Archive for October 1st, 2010
With the start of a new semester and the end of a scholarship, I’ve been thinking more about finances recently, and about shopping. After spending August not buying any necessities (with a few slip-ups), I’ve kept working hard to keep the unnecessary shopping to a minimum.
In my budget spreadsheet I actually record days on which I’ve spent no money. It’s a nice visual, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment. This month, out of 30 days I’ve had 20 that were no spending. This is exactly what I was aiming for. I’m pretty proud of this.
So, what did I spend on? Beyond the usual rent ($610), electricity ($40), phone ($30), internet ($50), and insurance ($25), I don’t seem to have bought much. There was a thrifted t-shirt and new with tags pumps that dont hurt my ankle to go towards an outfit for job interviews ($7), plus some new socks that I hope will help to prevent blisters on my longer runs ($10). There was a whole lot of cough medicine and cough drops to stop the hacking long enough that I could teach the first week of classes when I was oh-so-sick ($30) as well as shampoo, toothpase, and deodorant ($13). There were thank you cards bought to send out for the wedding gifts that were given to us ($5). There was a plunger and snake for a backed up sink, and a carpet sweeper ($50 – the month’s biggest purchase), a low-cost way to finally keep my carpets clean, I hope (and no, it’s not one of the ones that requires regular purchase of sticky insert things). There was food – a lot of it – mostly purchased at the local farmer’s market directly from local farmers. And then there were some used books – $13 for three novels, a textbook, and a book on raising goats.
While they’re not all necessities, certainly, they are things that will be used and kept for a good long while, and the outgoing cash for their purchase was relatively minimal – $251.67 if I include the food (which is, of course, a necessity), and $131.91 if I don’t.
And so, while I’ve actually received three paycheques this month, thanks to an unplanned overlapping of three different jobs, I’ve managed to live this month on just one (with $125 in savings coming out of that one as well), and the extras will go into savings as soon as I take out some money for charitable donations (this, unfortunately, does tend to vary from month to month – some are rather tight, others not really so much).
And that was September. I’m pleased with how the budgeting went, and while there’s always room for improvement, I think everything went rather well overall. Next month? Trying to cut down even a bit more, on electricity, on food, and on things that aren’t really essentials. The used books are still proving a bit troublesome since there’s so much I want to read (I keep stopping in to look for The Hunger Games), but I’ll be seeing about that a bit as well and working to set more limits on the book puchases both for money and space reasons.