I am struggling with making this post useful to anyone who is reading and less word-vomit-teen-aged-diary-entry. I have been tracking my spending more closely the last 3 months and this is what I found. The first month I did pretty good. I was motivated and I made a lot of good decisions and some not so great decisions but overall I made progress with my spending.
The second month I kept the momentum going for the first week and then promptly fell off the wagon. Unexpected expenses popped up and before I knew it, I was spending like I had been before. Which would be fine if my debt was like it had been “before.” But it wasn’t. I bought this $200 rug from a man in a Hardee’s parking lot. Is that a reasonable purchase for anyone, let alone someone who owes someone else $25k? That is ridiculous and I am slightly ashamed, even though I love the rug and am happy with how it works in our bedroom.
Now the first week of October is over and I have to say I am pleased with how well I am doing. But, to be honest, the first week of the month is always the easiest for me to control my spending. I don’t know why. Something about a fresh start or whatever. One thing I’ve stopped doing is posting weekly accountability posts even though I know I spend better when I am held accountable. So here goes, my weekly accountability diary.
My food for the day included leftovers and rando things that needed to be used up from the fridge. Honestly, I thought I did a good job nutrition and calorie wise and that I brought plenty of food to last the day. By 11am it was clear I was mistaken.
Around 1:30 I contemplated buying a small snack, but remembered I had a smattering of fruit cups and a little bit of cashews left in my bag. I decided to start with that and then if I couldn’t make it I would buy something. Luckily, I had enough snacks to tide me over!
The only spending I did was for a mystery shop that will be complete reimbursed.
Lessons learned: bring more food to work.
I booked $128 in mystery shops for the next couple of weeks. Two are dinner shops so there will be an outlay of funds, but at least there won’t be dishes.
I did better with food at work, and actually brought too much!
I was hoping for a no spend day, but then I realized I didn’t have a key ingredient for the dinner I had planned. And then I didn’t have the energy to make the dinner I planned. It’s relatively simple, just time consuming, and nobody wanted to wait for dinner. So, we had boxed mac and cheese and italian sausage and a veggie tray. I had to buy the mac and cheese and veggie tray (and extra cheese) but the $10 I spent at the store is way better than what it would have cost if we went out to eat. Which I was adamant about not doing.
Lessons learned: Don’t overestimate the amount of energy you’ll have after working all day and plan simpler dinners.
I booked one mystery shop job for $3.
Two web shops for a total of $6
1 phone for 6
6 Phone for 12
3 grocery 51
No spend! Well, except for my counselling appointment but that comes out of my HSA and not my regular spending, so I don’t count it.
I booked 12 mystery shops for a total of $75. 7 are phone shops, 2 are web shops and 3 are groceries. There will be some money spent but I have to buy groceries anyway.
I didn’t really have a dinner planned, but thought that we could buy a ham after work and have it with potatoes and veggies that we already had that needs to be used up soon. Then I found a pizza delivery mystery shop! I will spend $20-ish on pizza but it will be reimbursed!
Including the pizza shop, I booked $44 worth of mystery shops today. Two are web inquiries and one is a phone shop, but the last one is at a retail store. I do have to buy something, but I can always find something we need at this store.
It’s only noon but so far I haven’t spent any more. I will probably buy that ham today for dinner. I want a cup of coffee, but it is fall break so I am pretty sure the coffee shops in the library are both closed today.
I have booked one web shop for $5.
And here’s what this week’s spending looks like:
The eating out category was for last night’s mystery shop, so when I get another payment I will move it to the mystery shopping expenses category. Otherwise everything is fairly reasonable. I am hoping to keep groceries down since it’s an awkward 5 Sunday month, so $200 has to last over 5 weekends and not just 4.
Here’s to a weekend with more good decisions made than bad!