Occasionally we do need to make a big, unexpected, or fun purchase. Wesley needed a new carseat, I need new post-pregnancy clothes, and Jarrod wants a decent haircut. We could argue, feel guilty, or spend frivolously if we didn't have a budget. Because we have a plan, those expenses become fun!
- We can bargain hunt for Wesley's carseat (we got a great deal on Amazon!) because it's not an emergency and we have the money set aside. We don't need to buy the cheapest, we can buy the most cost-effective with the highest safety rating.
- I need some new clothes for work and instead of scouring the clearance racks to find something that might work for a short time, I can search for timeless pieces at a good price that I can wear for a long time. While clearance is great, it doesn't really save you money if you settle for something decent and not perfect. I don't feel guilty for spending money, I feel great for finding a great deal on something I know I will wear for a long time.
Each month we each have about $40-50 in "blow money" - money we can spend in whatever we want. Jarrod normally spends his on fried rice and Taco Bueno. I don't know how I spend mine but it is normally gone before the 10th of the month. ;)
This month I decided I wanted new make up. I am embarrassed to say I haven't purchased make up since I bought the fancy stuff for our wedding 3 years ago. I know - judge me. So, I decided it was time. I took some of my blow money and wandered the aisles of Target (are you still judging? Yes, I buy make up at Target...) for the perfect shade of eye shadow. I didn't look at the price, I looked for quality products I could wear for work. I purchased a concealer stick (for those dark circles I now sport under my eyes!), liquid eye liner, and pretty eye shadow. I spent about $15 total and haven't given it any more thought. I bought exactly what I wanted and it was within my budget.
We all have things we want or need. Our needs are in the form of inexpensive make up, necessary work clothes, and good quality haircuts. Because we live on a budget, these expenses are planned. We don't feel guilty about them, but we also don't over-spend or impulse buy.
How has your spending changed because you live on a budget?