Getting ready for a money diet

JanMoneyDietsmallTomorrow being January 1st and the first day of the January Money Diet I thought it would be a good time to sit down and figure out my expenses.  I can’t say that I have made a budget in just over a year.  I know something I should never admit to, but there it is.

I thought I would share how this breaks down and what I hope to have left over.

My expected earnings this month should be approximately $1,000

My set expenses are as follows:

  • Rent (utilities included) $410.
  • internet $45.
  • insurances $37.65
  • Need to purchase a birthday gift $10
  • Food: this is where the budgeting comes in.  I spend more time looking for the organic and whole foods that I enjoy and don’t pay much attention to what I end up paying.  I set aside $200 per month to ensure I will have enough to feed guests, but am going to aim for $100 this  month.  Being as we are in the middle of winter I enjoy soups which are very inexpensive and already have quite a few of the ingredients on hand which will help.
  • Gas:  While I don’t have a car any longer, if I need a ride I give a little gas money to help out.  To be on the safe side I am budgeting $20.
  • New water filter $10 if the local pharmacy has their brand in stock $20 if I have to buy the Pur brand filter.

If I am careful that will leave me with $367 left over.  With my son out of work the car I gave them will need to be inspected, I would like to help them with the inspection so part of my savings will go towards that. The rest will be divided between my savings and my giving account.

Are you joining in on the January Money Diet?  If you join in do you have a goal amount you want to save for  a special purpose?


14 thoughts on “Getting ready for a money diet

  1. I am quite impressed with your sparse budget! I just did my 2013 monthly estimates and it looks like I’ll need to bring in about $1800/month. That does include business expenses, and a hefty stipend for my furry friends, but still it seems a bit steep to me. It doesn’t help that my health insurance premiums went up to nearly $300/month. BUT – by the end of the year I’ll have the mortgage paid off and that will save $500/month, so I suppose it all works out. Still, I admire your tiny monthly “nut!”

    BTW – do you have a phone? I have a landline which costs nearly $40/month – which I’m not giving up since it’s my link to CatMan, but I just wondered how you don’t have to budget for a monthly phone bill…


    • Congratulations on seeing an end to your mortgage!! Isn’t the cost of health care outlandish? I am fortunate, that because I am disabled and don’t make much I get free medical insurance, although dental and vision aren’t included.

      I don’t have a landline, only a cell phone. But I didn’t think to count my phone as I paid for it in December for the year. My son is a manager for T-Mobile and put me on his family plan. My phone costs $10 per month, but it is just easier to give him the entire year’s payment when he comes up on Christmas.

      It wasn’t until I went to refill my glass of water that I realized I would need a new filter this month as my stockpile has run out. While the filters are nearly $20 each, I can get a CVS (pharmacy) brand for half that cost and stock up when they have them in.


    • Sorry to butt in here, but would you ever consider using Skype instead of phoning CatMan? I find it to be great when I’m away from home and want to contact the family. Since you already pay for internet (I’m assuming, please correct me if I’m wrong), it would basically be free to call him.

      Just a thought :)


  2. I’m in! Though I have to admit that we need to buy appliances for the house we are renting out, since we are taking ours with us. That is a planned expense out of savings and shouldn’t affect our savings and spending goals for the month. I hope. Who know what the move will bring. We have a lot of friends and neighbours to feed when they help with all of the moves.


    • I have moved quite a bit over the years so I get the needing to feed the help. The way the January diet is set up, it’s no spending except essentials, I’m thinking appliances to be able to rent your home are pretty essential as are showing your appreciation to your helpers through food. I hate moving in the winter, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed you have good weather while shifting homes around.


    • Glad you will be joining us. I will have to do a link-up for everyone to follow/help each other. I completely understand how it is on Social Security, it seems to get harder and harder for everyone on it to make ends meet.


  3. Yes, I’m in – I don’t buy any “stuff” from Jan 1 to Valentines Day! I do budget in a bit for entertainment, and I have one exception planned – I need to replace my worn-out hiking boots, and will be looking for some on sale.


  4. definitely joining in. I lived on $1000 a month in grad school (paying $545 of that to my rent!) and managed to save a little at the end. My income has grown exponentially and yet the more I make the more I spend. It has to stop for me. We won’t be able to afford to have a baby if I keep spending like this! So I’m going to mumble about my money at Looking forward to hearing the things that you learn. I have a lot to learn from you I think!


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