This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ahh, the Budget!

I have put off forming a budget since we've lived in Massachusetts. I had many good reasons: with the house in Toledo still for sale we had bills for 2 houses, I couldn't yet predict what our expenses for utilities were going to be here in Mass., Steve's paycheck was variable as things like his health insurance and retirement started to kick in, I hate doing the budget, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Last night I knew it was time to take the bull by the horns, figure out how much we make, how much we spend, and try to reconcile the two.

We spend a lot.

I would love to say that I don't know where the money goes but with American Express providing a detailed billing statement I can see exactly where the money is going, when it's going, and how much is going. What I can't figure out is why. Why are we going out to eat so much? Why are we spending so much at Target? What happens to us when we walk into Barnes & Noble that we are unable to leave without spending at least $50? Why did we even join a warehouse club when we know how dangerous they are to our budget? What could we possibly have purchased at Kmart for $800????? (Oh yeah, the new snowblower...)

I suppose that my already overburdened list of resolutions is going to have to make room for one more: spend less, save more. This is not a resolution I can break if I really want to own a home this year. Steve's lease is up on his car so I suppose he'll want a new one and that's going to cost something too. When we move we'll need to buy a new bed for us or for the guest bedroom because we gave all our guest bedroom furniture away. School tuition is due in May.

I find it interesting that in the very paragraph in which I declare I must spend less and save more I manage to find no less than 4 things on which to spend money!

The truth is, I love to spend money on houses. I dread spending money on a car, I love spending money on furniture, and I am thankful I have enough money to send my daughter to a private school. I love money. I even love the structure, guidance, and goal setting possibilities provided by having a budget. What I don't love is when the love of spending collides with the budget, as seems to be the case occasionally but especially when moving and buying a new home. I can't be expected to put the same old kitchen towels into a new kitchen, can I?

You know what, I can. That will be the resolution: use what you have, buy only what you truly need, recycle whenever possible, and be thankful.

Most of all, be thankful.

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