My Precious Pennies

I will be AWAY until late February as we do this moving thing...again.

Ginger from Attention Target Shoppers & Tricia from 1stopmom
will be holding down the fort in the meantime - thank you so much, ladies!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Taking it easy, budget wise


This weekend, my husband and I had a very interesting and involved conversation regarding our spending.  I have been working very hard to keep us on a necessities-only budget for the past couple of months, and his argument has always been that since we're not broke, in-debt, or have trouble keeping food on the table...I should lighten up a bit.  Then I come back with "we need to save for the future!  For the baby!  For retirement!".  I also pull up some number about how much we're spending and how we can't live beyond our means.  At this point, he gives up for the day and we move onto something else.

Well, we had another showing of this very regular conversation, but the only change is that this time I completely agreed with him.  I've decided to lighten up on our budget.  My budgeted projected cost for each month is 86% of our projected monthly income, but to be honest that's not exactly accurate.  Our projected monthly income is about $100 lower than what it actually is, and we always have some type of extra income for the month.  I also include our savings commitment into our budget, which accounts for the majority of our high percentage.  If I take out the savings from the projected spending for the month, our projected cost comes to around 50% instead. 

That being said, I've decided to lighten up on my budgeting.  That's not saying that I'm tossing my necessities-only budget out the window - I'm just not going to fret if we go over-budget.  I'm still going to keep my projected figures at the necessities-only level, but I'm not going to go on a "stomping out all non-necessities spending" crusade like I have been.

My husband had a very good point.  We're not in debt.  We have a workable amount of money in savings.  We're careful with our money.  It's okay to just take it easy and enjoy life a bit.  He works very hard every single day, and I work hard too finding deals and stretching our pennies...it's okay if we want to treat ourselves to a restaurant meal once a week.

It's true that our savings account would be a better place for that $50 than the restaurant's bank account, but it's nice to be able to enjoy some time out together.  It takes stress off our shoulders, and it lets us just enjoy something together, which we rarely get to do with my husband's new crazy hectic schedule and the baby's growing demands.  We're together while we're running our errands, but we're running around and our attention is getting our errand list done, not on each other.  I'm starting to look at all of this "non-necessities" spending as an investment in our marriage and happiness.

That's not saying that in order to be happy and have a good marriage you need to go out and spend non-necessity money.  There are PLENTY of families out there who do without those extra things and they're perfectly happy.  I envy them, and maybe one day when we're both older we'll be able to do that too, but we're still young and there is plenty of time for us to learn and grow. 

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