The thing about budgeting is that oftentimes we get lax. Or should I say, I get lax. Yes, dear readers, it has happened; I have gone over our grocery budget for the second month in a row.
My husband and I had to have that dreaded ‘talk’ the other night. You know the one. “What is it you were buying this month?” He asks. I answer,” I dunno, “ with a shrug, thinking about those yogurt covered pretzels that I just can’t seem to get enough of lately. “You only have fifty dollars left and two weeks to go.” (Yes, you read that right, I really messed up this time). “I can do it,” I say confidently, shoulders shoved out but my mind mentally counting up how much cash I will have to spend for the next two weeks so we don’t have to eat oodles of noodles every night.
Lets be honest here, groceries are ridiculously overpriced and just getting pricier. A gallon of orange juice costs me almost five bucks; two boxes of cereal, eight dollars; and meat for dinners, unless on sale, an arm and a leg. I do still shop sales, of course, but some of our items are wants, and when we run out, if I haven’t replenished the stock beforehand, we have to replace.
Okay, so that’s my defense when talking with my husband, but the real reason we are going over is that since having my second daughter seven months ago, I haven’t found the gumption or the time to sit down and write up a weekly menu, find the coupons and sales items to accompany this menu, and go to the stores that I need to drive to in order to find the items I need to purchase in order to keep our monthly budget on track. Sheesh, just typing that out exhausted me. Half the time I forget to brush my teeth before leaving the house; how in the world am I supposed to remember to bring along the coupons, menu planner, and store flyer, much less write a list?
So the other day I sat down and made a list of our wants and our needs. I gave the list to my husband, who immediately responded, “ Let me guess, all of my stuff is on the wants side, right?”
I was fair. I put some of his stuff on the needs side, like cereal and dinner food. I put some of my stuff on the wants side, like yogurt-covered pretzels. Then I told him we would be starting anew next month. I will be purchasing only from the needs side at first, and only if we have money left over can we head on over to the wants side. I sighed inwardly as I said this, thinking about the yogurt pretzels I love so much: slightly sweet, crunchy, and, when they are out in the sun too long, ooey-gooey.
When you break life down, everything is about the wants and needs list, right? What do you really want and what do you need to have? My husband can do without his Gatorade, but not his breakfast food. I can do without my yogurt covered pretzels but not my veggies. We all have to give up something, right?
I’m going to do better next month, I really am. I’ll make you proud, even if it starves me. And I will keep moving when I see those little white pretzels staring back at me from the rack, calling, “I’m healthy and I’m delicious, please just take a bite!”
Oh, heck, who am I kidding? They cost like two bucks. What’s a few dollars in the scheme of things, right?
Have a great budgeting Friday moms! I’m off to eat some pretzels.