Thursday, March 6, 2008

All-Time Lows Challenge: Week 1

Six days into March, I'm starting to get into my All-Time Low Challenge.

I have a tendency to put off buying an item until I've done the finances for a particular month. The problem with this is that I purchase Said Item in the first few days of the next month, so that by, say, the 5th of the month, I've already spent 75% of what I wanted to spend.

Not this month! March 6th and I've only made a few purchases, all well within my all-time lows budget. I think I've discovered the secret to spending less: start blogging. I've spent so much time writing, reading RSS feeds, and trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing that I've had nary a moment to even browse Amazon, much less go to an actual store.

What I've spent:

Rent: $625
Boring. Next!

Food: $52.14
My half of our major grocery shop of the month. With the challenge in mind, I was pretty conservative, so I expect I'll probably have to stock up on a few things mid-month. I'm rather surprised by how little I spent, since even with the challenge I did buy a few different kinds of meat and my usual (insane) amount of cheese.
Food goal: $97.41
Several people commented on the original all-time lows post that they thought this number was very low. It might end up tight, but I'm on track.

Wardrobe: $38.01
Took a trip to my neighborhood Sally Army and Village Thrift on Saturday for urgent pants-buying. I may have also purchased a jacket or two, and possibly a belt.
Wardrobe goal: $75
On target. I don't plan on doing any more clothes shopping this month. This gives me a comfortable margin in case I need to have some shoes reheeled or decide to get some of my too-big pants taken in.

Entertainment: $4.50
Picked up some old VHS tapes while I was at Salvation Army.
Entertainment goal: $21.45
Our Netflix costs $15.33, so that leaves me with only $1.62 left in this budget. What should I spend it on? A pack of Skittles? A tip for a busker? A single round of air hockey? This all-time low obviously can't be sustained forever, but it'll be fun to see how long I can take it. (Yes, I have a twisted idea of fun.)

Coming up next week, I'll be going to the doctor (at least $20 of my miscellaneous budget), going to my two monthly spa appointments (the full $80 of my spa budget), and possibly meeting a friend for lunch ($5-10 of my food budget). Keep reading to see if I can keep this up!

As a refresher, here's the full budget I'm challenging myself to meet in March:
Rent $625
Food $ 97.41
Wardrobe $ 75
Books $ 0, or $17.43 if I finish all my to-be-read books
Entertainment $21.45
Spa Treatments $80
Prescriptions $40
Miscellaneous $100

Total $1038.86


Retired Syd said...

Man, with such a tight food budget, no wonder you've got too-big of pants to be taken in!

Maybe that's the key to my extra 5 pounds, cut the food budget and the pounds will follow . . .

Scarlett said...

Hey, that's one way to do it. :)

I'm still eating plenty...I'm only going down from a 12 to a 10.