Holy crap, it’s July. Well into July. When did that happen? I had all of these lofty goals for 2015, like write one post per month for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Network (hey at least I got June’s post in under the wire) and get my investment portfolio together. At least no goal is exempt from me being like, “Yeah that’s not happening right now.”
Something I am sticking to is a budget, though. I really have Emily Levenson and Project:Food Budget to thank for that.
After not buying anything three weeks ago, I had to stock up a little bit two weeks ago. And then I didn’t go to the store again last week. I thought the first time not shopping was an anomaly, but I guess not.
I knew that because of the holiday weekend, I wouldn’t need to purchase anything the week leading up to the 4th of July and just rely on the generosity of the BBQers to provide a big meal in the middle of the day for me.
Is that wrong? Or smart? I’m not quite sure. But I can assure you, if you invite me over to dinner, I won’t sit there and use you for the majority of my nutrition for the day.
Unless I just haven’t gotten my lazy ass to the store that week again.
So again, we have a no-budget recap week. (I didn’t get last week’s post out when I did go shopping the week before. The total bill was $55.51, a total savings of $24.68 thanks to a lot of weekly specials and Giant Eagle-issued coupons. When I subtract non-food purchases, I came up with $46.22. $3.78 under my $50 total.)
I’m finding there are two things that I’m learning here.
1. I love saving money.
2. I really hate shopping when I have to stick to a budget.
I love watching the total go down and down and down the more coupons I scan. I do that for online shopping, too. I put everything I want into my cart and then take things out based on their price after the sale (who can turn down a $3 t-shirt??) and the total that’s worth it for me. $50 for 4 dresses, a pair of shoes, and 3 shirts? Done.
But I haaate having to shop with a budget. I know it’s the best way to do it because there are no surprises. And it’s easier to manage money when you have a predictable budget for bills/utilities every month.
I just really feel like I can’t add fun little things to my cart because it’s wasteful and eating up space for something useful in my budget.
Emily did warn about this when I was prepping myself for the project; she advised to add a treat within the budget so you aren’t feeling deprived. I’ve tried doing that, but I’m losing the sense that it’s a “treat” because I’m still thinking about the total at the register.
So I’ll purchase a bag of chips for myself or some hummus (both items I never get) but I use a coupon so even though it’s a splurge, I’m not being totally cavalier. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong.
Also a treat isn’t so guilty-pleasure when you still have to cook it.
How do you handle feeling deprived when you’re budgeting?
Don’t forge to check out these budgeting babes and see what’s working for them: Emily Levenson / McGinnis and Bean / Rainaldi.org / Red Pen Mama / Erra Creations / Seeking White Space / facepalmmama / Gardening in High Heels / Melissa Firman / Copy & Post / Rachel Olive Miller / Shea Lennon / Warm as Pie