The Tejana Diaries – Part 1

Okay readers, I have been in this new mindset of living paycheck to paycheck for almost two weeks now and I have realized something that makes me a little disappointed in myself: I can’t curb my spending!

Not yet anyway.

In the past two weeks, I’ve made $506.13 in side hustle between tip money and the paycheck I get at the restaurant. This is a pretty sizable amount and over half of what I “need” to live paycheck to paycheck so that I can put my entire take home teaching salary to my loans. I must admit though, it’s been tougher than I thought it would be. Since starting my professional career and earning a salary, I’m so used to spending money pretty much whenever I feel like it (within reason) without worry that I won’t have enough because, of course there will be enough, why wouldn’t there be? Previously, I was putting the bulk of my salary and all side hustle money to loans, but was spending a little extra on fun money (eating out, going out with friends, etc).

With living paycheck to paycheck, it’s been harder to justify spending money, but I’ve still spent some. I’ve been keeping the cash so that I physically see the money I have to work with (so I’ll be inclined to hold on to it longer) and so that that my checking account stays low so I won’t use it on a splurge.

Even with with all the psychology going into how I “see” my money, I still managed to spend $46.41 on eating out these past two weeks. That’s crazy. $11 of that was spent with a friend who is moving out of town, so I don’t mind that at all, but the other $35.41? I’ve allocated $50 to “Misc” expenses in my budget, but still, this money could have gone to much better use.

As for other expenses, here is the two week break down:

Line Item Spent Left to Go Notes
Savings 100 250 This “Left to Go” is money to be deposited. This will happen in the next two weeks.
TollTag 0 40 My account was charged last month, which should last me for the next two months.
Gas 80 80 With my commute, this $80 will definitely be spent.
Groceries 37.35 62.65 I’ve really worked hard to stretch my money at the grocery store these past two weeks and it has worked!
CrossFit 72.25 0 This is an automatic draft each month
Arbonne 98.70 1.30 Yay rollover to next month!
Misc. 133.41 (83.41) $80 was spent on a BHB class which was paid for with “extra” money I already had in checking. So technically, this is really only $3.41 over.

Knowing how to save money and get out of debt and doing it are two different things. I know I’m on the right track, but to make this work I need to really keep my eye on the end goal.

To help make this happen, I’m going to try setting up weekly goals. For the week of February 2-February 8, my goals are:

  1. Spend ZERO dollars on eating out
  2. Put $100 in savings (then I’ll only have $50 more to go)
  3. Make a plan to maximize my credit card points to earn travel credit for the trips I’ll be taking this year (more to come on this)

Darn straight.

Let’s see how this goes!

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10 Comments

  1. You are so committed to this, and that is why I think you will succeed where others fail. It really does take a mindset. Even though hubby and I have never really been in debt, we have also lived on very, very little. Eating out was simply a luxury that could not be afforded. Even today, we only go out about three times each year for a medium-priced dinner. (Old habits die hard!) It was a real treat for our four children, growing up, when we did this. It is a huge money suck. It’s fun, but I always think, “Boy, what great stuff I could have cooked at home for this price!” If you want to meet with friends, the same fellowship can be had over a cup of coffee. 🙂

  2. I could not stop going out to eat at all, but if it were one week goals at a time, I could. Maybe one week on, one off? Also, don’t be so hard on yourself, you are doing crazy good! I can’t wait to hear about your upcoming travels.

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