If you happened to catch my Friday post or followed the link to BFS and looked at my budget, you can see I went over my budget this last month by a bit ($280). Today I want to look at where I can cut spending out of my budget easily. I remember a time when I thought I was doing well and only buying what I needed but not getting that I could save on my paycheck. (Heard it to much from other teachers) Now, I easily can see where the slack is in my budget and if I need to cut out somewhere, I have that choice. I remember, the more I can throw back, the sooner I am into my goal.
Excess in Budget
Diet coke– I drink 2-3 diet cokes a day. That means I buy 59 to 77 diet cokes a month. That adds up to around $30- $38 on just soda alone each month. This is way up from the summer due to the school year stealing some of my sleep time and tons of my energy. This is already on my list to knock down. I plan to replace it with unsweetened ice tea. I have done that before and had no problems. I just got lazy and stopped making it. Tea only costs about $.10 for a pitcher or 1.2 cents a cup. That’s at most about 48 cents a month. Saving at least $29 a month.
Breakfast out and about- I eat breakfast on the road 5 days a week. I pay $6-$8 each time. That means in a month I eat around 22 days of fast food breakfast. I pay $132 to $176 on breakfast a month.
I don’t want to spend around $1800 a year on breakfast! I am just as happy when I have a protein shake and an apple. My protein shake ends up being around $2 a shake and my apple ends up being less then a dollar so breakfast could be $3 a day, that’s $66 a month, $792 a year. A difference of about $1000 a year.
Since I do sometimes enjoy breakfast in the morning with my guy (he’s currently getting off work when I’m going to work), and I don’t want to sacrifice that time, I should plan for two breakfasts out at 6-8 a week. That ends up being $56 a month plus $36 month for home breakfast for a total of $92 a month, $1104 a year. That’s still a savings of $696. That’s without feeling like I’m sacrificing anything.
Gaming group, eating out- I meet with my gaming group (board gaming) on Mondays and Wednesdays. Monday on average I spend $9. Wednesday on average I spend $11. That means if I do that 4 times a month I spend about $80 a month eating out with the gaming group. I could choose to just get a drink and cut that spending down to $4 a week total and $16 a month if I decided to. That is something I might change in the future if I can’t seem to get my budget in the shape I want it in.
My Apartment-Right now I am spending $855 a month to rent my apartment. It is a nice apartment with all sorts of amenities. They have 2 pools and a hot tub, a gym, theater rooms, an office area.. the list goes on. In reality, I only use the pool and only in the summer. All the rest of the time, I am so busy with school and life that I am just home to sleep or clean. It just doesn’t make much sense to continue paying so much when I use so little. Besides, I hate paying for something that doesn’t every have a chance of earning me anything back.
Making the choice to spend-My parents raised me with discussions over needs vs wants when it came to financial choices. I have been lucky enough to throw money at wants for most of my adult working life because I could always afford the needs. Now that I have different want goals though, I am having to choose where to spend. I get to really think about how much I enjoy those breakfasts and if the diet coke is something I really want in my life consistently. I get to see how much longer drinking diet coke keeps me from reaching my goals. Putting all the numbers together really help me view how much difference a want can make in my budget.
What wants do you have? Have you ever run the numbers to see if you really want your splurge as much as you think you did? What splurges are worth it to you?
Keep Chasing Those Dreams!
P.S. I didn’t finish a space but I got a decent amount cleaned up..