I love to give myself monthly challenges, and I’m constantly thinking up what the next challenge could be. There isn’t really a reason, I just like pushing myself to improve and change. My 9-5 life has lots of change and many of my co-workers really struggle when the big changes come our way. I look forward to the big changes, but I dislike when I know a big change is coming, but I don’t know exactly when. My theory is that if I keep doing the little changes then I’ll never be the sort that completely loses their shit when change happens.
With starting a new month it’s inevitable that I’m also starting a new challenge. November was all about making money by putting heaps of effort into some of my side projects that aren’t this blog. So what’s December all about? Loyal blog readers may recall that September was all about eating on the cheap. The fallout pretty much scared the shit out of me. You see if me living on the cheap was that expensive, then I was spending entirely too much and didn’t really live in reality. Add to that an unexpected big bill from my strata and I knew what my next challenge needed to be. So after I returned from a 3 week vacation, I took a long hard look at my finances and decided to completely change how I do things.
About 2 weeks ago is when the change started. I decided to cut up a few credit cards and live only on cash. I now have a weekly budget, with all funds ear-marked. I have $130 a week for food, entertainment and miscellaneous expenses, when it’s gone it’s gone for the week. I have found that I spend much less, and I’m counting my pennies and figuring out how to stretch my money until the end of the week. I go in to the grocery store with a list and I come out with only the things on the list. I figure out a way to buy chocolate, Starbucks and a gluten free goodie every week so it’s not all deprivation.
For the most part I feel really good about being able to stick to my budget. However there are a couple of things that I don’t know how to fit in my budget. In 2 month’s time I will need to pay for my CSA share purchase. It’s going to be roughly $500, and I think I can pay for it in installments. But I’d really like to not put that on my one remaining emergency credit card. After all it’s not an emergency. I think that I can raise the money between a couple of my side gigs.
My plan is to continue with the strict cash only budget for the month of December and then reassess. I think if I can make it through this month on budget then that will be a major feat! I’m already concerned about the fancy Christmas dinner my sister and I are putting on.