Whew! I feel like this week has flown! Since we’re right in the middle of the month, now is a good time to check up and see how I’m doing on my first real budget!
Most of our expenses are fixed bills that we pay at the beginning of the month. Things like the electric bill, gas bill, rent, etc. So I’m tracking our progress based on the categories that we spend throughout the month, including groceries, miscellaneous shopping, and entertainment.
How are we doing? We’re $9 under the halfway point for our grocery budget, $6 over in the shopping category (that’s a catch-all category where I’ve budgeted $50 toward miscellaneous toiletries, cleaning supplies, and other necessary purchases throughout the month). I hope to cut down our spending on this category as I get used to taking advantage of the CVS deals. We’re right on target in our entertainment budget … $25 out of $50 spent. Woo hoo!
I’m feeling really motivated now that I know that we’re still on track! Hopefully we can continue this momentum throughout the month!
Here’s a round up of the posts that inspired me and helped me stay on track this week!
- Kacie at Sense to Save explored whether it’s frivolous or frugal to outsource tasks. She also shared which tasks she chooses to outsource to maximize her time. I agree with her that it’s important to balance time and money when determining the best way to allocate your resources.
- KaseyQ at The Beautiful Thrifty Life wrote a post about calculating the cost per mile when driving. I’ve always calculated my miles per gallon, but I never thought of how much I was spending per mile. Those errands really add up, and this inspired me to rethink the way I plan my routes.
- She also writes a fabulous series every Friday on frugal date nights. This week she offers some great tips for frugal outdoor dates. I’d love to try some of these ideas if it wasn’t raining this weekend!
- Christina at Northern Cheapskate shared a link for an amazing free program called GreenPrint that eliminates those wasteful junk pages that sometimes print with your documents. I can’t wait to download it!
- Tiffanie at We Like Money wrote about salvaging old items instead of throwing them away. It can be so tempting to throw away old items, especially when they’re not that expensive to replace. But those can add up (in your bank account and in landfills) so it’s important to make sure there’s no fixing it before you throw it away. Sometimes a little cleaning up is all it take
- Finally, this great post at Wise Bread breaks down the actual amount you save if you’re a one vehicle home and explores whether it’s worth it to live outside of the city where housing is cheaper if you’re spending all that money on your commute. Some great facts in here! It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that two cars cost more than one, but it’s amazing to see all the numbers in black and white. I can’t even imagine how we could afford a second car!
So that’s it for this week. Tomorrow we’re headed to the farmer’s market and our local co-op to compare prices and get some questions answered. Come back for the final verdict on whether we can afford to spring for organic produce! Happy Friday!