I let mindless spending habits creep back in over the past two months. It’s time for another hard look at what I’m actually spending versus what I think I’m spending.
The budget categories I especially need to focus on are:
- Groceries/Household Items
- Friend/Family Fun
- My Spending
For the month of July in each category I spent:
- Groceries/Household Items $388
- Gasoline $89
- Friend/Family Fun $260 (dining out, paddleboard rentals, life jacket purchase, several tickets to outings <$15 each, camping trip)
- My Spending $58 (yoga, paddleboard rentals)
For the month of August in each category I spent:
- Groceries/Household Items $421 (!)
- Gasoline $59
- Friend/Family Fun $110 (dining out, 24 hr community bike ride costs/food, dance night)
- My Spending $75 (yoga – worked out to $6/class)
Meal planning fell by the wayside and it absolutely shows in my budget.
I’ve made progress in expanding my social circle and establishing new friendships, but I’m definitely spending more than I want to on food/beverages during outings.
Even though my gasoline usage isn’t extremely high, I have no good reason to drive to work instead of bicycling. I have a weak excuse about sleeping in now that it’s dark in the morning when I leave. I feel so much better physically when I’m biking regularly so it’s high time to get back in the saddle!
At the end of this month I’m planning to drop down to weekly yoga classes now that I’m starting to feel better about not injuring myself without hands-on instruction. It’s been so good for my chronically painful back and overall stress level so I don’t want to give up the motivation of being in a group class.
My plan to hold myself accountable:
Post here weekly with itemized purchases in each category. I’m hoping that the subtle threat of having to list “$2 coffee in the cafeteria when I had perfectly fine free coffee available in the breakroom” will be the motivation I need to buckle down.
Post meal plans weekly. Don’t get your hopes up for great ideas, though, I tend to be a boring repeat eater and take horrible food photos 🙂 I need to curb the recent development of stopping on the way home for “something I forgot”.
Bicycle to work.
I’m aiming for zero family/friend spending this month. Starting now, anyway – I already spent earlier this week. But I’m attending a festival tomorrow and another Sunday, so it will be a good test of my preparedness and commitment to getting my budget back in the green zone.