January was a fantastic month for us, we had an official DON'T BUY ANYTHING, nothing went wrong in the house, we didn't even leave the house. It was the peak of a global pandemic. I was working from home, and hating that, there were no parties and no place to take the kids. But we did awesome on the budget! So I figure that should be our baseline, "needs only" line in the sand, right? How did we do?
Groceries: $1122 in August compared to $950 in January. Not too far off really, we were going to the store LESS in January and attempted to avoid all junk food... marc and I had "dry january" with no alcohol, so the kids had "no cookies", they told me this was bullshit but somehow survivied.
Restaurants: $423 in August compared to $121 in January. Yeah, I know. Well I will say that $116 of that was one nice dinner Marc and I treated ourselves with to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary! We can do that once a year. January had 7 little one-meal drive through trips and one $60 takeout order. August had 19 restaurant visits. Besides lunches out, there was a trip to the zoo with the kids concession stand lunch, a girls night out I went to, I brought donuts in to work, we had a fun day it hutchison when the cosmosphere was free and had to eat at the famous anchor inn mexican buffet.
Automotive: $118, nothing in January. We did not go to car washes, didn't buy washer fluid.
Pets: $190, nothing in January. We had a pet food order come in ($80) and paid to board the dog while we went camping with my sister.
Shopping: $341 in August, $256 in January. You know, I had it in my head that we were PERFECT during "no buy January" but there was an amazon order on the statement! I never do those anymore. The biggest shopping trip we had in August was a $150 trip to Target for school supplies. Okay, there were a couple shirts in there. But this was after we scoured the house to use last year's school supplies... the schools always re-ask for classroom stuff, paper, dry erase markers, that doesn't just live around the house. Both months were lighter on shopping, to be honest.
Oh, about $60 of January's shopping was to Nintendo for switch subscriptions. We apparently had to do something during pandemic, no-shopping month.
Gas: $327 in August, $118 in January. I guess even my short little work commute is a thing.
Alcohol: $174 in August, $67 in January. No comment.
School registration: $170 in August. Public schools, two children, registration fees for who knows what but this is a thing every year.
Donations: Donations were the same except $150 to Heartspring, an organization that helps kids with special needs, for their annual Pedalfest bike ride. Despite our efforts though Pedalfest has gone virtual. So I'm putting that in the donation bucket.
This all feels like a bunch of little stuff but when I add it all up it's $1500 difference! Which is... about what the totals are. egads! I don't know what to hold my family to, that's the hard part. once you spend less than you make, your motivation is just to not be an overconsuming asshole. where's that line, I always wonder? my family would set it in a very different place than me.