Hello! I’m Back!
Returning from, what I admit, was a lengthy hiatus, I have emerged from the underworld. Basically, I needed to get my shit together, or at least make a plan to get my shit together. During this not so Zen planning retreat I realized I spend money like it grows on trees or rains from the sky. In light of this revelation, I have decided that for the month of May I am going to be a budgeting fanatic. My fanatical budgeting will manifest itself in a myriad of different ways detailed below:
1. No spend weeks (M-F)
a. No spend weeks exclude public transportation (no ubering!), emergencies (obviously), and bills (I need the internet). These weeks will be on the week of May 7th and May 14th (I’m going to the beach that Friday so I’m shifting the dates to Sun-Thurs). On these weeks I will brown bag all my lunches, cook all my dinners at home, excuse myself from happy hours, etc. To further punish myself, I’ve cut out alcohol during my no spend weeks so I don’t make any impromptu trips to the liquor store when I discover I’m out of wine. This should be so fun. Not.
2. Paying Myself
a. I downloaded this app called Tip Yourself, which I haven’t actually started using yet, but in theory you manually move money into your tip jar whenever you feel like it basically. The app says most users tip themselves for accomplishing big things like finishing a paper or a weight loss goal. I’m going to tip myself $5 every week that I don’t use Uber or Lyft. I can easily spend $20 a night ubering around D.C. so hopefully this will 1.) cut down on the amount I uber 2.) give me a physical representation of how much money I save when I take the bus or metro instead.
3. Budget Grocery Shopping
a. I am the biggest proponent of grocery shopping hungry. I will grab everything in sight and then realize not only did I buy what was on my grocery list, but also a 5 pound bag of potato chips. I’m giving myself a strict budget of $60 a week for grocery shopping which means I will have to actually know how much everything in my cart costs and the approximate total before I check out. This means I also have to meal prep more strictly and stick to a plan which hopefully will help me eat better as well.
b. Also, my goal is to make some things at home instead of buying them in the store. Last night I attempted and fairly successfully made homemade granola and I know I can bake my own bread with ingredients I already have in my kitchen. Hopefully spending more time in the kitchen will help me spend less time using my credit card.
4. Free / Cheap Entertainment
a. I love my happy hours, movies, shopping, and going out with the girls. However, none of these things are cheap. On average I spend approximately $30 per happy hour. In the great District of Columbia there are so many free things to experience like the Smithsonians or hiking on Roosevelt Island. I’m giving myself a budget of $100 for the month of May for entertainment. Since I’m going to the beach for Memorial Day, my budget is pretty much going towards that. Because my friends are great and are working with me on this fiscally responsible journey, we have agreed to have more movie nights and museum days instead of nights out and happy hours. We’ll see how this goes…
Every week I’ll post an update telling you how the fiscally responsible journey is going. I anticipate a lot of tears and wine withdrawal. I’m also going to be tracking things like water intake and activity level to see if cutting out alcohol during the week and trying to minimize ubering makes a difference in my physical health as well as my financial health.
Wish me luck and let me know if you have any suggestions, questions, or things you want me to keep you updated on!