12 February 2008

Spending - it matters

I'm bad. Here I am telling every one who will listen to stop spending on all those little bits and pieces that make your dollars disappear, and I go and buy lunch for myself when I was at work yesterday. I bought a cheese and salad multigrain roll and a piece of fruit cake from the lovely Swiss bakery in Maleny.

It cost me $6.50! If I did that every day I worked it would cost almost $20 a week for lunch. Doing it all year, would cost almost $1000.

I was running late again yesterday and I was supposed to be going to a lunch meeting where I thought sandwiches would be served, so I didn't bother taking lunch. The meeting was cancelled. No problems, I'll just have some of the crackers and cheese I put in the fridge last week. The cheese was gone! I went to the bakery.

There always seems to be a good excuse for spending. When I am in the shop it feels like the most natural thing in the world to buy what I have my sights set on, but I always regret it later. I have been very slack with my money lately. Last month we decided to live off the stockpile to make sure we rotated the stock properly. I only took a small amount of grocery money for milk and vegies and we left the bulk of the grocery money in the bank. However, instead of dividing up the rest of the money into my plastic bags as I always do, I just put it in my purse. We ran out of money for the first time in a couple of years.

If I am to save money and cut down on everything, I need to organise myself so it is easy to do. Having all the money in my purse is the worst way for me to organise my money. It's too difficult to budget that way. Having money ready to spend when you go out is too much of a temptation, and when these things are just a few dollars I talk myself into the spending by telling myself it's just a few dollars, it won't matter.

It matters.

Today I'm taking a backup lunch to work with me and if I don't take my lunch again, then I will have to go without. It will do me good. I've also reminded myself how easy it is to let money just slowly leak away. I need to be mindful of that all the time. I don't need another reminder for a while. I'll stay on track now.

How are you going with your budgeting? Do you fall off the edge of your budget sometimes? And if you do, how do you recover from it. How are you organising your cash so that you don't spend it when you go out? I'd be interested to know how others organise their money and how they stay on track.
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