Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tightening the belt buckle

This past week I have been completely freaking out about everything I have to do, and even moreso, about money.

Right now, I am technically doing ok moneywise… I have some savings, and an adequate amount to pay for bills/rent/loans/food etc. etc…. unfortunately- the key word is NOW!

I am doing a lot of forward thinking right now (which is good and bad.)

Next year I will be doing my internship and grad school full time. It is HIGHLY inadvisable to work during... which means, right now I basically need to save up enough money for living expenses and tuition for the next year.

Unfortunately a lot of expenses are nonnegotiable e.i, I do not think my landlord is going to suddenly come down on my rent, and now that I legit have to be commuting a lot more, I have to resign myself that paying for gas is inevitable.

three of the only "expenses" I can really control, are food, going out and shopping. Shopping: I technically do not NEED to go shopping at all... other than for some household items like toilet paper, tooth paste, etc. In regards to going out, I am already relatively frugal, and most of my friends are too (clubs with covers? psht, overrated) so that makes it a little easier... however, based on my mental health, I refuse to become a hermit, so I will be budgeting in some 'going out money'

Finally there is food. I am really good at not spending money EXCEPT when it comes to food (girls gotta eat, you know!) I rarely go out to eat, but I can do some serious damage at the grocery store.

I believe I have mentioned in the past, I have a slight obsession with which is basically a budgeting website.... based on this website I have concluded that I spend about $230 on food (including groceries, restaurants and alcohol) a month (excluding what I pay for with cash,.... which is very rare.)

Since I am constantly talking about the topic of 'Eating Healthy on a Budget' I am going to put myself on a budget and test my own capabilities! I started doing this a bit throughout January-- but for the sake of officially keeping track I am going to start February 1st.

Since I usually spend $230 a month,

(Here's the summary of the last year...)

I am going to attempt to cut that in half and go down to $115. We shall see how this goes....

(You can imagine there is another $100 there. C'mon! If I had $115 to photograph, I wouldn't be in this situation!)

since I am not completely starting from scratch it is not 100% fair. I do have some food on hand. and throughout January, thus far, I have spent $200 on food, which I don't think was THAT bad considering the fact that throughout the month of December I seem to have let myself get down to the bare bones. At the end of the month I'll do a sum up of everything I am starting with.

Also, I have the issue that the $115 is supposed to just be for me. Which, generally I do only shop for myself, however, with two- four other people "living" in my house, it doesn't always work out that way.

On the other hand, I also have the benefit/ problem in this experiment that Jordan likes to go out to eat etc rather frequently, in which case, he pays, since if it were up to me, I'd just cook. I am going to inform him of my plans, and perhaps he'll get on board, otherwise I'll just consider anytime we go out and he pays null, considering how much of my food, etc. he eats/uses. (Perhaps we'll consider it his 'rent').


  1. i need to put myself on a budget. i too can do some damage in the groc store! this month i made an excel spreadsheet about everything i'm throwing dolla bills at, and i'm just going to tally it up to see what i come up with. will report back!
    i'd never heard of mint-thanks for the link!

  2. good luck, Jamie! budgeting is something that I really need to work on as well.