Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spending Diet Update

Have you ever declared yourself on a spending diet? We needed to in the past, but never followed through. Back in September, I wrote about how we needed to put the brakes on our spending and starting October 1, we started our Spending Diet. We had a few guidelines:

(Our allowable expenses for the month are in bold and our current situation is in italics)

  • Groceries - I am making an effort to eat more from the pantry and freezer to try to reduce this expense.

  • The sign up for swim lessons for our oldest daughter is in October. We decided to also signed her up for tumbling and to get tickets for the girls to see Disney on Ice. These were definitely an unplanned expenses, but we made the choices together. We'll see at the end of the month if that was a smart decision or not.

  • Our oldest daughter's birthday is early in November. We are planning a small party with a few of her friends and cousins. I am going to keep it simple, but fun. Her birthday is around Halloween, so I am encouraging the kids to wear their costumes. I am searching online for some party game ideas. She told me she wants a pink cake, I might try to talk her into strawberry cupcakes that I can make with the strawberries I picked back in June. I still have a few weeks left for this to come together at a realistic price, but still be very fun for my girl.

  • Dine out using only gift cards. Like I said back on Oct. 1st, this is the most challenging guideline for us. At the end of a long week, we like to go out to dinner. We still went out to dinner and we used our gift cards, but we did spend over the amount of the gift card.

  • We will still get our cash allowance for the month. Trust me it isn't much. I have about 20% of my cash allowance left...yikes and there is still half a month to get through. I might be digging under the sofa cushions and in pockets soon...LOL!

  • Our oldest will need a winter coat and I will keep my eye out for a good sale. It was pretty chilly this morning as we were getting ready for school, so I pulled out last year's coat and she tried it own. It still fits. I don't know if it will make it through the winter though because she is growing like a weed, but it gives me some time to find a good bargain.

Our Disallowed expenses:

  • Everything else - I am really avoiding the stores, because they are too tempting. We did go to K-mart for a Halloween costume and I used a gift card that I earned in the spring and the costume was on sale. As I look at our receipts from the first half of the month, we have done a good job at avoiding other purchases.

As I mentioned in my initial Spending Diet post, we are trying to achieve self-control. It is not always easy and sometimes my husband and I can be easily swayed. Although, the Spending Diet hasn't really dominated our discussions this month and we really haven't needed to remind each other about it. We both know that we are trying to save money and without any tension we are spending less. I will be curious to see how much more we will have in our account at the end of October. As far as what we will do with any overage, we have not decided. There is a long list of things that we could use it on. My vote is for the item that will best affect affect our bottom line.

Are you on a Spending Diet? How is it going for you?

Thanks for reading FamilyBalanceSheet. If you don't already receive FBS free updates, please click here to sign up.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading Family Balance Sheet and taking the time to leave a comment. I love to hear from readers.