I made the decision to begin saving some more serious money in May. As a starting point, I set spending targets in the various necessary and unnecessary categories of expenses. I didn’t come anywhere near those targets in May, which makes sense considering I set the targets more than halfway through the month. So June was my first opportunity to test my ability to exist within self-imposed limitations.
I’m actually pretty happy with the June results. I didn’t meet every goal. In fact, I went over in quite a few – but only by small amounts. I went over by a lot in a couple. And in a few, I barely spent at all. Plenty of lessons learned along the way, I’m hoping. I felt like I was progressing when I caught myself pulling out my debit card at the drug store and considering which budget category the money would come from, and whether or not I had enough left in the budget for the vitamins, lip balm and gum. This process requires an entirely new way of thinking. I may not be getting all of the answers right. But at least I’m starting to ask the right questions.
June was also the month for cutting back on some services. No more Showtime (I had to wait until the United States of Tara ended). I also managed to negotiate a cheaper rate for the internet, changed the Netflix subscription, and canceled a $15 monthly subscription to a service I didn’t even realize I signed up for a while ago (yeah, I’m that bad). And although not perfect, I did respectably well with taking my lunch to work, helping to significantly reduce the number of trips to the ATM.