I’m pretty sure Caitlin is a mind reader. This afternoon she posted her Responsible Spending Challenge, and the post couldn’t have been more timely.
I’m not bad with money, but recently my spending has been out of control. I actually saw a “negative number”* in my checking account for the first time ever!
I know the two primary reasons I’ve been spending so much lately, but it really needs to stop. The first reason I’ve been spending so much is my condo. I’ve bought a lot of stuff for the condo in the last two month. A lot of that spending was a one time thing. Now that we’re getting settled things should start to taper off. The second reason I’ve been spending a lot is my weight loss. In the last two months I’ve bought a TON of clothes – way more clothing that I would ever buy in the same time period – because I’ve really needed them. My work clothes were starting to look really sloppy because they were just too big. I’ve got enough clothes now, and I shouldn’t need to buy more for a while.
So what are the goals of my responsible spending challenge?
- Limit eating out to once a week. – I/ We really don’t eat out that often, but this is a quick and easy way to cut costs.
- Find a plan for splitting grocery costs with Chris – for the most part I’ve been footing the grocery bill because I make more money. I really don’t mind this; however, after seeing how much we actually DO spend on groceries in a month, I realize we need to come up with a set split for the bill.
- Set up a mint.com account to analyze spending.
- Create a monthly budget. – I am horrible at budgeting. Seriously. I’m awful at it. Hopefully after my analysis, I can create something.
- Figure out a workable amount to put into savings each pay period and set up my direct deposit to automatically deposit that amount into my savings. - I spent about 75% of my savings on condo stuff (paint, a drier, etc.), and I haven't put anything back into it. Luckily, my savings account has a minimum balance of $2,500 so I do always have that cushion if I get into a pinch.
I may add goals after I do my spending analysis and create my budget.
*As a side note, I deduct my bills from my check register really far in advance. Most of the time I have my bills subtracted so far in advance, I get at least one pay check before the bills actually clear. Because of this, the balance in my check register is always significantly lower than the amount of money actually in my account; so while my check register showed a negative number, I actually had plenty of money in my account.