Monday, November 24, 2014

30 Day Spending Freeze - A Budget Update

I haven't written an update on my budget since September, so I thought I'd share what's been going on. (You can read my previous five posts about my budget, listed at the bottom of the post.)

I'll be the first to admit that budgeting is a struggle. The struggle is real, people. I've had lots of successes and lots of failures since starting my budget with my last paycheck in May of this year. Despite some major spending fails, I've still saved myself a noteworthy amount of money. I've also learned a lot about myself, about self-control, about organization, and about money management in general. One of my biggest goals is to enter into a marriage debt-free with money management skills and I'd say it's never too early to start (because I'm not getting married any time soon). The things I'm learning are meant to become life-long habits, but sometimes that can be a slow and painful process.

So let's start out with a win. I bought my car in March of 2012 after my first car died. It was the first grown up purchase I had ever made and it was the first time I had real adult responsibility when it came to money. I was approved for a 36-month loan and for the last 32 months I've been slowly chipping away at it, always paying more than the minimum payment. I'm so happy to report that I sent my final payment last Monday and I now own my car outright! I feel like a real live grown up. My goal is to drive this car through 2015 and start car shopping again in 2016. Here's hoping ole Rosie lasts that long because she's already at approximately 220,000 miles. (We'll see!) It would just be absolutely wonderful to not have to worry about a car payment for a full 13 months! That's the dream, isn't it?

Onto this spending freeze! If you haven't checked your calendar, Christmas is 30 days from tomorrow. What a strange time to embark on a spending freeze, right? Well I'm vowing to freeze all spending on myself for the next 30 days. That means no more clothes shopping. No more little unnecessary purchases here and there. The question is: Should that include eating out? What do you guys think? What about if some friends are home for the holidays and want to go out to dinner or something? I'm thinking it should only include individual eating out (like stopping at CFA on my way home for lunch because...waffle fries). This is the time of year when I want to focus on giving to others and helping others. So naturally I'm still going to do my Christmas shopping, but nothing for myself. I'm curious to see where this will take me over the next 30 days.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ten on Ten :: November 2014

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month!
Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!

 Casey and I have been reading through the book of John for the last four days. One chapter a day. I'm liking this.

Let's just take note that when I left the house this morning at 8:00, it was nearly 70 degrees.

I go to Starbucks far less frequently than my Ten on Ten history implies. But today I tried the Gingerbread Latte since they had samples. I still can't get into coffee.

With my new(ish) budget, I like to go over my spending and what I've got in my envelopes every now and then just to stay on top of things.

Despite the fact that it was already snowing when I got home for lunch, there are still fall colors everywhere.

It's not a complete Ten on Ten if I don't showcase my foster kittens.

Monday nights are spent at the barre.

While I was at work, it just kept on snowing. It was a far cry from this morning!

I crashed a double date at the best pizza joint in town.

 Ending the night in a cozy oversized sweater with some warm cider and Leslie Knope.

 Bonus: I posted this picture on my Instagram. All four photos were taken today. Welcome to Colorado.

ten on ten button