Sorry for the huge lapse in posting! I swear I haven't forgotten this blog! In fact, it's quite the opposite, so expect a bigger better Naked Ledger sometime soon.
It turns out we're doing really well with our plan to just stop spending money this month. Here's the damage, by category, as of today:
Booze $100, spent $168
Clothes $200, spent ($68)
Dining out $150, spent $14
Entertainment $100, spent $71
Food $700, spent $547
Gas $350, spent $196
Household $300, spent $131
Kids $50, spent $0
Other $50, spent $0
Total Budget $2000, Total Spent $1,059
I can't remember a month when we've done THIS well. Of course, we DID go over budget on booze, but let's be honest, this was NOVEMBER 2008, the month containing the most critical election in my lifetime. I'm sure we aren't the only ones who drank a little extra (either in celebration or to drown some sorrows). We actually bought a couple of bottles of nicer liquor for our Election Night sleepover and that right there was $70, so it explains our overage. Booze is spendy in Washington.
I think the big thing I'm noticing is that I don't even WANT to be spending money right now. The simple act of just making up my mind not to spend was all it took to curb my desire for stuff and things. Sure, the Christmas aisles at Target are bursting at the seams with shiny pretty things (like mercury glass, gah!), but since I know I'm NOT buying anything, nothing calls my name when I walk by. I wish I could say the same thing for dining out, but I am REALLY itching for a date night with Dave. I've been trying to perk up our weekly menus with more exciting fare, but still, a night out sans kids is pretty much a requirement for us. I think this weekend we'll go out to a movie together since there's no way I can wait until December to see Twilight.
I should note that we HAVE still been contributing to the economy this month. Dave and I both did our bonus spending and I'm typing this entry from my new MacBook ($1200 after discount and sales tax). Dave ended up spending a good chunk of money at the gun store, which was sadly unavoidable given the massive run up on guns before and after the election. It was basically buy now or forever hold his peace. I'm just glad that we were able to contain our regular monthly spending, so the only hits our savings account took were the ones we had saved for and anticipated. That's what good financial planning is all about.