And while, as Neil put it, “it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk”, it sure is nice.
Today marks the end of my first real week of the cash budget. And I made it. I want to thank everyone who left comments on my last money post. They have all been very helpful. I decided, as a means of transitioning, to start with the cash system. I allotted myself an amount for two weeks. I pulled it out on my payday, as suggested by my cousin, and divided it. If it was all in one lump, I knew it would have been gone before week two began.
So, here’s what happened. I went to the grocery store; out went half my budget day one. Then, day two, I had to pick up a prescription at Target and found a really, really cute sweater. I assessed my money situation. Considered what my plans were for the next six days, and purchased it.
Pause a moment and think about that. I considered before purchasing a non-necessity item. Not all of you will appreciate how major that is, but I assure you, it is HUGE.
I was left with almost enough money for the rest of my plans, which included going out to eat twice, a movie at the expensive theater (sorry, “regularly priced”), and treats. Some of you better budgeting people are probably guffawing in response to my “movie” and “treats”, but remember that this is very, very new for me. New, as in never been done before. It’s about baby steps, my friends. Baby. Steps. So I think $3 over budget is pretty darn good. And for now, that $3 is coming out of next weeks budget.
So, what did I learn? I really do like to spend money, although I knew that. I don’t often think about what the spending means to my life. I can eat out without ordering a soda…not that I did. I really do love to buy books. The money I make can go a lot further than I ever imagined. It is possible to end a pay period with money left over.
What did I sacrifice? A number of new songs on iTunes, most of which I can’t recall. Eating out a few times. The shirt that I wanted in addition to the sweater I purchased. I think that’s it. Or at least that’s what I remember. It just goes to show how impulse buying is really more about the rush than actually wanting the item. I hate when other people are right about my issues. Hate. It.
My goal for this week? Take Lisa’s advice and write down where the cash is going. The “zero-balance” will come, I think.