My Budgeting Downfall

I’ve been doing fairly well on my road to financial stability. I’ve got a budget. I’ve been working on cutting costs. I cut the cable. Gym membership? Long gone. I’m learning to deal with being slightly chilly in the winter (hey, I own sweaters!), and the dog is learning to be slightly warm in the summer. I stopped doing my weekly shopping at Target, so I’m not tempted by housewares when I’m supposed to be buying groceries. I decreased my phone bill by cutting the free-loader off second line, although I think there’s still room for some trimming there. I don’t buy many clothes, or take trips very often. I sold my newer car, and bought an older one with cash. I’m sticking to the plan, and making lots of progress.

But I could be making more. I give myself $130 a week “spending” money. That money should cover groceries, household items, and entertainment. For a single girl (whose boyfriend frequently provides dinner, and possibly leftovers for lunch), that should be plenty. The problem? Food!

I love food. Pasta, bread, potatoes, dairy… all the things my ever-expanding waistline says I shouldn’t be eating. I could stand to lose a couple (20) pounds. And no, I’m not going to whine that you can’t eat healthy on a budget. You 100% can! You just have to have a plan. So, I only keep healthy foods in my house. Translation: I don’t eat at my house!

I can’t tell you how many fresh veggies I’ve thrown out. Chicken. Fruits just make me hungrier. I conveniently *forget* my lunch so I can run to get fast food. Yes, I love fast food. I console myself after a hard day with a nice dinner. Or pizza. I’ve been on a total pizza kick lately.

I could be saving myself a lot of money by stocking my favorite foods at home. But then, that defeats the whole losing weight/being healthy thing. So I stock healthy foods at home. And then I eat out. I’m essentially buying food twice: healthy foods that I don’t eat, and restaurant food, that’s even more expensive, and even more unhealthy, that I do eat. I’ve gotten myself into a vicious cycle of food and wasted money. It’s not that I can’t do it; it’s that I’m not doing it. I haven’t been exercising my willpower.

Everyone has a financial weakness. Nice clothes, luxury vacations, fancy cars. I think we all have that one area (at least) where we struggle to maintain the budget. Or where we could cut back, but haven’t. My weakness is food. But I’m not giving up! I’m continually trying to find creative ways to be healthy, cheap, and satisfied. Or at least to find a happy medium.

What’s your spending downfall? Have you found a creative way to eat healthier?

– Ms. W

Comments

  1. My budgeting downfall is my desire for convenience and comfort. Haha. 😉 This means that I tend to readily pay extra to minimize hassle, even when the hassle isn’t that hassling if I just stop and think about it.

    1. Yep, done that many times in the past! One of my favorite Sex in the City quotes: “Miranda, throw some money at the problem and let’s go!” Sometimes it just feels worth it!

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