How I Cut My Spending By 50%

The idea of drastically curbing my spending in October was already on my mind in August. I knew September was going to be expensive — I was traveling to Denmark and Sweden for a week, and I was throwing a bachelorette party for my best friend in Savannah, GA, as well as preparing for her early-October wedding (which meant buying plane tickets and securing hotel rooms, along with other miscellaneous expenses). I could already see my funds diminishing in front of my eyes, and I wasn’t okay with it. I had a goal for what I wanted to save by end of year, and this high-spending month was not helping. So I challenged myself to cut my average expenses in half for the month of October.
The first step was to figure out exactly how much I normally spend. I looked back at my expenditures from June through August using this money workbook (I had decided to exclude the crazy numbers of September since they weren’t typical) and learned that my average monthly flexible spending was $1,025. Most of this money went to food and drinks; by cutting it in half, my October flexible spending budget would be $512.50.
Disclaimer: These figures don’t include my fixed expenses — rent, bills, insurance, unlimited subway card, and a monthly donation of $10 to my alma mater.
With a budget in place, it was time to start saving.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series