budgeting · Managing Money · money challenge

August Money Challenge

Oops, I did it again. I spent waaaay too much money on groceries last month ($291.11 to be exact) and my food hoarding stash is getting out of control again. I decided it’s time for another pantry challenge.

You may recall my April Pantry Challenge┬áthat I tried out earlier this year. I didn’t exactly pass the challenge, but I didn’t do too badly either. With a few little tweaks and some newfound motivation, I’m sure I can achieve my goal this month. This time around, I will not be including cat-related items or wine in my budget. Hey, I don’t need to starve myself for my cats’ sake. As for the wine, we’ll make that another challenge for another month, but summertime is not the time nor the place to skimp on a nice, cold pinot grigio.

My goal this month is to spend only $50 on groceries. I have plenty of the staples in my pantry, a plethora of frozen fish and shrimp in my freezer, plus my herb garden has been growing like crazy this year. Realistically, I should only need to spend on produce and protein.

We’re currently 4 days into August, and I did go grocery shopping today. I spent $16.91, which leaves me with $33.09 for the rest of the month. Let’s just hope the ice cream and fish taco stuff I bought today lasts me a while!

Managing Money

Mayday Mayday: My Spending Habits Need Saving

Ahh, the first of May. A day to celebrate the impending arrival of spring. A day filled with top ramen haired memes of Justin Timberlake. A day of chaos and anarchy in most large U.S. cites. And for me, a day to reflect on my spending habits during the month of April.

I use an app called Personal Capital to track my spending, and I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love it because it serves a great purpose in showing me how much money I spent in various categories. And I hate it because it shows me how much money I spent in various categories.

I mentioned earlier in the month that I was participating in a Pantry Challenge and was planning on limiting myself to $100 for groceries this month. Drumroll please…. I went $127.51 OVER budget, for a grand total of $227.51. If I break it down, I actually only went about $35 over budget. I spent about $40 in cat food and kitty litter, which I now realize should be in its own separate category. I also spent $53 on liquor and mixers to bring to a party, which I could put into the entertainment category. But regardless of what lame excuse I try to come up with, I still failed at this challenge. I also spent $113 on eating out this month, which I consider to be a high number for me.

Overall, I did have around $400 in unexpected medical and car expenses for the month, which did make my spending higher than anticipated. Even so, I still spent $367 less in April than I did in March! Definitely not something to sneeze at, if I do say so myself.

Based on all of the numbers, I’m going to give myself two challenges for the month of May:

  1. Only spend $75 on restaurants (I’m going out of town for two days, so I’m making that a little higher than I normally would).
  2. $125 grocery budget for the month

If you have any savings challenges for the month of May, I’d love to hear about them, so let me know! Happy saving!