As you may know I was on a spending freeze for January. This meant that I could only spend money on essentials and anything previously budgeted. Keep in mind that January just so happened to be a 3 paycheck month versus the normal 2 paychecks. So how did I do?
The Damage: Well I did manage to put $600.00 into savings. I did have to buy oil heat which ended up being about $578.23 though. So practically a wash!
Running Total: Profit $21.77 – Loss: $0.00
I managed to stay within my grocery budget and even ended up with $11.00 left over even after donating $5 to the local Girl Scout troop. I didn’t take the cookies (Woot Woot) . Since I used leftover cash this doesn’t count as a fail.
Running Total: Profit $32.77 – Loss: $0.00
I did however just before this make a donation to the Young and Brave Foundation – I mean it’s for a good cause so how could I say no. So that put me $15.00 in the hole.
Running Total: Profit $17.77 – Loss: $0.00
I also was under budget for my gas purchases so I had $15.00 leftover.
Running Total: Profit $47.77 – Loss: $0.00
I did go out to dinner/lunch twice this month but those were factored into my budget. I spent $27.00 when going out to P.F. Chang’s.
They did have underwear on sale 5 for $20.00 and I did have an Angel Reward card for $20.00 off but then I spotted a bra on sale for $13.99 and if you Victoria Secret like I do you know that is a steal. So with tax I was at about $17.00 in damage.
Running Total: Profit $30.77 – Loss: $0.00
Summary: I didn’t have any more issue throughout the month. I did use cash for everything so if I didn’t have cash I didn’t spend money. This really worked for me but getting cash out of the bank was such a hassle. I did amass a list of items i wanted to buy in February so forcing myself not to spend was like dangling a carrot in front of my face and I feel like I wanted to buy more just because I couldn’t. So overall I was able to manage to save a little money. It’s not much but it helps.
Running Total: Profit $47.77 – Loss: $0.00
Good job! Using cash always seems to help me.
Yes, I felt it was harder to let go of cash versus just swiping my card.
kathy @ vodka and soda says
you did great!!! even with that massive oil heater thing, you didn’t have a loss. i was inadvertently doing the freeze with you guys and when i got my credit card bill, i didn’t weep like i usually do but i actually smiled…which is a very rare thing.
As long as I didn’t have a loss I was happy. Not weeping at your credit card statement is a total win! Haha!
i’m on a beauty spending ban…wait! january is over! ban is over! muhahahahaah!
Hahaha!! It is hard not buying beauty products. Lip glosses for everyone!!
SMD @ Life According to Steph says
I think you did great. And you covered your oil, which is a boring buy but obviously essential in winter in MA.
I felt as long as I broke even it was a success. I wanted to save more but life got in the way.
You guys should do a follow-up to the January spending freeze at the end of February to see if you in fact saved money or just delayed the gratification of picking things up! Like if you spend double on extra stuff in February then maybe the freeze isn’t as helpful as it first appears? Though exercising self-control is always pretty hard so I think anything that makes you do that is good. Sounds like you did great this month and how nice that two of your “overages” were charitable!
I know. I am trying to keep February under control too though I did have a list of things I wanted to buy I realized they weren’t needed. It really did make me want to shop more. I felt good about the donations so I wasn’t about to feel guilty.
I’m so glad you linked up! I think you did a great job, and like Steph said, you had money to cover the oil which is a pain, but at least it didn’t set you back! 🙂 I think you did great!
Thank you! Yes I felt as long as I didn’t overspend than I was doing good. It was really hard not buying little things that added up so I was overly strict.
Spending freezes are really hard and I think you did so well! That is a bummer about the oil heat but such is life…always unexpected expenses!
Thanks! It is really hard and I prepare for the oil heat but I go through what I saved for it pretty quickly especially in the cold winter months.
I kept having to immediately delete ALL Victoria’s Secret emails talking about Semi Annual sale stuff….it was painful!
Good job girl! Super annoying you had to spend the money on the oil heat- but at least you had it! Better than having to put it on a credit card or something 🙂
Yes, their Semi-Annual sale just about did me in. I was happy I had it in savings. It is technical not unexpected and I budget for it every month but it is such a huge chunk of moola it hurts a little to let it go.
I’m seriously impressed!! I really want to attempt this, but Steven is SO bad with working with budgets. I basically just tell him what we have in our account and he continues to overspend. Drives me crazy!
Sticking with a budget is so important especially when you are both using the same account. I think it would be a really good learning experience for you two and get a good look at how you both spend. With only one income and a house my money goes fast and I need it to last. I can only imagine how frustrating that would be.
I totally failed at this in January. I’m going to try a little bit harder this month. Maybe it will be easier since there are 3 less days than most months, haha.
Haha!! February should be easier since it is less time. You can do it though. I try and give myself small allowances like entertainment and clothing of like $50 so I didn’t feel like I was totally doing without. You can do it!!
I knew I’d see a Victoria’s Secret purchase somewhere in there 😉 omg, that is my favorite dessert EVER, I can never go to PF Changs without ordering. Have you ever been to the VS outlet? I can’t go in without buying something, they are practically giving it away though lol
But of course! 😉 I couldn’t resist. That dessert was so good and the ice cream. It was a good thing I was sharing or I would have eaten the whole thing. I have not been to a VS outlet but you now have me intrigued enough to find one!! Oh boy!
Kate @ Another Clean Slate says
I’ll definitely be using cash instead of debit for my February chill. Way too easy to swipe!!
Yes, when you don’t have to rely on cash those small items like gum, or shampoo that you throw into the cart really starts to add up fast!
Oh that is a definite steal for VS! I cannot resist that damn store. I honestly hate bras/sports bras from anywhere else, they just don’t fit me right. (Even brands even more expensive than VS, it’s VS or nothing for me!) You did very good this month – now don’t over spend in February!!
I was a really good deal. I love the sports bras from Target but regular bras have to be VS. I am hoping to continue into February allowing for a few small splurges but really beefing up my savings. My house demo may have other ideas for me though.
Amanda Elizabeth says
I have really wanted to try this…like get $100 out for the week and that is all I can spend. Something always seems to come up though! Tires, car insurance blah blah. I have made a conscious effort not to eat out and if I have to not ordering any alcohol that has really helped cut down the bill on things!
Yes take out only what you need for the week or month and that is it. Once it is gone it is gone. My monthly bills are all accounted for and paid automatically but all others like groceries, gas, entertainment I budget it and don’t go over. Alcohol totally counts as groceries or entertainment depending on which has more money left over! 😉
Kym Fox says
Balls, that sucks about having to buy the oil!!!!! I am currently on a “spending freeze” of sorts – another blogger and myself have put together a 12×30 Challenge and this month we’re challenging ourselves and others to not spend $$ on anything but essentials. I’m basically dying to run down to Starbucks right now to buy a quad shot of something buuut I’m holding myself strong lol. Man, I can’t believe you saved $600!! Are you going to do this again in the future or…?
I am trying to stick to it for February but I am going to allow myself a little bit more throw away money. I just had some flooding in my house so the money saved may go to fixing or upgrading some of my house but I am really trying to pay off some debt this year so I will continue.
I wrote a post of the same title for later this week!! you did good!!!!!
Thanks! I really needed to beef up my savings.
sometimes things pop up, at least you had the money to use on it! i hate when that happens tho!
It was good to have a cushion and now i will just try to keep adding to it again.
great work! even if you didn’t end up “saving” as much as you wanted, think of all the things you didn’t buy and then it’s like you saved a ton!
That is a great way of looking at it. In that case I saved a few hundred! haha!
You’re doing great. I need to go on a spending freeze. And holy crap, that’s at PF Changs? I have never gone there but after seeing your photo, I think I might have to!
Thanks it was really needed. Yes, all the food there was really good. We had these lettuce wraps that were amazing. It was like a banana caramel wonton, so good. Totally should check them out.
I have a gift card to PF Changs… can’t wait to use it – what is the name of that damn desert?! I might just spend it all on multiple servings of THAT! haha
I get so discouraged when I have washes, like you mentioned with the gas. That’s the hardest thing about saving for me. Yes, it’s nice that you have it because you saved, but it makes me feel like crap when that happens because I want to be AHEAD. I get frustrated pretty easily by things like this. :/
You need to get to PF Chang’s then girl. It was so good. It is a Caramel Banana wonton or something. Yes, I was really hoping for it all to go into savings but better to have it then to not have it and have to put it on a card or dig further into savings!
MarlaJan @ Luck Fupus says
Fantastic work! Even with the unfortunate oil purchase, you stayed within your budget! I’m impressed!
Thanks for linking up with SMD, KP, Erin and myself!
Yes, I was very happen to not go over. I would have loved the savings to be actual savings but glad it was able to cover everything. Thanks for hosting!
You did a great job! You even managed to donate money to the Girl Scouts without taking the cookies. That’s hard to do. Speaking of good causes, when do we get to hear about your recent Random Acts of Kindness? Can’t wait.
Yes, it was hard to pass up the cookies, but I wanted to donate without the calories! 😉 I will posting it every Thursday! 🙂
Lisita N. says
Good work – and you are so detailed in your budgeting! And I think you did get a great bargain, way to be a conscious shopper 🙂
Since it is just me, I have to be strict or risk going over. I mean you can’t pass up a bargain at Victoria’s Secret right?! 😉
OMG!!! Banana Spring rolls!!!!! They are my fav! So amazing!! And great job! I need to do this.
They were so yummy! I love bananas and caramel. The spending freeze was really hard, but fun. Glad to at least not lose money.
Awesome job staying in your budget! I liked how you kept track and always knew if you were over or under. Very smart!
Thank you. Yes I tried to use cash whenever possible. The debit card method always makes me over spend. Also it was a visual reference to see when my money was getting low.
Spending freezes are hard. Michael and I have a budget for everything, including individual personal spending. We make it last the month and we just don’t spend when we’ve gotten to the limit. It’s not easy, but it’s gotten easier the longer we’ve done it.
That is the best way to do it. I use Excel to break everything out even haircut and my triple A membership so everything gets covered. My food and entertainment are usually the hardest to stay in budget. It does get easier the longer you do it.
Heather (@mylittlehea) says
You did really well. Even the VS was a steal that couldn’t be passed up!
Yes, I am really glad I was able to save a bit and still manage to end up ahead even after some splurges.