T-Money: Curbing my Spending

No guys, that is not my new rapping name or anything…no Kevin Federline-ing happening over here.  This is just the new series I’ll be starting to help you guys follow me on this very tough CHALLENGE that I’m on….

What challenge you ask???

Well, here’s the thing.  I’m usually very good with handling my finances.  But then again, I’m a broke medical student, relying on scholarships and government loans to help subsidize my education.  I live with my family so I have no bills and pretty much no real responsibilities as far as paying for stuff goes (spoiled?  Definitely.)  But with all of this, I have noticed that lately, I have been doing WAY too much shopping and living above my means. 

It’s kinda getting ridiculous and frankly, it’s unnecessary.  So I’ve decided to incorporate 2 things for the next 3 months (baby steps yall…) to help me get back on track.

1.  3-month Shopping Fast
No, I will not be refraining from buying everything.  This 3-month fast (which will be running from 9/20/2010 to about 12/15/2010) will include me “fasting” from buying the following items:

– Clothes
– Shoes
– Accessories

I know, I know, isn’t that soooo hard????  But honestly, I do not NEED anymore clothes, regardless of what occasions come up.  I think that by God’s grace I will be able to do this.  And I think that the fact that I’m still allowing myself to buy other fun stuff (like make-up, hair products, etc.) will kinda help.  Baby steps….lol

2.  My Budget
That’s right you guys, I made myself a budget.  Why?  Because I realized that I was spending too much on…well…EVERYTHING!  I needed to get it together!  I originally wanted to set a maximum spending limit of $3,000 for the next 3 months (same time period as the fast above), but I realized that that was gonna be cutting it really REALLY close.  So I gave myself a little wiggle room and this is the budget I came up with:

MAXIMUM SPENDING GOAL = $4,000 FOR NEXT THREE MONTHS
***No clothes, shoes, accessories for the next 3 months***
Food = $20/day (yall know how much food means to me; kinda includes groceries so I can start bringing my own food from home)= $1,800 in 3 months
Gas = $40/wk (thank God for Hondas) = $480 in 3 months
School Stuff = $250 (for books and any other supplies) over the next 3 months
Necessities = $30/wk (toiletries, make up, hair stuff, etc.) = $360 in 3 months
Emergency fund = $600 (car breaking down, emergency trips, etc.) over the next 3 months
Fun Fund = $160/month = $480  in 3 months
GRAND TOTAL = $3,970 leaving $30 wiggle room

And these numbers are all personal maximums for me;  I do not have to spend all of the money allotted for each day/week/month BUT I cannot go over these limits.  The less I spend each day, the better.  Seriously, I think this is MORE than enough to keep me content.  There is no reason why I should go over these numbers, other than pure lack of self control…

So What do you guys think?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  I’ve already had a couple of my friends who also were thinking about doing something similar to this to help curb their spending as well, and I’d love to hear what others of you are doing to accomplish this goal. 

What I’m going to do is start a weekly blog series called “T-Money”, where I’ll update you guys on how the week of the challenges have been going so far.  I’m gonna be super honest, sharing with you guys all of my successes, failures, and slip ups.  And I’d also love to know if you guys want to join either of these challenges with me.  I think it will be LOTS of fun and with all of us supporting one another, we can make it! LOL  I sound like such I’m a Shopaholics Anonymous sponsor right now….

Love and God Bless,

– T

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