this week was really going better budget-wise than last week- um, for a while. by wednesday, i still had $40 in my wallet and no huge plans to spend it. i think it gave me a false sense of security though, because as of this afternoon, i have about $15 left to get me through saturday. i’m not entirely sure where it all went, but somewhere in there i managed to wander into 2 candy bars, a bag of potato chips, and a bunch of other crap food that i definitely didn’t need (especially considering that i can’t afford to buy new pants). which brings me to my current point:
i can’t afford to buy new pants. the good news is that i don’t need new pants right now (luckily i went on a pants buying spree just before i started this crazy financial diet), but i am swiftly building a laundry list of other things that i do need, and can’t really afford on my new budget:
stupid expensive shampoo
even stupider expensive candy cane body wash
pair of headphones with 2 working earphones (i have 3 pairs with only one)
saucy costume for burlesque performance
tickets to upcoming red hot and ladylike booze cruise
ok, so most of those things don’t really count as necessities… and i could get by for a while by condescending to downgrade my personal hygiene back to the bargain bin if i had to… but i feel like i shouldn’t have to. am i just being selfish? have i learned nothing about needless spending? in a way, if i really didn’t have any money, things would be easier. i would just go without because i had to. i would probably whine a lot in the process, but at least the decision would be made. so how exactly do i establish some artificial parameters that will save me from blowing out of my budget, without having to deprive myself of the things that make life life comfortable and fun?
over the last two weeks, i’ve actually kind of enjoyed living on an all cash diet (however meager). i’ve had to scale back a little, but i’ve also stared to learn to pause for a minute before i get spendy, and really evaluate how much i really need/want something before i hand over my precious precious cash. $50 is fine and all for beers and snacks and goodwill runs, but sometimes things break, or run out, or crop up. sometimes it’s reasonable to take just a little bit more. in fact, it may be time to institute a secondary budget.
i actually genuinely can’t afford to stuff my budgetary bra this month. it’s $50 a week and lots of sucking it up and using cheap shampoo. but in august, i will thankfully be able to go back to a slightly more solvent lifestyle- but i’m not interested in undoing everything i’ve learned so far. my master plan is to stick with the $50, but add a 2nd tier budget of $200 a month for fun extras and emergency stuff. it’s messy and dirty and easy to lose… but i’m starting to think that cash is the answer. why am i just figuring this out now? or is there an even better plan that i’m just too dense to figure out?