April was a spendy month for us. We received a settlement from a car accident that occurred on our property, so we used some of the money to buy a few extra things for ourselves and our home that were not part of the no spending challenge. We also saved a large portion of the settlement and are very close to our fully funded emergency savings goal! Of course, since I gave myself some leeway with the extra money I am now having a hard time corralling my urge to spend!
I did quite a bit of landscaping and planting flowers in April; spending about 5% of our monthly income on it. I have completed what I planned to do this year as far as planting flowers and perennials go, but I do want to put new mulch down and also get the backyard area ready for grass sometime this summer. I would love to do more and our yard has so many possibilities, but my back protests and so does our budget! :-)
Still needs mulch but looks much better!
I also bought a rug for our library, a yoga mat, four books, and a replaced a few articles of summer clothing that were worn or too small. With the clothing, for every item that came in, an item went out, either in the donation box, consignment store, or trash. Our new rug replaced our old one and Chad now uses my old yoga mat. As you see below, I have plenty of space on the bookshelves for the four new books. Two of the books are leather-bound classics I reread every few years, one was a biography on FDR, and one was a novel. All were bought second-hand. I also removed 7 books I'll never read again from the shelf and donated them in an effort to keep my possessions to things that actually add value to my life.
The new rug.
Since we are projected to meet our emergency savings goal soon, I'm revamping the shopping ban. We still want to continue to save so we can replace the flooring in the family room this fall, so we need to tighten up the budget again.
Not only do I want to save for some house projects, I still want to be a conscience consumer and only buy things that are needed or that add value to my life. With this in mind, I've decided to keep a mini shopping ban each month. My plan is to evaluate what I need at the beginning of the month and only buy things on my lists. That makes me have a bit of a waiting period before I buy something that isn't on the list so there is no frivolous spending.
Below is my personal and financial goals for May. Moving forward, I no longer will be sharing a detailed look at our budget each month, but more of an overall look focusing on the positive.
Only buy 1 top: I want to buy one more linen top. I love medium-weight European linen tops for their coverage but coolness in the summer. They are so easy to wash and wear and perfect for home or yard work because of their durability. I own two that are in constant rotation during the hot months. I am on the hunt for a thrifted version as new ones are pretty pricey. A few of my summer tops from past years are pretty thin and see-through and are not at all cool if they are needed to be layered over another top! Other than that, no other personal purchase. No books, clothes, house decor, makeup, pedicures, or anything else I would otherwise spend my personal spending on.
Keep the grocery budget less than 15% of our budget: Last month we went over on our grocery budget with quite a bit of eating out. Now that the farmer's market is on a weekly schedule I am sure I will want to start cooking more with fresh, seasonal ingredients, which will help lower our budget.
Sell on eBay: I have a little stockpile of things I need to list. I need to stop procrastinating.
Paint the basement trim: Phoebe will be going to visit her Dad and his family soon, so I need to paint the trim since I will be free. I will need to purchase a gallon of primer and I already have paint.
Refurbish some of our furniture: Instead of spending money on new things for our home this month, I want to refurbish some of our current pieces of furniture. I would like to strip the table top and also strip and paint the toy box that also doubles as a coffee table. I have all the supplies to do this.
No more landscaping except mulch and grass: I need to stay far, far away from Lowes. :-)
Keep exercising 3-4 times a week: I want to hit a few Friday yoga classes in addition to my Tuesday and Saturday classes, do some hikes if the weather/schedules cooperate, and get out on more walks with Mocha.
How about you friends? How's your budget going? Any personal goal for May?