Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spending out of control!

It's been over a year since I received a redundancy and left work to have baby number 3. Before I left work I fine-tuned our budget and knew I would have to reign in my spending significantly if I wanted to take a few (maybe up to 5) years off. All very good in theory.

However, since being at home I have managed to spend outrageously, particularly in the following categories:
  • Groceries - way out of control due to a proximity to the shops and lack of meal planning. I'll order a vegie box, as well as hit Coles and the local health food stores, usually getting 'just a few things' every couple of days. We have been spending over $250 a week. Some families (particularly those who are on 'Simple Savings') spend this in a month! I also spend a lot on alcohol...
  • Eating out - we don't go to fancy restaurants or even get take-away meals - our downfall is cafes! I drink soy and a soy latte is often over $4 - usually around $4.50. Some cafes also charge exhorbitantly for baby-cinos, so a quick cafe trip can cost $7. Throw in a muffin or slice and there's $12 gone. Take the whole family out for a coffee and a treat and you blow $25. I have really tried to cut down my cafe visits, but they have become my source of fun and are also my escape when I'm child free. I have a coffee machine at home and really just need to change my mindset.
  • Other areas of over-spending include clothes (for myself and the kids - I really need to start op shopping again and asking if I really need it), kids parties and gifts (so many 6 year old parties!).
No matter how many times I review our budget (yes, we actually have one, but not that I follow or check it!) it really is just old habits are very hard to break.

I'm the sort of person who needs a challenge to change things up. I recently read about a Canadian pair who did a 'no spend' year. Then I started googling and found many others who have done a similar thing. I was inspired. But Adrian was not so keen on having a 'no fun' year.

Then I came across the much more common 'no spend month'. Many people have blogged about their experience of not spending at all (except for bills and medical) for a month. You can make up your own rules of course, and this appeals to me, as I think it will be a good way to break habits. Adrian is willing to jump on board for a month too so that is what we are going to do! 4 days and counting...

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