Every November and December I freak out about how much money seems to be, just… vanishing. Though we don’t do New Year’s resolutions in our house, January is definitely the month I start to take a serious look at our budget and how we can reign it back in from the Holidays.
By the way this post contains affiliate links.
Our biggest “controllable” expenses are groceries, and shopping. And while this is not necessarily a bad thing (I take it as a compliment since he chose me), my husband has expensive taste. I, on the other hand, am a complete sucker for a bargain. Not that I like “cheap” things, but I would scrounge my Zulily app daily to make sure I wasn’t missing out on any amazing deals. All in all, neither approach is great for the pocket-book.
While I’m still very well acquainted with Zulily, one thing I did a few months ago was delete the app. I find this forces me to only go there if I NEED something. I’m not tempted to buy stuff just because it’s “New Today”, and I’m getting what I actually want/need, instead of being lured in by the daily deals. It sounds like something small but look below to see what a difference it has made:
JUNE 2015 – $209
JULY 2015 – $158
AUGUST 2015 – $207
SEPTEMBER 2015 – $46
OCTOBER 2015 – $35 (This is the month I deleted the app)
NOVEMBER 2015 – $48 (Hey, it was almost Christmas… I couldn’t just go cold turkey.)
DECEMBER 2015 – $0
JANUARY 2016 – $0
That is just one step I’ve made in getting our budget under control. Here are 5 things I actually SPENT money on in order to save a few bucks each month:
And now the moment of truth. Here are our largest “controllable” expenses for January 2016:
TRADER JOE’S – $714
OTHER GROCERY – $256
GROCERY TOTAL = $970 (Bear in mind the USDA gives a family my size $890.60/month for a moderate food cost plan.)
TARGET – $283
AMAZON – $100
OTHER SHOPPING – $269
Shopping Total – $652 (I had a big work event in January that required some new duds for both my husband and I. I know… excuses, excuses.)
There you have it folks, $1,622. I can’t wait to see if all this accountability makes February’s numbers any better!
Now for the Blog Income portion. You may be wondering why I’m adding this in as well… It is my goal to eventually be able to earn enough money from this blog to earn a full time income from it. So in the interest of budgeting, full disclosure, and full accountability, I invite you to follow along on my progress. (By the way if you are also interested in starting your own website, Bluehost is a great place to begin, and if you use this link it’s only $3.95/month.)
GOOGLE ADSENSE – $0.65
Yep, that was an easy one. Gotta start somewhere right? I’m working on signing up for more affiliate programs, and working on some other projects, so hopefully we will see that number grow soon. I have had a couple friends tell me about a budgeting tool they use, I’m going to do a little investigating and perhaps in the coming months I’ll incorporate that into these reports.
Anyone else have any suggestions or amazing discoveries?