Thursday, September 1, 2011

August Challenge Update and September Challenge

First things first: August Update.  This is painful.  I haven't actually posted the last two weeks of August's challenge update because I fell off the wagon in a BIIIIG way.  While I was on vacation, I clearly lost sight of what my goal was and just stopped tracking my spending.  To make matters worse, I started deviating from the "essentials only" rule and found myself making little frivolous purchases here and there.  Unfortunately for me, my budget, and this challenge, a little frivolous purchase here and there added up to a completely blown challenge.  I'm embarassed to admit that I fell so deeply into that hole that I'm not sure where the surface is again.  So, to try to make up for my abissmal failure of a challenge, I sentenced myself to some serious reflection time (I had plenty of time on my hands since the power was out!) to try to figure out what I could possibly to do get myself back on track.  Obviously, taking just a huge leap in one month wasn't the right formula to success.  So, that brings me to September's challenge. . . .

For the month of September, I have come up with a slightly different way to track my spending.  Instead of cutting myself off from all things "extra", I'm going to save each of my receipts in an envelope in my purse and each week, I'm going to enter each receipt into an Excel spreadsheet budget that I've already set up and each week, I will update what my weekly expenses were for that week.  I'm hoping that just the need to save the receipt, enter it into my budget, and then post it here will be incentive enough to not overspend on needless things.  But, actually getting my expenditures on paper (or on a computer screen.  . you know what I mean!) will help me to identify what areas I'm overspending in so that I can determine what my next steps should be.  For example, if I find that I'm spending too much money on eating out, then I can try to formulate a plan so that I always have lunches/dinners on hand so that I eat out less.  That sort of stuff. 

What about you?  What will you make your challenge this month?

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