Summer budget update


(photo by me)

So budgeting wise, I kind of screwed up in the month of May.  I don’t regret it, but I learned a lot about how I spend.  Part of what pushed me over was buying my new Fiorenzas, which I don’t regret.  But a lot of other aspects fueled my overspending as well.

One: Restraining myself for too long leads to massive over-spending.  I started the month with hardly any money, just enough for groceries and bills really.  Then I got my summer student loan, and suddenly the floodgates opened, and all I wanted to do was spend money.  There were also lots of things I had been putting off, like dry cleaning, alterations, hair cut, new clothes, etc, and they added up.

Two: Stress makes me spend more money. I had my comprehensive exams and my teacher certification exam in the middle of May, right when I got my loan.  During the exams, I was buying lots of vanilla lattes at book stores while I studied, and did a bit of stress relieving shopping.  After I was done with them, I still felt somewhat stressed out so I shopped some more.

Three: Being out of the house makes me spend money.  While my exams were going on, we were also having a dying tree removed from our yard, which meant lots of loud machinery, not exactly a study environment.  Being out of the house so much, I couldn’t always bring my lunch, and thus I spent more.

So yeah, I went over, but at least I learned something and I’m not in a desperate money situation (yet).  May ended my first budget season, so now I’m making one for June, July and August.  I’m hoping that I will have a job as a media specialist beginning in August, but since that isn’t a guarantee, I’ve worked my budget so that my loan should last me through that month.  I took out a little extra for this semester, so that I would have some money to buy clothes for interviews.  I’ve set a separate, $1000 budget for this and other interview related expenses, like getting a hair cut, buying some new makeup (as I’m almost out), etc.

For my regular budget, I’m keeping it similar to how I had it before, with some slight tweaks.  I’m up-ing the amount that I’m allowed to spend on groceries, because I find great joy in cooking, and trying new recipes is good for my health and well-being.  Also, I want to start participating in a local organic vegetable delivery program, which will cost a bit more than buying at the grocery store, but will be much better quality and support a small, local business.

Because this budget period is a bit shorter than the last one, I’m also raising the amount I’m allowed to spend on non-necessities from $400 to $500 a month.  I think this will help me feel less deprived, which will keep me from rebelling and over-spending.

I’m creating loose guidelines for my non-necessities, non-interview prep budget:

Guidelines for non-necessities budget:

  • Shop at thrift, consignment, outlet stores and online primarily
  • Items that can be bought elsewhere: shoes, undies, hosiery, gym clothes, hair accessories
  • Focus on professional and summer wardrobe
  • Work on filling wardrobe gaps

I’m not completely outlawing shopping at malls or non-thrift stores, but I’d like to focus on re-discovering my love of thrifting.  I think that full-on outlawing buying anything new would not be good for me right now, as I would start feeling deprived, and then over-spend anyhow.  Also, with my recent discovery of stores that have items that really resonate with me, like Anthropologie, J. Crew and Ann Taylor LOFT, I’d rather not have a complete ban at this time.

So we’ll see how it goes!


About Diana

Style maven, knitter, crafter, seamstress, one who does not walk the beaten path.
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4 Responses to Summer budget update

  1. Clare says:

    Diana (I almost wrote “Disns” sine I’m rocking the left-handed typing!), I love your budget!!! A weird thing to love, I know, but I think it’s so smart that you’re allotting a reasonable amount of monry for “non-necessities”! Too many people restrict non-necessities so much that they end up spending so much more in rebellion of the budget. I like your way much more.


  2. Sher says:

    When I ban myself for long periods, I too, come out of the flood gates running!


  3. puglyfeet says:

    Thanks for sharing this — you’re immensely brave and I admire you for that.

    Sounds like you have great plan for the Summer, Diana. 🙂


  4. It is great seeing someone actually expereincing budgetting, rather than just hearing about how everyone apart from yourself can do it perfectly. Thank you for sharing your little imperfections with this, you’ve made me realise that budgeting is possible even when we all make mistakes!

    A good thing to learn as I am thinking about buying a house!


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