Okay so last week I spent a lot of time figuring out our yearly expenses. Let's just say that process was eye opening... both in goods ways and bad. We had never really looked at our expenses in a "big picture" sort of way before and I don't really know how to describe it but to say that things look differently month to month... or feel different. I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed by the largeness of all the numbers and it took me a few days to absorb all that information and come to terms with it.
Now figuring out one year's worth of expenses does not a budget make. Last year saw the birth of Baby, and a huge weight loss for me, and a surgery for Kid... events that won't be happening this year. I have to buy a whole new wardrobe since I've shrunk out of all my previous clothing, and although I'm pretty cheap when it comes to my threads, buying all new everything requires a bit more cash than say a little seasonal spruce up. Every year has got its blips on the radar. Last year a new furnace and air conditioner... this year a new exterior paint job. It's going to take me a few years of tracking to pick up on a meaningful trend.
As I've said before we are not in a financial crisis. We have our bills and we are fortunate enough to be able to pay them. But I do not feel on top of things, or well informed, or secure. We are paying our bills, yes, but we are spending every dime we make to do so. So I want to change that. When I sat down and really added up how much we spend it seemed so obvious... I mean crystal clear... that we could in fact spend less. We just have to choose to do it. So I've set a new goal. My goal is to reduce our spending by $300 a month. Can I do it? I'm not sure... but what have I got to lose?
I am sure I can't just shave off that much all at once. I'm just going to see if I can plug one or two "leaks" and maybe add one or two more as we go along. By June I'd like to see us spending at least $300 less a month on mindless splurge purchases.
This is how I'm going to do it:
#1 I am only going to Target twice a month to make purchases and I'm going to shop with a list! (we have prescriptions and we have to go that often) I am also going to put back 3 items from my cart before check out to account for impulse buys. I will not get a mocha while I'm there!
#2 I am going to stick to my grocery list and can only keep ONE impulse buy per trip. Seriously. That will probably save me $300 month right there!
#3 Kid & Mr F must limit their date night dining choices to locations that can feed them for under $20.
Got money on the brain? Head on over to Smoochiefrog's Money Monday post.