The Money Diet

Every couple of months I decide that I need to be better about spending and look through all of my accounts and set a budget.  I follow through for a couple of weeks but then something happens and I totally fall of the wagon in increments of $5, $10 or $20.  I keep myself from splurging on the expensive things because I don’t really need an $800 camera (even though I really really really want it!) but instead I’ll chip away until I’ve spent approximately $800 in crap over a two month period.  And as I look back through my check register I won’t be able to remember what all that crap was.

So this time I’ve got to get serious.  I mean, isn’t that what the new year is all about?  Getting serious about all those things you weren’t quite so serious about?  Yeah, I thought so.

And that means that today starts my money diet.  And a strict one.  Not at all like the fast food ban Porter, Wes and I entered into on Jan. 1.  No, this one won’t allow me to eat french fries as long as I’m at a sit-down restaurant – metaphorically speaking, that is.  Which I guess means I’m not allowed to buy a book just becasue I found it at Safeway and thus counts as groceries which are a necessity.  Or something like that.  Right about now I’m glad that I didn’t buy that $185 purse just because it was over half off.

You see, I want to be able to spend my money on things that will keep on giving (and yes, that purse would have been nice, but I would hardly ever wear it because I’m not a huge purse fan and when I’m carrying a lot of stuff it’s Timbuk2 all the way).  Like that road bike I’ve been wanting since the summer.  Or all the vacations and excursions that Wes and I want to take.  Like furniture that will move us into a bigger, newer, nicer home in the Northwest some day.  Things like that.  Not things like Chipotle.   Or even books (yes, it pains me a bit to say that, but I have too many as is – so many that there’s no room for new ones and there is a perfectly good public library that needs my patronage).

So money diet it is.  And I’m going to take a page out of my parents’ book on this on: I’m going to give myself an allowance for the month and stick to that.  As for the rest, I’ll probably make it up as I go along but I’ll get there.  Soon it will be like exercising (assuming that becomes second nature soon) and I won’t even have to think about it.


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