After fixed expenses that is.
So SM and I are tracking our expenses for this month. Actually, more than tracking; we're constraining them to $20/day so that our out of pocket expenditures are no greater than $600 each.
We aren't touching our fixed expenses such as our mortagages, utilities, student loans, cable, internet, cell phones -- even though those last few are arguably luxuries. After those auto-bill are taken from our accounts, we want to spend no more than $600 each. That may sound like a lot, but it's only adequate. It helps that we both get a commuting subsidy (which doesn't cover my full cost, so towards the end of the month, that will be out-of-pocket). Otherwise, we're tracking our groceries, entertainment, lunches, caffeine fixes and anything else that isn't a routine monthly expense.
It may sound relatively easy, but this $600 must also include anything we buy for each other for Valentine's Day (simple, I told him -- I won't get you anything... he laughed and said that was fine) as well as whatever I spend on my mother for her birthday. Fortunately for me, MY birthday falls outside of this one-month tracking period.
Anway, so far, we've both been pretty good. I have been keeping meticulous track of everything. I haven't engaged in any retail therapy. I eat oatmeal 4/5 lunches in the office and try to get my coffee hit at home in the morning. We've only ordered in pizza once and have been better about eating what we have at home. I don't think either of us has spent more than $100 cumulatively in the past week.
Pretty good, eh?
I do know that I can do this. When I lived in New York City, my expenses were so tight that I was on a $10/day budget. Now, THAT was tough. Of course, I didn't have cable or internet or huge entertainment expenses, but still, it's a deprivation diet when a movie and popcorn sucks up your allotment for two days.
Nevertheless, I did it. It helped that I brought my lunch every day to work. And I am proud to say that I have never. never. been in credit card debt. Which is unsual among my peers. I have more than half a dozen friends who ran up tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt. But I escaped that trap. Probably because my mother is ... um, er... thrifty. And I learned from her example.
But that doesn't explain how my brother ended up with his terrific credit card debt. Hmmm...
Anyway, I'll report out my total after these 30 days. Can I keep it under $600? You betcha'!
Labels: me me me