july 2010 goal: moratorium on spending

I’m pretty frugal, all-in-all, but there have been a few things happening to our happy little twosome over the past few months which have thrown my frugality into a tailspin. We've had two major vehicle issues and I won’t bore you with the rest of our unplanned expenditures, but I’ll tell you that there were many and they sucked both my enthusiasm for shopping and my bank account dry.

As a result of the monetary shit-storm of the past few months, I've been looking at my personal budget once again and find it even more vital that I pay off my credit cards as soon as humanly possible. I am sick of paying for something that I don’t use and I don’t like having a revolving balance to remind me of the stupidity of my youth. I've decided to impose a moratorium on any and all unnecessary expenditures. Here is my plan.

I’m going to continue to pay my bills as I normally do, including:

  • Student/Consolidation loans
  • Rent
  • Cell phone/Internet
  • Credit card
  • Auto loan
  • Insurance
As for the rest of my monthly expenses, these all need to fit into a budget of $250 for the month of July:
  • Gasoline
  • Groceries
  • Dining out/Entertainment
  • Shopping (haircuts, home improvement, pet stuff, etc.)

This will help me to separate my “needs” from my “wants.” Of course, if some sort of emergency arises, I’ll have to pay for it, but $250 will easily cover the rest. I could really get by with only spending $150, but I need to be realistic and remember that I have already planned a trip to visit my family up north and that I'm required to go to a conference in Denver for work at the end of the month. Luckily, I'll be reimbursed for the conference trip expenses, but I am allowing myself some leeway since I've never been to Denver before and I might as well enjoy the only so-called vacation I'll be taking this year (I'm budgeting $50 for the trip to Denver, not including reimbursable expenses like food and cab fare).

I’ll keep you updated as to my progress throughout the month.

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