Monday, August 3, 2015

Thawed

Last month I decided to put myself on a spending freeze. May and June got a little crazy and I knew it was time to reign it in. I spent a week or so coming up with the rules that were tailored to me. What was pre-planned, what I could spend money on, and what was completely off limits.
 

At first I thought I was really going to struggle and ultimately end up caving. On the very first day my will was tested. My Longchamp has the tiniest of holes in the bottom corners from daily use. Of course the uncapped pen in my bag finds a way to wedge itself in there while walking from the gym to work I ended up with a huge ink spot on my dress. Even though I’m behind a desk all day, there was no way I was wearing it. I headed out to Loft and got super lucky – they were having a storewide 50% off sale. I spent $42 on the new outfit and promptly removed all pens from my bag.


 
For the 4th I typically pick up beer to bring to one of the BBQs we go to. I knew it was coming but forgot to “allow” it. I bought it anyway {because I’m not showing up empty handed}. I also forgot about K’s dad’s birthday. I knew when it was but didn’t allot any money for a gift. Again, I’m not like that, so I bought him a grill cover {$. We’d discussed how he wanted a new one on 2 separate occasions and I knew it was a perfect last minute gift.

While I was home mid-month I spent money on snacks for travel. I also bought breakfast for a friend and myself. It was less than $15 and it was something I wanted to do. She's been through it all with me and it was the least I could do.



I gave myself an allowance to buy new sneakers because I really need a new pair. I ended up not buying them this month so they're on deck for August. 
I also gave myself cart blanche for the Blogger’s Beach Day. It’s really hard to not spend money down the shore unless you bring absolutely everything with you. And since that wasn’t an option, that was my own true allowance for the month. I ended up only spending just under $75 for the day.
At the very end of the month K and I went to a Mets game. Back in May I donated blood and the perk was that each donor would get 2 free Mets tickets. They came at the very end of June but again, I forgot to add them to my budget. I amended my rules mid-month to allow for 2 food items and 2 beers at the game. I'm happy to say I stuck to that allowance, however costly.
I obviously did break my freeze and spend money when I wasn't supposed to. I don't consider the month a success but it's not a failure either. I learned where my financial weaknesses are - food, under-budgeting, no wiggle room - and I know where I should allow myself more leeway to make sure that I have a healthy balance of saving and spending. I was going to make a new plan for August but at this point I think I'm going to stick with streamlining my budget and simply trying to stick to it the best I can. That's what works for me.


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