Tuesday, May 4, 2010

April Recap: Italy, Here I Come (with Money in My Pocket)

Well, folks, the time has come - we're on the brink of booking our trip to Italy!

I can't even express in words how freakin' excited I am!! Especially because, over the last few months, I've managed to save some impressive dough. Before I go into detail about April's savings, here is a recap of the last few months' savings:

Here's how I fared in April:

Groceries: Spent $96.83 within $100/month new budget (old budget = $120/month)
Saved $23.17 from old budget (but lost $17.25 over last few months)
Total saved to date: $5.92

Wine/Beer for home: Spent $25.79 within $40/month new budget (old budget=$80/month)
Saved $54.21 from old budget (saved $10.65 over last few months)
Total saved to date: $64.86

Dining out (not for work): Spent $115.08 within new $100/month budget (old budget=$160/month)
Saved $44.92 from old budget (saved $54.65 over last few months)
Total to date saved: $99.57

Grand total: $170.35
Goal: $720

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself! I just need to save about $550 more to meet my goal, and have about four months to do so. I think I can manage to save $137/month from now until September!

When it comes to sticking to my new budgets, here is how I've managed when it comes to grocery shopping. When it comes to saving on wine/beer for home, I've simply just bought less. With dining out, I've been much better about splitting an entree or appetizers with friends (which, on average, saves me a good $5-10 each time), and have cut back on ordering fancy cocktails and sticking with beer or wine that I enjoy, but is more affordable. I've also just been more aware of prices in general on restaurant menus, and have made smarter financial choices, while making sure to still order food I want to eat - saving money doesn't mean having to eat bad food.

I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised with my ability to become accustomed with this new budget I've put myself on. At first, it seemed extremely limiting - and, although it's still not the easiest budget to live on, it hasn't been impossible - and our trip to Italy will be so worth the discipline.

How have you managed to save money/cut costs in April?

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