Earlier this week when it was 70 degrees. It's snowing today.
(All these clothes are old.)
Regarding budgeting...No budget. I don't have one. We have jobs. We live within our means. I don't even have a credit card actually. Scott has one and since he makes most of the major purchases, like for the remodeling materials, he uses that and gets rewards points. Aside from groceries, gas, etc, I honestly try to just watch what I'm spending and once in awhile I'll keep track of receipts just to see if I can find any trends. Because, let's face it, we all go through periods where we buyallthestuff. Sometimes it's nice to just take a step back.
1. I'm really bad at pre-planning things I want/need to buy. I can't say "$50 of fun money" and be done with it. I know a couple who gives themselves each $50 of fun money a week (doesn't that seem like a lot?). I just generally wait until I really want something in order to buy it. Plus, if an opportunity arises, sometimes you don't want to pass it up. Plus, sometimes we need things. If I can't stop thinking about it, I know I should buy it. I'm not an impulse buyer, really, so I generally don't budget things out. I just justify them based on the idea that Hey, I didn't buy x, y, and z because I didn't really need those things anyway. I do feel that I need this purse, and I haven't bought one in at least 6 months, so...
2. I set regulations for myself anyway (personal rules). For example, a few weeks ago, I had a coupon for the Athleta store in Lone Tree. I like Athleta but they are expensive. I figured I'd amuse myself on a Sunday afternoon by driving to Denver and maybe get a spring jacket or pair of tights or something. However, on that Friday, Jett had an "accident" (or I did, depending on how you look at it) and I had to take him to the emergency vet. That was $91. I figured my karma-related punishment for being careless was now not getting to spend that $91 at Athleta. Does that make sense? I mean, we have to have rules we live by right? Personal rules are important. How else could society function if we don't hold ourselves accountable (oh wait...)? So I don't believe in pre-budgeting for shopping trips, but I do believe in balancing out what I'm spending. Tit for tat.
3. I don't eat out by myself. Like, ever. Scott and I eat out together once every week or two, but I never eat out by myself. And I don't pick food up either. I mean, once in a great while I'll grab Panera or something, but not often. I have this thing where I think I have food at home that's already been paid for.
I go to Starbucks. That's my vice.
4. I rarely impulse-buy. Or if I do, it's something I need or have immediate use for. I think that moving every couple of years has kept me pretty honest in the regard of how much stuff we own. I don't like packing up my stuff and moving it. Less stuff equals less work. But I do buy things that aren't on my list. I'm terrible at sticking to a list. I always have a purpose for what I buy though. I was at Target last week and saw a bottle of the Bona Hardwood floor cleaner I use for $9.99. A nice big refill bottle. It wasn't on my list, but I'd made a mental note that I would need to stock up again soon. So I bought it. Total impulse buy, but necessary too. The last thing I impulse-bought and now regret was a table runner at Target for $5 last summer. It was on clearance and was yellow and gray and so pretty...and it goes with nothing else in our kitchen, living room, or either bedroom. Talk about $5 wasted. In my defense, I bought it with the idea that it would match the new kitchen when it was finished and the colors don't quite go now that it is finished.
I suppose my point here is that I'm not worried about breaking the bank over a pair of $150 shoes I find on a whim and just have to have. Because that would never happen. I'm too much of a control freak.
So that's my strategy that's not really a strategy.
Do you have any budgeting tricks or tips?