Well it's over! And, I did it! I guess I really was able to accomplish my goal, but I definitely had a few weak moments towards the end. At around Day 23 I almost threw in the towel. My rational was that I had already gone long enough, and I had already proved to myself that I could go three weeks without spending money, what was one more week? Luckily, I was able to talk myself out of it, thank goodness. I had come too far to stop, and give up on my goal.
I may not be fully reformed, but I did learn a lot about my spending habits. During my 30 day experiment, I still managed to spend over $500.00 on gas and groceries combined! So, going forward I am going to try to stick to the following budget...
Gas - $100.00
Groceries - $400.00
Toiletries & Cleaning Supplies - $100.00
As we already know, things add up rather quickly, so going forward, I will use these numbers as a guide. Since I usually get gas, and groceries about once a week, I will divide each amount by four. For example this week I plan on using my $100.00 grocery budget, half at the grocery store and half at Target. Because I haven't been to Target in quite a while, I figure I can get some of my snack and toiletry items there, along with a couple of kitchen gadgets I am dying to buy (i.e. donut pan and small cutting board). Instead of going wild, and going on a shopping spree in addition to what I have set aside for my grocery budget, I figure I will make smaller, more cost effective meals this week, and use some money in my grocery budget to buy the extra things I want at Target. Plus, I now have the $25.00 toiletry and cleaning supply budget that I can use towards my purchases, should I go over.
I think overall, the most important thing I learned this past month is to be more conscience and aware of what and why I am spending. Do I love it, do I need it, can it wait? These are the questions I will ask myself before I make future purchases.
Thank you to all of my friends and family who have supported me throughout the past 30 days. Thank you for understanding and not pressuring me to spend any money during my spend freeze. Now, it's time for a hard earned celebratory dinner, and afterward, Target anyone :)