Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Spending Freeze

So I decided back in December to join in for a January Spending Freeze. And I was excited to do it and I was completely on board. We did really well for the first two weeks. In this picture you can see how well we did at the beginning. We resisted the urge to go get ice cream and to go out to dinner and we were doing everything right.

And then everything fell apart in the middle of the month. What happened? Well first of all I think Richard forgot about my goal. Second, I went to Shreveport to take my insurance exam and I was in the area of some of my favorite stores. And I made an excuse to go because they are an hour and a half away so I don't usually get to check it out. Well after spending that money I had already broke my rule, so I kinda gave up.

We still did well overall. We spent less than we usually do and came in super close to our budget. But it was not an official no spend month so I can't count it towards my 101 in 1001 days. And I am sort of sad about this. But I will try again in the future.

This is a picture overview of how we spent this month. We use mint.com to track all of our spending and our budget. I love this website. And all the categories that look empty really are not mint just does not track when we save money it only track how we spend our money. But it is still part of our budget so I like to have it there as a reminder.
But even if I did not meet my goal I still think I learned something about our spending habits. Which was really the whole point in the first place, right?

-We are both really bad at resisting sales. We are cheap at heart so we like to find a good deal. But then we find a good deal and spend money on things that we probably could have lived without. But it was on sale  so we had to get it while it was on sale.

-I have a weakness for clothes. I cannot resist clothes or a good deal. A clothes sale on Ingram where they have super cute clothes in my size for cheap? Yep, I am there. 40% of everything at my favorite store? Can't beat it. Clearance rack full of clothes in my size? Perfect. I really need to stop with the clearance racks because I end up buying shirts that are cute, but I am not in love with and only want to buy because they are super cheap. It makes me feel like I like the shirt more than I do because it is cheap.

-We spend way to much money on groceries. But I really don't think this is something we can fix because of the area we live in. Our grocery stores back in Minnesota were way different than the ones here. The only store that has everything we need is Walmart and that store is so crazy all the time that we mostly refuse to go there. So that really limits our store selections and the grocery store we go to is not cheap. And they don't have a whole lot of options so we are pretty much stuck with what we have. And we eat healthy most of the time and that food is always more expensive.

-We also had some charges that were unique for this month. Richard need to buy some stuff for his internship and for school, which added to us going over our budget. But that is the whole reason why we have a "Blow Money" fund.

Overall we still spent a lot less than normal, but we need to be better at sticking to the budget. We will have to figure out some new strategies for that.

Linking up today with Love, Fun & Football.
Love, Fun and Football

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7 comments:

  1. I always do a freeze to zero in on my spending habits. I've learned that I won't pass up a really good deal on Living Social and that I need to be able to buy that one coffee a week.

    I'm doing another no-spend month in April, maybe you can get your 101 in 1001 in there!

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  2. Dining and groceries is my weak spot too! I've tried using mint but am not diligent about it- looks like you do a much better job!

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  3. I'm too lazy to use Mint, but I'm loving the graphs! I'm a sucker for graphs. :)

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  4. Haha, I'm a sucker for a good sale. I REALLY try to resist, but sometimes something amazing comes along that you can't pass up. Those are what I call Rare Business Opportunities. When an RBO comes along, you dont let it pass you by!
    You did great, this isn't necessarily supposed to keep you from buying anything, just to get a better picture of HOW you spend your money!
    Thanks for linking up with SMD, Ein, KP and me!
    MJ

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  5. Even though you kind of "fell off the wagon"in the middle of the month at least you recognized where your weaknesses are and you still came in under budget. Definitely a success. I spend too much on eating out/groceries so I tried to cut back on that especially during the month. I also noticed your took an insurance exam? What kind of insurance? I'm in the process of studying for one!

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  6. I am a data nerd and I LOVE the graphs from Mint.com! Totally put my spreadsheets to shame. I didn't meet my goal either, but I DID learn a lot, which I think was the point too!

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  7. When you think about the gas and time it would have taken to drive to those stores, you probably saved a lot since time is money and all! I agree it's so hard to pass up a sale! Doing things like this is always a good lesson for me, lol.

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