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I’m going on a budget… Tomorrow!

February 26, 2008

Technically I’m not starting my budgeting until March, because I came up with it halfway through February, and am just getting used to new job and new expenses… In the meantime, I have been being frugal anyway and trying to stick to the weekly amounts for gas/groceries/fun.

However, I really want to buy a couple things for my apartment, and it seems best to buy them now before the budget stats…. I sound like one of those dieters: “I’m going on a diet…. Tomorrow!”

  • Toilet Brush ~$3
  • Old English Wood Cleaner/Scratch hider ~$5 (A picture frame needs a small repair)
  • Noise reducing headphones ~$75
  • Ear plugs ~$2
  • Patio table ~$20
  • Hummingbird feeder $10-$15
  • Scrabble $10-$15

Alright, the headphones aren’t really going to happen. They aren’t one bit necessary and can be replaced with the $2 earplugs. The cleaning stuff I need for obvious reasons, but that could be taken out of the march “home” budget. You don’t want to know how much I spent in February on “home” items (dresser + art + power drill + lamp + file cabinet.) Scrabble can easily be taken from the entertainment budget.

I need really want the patio table because my favorite part of the whole week is enjoying coffee in the weekend mornings on the balcony. I love my balcony. Target has some for $15, but the ones for $20 would be worth the extra money. The hummingbird feeder is in honor of the little hummingbird I saw yesterday–I’m hoping to see some of his friends. However, I am not sure how large the hummingbird population around here, so it could be a complete waste. The only food it would need is sugar water.

I have in my possession a $35 refund check from my cable company in my old town that I could cash and buy a lot of this with… I also got a $1000 tax refund this month, and my Net Worth has rebounded thanks to the relocation money coming in. Actually, I updated it weeks before I usually do, just because it improved so much. I’m a dork. I’ve totally talked myself into these purchases, but that is what I do with budgets–I make exceptions. They just don’t work if every month I make exceptions.

So, in Suze Orman style, I ask you, readers… Can I afford it?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2008 8:27 am

    I say go for it. Not so much the noise-reducing headphones (though I can totally understand putting those on the “wish list”), but the rest of it sounds justifyable enough.

    But I would take at least Scrabble out of March’s budget. I didn’t see a reasonable explanation for that one. 😉

  2. sjean permalink*
    February 26, 2008 8:34 am

    Lol, fair enough. We have been staying in a lot, and while I really wish for a Wii, I thought scrabble seemed like a fun (much cheaper) way to entertain ourselves

  3. February 26, 2008 8:57 am

    Yes, I think you can afford it. But probably skip the noise-reducing headphones, and maybe just buy one thing for the patio (the table) this month, and leave the hummingbird feeder for next month?

  4. February 26, 2008 4:39 pm

    My advice is to create your budget so it sustainably supports this kind of spending – maybe by making more general categories, or allocating a fixed amount to fun money. Otherwise budget becomes meaningless. I only have one category, “spending”, myself, which encompasses bills, food purchases, as well as stuff like here.

    Although I moved recently too and incurred extra expenses although I got them all paid off by now – it was hurting for a while.

    Also, watch out for spending extra money like rebates. Theoretically by spending them, you are spending more money, although if you weren’t expecting that money it may be better to put in savings. . I also just got a $19 rebate from my previous apartment deposit, which I spent, and your post reminds me, that I need to pay myself back for that.

    Also putting off the purchase (as Elizabeth suggests) is really good advice. What always motivates me to delay purchases is thinking about the amount of gas it will take me to get to the store to conduct the purchase.

  5. Lorri permalink
    February 27, 2008 3:14 pm

    I would buy everything except the headphones. The scrabble game may be found in a goodwill or thriftstore. Seems like I saw an assortment of games last time I went shopping there. Also if you buy a new one check online first, around xmas they had coupons for $2 off the games. Maybe they are still available to use and you can print one off. It would be enough of savings to buy the earplugs!

  6. February 27, 2008 9:30 pm

    I am completely with you on the headphones. I’ve had a set of noise cancelling audio technica headphones (these) on my wishlist for 5 months, but so far I haven’t been able to justify the expense. i have a $30 set of panasonic ear covering headphones that do perfectly well, so until those explode, this will probably remain a “want”.

    Do I want a house, or new headphones? *sigh…*
    Do I want to save up for a new car, or buy headphones? *arrrrgh*

    This brings up an interesting point, one thing I see on pfblogs such as The Simple Dollar and Get Rich Slowly, is people who until recently have spent all willy nilly, so they HAVE all the nice stuff from when they weren’t so frugal.

    I’m curious to see how they hold up when the tv starts aging, their couches start aging, all the nice clothes they bought start wearing out, etc….

  7. sjean permalink*
    February 27, 2008 9:44 pm

    Thanks for the opinions!

    @frugal bachelor: if I made my budget to support this (somewhat frivolous) stuff, I wouldn’t meet my savings goals. I’m going to do what I can to met those, and only if i truly can’t do it will I increase stuff

    @Red: I think that those bloggers have had enough of a mental turnaround that they would stick to their principals. But that is a good thought–they do have a lot of nice stuff that i have always been too frugal to buy in the first place.

    I definitely want to save for a new car, an emergency, or retirement much more than I want headphones (but they’d be so great for running!)

  8. March 1, 2008 2:35 pm

    Check places like eBay for Scrabble and other games. I actually just sold my old Scrabble game on eBay a few weeks ago.

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