Budgeted Amount: $1082.55
Half of Income: $1100.00 to include: rent, internet, bus pass, food, gym, everything else.
Over/Under Budget: $134.79
Technically over the half mark: $128.60
I am pleasantly surprised with the challenge. In the sense that I had enough self control to only go over by $130.00 bucks. Looking back, I think I made some good choices with my money- I was not wasteful. There was only one thing that I bought that was… questionable, you can say. But it was a reward for myself, for hitting a milestone on my debt repayment (post on that next week).
To be honest, I found the first half easier than the second, I don’t even know why since I technically had more money to spend in the second half ($110 vs $140). It could have been the timing of certain events or me feeling deprived, or me losing track of how and where I was spending. I also I feel like I cheated a bit since the BF took me out for dinner a few times and I took some groceries from the parents when I visited last weekend.
Don’t get me wrong, $130 over is quite a lot, specifically when the budget is only $250 for stuff.
The things I learned from doing this challenge
1. Giving yourself a set amount of money that can be used however instead of having a breakdown of the money for each category is much simpler. I think I have come far enough in my learning and self control to not blow a set amount of money in one week on crap. One amount is so much easier to keep track of.
2. At the end of the month, the amount spent can still be broken down into the different budget categories.
3. Saying “no” is a thing. If you can’t afford it, or want to spend money on something else, just say no.
4. Finding things to do for free and keeping occupied is not THAT hard.
5. Your thoughts are the most important. If you think frugally, and if you start the day with a “no spend” type of mentality, you can put the thought of spending money out of your head and focus on other things. I find that as soon as I say “oh it’s okay to have a coffee” that’s when the spending starts, “then it’s okay to have a muffin too”. It’s like this: once you started spending money it’s easy to keep spending money that day.
6. Feeling deprived and feeling like you just want to give up and spend ALLLL the money, can go away if you stay strong, focused on the end goal and distract yourself. Distracting and avoiding are the KEY for staying on track- I simply do not go to the mall.
7. It’s really nice when people offer to pay for things, and you should be grateful, but don’t count on that to always be the case, because that way you are learning nothing from this challenge.
8. Lastly, I learned that this is totally doable, I have proved to myself that budgeting my whole paycheck is not necessary. I can live on less, and I should always strive to.
Even though, I technically failed, I feel like I’ve come along a long way from the past few months…
What are your thoughts on living on half? Any feedback for my challenge?