Feb 7, 2008

How much discretionary spending do you plan for each month?

So I mentioned previously that we spent about $500 less than we usually do by not buying things just because they're a great deal. And I know that can seem like a crazy number for impulse purchases, so I wanted to explain that this includes things like diapers on sale and stocking up on things we already have plenty of at home.

I was shocked to see how those numbers add up. After all, my "impulse" purchases are often for practical things. Yet I talked myself out of buying clothes for the boys. I talked myself out of buying things on clearance that I might be able to use, including toys that might have been good birthday gifts. I didn't buy things that caught my eye just because "it would be nice to have them on hand." And my menu planning also helped to ensure that I didn't buy much that I wasn't going to use.

I have also made it a priority to declutter my house, and so I try not to bring in things that aren't consumable. That certainly helps keep purchases down as well. It now seems realistic that I can decrease my discretionary spending by at least $250 per month. I can certainly think of many other things to do with that $250 per month - not least of which is to add it to our new car fund!

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