Week 6 Wins: How new daily habits added up to big savings!
When I started on my goal to use my money more mindfully and pay down our family's debt, I felt uncertain where to begin. I wasn't tracking my daily spending, and I wasn't 100% sure where my money was going. After looking my past spending habits in the eye, I knew exactly what I could cut back on. This information was empowering. It was exactly what I needed to conscience about my spending and make big change.
As I approached week six of my challenge to spend less, I seemed to have hit my stride. Some say it takes 21 days to form new habits, but it seemed to take me more like a month. As a result of the changes I was making, I eliminated a record amount of non-essential spending. Here are the victories I'm celebrating in Week 6:
- I paid an extra $199 toward our debt (in addition to our budgeted monthly payments) by spending almost nothing on non-essential purchases!
- I used accumulated credit card points to pay down our debt by an additional $64.94
- I completely paid off my only department store credit card! (The final $2 payment was a cinch!)
- I pursued a leak credit with our water utility after a major plumbing repair in the previous month, and scored a $300 credit on our utility bill!
- I stretched my $35 per pay period date budget into two great dates with my love, including a pho soup lunch on a day when reconnecting felt extra necessary.
- I had my first week of not paying one cent for parking. Changing this work day habit was difficult, so this small sounding thing felt like a huge success! Especially since it was costing me almost $50 each month.
These successes were the result of better at meal planning, regularly packing snacks and healthy meals to avoid buying fast food, leaving slightly earlier for work so I could find free parking, and resisting the siren song of the soy latte. This does not mean that frugal living had become 100% easy.
A great sale on ankle boots had me browsing unnecessary footwear before I came to my senses. Also in this pay period, I was tempted to shift some of my non-essential expenses (like stocking my office candy dish or purchasing a bottle of wine) to our shared household grocery budget. Mostly I resisted, but I realized that I will need to practice continued discipline in this area to keep our grocery bill on track.
Currently Reading: Vicki Robin's classic "Your Money or Your Life." Highly recommended.