Last month one of the blog communities I'm a part of (20something bloggers) did a carnival/writing contest about money and friends and peer pressure and how it all works when you're 20 something.
The prize was $100, and although I didn't win I was a finalist. You can check out my entry here if you haven't already read it.
I did read some of the winners posts and one of them talked about how her and her husband would do "no spend months" and honestly that sounds like an amazing idea. Food, gas, and bills. Nothing extra. No bars, no going out to eat, no new clothes or shoes or electronics. Just thinking about how much money I waste on going out to eat/drink alone is enough to make me feel really frivolous with my spending. If I list how much I make on average (I'm hourly, not salary) and my actual bills and gas I have excess of about $345. I usually spend about $85 on groceries for the month, but if I ate out less that'd probably be a little more.
So lets say that I don't eat out at all for the next month... and that costs me about $45 more in groceries which seems logical to me considering how much feeding one person really costs. That's $300 a month I spend on entertaining myself that I could be spending on my savings account which is at a mere $0.02 after my vacation.
I could be spending it on paying off my car sooner, or my student loans. I could spend it on checking out what the rattling noise under my car is that I've been letting go because I know I can't afford another $500 dollar repair like the last time I went in for an oil change. I could be spending it on any number of things that you don't have to leave a tip for.
This month, August, I shall not spend more than I absolutely need, and at the end of the month I'll put all the extra into my savings. In September, if all goes well, I may just do the same.