The Uber Frugal Month Challenge Is Back: July 2017 Edition!

Come on this journey with me!

Note: You can sign-up for the Uber Frugal Month Challenge at any time! Although we take the Challenge as a group every January and July, you can start it on your own whenever you’d like. Just sign-up in the box below and you’ll receive an email a day for 31 days.

It’s baaaaaaacccckkkk!!! In January, I launched my first-ever Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month Group Challenge. Over 15,800 folks took the Challenge and saved thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars.

I’ve received countless comments, emails, letters (yes, in the mail!), tweets, Facebook messages, and Instagram comments about how transformative this Challenge was for many of you and your efforts to take control of your finances.

In light of the popularity of the first UFM Group Challenge, I’ve decided to bring it back for the month of July as a mid-year Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month Challenge!

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Signup

We all need encouragement and inspiration on our financial journey! Signup to receive an email a day from me for 31 days. Every email has a tip, a mantra, an action item, and recommended reading, all designed to help you transform your finances. You can take the UFM at any time and as many times as you want!

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While anyone can sign-up to take the Challenge at any time, taking it as a group–as we did in January and as we’ll do in July–has several advantages:

  • Daily conversations (led by me) on our UFM Facebook page about that day’s UFM message and action items;
  • The strength and inspiration that stems from knowing you’re not alone on your journey;
  • The power of starting NOW. If you say you’ll do the UFM at some point in the future, you might never get around to it. Joining the group in July means you’re taking action now and not delaying making progress on your longterm goals.

What Is The Uber Frugal Month Challenge?

Babywoods heading off on the trail

If you’re new around here and wondering what on earth I’m talking about, allow me to explain: the Uber Frugal Month is how Mr. Frugalwoods and I got our start in extreme frugality. It chronicles the precise steps we took to launch ourselves to a savings rate of 72%+, and chart our way to financial independence and our homestead in the woods. Every day for the entire month of July, you’ll receive an email from me with a frugal tip, mantra, action item, and recommended reading.

 

Beyond merely saving money, an Uber Frugal Month resets your brain’s approach to your finances, and more specifically, your degree of hedonic adaptation. Through an Uber Frugal Month, you learn that not buying things isn’t difficult. You’ll realize that saving money can become your default approach. You learn how to incorporate frugal methodology into your everyday life and into everything you do. The Uber Frugal Month will help you identify your maximum level of frugality–in other words, the total amount you can save if you buckle down and rock out.

After the Challenge, you might decide you don’t want to live quite that frugally, but I can almost guarantee you won’t go back to spending as much as you did before participating in the Challenge. In general, with an Uber Frugal Month, you’ll find that your natural set point of frugality has migrated to a more frugal level on the spending continuum. And what you’ll then discover is that frugality isn’t just a way to save money, it’s a life philosophy you can apply to everything you do.

It’s incredibly easy for all of us to get caught up in the lifestyle inflation trap of treating ourselves and continually upgrading our material possessions. After all, that’s what everyone else does. Except for everyone else participating in this Challenge!

The Uber Frugal Month Challenges You To:

  1. Examine all of your spending.
  2. Categorize mandatory vs. discretionary expenses.
  3. Identify areas where you can reduce or eliminate spending–and then do it!
  4. Go as frugal as you possibly can for one whole entire month.
  5. At the end of the month, identify what level of frugality is feasible for YOU to embrace for the longterm.

The Uber Frugal Month Challenge is no joke. It’s no semi-frugal, maybe-I’ll-cut-down-on-one-latte-per-week scheme. This is the hardcore, I am willing to change in order to save more money RIGHT NOW scheme. Lucky for you, it works, it’s straightforward, and–for the second time–we’re going to do it together!

If you’d like more info on the Challenge, check out the following posts:

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Signup

We all need encouragement and inspiration on our financial journey! Signup to receive an email a day from me for 31 days. Every email has a tip, a mantra, an action item, and recommended reading, all designed to help you transform your finances. You can take the UFM at any time and as many times as you want!

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Testimonials From Past UFM Participants

This Challenge works, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s what a few past Uber Frugal Month Challenge participants have to say about the experience:

Zoe said, “Thank you for all you do. I can genuinely say that your blog has changed our families financial future. After joining your 30 day challenge we went from going into our savings each month for years to saving thousands. Your writing impacted me so profoundly. Thank you for helping our family in more ways than you know. Please keep up the amazing work. “

Springtime rain clouds over our homestead

Josie said, “I want to say a huge THANK YOU for the wonderful emails and support during this month. I managed to save 63% of my income this month but better than that I have begun to change my mindset.”

Kasey shared, “I just wanted to reach out to you and say thank you for the uber frugal month challenge! Before this month I was really struggling to make any progress with my finances, and constantly felt like I was spinning my wheels trying to save money and pay down credit card debt. Because of this month I have finally started tracking my spending. I have been able to pay off over $1,000 of credit card debt! At work, I usually purchase coffee or food from the cafeteria daily, this month I have not bought anything and have saved between $50-$75, and I will never go back to my old ways. I have really appreciated getting your daily emails, and they have been an inspiration to be mindful about my spending. I’ll definitely be following your blog, and plan to continue some of my new frugal ways :).”

Susan from Holland relayed, “I’ve been busy the last 3 years with tracking my money, spend less, buying things second hand, working with a budget, and change my lifestyle, together with my husband and my two kids from 1 year old and 2,5. But still I spend the budget to the maximum or overspend. I was searching a way to find a good budget. Than I found your challenge and that’s the answer!! … Our goal is traveling to Asia this year for two months, we already booked our tickets and still 2000 Euro to go than we reached our saving goal. Your challenge made our focus even better! Thanks!”

Uber Frugal Month FAQs

1) Who should take the UFM?

I can’t believe they won’t let me take the UFM! Rude.

Anyone and everyone (except for dogs… sorry, Frugal Hound).

  • If you’ve never been frugal a day in your life, but are ready to improve your financial health and make real changes in how your manage your money, then the UFM is for you.
  • If you feel like you’re in an awesome place with your frugality, the UFM is a nice touch-up and a good reminder of why you’re frugal and how you might augment your savings and your overall philosophical approach to a simple, frugal lifestyle.
  • If you took the UFM last time and bailed without finishing (no judgment) or weren’t ready to follow through on all of the action items, now’s your chance to try it again.
  • If you thought about taking it last time, but didn’t sign-up, do it now!
  • If you’ve already taken the Challenge, but want to touch base with where you are on your financial journey, join us again!
  • If you think you might want to save more money, but aren’t sure, join us!
  • If you have no clue what your longterm financial goals are (or even how much money you actually have), the UFM is definitely for you!

2) I’ve already taken the UFM, can I take it again?

Absolutely! You are welcome to take the Challenge as many times as you’d like! If you want to take it again, you do need to sign-up again (you can use the same email address you used the first time).

Note that the content of the Challenge hasn’t changed aside from a few update edits, but our Facebook page conversations will be fresh and different each time we do the Challenge as a group!

3) How do I sign-up?

You can sign-up in this box right here:

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Signup

We all need encouragement and inspiration on our financial journey! Signup to receive an email a day from me for 31 days. Every email has a tip, a mantra, an action item, and recommended reading, all designed to help you transform your finances. You can take the UFM at any time and as many times as you want!

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4) When do I sign-up?

Babywoods sprinting across the lawn

You can sign-up anytime before July 1 in order to be on track with the group. If you sign-up after July 1, you’ll still receive all of the Challenge materials, but you won’t be on the same schedule as the rest of the group.

5) How do I know if my sign-up was successful?

You’ll receive an email from me confirming your registration. Then, the Challenge will commence on July 1!

6) How much does the UFM cost?

It’s absolutely free! So, no excuses not to join!

7) When does the UFM Group Challenge start?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

8) When are the UFM emails sent?

You’ll receive an email from me every single morning for the entire month (July 1-July 31) at 5:00am EST. The emails are sent automatically, at the same time everyday, to everyone signed up for the Challenge and so, fear not, they will arrive. I’m so paranoid about the emails that I manually check every morning to make sure they’re sent!

However, please note that the time at which emails are delivered to your inbox depends upon your email and internet providers–some providers are slower than others to deliver messages. If you suspect you’re not receiving your UFM emails, please do the following:

  • First, check your spam and all other folders (search for “UFM” as every email begins with that in the subject line).
  • Second, if you think you’ve accidentally unsubscribed from the Challenge, you can sign-up again on the blog.

Mini gardener assists with the asparagus, by which I mean eats dirt and snaps off plants

Unfortunately, due to the volume of Frugalwoods readers who sign-up for the Challenge, I can’t send out the emails individually. We are a two-person team over here–just me and Mr. Frugalwoods—and much as I would love to email each of you personally, I have very real limitations on my time as a work-from-home mama of a toddler and a homesteader on 66 acres!

9) Can I access the UFM in any other way?

Nope, you gotta sign-up for the emails.

10) How should I prepare for the Challenge?

  1. Read Uber Frugal Month: The Ultimate Guide To Saving More Money Than You Ever Thought Possible and follow all of the instructions contained in that post.
  2. Join the UFM Facebook page and introduce yourself!
  3. Be proud of yourself for taking this powerful step towards creating the life you want to live–not the life you have to live.

More Testimonials!

Because I can’t resist, here are a few more testimonials from past UFM participants….

Ale from Mexico wrote, “The road to frugality started off a little dramatic; I took such terrible financial decisions that was almost penniless by the moment I heard about you. Through seeing myself  in such big trouble and knowing about you I was able to start being careful with my money and gave me the chance to start paying off my debt. I am almost 2 years away from paying it but the way you live has shown me that it it possible to live a good life with less money… and worries. This month with you has been fantastic and has made me realize that my way of thinking about money should change… I really want to thank you for your time and all the little things you have taught through example. When seeing you happy and determined I could imagine myself not being bound to debt, worries (financial, I mean) and superfluous way of living. Thank you so much and continue to be that voice of rationality in a world of absurd spending.”

Springtime view of our neighbor’s cows. Moo.

Ginny wrote in, “Thank you so very much for all you have done to help timid folk like me to step away from the cash register and take a deep cleansing breath. After this month I will never be the same. I still spent too much on groceries but I stopped every other personal spending completely with the exception of a dress I sorely needed for $1.50. The most helpful thing you suggested was to wait a couple of days before making a purchase. That was so inspired!! That one thing saved me a huge amount of money! And it is a check on impulse spending I will use habitually. Thank you!!! You have no idea how much good you are doing!”

Matthew shared, “Just wanted to say how glad I am that I signed up this month. I’ve been a subscriber for awhile now and can’t tell you how much your posts have reaffirmed my frugal lifestyle choice. I have a lot of “spendy” people around me and they can make it difficult for me to continue this lifestyle sometimes due to our thinking being so different… Thanks for all you do, you have a great talent!”

Vera shared, “Thank you so much for creating this amazing program for people like me!! I have been unconscious about money my whole life but have been blessed to have a sufficient money flow. However, it was flowing in and out and nothing was sticking around. Now I am at the age where I need to be in control. I can’t believe it when I tell you that I literally reduced my spending by 75% in January compared to December! … That is a true miracle.”

Jayne from Australia told me, “I just wanted to thank you for running the UFM. Although I am a long way from “weirdo” status, your regular emails with advice and tips really helped me evaluate our spending. Although Australia is very different to the USA (cost of food, property prices etc) the basics are the same. The biggest change for me was tracking every dollar that came in and went out. This exercise was confronting but really made every purchase a mindful one. I love reading your blog and look forward to more stories and pictures of Frugal hound and babywoods!”

Maria from Germany wrote, “… the best result of the UFM is that we got used to track every single expense we have, and then review the data together. We did not do this before, in the past I used to have a look at our accounts and check how much we were saving. Now we know how much we spend, and where, and we can identify new ways of not wasting money. I think this change in habits is even more important than the actual euros we saved. Thanks again for everything: the blog, the emails, and the pictures of your house and your family! I wish you the best!”

Babywoods on a mission

Gemma shared, “I took part in your uber frugal month and really enjoyed it … I am always trying to find alternative ways to get new things without spending money and feel that not everything has to be new. Save the world, one step at a time!! I really enjoy reading your blog and find it very inspiring. I have been leading a frugal life for over a year but at the back end of last felt I slipped slightly, this challenge certainly helped me and my partner to focus on what is important again. So a big thank-you.”

Diane wrote, “Thank you for issuing this challenge and setting me back on my path. I am so proud I am a witness to this part of your story! I think the biggest gift your challenge has given me is to allow myself to release from the burdens of comparison. I made $20K when I was 29. I got a late start to the party. It doesn’t matter. I have a dream of early retirement. I have a path to get there. I know I can make it work. I know this work aligns with my values of family first, saving the planet, and not selling myself for plastic stuff… You’ve made a huge impact on my life. I am so grateful to you, frugal mama.”

Beth said, “I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for all the hard work you put into organizing and developing the Uber Frugal Month. It really helped to recenter our spending and get back to more of a focus on saving and living more simply. A few days ago I said to my husband, “You know, this Uber Frugal Month isn’t necessarily easier, but it’s just so much… simpler.” And then you beautifully articulated my thoughts in your post simple living and saving money! 🙂 I’ve read your blog for over a year now and find your writing to be very inspirational. Thanks again for everything you do! “

Suzy from the UK shared, “Just a note to thank you for the UFM and your blog. I’m at a stage in my life where I really need to embrace frugality, but more importantly, I really want to embrace it, for its own sake as well as because I have less to spend… I am already seeing significant benefits from the changes I have made over the last year or so. For me the financial benefits are probably equalled by the emotional benefits as I work on building a luxuriously frugal lifestyle without feeling deprived or resentful… I want you to know that your blog is making a real difference for me and my life. My life is totally different to yours but I think I have similar aspirations, to live what is at heart a fairly simple life with meaningful work (especially in the house and garden), always to be learning, and to live with gratitude. I think I just didn’t realise before that frugality promotes all these things. Thank you for sharing your life and your thoughts so generously.”

Join The July UFM  Group Now!

You can sign-up for the group Challenge today and I’ll send out reminders throughout the rest of June. We’ll start bright and early on July 1, so don’t delay! If you’ve already signed up, be sure to read Uber Frugal Month: The Ultimate Guide To Saving More Money Than You Ever Thought Possible and join the conversation on Facebook.

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Signup

We all need encouragement and inspiration on our financial journey! Signup to receive an email a day from me for 31 days. Every email has a tip, a mantra, an action item, and recommended reading, all designed to help you transform your finances. You can take the UFM at any time and as many times as you want!

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Have you taken the UFM already? Will you be taking it this time? What questions do you have about the Challenge?

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61 Responses

  1. This could not come at a more perfect time! Mr. Adventure Rich and I have had a whirlwind of a year. In the past 12 months, he received and accepted a job offer, we packed and moved across the country, he started said job as I transitioned to working remotely, we bought a house, and we have had to adjust to a new style of living with seasons (read: we didn’t need a snow plow in California… now we do!). We are working to get back into a routine and rhythm with our finances and an Uber Frugal Month sounds like just the thing we need!

  2. This is awesome. I missed it the first time around but I won’t miss it this go around. Can’t wait to participate. Thanks for doing this again!!!

  3. Gem says:

    Fantastic! I was planning on doing this in July, so perfect timing. Looking forward to it, thank you!

  4. Oh yay this is great! Summer is the time for vacations and fun. It’s also easy to slip down the spending road. I’m glad you are aunching this challenge now so that all of us can keep in mind how long-term goals and how to achieve them ^.^

  5. Lena says:

    Yeeees! What an excellent idea!! I dod the challenge earlier this year and I’ve changed my spending completely ever since. It’s great to take the challenge again and refresh everything in my head. Yeeeey!

  6. The Tamale is in. I have been letting my corn husk spending creep up, and it’s time for a reset! Thanks!

  7. kim says:

    Is it possible to just sign up for the challenge? I signed up an January and was bombarded by both the challenge and your posts being emailed to me. I already receive the posts via feedly and wish there was a way to just get the challenge emails sent to me.

  8. Nice! I’m already doing better than I have been in the last several months. Might as well keep the streak going!

  9. Eileen says:

    How integral is the FB Group? I’m not a FBer at this point and am wondering if people think that is important enough for me to create a FB acct specific for this?

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      All of the UFM Challenge materials will come to you through the blog and by signing up for the program. The Facebook group is where we discuss each day’s theme, action items, and where folks ask and answer questions. It’s a virtual community of like-minded frugal folks sharing ideas, inspiring one another, and just generally chatting. So it’s not necessary in order to do the challenge, but it enhances the experience for many people. I hope this helps answer your question!

    • Terri says:

      Eileen, You technically do not have to sign up for Facebook to view the conversations (I just checked). You only need an account if you’d like to respond or post.

  10. Yay! I was moving and renovating my first house during UFM 1 and didn’t have the mental bandwidth to be uber frugal! I’m so excited to start again now that life has settled.

  11. This is awesome! This has been a work in progress and constantly monitoring spending patterns! Great idea!

  12. How timely! I was just thinking I could use with another good money/habit cleanse. Can’t wait to participate!

  13. Val says:

    Can’t wait to do this again. The last time it allowed me to eliminate one credit card balance and part of a second one! That second one is gone now, and a third one is over 1/2 way to being history! This is just what I need to kick it up a notch 🙂

  14. Deana J Ritchie says:

    Perfect timing!! I am about to buy my first house.

  15. For anyone thinking of doing the UFM Challenge – do it!! We did it in January and enjoyed it immensely; the challenge of keeping our spending in check was great. We mostly focused on lowering our grocery budget but we also looked to free activities to do at the weekend. UFM in July would be even better on the free activities front than January because of the gorgeous weather – lots of picnics in the park and hikes. I’m glad I blogged about our experience of participating in UFM as I can tell you, our planned savings rate for January was 47.75% (of our paychecks) – our actual savings rate for January was 66.96% thanks to the challenge!

  16. Sarah says:

    Yay! How did you know I’ve backslid?

    BTW we had two TVs in our house last year a regular sized one and a smaller one in our bedroom. The regular sized one died during the January uber frugal challenge and even though we had friends coming over for the super bowl we didn’t replace it we just moved the smaller one to the living room thinking we’d buy a TV in February. We still haven’t done that and at this point the TV is fine. Thanks!

  17. SMM says:

    Just signed up. I’m looking forward to the daily tidbits of saving and so forth! Thanks for putting this together for all of us. I may have missed it, but why is this challenge called “Uber”?

  18. Mollie DeFont says:

    I am excited to do the challenge again! We emailed back and forth after I completed the first challenge in January and since then we have been able to make our dream happen and move to VT. My husband just started at Catamount Solar so we are going to take the challenge again to start saving with the new job to be able to purchase a home by next year. Happy to connect with you and glad to do the challenge again!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That’s wonderful, Mollie! Shoot me an email with where you landed in VT–maybe we can get together 🙂

  19. Gillian says:

    Great news that you’re doing the UFM again! I found the first time around super-helpful in trying to get my savings pot up & running. Unfortunately a few months in and I had to spend the savings on emergency roof repairs – but i wouldn’t have had the money available if i hadn’t followed through with a bit of frugality! Starting the challenge again in July will be just the encouragement I need to get the savings going once more. Thx!!

  20. Frugalmania says:

    I am in! Lots of bills coming our way in July so I would like to pay these in full without tapping into our savings. Did I mention that since September, we’ve managed to save a little over $40K? Working hard to have an income generating home paid off before hubby retires in two years. We can do this!!!

  21. Marissa says:

    I will be joing the UFM challenge this time! Couldn’t do it last time because I didn’t want to, but now I am ready! I look forward to seeing where it will take me with my finances! 🙂

  22. Ilene says:

    Money had become such a stress that I almost backed out of the last challenge, but you, Mrs. F. and a kind member of the frugal community encouraged me to change my perspective and make an effort. Wow, I am so glad I did! When I found I could be in control of spending it was so freeing! This time I will build on that success and do even better. Thank you!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That’s wonderful! I’m so happy to hear it! And, it’s not about “failing” or “winning,” it’s about transforming how your think about, and interact with, your money. Just taking the Challenge is a success!

  23. I think this is a great idea. It looks like it has helped a ton of people. Great job!

  24. I love these types of months! My fiancé and I did this every other month when we were saving up for the down payment on our house. Although they happen less frequently now it is great seeing the extra boost in savings at the end of the month.

  25. Claire Rebecca says:

    Can this work if you’ve got a saved for + planned for big expense in July? My fiancé and I are buying a car. We have the money, we’re just choosing to buy it in July for insurance reasons.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Absolutely! The UFM is a holistic review of your money habits and a planned big expense is perfectly in line with the philosophy I espouse of spending judiciously and in service of your goals. Come on board :)!

  26. Awesome! I’ll have to check it out!

  27. Awesome! Looking forward to checking it out!

  28. Anja says:

    This is so great! I just had to re-adjust our budget. We spend a lot due to appliance failure and unexpected housing costs.
    All things we unfortunately had to have workers to pay for. Certain work is illegal to do by yourself here in Germany.

    I signed up for the challenge. So looking forward to it. This hopefully will help getting our emergency budget back to a healthy balance.

    Starting this weekend by fixing my husbands car 🙂

  29. Darn look at those testimonials. I’m in!! 🙂

  30. Diana says:

    Wow, I’m so excited. Saved 40 per cent last month. Can’t tell you how much I have learned from you. Mom and Dad showed me how to spend, spend. I thought I enjoyed my lifestyle with all the goodies. However, the stress at the end of the month was not worth it. I was a slave to my charge cards and their interest rates. From $80k to no credit cards. Thanks. Keep those pics of baby and pooch coming. Especially her smile and fabulous bows.

  31. I took the Uber Frugal Month Challenge in January and it was great! It was so inspiring to have emails from you in my inbox every morning, gently encouraging me not to spend money. I highly recommend this challenge as a way to have fresh eyes for your spending and really examine where you can make changes to increase your savings rate!!

  32. Emily says:

    I think this might be our month. Since our car (tried to fix, we aren’t mechanics, have since replaced), dryer (hang dry all the things for now), and shower (leaking into our living room) all went last month….we are looking for some $$ savings as well as still on the market for used/cheap alternatives! They say things happen in threes right??

  33. WOOHOOOO! I was only saying to Mr Miser last night how much I enjoyed UFM in January! And what better month to be frugal than July? Picnics, walks, no need for heating (we’re in England where it’s not too hot and we don’t have air con in homes anyway!), gardening and gloriously light evenings perfect for hosting.

  34. Plutodogs2424 says:

    I just wracked up $10k in credit card debt from surprise house repairs, a bad fall (broke my back) and, the whopper, veterinary expenses! Chemo and eye surgery for my dog and heart problems for my cat. I’ve been throwing money at everything and I don’t regret it – it had to be done. It’s how it goes sometimes. Now that the emergencies are, I hope, under control, it’s time to reel it in and pay the piper. Perfect timing for a Frugal Month.

  35. Camille says:

    Puuuuuuuurrrrfect timing! Since the last UFM, I’ve started aggressively paying off my student loans, contributing to my retirement and am working on saving 9 months of my expenses because I plan on making a big move in late 2018, early 2019. God bless you, Frugalwoods fam!

  36. Love this! I’ll be joining in for sure. Our #yearofno gave us the reset we needed, but a booster shot is always in order. Can’t wait to get started!

  37. Melissa says:

    I admit I was one if those people who signed up in January only to drop out before the end of the challenge. I just was not in the right place for it. Planning to commit to it this time around!! Thanks for doing it again!

  38. Sandee says:

    I’ve always been frugal but most of my friends are very spendy! With this challenge, I’m with like minded people that I can share with. Thank you for doing this again! I loved January’s challenge – it taught me a few things I could do to improve my frugality.

  39. Robin Brooks says:

    I signed up but I don’t know how I’ll do in July! I’m travelling to Israel — it’s with Birthright so it’s quite frugal for an international trip but I don’t want to skip things I do care about – like not go on a Bauhaus tour in one of the best cities of Bauhaus architecture in the world because it costs a few bucks. Not sure how well it will work for me because I feel like a lot of my expenses aren’t ideal but can’t be cut – like Rxs where the generic form doesn’t work for me or fixing the roof. But I will do my best!

  40. Casey says:

    We have His, Hers, and Ours accounts and budgets. This is my first UFM so I think I will just tackle my own spending first, then work on the “Ours” in a future challenge!

  41. snowcanyon says:

    Oh wow! These always come at the worst times! I always wonder how many family events it’s reasonable to miss to stay within a budget. People whose family members are all in one country (or on one continent) are unbelievably lucky to not have to forego such things to stay frugal.

    • SJ says:

      This won’t work for me for that very reason. I’m sure other people will benefit from it though and that’s excellent.

      • snowcanyon says:

        I know. Generational Americans have it so easy they have no idea. I eat rice and beans, don’t use AC, keep the house at 60 degrees in winter, hang dry my clothes, never buy new clothes, never go to the movies, never eat out, and rarely drive. I even broke up with my partner and avoid having pets to keep expensed down. I don’t have kids for the same reason. He was a nice guy, but just didn’t earn. The only thing left to cut is visiting my family. It’s sad, but I guess it has to go. It makes me sad, but it’s the only way to FIRE. But what will it be like when I have an estranged relationship with my family, no partner, no kids, and no pets? Is this really worth it?

  42. SJ says:

    Oh gosh.. I wish… but it would be really unfair for myself and my family to try this in the summer months. Having the kids home from school is financially challenging in its own right (even doing the cheap/free stuff), but we’re also expecting out-of-state and international visitors that don’t make out this way but once every 5-10 years. The only positive thing I will say is that I’ve been spreading out some of the expenses, having partially paid for cabins and hotel rooms over the last two months. Still… there will be the museums and venues, the transportation and food… Meh… I was having some severe anxiety about it over the last couple of weeks, but now that the “fun” has begun I’m doing better. Our savings rate will be 20-30% instead of 70-80% for July and August. Yet we’re still on track to reach our BIG savings goal of $100,000 in 2017. So let’s talk again in September 🙂

  43. Karen says:

    Excited to join in Uber frugal July. I have been seriously saving for 3 big items and just reached the goal and then some. Instead of blowing the surplus, I am plowing it into the next goal, kind of like a debt snowball-i call them savings snowballs. Uber frugal July will inspire me not to touch that surplus AND make it just a bit bigger! Awesome timing, accountability and community sharing is very motivating😊Karen

  44. Jana says:

    I followed your challenge, and really got my stuff together! I always lived paycheck to paycheck. I’ve been able to not only pay my bills without worry, but have plenty of cash in the bank! We nickel and dimed ourselves, and ate out WAY too much. The eating out was seriously where almost all our extra money was going. Thanks so much for all your wisdom and just snapping us out of our spending trance!

  45. This will be good timing as I will be preparing for a 3.5 month sabbatical and want to get my retirement savings maxed out before it starts at the end of September. Thanks for organizing a second challenge – it was fun getting the emails back in January for the first one!

  46. Sandi says:

    We (hubby, kids, and I) are also in. The timing is great because the guy who brought hubby into his current job is leaving their co. And said as soon as he settles in where he’s going, he will be looking for good people and will call hubby first. So…. the ?’s of uncertainty: what’s going to happen with current job when a new boss is found? Will new boss be like old boss? Will there be managerial upheaval that leads to removal or stagnation for those whom old boss brought in? What happens if old boss does ask us to move? What’s the criteria for going? We’ve been here 25+ years and while neither of us are from here, the kids are.

    Uncertainly makes me do one thing: save $. Okay, it used to make me do 2 things: save $ and eat chocolate : ) but I’ve kicked the chocolate thing.

  47. What a wonderful idea! I’m in. But….. my family is headed to Portugal on vacation this month so I’m expecting us to ‘fail’ this challenge a bit. Still, great idea and I cant wait to get the daily emails!

  48. Sophie says:

    Thank you so much for issuing another Uber Frugal Month Challenge! We will definitely be participating again as a six month “tune up.” My husband and I did the challenge in January and doubled (if not tripled) what we were saving each month. Around this same time we evaluated and cut the cable cord, utilizing Roku and Sling instead. This alone saved us $65 a month! We also decided to buckle down and pay off my car (purchased late March 2016) early. We took a three year loan and will have it paid off by the end of August – in almost half the time! UFMC has really changed the way we think about money. Thank you!

  49. StoryOfLessStuff says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing how additionally un-spendy I can be in July. The challenge in Jan. really helped me start questioning (and measuring) what I spent money on and whether it served my long-term goals (mostly it did not). Fast forward to now, and I have a good balance in an emergency fund for the first time in 5 years. I now tracking my finances in Personal Capital (your suggestion – THANK YOU – I love it and would totally recommend it, I’ve been a past user of Mint and YouNeedABudget but PC is better). I think it’s important to have a community of people like this who are trying to live more deliberately because otherwise the siren song of mindless acquisition is the only voice. It’ll be a new challenge to try optimizing the ol’ budget in summer – game on!

  50. What a great idea. We’ve tightened our pursestrings considerably over the past few months, but I would love to gain more strategies and tools for living frugally.

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