I am a naturally competitive person--debating, coaching, shopping, eating, you name it, I will beat you at it. (Not drinking though--it makes me sleepy.) So this month I am competing against myself to spend as little as possible. This is fantastic because I really don't spend all that much on big-ticket items, but I am the "latte factor" queen. Lunch at the O-Club for $6? Afternoon coffee at the Coffee Mess instead of in my office (doubly absurd as I have a Keurig)? Random stuff I don't really need (but is shiny! and I am a magpie!) at Target? Dinner out when I stay late for my debate meeting twice a week?
In the words of Liz Lemon (my spiritual guru), "Not on my watch, beyotch. S that D. Shut it down."
I don't know if you realize this, but Christmas is like 3 and a half months away, and in addition to a
So it's time to save!
My strategies include:
*Cash, not plastic--I'm going to take out $40/week for "fun", max. When it's gone, it's gone. If I don't spend all of it, I'll take out enough to get myself back up to $40 but no more. I'm still going to use the debit card for grocery shopping (we have the Target one with 5% back) and for gas (a fixed cost and easier to do when you're just swiping at the pump).
*People, not "stuff"--a lot of the food expenses I incur are from needing a social interlude to break up working in my office on Tuesdays/Thursdays. It just dawned on me that I can still walk up to the coffee bar with friends for the chat and the movement--I just don't need to BUY anything. Similarly, we can bring lunches and eat them together in our offices or the faculty lounge, instead of walking half a mile to the O-Club.
*STOP shopping online, including browsing--I do this out of boredom. Shopping online feels like nothing to me; I don't feel the money leaving my hands (cash or plastic), I don't get whatever it is instantly, and when it comes in the mail, half the time I'm surprised because I barely remember ordering it. This feels like borderline addictive behavior to me so it's best to cut it off cold turkey.
I hope to save up enough money in September and October to pad our savings account a little and to have money to Christmas shop with in November and December. The good news is that my travel schedule is about to get ridiculous, so I probably won't even notice spending less, and after eating out all weekend with my team I'll probably welcome making my own food/coffee during the week.