Monday, February 11, 2013

On Wild Hogs and Austerity Measures

I'm broke, blah, blah, blah, looking for a roommate, blah, blah, blah, on a strict budget.

Now, if you're new, you're caught up.

I found a roommate. (I might still post craigslist postings though if you guys like them. There is one more waiting to be published, and I made them "unlisted" so you should be able to see them now.). He seems pretty normal, moves in on the 1st, and has already put down a deposit with the balance of the first month's rent due on the 27th.

When he handed me the cash, I was like, "OH BOY!! MONEY!!" And I immediately started plotting how I would spend it. Fence repairs! Dinner! A shopping spree to Costco where I can spend it on MEAT! I'm almost out of meat. I can have new pants! My pants are falling off again. I can refill my Starbucks card and have coffee treats! A new belt! My last one was purchased sometime around 2001. New shoes! Makeup!  At this point, the voice in my head started reminding me of the reasons why I ended up in this mess in the first place. "Sock away that cash", she said, "you don't want to have a roommate forever and eventually, your car will need to be replaced".

So, I'll admit, that I spent a little. I bought some candy, some cake mix, and a closet rod for the spare room. Not only is the rod installed already, but I got to use my chop saw and that made me VERY happy. I think I spent about $40 of the deposit. That's not much, but it's a lot for me. I don't want to slip back into old habits. It would have been REALLY easy to wander around the home improvement store and pick up a few "wants" that I think are "needs".

So it's back to my austere budget. Meal planning, weekly grocery shopping. I did really good last month, coming in under budget and moving things around when I needed to. I love the envelope method and REALLY enjoy dropping my change into my change jar. I didn't overdraw my account. But 1 month, that's easy peasy. It's changing my habits long term that will be hard. Especially with extra funds coming in. (A new TV! A New Roof! A front lawn! And occasional steak dinner!)

I'm sticking to it though. I may fund a few things before I start attacking the credit cards hard core. If he always pays me in cash, then this will mean that I won't be pulling my budget out of my checking account every 2 weeks, I will (hopefully) be depositing leftover cash into it.

Overall, it's just nice to feel like I have a little wiggle room.

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