The one-month mark of Step 1 of my Spending Diet is tomorrow. For 29 days, I have been diligent about recording all purchases made and I have discovered that maintaining a Spending Chart is one of the best foundational practices for a budget. For the month of April, the majority of my purchases fell in one of three categories: gifts for others, lunches with my sister, and Mollie (my puppy). Can some of my spending be reduced? Absolutely. Out of the twelve entries made into my spending chart, only four entries made it into the “no- spending cannot be reduced” category and compared to my previous spending habits, that ain’t bad. I have found, through talking with others that one of the top reasons that people cheat and/or abandon their budget is because they go in cold turkey. Like dieting or quitting smoking, this lifestyle change proves to be more effective when one approaches the changes a little bit at a time.
Admittedly, there were times where I found myself jotting down purchase information on scrap pieces of paper, magazines, and anything I could find because I misplaced my Spending Chart. Somewhere around day 11, though, I decided to raise the stakes and lock away my credit card to reduce impulse spending- another point explained in Budgeting 101. Unfortunately, I pulled it out yesterday to pay for Mollie’s vet bill. Some days will be harder than others, but I have started to make better money management decisions… on to next month.
Spending Diet Goals for May
- Maintain a Spending Chart for May
- Keep Credit Card Locked Up
- Review Current Expenses and Bills for Potential Savings
- Cut Back on Eating Out as Much
- Plan ahead for gifts for others
Like April, the month of May, may not be an accurate account of my normal spending habits. April was the month of baby showers. May is the month of my older sister’s wedding. I am excited, though, to see what May brings…
Is this what your monthly spending looks like?
Sunday is the first of May and I invite you to join me. Results can be better with support of others who trying to accomplish similar goals. If you are interested in starting the Spending Diet on May 1, 2011, please comment below with your goals for May.
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