope those don't go away.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025014/

I haven't taken a hot shower in years; a combination of the above, frugality (hey, I'm saving the hot water for the wife and kids), and also it is incredibly refreshing after the initial shock.

I'm with frugalmama, my already frugal family is realizing that we can be happy with even less. We're doing without fresh produce and bread right now, and eating some things out of food storage we normally wouldn't (ie, rice in everything), and my kids haven't even noticed.
Bread is easy to make, therapeutic, and tastes great. I would be happy to share recipes but YouTube has lots of great videos on this.
Momus
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by Momus »

I'm living pretty barebones 1250/mo including rent, food and everything else.

I don't think it can get anymore barebones lol...
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mnnice
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by mnnice »

StoopieHippo wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:56 am I'm actually doing my best not to live off the barebones budget. I'm in Seattle and there's talk of something like 40% of our restaurants not making it. I'm trying to support the ones in my area when I can instead of living off the barebones budget. I guess it helps that I'm in healthcare, so I won't be laid off or losing my pay anytime soon.
We attempted to order pizza from a local mom and pop pizza place last night. No one answered the phone. I checked Facebook and they had been completely slammed and ran out of ingredients. We will try another day soon.
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by jharkin »

I can easily see the next couple months cutting down our spending a thousand dollars a month, or more:

Not eating out 2-4x a month - $200-500 savings
Not driving anywhere, not even to work - $200-300 savings
Less recreational shopping (mostly my better half ;) ) - $$$$ lots
Less buying coffees and snacks,etc at work and on the road - $ ?? at least 50, maybe 100

Top it off we already cancelled one planned trip for April. May end up cancelling the summer trip as well. That would save us another $5k or so for the year.

We got lucky that we moved last year and got a new customer sign on bonus to get gigabit home internet dirt cheap, and we got a 1 year bonus streaming subscription to a couple services when my wife just upgrade her 4 year old phone.... didn't seem that exciting at the time but suddenly very handy.

Work gave every employee money toward upgrading home office equipment so I took advantage of that as well.

Big question is going to be how much our electric, water and grocery wills will go UP.
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by rjbraun »

Was about to say it's still early in the month . . . and now I see it's already the 22nd. Yikes.

We're normally pretty careful with our money, but we are prepared to and do splurge. We just try to be mindful and not wasteful.

What I find notable this month is that I'm prepared to pay up for convenience, given the uncertainty surrounding our ability to stock up on groceries with the pandemic. I find myself aware that our Boglehead ways have been beneficial. Namely, whereas in the past I would be more aware of delivery charges or other costs, now I barely notice. Fortunately, the charges are trivial for us and far, far offset by knowing that we can obtain something now that might not be available later (not talking about toilet paper!).
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by togb »

I was just reviewing my expenses to see where I can cut back.

I won't cut back on feed/supplies/care for any of my animals (horses, cats, dog, chickens). I won't pull the plug on my housekeeper, because I know she is more vulnerable than I am. I won't cut back on some local restaurant meals, albeit now pick up/takeout, because they are also much more vulnerable than I am.

I will reduce savings, quit putting money in the vacation fund. I don't expect my groceries to be cheaper because I will share with others who have needs but I won't be buying clothing or makeup. I won't quit my charitable giving though I'm quite sad about the decline in my DAF. But no indulgent meals out. Probably drink the wine on hand and not restock. No nice steaks.

My life will still be expensive. I expect to have to dip into the EF to offset reduced earnings. I will hope to double up on 401K when this is over, but for now have reduced to what is needed to get the match.... I'm playing it by ear as I've never been in a pandemic before, let alone one during an economic crisis. So I'm taking it one day at a time and trying to make good decisions.
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by StoopieHippo »

mnnice wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:34 pm
StoopieHippo wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:56 am I'm actually doing my best not to live off the barebones budget. I'm in Seattle and there's talk of something like 40% of our restaurants not making it. I'm trying to support the ones in my area when I can instead of living off the barebones budget. I guess it helps that I'm in healthcare, so I won't be laid off or losing my pay anytime soon.
We attempted to order pizza from a local mom and pop pizza place last night. No one answered the phone. I checked Facebook and they had been completely slammed and ran out of ingredients. We will try another day soon.
Today I did Chinese food since apparently people aren't eating Chinese food...? Just like they're not drinking Corona,I guess.
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mnnice
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by mnnice »

StoopieHippo wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:44 pm
mnnice wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:34 pm
StoopieHippo wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:56 am I'm actually doing my best not to live off the barebones budget. I'm in Seattle and there's talk of something like 40% of our restaurants not making it. I'm trying to support the ones in my area when I can instead of living off the barebones budget. I guess it helps that I'm in healthcare, so I won't be laid off or losing my pay anytime soon.
We attempted to order pizza from a local mom and pop pizza place last night. No one answered the phone. I checked Facebook and they had been completely slammed and ran out of ingredients. We will try another day soon.
Today I did Chinese food since apparently people aren't eating Chinese food...? Just like they're not drinking Corona,I guess.
We were in Seattle early February. The area has so many good restaurants and breweries. :beer We are not in the restaurant hot spot and mostly eat at home. We are also more “time affluent” than lot of folks and both like to cook.
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by Momus »

You guys are contributing to severe recession / stock downturn.

Spend all your money to support the businesses... -_-
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by jharkin »

Momus wrote: Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:49 am You guys are contributing to severe recession / stock downturn.

Spend all your money to support the businesses... -_-
Spend it on what?

Hard to spend money when businesses are not open to collect it, or hte activities you would have spent it on (travel) have been cancelled. :confused
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by UpperNwGuy »

mnnice wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:42 pm We are still drinking some of the best coffee on the planet (at home like we do everyday). It’s fluff but it is not going away from our budget anytime soon and really should be included in the barebones budget if it is that inelasticity for us. Just like you can lower your property tax by moving to a lower tax place or cheaper place in the same area it really doesn’t matter if you are unwilling to move.
What happens when your supply of the best coffee on the planet runs out? I'm already seeing coffee shortages.
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mnnice
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by mnnice »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:00 am
mnnice wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:42 pm We are still drinking some of the best coffee on the planet (at home like we do everyday). It’s fluff but it is not going away from our budget anytime soon and really should be included in the barebones budget if it is that inelasticity for us. Just like you can lower your property tax by moving to a lower tax place or cheaper place in the same area it really doesn’t matter if you are unwilling to move.
What happens when your supply of the best coffee on the planet runs out? I'm already seeing coffee shortages.
Hmm. The coffee shop that I bought my beans at in my last locale had an email 5lbs for $50. My current roaster of choice is still open. It only makes sense that the longer this goes on the greater the risk of not getting beans from all the corners of the world. We like and drink tea as well not sure if I would call it a perfect substitute.
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by stoptothink »

WoodSpinner wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:44 pm
stoptothink wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:00 am
HomerJ wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:47 pm
frugalmama wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:10 pmWhat I'm realizing, as usual in these types of situations, is that it actually takes very little to make me happy in life.
Hot showers are an unbelievable luxury. Hope those don't go away.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025014/

I haven't taken a hot shower in years; a combination of the above, frugality (hey, I'm saving the hot water for the wife and kids), and also it is incredibly refreshing after the initial shock.

I'm with frugalmama, my already frugal family is realizing that we can be happy with even less. We're doing without fresh produce and bread right now, and eating some things out of food storage we normally wouldn't (ie, rice in everything), and my kids haven't even noticed.
Bread is easy to make, therapeutic, and tastes great. I would be happy to share recipes but YouTube has lots of great videos on this.
We prefer to limit the consumption of bread in our home, it's only purchased because it is so convenient to make sandwiches for school lunches. With no lunchboxes to fill, we can do without.
stoptothink
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by stoptothink »

jharkin wrote: Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:24 am
Momus wrote: Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:49 am You guys are contributing to severe recession / stock downturn.

Spend all your money to support the businesses... -_-
Spend it on what?

Hard to spend money when businesses are not open to collect it, or hte activities you would have spent it on (travel) have been cancelled. :confused
+1. Pretty much everything is shut down here already...except the state liquor store which had a line about 1/4 mile long to get in on Saturday.
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watchnerd
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by watchnerd »

Momus wrote: Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:49 am You guys are contributing to severe recession / stock downturn.

Spend all your money to support the businesses... -_-
How?

They're closed in my area.

Just groceries, pharmacies, gas stations.
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by BrownEyedGirl_27 »

stoptothink wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:00 am
HomerJ wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:47 pm
frugalmama wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:10 pmWhat I'm realizing, as usual in these types of situations, is that it actually takes very little to make me happy in life.
Hot showers are an unbelievable luxury. Hope those don't go away.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025014/

I haven't taken a hot shower in years; a combination of the above, frugality (hey, I'm saving the hot water for the wife and kids), and also it is incredibly refreshing after the initial shock.

I'm with frugalmama, my already frugal family is realizing that we can be happy with even less. We're doing without fresh produce and bread right now, and eating some things out of food storage we normally wouldn't (ie, rice in everything), and my kids haven't even noticed.
You could just make your own bread in a Dutch oven or make soda bread (even easier!) Or make a sourdough starter. Bread is always better homemade!
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by amp »

WoodSpinner wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:44 pm Bread is easy to make, therapeutic, and tastes great. I would be happy to share recipes but YouTube has lots of great videos on this.
There seems to be a run on yeast at the moment. I went to order some over the weekend and it's sold out at Amazon, Walmart, Bob's Red Mill, etc.
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by Sandtrap »

Dw and I continuing to live frugally.
. . . . with a little frosting on the side. . .

Can't just eat cake without the frosting. :shock:

Actionably: this is the benefit of adhering to "bogle financial principles and strategies", to be able to maintain one's lifestyle regardless of economic ups and downs.

j :happy
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WoodSpinner
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by WoodSpinner »

amp wrote: Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:14 am
WoodSpinner wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:44 pm Bread is easy to make, therapeutic, and tastes great. I would be happy to share recipes but YouTube has lots of great videos on this.
There seems to be a run on yeast at the moment. I went to order some over the weekend and it's sold out at Amazon, Walmart, Bob's Red Mill, etc.
Check out a Restaurant Supply place. By a 1lb bag of dry and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Will last for 10+ years.
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amp
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by amp »

WoodSpinner wrote: Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:59 am
amp wrote: Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:14 am
WoodSpinner wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:44 pm Bread is easy to make, therapeutic, and tastes great. I would be happy to share recipes but YouTube has lots of great videos on this.
There seems to be a run on yeast at the moment. I went to order some over the weekend and it's sold out at Amazon, Walmart, Bob's Red Mill, etc.
Check out a Restaurant Supply place. By a 1lb bag of dry and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Will last for 10+ years.
Thanks. I think a few of the smaller grocery stores around me probably have it in stock as well, but I'm self-isolating and would prefer to have it delivered. Anyways, I'm not a big baker, I just like to make the occasional loaf of no-knead bread so going without is no big deal.
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WoodSpinner
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by WoodSpinner »

Amp,

Check online for a Soda Bread variation.

Enjoy
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by surfstar »

Funny. Our "normal" budget must be "barebones" by most definitions then!

Rarely eat out. Make coffee and lunch for workdays. Hardly ever spend on "eating out/breweries/coffee shops, clothes, movies, and live music" - although our Banff Film Festival was cancelled due to CV. That would have been our entertainment budget for 6 months probably.

Travel usually is to campgrounds, so beyond fuel and camping fees, there's little cost increase than being at home (again, cooking all meals).

*shrug*

The biggest change we've had is to not be able to go on weekend trips. This might increase our utility usage actually! "barebones" my @** ;)
Thesaints
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by Thesaints »

Eating at 3* and flying biz to 5* accommodations is gone for a while, whether we want it or not. I guess we will be bareboning a little ourselves.
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by Walkure »

stoptothink wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:00 am
HomerJ wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:47 pm
frugalmama wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:10 pmWhat I'm realizing, as usual in these types of situations, is that it actually takes very little to make me happy in life.
Hot showers are an unbelievable luxury. Hope those don't go away.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025014/

I haven't taken a hot shower in years; a combination of the above, frugality (hey, I'm saving the hot water for the wife and kids), and also it is incredibly refreshing after the initial shock.

I'm with frugalmama, my already frugal family is realizing that we can be happy with even less. We're doing without fresh produce and bread right now, and eating some things out of food storage we normally wouldn't (ie, rice in everything), and my kids haven't even noticed.
I just skimmed the paper, and as near as I can tell, blasting themselves with cold water at the end of every shower had no statistically-significant impact on actual duration of illness, but did make them more likely to go in to the office while sick. Not exactly the right moral to be advocating in the present situation (or ever, really...)
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willthrill81
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by willthrill81 »

WoodSpinner wrote: Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:54 pm Amp,

Check online for a Soda Bread variation.

Enjoy
Another option is to make flour tortillas.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
Dottie57
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by Dottie57 »

I am feeling selfish. I don’t want to go barebones. I have my spend set for the next couple of years. Yet Places I would spend at are closed.

/stupid rant done/
smitcat
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by smitcat »

Walkure wrote: Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:14 pm
stoptothink wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:00 am
HomerJ wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:47 pm
frugalmama wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:10 pmWhat I'm realizing, as usual in these types of situations, is that it actually takes very little to make me happy in life.
Hot showers are an unbelievable luxury. Hope those don't go away.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025014/

I haven't taken a hot shower in years; a combination of the above, frugality (hey, I'm saving the hot water for the wife and kids), and also it is incredibly refreshing after the initial shock.

I'm with frugalmama, my already frugal family is realizing that we can be happy with even less. We're doing without fresh produce and bread right now, and eating some things out of food storage we normally wouldn't (ie, rice in everything), and my kids haven't even noticed.
I just skimmed the paper, and as near as I can tell, blasting themselves with cold water at the end of every shower had no statistically-significant impact on actual duration of illness, but did make them more likely to go in to the office while sick. Not exactly the right moral to be advocating in the present situation (or ever, really...)
Yes- it was a hot shower followed up by 30/60/90 seconds of a cold water shower. A large number of the participants were athletic and all of them self reported all of the results.
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JaneyLH
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Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

Post by JaneyLH »

A few days ago my Netflix app on Roku crashed. Hard crash, not the usual streaming buffering delay. I took that as a warming. Now, we missed out on masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and toilet paper because we were out of the country and only got home on March 18. I thought, hmmm, might as well get ahead of the curve on this one. I called up our Internet provider and ordered an upgrade to 400 mbps service just in case the strain of Internet use becomes an issue as it has in Europe. New modem from the ISP and a new router coming in a few days. Even without the new hardware installed yet, we are getting about 225 mbps instead of the 50-60 we used to get. I'm really happy with the faster response time on PC and tablet and hoping the bigger pipe stays open!

I paid for the additional cost by reducing the level of cell phone service I am using, which isn't needed if I'm mostly at home and using wifi.

Other than that, travel was our single biggest expense in retirement so we can probably live comfortably for a year on the cash we have in our bank accounts and money market funds along with my husband's federal pension. We fortunately changed our asset allocation from 75/25 to 50/50 last November, so we'll be able to survive on our bond funds after that. I also turn full retirement age this year, but so far am not planning to claim SS yet. At the same time, we have also dropped insurance on 2 of our 3 cars and are looking at other common sense things we can do to ensure we aren't spending more than we need to. I always thought we could live on a pretty barebones budget if need be, and this is a good time to validate that belief.
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