Reflections on a Month of Frugality

It’ll be a month tomorrow since I first started this frugal journey of mine. Though I don’t really feel like I have been a role model of frugality in my first month, I have made significant improvements.

Yesterday, out of curiosity, I decided to re-download Money Lover, the app I had previously been using to track my spending. My spending habits from before attempting frugality shocked me.

MoneyLover

This is what my spending looked like from January. My day-to-day spending wasn’t bad, but every month except for February, I always seemed to justify some huge spend to myself. January was Japan, March was driving lessons, and April was… Actually, April was a lot of things. In February I actually saved really well, but only because I needed to recover from Japan. So basically, for three out of the four months pictured, I spend more than my income, so my savings were going backwards.

Unfortunately, I don’t actually have a similar snapshot into my spending habits for this past month because Money Lover went and got rid of it. However, my total expenditures were only around 1,300,000 won for two people, despite having to fork out 200,000 won for my cat Button to get shaved. That means I saved around 900,000 won! Already a significant improvement!

Despite this great improvement, I still feel I have areas for improvement. I spent about 60,000 won on takeout, with the boyfriend spending more on takeout with his own (very limited) money. This is not only a poor use of our funds, but it’s also quite embarrassing on a health front. Though I enjoy my weekly cheat day (I have lost around 45lb in the past few months), I really need to limit myself on the amount I binge on that day, and perhaps try enjoying treat food that I make myself to cut down on spending in this area.

Anyway, over the weekend I actually started using a new budgeting/money tracking software, You Need a Budget, aka YNAB. The newest version costs $50 per year, but they have a very generous 34 day trial which I am currently using and I’m loving it. Having budgeted for the upcoming month I think my spending will end up being around the same amount as last month, but I’m already liking how much YNAB is changing the way I think about my money and the stress that relieves in turn. I can’t wait to see what the next month brings.

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