Not that kind of money blog

September 22, 2008 at 4:56 pm 5 comments

There’s a lot of financial stuff going on right now. I’m not going to talk about any of it. This isn’t that kind of money blog. Sure, the big stuff relates to the little stuff, and that may come up a bit. I am not an economics person, though, and I don’t pretend to be. I am just a gal trying to save some money.

*

I’m having some trouble on that saving money bit right now. I think the weekly budget I gave myself was overly ambitious. It works fine for a standard week-it gives me money to spend on food and necessities and leaves room for a little fun. It does not work well for anythign else. For example, this weekend I went to New Hampshire, and at the end of the weekend I am left with $2 for the rest of the week. There were a couple places I could have saved a few dollars-I get nervous about getting hungry on buses and didn’t plan and ended up wasting about $4 on food. Also, it was colder than I expected on Friday because I am an idiot who doesn’t check weather reports, so I had to spend a couple dollars on some stockings so I wouldn’t freeze my legs off.

The point of the budget was to push myself, so I am going to see how close I can keep it to $2 for the rest of the week. I have leftover quiche for dinner for a couple nights, and some fruit and ice cream and such to go with it, as well as some pasta and broccoli in the house so I should be fine there. I am planning on playing Dance Dance Revolution this week and don’t want to skimp on that, so that’s $5. I am learning to make bread tonight and will want to pay for ingredients for that, no idea how much that will be. And I don’t want to skimp on either of those things.

I’ve run the numbers, and it looks like I could still be saving a lot if I upped my weekly budget a bit. I was about $20 over last week, and it looks like it will be about $15 this week. Since I committed to it, I am going to keep this weekly budget for the rest of September, but I think next month I will up it a bit. After all, there’s nothing saying I can’t go under budget on slower weeks.

I also want to cut more though, to have a bit more breathing room and maybe be able to save a bit more. Buying snack food is definitely hurting my trip budgets. I also could try and get cheaper bus tickets. I already have my tickets for my next two trips, and the second bus I take always costs the same amount. On the first bus though, I could definitely spend less (and in fact have, some of my later trips cost about half as much as this one did.) I know Lucky Star, Megabus, and Bolt Bus are all offering $1 fares these days if you can snag one. But I still need other little places to cut money. It’s hard, because for the most part I’ve cut almost everything. I am not willing to never eat out, never travel (and thus never see my boyfriend), or not play DDR with my friends.

The home gameLast week we played DDR at home, but it’s a long trip for 2/3rds of us and the pads and music selection aren’t as good. If I got metal DDR pads, it might be worth it, but then I wouldn’t be saving money.

I guess eating out is the easiest place to cut though. I should work more on cooking with friends (Jesse and Ali have been very helpful by coming over and eating with me, because they are awesome.) I could plan my eating out better, and have it work better with my budget. I have nothing expensive planned for next week, so maybe I can make up some of my going over then, and work more on cutting extras. Suggestions welcome, as always.

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Entry filed under: being unfrugal, budget, goals. Tags: , .

Tool I Knead More Dough

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ali  |  September 22, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Perhaps it would be better for you if you figured out a monthly budget and then cut it down into practical chunks for each week of the month. Like, say you’re allowing yourself $200 for the month and you know you’re visiting NH on the first weekend and attending a friend’s BYOB party the third weekend, so you allow yourself $75 on those weeks and $25 on the other weeks. Or however would be sensible for you to divide it. Then you can work on planning cheaper kinds of fun in advance on the weeks you need to skimp. Cuz it sounds like part of the problem is you need a little more advance planning so unexpected expenses don’t come up.

  • 2. debtfreesaver  |  September 23, 2008 at 4:07 am

    Ali- wow, that’s really obvious and brilliant, thanks! I am sticking with this until the end of the month, but for October I’ll make up a wekk by week budget that varies.

  • 3. Ali  |  September 25, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    That’s why I make the big bucks. 😉

  • 4. Emily  |  September 26, 2008 at 1:21 am

    I do the monthly thing, too, since that’s how my bills fall anyway. It helps! And about the snack food. A percentage of my grocery budget goes to heavy duty ziplock bags and I pack my own snacks. I also wash and reuse the bags, but that may be too crazy for the rest of the world…

    And, just to bitch, I will SO OFTEN order things in restaurants planning to take half home and then after eating half, the rest won’t make good leftovers. So annoying.

  • 5. debtfreesaver  |  September 26, 2008 at 1:54 am

    Emily-
    I wash and reuse the large freezer bags, and I often use a bag for something else and then use it for litter.

    The trouble is I only want snacks when I am traveling, and while I can pack food for the way to somewhere it is harder to plan for the way back without being kind of excessive. I also don’t keep a lot of snack food around, since I don’t eat them.

    What I hate is when I forget my leftovers! Also, some things aren’t so good reheated, but can be reused. Like mixed into a cold pasta salad or something.

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