So, I’ve said for a while now that I wanted to reach my interim goal of spending $2000 or less per month. (I eventually want to get down to $1500 or less.) But as I’ve come to realize, every month really IS an “unusual” month. So I decided to see if I could make it work this month DESPITE me knowing from the outset that it’s going to be yet another unusual month. Here are the expenses (the unusual ones have an asterisk) I’m forecasting this month:
$733 – my share of some new windows*
$60 – gas
$182.65 – principal on house (minimum payment)
$234.34 – interest on house (minimum payment)
$100 – groceries
$40 – garage door repair*
$14 – DSL
$11.12 – phone
$43.50 – electricity
$19.62 – water
$9 – yard cleanup
$7.56 – Netflix
$70 – cell phone
$75 – product testing*
$125 – cut & color (this is a regular expense, but it’s not every month!)
$16.70 – life insurance
$150 – matching funds for son*
$30 – allowance for son
$200 – doctor visits*
That puts me at $2121.49, but that’s without me going out to eat. At all! I’m not ready for that. (Wow, I nearly added a “yet” to that sentence — that’s surprising.) Anyway, in order to get my spending under $2000 and still eat out, I’d have to put off my haircut for another few weeks, reduce grocery spending, cut the yard cleanup expenses in half, and maybe walk to work so I don’t use so much gas. That would give me a tiny bit of wiggle room so that I could still eat out a few times. (I eat at inexpensive places. Oh and I have a gift card I could use.)
Part of me is afraid to try this. What if I make these cuts (eating out less, having kind of raggedy hair with grey roots, etc.) and…something still comes up and puts me over? I’m kind of afraid that if that happens, I’ll just figure oh well, I’ve blown it and give up for the month.
Part of me thinks this might be fun.
Of course, my REAL goal is to do this while still sending extra to the mortgage, so I’m kind of cheating here anyway. But at least this has served to get my imagination going. Writing this out caused me to question every single expenditure in advance, and to really consider the value I got from each one, while brainstorming other options. It also showed me that my actual goal is totally doable, once I commit. Maybe that’ll be this month after all. I have a couple of weeks still to decide on the haircut.