Friday, April 19, 2013

February Spending Diet

As I wind down my first month on The Spending Diet, I can’t help but feel at least particularly happy with my financial progress and grasp on my money situation. I honestly thought I had it all figured out before now, but it turns out I didn’t. In fact, I still don’t have it all figured out, as budgeting, saving, and cutting costs will always produce new tips for me to learn. Well, here goes; this is my progress so far:

  • I spent my allotted $100 for the month (mostly on coffee, one trip out of town, and Valentines Day. Oh! And eating out).
  • THEN I took back some stuff I didn’t need and never used (The Spending Diet encourages this) and got about $30 back, which I spent on nothing (which is really something but it was insignificant in the fact that they were probably consumables).
  • THEN I went $25 over on my budget eating out.

So total, on non-necessities, I spent about $155 on random stuff. I went over on my budget by $55 (I am going to count the $30 of take-backs because I should have put it towards my loan), BUT compared to last month, I did really well. I spent way less this month than last because I was consciously aware of it.

Negatives: I went over my budget by $55. I didn’t save that extra $30 I got from stuff I took back. There were times when I felt cheap or I felt like a mooch (like when someone pays for me and I can’t later return the favor(although I could if I was better with my budget)). When I see something at a store and I want to buy it. Like last night I saw a beach towel that I really wanted even though it is still winter and I won’t be using it at least until June.

But on the other hand…

Positives: I spent less money than I would have if I had never started The Spending Diet. I spent less money on non-necessities than I did during January. I learned a lot about living frugally and overcoming impulse buying. I helped inspire some budgeting. I don’t own more stuff that just takes up space and I am not stressing out about not having enough money or trying to live a lifestyle that is above my means.

Overall, I learned a lot about myself and my ability to spend less and go back to my old ways as a 15 year old that refused to spend any money. I learned that I have some growing to do in order to resist temptations like going out to eat when my budget doesn’t allow, or spending extra money when it should be saved. I’m excited to follow my budget whether my impulsive buying likes it or not for the rest of the months!


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