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February 2011 Financial Goals Recap

March 8, 2011

I am a little late posting my recap of the frugal vow I took for the month of February. I want to be completely honest in saying it was challenging to not spend money on anything (besides essentials). Towards the end of the month I pretty much gave up on any goal I had and began to go completely over budget on a many of the line items. Not only did I go over budget in nonsensical items, I was 50% under budget with my charitable commitment. At bare minimum, that $160 should have been given in tithes and offerings. Looking at the numbers (all pulled from my budget on mint.com) I’m taken aback about how being laxed about spending really manifests itself in what I do. I think I need to always keep in mind what my priorities and goals are, because when I decided to not think about anything, my spending went way out of control. All that to say I am not going to be hard on myself for what I have done, I just know that this month of frivolous spending cannot be undone, therefore the only thing I can do now is actually keep in mind my overall perspective of maintaining control over finances. February was very tough, but I have to make better choices. I just must.

 

 

Over Budget Notes:

  • Groceries- It seems like everyday I felt like I needed new ingredients to make particular meals, especially as nostalgia for homecooking hit. Going forward, I will need to become more creative with what I have at home. Also, I went a tad bit crazy in the Whole Foods bulk section. Nuts, oatmeal, rice, trail mix, bulgur, wheat berries. I even picked up two pieces of salmon for $12. I justified it by saying it was wildly caught and better for my health. But um no. As much as it is going to hurt, WF and I will have to break up for the next two months.
  • Cell Phone- I am still considering changing plans, switching phones all together. Maybe it’s time to get a basic phone, sans fancy applications, bbm, etc. The extra $5.77 was from texting (grrrr). As much as it hurt to pay the price, it won’t happen again. I will consistently check to see I am well under my limit. It might mean some text’s will get a response via phone call. #Kanyeshrug
  • Personal & Hair Care– I thought I needed more shampoo and couldn’t wait until the end of the month. I also purchased a hooded dryer, a face mask, and had my eyebrows threaded. Although I didn’t budget for the threading session, that $10 spent was perhaps the only thing I needed. The other hair and personal care could have waited.
  • Gas Bill- I recently found out I owed more than a few pennies to a gas company from my previous apartment. It didn’t make me happy to pay, but I like having good credit so I paid it as soon as I found out about it. It will be the last time for a while I ever pay a gas bill.
  • Clothing- I vowed to restrain from shopping until June 1, 2011. Broke it in February 2011. I didn’t intend to shop, but I had an expiring groupon for American Apparel and purchased a pretty chiffon top. I paid 21.50 after using the groupon.
  • Restaurants- The biggest disappointment. Not only did I go way over in groceries, I also spend too much money eating out. The BF and I had sushi which accounts for most of that line item, but outside of that I still ate out 2-3 times. That shall be nipped in the butt as well.

 

February Goals Recap:

  • $100 into Retirement PortfolioFAIL. I am still in the process of setting up a supplemental account with my job. Until it is established, I cannot contribute my own funds, which is why I didn’t in February.
  • $400 into Emergency Fund- CHECK! I bumped it up to $510.88.
  • $312.50 into Travel/Computer FundCHECK!
  • Establish online businessFAIL. I purchased some supplies, but am working on how to achieve a balance so I can accomplish all the goals I have.
  • Work out 4-5x/weekCHECK! Still training for my spring race. Working out is a must.
  • Finalize March travel plans- FAIL. Still haven’t purchased a ticket L. Looking at my February spending habit I definitely could have scaled back and come up with enough funds for my trip. Lesson learned.
  • Make weekly food plan. FAIL. Most likely the reason why I spent so much on food.
  • Read one book for fun FAIL.

Ongoing 2011 Annual Goals:

  • No buying lunch, snacks or coffee during the work week. CHECK! I have more trouble on the weekends.
  • No buying clothing, shoes or accessories until June 1st, 2011FAIL. (Purchased the blouse from AA). I will also amend this goal. I am going to try to not purchase anymore clothing until June 1, 2011. In addition, for the remainder of the year I will only shop at thrift stores. Very excited about this! Post on thrift shopping is forthcoming.
  • Try to make a difference in the life of one person. A significant difference. IN PROGRESS

 

How did your month of frugal spending end up? Any accomplishments? Disappointments?

 

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