Thoughts on my budgeting waysPosted: January 6, 2012
I’ve been thinking about a conversation I had with someone a month or so ago. I made mention of the fact that I was trying to get out of debt and the budgeting I had been doing. (I know, I was talking about the taboo subject of money and debt!) For some reason they thought it was odd that while I was trying to get out of debt, I still had date night with my guy and still had some personal money. They thought that I should just curtail all extras and just focus on paying down my debt.
There are a few reasons why I don’t think that what I do is wrong. First, I’ve tried that route. It did not go well at all. I managed to do it for about 3 months and then I broke. And funny enough, I went broke. I “borrowed” from my savings and never really planned on paying it back, but I went through the motions of thinking I would. When that money ran out, I started making more excuses. I didn’t get more in debt but I found the last week before a paycheck to be very, very hard. We would be low on groceries and gas and just be scrimping by. And then I decided that since we were having such a hard time making by that it would be just fine if we stopped saving. (And it makes me cringe to admit that but I’m being honest)
After a few months passed, I started to think about being debt free again. I also started to want items. To explain the wanting of items I guess I would have to explain that for the past year or two or three, I was sleeping on couches or in spare rooms and I didn’t have things (well a year ago from last July). And I know things are just material but it sure is funny how they make a person feel more at home. So when I was making my roots here, I knew that I would want “things”. But I also knew I didn’t want to get into more debt. So I sat down with my guy and discussed the option of having a reasonable budget. One that would allow us to have a savings and to pay off debt but would also allow us to have a little wiggle room. I enjoy having personal money—even if I don’t spend it all the time, at least I know it’s there. I also enjoy going on dates with my guy—whether it’s to a dinner or watching a movie or whatever fits into our budget. But I also really enjoy the saving to pay off debt and the saving to get what I want. And sometimes, after saving all that money for what I want I find that I don’t actually want it anymore.
So even though it might make me stay in debt a little longer, I just can’t see myself changing the small amount of “fun” money I budget into our budget. I feel that eventually that would just make me stay in debt even longer. But I am looking forward to some serious debt repayment.
So those are some of the reasons why I budget as I do.