Google+ Followers

Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Musings: Week 13 & Quarterly Report

Today is the last day of March. We're 1/4 of the way through our spending challenge. It's hard to believe Easter is almost here.

Here are my stats.

This week's spending was pretty small. (It's amazing how easy it is to stop spending when your transmission is out and you have no wheels!)

Week 13 Spending
Groceries    
$103
Leah's School Project      
$45
Piano Lessons                  
$10
Algebra text
$4
Total  
$177


First Quarter Spending (Weeks 1-13)
Category
Spent
Budgeted 
Savings
Groceries
$1466
$2100
$634
Miscellaneous
$23
$360         
$337 
School
$251
$150
($101)
Entertainment
$332
$225
($107)
Toiletries
$174
$150
($24)
Piano Lessons
$80
$240
$160
Clothing
$180
$46
$134
Gifts
$105
$225
$120
Hair Care
$0
$90
$90
Benevolence
$0
$105
$105
Discretionary Cash
$75
$75
$0
Total  
$2552
$3900
$1348

Here are some thoughts.

Initially, I found these numbers discouraging. Of course, my spending was much higher than I wanted it, and my savings were much lower. Upon a more careful examination, I realized that I’ve reduced household spending by a little more than 33%. I was already operating on a lean budget for a family of 8, especially one with 3 hungry teenage boys. That’s not too bad, but I can do better.

Instead of coming up short at the end of each month, I have money in the bank, including an emergency fund.

After groceries, my area of greatest savings was "Miscellaneous." That's no surprise since I've tried to eliminate all discretionary spending.

My biggest "bust" category was entertainment -- no surprise there either.

If I continue at this pace for the rest of the year, I can save almost $5400. This should be enough to pay for Esther’s orthodontic work which we’re scheduled to begin in April.

My goals for the next quarter are:
·       further reduce grocery spending by only purchasing dairy products, produce, and staples
·       reduce produce spending by growing our own vegetables
·       can or freeze garden produce when possible
·       reduce spending for school expenses
·       limit eating out to once a month
·       find free/inexpensive forms of family entertainment

I’m learning as I go. This move toward a more minimalist lifestyle doesn’t come easily, but I can see the progress we’re making, and I’m encouraged.



No comments:

Post a Comment