My spending has gotten out of hand. Every month bills as well as discretionary spending. That’s what I realized this No Spend January.
Let’s cover all the things. We had some spending around the first of the year that threw off a bunch of my budget categories. On the way back from the family NYE gathering we ate out, we bought longer shirts for Delaney, and we hit Caribou. I don’t regret it. Beyond that, everything was in line. We didn’t go out to dinner, I only bought lunch a few times, and our Target and Amazon shopping was kept as minimal as possible.
I always think going out to dinner is the saving grace for my sanity, but I realized this month it’s not, meal planning is. I’ll go into more detail later this week, but knowing what we were having for dinner every week made it really easy to eat at home.
I didn’t treat this month as zero spending, I wanted something that we could continue. That said, just our base spending seemed very high. Even with only a few meals out and very little shopping, there just didn’t seem to be the extra money to go towards savings that I thought would be there (and that has been there in past years). I’ve been using our rewards credit card for larger purchases for the last year, and I think it’s enabled our spending to slowly creep up and up. All of the girls activities and larger than average utility bills certainly don’t help, but I’m definitely looking at areas we can cut back. I’ll be calling the cable company and negotiating our tv bill this week, as well as Verizon for my cell phone. I’m hoping after a few more months of really tracking our spending, I’ll have even more areas to trim.
The girls are awesome about No Spend January. They know not to ask for treats or shopping or dinners out. They were less than thrilled when I informed them it would be a No Spend February and March as well. I want to bring our spending back in line, but I also want to stockpile some cash. Trump scares me, and from everything I’ve read he will undoubtedly send us into a recession with his economic policies. I’m assuming my healthcare costs will also drastically rise since the Republicans still don’t have a replacement healthcare plan. And – travel! More than ever I want to travel and show the girls the world, places and people beyond this state we live in.