Friday, January 03, 2014

Living on a Budget

Right now Rob and I are on a pretty strict budge. I don't mind budgets; I like knowing how much money is available to spend in each specific category. I like the challenge and innovation that go along with having limited resources; it's kind of like a fun game.  Recently, however, I have been in one of those moods where I want to go out shopping and buy nice things.  The last time I felt this way, I made a list of all the clothes I wanted to buy. I looked at the list for a couple of days and then strategized how I could accomplish a similar look with things in my closet, and then I threw the list away without having bought a single item on it. It was a healthy, therapeutic way to look at the things I wanted and realize I didn't "need" any of them, and I could be perfectly content without them. 

Well, it's time for me to have another therapy session. (As you read the list, you might not think that these items are insanely expensive, and you would be correct. However, when you live on a budget, you discover that in order to make the resources last, you have to prioritize and make some tough decisions.  I could technically buy all the grocery items on the list, but then we would not have enough left in the grocery category to buy something basic like toilet paper or milk... you get the picture.) Anyways, here are some things I would buy today if we were not living on a budget: 

tilapia fish
feta cheese
naked juice
pistachio nuts
salad spinner
curtains for our living room 
another dish set to match the one we have
candle sticks
a nice, padded rug for our kitchen
a canvas painting for above our bed
an earring holder / sorter
a world map made out of rustic wood
a cute little pair of boots
a pair of (tight) jeans
a gift for my friend's daughter's birthday
copper mugs for my brother Shane's birthday
princess duplos for my nieces
decorative vase with sticks (have to see it to know it's cool) 
books by Malcolm Gladwell & Francis Chen
the game Catchphrase
a puzzle 
a table runner
a Wii 
an electric car starter
spray on ice melter for windshield  
the movies Elf and It's a Wonderful Life

In order for the therapy to work, I just need to read over this list a couple more times, realize I am perfectly fine without any of it, and happily enjoy the wonderful blessings I do have.  It works.  I would love to hear feedback from you billions of followers to see how you handle living on a budget. ;) 

1 comment:

Rachel Addington said...

hey P!

that's some serious self-restraint you got going on there. it must feel liberating to say...I could have it...I could...but I don't need it!

last year I challenged myself to go one year without buying any clothes, and I made it. I was trying to learn something of contentment. It turned out to be a good exercise giving clarity to needs vs. wants and the joy of simplicity, and just making what you already have work.