I have always been pretty cheap. Although, I prefer to call it frugal. Very recently however, for I guess the second time ever, I decided to see just how frugal I could be while still living the high maintenance lifestyle (twice weekly grocery store runs, designer coffee, and 1-2 ok three New York Times bestselling business books per week) I have grown so accustomed to.
I am pretty good with money. If I want to, I can save ALL of it. But also if I want to, I can also spend ALL of it fairly rapidly. One of the first things financial experts will tell you when you start trying to save money is to start a journal. Track everything you spend your money on. That is such a crucial part of the process because, like any rehabilitation, your first step is admitting you have a problem. I remember the first time I realized I was spending upwards of $40 just on junk food at the corner store almost every Friday evening thru Saturday afternoon. And that did not include my weekend coffee fixes. The coffee runs were non-negotiable, but keeping that journal and with a little planning it became easy to stop myself from spending $40 on chocolate juniors every weekend. Now, I don’t know, maybe 5 years into keeping a money journal (it’s mostly internal now, because I know where my money goes and only review these types of things quarterly) and slowly year after year tapering back on my lifestyle, I have made myself aware of the spending patterns I fall into every year and when.
Every year I get spring fever and go on a shopping binge around the end of March and that typically lasts up through April. I repent and this does not happen again until Black Friday. My winter spending spree lasts up through the New Year. This is when I alternate buying gifts for family with gifts for me.
Ironically enough keeping that journal showed me that these times coincide perfectly with my March work bonus and my end of November stock rebate check. I got to the point where responsible me would use these two bonuses to offset the spending I would do so I essentially broke even.
But this year I decided I wanted to do better than break even…
I wanted to take full control of my financial destiny, if only for a few months out of the year. I do pretty good living well below my means, so I knew that tweaking even the smallest thing in my routine could yield me big returns.
Everyone I talk to about the financial changes I am making has a ton of questions so I decided to document what I am learning about improving my finances, saving, legit lazy people side hustles, and credit repair on my blog!
Tune in weekly starting next week to find out what I did right and what fell flat!