Setting monthly goals for myself was very useful in the beginning of Mission: Shoestring. I’d been doing it for a couple of months before I started this blog, which came about because I wanted to keep track of what I was doing. Having goals, which have included everything from decluttering to being inventive with a reduced food shopping budget, have been a good way of keeping my eyes on the prize; namely, spending less and saving more.
The tag line for this blog (which I didn’t think too much about at the time) is ‘Learning to live on a shoestring…’ and that’s what it is still all about (though my definition of a shoestring is naturally going to be different to other people’s!). I’m ticking along pretty well now. Having made signifigant cut-backs I now save a large portion of my monthly income – something I never, ever managed before. I don’t really need goals every month – they’d be the same each time ‘£30 a week for food, £20 for spending money’ etc etc. I’m also less keen on setting monthly goals for other things like decluttering, redecoration and all of those other projects. It still all needs to be done but I’m going to try a different approach for a while and see if it works better for me. If I’ve got something specific that needs doing then I might throw in a few goals – but I don’t think it will be the general rule.
My approach to spending has changed completely. I seem to have conquered the mentality of wanting all of those ‘treats’ that over the years have got me into debt, stopped me saving and cluttered my house up! I might do a seperate post about this at some point. But surfice it to say that I am confident I am doing enough on the budgeting and saving fronts to not need to be as strict with myself if I’d like a new top or fancy buying a couple of books. I think I needed the rules in the beginning to keep me on track and to break long established spending habits. Provided I don’t start slipping into those old habits (namely buying more than I need or can use or simply buying things for the sake of it) I’ll give myself free reign with whatever is left after my savings have been put aside.
At some point, I’m going to change my ‘Monthly goals’ page (see tab at the top) to show what I’m now going to be working towards. That way I can still keep track and report back on how I’m doing!
Update: I’ve now changed my ‘Monthly Goals’ page to ”Shoestring Living’ Goals’.