Thursday, February 21, 2013

Letting Down the Budget

I disappointed myself this week. Normally I am a good budgetter. Super even. Every cent from every pay is accounted for, with a portion committed to savings. And every pay, the amount that is put into savings is different because my approach to saving money is not to have a set amount, but to put everything left over into savings. I save more this way. I used to find that when I allowed $50 per pay for long term savings, then the only amount I saved was $50. By allocating everything that is not accounted for in my fortnightly budget to savings, I end up saving much much more every pay. Hundreds sometimes.
My savings account practically has a padlock on it. I won't touch it unless it's for the purpose it was meant for. Same as I won't use the credit card that we have for emergencies and holidays (long story short, when travelling overseas the fee's are charges are better on our credit card than our transactional account.)

My only exceptions to my rule is medical or educational expenses. I won't have my family lack for the most critical necessities for the sake of a tightarse rule.

This week we cut it pretty tight. We get paid on a Thursday, and by Monday we were down to our last $6. That's fine, because we had a fridge and freezer full of food, tanks full of petrol, and no reason to buy anything other than milk with that money.

But then I ran across my Achilles heel. I'm so ashamed. Months and months of a perfect spending record, even through the Christmas period, shattered. I've walked away from coffee's while shopping, adorable outfits for my babies that they definitely DON'T need, a cheap iPad at Cash many temptations and I've turned my back on all of them.

I walked away from all of them. But I couldn't walk away from these.

$7.50 each at Uncle Bills (a local $2 shop). I normally can't find them anywhere except in the American Goodies stores, and they are so expensive. I've seen them for $15+ a box. And I didn't even stop to think. When I saw them on the shelves I just snapped them up. Boxes and boxes. I had easily 8 boxes in various flavours in my cart at one point before I managed to stop myself. I make myself count to 10 when shopping before I line up at the cash register. It forces me to rationalise. The eyerolling action of actually stopping and counting usually is enough to get me to walk away from a purchase. But this time it was only enough to get me to put back most of the boxes. There was no way the chocolate chip and chocolate fudge boxes were going back. I just couldn't do it. And so the credit card came out of my wallet, I carefully wiped away the cobwebs, and swiped through my $15 worth of poptarts.

I'm saving them for Sunday morning breakfast. We always have "special" breakfasts on Sunday, and normally I cook up something yummy. But Madeleine is as big a poptart fan as I am, so I know she will flip it when she sees them.

Am I suffering from buyers remorse? Little bit. Would I buy them again given the opportunity? Yup.

What makes you break the budget?

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