It’s MAY! I can’t believe it! May already!
This post doesn’t really fit into my blog ‘genre/theme’ but I want to make it public so I keep myself accountable.
You know how the weather starts to get warmer, days are sunnier and suddenly, you’re unknowingly spending more money? On new spring/summer clothes, on new make-up, on dining out on a restaurant patio, on happy hours, on brunch. Maybe this is just me. But the past few months, I’ve been spending a bit recklessly but always attributing it to visitors in Denver (we HAVE to go out for dinner! Every night!) , birthdays, tax returns.
And truthfully, I’ve been spending my money a bit less carefully since Alex moved in. Once I had him to split rent and expenses with me, I ‘got’ some of that money back, right? Not right. But that’s how I’ve been acting. It’s the first time since graduating college that I felt like I had ‘extra’ money. Money I *should* be saving is instead going to TCBY treats, Bull & Bush burgers, and concert tickets. My spending is not out of control by any means but I’m not doing myself any favors by spending ALL of my discretionary money each month.
So, for the month of May, I’m challenging myself. I will limit my discretionary spending – and Alex is doing the same.
I will bring my lunch to work (potential savings = $20-40/week!), we’ll eat dinners at home instead of picking something up or eating out (potential savings = $150+/month!), we’ll drink our own beer on our patio instead of happy hour (potential savings = $40/month!). No shopping (online or in a store), no impulse wine purchase at the grocery store.
These ‘potential savings‘ are based on how many times I know we do these things (buy lunch, eat out, drinks, etc) and an average of how much they cost. (I have Mint.com to tell me exactly how much I’ve been spending in all of these categories.) Our biggest money pit is eating out – seriously – it’s so easy and lazy to buy lunch or dinner out. And no dishes to clean! I know that committing to eat at home will be our biggest saver.
And of course, this means that our grocery bill may be a bit higher but if an extra $20 in groceries means 4 lunches not eaten out, we’ve saved money.
I do have a few events that I’ve already committed to and will bring myself an allowance to spend – dinner at Blend Retreat on Saturday night, a beer at The Fray concert in a couple of weeks, etc.
I know that this month will be a big challenge for me – but a very good one! I think once Alex and I get into the routine of NOT eating out all of the time (and after we see the savings in our bank account), this 1 month challenge will become less challenge, more habit.
Are you a spender or a saver? I like to save but I also like to DO and EXPERIENCE and TASTE which sometimes (most of the time) costs money.