Following a budget for 30 days – April 1st to April 30th

For the month of April, I managed to follow a budget that I had set for myself. The lesson of my “account for your expenses” trial a few months ago was that there is no point accounting for expenses if I didn’t follow a budget. So I eventually got around to doing it, and I’m happy to say that I managed to follow it. Despite some unforseen events, I was able to stick between the spending limits that I had allocated to different categories.

It’s not really a trial per say, because it’s one of the things that everybody knows it’s better to do it, than not do it.

I didn’t like to do it, and even after 30 days, I still feel frustrated. I can’t buy everything I want, and any visit to a book shop, or to an electronics shop is excruciating. I even caught myself thinking: that two metre wide big screen TV is only 150 euros/month, just buy it! GAH!

It wasn’t fun at all not going to the restaurant all the time. Or watching my spending when going there. One night was particularly painful. I went to see some friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and now, because I don’t drink alcohol and eat only when I’m hungry, I only had one main course. When the bill came, I asked to pay only my share, as everybody else had had wine, several drinks, and dessert.

Asking for this was painful. There was an uneasiness at the table. I don’t know if it came from me, or from the others, but I didn’t like it. Then I was asked to share a taxi, and I said no, I’m taking the bus.

My friends asked me how come I was watching my spending after I got my new MBA job. Granted, I earn a much better living than before, but I’m still reimbursing student – and credit card- debt. And if I follow my planned budget, there shouldn’t be any improvement in my spending until January 2009. I didn’t really understand why I was being questioned for my choices, and I felt that people thought I was some kind of uncle Scrooge or something.

The same people asked me about week ends to Brittany, London, the South, etc… Right now, I had to turn them down. And this is making me feel like shit, unsuccessful, a loser, etc etc.

Anyway, at least I was able to follow my spending for the 30 days, so that’s one success in all this.

I think that this is part of the learning process, not to give in to every buying impulse I have, so I feel frustrated I am still at the beginner’s stage financially, when they all seem to be doing so well… So right now, no kite-surfing trips, no London trips, and no big screen TV 😦

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5 Responses to “Following a budget for 30 days – April 1st to April 30th”

  1. A Canadian Reader Says:

    Hi Ben,

    Glad to see you back.

    A little suggestion: why not turn your budget upside down and aim to SAVE X per month, or pay down X amount of debt per month? That way, if you’ve reached your goal and still have something left over, you can put it towards a weekend in Brittany (forget the flatscreen TV, not necessary! lol).

    Personally, I would kill for a weekend in Brittany. The last time I was there, you probably weren’t born. Seriously. It was (gasp) 1977. I had quite an adventure.

    Wendy

    • thirtydaytrials Says:

      That is in fact what I do, and therefore, it creates spending limits… Re: my frustration not to be able to take trips, the fact is that I bought myself a lot of fun and travels already on credit. I have travelled the world in the past 2 years, entertained myself a lot, etc, so I’m not taking those trips now because I took them in the past and I’m paying for them… In the future, I know I don’t want to do that, because repaying debt creates some kind of stress, and also, it’s expensive (interest expenses).

      After I finish repaying those cards, my goal is not to buy any more travelling or entertainment on credit… cars or properties are another matter-

  2. A Canadian Reader Says:

    I find my credit cards very useful. I only have one rule: every card gets paid off in full every month!

  3. N Says:

    Blog calling writer – blog calling writer…..
    Houston, do we have a problem?
    😉

  4. A Canadian Reader Says:

    BTW, B. Happy birthday to you too!

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