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Discretionary spending is part of the budget too!

November 13th, 2013 at 08:11 am

I just bought a personal finance book that helps me figure out how to save money with my irregular income. Now that my credit card debt is paid off I wasn't quite sure what to do next.

The answer seems to be save. But I have charged some things to the card the past two weeks. I felt like a failure til I read this book and realized. I wasn't setting aside enough money for what I actually spend each month.

So I calculated out that number and its isn't that much in the grand scheme of things but I'd like to lower it. For now while I still have steady cash flow I'm finally going to accurately allocate money toward my spending trends each month (groceries, eating out, entertainment, shopping - as in buying clothes, a kitchen tool etc)

I'm hoping now that I'm not trying to put every penny toward those other credit card payments by giving myself an realistic "allowance" I can now not feel deprived and use everything that is left over to reach my goals while sitting being able to put gas in my car or have one coffee a week if I choose.

I do worry that I will not save enough before my assignment ends but I haven't finished the book yet either.

My goals for this week's paycheck are:
-Pay off the groceries I charged to the credit card because I ran out of money
-Give myself an allowance so that next week's groceries won't end up on the credit card.
-Plug those holes that have left me just short of the 3 month expense goals.
-If anything is left over apply it to your other financial goals.

And for myself I'd like to finish reading that book. A part of me wishes I had come across it before but in reality I'm happy I did enough on my own and got to a positive point where I realized now that my credit card debt is gone I need to come up with a system so that I don't mismanage my new found "extra money."

Looking at the big financial picture I really haven't done too badly for myself. But I can always do better. This whole financial security thing seems to really suit me lol.

7 Responses to “Discretionary spending is part of the budget too!”

  1. momcents Says:


    What's the title of the book?!

    Looks like a good plan!

  2. Laura S. Says:

    My income is irregular as well so I know it is a bit tricky budgeting sometimes. I would also love to know the title of the book.

  3. Permanent Temp Says:

    The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers and the Self-Employed by Joseph D'Agnese & Denise Kiernan

    ISBN 978-0-307-45366-2

    It's great. I had gotten to a point where I was doing about half of what they suggest but its nice to fill in the other half now.

    I found it when googling for "money management for infrequent income" as suggested by someone in the forums.

  4. Laura S. Says:

    Thanks!

  5. snafu Says:

    Terrific to have found another tool to help get you closer to your goals. I hope you'll find time to finish reading the entire book. It's pointless to beat yourself up over using the CC for groceries. Just pay it off and move forward. Hope it's ok to suggest you take your CC out of your handbag and leave it at home during this transitionary period.

    What is your plan for the holiday season? In my experience, the more planning I did, the more I was able to stick to the plan and accomplish the truly important goals without getting side tracked.

  6. Buendia Says:

    I'm going to look up this book! I pay myself a regular income out of the business, but the business income is irregular, so I am afraid to pay myself very much.

  7. Permanent Temp Says:

    @snafu I have about half of what I intended to spend saved up. I'm hoping to get the rest out of the next two paychecks and then I can finally start buying everyone what I had planned on buying them. I had done that every year though since 18.

    Most of my cc debt seems to have been racked up by eating out and vacations And before that in college/while unemployed I was living off of them just to make ends meet. Last bout of unemployment I didn't touch them at all as I had paid off the 29.99 percent interest card. I hated being unemployed but was really happy I didn't make my situation worse.

    After this the cards will be hidden except for the one I'll give to my husband to hold for me. It's just in case there's an emergency which has happened. I use the credit card to make the payment since I don't carry hundreds of dollars on me at a time. Once the bill finally processes I transfer the money over from the emergency fund to pay it off.

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