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5 Ways to Spend the Week When You’re Over Budget

| March 27, 2012 | 24 Comments

You guessed it. I’m over budget for the month of March. Not just a few dollars over, but I’ve increased my budget this month by between one and two hundred dollars, I’m guessing (wow, that is sad that I don’t even know the number). Of course, I’m lucky (if you call it that), since I don’t have to check in with anyone to increase my budget. I simply just spend the money and then log into later and increase my budget after the money’s spent. I realize this is a terrible way to manage my finances and I should stop.

What Happened To Make My Budget So Off?

I don’t manage a budget like your typical personal finance geek. I don’t have sinking funds for expenses that I know I’ll have eventually but don’t have every month, but rather, when they come up, I just spend the money and record it afterword. I seem to get away with this since I have the money and technically don’t have to save for these types of expenses. Not having those sinking funds means that when Kohl’s has clothes that I like and they are on sale, I eat it up. That is an excusable expense, but spending too much out having drinks with friends or on stock photo images for my blog when I could have used my own images, is not so excusable (notice that I took my own image tonight). The reality is, I have been loosening up my belt and spending a little more freely than I have been for the past couple of years. Is this a good or bad thing? Well, on the bright side, I’m living a little again but on the not so bright side, my savings numbers are falling. This month I passed below the 50% savings rate mark (haha).

How I’m Holding Onto My Money This Week

Since I’m over budget to the tune of $100-200, it’s time I put an end to spending this month. Here’s how I’m doing it this week to finish March with a bang:

1. Eating some tasty treats I bought at the grocery store last weekend! – Two boxes of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream to be exact. That’s going to hold me from the temptation of going to Dairy Queen for a treat. It provides me with 10 minutes of heaven each night, and it’s paid for. I got them at 2 for $5!

2. Blogging like a mad man! – Okay, I just have to tell you this and brag a little. I wrote a post last night on personal accountability, referencing my favorite book on the topic and then wouldn’t you know it, the author stopped by to pay this blog a visit, comment a couple times and tweet out my post to his followers, thanking me by name. If that isn’t enough to motivate a person to keep on blogging and that people are actually reading this, I don’t know what is. I’m blogging this week like crazy and I’ve started making a habit of making coffee at 8:30 – 9:00 PM so I can knock out these posts. Is that crazy/unhealthy of me? I just get so tired by then after a hard day at work. Anyway, blogging keeps me busy and stops me from spending money (except for the stock photos that I mentioned above).

3. Staying at the office late, hanging out with my co-workers! – I’m going on two days of staying at the office until 6:30 PM talking to my co-worker/good friends. Work has been crazy lately and it’s incredibly challenging, probably the most challenging it’s been in the 5 years I’ve been there. There is a ton to talk about. How do we do this? How do we accomplish that? What does my boss mean by this? Of course, it’s not all work. We also talk about our side hobbies. Of course I bragged about my blog all day long! Anyway, chilling out and talking after all the work and stress is over for the day is always a fun time. It’s cheap too.

4. Working hard during the day (and bringing a lunch of course)! – Like I said above, I’ve been busting it. Working hard while your at work not only keeps you making money, but it also keeps you from thinking about all the things you want to buy. I know a lot of people who get bored at work go on Pinterest or online shopping sites and can get tempted to buy things. That can’t be good for the wallet , especially if you’re already over budget like I am.

5. Being content with what I have! – This is more of a mindset that it is an activity, but either way, very important. I try to stay content with what I have and not yearn for bigger and better things. I did get tempted to look at houses online the other day….. That wasn’t so good. I’m calming back down though and am convincing myself to be happy with this apartment for a while longer. I just keep reminding myself of how stressful a mortgage would be on me right now as opposed to how OUTSTANDING it would feel like in 2 or 3 years to write a check for my own house, if I decide to, at that time. That train of thought keeps me plugging away. It reminds me how worth it all of this hard work is. I can do this. I can do this.

There you have it. I’m spending my week being cheap, eating in, working hard and blogging like crazy. It’s not the most exciting week, but it’s a piece of a much larger puzzle called my future.

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Category: Living Cheap

Comments (24)

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  1. Modest Money says:

    Nice! Congrats on getting that author to stop by and comment on your post and tweet about it. That would feel very rewarding.

    While you are over budget this month, it sounds like you’ve got it all under control. At least you don’t seemed stressed about it and are just tightening up the spending for the rest of the month.

  2. Amy says:

    Please start taking more of your own photos! That ice cream looks yummy :)

  3. Daisy says:

    How you manage your budget sounds exactly like how I manage mine. I don’t know how you sleep after drinking coffee that late!

  4. We’ve all been there and those are some great tips you listed at the bottom. I finally came up with a way to combat the “going over budget” from month to month with what I call my “Roll-Over Budgeting System. I explain it in more detail in my post, but if I ever spend more in one of my categories of my budget, I dip into the roll-over account for that category.

    Blog your heart out man. Great post.

    Jeremiah Brown

  5. Steer says:

    Very creative piece of writing! I think you could spin total positivity while managing an ant hill!

  6. WorkSaveLive says:

    Kraig, that is pretty awesome that John stopped by! I’m a big fan of his work and have read QBQ. Congrats on that!

    Hopefully you won’t go over budget anymore. It’s never fun to spend more than you make but it’s great you realized it and are done spending $$ for the month!

    • Yeah, I was so excited that John came by. He even commented twice and tweeted at me. Can’t beat that!

      Regarding my being over budget, fortunately, I’m not spending more than I make (it’s actually closer to half of what I make), but just over the budget that I planned on “trying to achieve.”

      • WorkSaveLive says:

        Ah ha! That makes a little more sense. Well…nobody is perfect and even though I coach people on budgeting (and have maintained an EXTREMELY detailed budget for 5 years) I certainly don’t execute or stick to my budget every month.

        It’s okay to go over a bit…you’re just human. Live a little Kraig…live a little. :)

  7. Annabel says:

    Love the honestly as I definitely have similar tactics… and am a monstrous $500 over budget this month due to some unexpected expenses. Uh. There’s clearly some room for improvement over here.

  8. Country Girl says:

    After seeing that picture, I realized I am totally out of ice cream. Thank goodness there isn’t a dairy queen for miles. I love your budget-friendly tips. When I need to not spend money, one of my favourite things to do is plan a my-favourite-movie-night. Just me, my favourite movie and my comfy couch – a great way to spend a night and no spending required!

  9. I liked that the moment you realized that you have went over budget you took every possible step to control it. That shows your commitment. Good work Kraig :)

  10. Good advice. I went over my budget as well this month, however I usually adopt a “screw it I’ll make up for it next month” attitude which I realize is completely terrible.

  11. Daisy says:

    These are all great tips! I find them hard to execute, but it’s a good reminder to be thankful for what you have!

  12. Chris Gold says:

    Catching up on your favorite TV shows doesn’t hurt either and it’s amazing how some of those groceries can get neglected in your shelves.

  13. Miiockm says:

    Some good tips. I’m already trying 2 and 4.

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