I will start this from Feb on! My plan is to spend my budget (minus all the fixed expenses) in cash + make sure I do not overdraw any money. It is way too easy to spend money that is not your >.> 20 months ago
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How I did it:
I started by making daily notes on what I was spending, however small... a chocolate bar here a there soon mount up! In all honesty it can be quite mundane but you'll see the importance once you've monitored your first month and you realise how much you could save if you didn't buy those unnecessary items.
I managed the tracking for about three months before realising which areas of spending I really needed to cut back. At this stage it began to get irritating, I wasn't at all sure how I would manage to control my lavish spending habits.
I have to confess that there is no definite answer to this problem, but if I tell you what made me change my ways it might just help you think of something similar.
Shock value. It's what I needed. Realising I would be going to University in the coming year brought to my attention how much I needed to pay serious attention to my spending habits. Knowing this made me think immediately and I started buying only the essentials. It comes down to will power, and saying "no" to the cinema trip straight after a meal out and of course "no" to those yummy chocolate bars. In the former, why not enjoy a meal out one night and some nights later do the cinema, this way you spread out your activities and your money goes further.
Cutting down is one thing, cutting back is another. There are things in life that you don't really need. I'm buying a laptop, I could argue that I don't really need one but it's something I had to budget for. Initially I thought I'd go all out, find the best I could for around £500... but then I thought again, and realised I didn't need the latest and greatest. £325 - the new price for my laptop. I made the sacrifice and in another few months or so, I won't even know what I have missed out on. Read how I did it… 5 years ago
It’s been 2 1/2 months since I’ve taken money out of my savings account. It’s a Festivus miracle! ;) Ever since I discovered the concept of minimalism and started resolving to curb the purchasing of new things, I’ve stopped spending more than I’m making. Coincidence? Nah.
But though I may technically have my spending under control, I’m still living beyond my means. My spending doesn’t necessarily reflect my values. Almost 50% of my income goes toward rent, utilities, and other bills… I always expected to have help with these things, but I’m on my own for the foreseeable future so something has to change. I should move because rent alone is 35% of my income (not including utilities) and our home bigger than we need. But I love this place and the location and I’m tired of feeling so transient, so I’m reluctant to move. (Plus, the rental market is very blah this time of year.)
If I don’t move (or even if I do), I’ve got to make other changes, too. I continue to talk about getting rid of the cable but I can’t seem to bite the bullet and actually do it. I could make little changes to make our home more energy efficient (especially in the winter) but I’m too stubborn to follow through. I keep saying I’m going to dine out less or stop buying so many lattes, but I’ve got no willpower to keep my word. My Jeep’s getting horrible gas mileage and there may be little fixes that could improve it, but I’ve been too lazy to make them happen.
Still, no dipping into my savings since October 15th isn’t too shabby :) 20 months ago
when you’re living on a budget.
I’m two days away from my next paycheck. I was pretty rigid about my budget for about a week, but then unexpected expenses came up and I became a bit more lax. I started by trying to shift my cash budget around. Then I resorted to using the credit card. This was a particularly difficult time to try and implement the cash budget when nearly all of my paycheck went to bills. Still, I only owe $37 on my credit card, and the second half of the month should be much easier. 21 months ago
My accounts are reconciled! It was tough, and it required dipping into my savings to pay off some unexpected bills, but right now my credit card debt is $0, my checking account is balanced, and my savings account is still in good-enough shape.
Trying to implement a budget during the holiday season is like trying to start a diet during the holiday season. It’s not going to be easy, but if I can stick to it, I’ll feel much better in the new year. (I can’t believe how much I’ve already been thinking about 2013. It’s so close.)
Anyway, my November plan is to withdraw all my spending money for the 1/2 month (after each paycheck), leaving only money for bills and savings in my account. I’ll divvy the money up into different buckets and once it’s gone, it’s gone. (I tried to abide by similar rules over the past week and while it was tough, I succeeded in not using my credit card!) Since my payday is technically on the 31st, I’ll withdraw all my cash on Halloween evening and spend the night budgeting… in costume ;-) 22 months ago
I just spent some time reviewing my finances, as I’m considering the possibility of purchasing a home in the near future. I can’t help but regret a couple of things… loaning so much money to R and spending so much on take out. I can only imagine how much larger my savings would be – doubled possibly – if I’d controlled those two things over the past two years. Regret is far from helpful, though. I’m hoping this all inspires me to get my act together from here on out. (Also, that money helped fund some great memories… how can I regret that?)
Time to work on my mint.com budget again. 2 years ago
For the next week, I hope/plan to limit my spending as much as possible. Though I’m not necessarily living beyond my means, I am spending money without enough thought. Today, for example, I dined out for every meal. I probably spent close to $30. In ONE day. That’s ridiculous.Guidelines:
- no dining out alone. if I need food, it needs to come from the grocery store. it needs to be affordable AND nourishing. currently, most of my spending goes toward food and beverages.
- no more than one beverage purchase a day.
- no purchasing of unnecessary things.
- make my spending a reflection of my values. for example, I value spending time with friends, so I will splurge and spend $10 to go to the movies with N. I don’t value feeling grossly stuffed, so I will not waste $10 on a gluttonous meal. 2 years ago
I created a budget for myself in February and haven’t look at it since March. Oops. Reviewing it, I find that nothing’s really changed. I’m just not staying within my means. (It’s also tough when I have to make work purchases and I don’t get reimbursed promptly – it throws off my whole perception of how much money I really have.)
My latest idea is to withdraw $X each month (or week, perhaps) and let that be the only money I use in that time frame for dining out and entertainment purposes. Everything else is pretty much a fixed (or semi-fixed) cost. I should also go back to using mint.com – right now I ignore it because it’s always telling me I spend too much! 2 years ago
Thinking of resolving to stop using my credit card in 2012. Not using credit is sure to help me live within my means. I’m racking up quite the bill right now (with the move and Christmas and whatnot) but I think I’ll be able to pay it off without dipping into savings by the end of the month.
At the VERY least, I’ll have the credit card for special purchases only.
Something to consider… 2 years ago
Find an alternative to my morning latte. An average of $4/day = $12-20/week. About $50-80/month. Oh, the things I could do with that money. But my lattes help keep me full throughout the morning. Hmm. 2 years ago
My dad asked me this morning. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I have no excuse for not “saving lots of money.” I live rent free. My bills are minimal. I should have more money saved up than my bank account shows. I suddenly felt like my frivolous spending was just a slap in the face to him, who’s been helping me out so I can not be living paycheck-to-paycheck when I finally do move out.
It’s time to step it up even more. 2 years ago
I’ve cut back considerably on unnecessary spending. I racked up $145 in expenses, but most of that went toward things I NEEDED (prescription, vitamins, food, gas). Less than $20 were spend on frivolous purchases (coffee, snacks). 2 years ago
I think I’ve already spent close to $200 in the month of September. Baseball tickets, gas, LOTS of drinks, food, and random purchases (football socks and hair mousse, CD, DVD). And I actually thought I was exercising SOME self control (there were also shirts, hats, books, and more DVDs I wanted to buy). I’m not usually a purchaser of material goods, and most of my money did go toward doing things. I feel like if I cut back I’ll be depriving myself, but if I keep spending like this I’ll be out of control. (Who am I kidding, I already AM out of control.)
I’m not sure how to responsibly cut back. And I always considered myself to be responsible with money in the past. What happened?! 2 years ago
I started a daily spending log to track my spending.
Here is a good little article to help with this goal.