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? 😉