Last month, I participated in a financial challenge. A few months ago, I did an audit of our grocery expenses and I realized we are very reckless spenders when it comes to food, so the Gail Vaz-Oxlade financial challenge was exceptional timing.
The beginning of the month started out incredible. I had a blue piece of construction paper and every night I was excited to update my “spreadsheet”. In the first two weeks of February, we spend $200 each week, I was thrilled. This challenge was a slice. Then something unexpected happened… my blue paper went mysteriously missing. For 14 days, that blue piece of paper was in the same place on the counter, and every night it was updated, then it was G-O-N-E. I quizzed the family members in my home but no one owned up to it. I guess just like unexplained “smells” I’ll blame the dog…
I tried to start a new page, but it just wasn’t the same. I continued watching my spending, I brought my lunch to work and stretched left overs as far as they go. Hubby and I even went out for Valentine’s Dinner, but rather than spending our own money, we used a gift card we had received over a year ago. But truth be told, I lost track of what we were spending, I had to wait until the credit card arrived to get the grand total… hence the lateness of this post.
In the month of February, we spent $1042 on food (from what I could calculate). Gail says that it’s best to use cash, and I do have to agree she’s right. Once the cash is gone, it’s gone; with my credit card, I can spend and spend and spend and it’s easy to lose track (especially when you stop writing it down on that blue construction paper). Within the first two weeks we were on track to spend $800 on food for the month of February, so I’m still going to say $1042 is a win for us. A few months earlier, the bill was closer to $1500.
So, what would Gail say? Well, if I was on the show till Dept do us Part, I don’t think we would get the full $5000. Most likely we would get closer to 1/2 the payout (I blame the dog). But it was a great challenge and experience. I am going to continue stretching our grocery budget and really take care spending. I will also bring out the blue construction paper once again. Writing things down most definitely helped with accountability.
** DISCLOSURE: I AM A P&GMOM/MAMANP&G. AS PART OF MY AFFILIATION WITH THIS GROUP I RECEIVE PRODUCTS AND SPECIAL ACCESS TO P&G EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES. THE OPINIONS ON THIS BLOG ARE MY OWN.
PS. If you’re looking for ways to cut on your monthly expenses, make sure to use up gift card balances and use coupons – but only on items you would purchase anyway. For example, this month alone there will be over $70 in savings on the brand saver website, so take a peek and print off the coupons on items you need to buy anyway.