Money tracking - May
At the end of April I decided I would do another No Spending Challenge in May. Last time I did it, back in March, it went really well because I worked pretty much every day that month, which translated to 100% access to plenty of free food and 0% time to spend any money. However, since I switched to part time, I now have less free food and more time to squander.
Just to cut myself some slack, I gave myself a $250 budget for the whole month. However, on day one I had to cough up $110 for basketball registration, and soon realised maybe I was being too hard on myself.
It became clear to me that the more I restricted myself, the more I wanted to buy things. I wanted to buy stuff just for the sake of it, craving things I didn’t need and probably didn’t even really want - just because I’d set this limit on myself.
I was starting to get stressed. But as Giac rightly pointed out, nobody worries about this but me.
It's true: I don’t have to stick to a budget. I only do it because I’m stingy as fuck and because I hate the idea of Giac providing for me (hashtag smash the patriarchy).
So I had another look at the numbers, and realised that I’m still managing to save money for my trip in September in spite of conceding myself a few coffees a week.
I also came to the conclusion that sometimes keeping my mental sanity requires spending money. For example, on Thursdays I’m loving having lunch in Newtown after yoga and I’ve noticed that this is the time my productivity hits a peak (I reached 40k words in my book at Peoples Coffee last week - the barista witnessed me screaming in joy).
Overall, I'm doing ok. It wouldn't be realistic to give myself a $250 budget and then spend the next 31 days beating myself up for not managing to stick to it. These are all rules I'm setting up to myself, nobody's forcing me to stretch out every single penny and go crazy over it. If I have to spend $10 in order to write 2500 words in two hours, heck yeah I'll do that.
So let's say May served me to figure out how much I’m spending on what during an average month. On a budget inclusive of necessities (i.e. groceries), fixed expenses (i.e. phone) and little treats that keep me sane (i.e. coffee, books, the occasional op shop trip), I calculated that I'm still spending less than half of what I'm earning.
So I mean, why the heck am I stressing so much about all this?
My main goal from now on is to try and stick to that balance without losing my mind over it. Also June is my birthday month and I want to take it easy. I might even get myself that tattoo that I've been putting off for years. After all, tattoos fall in the "Necessities" category, right?