Now we’re cooking with FIRE!! Second episode wasn’t nearly as rough as the first one. Still rougher than I wanted, but it is up! A lot more focus on content and less on the format. Without further ado, here it is:
There was a lot of information in this episode. We started off by examining Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and then used the Consumer Expenditure Survey to take a look at the average household expenses. This was an amazing chunk of data that provides a very interesting look into the habits of the average US Expenditures. Since I’ve spent such a long time changing my habits, I almost forgot what is considered normal and acceptable in this day and age. All of the data from the Bureau of Labor CE is located here.
There was also a clip from my friend Lillian over at OhMyDollar!. I am so appreciative of the fact that she let me use this snippet of her podcast. It wasn’t anything planned, but just good timing that she released a podcast shortly after the first episode. For those of you who are curious, I pulled that clip out of her 3rd podcast, called New Years Resolutions & Picking a Rewards Card.
I also wore a collared shirt and my GF shaved the sides of my head. Do I look more professional? No idea, but it’s much cooler without that much hair.
While I didn’t mention it in the episode itself, I used some additional data while researching regarding the specific costs of food, and a couple different food plans published by the USDA. Those reports are available here.
There were quite a few small challenges in different areas, so here is a quick recap.
- Eating Out
- Determine the number of times you outsourced food preparation in the last month. Reduce by 2 over the next month.
- Eat out 1x/week or less for the next month. This includes vending machines!
- Non-Alcoholic Drinks
- Determine what you need to make your favorite drink at home. Figure out how long it will take you to be in the black.
- Figure out how to make your favorite beverage at home, locate a recipe if needed, and make it.
- Internet, Cable, Phone
- Look at your channel lineup if you have TV service. Compare to your viewing habits and see if you are paying for more than you need.
- Call your provider, and get your bill lowered. Don’t fall into the trap of paying for more service that you don’t need. Your benchmark is your current bill. Beat that.
- Make a list of all places inside and outside your house that use water (don’t forget outdoor spigots). Identify if they are leaking.
- Get the model number of your toilet to figure out gallons-per-flush.
- Identify everything in your house that is plugged in.
- If it’s something you forgot about, unplug it.
- Use a Kill-A-Watt () to determine how much energy is being taken up by devices plugged in, both while they are on, and while they aren’t.
- Unplug devices that aren’t in use, or install an outlet switch. A basic one has a switch on it, and is mechanical. 3/$13. Or get one with a remote to turn outlets on and off.
Overall, what did you think of the episode? I feel good about the progress I’ve made from a visual perspective, and I liked the fact that the content was better this time. Comment below!
Also, don’t forget to tag @frugalfireshow on clips you make rocking some of these challenge.
Edit: Got some feedback, and I will use that as the basis for this episode’s poll.
Even at 2x playback, your energy level registers somewhere between Grateful Dead fan and Antebellum Southern porch on a hot day
This is a bit of a struggle for me. I get so excited about this stuff that I have a tendency to be bouncing off the walls, talking fast, jumping between different thoughts, etc. So I intentionally slow down to make sure I get the point across.