Here we are halfway through our first month of the budget, and we’re doing great. At first I was so excited about this project that I was frustrated every day there wasn’t anything to enter into the spreadsheet. I just wanted to do things to move this project along. But then, if I had things to enter, we’d be spending money. Turns out not spending money is fun. It’s a challenge, which I enjoy, and the results of not spending money feel just as good as the results of having some new thing to play with.
Last March, we moved from Minnesota to Washington. We moved from a house we owned to a small, one bedroom unit that we rent. We got rid of a lot of the things we had stored in the house and didn’t want to pay to move halfway across the country. Since our living arrangement has changed, we had to buy some things to make the small space comfortably livable.
- I built a wall bed that turns into a couch and has storage for all our clothes.
- $2000. But it’s a bed, a couch and a dresser, so I think that’s legit.
- I built shelves in the kids’ room for toys.
- $350. Metal pipes; four colored stains. But it looks nice.
- I built a desk that folds up into the wall.
- $200. Could have saved money. Used solid hardwood. Plywood would be cheaper.
- And just lots of little things that added up.
So finally, after nine months of living here, we’ve decided to stop. It’s hard to stop improving the space, but it also costs money to improve it, and we want to stop spending. So instead of buying a nice lamp to fit in the corner, or a new rug, we’re sticking to our budget. And it feels good.
Right now we’re halfway through the first month and we’re trending under budget for the month. We’ve spent less than $200 on groceries, which I figured would be our biggest issue. So far, not spending money feels good, and we haven’t even spent a tenth of our fun budget for the month.