Look, here’s the long and short of it. I earn enough money to be comfortable but due to certain things out of my control (here’s looking at you, student loans), and all those things IN my control but for which I LACK control (clothing sales shopping like erry day), I am not exactly flush. And I should be. You know? It’s so maddening.
But in good news, the last couple of years I’ve been all about getting my financial shit together and so I’m sharing this with you, at the ripe old age of 34, because I genuinely never think it’s too late to make big financial changes in your life. And I’ve been obsessed with it lately – despite fluctuating levels of success.
A big part of financial success is, of course, taking stock of your finances super regularly. I do this at minimum weekly, always monthly, and then finally at the end of the year.
I actually keep track of categories of spending and then in December go back, add up everything I spent in those categories, take the 12 month average, and use that to inform the coming year’s budget. I SWEAR to you it doesn’t take as long as it sounds.
But what it does allow me is to account for where my spending has been high. And this year (2018) it was high, well, EVERYWHERE. And I am so pissed at myself about it.
But what’s to be done? Not much except scale it way back for next year and look at a few creative ways to save money and keep myself from spending.
Is this the most fun thing to do? No, it’s not. But is it sometimes required to take stock and notice just how often you want to reach for your wallet? Yes it is.
And because I have a borderline obsessive personality, I wanted to account for not just what I BUDGETED I would be spending in a month, but what last year’s averages FORECAST I would be spending. A much, much larger number to be sure (I’m shaming myself but I’m pretty sure I deserve it, you guys!). But more on those numbers below.
As I mentioned above, there’s what I budget per month on the above items (some are rolled-together categories on my actual budget sheet), and then there’s what I actually spend. And last year the latter far outweighed the former, to a point that I am embarrassed to share here. Accountability is a bitch.
But I’m not letting myself off the hook – I’m sharing with you openly because I really encourage you to take stock the same way I am and consider how much a no-spend January could save you.
This is a real exercise in shame, you guys… 😉
Let. That. Shit. Sink. In.
So if you’re a compulsive over-spender (like me!) and/or if you’re trying to pay down debts (also me!) and/or if you have loads of bigger savings goals but struggle to keep on top of them (you guessed it – that’s me!), maybe you’ll consider joining me for a no-spend January?
If you’re curious to know how I make out in the end, let me know in the comments and I’ll write a follow-up post at the end of the month with how I managed and what I really saved!
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