I went through my records and made a budget with a large investment in paying off debt. While I paid off quite a bit last year without any special efforts at frugality, I think that this year I can follow a stricter budget and perhaps do more.

Looking at my records (and resolving to keep better ones this year), I see areas where I spend discretionary income and I have come up with ways to reduce the costs.

  • Groceries. I don’t actually spend an inappropriate amount on food, and I spend very little on restaurants except when traveling. But I can certainly cut out sweets and snacks and save in that way. I can also reduce waste and impulse purchases.
  • Clothing. Again, I don’t spend inappropriately, especially since I’ve been losing weight. Now that my weight has stabilized, though, I bet I can buy less and make most of my own gear. In fact, I think I now have plenty of clothes.
  • Craft materials. I give in to temptation to buy lovely yarn and fabrics, but this month’s Seamwork makes the point that buying fabric and sewing are two separate hobbies. I can certainly make my stash last all year if I resist temptation.
  • Books. I buy just about one book a week. With a steady supply of novels through Netgalley, I could probably reduce this to two books each month. Or maybe not. One book a week is not much.
  • Travel. I don’t want to travel less, and I think I am fairly frugal when I do travel, but I could do more outdoor activities and skip souvenirs. I think I’d rather cut elsewhere and travel, though.

I occasionally buy things for my home, gifts, and cosmetics. Planner stickers and tools for storage have occasionally caught my fancy. Maybe I should give myself some walking around money — I’ve done that for my husband so he won’t feel burdened by the budget.

I think this plan will work.