02 April 2009

95| allowance, resolution

i have been forever spoiled {up until last october}. and i have ever frittered away my money, left, right, centre, and behind me in some cases.

i looked in my bank account yesterday and gulped. and then i freaked out. and then i realized that i am far from practical with my money, and that i don't fritter away my money on magazines and drinks as much as i used to {good}, but rather on housewares and clothes and other slightly larger purchases {bad}.

i admire rachel for not shopping for eleven whole weeks. i could not do that. but, i am going to be very strict with my money from now on. and very aware of my purchases.

my debit card, ladies and gentlemen, is not leaving the house unless it is for the express purpose of either taking out money, or making a planned purchase. i will take out a certain amount of money, and subsist on that for a week. and if i go broke before, oh well. too effing bad. i can't keep relying on my overdraft. i could. but i refuse to.

new rules to spend by...

  • no specialty coffee, no breakfast pastries, no more $2 yogurt
  • with the exception of a dress for the summer {i'm too small for my old ones, and i have three weddings and my convocation to attend}, spending on clothing will be limited to $50 per month, not a penny more {right now i'm spending very close to $200 without thinking much about it}
  • i will not buy my lunch more than one a week
  • i will not go out for drinks more than once per month {this isn't really a big problem for me right now, but once patio season begins}
this will be different {i hope}. {also, i hope that none of you are particularly bored by my discussion of money. i feel like it's a major elephant in the room for me right now, and i needed to get it out there. exhale. and now, on with the otherwise normal life that i lead. ha.}


  1. That's still a pretty generous budget. I'm sure you'll get by alright.
    Just do things that don't cost anything, like bike rides or gardening instead of shopping. Don't people normally rack up lots of housewares as wedding gifts anyway?

  2. it is a pretty generous budget. or more, a guideline. it's more that i was spending $30 dollars here and $40 there on things that i was able to justify and not **actually** thinking about my overall financial situation.

    we're considernig registering at mec as well as houseware type places. and i'm a sucker for vintage housewares, which you can't quite register for in the same way.

    either way, my spending became utter silliness over the past few months and i'm putting an end to it (which will probably be easier as opportunities to do other things take over my life instead of shopping).

  3. One thing you may find useful is to record all of your money-type transactions with Quicken, Microsoft Money, Mint, Moneydance, or whatever.

    Let's not call it a budget. Let's call it "tracking your spending".

  4. john, i had no idea that you read my blog...which means that i now have to refer to the male audience in the plural.

    i am more concerned about the tracking part than anything else (which is kind of what my whole life is like right now), because i think tracking will ultimately make me realize how to manage my money better...

  5. You can do it! Start with tracking, although it seems like you know where your weaknesses are. Figure out what works for you.

    For instance, everyone always says not to carry credit or debit cards because it's so easy to spend money with them. For me, it's much more tempting to spend cash. Cash flies out of my wallet almost instantly and I don't know where it goes (I won't put a $1 soda on a credit card, but if I have cash, I'll be tempted to stop and buy one). So I rarely carry cash and put everything on my credit card. Having to look at the bill at the end of each month and know that I spent that much money total is good for me.

    Not saying you should do this! Just that you should try to figure out what works for you.

    Um, I guess you can tell that I love talking about budgets. I just outed myself as a money nerd.