Um, where to begin? I have so many thoughts about this past month’s “low-spend” experiment.
I honestly went into this month believing that it’d be a great month that would allow me to “catch up” a bit and sock away some spending money. Surely if I spent more cautiously (and didn’t have any major holidays to pay for) I would be left with oodles and oodles of extra money to toss around. In reality I realize there is extra money to toss around, but we spend it before we realize it’s there. 😛
Another thing I have realized is that as inconvenient as it might be, I really need to do two transactions when I get groceries at Target or Walmart (at the same time as non-groceries) because I am bad at remembering to split the transactions in Mint.com and then I have the program telling me I spent $1800 on groceries when I know I didn’t and that a lot of it was home improvement, toiletries, personal care, clothes, maintenance, medical, etc. supplies.
Categories where we were pretty much on target:
Categories where we definitely went over:
fast food (really, this should be ZERO)
dining out (it was about double what I want it to be, but we did have a birthday!)
All in all, while I didn’t acomplish everything I’d hoped for, I did realize that we’ve got areas we can trim (even cut) without really feeling a pinch. Our goal this year is to save 1/3 of our take-home income monthly while putting $1000/mo torward our student loans, while not sacrificing on educational spending and activities for the kids. We’re moving in the right direction!! 😀