Clean Slate?

10/04/2010

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I admit that I have fallen off the bandwagon.

It’s one of the reasons, I haven’t been writing.

I’ve been feeling guilty.

Guilty for not tracking my expenses.

Guilty for going out to buy a jacket and 2 pairs of shoes in the past month.

Guilty for eating out too much and cooking too little.

Guilty for not having time to volunteer.

Guilty for seeing my family less.

I spent many hours this weekend and tonight trying to work backwards on my budget, and figure out where my money has been going.  It was long, tedious, and very depressing.  I was on a roll last year, for getting my expenses under control – and I thought that I could wing it.  I automatically deducted my retirement and savings – almost half of each paycheck – and I thought I was sure to stay on track.

Wrong.

Having an idea of what my goals are (in my head) is very different than writing them down (in this case, in a form of a budget), and keeping track of progress (in this case, tracking my expenses).

Long story short – even in my feeble attempt to back track my spending, it’s quite clear that I’ve pretty overspent in almost every category.  The worst being Eating Out.  I thought that I had groceries under control, but, boy was I ever wrong.  I’ve also been paying bank fee’s, since my balance is below the $2000 that waives the fee.  Transportation looks bad, but I do get reimbursed for mileage – which I found too difficult to account for in my budget.

On the bright side of things, my percentage of spending has only increased slightly in Eating Out.  I’ve given more to charity, and I saved more than I spent every month this year.   Having said that, my salary has also increased this year, so the amounts in each category is more.

So, I am proposing to start a clean slate this October.

This is my proposed budget not including rent.

Groceries:$100
Telephone: $60
Transportation: $100
Entertainment: $100  (Updated to include $85 volleyball league fee’s)
Medical: $25
Eating Out: $100
Charity: $40
Gifts: $50

TOTAL:  $525 (Updated)

In my budgets, I try not to deprive myself of the things that I enjoy – such as, eating out.  But rather, make it a conscientious decision (ie., dinner with a friend) as opposed to just being not prepared (ie., getting take out).  Will have a spending report for you at the end of the month.

My minimalist goal this month, is to also go through my closet and get rid of any items that I don’t absolutely love.  This is going to be a big task, so I may break it up and tackle my spring/summer wardrobe first, then do fall/winter in November.

How are you coming along with your goals?

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7 Responses to “Clean Slate?”

  1. Meg Says:

    It sounds like you have a great game plan! I might suggest going through your fall/winter wardrobe first if you’re interested in selling/consigning anything. That might help recoup your overspent dollars from last month! Regardless, I bet your “confession” was cathartic– it’s nice to see the human side of things, thank you for sharing. Good luck!

  2. Hasina Says:

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re having fun and you still feel guilty, maybe you need to review your priorities? It’s okay to be flexible with your goals. :)


  3. Set backs do happen. You have realized this and have come up with a plan to do something about it. Most people would not go that far. Good for you.

    Mark
    http://www.minimalistlifestyle.wordpress.com


  4. Meg – Thanks for your words of encouragement! I think I will take you up on your idea – it definitely makes more sense! :)

    Hasina – Thanks, hun! I think I do need to review priorities. Was just enjoying lunch with the BF this weekend, when I realized that I’ve already blown through half my eating out budget.

    Mark – Thanks for your encouragement, and thanks for stopping by! :)

  5. eemusings Says:

    I’ve been feeling the same, and am thinking November might be the month to try a “bare bones” budget.


  6. Eemusings – I hear you!


  7. [...] I haven’t been doing a very good job keeping tabs on my expenses, so in this post, I decided I would track my expenses for the month of October and report back to you. [...]


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