Happy May everyone!
At the end of March, I announced I was doing a 30 day shopping ban aka I wasn’t going to spend money randomly in April. I decided to do a shopping ban because I realized after a few months of tracking all my purchases & seeing where my money goes each month, I spend money on things I don’t always need. I like to buy clothes but sometimes don’t end up wearing them for months, or buy books just to make me feel better after a crappy day. This year, my biggest goal was that I really wanted to buckle down & get on top of my money habits. I wanted to learn how to budget & stick to a budget. My overall goal is to be saving more money each month, that I can either spend on traveling or on living by myself (both would also be nice). I’m in my early 20s & I feel like now is a great time to really learn as much as I can about saving & money in general.
My rules for my 30 Day Shopping Ban:
What I’m allowed to shop for:
- I can buy food. I am however limiting my dining out to three times this month cause I like going out for food for no reason… (totally not including work events- So if I have a work event & there is no option for food I will allow myself to buy something but it has to be nourishing)!
- I can keep up with waxing appointments. No details here to give, other than my eyebrows will not suffer for this spending ban.
- Work related items.This has to be on my list. I have to buy snacks for the office, replenish coffee etc. when they run out. But I get reimbursed so it’s no big deal!
- I am allowing myself to replace things, but only if they are needed. For example, if I run out of shampoo, creams, etc. I can buy as long as they are done & thrown away. Or if a piece of clothing rips/completely worn out & it needs to get replaced but only again after it is thrown away.
How did I do:
I underspent on my personal budget, the only spot I went over was clothing which I didn’t have a budget set for in general. I grabbed a shirt that I needed & then two golf skirts since they won’t have my size in a month. Turns out I thought I did a hell of a lot better than I thought I would have done originally.
However, I ended up spending around 40% of my income last month. All I can say is, what the heck! I mean I was saving so damn well, not spending anything randomly & then bam, tax time….. Lucky for me I’m self employed right, joke was on me there but it’s honestly great until tax time because I don’t pay taxes during the year so that messed me up (since this was my first year doing my taxes this way, I also didn’t know) but it was unavoidable so I can’t really complain. Other than that, I barely spent anything & probably spent only around 15% of my monthly income which was actually pretty damn awesome.
I totally picked the wrong month to do the shopping ban, April is horrible with tax time, but I didn’t even think about that when I planned this. But I would totally do it again, I liked buckling down & challenging myself. This little experiment was great for me & helped keep me in my ‘budgeting’ mindset.
It was great seeing lower numbers & less spending on my budget spreadsheet & by the end of the month budgeting started to seem weirdly fun. I mean, I ended up taking a trip to the library & taking books out instead of going to the local bookstore to buy some, I mean for me that is a seriously big deal & little changes like that is where I noticed it the most!
What are your thoughts on budgeting? Would you do a shopping ban?