Frivolties

I’m a bit of a frivolous person. I only have three things I have a huge issue with spending too much money on, however:

Lolita fashion.

Art supplies.

Tea.

In that order of how much I drop on them. I’ve kept myself from buying any lolita since January, so I’m a little proud of that. I am going to be buying a dress…somewhat…soon. Once I save for it. Art supplies I don’t buy often, but when I do buy them, I drop far too much money on them. Way, way too much because I buy a bunch and hope I won’t need any for a year.

Tea. Tea is a big problem for me. Like, a way big problem for me. I like nice, loose leaf tea. I don’t buy from Teavana for a variety of reasons (overpriced, not great selection, GMOs, etc). But I do buy a lot of tea. I have maybe 40 varieties of tea sitting in my cupboard right now. I have a cast iron tea pot, an electric kettle, a 6 cup tea pot, tea warmers, cups and saucers and I just…

I spend too much on tea. I’m trying to make myself not buy anymore tea this year for myself. I want to try and get through most of my tea and only buy replacements of the teas I buy for health reasons (lavender for headaches, chamomile for anxiety, mint and ginger for bad tummy days). The rest I’m trying to just use up and use up completely. Once I do, I’ll allow myself to restore my stock. Also, tea does go bad eventually…Well, not bad. Just stale.

I’ve spent too much on these three things in the past couple of years. I’m hoping to reign this in. I’m going to only spend money on that one dress and the coordinating pieces to make an outfit until October (Rufflecon!). I’m going to buy no more tea, other than what stated. I’m going to buy no more art supplies, except to replace my bristol boards as I go through them.

So hopefully keeping this in mind, being mindful and aware of my obsessions with these things, and really cutting back on these things will help me save more money and clear out more debt.

Advertisements

End of the month recap

Bills paid: Rent – $525, electric- $89, gas/ride- $40, debt- $25, internet – $75, mobile – $67, big credit card -$200, little credit card- $50

Total spent on groceries: $120 at beg. of month, $43 mid-month, $13 yesterday for some fruit. = $176 Ouch.

Savings account – $230 Oooo. That’s exciting.

Wallet – $13 Not exciting.

Goals for April:

$176 is WAY TOO MUCH MONEY to spend on one person in a month. Geez. How the hell did I manage that? I’m hoping to reduce this a LOT for April. I’m making up a meal plan right now and hoping not to deviate from it. Period. I’m going to use my slow cooker a lot (chicken thighs and wings are cheap, and cook up wonderfully in these).

I might have a penalty from the state of Massachusetts coming my way, which might blank out that savings. Something about an issue with my health insurance last year. You know, the fact I didn’t have any. I do have health insurance this year, however, so I shouldn’t have this problem next year. Unfortunate I’m probably going to end up seeing my savings go away, but very fortunate that I have it at all. That’ll help not have to worry about the fee. Since otherwise I would just be scrambling to try and figure out where to make the money come about from.

I need to put aside $20 this Friday for laundry. My building has a co-op and it’s $2 a full load. I have …$2 left of quarters. That’ll get me through this week. But I’ll need to get some more. I have plenty of detergent and fabric softener for the month. I also have all my other cleaning supplies, so that won’t be an issue.

Money for bills in April:

$525 for May’s rent, $30for gas/ride (I took a week off from work to use vacation hours), $25 for small debt, $200 for large credit card, $50 for small credit card, $66 for mobile, $76 for internet, I also have a $11 subscription and a $10 subscription.

I’m hoping to buy my shelves ASAP for the patio and the pots and soil. I have all the seeds I need, the starting mix, and the little windowsill greenhouses already. I’m setting aside $100 for this endeavor (the shelves are $20 each, I’m hoping to buy at least two). The rest will be for pots, soil, and fertilizers/plant foods/stakes, etc.

Can I do it? Maybe. We’ll see, won’t we?

Pasta!

Eat a lot of pasta? There’s a lot you can do with it, but first… Remember to buy it on sale. I know, I know. Pasta’s dirt cheap. Barely more than a dollar for a package, maybe $1 exactly if you buy store brand. But store brand goes on sale. It sure does. For $0.79 a package. Buy as much as you think you can go through in three months or so when it goes this cheap. You’ll be surprised how fast $0.11 adds up in savings.

What can you do with pasta? Lots. Eating it plain is something I do sometimes, if my stomach is feeling particularly unfortunate. Other times I toss it with just some marinara or pasta sauce, or sometimes just with some butter. But are you bored of that? Probably.

-Toss with olive oil, your favorite crumbled or shredded cheese, and a bit of garlic.

-Throw in frozen veggies in the last minute of the cooking process. Broccoli, cauliflower, peas, corn, onions, peppers… whatever you like.

-Add chicken bouillon to the cooking water.

-Alternatively,cook your pasta in chicken broth/stock.

-Diced up ham, salami, turkey, canned tuna, canned chicken are all good additions (probably separately…), especially for protein.

-Fresh or canned mushrooms, olives, or other similar veggies.

Not another one!

Yes! Another budget living blog! You read it right. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t claim to know how to live on the absolute cheap. But please let us keep in mind I have no roommates, rent a 2 bedroom apartment, and live in a fairly expensive to rent in city. I am an hourly worker, but I work as a cook, so I make a dear bit above minimum wage ($8 in jolly little Massachusetts for min. wage). Generally, I bring in about $1200-1300 a month. Sometimes more if my company feels like giving out overtime. This is almost never.

$1200-1300 a month…is not a lot of money. I don’t own a car because I simply can’t afford one. My rent is nearly $600, so you’re seeing where most of my income is going. I have to throw about $300 at debt related bills a month. I have a $70 phone plan and a $75 internet bill. I also pay $40 a month to a dear little lady who takes me to work every day that is not on the weekend when my dear father can do so. And my apartment is fully electric. I only heat my bedroom in the winter because I don’t like $140 electric bills (found this out the hard way, mind you). My electric bill is anywhere from $20-90 depending on the season.Pretty much, after bills, I have about $100 or so to maybe $200 left over. For food, cleaning thingies, and the like.

Some people would balk at that amount of money. For reasons. Some think that is way too low. Some marvel at the amount left over. I did for a while, too. Because at my last job, I was making minimum wage, working part time (because I couldn’t get full time no matter how much I begged and I couldn’t seem to find a better job at the time), and had a roommate. Granted, it was in Illinois, where things are cheaper. Kind of. My rent was a little cheaper than now, and then was halved since I had a roommate. There were weeks, however, where I had $10 left over. For two weeks’ worth of food.

Yeah. I’m liking this situation a lot better. However, I don’t have much of a savings! This blog isn’t so much to tell YOU how to live cheap. It’s to let ME write down how I’m living and, hopefully…hopefully… end up with a savings for emergencies. I also have this dream of traveling abroad and I would like to save for that.

Also, I am a frivolous person with horrible impulse control. I’m sure this will come up at least once and end up with me parting with my money. My basic idea, really, is to collect cheap, budget friendly recipes, ideas, and other tricks and tips I can use to put away more money at the end of the week. I’ve also made myself only use $300 of every paycheck I receive. The rest will immediately go into savings. Starting yesterday. I started this yesterday!

I went grocery shopping for the month (and also bought toilet paper, lightbulbs, and dishwashing liquid) and came away at $120 spent. Ouch. Let’s reduce that to much lower next time…

I have $150 in savings ($100 went in, $50 is what I had previously started with).

I have $35 in my wallet for…use.

Dear little lady has been paid, cell phone bill has been paid, internet bill has been paid, rent has been paid.

Bills left for the month: Credit card one (the big one!), credit card two(the little one), electric bill.

Goals:

Save for a trip abroad.

Save enough money for a month’s worth of expenses (this is a step goal, eventually I’ll increase this to two months’, three, etc)

Save for a car (maybe).

Pay off both credit cards in full by the end of 2015.

 

I do have a small trip I am making in October to a convention in Connecticut called RuffleCon. So I’ll probably end up with diddly squat by the end of October in savings. We’ll see if I can contain myself. 

I also plan on buying some shelving and pots and such for my patio because I’ll be doing some container gardening! I hope to cut down on a little bit of my grocery bill later in the summer and early fall by growing most of my own produce. We’ll see if I can manage this or if I just give up. Hah.