It’s hard to believe that I have been on this spending diet for nine weeks now. My goodness. I have come a long way from that first week when I ran out of all sorts of important items, and spent like crazy.
In the past nine weeks:
- I cut my spending in half.
- I’ve wasted way less food.
- I’ve planned most of our meals, and usually follow that plan.
- I’ve put a lot of money into my saving account.
- I’ve bought way less unnecessary stuff.
So, what about this past week specifically? It was a mixed bag.
What Happened: I planned all our dinners and shopped for food on Saturday. However, my plan – which was more rudimentary than usual – left too much openness and I didn’t follow it closely. In fact, I changed up most of the meals. Some were minor changes, but others were major. It’s clear that my meal plan needs to be recipe-based, not just idea (“pork tenderloin and potatoes!”) based.
Breakfast was less of a struggle, although I am still seeking ways to make it an easy, healthy meal. One step will be to buy more fruit, as we go through fruit very quickly when it’s on hand. Also, I need to pay a little more attention to lunches as well.
Spending: I kept my spending down this week, which was good. But I didn’t totally limit it to the weekend — on Monday, I indulged in a coffee drink (half price!) and we ordered a pizza on Wednesday when I lost all desire to cook. Stress is a definite impediment to My Spending Diet. When I start to stress, I spend.
What’s Next: A few weeks ago, a reader mentioned that they give themselves an allowance for the week. That way, when they have the urge to splurge, they can use their cash to do it and it’s already budgeted in. This week, Cate also pointed me to a really interesting article about doing a cash-only diet. I love both ideas.
This week, I am going to factor in an allowance for myself. When I want to buy a coffee or whatever, I can use that money … and when it’s gone, it’s gone. This will give me more control over my budget.
As for the cash-only plan, I like the idea, but will have to think about it more before I make any decisions. When Will was a baby, I did cash-only for awhile and it was effective in controlling my spending, but hard to manage since I didn’t always feel like the grocery bill was predictable. Still, now that I know what I spend, going cash-only could be a little easier. Of course, then I would lose the Amex points that I love to cash out …
Have you ever gone cash-only?