$$ - update
Well, okay, I did it! Here are some things I noticed about putting myself on a budget:
- How much I actually didn’t notice, like, at all. I paid a little more attention to grocery shopping; I bought only what I would be using that week rather than making pre-emptive purchases (i.e. “Oh, I’m going to run out of paper towels in a couple weeks…”).
- I wanted to make a little photo collage at the end of the month of all the things I wanted to buy, but it turns out the only thing I really wanted last month was a plate from Goodwill that had an illustration of cheese on it. I still think about that plate. Worst $1.99 I never spent.
- That thing about treating my money like it’s an allowance… yeah. Toward the end of last week when I noticed I was still pretty comfy on the cash front I got this… itch to spend it. Everything I saw, I had to talk myself down from buying, and some stuff I just couldn’t help myself (mostly food things; I’m still a sucker for $5 lattes — one million extra shots, please — and $9 sandwiches). I assume this is a thing one just gets better at.
- My work does transportation reimbursement, so I bought a Metro pass to use to/from work. I filled my gas tank once and it was easily the most money I spent in a single transaction all month.
The only follow up goal I have for February is to make it to the last week with more than $5 and some change. It seems like every month I get to this place where there’s a total sense of urgency/impending doom surrounding how much money I have (or, in most cases: don’t have) left until my next paycheck. The circumstances are a little different this time because I *do* have money left, I am just choosing not to spend it — no matter how many literal cheese plates (I love you) life throws my way.