The Tale Of My First Despair: A Budget Story

Once upon a time, there was a girl. Like many girls, she had hopes and dreams and worked part-time retail to pay the rent. When she came up with a dream that required a little bit of start-up capital, she became excited. She could do it, she thought!

Then, she took a look at her spending over the previous two months. Even with being as frugal as she thought was possible, she still came out well behind where she thought she should be. Three large (by her standards; none was over $30) impulse purchases set her back by several weeks, and none of her bids were working out on various freelancing projects. Despite having ten months to go, the girl began to lose hope that her dream could come true.

She scoured her budget, looking for more things to cut out. Gone was taking the winding, tree-lined scenic route home. Gone were the fancy color-changing nail polish she had wanted all summer. Gone was the notion of a new computer; of more summer dresses. But really, none of these were things she regularly bought anyway. This was sacrificing small hopes in favor of a bigger dream. What could she actually cut, that hadn’t already been pruned back to the bare basics?

She went through her budget again. When all things were considered, 24% of her last month’s expenses could have been avoided or mitigated. That’s a lot, and that gave her hope for the next month.

Next month, she didn’t have to buy pants, eye shadow, or nail polish. Next month, she could start fresh, and if she just tucked away a little bit more of her paycheck every week, she could be fine. And as she looked at the numbers, she breathed a sigh of relief.

It was a small setback. Nothing more. She could make up for it easily, with just a little more diligence.

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About lifetheuniverseandblogs

Good afternoon, and welcome to my little suite of blogs. I am a foodie, a fashionista, a penny-pincher, and a world traveller. I am everything you want, I am everything you need, I am everything inside of you that you wish you could be. I say all the right things at exactly the right time, but I mean--well. Nevermind, actually. I'm just awesome, so get over it. J/K LOL WTFBBQ.
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4 Responses to The Tale Of My First Despair: A Budget Story

  1. I try to be frugal one week and less so the week after so it doesn’t seem so difficult. I do sometimes wonder where all the money goes though…if only they didn’t bring out do many beautiful new makeup products all the time! You can definitely get over the set back and save a little more… Even if you only save 10% of the 24% possible that’s something, and you could treat yourself to a little something for your trip with the remaining 14%. You know, just so you don’t go completely crazy.

    • Alternating our ‘frugal’ weeks sounds like a great idea! If I could successfully put it into action, I’d have a winner there 😀 Actually, though, what I do when I’m just desperate to buy something, it’s usually clothes. I get around it two ways: I have stopped using my card–if I buy something, it has to be cash; and if I am desperate for something, I go to the thrift shop. Usually, I’ll find something similar enough that I can cure my craving for $5. On the other hand, if I can’t find something similar, the craving has passed and I don’t want to go back for the originally priced item. It’ll be interesting trying to find things for my trip, when most of what I’ll need (fire box for the car, etc) isn’t ‘a little something,’ haha. Throwing it into specific jars might help, though; A jar for new tires, a jar for rims, a jar for tags for the trailer…

      The 24% last month largely consisted of: The Urban Decay palettes, some new Zoya polishes, lunch at work two days because I forgot to pack one, and random candy bars/chocolates/thrift store shoes. So, next month it will largely be mitigated, unless I drop another $50 on makeup (reading your blog, though, I might have trouble with that one!). Like I said, I’m hopeful. I’ve been trying to put $50 out of every paycheck into savings straight away. I didn’t this week, and I might not next week because rent will be due, but next month should be better!

  2. Hi Ann, I feel your pain 🙂 budgeting is hard work but that colour changing nail polish sounds great where can I get a bottle? Oh no there goes my budget again!

    Best wishes
    Charlotte

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