Kathryn April 5th, 2011
I’ve been having withdrawals from blogging, but I’ve been somewhat busy lately and somewhere along the line it slipped to the bottom of the to-do list, until tonight! I have one boy in bed, one at a church meeting and one playing cricket so I have found myself with a bit of quiet time… Granted I should be doing my kitchen, but that will be there when I’m finished this!
I like having a budget. It helps me prepare for my bills, I know what I can AFFORD to spend on shopping each week, I KNOW whether or not I have the money to do things, which helps when money is tight… you stick to your budget and you know you’ll be ok. It’s brings a sense of security and order to know that your finances are secure….
The problem when you’re sticking to a budget, and especially a tight one, is that when you see a top you really like, or a friend invites you out for lunch, or you want more funds to feed your addiction to scrapbooking…. you are torn between self deprivation or guilt – neither option is very appealing! So the trick is to eliminate both guilt and self-deprivation and the solution is simple… give your self an allowance – or in other words pocket money!
Allowing yourself (and your spouse) pocket money with each pay, gives you a lot of freedom. To start with, you no longer feel you have to deprive your self of some of the things that makes this life so wonderful! I love catching up with friends over lunch, going to dinner on a date with my husband, and seeing the joy and energy my little boy has when I take him to the swimming pool.
By giving yourself pocket money you go from always saying ‘I wish I could….(fill in the blank)… but I just can’t afford it, it’s not in the budget….’ to saying ‘Sorry, I can’t do lunch this week, I’m already going to the movies with Mum…. but what about next week?’
There will, of course, be times when you will have spent your ‘pocket money’ and you will still have to decline the invitation, but how much easier will it be, knowing that you don’t have to decline EVERY time!? Of course the list of things you can spend your pocket money on is endless…. lunch, dinner, movies, music, clothes, the zoo, hobbies… and some things are much more expensive than others, but don’t forget you can save it up for a few weeks (or months….) to be able to do those more expensive things….You may also find yourself thinking of and looking for ways to have fun that cost less… because at least it’s allowed to cost something!
Just remember that life with a budget doesn’t mean that you suffer… In fact, life with a budget gives you all that you need…and sometimes more. I’m grateful that my Mum always taught us the importance of a budget and living within your means! Even today I can picture Mum drawing up her budget sheet each month… and now I do exactly the same…although mine’s on the computer! It gives me peace of mind, making me a more happy and content wife and mother, allowing me to focus my time and energy on loving and serving my family and those around m.- and isn’t that what life is REALLY all about!