Living Frugally – The Early Days
When Les and I decided it was time to get on the frugal bandwagon and try to save some money, the first thing we were told to do was to put a budget together. You have to figure out where the money is going before you can get it under control.
Then the slashing begins.
Well, we got together, figured out our expenses and our debts. You’ve got your regular expenses like loan payments and bills you have to pay that you don’t have a lot of control over. You’ve got your groceries and gas that you have some control over (Shop with coupons! Take the bus!). Then you’ve got things like date night or pizza or treats. The ones we have control over, Les calls these our ‘discretionary’ expenses, I call them our ‘fun time’ expenses. Well, fun time is often the first thing to get slashed when you go on a budget. Out goes pizza night, out goes the car wash, and out goes cable (But its a bill! Bills aren’t discretionary! Guess what – cable is not a necessity so it goes).
Oh sure, we tried to use euphemisms like ‘trimming’ and ‘cutting’ and ‘reducing’ but when it comes to your treasures its all the same thing – slashing!
Les was stronger than me in the beginning. For a little while there, I got in the habit of seeing something pretty and going ‘Oooh! Look at what I need!’ – Les and I had a discussion about the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. I turned the tables on him – what about those lattes he got at Starbucks? Well, that didn’t turn out as planned as he agreed to make more coffee at home and there went my frappuccinos.
We Can’t Buy Squat!
I love Amy Poehler. I was never a big fan of Parks and Recreation but I ran across this recently and it totally sums out how I felt in the early days and just had to post this.
Have you started budgeting yet? Do you remember when you first got started budgeting? Love Amy Poehler? Post your comments – let us hear your experiences!