Can I spend less than $1,000 in the month of October?
I thought that managing my money and cutting back on expenditures would be easy. However, I set the same goal for September, the same budget of $1,000.
I spent $1,630 in September.
When I had a steady paycheck, that would have been fine. When I'm living off savings to work full-time on a pre-revenue, unfunded startup, going that far over-budget means my savings will go a half a month less than I was planning.
I have slowly begun realizing how frequently I spend money without realizing it, or giving it two thoughts. Coffee at a cafe, eating out when I was too busy to pack my lunch, dealing with an old and poorly maintained motorcycle, buying crappy gas station donuts at 1am after a night of drinking. Ahem.
It seems obvious, but the only way to save money is to stop buying things. During October, I want to see how few things I can buy.
I want to make it as easy as possible on myself, so here is my allotted budget for the month. I am committing to not going over under any circumstance. If my motorcycle breaks down and I don't have the money to fix it, I will take the bus or the shuttle. If I eat out and blow all my money for food, I will scrounge coins to buy ramen noodles. Though I hope it doesn't come to that. Anyway. Here goes:
Cell Phone, $55
Renter's Insurance, $15
Spotify and Evernote Subscriptions, $15
Physical Therapist, 4 sessions, $100 total
Gas, $15/week x 4 weeks, $60 total
Groceries, $25/week x 4 weeks, $100 total ($5 eggs, $5 bread, $5 PB, $5 Coffee, $5 lentils and rice etc.)
Cafe Plaid Bottomless Refill Coffee (ie my office rent), $3 x 20 days, $60 total
When I tallied up all these expenses- bear in mind, this is driving and eating very frugally- that already brings me to $904, leaving only $96 for any unforeseen expenses, splurges, and moments of weakness. Not a whole lot of margin of error.
I was honestly surprised that my "minimum expenses" were that high. Could I cut them back? Sure. Do I want to? Not really. I like working from Cafe Plaid, I need a place to live, and I'd really like for my knee to get better (hence paying the physical therapist). I enjoy an ad free spotify, and I use Evernote so much that paying $5 a month for the premium is a steal. In fact, I wrote this post in Evernote. I need my cell phone to run my business.
We'll see how these 31 days go. I will keep judicious track of all my expenses and report them on here, probably once a week, along with comments on my experience. It will be interesting!
Until next time,
Dillon Dakota Carroll
...sees much and knows much