The Truth about Spending Exposed
After a whopping vet bill, I turned to the ingenious plan No Spend November to save my crumbling spirit and bank account.
I promised to say NO WAY to everything outside of monthly bills, and the experience unfolded some seriously unexpected results. Alright, you got me, I spent some money...
- Drug store for food essentials and medicine - $19
- Fundraiser at the yoga studio - $10
- Leggings and a pullover as November had a good ol' arctic laugh - $43
- Medicated toothpaste - ugh, $11
- Took the bf out to breakfast because sometimes people do you a solid and those people need bacon - $35
So instead of zero dollars I actually spent about $118. This experience shined a big old fog light on the truth behind my typical spending habits. Although I had a cushioned savings account when I switched career paths in June, it was very unfortunately entirely stolen…
Or I spent it all on a lot of crap I could have sworn I needed, whichever you want to believe.
This past month, I told myself I wouldn't spend ANY money that wasn't completely necessary, and yet I spent over one hundred big ones. Looking back through my checkbook, I realized I've been spending over $500 every month outside of what I need for bills.
Keep in mind this does not include the cost of my flight to Denver, all the gas for my car, or buying my cat or any of her expenses since, but I did sneak the cost of food, medicine, and vitamins in there.
This face-palm-worthy conclusion lead me to investigate further...
How much of my bills are even necessary?!
If I spent $500-$600 a month frivolously, and spent over $100 while trying to spend none, then is my opinion on necessary bills just as skewed as necessary spending?
There's only one way to find out, and that's to put it all out on the table for everyone to see so that I can't make lame excuses. Looking at this list, it doesn't seem excessive for our society at all. BUT, on my limited budget, and with the new hefty vet bill, below average spending has become necessary. Over the next few months, I will be taking a magnifying glass to this list of bills and seeing what fun I can have eliminating them.
Bills and Ideas! Drum roll please...
- Rent - Ditch my lease after the first year and get some roommates.
- Electric - Wear more hoodies, use less space heater.
- Cell phone - …..I'm only hearing crickets here guys, feel free to throw ideas at me.
- Credit card - Walk to nearby destinations (since my card is almost entirely used for gas money).
- Internet - This is my biggest question mark for sure. I use my internet all day every day while I'm at home, but it is definitely a dent in the bills. $37 a month isn't bad, I know, but the huge initial fees and installation as well as the monthly payment are just too significant. Bottom line is that it would help a ton to nix the internet (after my contract ends) and spend more time at the library…or, again, get a roommate :)
- Small Orange - Staying put, these guys are the best hosting site I could have hoped for, and too affordable to let go of.
- Netflix - Okay, this could be eliminated, if someone helps me steal all 35 seasons of Doctor Who on DVD.
- Pandora One - Getting the boot, switching back to free music. I'll have to come up with some sort of game with the ads though to keep sane. Maybe I'll reward myself with chocolate every time I sit through an ad! I knew this eliminating would be fun :)
- Care Credit - Cranking away at the balance until it's all paid off!
So it looks like I have some rearranging to do. Thank you all for sticking with this broke furbaby mama while I shove my life on a better track.
And speaking of better track...
Here are some little crafty and thrifty tricks I used to help get through November feeling full and fulfilled:
Special thanks to my friends and loved ones who were gracious enough to pay it forward by offering me pizza, gas money, beers, breakfast, mascara, and use of washer/dryer to make the financial times a little easier.