The lovely Cass at The Casserole wrote about budgeting last month and her post was JUST what I needed to kick myself in the butt about spending. I have a problem where I spend too much money. On food. On books. On clothes. On random stuff I don’t need. Where does all my money gooo?! I hope that this month makes me more conscious about my spending, but I also plan to keep it realistic. I’m going to set some personal goals and rules for this month that may seem lenient; it’s just the only way I know this will work! Learn more about No Spend April here.
I’m going to set some personal ground rules for No Spend April, because I know that I tend to spend way too much money on food and unnecessary stuff throughout the month. Chris and I are really bad about eating meals at home on the weekends, so I hope that can be improved upon here (even though 1-3 per week, in my rule, sounds like a lot! It’s a major improvement for us, I’m ashamed to say).
- Complete the budgeting worksheet within the first week of No Spend April, found here
- Only one work lunch out per week: the rest must be brought to the office from home
- Eat at home for dinner most nights, with the exception of 1-3 dinners out per week if needed (for birthdays or events that fall during the month)
- No coffee-buying unless the money is already on my preloaded Dunkin Donuts card
- No book-buying unless allowed under the “exceptions” part below
- No clothes-buying unless for Easter with Natasha (we have a tradition of wearing matching outfits and we need to buy them during Easter weekend)
- Sit outside and read during my lunch break instead of browsing around Target or B&N
- Write down my daily purchases and keep track of my bank account every day, to hold myself accountable for how much I spent
- Remember to pay my bills on time – credit cards, loan, insurance, car payment, etc. (this should be a goal every month but I have the worst memory when it comes to this stuff)
I know that I’ll need to make some exceptions to my rules, especially because of different pre-planned events this month. I have multiple birthday gatherings, friends visiting one weekend, and other things I know I can’t avoid. Being strict NEVER benefits me.
- Allowed to buy one book per pay period as long as I followed the rules during the previous pay period (Kindle or paperback – no hardcovers unless a preorder comes out)
- Birthday events: April is huge on birthdays for me; I’ll have to buy a number of gifts and attend birthday parties/events that will involve spending money
- Easter weekend: friends are coming to visit and various activities and dinners will need to be purchased during that time
I hope that No Spend April impacts my usual buying habits because I’ll actually be paying attention to where my money goes. My ultimate goals are below, because I really hope to gain some perspective that LASTS.
- Work out a budgeting plan that works with my life and is reasonably easy to keep up with
- Put at least $100 extra towards my student loan this month
- Consciously keep track of what I spend money on and figure out a way to reduce that number dramatically throughout the rest of the year – make more conscious buying decisions
- Whittle down my monthly subscriptions – which are worth the money; which can be cut out?
- Put most of my April commission check into savings (50-75%)
Will you join us in #NoSpendApril? What are your goals? Anyone want to keep me in line this month so I actually succeed at only buying necessities? 😉
It is awesome to have all of these budgeting goals — I wish you luck for April! If I was to cut spending, it wouldn’t be books, rather food. My husband and I are so terrible at going out to eat all the time. 😀 I actually am pretty reserved when it comes to book buying.
I’m not too bad with books either but I’m AWFUL about going out to eat!
This is a great idea! I’ve definitely tried to be more conscious of my spending habits, I guess it’s a nasty side effect of growing up! Lol I’m really good with book buying usually. Although my TBR can grow at an alarming rate, I tend to only buy books on offer and make the most of discount codes. I do that a lot actually. Couponing isn’t a thing here in the UK really, if it was I’d be all over it. Going to check out the original posts for inspiration as this is something I think I can work on even more. R x
Haha I know what you mean. I’m not that bad at buying books either, really, but it’s mostly going out to eat that messes me up!
Good luck with your plan for not spending in April. I am doing the same thing for books. I haven’t bought books since February. Woo-hoo! I don’t really spend on much else.
Good work! 😀
This is such a great idea! I’m thinking of just making the effort with my libraries more and read the books I’ve got, and if I want new ones, just trade them you know? I might start sorting that out as soon as possible! Good luck with your no spending April! 😀
Thank you 😀
Thanks for sharing my spreadsheet – hope it helps you out. I’m working on sticking to our budget ourselves haha 🙂
I filled it out and it’s working well so far.. Thanks for sharing it! 😀
Oh! I am going to have to try this because I am so good at spending money but not about making it. I work… but I usually spend more than I should. 🙁
I spend waaaaay more than I should.
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