I’m not typically a spendthrift or wasteful person, I was trained by pros. My grandparents learned their lessons growing up during the Depression and WWII. When their generation set up their own homes, frugality was just a way of life. But somewhere along the way, in today’s advancement in convenient products, I’ve become a bit of a lazy entitled spoiled brat.
Most of the practices that they taught me are ingrained in my sub-conscience. It is what will always prevent me from spending $100+ on one pair of shoes, and the fact that I honestly believe they would come back and chase me around the store with a fly swatter. Plus…….. I’m a southerner, being practical while maintaining our Savoir Faire Sassy Debonaireness is in our DNA. Yes, we are just that cool! But show me the latest technology in cellular phones and my inner cheering section drowns out my grandparents pearls of wisdom.
Even though I’m both frugal and an Environmentalist, there is always room for improvement. As I said in an earlier post, I am facing a pay cut beginning New Year’s Day, so I need to find the holes in my budget, because I haven’t been a truly faithful Frugalist, I’ve been really lazy the last couple of years.
My first step is to take an honest look at where I put my “extra” money.
My monthly bills are listed each month in my Budget Binder from Netflix to my mortgage, anything that I pay for every month. I will share my methods of finding extra money in my monthly bills in a later post, but for now lets focus on the money that we have after those bills are paid because for me this will be my “OMG I have more money than I thought” instant gratification happy place.
For the next two weeks although I will continue my current spending habits, I will save EVERY receipt even if I just buy a pack of gum with cash. On paper, or using an Excel spreadsheet, I will use the following categories, to record what I’m doing with my money. My categories are: Personal Hygiene, Cleaning, Entertainment, Food, Fast Food, Gas, Health, Misc. Under the appropriate category I will record what I bought and the price. At the end of the two weeks I will have a good idea where I need to focus.
I already know that I need to tighten up my food spending dollars, but I need to see the $$$$$ amounts so I can amass some flight miles from the guilt trip. Meal planning, grocery lists, sale comparisons, and shopping along just the walls is going to be in vogue at my house once more. I’m going to need to break out my talents for bulk cooking and freezing meals again. Buying and freezing meat when it goes on sale, Get more creative with left-overs and coming up with recipes for what I actually have in my pantry instead of running to the store for milk and leaving again $35 later. BUT, I am excited to start growing more of my own food again, I loved doing it, but let other things take up my time.