Frugal Finance Friday: Checking In

 

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
  • Gasoline
  • 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.

 

Do you also find fall a time you need to button up more than just a sweater?

Please follow and share my adventure!

6 thoughts on “Frugal Finance Friday: Checking In”

  1. If I could keep my extracurricular spending down to what you spent in August, I would be happy. It’s definitely a creeper category.

    And food…. it is just so delicious. haha. Best on returning focus to keeping the expenses down.

  2. Posting your tracked expenses is an excellent way to keep them under control. I blew it today – woke up too late to prepare a breakfast and lunch, so I bought them. “I’m going to have to post this on my blog!” I thought. “It has to be the only incident like that this month.” So I’m committed to not letting that happen again. I’m glad you plan to keep up the yoga – including the class if you know it works as a motivation for you. And let’s both work on this meal planning thing. It makes the biggest difference.

    1. It’s funny how posting my expenses daily in my budget doesn’t have the same clout as having to make an admission to you all!

      Meal planning is so much easier for me in the deep winter when cooking for half a day is pure enjoyment. Yesterday with sunny skies and a last burst of summer heat that had the lakes calling my name all day? Not so enjoyable, ha. Salads for this week it is!

  3. Don’t get too discouraged. While you maybe didn’t ace the last 2 months, it looks like you’re still vastly ahead of previous years. I’d recommend making extra portions of whatever you’re cooking to throw in the freezer in individual bags. That way on low motivation days you can just microwave some frozen taco meat and pull together lunch or dinner in a minute.
    Also, YouTube had some amazing yoga classes that could supplement weekly group yoga. My favorite for starting out is Leslie Fightmaster, as I think she does a better job explaining form than most in-person instructors. There are a couple of others that I followed too, once I got the form down. The best part is that when you love a class, you can just save the link and do it over and over.

    1. Thank you!

      I feel like I’ve made huge strides in getting away from the “I’m broke but I’ll treat myself to coffee because I’m broke and it makes me feel notbroke” mentality that I used to have.

      Being single, it’s almost like someone else cooked for me when I remember to stash extra in the freezer. Good reminder!

      Thanks for the YouTube recommendation! My studio just changed up their schedule, so I’m planning to try Vinyasa while I still have the unlimited membership this month and someone to check my form/recommend modifications. Then, bring on the internet 🙂

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