With the struggling economy these days, money is pretty tight especially on my small budget. I have found myself living paycheck to paycheck. After paying the mortgage on my home, which is one of those average size country house plans, and the higher rates on my power bills, I have less money to spend on extra amenities. So one day, I decided to actually sit down and carefully budget my money. There were an amazing number of purchases that I made that were completely unnecessary, just on the last pay period alone.
My first notice was the huge amount that I spent on cigarettes. I had no idea that I smoked that much. Additionally, the cost of a pack of cigarettes in my area went up an entire dollar. Realizing the amount of wasted money literally made me feel ill. I decided that this is a great time to try to quit smoking. It has only been about two weeks, and although I haven’t quit completely, I have been successful in cutting back. So, now my dollars will not just go up in smoke and I feel much healthier.
I am not a huge shopper, but I do have a tendency to buy things that I really don’t need. I have clothes hanging in my closet that still have the tags on them. I also have a ton of jewelry that I really don’t wear that often. Since I have all this new stuff that I haven’t even used yet, I vowed not to buy any more clothes or jewelry until I have worn all of the new items first. So far, I still have a lot of new outfits to wear and it has already be two weeks. Honestly, I do not miss spending that money on these frivolous things anyway. I realized that they were more impulsive “Ohh…that’s cute” buys as opposed to “I need that” purchases.
Movies and shows were major ways that I relaxed, but going to the theater is so expensive nowadays. Instead, I have joined Netflix for only $17.99 a month, which is less than one trip to the movie theater. I love curling up on the couch in my comfy home design that has one of those great media rooms and getting unlimited movies streaming over my Netflix account. Additionally, since streaming has many of my favorite television shows available whenever I choose to watch them, I canceled my cable programming and eliminated one more unnecessary bill.
I also noticed how much money that I spend on my puppy dog. For being a little doggie, he sure becomes expensive. Pet food is nothing compared to how much I was spending on little outfits and toys that he never uses. In fact, he really doesn’t like being dressed up anyway, so I am sure he is happy with downsizing his wardrobe. All I buy for him is puppy food and he is as happy as ever.
After all that budgeting, I came to the conclusion that food was the biggest waste of money for me. I was spending five to ten dollars for every meal and I ate out most of the time. I tried for this two-week period to only eat groceries. I made all my meals at home in my country kitchen and ended up saving around $100!! When you spend a little at a time, it doesn’t seem like so much, so I was amazed at how all the meals added up to a huge amount. Plus, now that I have made myself aware of how much I am wasting, it has become a habit for me to be thrifty. I got myself into a routine of saving and I feel great about it!Pin It