Jordan and I are on a budget. I believe I've mentioned this before. It's going well.

The spreadsheet I made is easy to keep track of, and after three months of budgeting, it's really just come down to a matter of remembering to ask for a receipt so I can be accurate in my accounting. I go to the grocery store and buy food for the week, and I plan meals and cook them for dinner (and recently decided I am obsessed with using my Crock-Pot). 

And every morning I pack the insulated red lunch bag that my mom got me for Christmas last year that I thought was a weird gift at first but now I love it. And every morning I make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and pack my glass Pyrex bowls with grapes and cut-up peaches and strawberries and other fruits. I stuff a Ziploc bag with chips and fill up my water bottle, and then I head out to work.

It's cheap and doesn't taste greasy, and it fills me up just fine. And I like my homemade lunch.

My problem comes at 12:00.

When I'm pulling my red bag out from underneath my desk, my lively, entertaining coworkers are grabbing their purses and wallets and heading out to a restaurant together. Not everyone leaves, obviously, but still, I'm often left just me and my sandwhich, wondering this one simple question: how can these people lunch eat out every single day? Do they not have a budget?

This led to a very-but-actually-not-so thorough review of the budget and my current expenses. And so, without counting the ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR FINE I was charged for paying my car tag late (don't worry, I'm not still bitter), Jordan and I have been doing well. One of my goals was pay off my car by December. Well, I paid it off in August, so that was awesome. And now it's my student loans, which will take a while but shouldn't take as long as they would have if I could just avoid paying for things I don't need. 

Like those colorful but completely useless refrigerator magnets I bought yesterday at Staples. 

Or the cute-but-not-necessary cookie platter I bought at Target earlier this week that I found on sale for $3. 

And, oh yeah, lunch. 
Darn being a responsible adult.
Anonymous said...

I can promise you that the majority of your coworkers are "affording" spending $$ every day by using credit cards, not actual money.

In the course of the last 2-5 years, I have been astonished to realize how many people rely on credit cards for their daily transactions, assuming they can "just pay it off" when the bill comes. But they can't pay it off - at least, not all of it - so, what is happening to them while you save and don't go over your budget, is that they are accruing credit-card debt, and you are not. So don't despair. In 10 years, they'll be depressed and bankrupt, and you'll have enough money in the bank to send the child you don't have yet (or who is not old enough yet) to college. :)


Anonymous said...

PS A surprising (and discouraging) amount of people in our generation are still on their parents' cell phone and car insurance plans too, which are two hefty chunks of MY personal expenses. Just revel that you're more responsible and more of an adult than they are. :)