I did my numbers for January a little bit early (since, knock on wood, I’m not planning to spend anything in the next three days) and I have pretty awesome news.
January 2016 was my lowest expense month in the last 13 months (Jan ‘-15 to Jan ’16 inclusively). This month I spent $1,324.54 on my needs and my wants, and spent $0 on eating out. For reference, last January, I spent $2,241, which is a $900 difference!
Now, all of that wasn’t savings from just avoiding restaurants and drinking (most of it is probably not having a car payment), but it certainly reinvigorates my enthusiasm for cutting out restaurants from my budget. It’s awesome to see the numbers so low, and I think that avoiding restaurants helped me to stay mindful of my other spending and to keep it in line with my ultimate goals.
As a result of my awesome low expenses, I was able to put good money towards my goals:
$500 to retirement (not including payroll deduction)
$250 to “house” fund
$250 to emergency fund
Ideally, I’d love to be able to keep this up throughout the year (we’ll see!) but I know that there will probably be months when I can’t, so I’ve already socked aside $50 in each category for February, hoping that a little bit a time will get me there more easily.
Back in the doldrums of my last post, I told one of my friends that we’d go out to eat on February 2nd to celebrate the end of my restaurant ban. I think now that I’m going to have to come up with something else for us to do because it feels wrong to ruin this much success with the exact thing I’ve been avoiding (kind of like eating a big chocolate cake when you hit your goal weight). Plus, I want to see the same or better results in February!