So do y’all remember how one of my January Goals was to track every red cent we spent and make a budget? Well we did track everything and I will be candid here, I am SHOCKED at just how much we spend in a month. When we went about this for January we decided that we would spend as we would usually do, just making sure to write down how much was spent or keep receipt so I can track everything. I mean I knew we spent a decent amount but the EXACT amount was no where near what I thought it was going to be. Eye opening.
After going through everything and adding it all up and then throwing up because of the amount of money we spent, we regrouped and decided it was time to come up with a plan of action. We realized that the places we spend the most next to our mortgage is in the areas of grocery shopping, “other” shopping, and eating out.
Mr. Big Truck and I sat down and talked about what we were willing and not willing to give up in our spending to help cutting costs. One thing we both agree on is that anything pertaining to our health and wellness was not an option to cut back on. One thing wee decided is that we are going to give the meal planning thing a legit try as well. We are going week by week with this. We decided that we would take turns picking out healthy meals that we want to have, take inventory of what we have in the house and ONLY grocery shop for what we NEED. I noticed that during the month of January Mr. Big Truck was going to the grocery store multiple times a week and that was just not going to fly if we really wanted to cut costs.
We have also decided to eat out only once every 2 weeks. We typically eat out once a week just for a break from cooking which, major props to Mr. Big Truck who does the majority of it. With changing to eating out only once every 2 weeks we will have to actually think about when we want to go out and not just wing it which I like. As of right now we have planned to go out for Valentine’s Day. We already know for this month we will be eating out more than we want to because of our upcoming Babymoon and a business trip.
As far as the “other shopping” we included everything from maternity clothes shopping for me, right now a necessity, baby shopping that we have started, again a necessity, and anything else that did not fit anywhere else in the grand scheme of things. We know that right now we are slowly buying furniture for the baby and lets face it that’s not cheap. Granted this is not going to be a monthly occurrence but it is something that NEEDS to be purchased. We are going to try to stop impulse buying so much and again only buy what we need.
I already know that the “other shopping” is going to be high again this month as we will continue to buy baby furniture, we, along with Mr. Big Trucks brothers, are throwing his Mom a 7t0th birthday party, and we are heading out on our babymoon and a business trip this month. With all that in mind we are still trying to keep our spending in check.
I also managed to save us an additional $20 a month on our cell phone bill by taking our plan down a bit. We were paying for 6 gig of internet usage. After looking at what we actually use I noticed we weren’t even using 2 gigs! Needless to say I cut us back to 2 gigs! We are typically on wifi so I don’t see that being an issue in the long run. Worse comes to worse I bump it up if I have to. Every little bit helps!
I think half the battle is having a plan. I also think that managing money is mostly mental. I think if you have the right mindset you can do whatever it is you want to do financially. With that said, bring it on February!