If you are anything like me, you PROBABLY over spent during December. Now, I am sure some of you were totally on point with your budgets and didn’t go a cent over (Go You!!) I am not one of those people. So for the new month and the new year, I need a fresh start. This is what brings me to the January spending freeze!
Now, I’m not going to cut out all spending entirely. So here is my list of do’s and don’t’s for my upcoming challenge month!
What I CAN spend money on:
Food – Nothing fancy, just good ole groceries. I am planning to budget about $70 a week for food but that is pretty reasonable for me. I know many folks can do it way cheaper than I can, but my health being what it is, I need to be very careful with what I eat. So I am willing to pay a little more to put good food in my body.
Gas – You know, to keep my car running safely.
Pet food/supplies/medication – I have three pets. Two medium sized dogs and one tiny geriatric cat (my #soulmate). I buy the dog food from Costco and it costs me I think $37 a bag which lasts about 3-4 weeks (when I’m out of town I board one of my dogs, and they provide food). Which reminds me to include boarding fees in this. My sweet oafish pit bull is a total love, but he still is 65 solid pounds of strength which is a lot for most people to handle. So I board him at the vet when I travel for work. The cat gets wet and dry food, three medications, fluids, and frequent vet visits. He isn’t cheap but I would do ANYTHING for my sweet old man.
Rent/Utilities – ’nuff said
Medical – Doctor visits, medicine, appointments etc. As someone with Crohn’s Disease, it is very important for em to see my doctor regularly and do as I’m instructed. This also includes any costs associated with prep for appointments (Yuck!!)
What I CAN’T spend money on:
EXTRA food – ie fun groceries/eating out/coffee out/you get the picture. Do I really NEED the fancy cheese? No. Do I really NEED another kind of smoked salmon? No. I will work on getting back to basics and cooking what I know, and doing so cheaply.
Booze – I am not a big drinker, but I definitely enjoy a drink in the evening a couple of nights a week (I prefer cider over beer or wine) and I certainly don’t need to be spending that money. It won’t be a huge amount of money, but every bit adds up.
Concerts – Holy moly I way over did this part of my budget this holiday season. No concerts for me! (with the small exception of the Foo Fighters tickets whenever they go on sale!)
Clothing/shoes/accessories – Fun fact, I love clothes. I love clothe shopping and window browsing, all of it. And I certainly don’t need anymore clothes. So it seems like a great way to save more would be to spend less in this BIG category. I will not browse the Madewell sale page. I will not wander into Nordstrom just for fun. Nope, none of it. (This will likely be the hardest one of all but I am determined!)
Extras – you know that extra piece of chocolate at the grocery store, that pair of socks, a new toy for the pup, all those things that in the moment seem like such a good idea, but really they aren’t. I will do my very best to stay away from traps (I’m looking at you Target and Costco!) but even these can sometimes not be avoided. I go to Costco for dog food and I go to Target when I need things like laundry soap and Kleenex (or some other equally odd combination of items).
Some people do a fabulous job of accomplishing their goals long term, but for me I need short, attainable goals. I need one week, one month. Those are goals I can get behind. It is easier for me that way to build up to the bigger goals. So I’m starting with no extemporaneous spending for January, I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes. Do you have any new years resolutions !?