Week 2’s challenge is upon us!
After Week One’s Challenge, who is already feeling stronger? Were you able to start working on your financial budget? Didn’t get around to it yet?
We hear you – the new year is challenging to start something brand new.
If you’ve been on board with us for a while, you know how important strength training is for runners. As runners, we sometimes think that an extra 5 minutes of running is more beneficial than a quick full-body strength training routine. We can’t stress enough – even 10 minutes of pushups and planks can add such an improvement to your running and functional fitness.
And if you know us, you know just how important being financially fit is. Planning financially for both the future and for the present takes hard work, discipline, and focus. Sounds a lot like running, huh? Both strength work and having a strong financial groundwork will pay huge dividends in future activities: both with running and planning for the future.
Stayed with us through Week 1 and you’re ready to go on? Great!
Now that you have your budget ready to go and you’ve charted how much money you have coming in and how much you spend on your fixed payments, you should know how much you have left over to use for the month.
As a side note, these fixed payments can be investigated further to see if you can trim down any of them – phone bill and cable/internet, we’re looking at you. Our primary fixed income items include:
- 2 car payments (ouch)
- Internet (no cable, we cut the cord nearly 2 years ago)
We know and aren’t trying to hide this: we aren’t the first people in the world to talk about using a budget.
We’ve become so captivated with financial bloggers and podcasts discussing finances in the past 2 years that we hoped our story would resonate with other people. And if our posts makes one or two people more fit or financial savvy, then it has all been worth it. We are sharing and hoping to create a community where everyone shares and lifts each other up with fitness and financial tips. We are all in this together!
When Carly was debating going back to work or potentially staying home after having our daughter, we listened to this podcast by Tim Ferriss. He had this guy on called Mr. Money Mustache. This episode pretty much opened our eyes to a whole new world that we didn’t know existed.
We really, REALLY hope you listen to it and go down the same Mr. Money Mustache rabbit hole that we did. But, our story is not of FIRE, that is, Financial Independence, which is what MMM is all about. However, what it did create was a mindset change.
Marc and I have always been on the frugal/saving side but we did fall into the trap every now and again. For example, after our engagement, we shopped for wedding rings. The jeweler attempted to upsell us by saying, “most people change their engagement band setting, about every five years.” We were surprised at first but then I started to rationalize this. I thought, presumably, in the future we will both be making more money and therefore could afford such an expenditure. I thought to myself, I would deserve that.
However, after listening to the MMM & Tim Ferriss podcast episode, our minds were blown. How could we have ever thought we’d do something like buy another engagement ring or wedding band?
We didn’t have Joneses. Or so we thought. But after listening to this episode and then reading lots of blog posts by MMM, we felt more and more sure that our spending wouldn’t define who we became.
We now try to be more intentional with what we purchase, but, again, sometimes we fall into the trap. We’ve now brought friends into our quips saying, “that was not very Mustachian of you.”
Who wants to share their grocery budget number? We’ll start.
For a family of two adults and one toddler, we spend $675 per month. We started at $750 and worked our way down to $675 pretty easily. I think there is also room for improvement in the upcoming months as we update our spending versus saving rate. But for now, it’s $675. This number includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and probably about 3 snacks per day for each of us.
We’re runners, we like to eat and we like to eat well.
Including full meals and taking out our once-a-week dining excursion, each meal breaks down to approximately $2.50 per meal, per person. Here’s our math on it.
9 meals a day; 279 meals in a month minus 12 meals for eating out leaves us at 267 meals a month.
$675 divided by 267 meals equals $2.52. Not bad, right?
Kind of scary that eating out can run someone upwards of $40 or $50, right?
What is the cost for one of your meals?
The goal is to try to do this 6 out of 7 days next week:
2 sets of 30-second forearms planks,
1 left side plank hold for 20 seconds
1 right side plank hold for 20 seconds
Two sets of 8 pushups
Again, if you far exceed this in your daily routine already, good for you! Our goal is to help people who don’t regularly add strength to their workouts or everyday life. Feel free to add on more reps if you are already there. We have two more weeks of the challenge and each week will progress in difficulty.
As for the financial challenge this week: Now that you have your spending categories set to their limits, all you have to do is start to track it! If you decide to go the Dave Ramsey route of the envelope system, see above! We liked this as a starting point but quickly realized that we like using credit cards better than cash because we get travel points and for convenience purposes.
Now if you believe you mindlessly spend when you pay with a credit card or you don’t pay your credit cards in full each month, I think using physical money in envelopes is the way to go. But if you want to create a budget tracking system, we like using Good Budget. If you find any other app that you recommend for budget tracking, please share.
Hope the challenge is going well for you!
Hi, I’m Carly.
I’m a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor based in Cherry Hill, NJ! I teach spin, barre, and megaformer classes throughout the week. Check out my schedule and where I teach.