Excuses

Budget: 0

Rachael’s Lack of Self-Control: 1

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if only Monopoly money worked in the real world…

This is not exactly the score I wish to see in the beginning of the month. I’m literally one week into March, looking forward to two weeks of fun and then one last week of the spring month, then heading right into the next part of spring. One month closer to summer; one month closer to graduation; one month closer to a Florida vacation; one month closer to the rest of my life. And the problem is? I still can’t get this budget down. I am a self-proclaimed shopaholic, and that is not as fun as it sounds. I’m not really sure how I adopted the habits I currently possess, and I’m not really sure how to kick them, but one fact remains true: these habits need to go.

I have spent the first two months of this new year striving to build a better fall-back for myself; in just a few short months, I will be a college graduate moving on to the next step, which just so happens to be more schooling. I am beyond blessed to have parents who are willing to help (somewhat) support me in the remaining next two years, and believe me, I am counting those blessings. If I were not going back into school in May, instead opting to move my future ahead as-is, I would not be anywhere near ready to take on the world on my own. I lack the foundation of a solid savings account and the budget smarts (and self-control) that are needed to start a good, comfortable life on my own. Yes, someday the savings account will be filled by two pockets; yes, when you have a job, the pay increase is more than enough to help; no, both of those mentioned above will not help me live comfortably.

Comfortable living, to me, is knowing that when I have a car malfunction, I will have the means to support myself. It is knowing that I am building a future for my future children. It is knowing that, when those loans come calling, I will have some space to wiggle when I need to account for bills, a mortgage, food for more than one, and so on. Comfortable living begins with the budget savvy-ness that I just don’t have, but that I need to learn. I know how to save money, I know that I should stop buying the things that I do, like a new pair of jeans and a cute top that sit in my closet after a walk around the local shopping center. I just can’t get the power to tell myself “no”. I took Zach around with me this weekend, and I said “no” more than I said “yes”, but even then, I was still saying “yes” when I should have turned and walked out of the store. He helped me fight the urge to purchase meaningless items, but I still found myself picking up items I truly did not need.

This month is already being declared a failure on the budget front, but I plan to turn that around from this week forward.

I want to make sure that I take nothing more than I need for the rest of this month. The money I am wasting in the various corners of my life (clothing, CDs, makeup), could be used to save up for a better, more quality wardrobe. It could be used to donate money to the local humane society. I could be saving up for a future wedding, for God’s sake! These bigger things in life need to come to my mind first when I start to browse the local shops. Maybe I need to give myself a free-spending area in my budget, just so I can have that one splurge each month (and by splurge, I mean a needed new pair of jeans, or that really great primer that I’ve been eyeing); for now, I will just have to give that some thought. Until then, I just need to stop. If there is one thing I know, it is obviously the importance of saving; the only problem is the inability to stop. I need to learn how to say “no” so I can say yes to other things in life, and now is the time for that new beginning.

I’m pretty sure my wallet will thank me.

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