A few of my most popular blog posts have been about overcoming our financial struggles over the past year and I wanted to continue the conversation by discussing 5 stupid things I’ve done with money:
Spent more money on eating out than on groceries:
The first month we budgeted, we took a look at the month prior. We had spent $500 that month on eating out and $300 more on groceries for TWO ADULTS! For about 4 months into our Dave Ramsey baby steps we didn’t eat out at all in order to gain traction in our debt snowball. Our grocery budget, (of course) went up those months.
After a year of budgeting we keep our restaurant budget around $200/month and our grocery budget around $400/month. If we order a pizza, that falls in the restaurant budget. We are trying Hello Fresh this month (I’ll let you know how it goes!) and that will fall into the grocery category.
I’m telling you this because when I first started budgeting, I had no idea how much to spend in each category or what was “normal.” I listen to the podcast “The Financial Diet” and they always talk about how powerful it is to share REAL numbers so I always do.
Being too anxious to check my bank accounts:
I remember the anxiety of being too nervous to check my bank account when I knew it was running low. I thought it was just me but I’ve heard others describe this in podcasts. I’m embarrassed to admit that our annual total of overdrafts fees surpassed $300 one year.
I have a totally different relationship with money now. I commit to checking them every day, quickly filling in the budget items on EveryDollar, and then I’m done! If my accounts are running low I can be proactive rather than reactive. Now this doesn’t mean I’m totally overdraft fee free – I had one just recently but that was totally my mistake of not having the money moved around for a large purchase.
Overall, the anxiety of checking my bank accounts cost us money in the long run. Having the $1,000 emergency savings really helps prevent overdraft fees as well!
Getting my hair cut/colored every 6 weeks:
I’m finally back to my natural color but for over 5 years I spent about $90 – $100 coloring and cutting my hair every other month or so. While this was a “treat” I was also buying more expensive shampoos to maintain my color. In the long run, I realized it didn’t make me look any better or any worse.
Now when I head to the salon, my goal is to leave with a low maintenance hair doo. I DO have a cut and color scheduled for April but I want to make sure the color is low maintenance and able to grow out over the summer without looking unkempt.
Shopping for clothes that weren’t really my style:
I went shopping ALL. THE. TIME. I went shopping for any reason. The truth is, I don’t need to dress up that much. I go to work, I come home. I maybe run the kids to the doctor once in awhile. I don’t need that many clothes. I bought clothes like I was preparing for a weekly photo shoot. Guess what? I live in Iowa and while that doesn’t mean we all wear overalls and plaid, we definitely don’t need a little black dress to enjoy prime rib. In fact, I can get hella good prime rib at the bar two blocks from my house wearing sweatpants and an Iowa Hawkeye sweatshirt.
Quite honestly, my mom tum makes jeans and jeggings super uncomfortable so I invest in quality leggings/workout pants to wear, I invest in some of my favorite brand wear like Nike or I buy clothing supporting my favorite local businesses. I have my godson’s/nephew’s baptism coming up on Sunday and it was so fun to shop for a special outfit for the occasion!
I used to buy and buy and buy without many opportunities to actually wear the clothes. By the time I actually got around to dressing up and wearing the clothes I bought, they were either out of style or out of season.
I’ve definitely changed my philosophy with shopping and it goes something like this: Less is more. Invest in quality. If it isn’t a HELL YES it is a no. Enjoy shopping for special occasions. Invest in comfort, not cuteness. If it isn’t my style, it isn’t mine.
Shopping at the thrift store:
Hear me out on this: I’m all for second hand. Most of my boy’s clothes are second hand. I grew up wearing second hand clothes, I think it is great and I still find some great deals. BUT I am very intentional now about how I spend my money. When I would go to thrift stores, I didn’t PLAN to buy anything before I went into the store which means every purchase was an impulse buy for me.
Statistically (not scientifically just my own observations), if I bought it from a second hand store, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted; just what I happened to find that day. I usually didn’t end up using it and sent it back to the thrift store as a donation.
Now if I am looking for a product, I actually make an effort to research, select and purchase the product I want and not what is just available that day at the thrift store. I’m much more likely to then use the product and I enjoy the “hunt” and shopping for it much more.
To read more on our financial journey, check out these blog posts from yours truly:
And FINALLY the GIVEAWAY WINNERS from my last financial blog post:
- Chelsea Gray
- Shannon Rae
- Julie Langreck
- Sallie Warren
- Christina Gerleman
You all win a Dave Ramsey TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER book – the book that totally changed my life! If you didn’t win the book, I love to give them away so stay tuned! Send me a message on my Facebook page with your address and I’ll get those shipped out ASAP!
If you can’t wait and want to buy the book, here’s an Amazon link: https://amzn.to/39CsJDz
Leave a comment below: What is something you’ve done (or didn’t do) with money that you regret?
My biggest regret was giving all the money control to my husband after we were married. I was single until I was 33 years old and was debt free. When I got married, I just assumed my husband was good at handling his finances only to find out later that he was NOT! We eventually had to consolidate a huge credit card debt of $30,000 in with our mortgage and then another one for $20,000 down the road. I finally took over all financial control and now we are in a much better financial position. My dad taught me a lot about money growing up which was not something that my husband’s father had not done and it definitely was an eye-opener! Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to money.
It used to be that if I got a tax return I would decide what to spend it on. Now if I get one it is SAVED for an emergency if it should arise. And yes it WILL arise and has. But it’s a good feeling to have that cushion.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of Hello Fresh. My daughter in law introduced me to it a couple of months ago. She likes that ALL of the ingredients come with each recipe, and saves on some but not all grocery shopping. They have a mom, dad and two young daughters ( fussy eaters) in their family, and feel that Hello Fresh two nights a week is enough for them. There are always leftovers. I have observed her cook one of the meals and feel that they are not for a beginner cook.