I took a long, hard look at my spending today and decided it’s time to make some changes if I ever want to get out of the small room. I realized I’ve been spending my entire paycheck each month. Well, also my paycheck got smaller when New York taxes started getting taken out in April. Yee-ouch! I have enough savings that I haven’t really noticed until now, but it’s time for that to stop. Spending everything is setting myself up for failure.
So here’s a look at some of the dumber things I’ve been doing and what I intend to change, or at least cut back on.
1.Buying lunch at work. My building is across from Rockerfeller Center. The restaurants downstairs gouge tourists. We get 10% off for working in the building, but even $1 off a $10 turkey sandwich is ridiculous. I can buy bread, turkey, cheese and lettuce and make my own.
2.Buying oatmeal at Starbucks. Again, I can buy a canister of oats, a bag of Craisins and some nuts for far less than I pay at Starbucks. Plus, it would generate less waste than the paper bowl and little packets of toppings.
3.Buying package deals and not using them. I just scheduled two barre classes for this week because the five-class package I bought back in February expires Wednesday. I decided I’m not that into barre anymore. I also have 8 yoga classes left at another place. And a massage-facial Groupon among others. Time to get these things scheduled, and start carefully considering my purchases in the future.
4.Paying full price. There’s really no reason to pay full price for theater tickets or dinners out. So many great apps exist that offer discounts wherever you are.
5.I love Amtrak. I love grabbing a bagel and coffee at Penn Station before boarding the train bound for another East Coast city. But I saved $300 this time by choosing the bus instead. That’s a good chunk of change.
For the record, “reigning in my spending” does not mean skipping food truck runs, never visiting my sister or sitting out on activities. It just means I’m going to pay better attention and make smarter decisions.