Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Reigning In My Spending Isn't So Bad After All

In an effort to curb my extraneous spending, I decided not to make any clothing purchases for the month of July. After looking at my bank statements for other leaky "holes" in my spending, I also decided that I would forgo random Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts visits and iTunes purchases (The Essential Michael Jackson was my final download for awhile to my iPod). I'm only about mid-way through the month, but I'm doing well so far.

I didn't cut my spending on:
  • Dining out and alcohol. I'm not a big alcohol consumer or a foodie so I usually order the most inexpensive appetizer item with water and no dessert when I eat out, so I didn't feel the need to cut those out for the month. Yes, I'm the girl that orders Shirley Temple's or Cokes sans the rum when I go to happy hour, but drinks are pricey! I get funny looks because I get mistaken for a teen on a regular basis anyway; and people assume I'm not old enough to drink, but it's less money leaving my pocket.
  • Clothing alteration. When you are petite, you just can't get aroung getting clothing altered. I took a skirt to get altered last week, because I wanted to get some wear out of it this summer.
  • Groceries. I baked my first cake earlier this month, a vegan red velvet cake. I'm not a vegan, but have never been a big fan of dairy, so after finding a recipe from this book, I decided to give vegan baking a try. While it was fun to make, I learned that vegan baking is expensive because of all of the specialty ingredients! I also had to go to two grocery stores to get items that the recipe called for such as agave nectar and coconut oil. Needless to say, I won't be baking again for a while.

Rethinking my needs and wants is good. It's been kind of a game to see how little money I can spend in a day. Everytime I go to buy something I could probably live without, I think about the fact that the money could be better used elsewhere. I'll check back in at the end of the month and evaluate whether to extend the no-shopping another month.