I need one with more juice. 8 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
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 >.> 15 months 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 :) 16 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. 17 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 ;-) 18 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. 21 months ago
I asked for and got a 20% discount on an amazing painting workshop, but it still puts pressure on the budget. I can probably pay this off without slowing down my other debt payments. I know it’s smart to feed my artistic hunger or I lose energy for everything and begin to make stupid choices in all areas. So is this a smart financial choice right now? I know it feeds my heart and soul and at the end of my life, taking this course and creating this particular piece of art while in the community of amazing women artists will outweigh the temporary financial strain. I’m going to consider this a smart choice.
I also bought three shirts and a pair of tan ankle boots for a total of $140. The shirts cover my tattoos, which means I can wear some of my sleeveless dresses to work without horrifying the conservatives here. That extends my work wardrobe and makes it less dull. I bought the pink (pic attached), the same shirt in navy, and an olive green linen shirt in much the same style that has rhinestones on the front. It seems like a smart choice, but maybe not the smartest timing. The boots were pure indulgence, though I think I’ll wear them fairly regularly and it’s not easy to find good looking boots that aren’t leather.
More troubling than the individual purchases are the way that one leads to another. I recently bought new towels to replace my threadbare ones and the entire BtVS series. I used points for BtVS, but there’s something about buying that makes me want to buy more and more and more. OKAY. Noted. No more non-necessary purchases until August 19th. 21 months ago
I’ll be able to pay all but $500 of my credit card, but I was able to transfer that amount to a no-interest card for a $15 fee, much less than I would pay if I kept it on the original card. It looks like I’ll be entirely out of debt by the end of the year if I keep my spending under control and don’t have any unexpected and unavoidable charges. Having the set aside fund has been a lifesaver. I don’t know why I didn’t have one sooner and save myself a lot of stress! 21 months 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. 21 months ago
Yes! I’ll have one flight cross-country, a three day NYC hotel stay, ground transport and other traveling expenses on it in June, but I have until the beginning of July to transfer it to the no-interest credit card.
I ordered a lap desk/laptop holder/meal tray. My apartment is too small for a table, so I eat my meals on the couch and it would be more comfortable and less messy to have a tray. This one is adjustable and folds for easy storage. I can also use it when I use my laptop on the couch. 22 months 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! 22 months ago
Tiisi does not share entries outside 43T & asks the same.If I spend less than $50 in the next 7.5 days,
I may be able to pay off my whole credit card bill this month, which would mean the only debt I’d have would be what I spend on the NYC weekend in June. I’m going to the drugstore today for bleach, toothpaste, and garlic caps, but I have a 20% off coupon. I think I can do this. I would be SO proud of myself if I do! 22 months ago
I had a very illuminating coaching session this morning. I was stressed about travel planning and trying to get the best deal on everything and feeling stupid and flustered. Then I realized that the program for which I’m traveling is challenging. I need comfort and ease if I’m going to feel safe enough to open up to a new way of living. So if I spend $20 more for private car service and that allows me to calmly digest what I’ve learned, that is a better use of my money than sharing a cab or figuring out the subway if it helps me absorb and digest what I’ve paid a hefty price to learn.
So simple. So illuminating. I’ll keep to my budget as best I can, but it would be a waste of tuition money to scrimp and stress and not be rested and ready to learn. 2 years ago
and I have $50 left from the last paycheck, even with the set aside fund and paying all my bills and putting money toward travel. I am so pleased! I’m getting some money back on my taxes, too, so I’m in good shape for the traveling I’ll be doing this Spring. I got a round-trip flight to NY for under my set budget and have one hotel-mate to split a room. All in all, money is flowing well. 2 years ago
for this paycheck, but it was worth it. Ann Taylor Loft was having a great sale and I got three pairs of pants for work and a sweater for the grand total of $66. That’s less than one pair of pants would have cost at full price! I’ve tossed two pair of pants I had worn for too too long. I may even go back and take a second look through the racks.
I had to get a smaller size in this store, too. I have lost ten pounds since I moved here in 2008, so I guess I might be down a size. I was psychologically comfortable at my old size, but it’s too big now. Funny how I have judgments about sizes. At six, I felt fine. At four, I feel a little defensive. 2 years ago
I was trying to take savings out of the wrong paycheck and I’m doing fine with my spending and will have a slim surplus this paycheck. I won’t have to get groceries for awhile, except a pack of Boca burgers, and have a full tank of gas and fewer local trips planned for the next two weeks, so I’m in great shape! 2 years ago
and was mad that I have to go to CVS. That’s a good sign. There was a 20% off coupon in my email, which helps. I’m going to Trader Joe’s to buy essentials after work and those two trips may use up all the money I’ve got until the 31st, except the $10 or so I have in my purse. That’s about $1 a day but would let me put $100 more toward Mastery travel expenses. It felt damn good to put that $120 in the set aside fund. 2 years ago
how accustomed I’ve become to living just above my paycheck by paying bills early or withdrawing cash from the buffer I keep in my checking account because I know I’ll get paid soon. Breaking that habit will give me a much better sense of what I can truly afford on this salary. Today, I nearly moved $120 to my set aside fund and then remembered that if I didn’t have the buffer, I wouldn’t be able to do that until Friday. I paid a bill last night and made sure to set the date to after the 13th, so it would truly be coming out of the next paycheck. Little things like that keep me on track. I want 2012 to be the year of spending wisely. 2 years ago
so I didn’t live on my salary. Damn. It was that $55 ticket that messed me up. I’ve got $8 in my purse and forgot to bring my dinner, so I think it’ll be another $6 burrito night. That’s two dinners, at least. Considering that I had the expense of Christmas presents in December, I still did pretty well, but I can’t wait for payday.
The good news is that I’m in good shape to put aside $120 for my set aside fund out of my next paycheck. I’ve always wanted to have a fund that’s ready for those once-a-year expenses like car registration, renter’s insurance, etc., but this year I’m actually going to do it. 2 years ago
didn’t help this, but I’m still doing okay. I used my $6 CVS coupon to buy vitamins and didn’t buy anything else while I was there. MAJOR progress! I’ve got $7 left and get paid on Friday. I may need to get gas before then, but if I hadn’t gotten the ticket, I’d be doing fine. There aren’t any special occasions in January that will upset the budget, though I may be doing a bit more driving.
I’m feeling the urge to hit Trader Joe’s after I get my blood drawn tonight. I don’t actually need anything, though, so I’ll be strong and drive by. Where’s the beer fairy when you need her? 2 years ago
Last night, I had a great $6 burrito for dinner between work and my date. I could only eat half of it, so that’s two hearty dinners for $3 each. That’s a better plan than my $12 dinners every Tuesday. Now I just need to tackle my lunch spending. I eat a Builder’s Bar every day. It’s not that expensive, but it’s 20 grams of sugar and if I brought frozen veggies & tofu, it’d cost less, taste better, and be better for me without losing all that protein. I just have to get in the habit.
In balancing my checkbook, I discovered that I should never be allowed in a CVS store without a guardian. I can’t think of anything I need from a drugstore, so my goal is to not set foot in a CVS for the rest of the month. Already, I’m thinking, BUT, BUT, they have Crown Royal for $16! and I have that $6 coupon that will expire by February! Those coupons suck me in. I’m going to print the coupon in case there’s anything I actually need, but stay out of the store. I’m already jonesing. Drug stores are my drug!
In other spendy news, I just spent $19 on Benefits Porefessional, but I swear it makes pores disappear and skin look AMAZING and I reviewed three products to bump up my birchbox points and got $10 off. 2 years ago