Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Learning to be frugal

I'm struggling. I've mentioned before that my sweet hubby and I have a little spending problem. Somehow we are still not doing such a great job of figuring out how to budget for everything, or to quite make our budget align with our priorities.

I think part of the problem is that we want our priorities to be different than what we actually seem to make them.

For example, I think we could save a tiny bit of money each month if it wasn't a priority for us to drink wine every few weeks. But since we are making that a priority, and not cutting our favorite, Silver Coast, out of the budget, we are taking away from our ability to give and our ability to save for the future.

Same with Netflix. We love that instant queue. But that $10 a month might be something that would get us to sit on the couch less, and to do more, and to have $120 in a year that we could put towards bringing sweet hubby's brother to visit and go to school in the states for a semester.

Also, I think we could do a little better on the power bill. We like to have the lights on in lots of rooms at once. We like to come home to a couple of lamps, and we like to light up the giraffe (sculpture) at night. We don't like to be in the dark. We have timers that come on all the time -- even when we are away, and even when we have the lights on in other rooms....We should probably cut back. It'd be nice to reduce the power bill a little bit.

What we are getting good at, though? Passing things off as "necessary" purchases. Or pretending, when we report to Mint.com, that things are groceries, when really they are for school, or the house, or snacks that shouldn't have been bought in the first place.

Someone needs to remind me, sometime soon, that I should stop giving gifts away. They cost so much. And until I can afford to sell this lovely house of mine that is a neighborhood losing value, I should start doing everything I can to save a few pennies here and there. I mean, really. It shouldn't be this hard to make my actual spending reflect my perceived values....Now I just need to start putting my money where my mouth and heart are. Sounds easier than it feels everyday.

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