The April challenge is over! Here’s the full set of update/results posts:
We’re just over halfway through the month of April and it’s time for an update on how we’re doing on this month’s challenge - bringing down our grocery spending.
If you remember the ambitious goal we set at the start of the month, we were looking at trying to spend $880 or less for the entire month. Right now, we’re halfway through the month and we’ve already spent almost $840.
1. We’re human
Put bluntly, nobody’s perfect when it comes to money and we’re not an exception :)
Some of us going higher this month was us stocking up on some longer-term items and buying some treats outside our normal set.
2. We’re actually further through the month
We do our grocery shopping on Friday or Saturday every week and this is one of those months where we get blessed with five Fridays.
What does that mean? That’s five weeks of groceries in one month to contribute to our total grocery bill instead of the normal four.
At this point, we’re actually through three Fridays; In a normal month, we’d be a bit behind our $880 goal but would have line of sight to still finish in the $900’s.
Monthly budgeting isn’t perfect for weekly expenses for exactly this reason.
If we took our $880/month goal but scaled it to accommodate differences in four-Friday and five-Friday months, we’d be targeting $812 in four-Friday months and $1015 in five-Friday months.
It’s still going to be a stretch this month to hit $1015 based on number 1 and number 3, but it’s a much more realistic target.
3. We made some healthy trade-off calls
Becoming financially free should bring the benefit of having more time to invest in our friendships and relationships - but there’s no reason we should wait until we’re financially free to spend good time with people we care about.
Some of our overage so far this month was money we spent entertaining - we had some great friends over with their kids; we bought extra stuff to grill out as well as fruit, chips, and beer.
We had a beautiful Sunday afternoon with friends we really enjoy spending time with - it was absolutely worth every penny :)
Money is best spent on the things that are important to you and this was a key example of that.
Obviously this will be an interesting month for this challenge since our chances of making it through the next 2 weekend shopping trips on under $50 is zero.
That said, we’re still going to watch what we’re spending, see what we can learn from this month, and focus on how to find the right ways to improve in the future without sacrificing what’s truly important to us.
How is your month looking?
I hope your month is going well.
If you’re on-track, congrats - great job!
If you’re not (like me), don’t get down; keep working on it - small improvements build over time to make a big difference.
Find me on twitter and let me know how you’re doing so far this month!