budgeting brings freedom

In January, Jesse and I re-wrote our budget. I’m so excited to say that we’ve been under budget since we’ve started! I’m very excited. There’s nothing like getting a good deal!

There’s so much freedom in budgeting. In the past, we haven’t budgeted a clothing category, so every time we bought clothes it was a “splurge.” I felt guilty buying clothes, even if I needed them (yes, need. my work pants get gross very quickly). Now we have clothes budgeted in and we can happily go shopping. I still love to stretch my dollar and get a good deal. In January I bought myself a pair of Victoria’s Secret jeans for $12.50 + tax at a resale store. They were like new jeans. I was so excited! I’m getting high quality jeans that fit my body perfectly at an affordable price. In February I bought a brand new $36 pair of grey slacks for $4.35 after tax. At a resale store? Wrong. I got them at the mall.

It’s important to look good. I strongly believe that. It’s not just about style. It’s also about presentation. I’m a caterer. I get paid to present food and an interesting and unique way. I also need to present myself professionally. I can’t look like a slob. But… the point is, I don’t have to feel guilty about looking nice (since it’s in my budget). And… I don’t have to spend a lot to look nice.

Some feel that budgeting is restricting. I love it. I’m a goal oriented person. I love going to the store and spending less than I intended to. I love looking at the numbers on our Excel spreadsheet. I love seeing our savings grow. I love to compare month to month how much we’ve spent and saved. I love to analyze and see how we can cut back. It’s great. It’s fantastic. I like that I can visual where I can cut back so I can spend more in another area. I love that budgeting is flexible enough that I can save up for big things. It’s about discipline.

I don’t feel guilty anymore when I go to the store. I have motivation to spend less. I have accountability (Jesse goes shopping with me now). It’s fun to me.

Where do I want to be in 6 months from now? 1 year? 5 years? I’m so excited that we’ve started living this way. It’s hard now, but it’s so worth it in the long run. There’s too many other things in life that are going to get in my way. I have complete control over how I allocate my finances. This is an area of my life that doesn’t have to control me or my future. I’m okay with not having it all now, so I don’t have a headache later when I lose my job or tragedy strikes. My mind is free.

Budgeting is awesome.

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