My battle with excessive spending

It’s only May 4th and already I’ve spent way too much this month. Some of it is planned expenditures, some of it unplanned, but regardless, when I look at how much money I’ll have at the end of the month after paying for the rest of my estimated expenses, I’m at      -$222.17.

So what I have bought thus far? Here’s a breakdown:

  • Haircut + Products: $147
  • Jeans and a scarf from Urban Outfitters: $95.46 ($40 of this came out of my weekly cash)
  • The Next Day Graphic Novella: $17
  • Going to the movies to see Water for Elephants: $12.75
  • Mother’s Day card: $5.09

Grand total: $237.30 (not including the $40 that came out of my weekly cash allowance). This represents six days of spending (I always start my next month’s balance sheet when I am paid, which is the 28th of each month). I didn’t include any food spending, since I split that with BF and it’s a normal expense we have to incur. I also didn’t include the other $60 I spent in cash (which includes going out to eat twice). My cash allowance is $100/week and I don’t track that too closely, since it’s for fun stuff. But the whole point is to try to limit the fun stuff to $100/week, which, as you can see from above, I clearly have not done this month.

Obviously the jeans and the haircut are the big items. The jeans were an impulse buy, unfortunately. I did need new jeans, as my old ones have totally lost their shape (and I hemmed them too short so they look kind of silly). But I wanted to save up for them before making the purchase. While at the store I had this big debate on whether I should buy the dark denim or lighter denim jeans, and my sister tried to convince me to get both. Not long ago I probably would have listened, but I couldn’t do that now – I knew the guilt I would feel would totally ruin the purchase. So I went with one pair, the lighter ones. I really like them, but still. I should have saved for them.

The haircut was planned, but the product I bought was not. I thought I had enough shampoo and conditioner to last me a while longer but I decided to purchase more, since the bottles are closer to empty than full, and this salon is the only place that sells the brand I like and their location is a bit out of my way. I have really curly hair and the $27 shampoo and $27 conditioner does make a difference, so I buy it. I know, excessive. Curly hair is hard to manage so I need all the help I can get.

On top of this, I have a ton of planned expenses coming up, like $100 on birthday outings, $50 for a wedding shower gift, $100 for softball, $20 in HostGator fees, and $75 for my license renewal. And I don’t even want to think about the $400 I have to spend on wedding gifts in June.

I probably shouldn’t have put $400 into savings on May 1. I should have kept some of that aside for the above expenses. But now that it’s done, I don’t want to take it out, so I’ll just have to make the month work. It might mean putting some of the planned expenses on credit card and paying them off in June, when the bill comes in. I know it’s avoiding the inevitable but next month I can adjust the amount I transfer to savings accordingly. I’m also going to request that my overtime hours (almost 40) be paid out on my next paycheque, so that will help too. I should net an extra $600-$700.

I know that stuff will come up that impacts my budget. I really need to have a miscellaneous line in my budget to include some of these expenses. I also need to work on planning better in general, and not spending all of my money at the beginning of the month. This totally stresses me out until I get paid again. In the past I probably would have overspent again when I get my next paycheque, but now that I’m really trying to watch my spending, I’m going to make sure this doesn’t happen.

This means that I have $280 left to spend on entertainment/coffee/restaurants/miscellaneous etc until June. It sounds like a lot but given how much I eat at restaurants, it’ll probably just get me through until then.

Oh, and my Mac Studio Fix compact broke. That’s $30 to replace. I’ll just have to use the bits and pieces that are left as best I can.

How do you handle overspending?

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5 Responses to My battle with excessive spending

  1. Cassie says:

    I tend to do the feast or famine when it comes to my spending. If I over spend I shut down my spending to nearly nothing until I break and then start spending again. I’m still trying to balance things out and get it back under control. Could you bump up your grocery line at all and make a couple more meals at home to try and bring the eating out spending down? It made a huge difference for me.

    I have curly hair too, so I know what you mean about a good shampoo and conditioner making a difference. What kind do you use?

    • I can totally relate to the feast or famine. That’s what I do too. I may be able to reduce the eating out a bit, but it’s so hard! It’s one of my main activities that I do with friends. I do make my lunches at home and during the week we almost always make dinner, it’s the weekends that are a killer. I’ll have to be more selective about when I do go to restaurants, though.

      I use Deva Curl No Poo and One Condition to cleanse and condition, and I use Kinky-Curly Curling Custard for styling. I bought the Low Poo last night though, figured I’d try something a bit different. The shampoo/conditioner does last around six months, since I only wash my hair once every four days. I’ve been using the stuff for a year and it has totally made a difference.

  2. This is absolutely me. I think: OH I should go to the dentist and get my hair cut this month, but none of it is really planned LOL

  3. Morgaine says:

    I can completely relate! Anyone looking at my spending patterns can totally see a huge spike in spending on and just after payday and on weekends. I might spend $20 during the week (fast) and then $100-200 (feast) on the weekend!

    Your May is starting almost exactly like my April started. I spent too much in the first weekend and then tried to spend the rest of the month not spending at all. Didn’t work 😦 I did alright during the middle but blew it at the end of the month with the last weekend – paycheque :S

    However, May for me is starting out completely different than April. So far I’ve spent a grand total of $13.90. But, this is probably just the fast before the famine. There is Mother’s Day this weekend and my fiance’s 30th birthday at the end of the month. Its going to be an expensive month for sure 😦

    Just do the best you can with tightening up. Maybe try having a potluck with friends instead of going out for dinner? Cassie wrote a great blog post about that 🙂

    Good luck! 😀

    • It really is feast or famine isn’t it… I like the analogy, it relates to a post I was thinking about doing on this topic. I’ll have to quote you!

      And I do like the potluck idea, I’ll have to check Cassie’s post out.

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