As I try to make up for March’s unexpected expenditures, I’ve been pretty cheap this month. I’ve been trying to mostly stick to my $300 cash draw — I even went to Chicago for the weekend and funded it entirely out of my monthly cash. So far, if I don’t go crazy and break out the credit card over the next two weeks but just use the remaining $100 in cash that I have, I’m on track to spend less than $1000 this month! (Right now, with all the bills paid and a full tank of gas, I’m at $952 for April. And yes, that includes rent.)
Anyway, doing this has required me to really buckle down on my use of my slush fund. I normally budget $100 a month that I can use for anything I please: typically eating out [since I don’t have a restaurant budget], shopping, and entertainment [tickets to shows]. This month, I’ve only spent $16 from it, for the new Sufjan Stevens CD. I’ve also been keeping a list entitled “things I did not buy in April” — a couple of clothing items, another CD, a cookbook I really want — which, had I bought them all, would have put me at more like $150 free spending money (or $70ish if you don’t count the clothes.)
Although I can handle this
money [Edited: hah! I meant “month” of course but apparently I have $$ on the brain….] of being super cheap, I don’t really like it. Eventually, maybe even next month, I’ll buy that second CD and the sandals (which I really need since my last pair wore out completely.) Probably I’ll get the cookbook too, though I might mull it over for a while. I feel kind of pinched this month, so I’d say I’m reasonably comfortable with my “$100 is ok in a normal month” position. But I’m curious about what all of you guys do. I see some budgets where the “blow money” is nearly nonexistent — where each partner gets $10 or $20 to spend on themselves — and then others where it’s not broken out at all. How do those of you with a tiny amount of free-spending money handle that? Is there anyone who has more like $200 or $300 per person in the shopping/entertainment/eating out division of the budget?