Friday, November 1, 2013

What Am I Doing Wrong?

October was a somewhat expensive month for me.  I had to buy that box spring and pay for delivery--$300+; I got a haircut and started paying for yoga and a gym membership for the first time in a long time--$120; I upped my internet (may downgrade it again though)--$70 (what!?!?!!?), I went out to eat more than usual and treated myself to an overpriced new wallet (that will last for years!), and I bought more gas than before because I work farther from home, etc.  Even with all that though, I got my paycheck, subtracted next month's rent and regular expenses, and didn't have enough left to even cover two of my three credit cards--nevermind putting money into savings.

I know I'm still paying for the clothes buying binge I went on when I got this new job, but I really forgot how much having a constant balance on your credit card just SUCKS.  I was really looking forward to socking away more money each month into savings.  My emergency fund is half what I would like it to be, and even though I'm contributing to my retirement account at work, I still want to max out my Roth IRA as soon as I can.

So, for the month of November, things may get a bit extreme:

  1. Sticking with eating from the pantry.  I still have lots of food and November is a huge free food month so I am not likely to starve.
  2. No extras.  No more clothes, no more shoes, no doing the Mews 5k or the Thanksgiving Pie run.  As much as I love those races, the registration fees total $60 and I can run outside for free (sorry friends).
  3. Cut back on drinking. This is both for my wallet and my waistline (seriously, everything they say about turning 30 is true.  My body is completely betraying me and it's not fair).
  4. Cut back on eating out.  I don't feel like I ate out that much in October, but my budget says I did.
  5. Cheap student theatre instead of professional.  For the first time ever, I actually paid for tickets at the local professional theatre.  It was a great show, but man!  It was pricey! 
  6. Start scheming.  I used to have other sources of paltry income, but they seem to have dried up lately.  Blog income (which was never good) is all but gone; I've sold everything I intended to sell on; I don't secret shop anymore... I need some new schemes (suggestions welcome).  I also need to look into ushering, which I mentioned before and then forgot about.
  7. Hibernate.  It's starting to get cold out, and frankly, I love hunkering down with a book, blanket and cat.  Hibernating is cost-effective and lovely.  Also, I should really blog more and work on that damn novel (free!).
It should (hopefully) only take one month to get me back on track.  I do still have one more shift at job #3 coming, so that's some extra money coming in.  Hopefully with the paycheck I get at the end of November, I can completely wipe out my credit card balances, and then start saving again at the end of December.  It sucks that it will take me so long to get back to a balanced budget, but I also knew I shouldn't have bought two new pairs of shoes and so many pretty dresses/sweaters.  I don't regret stocking up on fleece lined tights, however, that was just smart.

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