Sunday, February 20, 2011

When being frugal isn't so easy...

I occasionally give in to temptation and spend money. In the not-so-distant past, it didn't seem to be that big of a deal. If I spent more than I intended that just meant we didn't save as much that month. We were still living below our means even when we weren't terribly careful. Now, when I spend money that I didn't plan to it means that we'll have less to save as a cushion and it makes me question whether or not I (as in myself, me) have the discipline to stick to the tight budget that we'll have once I've quit my job. Those are not two things I particularly want right now. I want to feel confident that we can budget successfully because quitting my job is scary, really scary. I don't want to have doubts about our ability to manage our budget. It is going to make it just that much harder to take the plunge. The second part of that is jeopardizing our savings. It is critical that we build up as much in savings as possible. For one, as soon as I quit my job we're going to be in the hole each month if we haven't found a new place to live. Secondly, my husband is a teacher. He only gets paid eleven months of the year. We need a full month's worth of living expenses saved up for August. Yeeks! I'm depressing myself with all of this. So, as you can probably tell, I have a bit of guilt. Guilt number one: coffee on Saturday morning. I was out in front of a grocery store selling girl scout cookies with my daughter. It was cold and rainy. I splurged on a coffee. I told you it was my weakness. We were out of milk this morning so I ran out to the store to pick up a gallon. I also bought bacon, cinnamon rolls and orange juice. Then, I was out shopping with a friend today and spent three dollars on drinks for me and my daughter. They are just little indiscretions but they do add up. I spent about $13 between yesterday and today in frivolous purchases. It's easy to see how this spending thing creeps up. I'm determined to do better. Here are some ways that I feel that I can improve to control my spending:

1) Cut down on the coffee. Coffee is a simple thing really. A couple dollars here or there but for me it can really add up. I need to cut down to no more than one coffee out per week. Once I've had it that's it.

2) Avoid the temptations. I need to stay away from places that tempt me to spend on things like that.

3) Be honest with myself. A penny spent right now is a penny not saved. If I'm serious about wanting to quit my job, I need to start living the lifestyle.

I hope next week I'll do better. I'm a frugal work in process.

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