Remember how I told you that we made somewhat of a long-term budget so we know how much we can spend on things until Bryan graduates? Well, so far it is working great. Hallelujah! I was telling Bry yesterday when we were out on a walk that knowing how much I can spend on things works in keeping spending down the same way keeping track of calories (I use this free website that I love) has helped me lose so much weight. How's that, you ask? Once I know how much I'm allowed, I always want to beat the system, prove I'm even better than what I planned, and spend less. (Well, when it comes to calories I just do a little bit less sometimes so that I'm still eating enough. So please don't think I'm promoting self starvation or something.) But when it comes to spending money, I'm totally into spending a lot less... where possible. It's like winning at a really great game. The game of "I spent less on this so now we can put the extra into savings to spend on something better!" Probably "something better" will be future expenses for things that come up after Bryan graduates, but--and I say this in all honesty--I feel just as happy and usually even more happy about tucking money away into our savings than I do about spending it on something fun. Fun is fun. But savings brings peace of mind. And in my old age of 24 I'd rather have more peace of mind.
Anyway, the thing that prompted all this was one of my great under-spending victories from a couple of days ago. We had budgeted $20 for a birthday present for the big O. (She turns 1 next month! Aghhh!) We didn't really have anything specific in mind to give her. She doesn't need anything and our apartment is already cluttered enough and you know I don't want to bring a bunch of extra stuff in, especially if we have to buy it. But when I was at the thrift store looking for something else I found the perfect little birthday present. For $2. That's $18 under! Score! And I feel totally satisfied giving her just that and not a ton of extra stuff. Woot woot! I'll show you what the present is later after she opens it for her birthday. Anyway, budgeting is great.
*If anyone else would still like a copy of the spreadsheet we use for budgeting just leave a comment with your e-mail and I'll send it to you. Free, of course. :) Because spending money on a budgeting system is like spending money on a purse or wallet--doesn't it just feel ridiculous?