I used to treat my credit cards like an endless supply of free money. I would shop like it was a sport. At bars and restaurants, I never looked at the bill, I just tossed the card on the table. It led to a pretty nice life in my twenties, but then repairing the damage took twice as long as creating the debt. My husband put his foot down and got me straight. Today we are a one income family and I am the CFO (Chief Financial Officer). I comb through our expenses and bills carefully every week/month/year. Yes, it deprives me of some things like getting my hair done at a salon, spurge purchasing, and going into frivolous stores where I don’t need anything.
We keep a white board on our fridge and track our weekly spending. We cap our spending at a certain amount and track everything from groceries, to new shoes for the kids, baseball camp, dog food, a glass of wine with a friend, a new book (if I can’t get it at the library) and even gas. We have done this for a year now and it gets old and annoying. I told my husband I thought maybe we could graduate and stop tracking spending this closely. He agreed, and then that week we both overspent on stupid things. Doh! We shrugged our shoulders and started to record things again the very next week.
Every once in a while though you have to buy something outside the budget. Something that makes you smile and churns your mundane day into something brighter. So, today I bought some plants. I could argue that we need plants, which isn’t stretching the truth too much.
Just look at this lush and green welcoming sight! How could you not buy a plant? The nursery had several greenhouses all showing an equally awesome portrait of life. I wanted just a pinch of it. Just a tiny little pinch to bring home and observe in contrast to the wet, cold, windy day that we currently have. It’s working, I feel smiley.