oh mama.

This challenge is getting a little dire, my friends. Here’s a screen grab from my Mint.com “Budgets” section for the month of July.

Mint.com Budget July 2011

Can you guess what red means? Not good.

To be fair (to myself), the over budget on the Mobile Phone category included an advance payment to my mother for my portion of our family plan for August. The total, however, is red, and that’s what I’m concerned about. It means I spent more money than I made last month.

Since seeing this final report, I’ve decided to do some severe restructuring for August. This kind of planning is the pain I half avoided in the halfway mark post.

Rio, and my dear friend Cara in Rio, and coconut water, and artists’ markets, and art museums, and beach, and juice bars, you’re calling me!

Typically, if I go over budget several months in a row in a certain category, I increase my allotted spending in that category. That means I typically (read: never) save $600 in one month.

So August requires a new approach. Instead of increasing budgets, I am cutting them even more than I did last month, and I’m giving myself a few more specific guidelines.

The rest of this post is note-to-self style, so feel free to stop reading here, give me lots of love and encouragement in the comments, and go manage your money. (Or eat a popsicle.)

Plan B (get it? B, Budget, second try?)

(Nothing to do with birth control. Although, how cool is it that birth control is free with health insurance? One step closer to financial independence, ladies.)

  • Save $200 from my remaining two paychecks [$400 total]
  • Save $25 on rent because a friend is temporarily crashing with us [$425]
  • Reduce grocery budget by $50 [$475]
  • Reduce restaurant budget by $50 [$525]
  • Cut two yoga classes worth $30 from this month (but still do yoga at home) [$555]
  • Cash in 7 years’ worth of spare change for $20.96 (that’s why we need high interest savings accounts) [$575.96]
  • Cobble together the remaining $24 from “extra” savings, like… returning that IKEA curtain rod I won’t be using? Yeah, I’m at a loss.

Has it really come to this? (And why do I have only pennies and dimes?)

Unless… As you may recall from Anita’s brilliant lesson on saving, cutting what I spend isn’t the only approach. I can also make more money.

I could:

  • sell old Barbie dolls on eBay.
  • sell old textbooks on Half.com.
  • Hope MARTA’s Breeze Card rates go up, then buy a bunch in bulk, and resell them at a price between the old one and the new one. (Just kidding, pretty sure this one’s illegal. And then I’d have to pay more for a Breeze Card if I lose mine.)
  • Write a letter to Donald Trump.

 

But perhaps the best way to earn a little more is through my sweet full-time gig at SolDesign. I can get a small commission from bringing in exciting new projects. Do you need a website? Mobile app? Social media strategy? Awesome video? Let’s chat. And I promise to send you a postcard!

(Plug over.)

If not new business, I do need love. And good encouragement vibes.

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Categories: Money

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