Melanie is sharing her Spending Diet adventures with us, and she’s got her July update for us below. We’ll get August’s update up before you know it, and then we’ll be back on track in no time for September. I’m telling ya, we’ve got a plan, folks. She’ll take it from here. xo, Anna
Ok, so first things first, this was so much harder than I imagined. I went over my allowance of $100 in the first two weeks! I am ashamed and to be honest I was a little shocked. (I feel like I’m such a saver!) But I learned from my digressions and I’m ready to get serious.
I went $100 over my spending limit in July for two reasons:
#1 – I didn’t immediately get cash out of the bank at the first of the month like I said I would.
Hey, I’m lazy and I hate making trips to the ATM. Instead, I told myself I’d just write down what I spent. What a joke. If I’m too lazy to go to the ATM, I’m too lazy to write down everything I spend. Now at the first of each month, I am vowing to get out my $100 spending budget and stick to only spending cash on my “Wants.” I’m also leaving my debit card at home so I can’t be tempted by that trickster. (I’m keeping my credit card on me for emergencies.)
#2 – I was too strict with my food budget.
I just simply didn’t budget enough for food. I hate buying food even though it’s a necessity. I thought by giving myself a super strict limit, I would spend less. Wrong! I spent more because I ran out of food and had to make extra trips to the grocery store. I’m going to give myself $50 more to spend on food each month because a girl has to eat. To even out the budget, I’m cutting my gym membership. I love it but I don’t use it often enough. I ordered some infomercial DVDs a while back and I’ve been hitting those harder than I ever hit the gym.
I still managed to save $1,000 this month which I consider a success. I also got real with myself. Looking back on this month, I realize that I spend more money than I should going out with friends. Instead of going out with friends, I’m going to convince my friends that we should cook at home– even if that means I do all the cooking! I’ve even started fermenting my own wine which has been super fun and much cheaper than wine at a bar or restaurant.
I have high hopes for next month. I’m taking on a side job to earn more income and I took out my $100 allowance as soon as I got paid.
Here’s to hoping next month’s spending diet report looks better than the last! Melanie
P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp! SpendingFastBootcamp.com
Hi. This is great, but I wish you let us know more detail of give us link on :
1. when did you start having allowance of $100??
2. and is that per week? per month? bi-weekly?
3. how exactly you saved $1000?
because to me those 3 things are the most important points I was looking for when I read this article.
I believe you will find the answers to your questions in the first link “Spending Die” in this article. I found great info there and got many questions answered.
How do you ferment your own wine? I’d love to hear more about this process. It’s great to see the lessons you are learning along the way.
Hey Kayla, I’m still working on getting the process down. I don’t want to poison anyone! Here’s the adventure: http://love-library.com/2014/08/26/adventures-wine-making/
Your library may have other exercise DVDs too!
They do! Although some of them are super embarrassing. Sweating to the ’80s for sure.
When my husband and I were in grad school we often hosted in our home. Some were potlucks with everyone bringing a dish. Some were things like chili and homemade corn bread. Sometime I did a baked potato bar and splurged on some beef or bacon for the potatoes alsong with the broccoli and onion and sour cream and cheese. A taco/burito bar was also fun and inexpensive. And, the great thing, not too hard for you as the cook and not too time consuming.
FYI there is a great site for meals at home with friends Google “Sunday Suppers” they are great! They even have a cookbook coming out soon….I Have no affiliation with them just enjoy what they do on IG.
I’ll check it out. Thanks!
That’s some solid insight regarding getting the money on the first. I’m with you on the “wait, if I was too lazy to do X, there’s no WAY I would do Y.”
Great start, even if it’s not perfect! I too am doing the spending diet and I have been able to convince my friends to make brunch at someone’s house where we all bring ingredients. It’s fun, less crowded and still delicious! It helps so much to get your friends on board with free/cheap activities! Good luck!
Food is a killer for my budget too! No matter how hard I try it seems I’m always over by at least a little bit. Ive adopted a rule that as long as I stock to what I planned, I won’t punish myself too much for a little extra grocery spending.
Hi Melanie, good effort! I’m trying to save $1000 in a month too – and had the same thoughts about my gym membership. However I think I’m going to just try and use it more, and at least get some value out of it!
This week I’m holding a $5 dinner party, where each of my friends brings something for under $5. I’m thinking that’s a good way to be social without spending a fortune on food (that’s where all my money seems to go).
Will be reading your posts with interest!
Here’s a little bit more about the challenge I’m doing if you’re interested: http://heylittlespender.com/save-1000-in-a-month/