Here's what happened to that $584.25 this week. Our ski trip plus the computer repair took an incredible bite out of my budget and what I'd saved so far.
Purchases in green are purchases that I consider reasonable. Purchases in orange are purchases that I should've thought more about or prepared for but didn't. It would be good to avoid these purchases until I have more money saved. The purchases in red are purchases that I should be skipping until I have $600 in savings. I've picked $600 as a result of looking at previous months' spending. I noticed that I have a habit of making about a $300-$400 purchase on something unnecessary or unexpected every month. This month was probably the most unexpected and totaled $600, so that seems a good amount to aim for.
Anything with an asterisk is an object. So this week I acquired two things, well, I suppose four things. I plan on working to keep that number low. Four objects a week is 200 objects a year! And since we've got 1200 square feet to work with, that could be a problem! So let's go look at a "bad" week:
I should probably avoid iTunes and amazon for a while. That's going to be a hard habit to break, but at least it's not expensive. Okay, just one book and one song next week. I'll try to get down to zero after that. For just a little while. Lunch with my friend Bret is does make me wince, but at least it's only once a month and friends are more important than money. We "treat" each other to lunch every other Friday, meaning we each only end up paying once a month. I may want to suggest a less expensive locale in the future.
For the next couple weeks I'll have three regular expenses: $70 of physical therapy a week and weekly $45 guitar lessons. That leaves $100 each week. I'll need to be careful so I can pay back the Chief Engineer for my ski boots in the next two weeks. I was doing well for a while, especially the first two weeks. Time to hunker down a little more.
In terms of our family spending, we've made another change: This month I don't get to look at our household finances except on the last day of the month. The Chief Engineer and I temporarily changed passwords on our accounts to ones that only he knows. Why? Because I have a nasty, OCD-habit of checking our bank accounts and our credit card sometimes several times a day. It's a little (or a lot!) ridiculous. If I can't stress about my eating disorder, I stress about money instead. With food, when I angst over it I end up eating more. Maybe if I angst over the bigger picture of our family finances I end up spending more than if I just leave them alone.
In spite of the ski trip it feels like we've spent less money this month. I've spent more evenings consciously trying to do things that don't involve shopping, spending money, or planning to spend money in any way. I don't spend a lot of time spending money but I do spend a lot of time planning to spend money. I'm trying to distract myself and see if it makes a difference. Instead of planning to buy stuff, I've done some quilting, caught up on much of the Law and Order and Start Trek episodes that I missed while I was in college, read lots of free online fiction, and for the first time in over a decade I finally sat down and started writing some fiction of my own. It felt really, really
I'm quite a bit happier than I was when I was angsting about our money. Hopefully I'll eventually be able to wean myself of recording everything I spend out of my own bank account.
See you all for Dx: Affluenza next Saturday!