Week #3: Staying the Course

As I talked about last week, my follow through seems to be lacking a little bit these days.  But we have continued to try to stick it out for our financial challenge month.  I will admit, it definitely hasn’t been perfect.  I think this week things slid of the rails a bit because we were busier. When you are busier, it’s just easier to do what is easy, and that often involves not thinking about what money is being spent on. 

For me, awareness and thinking about what I spend money on is the best way to ensure that I don’t over spend.  When I let myself off the hook and don’t force myself to think about what I am buying, why, and its impact on our finances, I can get reckless with my spending. In order to maintain consistency, I need to be mindful about my spending.

Anyway, on to a summary of this week’s spending.


$136 at the grocery store.  This was spent over 5 grocery trips. One with a list and was in preparation for our weekly meal prep.  The other 4 were not really planned.  This is our highest grocery bill for a week this month.  And for me, it really highlights the importance of making grocery lists and sticking to them.

$54 on Pet Supplies.  Our dog is older and has a prescription that she takes daily and she was out, so we picked her up some more.  The prescription lasts around 2 months.  Our cat has also recently been prescribed a new prescription cat food to help with her anxiety.  So we picked up a few cans to try.

$47 on gas.  We filled up our car, a necessity I’d say.

$41 on dinner out.  We went to dinner with my dad after taking a trip to his Dr.  It was his check up to see how his back-surgery recovery is going.  He got the all clear from his Dr. to be more active this summer and it looks like things are going well! 

$200 on a birthday gift for my husband.  I am not going to tell you what I got him (he hasn’t opened it yet!) but I got him something that has been on his wish list for a while now and I did lots of product research to be sure it would last and be a good product.  I am excited for him to open it later this week!

$100 towards retirement.  Every month, I contribute towards my Roth IRA. I don’t have employer sponsored retirement at this point, so I do what I can to put money away for the future.

$3 on coffee at work for my husband.  He works night shift right now, so the occasional cup of coffee is 100% understandable.  Usually, he has a reloadable coffee card for one of the coffee shops in town, but sometimes he grabs a cup of coffee elsewhere.

$8 on pizza.  This one totally falls into the category of quick and easy and was definitely a violate of our non-essential spending freeze.  We slipped.

$348 on credit card payments.  We have a few of our monthly bills on our credit card and we pay them off every month.  This allows us to earn some travel rewards (miles towards trips) and also to be sure that some of our regular bills are paid on time every month.

$224 on my student loans.  I borrowed roughly $21,000 to get my master’s degree, so each month I make my payment.  I have it on autopay, so I don’t have to think about it and I also don’t have to worry about missing a payment.  Having my loans on autopay also reduces my interest rate on all three of my loans by .25%.  Every little bit helps!  This is paid from our savings account and each month we move enough from my paycheck to cover it.


This was our highest spending yet.  There were a few larger expenses, my husband’s birthday, our credit card bill, and my student loans.  But these are expenses that we plan for monthly.  The category that I am most disappointed in this week was groceries. We didn’t make lists, didn’t go to the store that we know saves us the most money, and we went to the store multiple times “for one or two things”.  Which, let’s be honest, never ends with just one or two things in the basket.

Full disclosure, we also spent $3,100 on a trip next month this week.  We booked the trip through Costco, so the price includes our plane tickets, hotels, and the rental car.  I didn’t include this in our spending for the week for a key reason, we save towards future vacations on a monthly basis.  We find that a little goes a long way.  So, this trip, plus food and fun while we are out of town are fully covered by savings and airline points.  Because this comes out of savings, it’s money we already put aside, so it is not current spending.

How do you guys lower your grocery budget? I’d love some tips!

Leave a Reply