trimming the monetary fat

13 Jul

Yesterday I read a cool blog post (and then later more on the same subject) by Small Notebook.  Naturally, I found it on pinterest first.  The pin was, “31 days, 3 people, $250 No Spend Month”.  I clicked on the website and read through it all.  It was great.

One of my goals for 2012-2013 was to start spending less on things and more on experiences.  I did pretty well.  There absolutely were times when I would falter and suddenly go on these spending binges.  It was weird, like I couldn’t stop myself.  Then I would pull myself together and either take some things back or put the trip behind me and went back to spending more wisely.

This year, I made the same goal and wanted to stay more mindful of my spending.  Eh, I’ve done okay but there is a lot of room for improvement.  My going out for coffee habit was getting a bit ridiculous before I started making my own ice coffee.  I’m still not sure how or why I went off the budget wagon for McDonald’s coffee but I think I convinced myself it was so cheap so it was okay.  A slippery slope my friends!  Oh and not to mention, I was all over the egg McMuffin minus the Canadian bacon.  Well, thankfully, I completely OD-ed on these and have had two since May.  Get this – I did some lazy math (meaning I did everything in my head and sort of rounded the numbers) and I am barely paying $.50 a coffee a day, maybe less!

coffee posterWhen I read the above article, I started wondering what could I live on for a month?  Ideally, it would/should be less than $250 considering it’s just me (well, and Simon – little dude has expensive tastes!).  But I have never quite figured out how to do this.  I don’t eat out actual meals that often, it’s really the coffee habit.  So what am I spending money on?

Still not sure – seriously.  I do think I spend way more on groceries than I actually end up eating.  You know that stupid Ziplock commercial where they say people throw out an average amount of $ on food waste each year?  Yep, I am one of those people.  I don’t mean to – I eat leftovers, honest!  But I do a lousy job of eating everything I have purchased.  Produce goes bad as does meat or I am not able to eat all of what I bought.  Not to mention, sometimes I am just too lazy to make meals out of what I have purchased and end up eating egg sandwiches or cereal.

Ugh – I need to cut down my food budget.  Not to mention, when I go to the store, I end up buying little things that add up that are not food related.  Last week when I was de-hoarding I found 4 bottles of hand soap I had stocked up on who knows when.  Two weeks before that I purchased two other bottles of hand soap because they were on sale at Target even though I didn’t need those either (I didn’t remember the other 4).  Oh and I am a complete sucker for a new kind of product.  I also like to buy supplies for some kind of crafty project (that I may or may not end up using) and smelly goods.  Great scott, I don’t need to buy another candle!

I have made some progress though.  I stopped opening e-mails from GAP, Old Navy, Michael’s or whoever else sends me “coupons”.  By deleting these right away I am not as tempted.  This tactic has been wildly helpful.  And like the article says, not looking at these helps to make these less desirable.  But I am considering the above tactic – a no spend month.  Like the author describes this doesn’t count bills or medical costs.  What it does include are gas, groceries and any other incidentals – i.e. race entries!  I’m considering this project for August.  I’ll be getting back from visiting my family and work will kick back up again.  Hmmm… I am going to seriously consider this!

What about you?  Ever gone on a spending hiatus?  How did it go?

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3 Responses to “trimming the monetary fat”

  1. lovinghomemade July 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    I suffer from over buying the same sorts of things, particularly when it’s on sale. Internet food shopping is a great option as you don’t get tempted by things you don’t need as much. Unless it’s on sale of course!

  2. susan @ suddenlysusan.com July 14, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    I’ve tried no spend months, and failed miserably. It’s like I force myself to shop when I tell myself I can’t. I have all the deals emails go to another email account, and that helped. That way the deal is there if I know I’m going to be shopping somewhere, but I don’t see it so the temptation is gone. I had to do that with groupon, I was buying massages like they were going out of style. I still have a starbucks living social deal I’ve never used… With just two of us, I’ve had to start breaking down the grocery shopping trips to more often, sometimes 2x a week for meat and produce, because like you, I was throwing away. I have a food saver I got as a wedding gift, and that thing is amazing. I use it all the time (when I remember of course) for meat. Sometimes my biggest waste is defrosting meat, forgetting, eating something else and then it’s gone bad by the time I remember it’s there.

    • amysrecipefordisaster July 14, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

      Oh my gosh – I do the EXACT SAME THING! I hate it when I defrost the meat and then forget about it – ugh! I thought about getting one of those food savers but at this point, I can’t fit another appliance in my apt! I will say, my goal this week is to JUST eat what’s in my freezer. Hopefully, this will be a good baby step!

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