March 2012 Budget & Goals

March 2012 Budget & Goals

March is going to be intense! I’m planning on putting 45% of my take-home income on debt, this month. (And no, that is not a typo.) March is a three paycheque month for me and I want to take full advantage of the extra cash, by putting as much as I can onto my credit card debt.

The downside of putting that much money on my debt is that it leaves me with very little wiggle room. To help keep my sanity, I’m going to up my weekly cash budget from $110 to $120 and give myself a couple new challenges. I think if I have other goals to focus on, I’ll be less worried about my limited entertainment (a.k.a. my lack of a social life).

From cutting pizza out of my diet (the only take-out I really eat), to saving and shopping for a new pair of running shoes, March is sure to be an interesting month! Let’s see what else is on the list.

March 2012 Goals:

  • No alcohol
  • No take-out coffee
  • No take-out food
  • Try at least 3 new vegan recipes
  • Save + shop for a new pair of running shoes
  • Workout 3x per week
  • Finish reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • See The Hunger Games movie (probably alone, because my friends haven’t read the books)
  • Then start reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Is it just me or are most of my goals focused around food and my health? Hmm. Should be a good month!

What’s one of your biggest goals for this month?

  • Focusing on health and fitness are good things! You’ll spend less money on expensive junk food and spend less time thinking about how financially deprived you are.
    Those are some great goals.

    • I think cutting out alcohol for 31 days is going to be huge. No extra calories, no hangovers, more energy… yep, I’m pretty excited!

  • Good luck! I’ve been trying to eat a healthier diet, and that has definitely helped with my budget. It’s no fun going to restaurants if you have to watch your calories, and we’ve swapped meat for beans several nights a month to lower our grocery budget.

    • Nice. It’s awesome how much those tiny little beans can help both your budget and your calorie intake.

  • I’m on the healthier diet and exercise kick. Also Hunger Games ROCK! I can’t wait for the movie. I may go pick up a Hunger Games nail polish (by China Glaze) to wear.

  • You will be amazed by how much you save by not buying take out coffee and alcohol. Best of luck.

    • No Starbucks/Tim Horton’s is going to be hard for me. Honestly, it could be the most challenging goal on this list! But I know it’ll be worth it. Thanks!

  • Go C! I have made those peanut butter pretzel bites multiple times and they are always a huge hit. The only problem is that I can’t stop eating them. I have to keep any and all junk out of my house because I have no self-control. I bought a box of Birthday Cake Oreos (oh yes) last week and the entire box was gone in like 4 days. And that was restraint on my part. And I was the only one who ate them. Ugh.

    Good luck on your goals! I’m doing good on my money goal, but I need a fitness goal…hmmmmm.

    • Haha, I might make them and bring half to a friend or to work… I just want to try them so badly!

      And hmm… a fitness goal for you… maybe go on more after-dinner walks around your neighbourhood? Something simple. :)

      • Not a bad idea. Although I really hate being out in the cold rain…

        I did go for a 3 mile walk on my lunch hour on Monday. It was sunny and beautiful outside! I love that absolutely everyone in Portland gets outdoors when it’s sunny. We know how rare those days are here and we all try to take full advantage of it! (It has been raining and 40 degrees F since then.)

        PS – I already ate a cookie this morning. Oops. Definitely bring your pretzel bites to work. Just make sure you get the majority of them out of your place. They are so dangerous!

  • That’s a really ambitious budget! Good for you though, I’m sure you’ll make it through March no problem. Also, I’m dying for the Hunger Games to come out. The whole series is just so good!

  • Haha I just started reading the Hunger Games this week and I’m almost done the first book, couldn’t put it down! My sisters said I wasn’t allowed to see the movie with them without reading the book so I had to read it, but so glad I did! So intense!
    I think I need to do the same as you and cut out take out coffee and alcohol. I’ve been really bad lately and spending too much money on both of those.

    • Alcohol is killer. You think even buying a $10-12 bottle of wine isn’t so bad but then so many other things come into play during a night of drinking: bus money, cab money, food money, maybe more drinks, etc. Bad news!

  • I second Kiwi girl as to the take away coffees and alcohol – you save loads by cutting them out. Good luck!

  • I give you major props for setting a goal of no take-out coffee or food. I did that same thing in January and for the first week I thought I was going to die (haha). But I survived and now my budget and waistline is better for it.

    Chucking 45% of your income towards debt is scary, but it’s a smart move. With your amount of intensity, you will become more financially stable in no time. Good luck.

    • Congrats on doing it in January! I know my body doesn’t need the extra sodium or sugar that comes from take-out food and coffee… and 31 days without it won’t kill me! Thanks Carrie :)

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