While I’ve always had a good handle on my finances, ever since my first (and only) job in retail, making $5.15 an hour (a whopping 10 cents above minimum wage at the time), I still make what I consider poor money decisions. There are days when I spend too much at the grocery store by shopping on an empty stomach or not being fully prepared with my coupons. I don’t always look for the best deals. Sometimes, we just want what we want, such as the new vehicle we financed back in April — at 0%, but there were cheaper alternatives out there.
Last week, I did something I haven’t really done much of since we purchased our house back in June: I went out to eat. Not just once, but THREE times with three different sets of friends. Crazy, right? While I had an immensely enjoyable time each evening, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit guilty for spending the money. That $75 could have gone toward savings or credit card debt.
While I’m not going to beat myself over the head with a stick over it, it illustrates a point — that no matter how hard we try to rein in our spending, it doesn’t always work. We need to blow off a bit of steam now and then and have some fun. Otherwise, we’re just Scrooges, hoarding our money and being crankypants.
And I’ve been pretty good in all other budgetary aspects. Building materials for our upstairs renovation have eaten up some of the savings budget, but that’s a welcome alternative to using credit. I also managed to not run out and buy myself earrings to replace the diamond hoops I’d worn daily for years; instead, I bought a pair of silver hoops from eBay.
It’s important to remember that no one is perfect — we all make mistakes. The best thing to do is to pick yourself up by the bootstraps, dust yourself off and get back on the horse.