Not surprisingly, with one salary and two kids things are tight around here financially. Last week we found ourselves with $30 in the bank and not really sure how it happened. Luckily I got a reimbursement for some church-related expenses for over $300 that will get us to John's next payday. Just before we started eyeing a few good-looking cardboard boxes.
What disturbs me the most is that we don't really know what ate away at our account. Without checking our account activity I can make an educated guess: we frittered it away (likely, mostly me) on lattes, eating out, snacks out with the kids, etc etc etc.
So I've decided to set a new goal for myself starting today. I'm going to try to not spend money for the rest of April and all of May. When I say "not spend money," I'm talking unnecessaries, incidentals, wants instead of needs. Food will still be on the table and I will still wear deodorant. We're going to limit ourselves to eating out or taking in only once every two weeks (we've been doing that too often lately). There will be no more lattes from Starbucks. It will be make-my-own at home. No new crafting supplies; we'll use what we have. If I'm teaching Sunday School, I'll make do with things from home or the supplies at church.
Honestly, we live quite frugally but this month things went off the rails somewhere and I'm not entirely sure how. I keep my spending under control most of the time and I almost always pack our snacks, cook our own meals, and get our books from the library. Obviously I didn't do as well this month.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of April and May go. Last year I took up the same challenge for myself but did it only for a month. I didn't find it too difficult and I saw a real change in my habits afterwards setting me up well for going down to one salary. I need a refresh, a reminder of how I can do better.
Maybe we'll be able to save enough to reach John's stated target of when he'll know that we're financially comfortable:
"Two words: cashew butter."