I do not do well with extremes of anything. January turned out to be a big fight with and against myself. I will take a new approach in February. In February and for the rest of the year I will attempt to spend more mindfully. I was given this idea by a great post on Money Under 30 ( http://www.moneyunder30.com/spending-diet-a-month-more-mindful-spending/comment-page-1 ). Just when I was trying to figure out what went wrong with my January I stumbled across this post. Just the right words at the right time.
Even though, technically, I did not go over budget in January and did not spend any extra money I consider it a failure. I did not eat nutritionally well and I ran through most of the food that I did have in my pantry. I also ran my car on less than 1/4 tank of gas a lot of the month. That is not good for the car or safe on these cold Canadian winter days.
The driver’s door on my car remained frozen shut in the extreme cold this week. There is good news in that I didn’t feel like making any extra stops with the car so I have only gone back and forth from work. No wasting the remaining pile of loose change on take out chinese food.
As for the car I have decided to live with it. The door freezing shut on extreme cold days is only an inconvenience. The car is mechanically sound and is performs well on the snowy days. I have a little savings account with $30.00 in it. I was trying to move tiny bits of money in to the account to save up for something special and fun, perhaps a trip or cosmetic home repair. Instead that has become the car savings account. I have no idea where I will squeeze any extra money out of the already straight-jacket-tight budget.
Bring on February. In February I will spend more mindfully and use the grocery store gift cards that I got for Christmas and the points from my various credit cards and loyalty cards. The goal will be to get and keep a minimum balance of $600.00 in my chequing account so that I am closer to my total goal of a $1,000.00 balance.
February will bring the start of my weekly fast food or junk food budget. I have set a target of $7.00 per week. I just don’t want to stop completely. $7.00 wasted on fast food each week times 52 weeks is $364.00. It is much harder to justify that line in the budget when I look at the yearly total.