5 Things I Like about... Being on a Budget

11.12.2013


So I had this idea for a new post series dedicated to things I'm thankful for. As I look back on 2013, I realize that I've spent a lot of time this year being envious of other people. It's really sad to say that out loud (or write it/whathaveyou), but there it is.

I don't do drugs or smoke or have a diet-coke addiction, but I have a problem with envy. And peanut butter, but that's a post for another day.

Ergo, I have decided to focus on things I LIKE about my various spots of envy. First up: budgeting

Let's be honest: budgeting is horrible! It's no fun at all, and I am envious of people who have enough money to not care about budgeting. If it were up to me, I'd buy the most expensive brand of ice cream and stop at Panera every day for a bread bowl. And I wouldn't care that the nearest Panera is a half hour from me, because gas budget what? And I wouldn't care that eating expensive ice cream and bread bowls is going to make me fat because as a budgetless person I will PAY Jillian Michaels to come to my house and yell at me in her scary man voice.

But once I talked myself off the ledge, I realized there are a few good things about budgets: 

1. Having a budget helps you buy only things you need so you don't fill your house with crap.

You all know my feelings about Target. But it's also a good thing, because when I go into Target I only buy the things I need. (Most of the time. I am still a human.) Do I stop at the dollar spot? Of course. But just as I'm walking toward the register with my arms full of one-dollar placemats, I realize that I already have placemats! Oh, and also, I live with one other person and never host dinner parties. 

2. When you have a budget, you value the things you buy.

I saved up for almost an entire year to buy my fancy camera. And I saved for three months for my latest pair of running shoes. And when I was finally able to buy my camera and my shoes, I was so much more grateful for them than I would have been had I just been able to buy them outright in the first place. 

Not to say that rich people don't value their things, but when you have to save up for something, it makes it all the more sweeter when you finally get it.

3. A budget allows you to do fun things without worrying about how much you're spending.

Jordan and I have a "travel" fund, which means we put money aside in an envelope that's specifically designated for travel expenses. Most recently we drove to Springfield, Illinois, this summer for a friend's wedding. Springfield happens to be the home of a man called Abraham Lincoln. Maybe you've heard of him. So of course we visited the museum, saw his tomb, and all that. We also had gas, a hotel, and food to pay for.

This could have freaked us out, but thanks to our trusty travel envelope, we didn't worry about a thing! In fact, we were much more open to eating out at a fancy restaurant than we would have been if we hadn't already budgeted for those expenses. Budgeting isn't fun, but it allows you to have fun without the stress.

4. Budgeting keeps buyer's remorse at bay.

I used to get buyer's remorse a lot. Like, I'd buy something on a whim "because it was on sale," and then all of the sudden it was a year later, and that stupid cheap shirt was hanging in my closet with the tag still on it. Then I'd be all "WHY????"

Since I started budgeting, that doesn't happen! At least as often. Because when you have a budgeted amount of what Jordan and I call "blow money" every month, you really think hard about what you're buying (see #1). 

Honestly, I think I'm a closet shopaholic. Remember my confession a few months ago? Well that happened again! Good grief. I've already spent November and December's blow money! Jordan just shakes his head. 

So obviously I have issues, but the fact remains that I really do only buy things I really want. I've come *this close* to buying a lot of crap lately, but then I stop and think Do I really want to use my last $10 on this? Answer = no. This is why I haven't done blog sponsorships in like a year. I have a small amount of money to spend, and I'd rather use it signing up for races! For serious. Plus, who needs to pay for a blog sponsorship when my posts are going viral thanks to the Canadians? Free advertising! 

5. Budgeting keeps you out of debt.

This last one is obvious but needs to be said. After all, why DO people budget? 
It's so you don't end up on an episode of Castle where Castle and Beckett are trying to figure out who broke your kneecaps and then stuffed you in a garbage can.
It's so you can be in control of your own life while acting like an educated human being and not a layaway-obsessed robot.

It's so you can lose your job and not freak out about continuing to pay your credit card bill because, oh yeah! you don't have one!

Believe me, if it's only for that last reason, I'm thankful to be on a budget. You can read more about our budget binder and how it works here.

Now who wants to buy me a bread bowl?

31 comments:

  1. I love this post! About a year ago I put myself on the cash diet (ie envelope system). I thought it was going to be awful, I thought I would fail miserably, I thought it would be painful and full of tears......and the verdict? I LOVE it! I love having cash and not always spending it away because I can see how much I have left for ahem....20+days lol. I still have months were I whip out the plastic and fail miserably, but much fewer and farther between. I say yay for cash budgets!

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  2. Ha! If we weren't budgeting and on a shoestring budget, I would totally buy you a bread bowl. :) When we first started budgeting I felt like it was so restrictive, but it's nice having clothing money set aside so I don't feel bad about buying shoes every once in a while. But it'll all be worth it when I've paid off the last of my student loans!

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  3. I love this. And let me just say, I love Dave Ramsey. He taught me to budget! Lol. Even though I love to go shopping--and boy oh boy do I, it always feels better to save and budget. And I agree 100% that I enjoy my purchase more when I save and budget!

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  4. I'll totally buy you a bread bowl when we meet up =) Also, I will say that right now in life God has blessed Dave and I BUT I'm learning that we still need to budget. I probably could buy whatever the heck I want but then at the end of the day I think "man, that wasn't really how I was supposed to spend that money God entrusted me with.". So, needless to say, we finally set up our budget and girl ... I think I've already blown a majority of my blow money. =( I think budgeting is a long learning process.

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  5. I finally started writing down everything I buy this summer but I kinda failed at sticking to my budgeted amounts and not going over. Now that I have to start paying off my student loans, I'm trying to get serious so I won't be stuck with them for forever!! Thanks for the great tips :) Also you Target post is so on point!!!

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  6. Way to have an awesome perspective about budgeting! I love making budgets (chalk it up to my type A passion for meticulous organization) but sticking to them? Not so much. Overall I've come to a very comfortable point where I don't have a set budget, but I'm aware of what I regularly spend on different areas and don't go over. If special occasions or emergencies come up, I can look over the rest of the month and see what else to cut and how badly I need to work my side hustle!

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  7. I love this, you're totally right! I like budgeting because I can afford the things I need and want.

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  8. We started our budget binder this month...and are still figuring out our true budget...but I'm already feeling so much better about our spending! Cheers to budgeting! :)

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  9. exactly! it's just sometimes it's hard to stay in the budget. i need to practice that more.

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  10. Lol. Great post. I'm in college and I just have a small job, so I definitely know about budgets. I like to take it a step farther. I usually set my total at a few dollars less than what I earned and then "hide" a few dollars from myself and forget about them. Do you have any idea how happy it makes me when I stumble across 4 or 5 (one time it was 47, but that wasn't planned) extra dollars one random day? There's nothing quite like that. =)

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    1. That's so fun! I know the feeling. I've even done that myself. Finding $5 in your coat pocket or the back of a dresser drawer is one of the best things ever!

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  11. Love this post! Skip and I are normally very frugal with our money, but we're going to be tightening up even more. This definitely helped motivate me!

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  12. Oh man. Amen, amen, amen, to all of this!! I was raised in a family of very thrifty (read: squeeze a nickel until the buffalo poops) people. So I definitely come by it naturally when it comes to a desire to budget. Kevin and I as a pair are not as good about this as we should be, but we JUST combined checking accounts and so forth in the last month, so I think hope is not lost yet. Love this post!

    -Amy

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    1. haha! Loved the buffalo thing. Good luck with your joint accounts! We only just now combined ours after over a year!

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  13. I'm jealous of your budgeting skills... I have none! My budget consists of asking myself (or the hubby) "Is it a NEED or is it a WANT". Oopppps! Maybe I will make budgeting our 2014 goal!

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  14. I remember being in 7th grade, and I wanted this one Fossil watch so badly I couldn't stand it. It was $75, and I saved for so so so long. When I finally bought it, I literally wore it everyday for years. Part of the crystal even broke, but I refused to give it up. Finally a piece of the glass fell INTO the watch, and it blocked the hands from moving. That was in COLLEGE. (note: The fact that I got a Fossil watch in middle school and wore it until I was a sophomore in college is the exact reason why it's the only brand of watch I will buy other than my Garmin. :P)
    That's my way of saying, I COMPLETELY agree about valuing the things you save for.

    I just wish I was better at budgeting. I'm a shopaholic, and I think I need rehab.

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  15. Agreeeeeed! I hate budgeting, and I hate feeling "poor" but then I look at how much we're paying down our debt, and how much we're saving, and I'm like "THIS BUDGET ROCKS!" Haha! And aaamen to no buyers remorse! I put of buying anything as long as I can so that I can make sure it's an appropriate use of my spending money! :))

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  16. I need to master the art of budgeting!!!! I have the worst buyers remorse!

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  17. I love this! Budgeting isn't always fun, but my life is a lot richer (emotionally and financially) when I keep track of my money.

    sagegrayson.com

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  18. I love this look at the pro's instead of the bad side of budgeting!! Yes, it sometimes sucks but when you stick to the budget and prioritize everything else falls into place. No debt is huge!! I hate debt. I'd rather budget then do that so that is definitely an upside.

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  19. I love this post! Sometimes I just get so frustrated with budgeting and it's good to be able to look at the positive side of it!

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  20. Awesome post, friend! I admire you and your husband's lifestyle, your habits, your budget, etc. I think you guys are awesome :)

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  21. Yes yes and yes. I can't tell you how FREEING it has been for me to be budgeting. Actually, I will try. Perhaps it will pop up in my next blog post.

    Anyway...you're a huge inspiration, and I keep thinking, if Reese can do it, so can I! And so I do!

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    1. Yes! Write a post about it :) It is freeing for sure.

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  22. Definitely love the idea of a travel fund!! :)
    xo TJ

    http://www.hislittlelady.com

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  23. I have never been so broke in my life…I literally had more money when I was a teenager than I do now. If I would have budgeted better, then I wouldn't be in this miserable position. I blew a lot of money on traveling, trying to move, too many Starbucks lattes, and random "I'm trying to make myself feel better about my life" purchases. Frivolous. Besides the fact that I actually had a part-time job in high school and now I currently have no job, I think a big part of having more money then was because I used the envelope system and saved up for things I wanted to buy. So, 2014…errr whenever I cash-flow begins again for me, budgeting will be an ABSOLUTE must. Good post, great points!

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  24. :) You're inspirational, friend. I don't like budgeting. Not one bit. But I know there's lots of benefits to it, and it's a blessing to have money to budget in the first place. I should be less of a complainer.

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  25. very wise :) i'm glad my parents taught me about budgeting because it is hard to stick to, and i'm sure i'd be much harder if i didn't grow up doing it!

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  26. oh MAN I only recently realized that value of #1 - I'm on a tight budget now so I'm not buying things I need. My sister asked what I wanted for Hanukkah and said she wanted to get me something that I'd get use out of and I had no idea what to tell her because I managed to redefine "need" you know? it was a good feeling to realize that!

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