Tag Archives: budgeting

My No Spend Attempt

9 May

Ok, so, if you look at No Spend challenges in a very black and white sort of way, I failed. I however, choose to acknowledge the grey in life and think I didn’t do so bad.

no spend challenge

I set for myself a No Spend challenge, it was to last two weeks, and officially ended yesterday. I was allowed to buy gas for my suv, as well as food / household items as needed. Oh, and pay bills, obviously lol.

In that two week period I had two opportunities to donate to charity, one to the Edmonton Food Bank and one to the Vancouver Food Bank, and I donated to both. Neither of those donations fit in any way, shape, or form, to the short list of acceptable purchases but I have no regrets.

I also paid the entry fee for a virtual marathon. This one is a bit trickier. I had intended to wait until the end of my No Spend challenge to buy my entry but found out last week that it was the last day for the early entry fee, which meant that after that date it would cost more to sign-up. I suppose I could have just said I wouldn’t do it, or I could have waited until my challenge was over and paid the higher entry fee, but, well, no. I wasn’t going to miss doing this with my friends, and why would I wait a week and pay more for something when I could buy it that day and pay less?

The No Spend challenge was meant to help get my spending back in line with my budget, that doesn’t mean I stop looking at the bigger picture and spend less on a certain day only to spend even more 8 days later. Sometimes logic is what is in that grey space.

So yeah, technically, I broke the No Spend rules. Ok, not even technically, I did break the No Spend rules but not in a bad way. Not in a I bought more books, or clothes, or some other random item that I don’t really need but I’m bored and saw it online and impulsed bought it way. I donated to charity, and bought something I was going to buy anyways on a day it was a cheaper purchase, how can that be bad?

This is why I tend to shy away from No Spend challenges, and similar things I see in the budgeting world. They don’t always lead you to making the logical purchase, or they may restrict you from an opportunity to help someone else.

To me, I think the better way to go about curbing your spending is to stick to the budget you gave yourself. Maybe you don’t budget, and ya know, if you don’t and that works for you, cool. For me, I budget. I set myself an exact amount of money to be used for gas, food, household items, and other categories. My problem is lately I’ve been going over budget by buying more online, things I never would have bought before, partially out of boredom, anxiety, because outside of work I do nothing and interact with almost no one, and somehow that has led me to increasing my shopping. Not good. Shopping is not a coping skill. I need to stop treating it like one.

Which is why, for the next two weeks, I’m not putting myself on a No Spend challenge, I’m putting myself on a Stick To Your Freakin Budget Challenge. Much more my style, don’t you think? 😉

 

The Death of Math

13 Mar

I budget, as in sit down with a notebook, bill tracker, fun coloured pens, and a calculator, every paycheque and do actual math kind of budget.

I have a love hate relationship with the whole budgeting deal but whatcha gonna do? Somewhere along the way you become adult enough to realize you should properly track your money and that means budgeting.

This whole being an adult thing is such a scam. 😐

To make it suck a little less I use tools I like, because they are cute or in a fun colour or because they make me smile. It might seem childish using brightly coloured gel pens to track my bills but since I don’t recall being told I have to adult in a boring way I choose to adult my way. Which is more cute than boring, and yet still functional…mostly. 😉

Which is why I was sad today when working on the numbers to have my cute calculator die.

Don’t mind the ratty looking savings challenge behind the calculator.

Not all of it stopped working, just the addition button, so ya know, a mildly important button. 🙄 It even feels different when you push down on it so I guess something inside shifted? I dunno. I’ll probably never know, unless I get stuck in self-isolation at some point and am so bored I take the calculator apart…let’s hope that doesn’t happen ok?

It’s not the end of the world, I can use the calculator that’s in my phone, and at some point brave the shops to find a new cute calculator. But for now, in this apartment, I declare math dead (at least for that calculator) and I’m swapping my notebook and bill tracker and fun pens for a cup of tea and a cuddle with the cat. Buh-bye math, see you in a couple weeks!

Receipt Checker

10 Jan

I don’t know about you but until last year I’d go shopping, take the receipt, stuff it in my purse where it would get crumpled down at the bottom and stay there until I got annoyed with it and threw it out.

Receipts

Last January I started budgeting. And not in a vague sort-of not researched type of way. Oh no, I did massive research, read books, watched YouTube Videos, read everything on Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s website (re-watched a bunch of her tv show episodes),  and pestered my parents multiple times a week with questions, sort of way. Hey, if you’re gonna do something, might as well do it right!…or to the best that you’re able cuz oh wow was learning how to budget a frustrating experience. There were a bunch of mistakes made, things I could have done better, a decently large learning curve to navigate but I did eventually manage to navigate it. I learned from my mistakes, took notes so I knew what I wanted to change for 2018, and overall think that starting this whole budgeting dealio was a solid choice.

Now, and all of last year, I take the receipt, write down in a tracker the date of the purchase, what I bought, how much it cost, and I would deduct it from my running tally. Yeah, I became that person.

Today I went to Wal-Mart for some stuff and when I got to the checkout I thought the total was high but didn’t think to question the cashier cause, well, why would I? When I was home, comfie in my sweats, and happy in the knowledge I didn’t have to go out again, I was checking my receipt as I wrote the expense in my tracker (because yes, I’m still that person!) and to my surprise there were two items at the top of my receipt I didn’t recognize.

Now, sometimes the short description on a receipt is not easily translated in to the item you bought but this was a tiny purchase, I only bought 6 things, though this receipt said I bought 8. That and all the other items clearly said what they were and I knew I bought those things.

I had been charged $14 and change for two things I didn’t buy.

Not cool.

I called Wal-Mart, the phone rang over 30 times (not even kidding) and when I finally got a person and told them what happened I was told to call back in ten minutes.

*rolls eyes*

I called back in ten minutes, I stopped counting the rings at 50 but I didn’t stop calling, I just let it ring, and ring, and ring and finally someone picked up. It turned out to be the same lady I spoke with earlier so at least she knew what the problem was.  She asked me a couple questions about the receipt and told me if I came back in tonight she would fix things.

Not gonna lie, I was torn between staying home cozy in my sweats or going back out for a refund of $14 but the cheap side of me won out and on went real pants, up in to a pony tail went the hair, and off I went.

Sure it’s only $14 but every dollar counts, especially when you are budgeting and you know where that $14 should be going…like next weeks groceries!

So lesson learned, take a look at the receipt before leaving the store to not only make sure I wasn’t charged incorrectly but to save me having to change out of my cozy sweats and back in to public appropriate clothing. Really, it’s all about comfort in the end lol 😉

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