I’ve talked plenty on this blog about the things I do (or have done) that might make me a bad personal finance blogger, but the truth is there are things I’ve given up to help me lower my spending, stick to my budget, and pay off debt. Today I want to highlight a few things I’ve done to cut my spending and make room for more debt payments in my budget.
I played around with how much to set aside in my budget each month for grocery spending when I first started budgeting in January 2014. I wasn’t sure exactly how much I would need to spend on food each month, but I knew I didn’t want it to be over the top. As I got better at budgeting, shopping sales, using coupons, and only buying what I need, I was able to get my grocery spending reduced to $120/month.
I do occasionally go over this amount by $5-10, but most of time I’m pretty much right on. Even with Thanksgiving last week, I was able to stick to my grocery budget for November with no problems!
To help me stick to my grocery budget, I avoid buying junk food and snacks, pop, and other unnecessary things. I try to keep my meals pretty cheap and healthy. I do have more expensive meals once in a while and sometimes I buy healthy foods that aren’t on sale. If I was even more of a stickler about grocery shopping, I could probably cut my grocery budget a little more, but I like having the option to splurge on food once in a while.
I have cut way back on my entertainment budget. My entertainment line item in my budget usually is $30 and that is for my eating out, going out with friends, and everything else. It doesn’t include my TV subscription or Netflix though.
Even though I still pay for TV and Netflix, I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth most of the time. I have negotiated my TV bill to bring it down to where it’s at (about $60/month) and I will continue to do so until my contract with them is up. At that time, I will most likely cancel my TV service since I don’t watch it as much as I watch Netflix anyhow.
Spending on clothes, shoes, and accessories is my weakness. I love fashion and I like to look put-together whenever I leave the house. Even though I’ve spent way more on clothes this year than I was planning on spending, I know that it is still a vast improvement over the last couple of years.
I’m hoping to do even better by spending less in 2015 than in 2014 and save some money. With that said, I know that fashion will always be one of my weaknesses when it comes to spending. At least knowing (and admitting) is half the battle.