no spend july - week 1.

It's been just over a week since I started my experiment in cutting back significantly on spending for the month of July. I budgeted $200 for anything other than regular bills, including groceries, eating out, gas, and any other kind of discretionary spending. Since my experiment will run just over three weeks, that gives me about $67 to spend each week.

Spending Report
This first week, I spent $82.03, which is definitely more than the $67 weekly budget. Most of this was groceries ($56.86), which I expected, though now I'm a little concerned that $200 might have been a little too aggressive. The remainder included $22 for a planned meal out with my sister (trying another new restaurant downtown), and $3.17 for an ice cream cone.

Lessons Learned
  • Even though I think I don't eat out a lot, the number of times I was tempted to do so surprised me. It was especially surprising how many times I wanted to stop because it was just easier, or because I didn't want to take the time to figure out what to make at home. Having a meal plan definitely helps with this. It doesn't bother to me to spend money eating out when it's about fellowship and community. It does bother me when it's about convenience.
  • I often use shopping as a form of entertainment, both in stores and online. I like thinking about new projects and buying the supplies, but I don't always follow through. This means that there are lots of projects around here that are half-done, or where I have the supplies and just haven't done the work. Because I'm avoiding shopping, I'm getting some of those things finished, and it feels good.
  • There are already a couple of things that I know I'll spend money on when this month is over, but it's not a long list. Hopefully that will still be true in another two weeks.

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