Let me just start by being completely honest: February has not been very kind to me financially. I will be the first to admit that yes, I overspent! Yes, I fell for the Valentine ’s Day marketing! And yes, I overindulged a little!
However, this month I also decided to try something new – that is, tracking every cent that crossed my path (and I mean literally, to the cent). As a result of this new venture, I don’t even feel half guilty about what I’ve spent.
As you all know, I am a big advocate for financial literacy and I’m especially fond of budgets. I think it is crucial to know what your money is doing and where it is going.
Of course, as any self-respecting blogger, I practice what I preach and do follow a budget myself. My partner and I keep a pretty rough, pen-on-paper budget where we have written a rough estimate of our monthly expenses. Our little budget serves it purpose by showing us our break-even-point (behold, my Accounting nerd is awakened), or in other words, how much money we need to be able to get by that month.
This is fine and has worked for us in the past – we try not to overspend and ensure that we always have some money left over to put into savings.
However, lately I’ve found that this simple budget is just not enough. With so many expenses coming up for this year, such as needing to save up for a new laptop and servicing our car, our little budget simply can’t cope.
Therefore, this month I have decided to use Excel instead and record every monetary transaction that I encountered – basically, if it has a dollar sign and I’ve touched it, it’s going into the spreadsheet!
Boy, was this a good month to do just that!
As I mentioned before, this month I have spent a lot of money. A lot of this included spending money on things I really should’ve bought earlier.
Luckily, with a new year of university starting, I was able to sell off all my old textbooks and get a little extra cash on the side. Some of this included my old law textbooks which had been sitting on my desk collecting dusk for the past year, so I am glad I was finally able to rehome them.
*Funny side note: I actually started off in Law school but things didn’t work out. Let me know if you guys want me to write a story time about this as I’ve got a bit of financial wisdom to share as to why I dropped out!
What I’ve Loved Spending On This Month:
Accounting Firm Networking Night Tickets
How Much I’ve Saved: $10 (I got a discount as a member of the accounting society at uni)
Why: This was five dollars well spent! As you all probably know by now, one of my goals for this year is to get a summer internship or part-time job at an accounting firm. While I thought breaking into the law and finance industry was hard, turns out accounting comes very close behind too. Having gone to a few industry events last year and realising just how competitive the corporate environment is, I knew that this year I had to step up my game, hence networking events here I come!
The good thing about this networking night in particular is that it also came with free food and drinks. Not only did I get to mingle a bit with some of the best accounting firms in Brisbane, I also walked out hydrated and with a full belly!
Should you buy it: Yes, and here’s why! If business school has taught me anything so far, it is the importance of networks. I have seen firsthand just how having someone know you beforehand can make a huge difference to your career. If you are in a similar situation and think you could benefit from some new connections, I would definitely encourage you to go to some networking events. The best part is that some industry events are even free!
If you are an accounting student such as myself and want to get a job after your degree, don’t wait! Start now and build up those networks and that work experience in order to put yourself ahead. Future you will thank you!
Flowers for My Mother’s Birthday
How Much I’ve Saved: Nothing.
Why: I love flowers! I think they are so beautiful and elegant, making the perfect gift in my eyes for just about any occasion. On this particular birthday, I knew that my mom was under a lot of stress and needed a bit of a pick me up, so I decided to get a bouquet of flowers delivered to her work for her birthday. While I wasn’t able to get her favourite flower which are yellow roses, however she was still very impressed and loved her present.
I know this wasn’t the most frugal or money smart option, however this was a special occasion. Just putting a smile on a loved one’s face is worth more than anything!
Should you buy it: Yes and no. Flowers don’t always have to be such a grand, expensive gesture and can actually be made affordable, such as only getting a single flower instead of a bouquet. However, I think it is up to the person you are buying for. If you know that they will absolutely love this present, go for it! If not, get creative and save yourself some dollars!
Two New Pairs of Converse Shoes
How Much I’ve Saved: $60 (There was a buy 2 for $100 special)
Why: It is not secret that I am a starving university student who tries to minimise costs as much as possible. This means that I avoid driving if I can, catch public transport and walk a lot. Over the last few months, I had noticed that my knock-off snickers had gotten severely worn out due to the constant back and forth trips to uni. I tried putting off replacing them for so long, until one night I came home from uni in so much pain that I couldn’t walk on my left heel for 2 days.
That’s when I decided to put the knock offs in the bin and go for the real thing, hence why I bought two new pairs of Converse! Not only are they super cute and comfy, the new converse design actually comes with a special insole made for protecting you and your feet while walking. I absolutely love these shoes and the new design makes it feel like I’m walking on a cloud of fluffiness – loved it!
Should you buy it: Yes! I think if you love Converse, you would love the new design they have. In my opinion it just makes the shoes last so much longer and feel so much better on your feet. I have the classic black and white ones, however you can find more varieties here*. There’s also a low top here*.
Nescafe Instant Lattes in Cappuccino, Coconut and Caramel
How Much I’ve Saved: $9 (They were half price each) + the cost of buying coffee while I’m out
Why: I love my coffee. Actually, scratch that – I need my coffee! Without a hot cup of comforting goodness, I would not survive my 9 am Ethics lecture. I just wouldn’t! I’d be one of those passed out uni students that you see meme’d all over the internet. Not exactly a cute look.
I’m usually not a sucker for branding or marketing, with my consumer loyalty being limited to what gives me the most value for my dollar. With Nescafe being considered a premium brand in our household, I never actually tried any of their latte kits beforehand as I just couldn’t justify the purchase. Luckily, when the half-price sale came along, I managed to grab three kits to sample.
Let me just tell you now that Nescafe has converted me into a brand believer! Those latte kits are so good! Compared to the ones I tried last month, the Nescafe lattes are frothier, bolder in flavour and pack a stronger caffeine punch. I honestly never thought a brand could make such a difference, especially when it comes to coffee, of all things, but now I am a believer! I am never going back!
Should you buy it: If homemade lattes that taste barista made are your thing, then yes! Take it from someone who is absolutely terrible at making coffee (even though I have a certificate in coffee making), these come out amazing and are fool proof! I wasn’t able to find the exact same ones on Amazon, however I would recommend just going down to your local shop and seeing if they have any. I know that Coles has them in Australia and they do sales pretty regularly.
Entrepreneur Revolution by Daniel Priestley
How Much I’ve Saved: Nothing.
Why: I have already read Entrepreneur Revolution on my kindle last year and already have a review on it here. Over the past month I found myself thinking about a few of the concepts Daniel put forward, especially job security and the impact of technology in the future. I wanted to revisit special areas of the book but found it difficult to do so on my eBook, so I decided to bite the bullet and get myself a hard copy. What I like about this book is that it challenges conventional thinking and puts forward food for thought. While I am not brave enough yet to start my own business, I have found some useful tips and tricks in this book that I have started to apply to my own blog.
Should you buy it: This book is already on our recommended reading list as part of our resources. If you are interested in learning more about entrepreneurship, I do recommend it and you can grab the book here* for about half the price I paid for my copy.
I hope you enjoyed this post and got a little insight into my spending habits. Overall, I am pretty pleased with how February went and have very little spender’s remorse.
I am hoping to curb back the spending a little next month and maybe even try going ‘extreme frugal’ for a week, just to see what happens! Who knows, sky is the limit!
As usual, let’s get the conversation rolling in the comments:
What did you love spending on in February?
Let me know in the comments below!
Being broke is temporary. Being rich is a journey.