Friday, August 30, 2013

Mo' money mo' problems

      Lately it's been brought to my attention (by myself because I'm a glutton for punishment I guess) that I suck in the area of self control, specifically with food and money. I've become accustomed to buying and eating whatever I want whenever I want it. Don't get the wrong idea, I'm not going on extreme shopping sprees every weekend or eating a dozen glazed donut burgers (have you heard of those? because EW) all the time, but it's a problem. A Starbucks macchiato and maybe a breakfast sammich sound good this morning? Sure! Coffee and donuts for breakfast the next day? Why not! Seventeen margaritas with dinner? SAY HELLO TO FUN JULIETTE (that was an exaggeration, please tell me you know I wouldn't drink 17 margaritas in one sitting)! Buy a whole outfit when really all I was shopping for was a new top? Just call me Cher Horowitz thankyouverymuch. 

     Food and money: the two go hand in hand for me. I waste money on food I shouldn't eat and then I have to buy new clothes so I spend more money, and then I get upset because clothes don't fit so I buy's a vicious cycle.. I started thinking about where I should start cutting back and was appalled at the bad choices I make. So appalled, that I'm still debating actually publishing this because I'm embarrassed of my lack of self control. But then Brittany had to go and post about her No Spend Month (which is exactly what it sounds like), and a little voice inside of me kept saying this is really applicable to you so just DO IT! So, I am. I've decided:

I'm putting myself on a budget.
Which really shouldn't be this big of a deal. Isn't having a budget like, basic common sense?
Well sure, but it's also common sense not to start painting your nails at 10pm and you don't see me listening to that either.
     Coffee pictures: EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF COFFEE.

     Food pictures: Fries and a drink when I really didn't need it the extra calories or the extra cost.

     Clothes and parking meter: Excessive shopping. Even though I don't really like shopping, when I do shop I just try on ALL THE THINGS and figure that since I don't shop that often I can buy whatever I want. BAD BAD BAD. And the parking meter: I pay to park on the street when I could park in a structure fo' free ninety nine, but the structure is just a little bit farther away. Uh, hello Juliette, if you parked in the structure you would get a block of exercise and save $.75 ya genius.

     Just for fun, here's another fun collage of times when I wasted money. And look at that! It's all on stuff that goes in my mouth. SHAME ON ME. I mean, these were all really really delicious but they were all really really unnecessary.
     So September is going to be a strict budget month. I'm starting it on September 3 because I've already planned for a trip to San Diego with Sami (which I couldn't be more excited about, by the way). I've written it out and I have a budget for each pay period, and a set amount for different things like food, gas, toiletries, etc. I'm using the envelope system. My financial goals for September are:

     -Don't pay for coffee or breakfast in the morning. Drink coffee in the office and bring my breakfast from home.

     -No buying sodas. The $1 sodas from McDonald's add up, and the $2 and $3 sodas at restaurants aren't worth it. I need to be drinking more water anyway.

     -When I eat out, order less than what I think I want because 99.9% of the time my eyes are bigger than my stomach.

     -Don't buy my lunch more than 3 times a week. Once would be ideal but let's be a little realistic.

     -Don't buy things I don't need. Common sense again, right? No. Sometimes when I go to Target and I'm hypnotized by that damn white target I see all the different kinds of mascara and I think yes yes yes, I do need six more tubes, and oh look, I need fourteen colors of nail polish, and is this an ashtray shaped like a koala? OMG I MUST HAVE IT. I can't buy toiletries or anything unless I've run out of what I have.

     I still have some details to work out, like gas, *adult* beverages (ahem margaritas cough cough), and what if I have an unexpected expense? How will I determine what is really necessary and what is just convenience? Like my contacts: I need to order more soon, but are they really necessary? Actually they are because my glasses prescription is reeeeeeally old. And what about getting my hair done? My roots have grown out about 3 inches and it needs to get highlighted, but it is really necessary? (Probably.)

     Also, my first niece is due this month, and I'm planning on spoiling her even more than I already have, so I'm setting aside a special "baby budget" to use on gas to drive to see her (it's a 2 hour round trip) and clothes and books and other stuff that she will clearly need me to buy for her.

    So in September my Twitter and Instagram feeds will probably just be pictures of me being bored and hungry. This is totally doable, right? Have you ever set a strict budget for yourself? Do you have any advice for me? Did I miss anything???

     Gross. Enough grown up talk. Let's bust some Destiny's Child music so I can link up with Whitney.

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  1. We just bought a house and keep saying we are going to make a budget, but two months later it still hasn't happened. And you know what? It's labor day weekend and that means ALL THE STORES are having insane sales. So, ya know, I have to buy something. Can't be helped. Can't wait to hear how your budget goals turn out, maybe I will be inspired!

  2. Woo-hoo!! I love budgets. You can do it!!!

  3. UGH! I tried doing this in August....and I failed miserably. Target gets me EVERY damn time! I just need to stop going in to "buy groceries" I don't end up leaving with 1oz of food (unless you count the Starbucks I paid $5 for on the way in....) Guess I get to try again in September! I hope you have more success than I did....:(

  4. Ugh I need to be a grown up and set myself a budget but the word itself just makes me want to vom. I don't want to be a grown up, I want I spend a my money on drinking coffee from Starbucks twice a day and having cute clothes. Why does that have to be so wrong?!

    On the other hand, good for you! Let me know how your budget month goes! (:

  5. it's crazy how much money you can save with those tricks. i only let myself get coffee on the weekend. then it's more of a treat and I don't spend extra money during the week! also yay for no soda. it's bad for you anyway...

  6. I need to figure out a budget, too. I'm so awful at buying food, drinks, EVERYTHING at Target, etc.

  7. I'm such cheap person, but I still have days where I just let go and spend. I just keep the mindset of a broke person. If you keep telling yourself that you don't have money, you won't spend! I saved $900 this summer (got a job in the last month which made about $250 of it) on the "i'm broke" mindset. If I can do it, you can do it.

  8. fantastic! Good luck in September! let me know if you have any questions about the envelope system!!

  9. Shit. I should probably do this challenge too. But....MARGS! THE MARGS!

  10. I love this! I'm trying to cut down on spending too! The only problem now is that it's becoming fall and I WANT ALL FALL CLOTHES. just sayin!

  11. Whew this is tough! I struggle with it too! All those happy hours & "lets do dinner"s add up! Budgets are not real fun, but they are effective!

  12. Girl, I'm proud of you.... I was seriously thinking of doing a No-Spend month too in Septmber... but since my birthday is in a few weeks... maybe I'll do it in October?
    Anwayz, keep me posted with how it goes! HEARTCHEW

  13. I'm on a budget because I don't have money to not be on a budget, so... feel free to follow me/hit me up for tips on how not to spend money? LOL.

  14. I love this! And i definitely need to do this!! I spend way too much on clothes and shoes, and pretty purses *sigh*. Good Luck though! Maybe I will join you :)

  15. ok so this is EXACTLY the problem I have. you may have some company on this budget thing...i need to save some serious dollhairs

  16. Yes! I did this back in April/May when I splurged on an uber expensive plane ticket for June, and it was a success! I fell off the wagon a bunch of times but still spent way less than I would have otherwise. Good luck!

  17. I need to do this too! I tend to spend frivolously lately and I need to tighten my purse strings.

  18. Oof, I need to do this. My credit card bill is kind of out of biggest thing is the weekends. I barely spend any money during the week (don't really drink coffee, like to bring my lunch and cook dinner) but on the weekends I'm like let's eat out everywhere and drink all the drinks!!

  19. Oof! I can't do budgets. I think about it sometimes. I tell myself that I will. But the problem is I can't ever have realistic goals, instead I declare the most extreme action associated with said goal, like "I'll go on a budget AND become one of those extreme coupon people on TLC!!!"
    I set myself up for failure because I'm lazy and impatient and make very hasty decisions. Whatever. YOLO.
    I have however gotten kind of ok about not spending monies on food. - I ask myself "Would you rather wear $10 in Starbucks treats ON your thighs OR have a new skirt to cover them?"
    I can justify spending $20 at H&M because skipping the food purchases for the day saved me $10 so it's like I'm only spending $10 at the mall. Ya know?

    PS Overnight Oats for breakfast are SO good, the ingredients are cheap, they're super easy to make, perfect for on the go and they fill you up so you can get away with eating a smaller lunch (that you also bring from home.)


  20. here's a comment i left another blogger re: money-saving tips:


    here are some money saving tips that i used in the past:

    1) start a savings acct where you can't touch the money and start an automated withdrawl from your checking acct to that savings. i use INGDIRECT since it gives the most interest where as banks give the shittiest interest and fuck you with service fees etc.

    2) speaking of banks: if you can, switch to a bank that has no service fees. this means you'll have to do all of your banking online and there's like, three ATMs at the most scattered around but at least you aren't getting screwed by those ridic service fees and the inconvenience of those elusive ATMs will prevent you from taking out money.

    3) if you have credit card debt + student loans, go to the bank, consolidate all of your debt into one, get a line of credit, pay all that shit off with the LOC and then only pay the LOC. LOC interest rates are substantially lower than credit cards.

    4) make your lunch and bring it to work. a pain in the ass but seriously, saves major bucks per month. same goes for eating out/ordering in for dinner. reserve only friday or saturday nights for ordering in/eating out but doing that daily really adds up.

    5) all those coffees/breakfasts you grab on the go? make it at home an bring it with you. seriously, that shit adds up. see #4.

    6) if you have an issue with whipping out your credit/debit card, don't take your cards with you and *use cash only*. set a weekly cash limit for yourself and stick to that only. when you have to count the money that's leaving your pocket, you're more aware of how much you're spending and will actually think about what you're buying.

    7) coupon the shit out of everything. a chore but will save you $$ in the long run.

    8) stock up on sales. if you find yourself going through a lot of a certain something ie. toilet paper for shitler, stock up on that shit when it goes on sale. see #7 too.

    9) downgrade as much as possible. instead of buying books, go to the library. borrow from friends. if you have an ereader, there are other ways to get books instead of buying *looks around nervously* (email me about this one).

    if you have a cell plan that's costly, see what other carriers offer. you can often play them against each other by making up bullshit about leaving your current carrier and how another is offering you major discounts for the same package etc. the competition is fierce and companies dole out some major discounts to retain customers. the loyalty and retention agents have a lot of power when it comes to saving customers. a little secret from someone who works in the industry. you're welcome.

    10) wash dishes by hand instead of the dishwasher; install a timer for all lights to save on electricity, open windows instead of the AC and run a fan to circulate the air and keep your place cool.

    Vodka and Soda

  21. You can do it!!! I know you can! It's hard, but worth it. Also, not ordering a soda and drinking water with your meals you eat out is going to blow your mind. You save so much money with that simple step.

    Also, I haven't dyed my hair in like six months. I always thought this was a necessity but then I got super busy, NSM fell on my normal hair appointment time, and I just haven't gone. It's weird, but it's been alright. It helps a lot that I've been slowly having my hair dyed to match my natural color - it doesn't look totally atrocious.

  22. The way I see it, it's better to figure out this whole budget thing while you're still living at home. I'm doing the same thing myself so you're not alone. Once my stupid student loan is payed off I will be taking a closer look at my budget so I can figure out how I will ever live on my own with just my pay checks to support me. Crap, that's a scary thought!

  23. Finally at a darn computer -- anywho. Good for you. Money's tough. I did do a jump start on my budget by purging my closet. I sold a ton of stuff to consignment stores. A) It was nice to have some cash and B) CRAPOLA I paid a gazillion dollars for a lot of the stuff I sold & get pennies in return for basically the same items. Lemme tell you, when you see how little money those clothes are worth you'll think twice about spending it.

    Plus, you should start doing some bartering with local shops in your crib. Get them some Juliette love and get them to pay you in clothes or other goods & services.

  24. I admire your prerogative to spend only on what you need, Juliette. It's hard to stick to that plan because of the temptations to spend. Although it is hard, I believe you have what it takes to get it done and save up. Just keep doing what you're doing now, and I wish you the best in future endeavors! :)

    Hershel Duffey @ Dave Williamson