I am challenging myself to spend no more than $500 for an entire year, in the discretionary expenditures category.
I am going to do this starting Feb 15, 2023 and ends on Feb 15, 2024.
My discretionary expenditures include the following subcategories:
Clothing (discretionary as opposed to non-discretionary clothing)
Convenience Store Food
Hair, Salons & Spas
“Health” (does it really help or is it just a waste of money… questionable items here)
Movies & TV Shows (cinema, movie rentals, streaming subscriptions)
Museums & Zoos
Music & Concerts
Outdoor Recreation & Parks
Subscriptions (all other discretionary subs)
I just finished a $0 spend on discretionary food (coffeehouses, convenience store, fast food, dining) this past year from Feb 8, 2022 to Feb 8, 2023. Was a great experience for me – I really don’t crave fast food anymore.
But I don’t need to refrain from fast food / dining this coming yearly challenge, I just need to make sure I spend no more than $500 total discretionary which includes fast food, hobbies, etc… (I will definitely will be taking my BF to the fancy restaurant downtown on his birthday – will be $125 for that meal.)
I am not planning on traveling this year so I should be able to do this, to spend only $500 in discretionary for a full year. Even though I spent $0 on discretionary food this past year, I spent nearly $2000 in discretionary expenditures, so if I can cut discretionary down to $500 that will be a 4X improvement in discretionary spending.
If anyone else wants to do a similar thing it’d be cool. Whenever Whatever set amount you like.
EDIT: Examples of some of my non-discretionary items: necessary household items including towels, non-stick fry pan, replacing a broken dish, repairing/replacing broken appliances; house/auto repairs/maint; needed clothing. Anything that is absoulutely necessary is not discretionary. I do try and DIY all I can and buy everything used if possible. Some other non-discretionary items: upgrading very old or broken smart phone with a used newer model. Upgrading a very old computer or replacing a broken one, with a used newer model. Same with iPad. The iPhone, iPad and Computer are all fixed assets for me and necessary so I don’t consider them discretionary at all.