I’m issuing a challenge: Budgetober, which will run from October 1 - October 31 for the 5th year.
The goal for budgetober is set and stick to your budget for the month of October. It’s also vaguely halloween themed. Also it has special forum badges and even a STICKER SHEET for people that complete the whole month.
Here are last year’s stickers
- You must establish a budget, a way to track it, and target amounts for the budget.
- Your categories can be as broad as you like, or as specific as you want. You can even just choose a single amount for the month, You can also track + limit one category if you prefer (i.e. grocery spending, restaurants, or stationary splurges.)
- You’re allowed one week where you wave a magic wand and “re-cast” your budget . This means if you go off the rails in a category, or something big comes up, you can set a new budget for the month. Don’t get discouraged just because you have an off week! Jump back on the budgeting haywagon! (I told you this was halloween themed).
- Each Saturday you use this thread to report how you did on your budget for the week. You can report on where you’re at, and what your biggest challenge and victories of the week were. Then, you’ll put your predictions/goals down for the budget week ahead.
Who This Challenge is For
Maybe you’re already great at sticking to your budget , but you want to try out adjustments to your categories or a low-spend month.
Maybe you don’t currently do a budget , but feel like maybe your expenses are creeping up and want to use October as a chance to do a check-in and see how you are doing.
Maybe you have a pandemic paycut or furlough and need to live on less money for awhile.
Maybe you have a new normal - new job, new family member, new location and need to figure out your new baseline.
Maybe you’ve been spending a bit too much on take-away orders or planners , and want to dial it back a bit. One months seems doable!
Maybe you’re tired of “cleaning up” categories the last week of the month - i.e. moving money from a too-full grocery budget into an overspent takeaway category. So the goal here is to change behavior or reset categories to more realistic amounts.
Maybe you’ve never budgeted before but it feels overwhelming to start. Perhaps one week at a time, for only a month, seems achievable! You don’t have to do it forever, just for October.
What do you get out of participating?
- Deep Satisfaction of trying to stick to a budget this October
- Community support for whatever your budget goals are for October!
- Budgetober success shout outs on the podcast
- A weekly CUTE halloween-themed forum badge for participating in the weekly check-in
- And if you do all 4 week check-ins, you get a STICKER mailed to you. It’s halloween, cat, and budget themed. I will mail these anywhere in the world.
If you’re in to participate (or on the fence and need encouragement), comment below with what you’re hoping to get out of Budgetober and your favorite thing about the halloween season.
Resource List for Budgeting
I AM IN!
I’ll be tracking my entire budget, but I’m planning to do two things:
- Do a full reorganization of my business budget, possibly cancelling several software subscriptions
- tracking a full month of utilities in the new flat, so I can get a baseline
Favorite thing about the halloween season is getting to wear cute fall outfits again instead of just dressing to be cool
We just combined our finances and will be looking at houses fairly soon (possibly in October haha). I don’t have a good handle on any of it yet, so I will be tracking all my categories and just trying to understand wtf is going on.
In. Apparently I have an unplanned* trip to Italy next year with family, so spending is getting very chopped starting now and I’m curious how low I can actually get groceries/essentials given inflation. It’s pretty clear that spending is up just based on tracking, but I haven’t actively been trying to keep things low, either.
*unplanned==leaving towards the end of April so there’s technically like half a year to plan, but I didn’t exactly have “two weeks in Europe” on my calendar for next year prior to talking to parent last weekend.
Track but do not restrict baby incidentals bc it’s a new category and one we go “it’s for the baby it doesn’t matter.”
And then try to stay within an absurd but temporarily affordable $750 for takeout.
I’m debating. I think I’m in.
I’ll be tracking discretionary budget categories (ie. vacation) and food of all types. We have an October trip planned. Plus we included dining out in our grocery budget in May. I don’t think it’s working out that well, but I can’t be sure. October will tell me.
My favourite thing about October is fresh apple cider!
I have a very, very real need to watch spending. I have 2 camping trips planned and the second one is in October. I need to track my spending and also use up a bunch of stuff around there by November 1. This may help with both.
I am IN. Thought I was doing better with my spending because I’ve been able to save more, but really it’s 100% because my income has increased . I track everything but I’ll be keeping an especially close eye on my food budget and misc budget (which is where my athletic hobbies and fountain pen spending lurk…)
also I need a new badge because I have no idea even how old my current one is lol
I’m in! I don’t really do spooky season but this year my favourite thing is the hilarious designs i thought up and am currently painting for my products (basically silly monstrous plants). My husband giggles every time he looks at them. Its the best.
I am reviewing everything except our food spending, which is off-limits.
I’m in! This is perfect timing because I just got back on the YNAB train. My wife and I are taking an anniversary weekend trip at the beginning of October and I particularly want to see how much it costs - not necessarily reduce the cost, but just to figure out how much to set aside for future trips.
I feel like we’ve been doing a lot of shifting around at the end of the month, so my goal is to stay within budget categories, especially in our food categories. I’m not sure if there is any in particular we’ve been overspending from, just moving from one to another, so I’ll keep a careful eye on things this month to give me a better idea of what is coming next month!
As for spooky season, my favorite thing is EVERYTHING. But if I have to pick just one thing, I choose pumpkins.
I’m in. I tracked food last year for Budgetober, so let’s try that again and see what inflation has wrought this year!
I love everything about spooky season except the dread of winter, so all the distractions are good.
I just started keeping track of spending the past 2 days. oof. I need to buckle down and this is the nudge I needed.
I am in \o/
My first time doing budgetober so I’m starting small: budgeting my takeaways and groceries so I can use that money for my stationery shop update by the end of the month >.<
I have an unused monthly budget tracking stationery so gonna repurpose to a weekly budget tracker and make reporting here easier
I’m in! Need to recover from spendier months but also ease into The World’s Longest Christmas Season to which I’m already 10 days late :))
Need to consolidate my tracking between banking apps and paper lists, need to stick to a takeout limit, and need to start assessing the gifts budget
Hello, I have emerged from hibernation to once again participate in Budgetober. This year, I’m actually setting a budget and tracking all my spending; the new strat is that I’m trying a different set of categories.
I’m tempted to make “Pumpkin” its own category, being October. But I think that’ll fall into “entertainment”
Home (rent, bills, cleaning supplies, etc)
Hey Qristy!! Hope all is well.
I definitely need this. I ignored my school loans for years, but just started paying my private ones last year in hopes to get my credit up. Then I bought a house with my partner, so now I’ve got something to lose and can’t fall behind again.
I’m currently paying $300/mo for private loans but federal wants me to start paying $500/mo soon. how the F am I supposed to pay most of my paycheck every month and still live?! I’m freaking out.
Would it help to do a case study? Sometimes it can be helpful for others to ask questions and help you untangle financial things. (Sometimes it’s not at all helpful.)