Friday, April 3, 2015

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned: My April Goals

As I said in yesterday's post, this month the focus is on finances. I have to admit that after my ridiculous spending last month (mostly on stupid shit like fast food and Starbucks), I'm excited to create some goals that will (hopefully!) inspire me to think a little more about my purchases before I whip out my debit card.

 photo April2015Goals_zpsnvs21qzx.jpg
Image provided by Pixabay ( and edited by me.

My April 2015 Goals:

1.  Completely cut out frivolous food purchases. For me, this basically means no fast food on the nights I don't feel like making something at home, no $5 lattes, no dinners out, no going out for drinks (buying a $10 bottle of wine to drink at home is acceptable, though ... I mostly just want to cut back on expensive drinks at restaurants and bars), no going out for ice cream/milkshakes/frozen yogurt, and no snacks and/or coffee drinks at work. I know that sounds like a lot of things to cut out, but seriously ... I can easily spend $9-$15 a week on coffee drinks at work alone. If I add in all of the other stuff I mentioned, my monthly food spending is typically in the $150-$250 range (and that's not including groceries!). That's actually kind of sickening. I'd definitely love to save that money this month, and I'm sure my body will thank me for spending 30 days without gigantic burritos, fried shit, and tons of sugary drinks!

2.  In an effort to keep myself from buying a bunch of random (but delicious!) junk, I'd like to create a meal plan for the month and stick with it. I haven't been making meal plans lately, and it's obvious: last week I got food from a restaurant 6 times. (To be fair, Eric was gone for most of the week and I didn't feel like cooking dinner for just me ... But that still seems like a crazy high number for one week.) Meal plans keep us from saying, "I can't think of anything I want to make tonight, so let's just order takeout/go out for dinner/grab fast food."

3.  Earn at least my first Swagbucks daily goal every day in April. One of my New Year's resolutions was to use Swagbucks more often in an effort to earn a gift card I could use toward the purchase of an expensive item I really want. I've been using Swagbucks every day since January 1st, but I haven't reached my daily goal every day. I've been able to hit it most days, but my first goal is usually pretty high and sometimes I get really busy ... So sometimes it just doesn't happen. This month, though, I'm determined to get the bonus (300 Swagbucks) for hitting my daily goal every day!

4.  Continue putting money into savings. I'm using a fairly aggressive savings plan I found on Pinterest (there are tons of options out there to fit a variety of budgets and savings goals if you're looking for a plan to keep you in check!), and I've been putting money back according to that plan on a weekly basis. I'm actually doing this in addition to what I was already putting into savings each month, and I'm really proud that I've resisted the urge to spend rather than save (for the most part, anyway)! This is almost a "cheat" goal since I know I'll accomplish it, but I wanted to add it to my goals for the month since it definitely falls under the "Finance" category.

5.  Pay at least $50 more on my car payment this month. I paid a little more last month (not much more, but every bit counts!), and I'd like to continue bumping my payments up little by little. My goal is to have my car paid off in another 12-18 months. This seems doable (especially if I keep making slightly higher payments each month). I'm starting small right now, but I'll eventually work up to making double or triple payments each month. (That's the plan, at least!)

I think the most difficult goals for me are going to be cutting out frivolous food purchases and sticking to a meal plan. I mean, I really like food. And coffee. And going out for drinks.

I'm going to be completely honest here and say that I almost caved at work yesterday. Yes, I was ready to throw away my first goal for a Starbucks Doubleshot 2 days into the month. That's just ... Really sad. I managed to resist the temptation, but the fact that I even considered saying, "Fuck it, I just won't make avoiding frivolous food and drink purchases a goal this month" proves I have a real problem when it comes to cutting back on things like that. I'm going to be so proud of myself if I manage to go the whole month without wasting money on junk food/drinks!

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