Down the rabbit hole, only to return stronger.
It’s been a few weeks since I got back on my budget. I’ve even started using my debit card exclusively and no longer charging anything. I need to pay it off and get my budget back on track. I have school expenses and a class for work I have to pay for. I’m still attending a 4-year institution, but I also have to take off work for 2 1/2 weeks for a medication aide class I am taking to further my skills at my job. My job may or may not pay for my med aide class, but that would require me to commit to only working for them. They can only guarantee me 8 hours as a med aide per week, and I can’t commit to that. I want to work as much as possible at the higher pay. I’m not dumb, money makes things better.
Money really does make things better. Not everything mind you, but it surely made my life happier when I thought I didn’t have to worry about it. I even lost my insomnia for two weeks while I was living in La-La land thinking I didn’t need a budget. It was a great two weeks but now it’s back to reality, even if reality is insomnia, no money, and a strict budget.
What I’ve been doing in the past two weeks
I started living off my debit card only. I realized I only had about $100 for the rest of the month, which required me to only buy what is needed. I needed a tank of gas and food, but at least my pantry was stocked and I didn’t need too much. I just needed to make sure I only got what is needed, nothing more. I made a list of what I wanted to get and checked out prices online for a good starting point.
I haven’t gone out with friends. I realize that I seem like a hermit, but I have no good reason to go out other than spend money. There really isn’t much to do in this town without spending money. Even with money the options are limited. I have decided that playing video games online with friends, or watching movies at home will be my entertainment. Not very sociable, but then again when I am in school I don’t do much anyway. Not very many people understand that, and I don’t ever plan to make them. To each their own.
I don’t buy fast food or convenience foods. Ok, I really haven’t done this since I was married. I’ve been a poor divorced college person for way too long and going out to eat is never in my budget. I go when I really need to get the hell out of my house to spend time with friends. I’ve been cooking more and more for myself in the past year and a half, so going out to eat seems less and less fun. Once I find someone in the area that likes mexican food, italian, greek, vietnamese or anything that isn’t fried I will cook the hell out of everything for them. Seriously though, my cooking is just not for the people around here otherwise I would have friends over every weekend.
That’s what I have been doing to save money. I don’t buy name brand, except for peanut butter. Gotta have my natural peanut butter. I also don’t have very many places to choose from when it comes to shopping, so I go where I know things are cheap. I have a small grocery store for things like cheap seasonal fresh fruit, a walmart for everything else and the dollar store for cheap canned stuff. Other than that I just stay away from shopping all together. It’s just easier to not spend if I’m not tempted. Besides I get more homework done that way.
Have you gotten back to using a budget? What are the ways you choose to curb spending?