Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Budgeting with the Blakes

Living on a budget has its ups and downs. Christy and I have been striving to make due with just one of our incomes so we can throw the other one into savings and investments. It really makes you think twice before not returning your DVD rentals on time, or buying that third Mr. Goodbar.

For the most part it has been an exercise in self control. Is our spending governed by need or want? Is our lifestyle frivolous or sensible? Can I make it two weeks without buying a CD or eating at CafĂ© Rio? Can Christy make it two weeks without buying a pillow or a new cutest-skirt-ever? I’ve had to shut down my auto deposit to Wendy’s and Blue Bunny ice cream, and I actually look at the readout screen before recklessly swiping my debit card and pressing any old green “OK” button.

A new leaf has been turned over. We now have a snappy little budget, drawn up in Excel, complete with formulas and color coordination. We’re both looking for ways to cut back. I’ve decided to save money by not getting my hair cut anymore. That will save ten dollars every two months, which equals sixty bucks a year! A $3000 savings over the course of a well-lived life.

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