Goodbye March! You were fun and all, but I’m excited to have you done and move onto (hopefully) Spring. I am thinking that not buying things will be a little easier when I can go outside for entertainment.
(If you click that link and don’t know what it is, I am sorry for you and your childhood.)
I had a couple of goals for March. I got a little distracted on the first one of finding two ways to make extra money, but it was a worthwhile-in-the-long-run distraction. Hopefully I’ll get to tell you about it soon. My second goal was to celebrate the boyfriend’s birthday cheaply. I did bake him brownies, buuut I think I ate more of them than he did. And I gave him a gift card to Amazon that I EARNED (not bought) by filling out surveys/answering questions/etc. on Swagbucks. BUT I didn’t really enjoy giving it. I really like giving gifts, not giftcards. I especially love finding that perfect item that just makes someone happy. In the end I felt so guilty, I set a budget for a night out celebrating his birthday, which turned out to be a lot of fun. (However, my nieces have already been informed they’re getting nothing but hugs for their birthdays. I am trusting to my siblings portrayal of me as their “super weird, liberal, tree hugging, makes us all recycle aunt” to cover for me. Thanks, siblings. Who knew it would ever be useful for them to think I’m so odd?) My third goal was to resist a haircut, and I’m happy to say I was successful. My short hair is starting to get those weird flip out hairs on the side and in the back, though, so I don’t know if I can last much longer.
So, let’s get to the savings! Reminder: In January, I saved $208. In February, I saved $345 – which, just to brag, was almost a quarter of my income for the month. Who knew that was even possible? Not me! (Also, if you do that math, you’ll realize I don’t make a whole lot for a girl working two jobs.) Well, for March, I kinda blew that out of the water. I would really like to brag about it too, but the truth is March is one of those strange but exciting months where I got three paychecks even though I’m budgeted on two. So the third went straight to savings. (This happens twice a year on my biweekly paycheck schedule, but somehow in the past it never felt like extra because I just spent all my money until I got more of it.)
I saved $865 in March!
I’m not usually one for multiple exclamation points, so please excuse this.
Ok, I’m done now.
I’m a quarter way through this thing, and some things have changed these past three months. I will never go back to buying my lunch out every day. I miss Pal’s french fries, but not enough to go back to paying for them. I imagine post-spending freeze me might pick them up as a treat once in a while but not every day. Packing and planning for lunch is now a part of my morning routine that I will keep. I’m really working on cutting down the excess in my life (starting with my closet) and have been reading minimalist blogs and books and articles. I’m thinking about doing Project 333 soon. (Google it.) My favorite, though, is learning how much less I can live on without really feeling like I’m missing out on anything. Cheesy? Yes. But it’s true.
One thing I still consider a bit of a splurge is my Dr.Pepper one-can-a-day habit. It’s my coffee, people, my Starbucks, my sanity. I’m not giving it up just yet, although I have a bad feeling I’ll decide to at some point this year. I did stand next to the end cap full of cases debating whether I wanted the one with the $1 off coupon for the Dr.Pepper or the one with the free Redbox rental code. One the one hand, I need to keep my grocery bill down. On the other, renting movies is a “want”, and I could finally rent “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (which was a great book but I’m not sold it’ll be a great movie). I had a little internal struggle in front of that end cap before making the responsible choice, only to have the cashier inform me a short time later that the coupon was only for Orange Crush.
She wasn’t going to accept the coupon directly on the case of Dr.Pepper that said “$1 off now” that I peeled off and handed to her.
Remember how I said couponers are often rude and that needs to be avoided at all costs? I had an inner battle right there in front of her. I stuttered and felt like the little angel and devil were waging war on my shoulders. I believe this gave me a glazed look because she started rambling. She talked about how the “guys in the back went coupon crazy and slapped them on everything”. In what was actually a nice voice, I told her the Snapple group owns Orange Crush and Dr.Pepper. I love Dr.Pepper enough to actually know that fact thanks to a powerpoint I made on the drink in a computer class in high school. Dedication to my beverage. Pretty sure she really thought I was insane after that, and together we must have looked awkward enough for her manager to approach — who told her to accept the coupon. She actually said, “Don’t you ever listen to anything I say? I told you when your shift started we were accepting these. You never listen to anything.” I’m not even exaggerating. The situation went from awkward to highly tense. However, I got my coupon without breaking my own moral code! Success.
I more than doubled what I saved in March!
I’ve done this for three months and am doing well!
Now onto April!