Thursday, January 29, 2009

Frugal February

I did something this month that I'm really not proud of.

I overspent. 

Not a huge amount, but enough that I have realized that it's an issue.  You see, we purchased a new tv at the end of December, using mainly our Christmas money.  It was just  supposed to be a few hundred dollars  out of our own pockets, no problem-o.  The problem, however, came now.  It's time to pay for the tv, and because I was stupid and didn't set aside the money in savings, I spent part of it.  Because of the unusually large balance in the checking account, we allowed ourselves a few luxuries we wouldn't normally indulge in--one of us, who shall remain nameless, ate fast food for lunch while at work about twice a week.  The other one made a big purchase online at Old Navy and bought a few new books and exercise tapes.  One of us spent some serious time in the guitar store.  The other one spent too much time at the grocery store.  So, you see, these aren't huge offenses, but they add up.  The way the unnecessary Cheetos I ate yesterday showed up on the scale today.  I didn't eat that many, but that extra bit of weight was there.  Little things creep in, and they add up.  It's the same with sin--little sins pile up until suddenly you realize you're in big sin.

But back to the whole overspending thing.  After a frivolous January, we have decided to have a frugal February.  I honestly think we'll be right back on track by the end of the month as long as we are careful and really think through our purchasing.  If all goes as planned, we should even have our emergency fund "fully funded" by the time my first paycheck of March arrives.  Then we get to step on up into the other "Baby Steps" recommended by our dear friend, Dave Ramsey.  Without our friend Dave, I'd probably be overspending every month, at least by a little.

What that does mean, however, is that we need to be careful in February.  I am limiting myself to 250 dollars for groceries and paper supplies.  I have a healthy stock of paper towels, and with the proper coupons, I can get toilet paper for free at Kroger.  Our pantry and freezer are both well-stocked, so I should be able to even avoid grocery shopping until after my birthday.  Then, if I  sales ad and coupon shop, I should be able to come in under budget.  And I'm staying out of Wal-Mart.  As much as I hate going there, I always buy more than I should once I'm there.

I'm also not allowing myself to online browse.  It makes me too eager to online buy.  I'm going to limit my time on the computer, so that I'm not tempted to pop over and see what the new collections at the GAP and Ann Taylor LOFT look like. 

I am going to try to pack a lunch for Andy when I pack my own, especially for the days that he's busy at work.  It's too easy for him to stop over at Burger King and poison his body and rob his wallet.  If he knows there's something made for him, he'll eat it, and ignore BK.  As he should.  Because it's a bad place.

There will probably be more, but I think that's the general idea.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Here's to a frugal February!

1 comment:

Kate said...

Thats funny I did the same thing. the trouble was I didn't even realise I was doing it until i checked at the end of the month. I put it down to winter blues and the need to cheer yourself up.

but I too will have to tighten my belt this month to get myself back on track. hey ho