The first weekend of June, a group of guys will be descending upon Ann Arbor for our good friend’s bachelor party/weekend. It’s going to be a blast, but also a challenge to my frugality. Something like a bachelor party isn’t exactly the most agreeable thing with a very tight budget. It would be very easy for me to say: “This is a rare event, don’t worry about the money and enjoy it.” The first part is certainly true, but I believe I can have my cake and eat it too.
First, looking at my Fiscal April Budget, I spent a total of $214.02 on purely social entertainment. $125 of that was from a softball team fee. That’s actually pretty refreshing – it allows for an easily identifiable goal: If I can limit bachelor weekend to $125, then I am essentially on the same exact budget. Here’s the thing: I think I can come pretty close:
- Tigers Game Ticket: $25
- Gas Driving to Tigers Game: $15
- Drinks at Tigers Game: $15
- Two Nights of Drinks: $40
- Two Breakfast Joint Trips: $15
- Saturday Lunch before Tigers game: $10
- Two Dinners: $25
That comes to $145. Where can I cut? I’ll probably get a few dollars thrown my way for gas, but I’m leaving out any parking costs, so I think that evens out. I can have one beer instead of two at the Tigers game – or I sneak in some booze. This might be the way to go, but really the point of going to a baseball game on a beautiful June afternoon is to enjoy a nice cold beer – not downing some airplane bottles. I know I can do better than $20 a night on drinks in Ann Arbor. Especially if a few drinks get thrown my way since I’m offering up lodging for the out-of-towners. However, there will be times I am buying for the guest of honor as well, so I’m hesitant to cut this lower. I could be stingy about the food I get when we eat out and I think that has to be my focus. There’s no reason I can’t swing dinner in Ann Arbor for less than $10 for the places we’ll be hitting up.
Of course, this is all pretty conservative – I essentially have $125 of room in my budget for this weekend. The question becomes whether or not I can cut elsewhere to give myself some more room. I spent about $89 in drinks/social meals in Fiscal April. If I can hold that to $50, then I have another $39 to spend on that weekend where I am less amenable to being frugal.
SIDE NOTE: Yes, there may be some expenses missing from your typical bachelor weekend. We’re all poor recent college grads and made the decision to enjoy a baseball game rather than engage in that typical bachelor activity. My budget is appreciative.
Work Lunch Previously: $37.07. Goal: $40.00
I’m sticking with my goal of $40. Unfortunately, I’m off to a bad start as a crazy busy week led to me leaving work for lunch on the first two days of the month. That means I need to go all of next week without ordering lunch to get back on pace. Certainly doable, but I’ve dug a bit of a hole.
Take Out – Previously: $48.81. Goal: $40.00
I am going to push it with this goal. Coming in under $50 was a big accomplishment – I spent nearly $100 on take out food in Fiscal March. Now, the goal is to cut it down by one more meal. That is something that is definitely within reach. Baby steps here.
Groceries – Previously: $151.76. Goal: $150
This was tough. I had to get groceries right after my fiscal calendar’s page was turned and have, therefore, already spent $60 on groceries since May 15. However, I did not buy any soda pop on this most recent trip. Last month one of the methods I was going to hit to cut my grocery budget was to work on quitting drinking pop. It didn’t happen. Now I have some more motivation. If I spend the $4/week on 12-packs of Pepsi that I normally do, there’s no way I come in under $150. Let’s do this: Quitting soda pop cold turkey!
Gasoline – Previously: $64.89. Goal: $60
I’m leaving my gasoline goal where it is as well. I wrote about how I unnecessarily went over my gas budget last month, but what really makes me hesitant about trying to lower this more is that it would require even more of a conversion to commuting by bike. While I have enjoyed those commutes, the last week kinda told me that I might not be able to sustain the morning commutes at the rate I was hoping. However, the afternoon/night commutes by bike are definitely still going to happen and should help me stay under $60.
Miscellaneous – Previously: $55.52. Goal: $40
There’s not a ton to say here – things come up and I hope to keep those costs under $40.
These categories (plus others where my goals are $0: automotive, health care costs, clothing) comprise my flexible spending. Last month it came in at $572.06 which was just barely under my goal of $575. The total for this upcoming month is the same with a couple changes either way in some categories. However, I think it will be a bit of a tougher goal to meet without some very focused decisions. And no Pepsi or Coke. Screw that crap.