Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"Budgets are a necessary evil."

Frugal - [froo-guhl]
1. economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful: What your office needs is a frugal manager who can save you money without resorting to painful cutbacks.
thrifty, chary, provident, careful, prudent, penny-wise, scrimping; miserly, Scotch, penny-pinching.
     wasteful, extravagant, spendthrift, prodigal, profligate.
2. entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty: a frugal meal.
     scant, slim, sparing, skimpy.
     luxurious, lavish, profuse.

(Definition courtesy of: www.dictionary.com)

Ever since I got my first job at the age of seventeen, I have always been financially independent from my parents. I never asked them for pocket money, or allowance. I would buy my own clothes, shoes, etc. And since it's my own money, I didn't have to explain my expenses to my parents. And maybe it's this taste of "independence" that got me where I am today- a person who needs a crash course on frugality.

I have long achieved financial independence, now I need to achieve financial freedom. In order to accomplish the long-term part of Goal # 2 from my previous post (to pay off all my debts), I need to be more careful with how, and where, I spend my hard-earned cash. I don't need to be one of those hard-core frugal people. I just need to be better in managing my finances if I were to follow through on this. With this in mind, I have decided to make a list of things I can do to help guide me.

1. No more eating out.
     Unless, of course, it's unavoidable. Let's be realistic: I am not giving up "going out," or hanging out with friends. And for most of the times, going out comes with spending. Plus, sometimes you have to eat out for special occasions. I just have to limit, set budget, and brown-bag it whenever I can. After all, I am trying to be frugal, not cheap.
2. No more unnecessary purchases.
     No doubt, I am guilty of this. However, if I come across the perfect pair of red, strap, stiletto sandals, I will buy it. I have been on the hunt since I broke my favorite pair a couple of years ago. But I will give up buying yarn and makeup (two of my many weaknesses!) I don't need. (Ugh! This means I have to give up my weekly trips to A.C. Moore, Michael's, Target, Harmon, and/or Sephora!)
3. No more new clothes.
     Key word: new. If I want to update my wardrobe, I will try to refashion what I already own, or just borrow from my sisters. That's what they are there for! LOL. Actually, this will give me the motivation to be more creative... Time to break out the sewing machine. :)
4. My savings account is OFF LIMITS!
     I have to remember that a savings account is for real emergencies only. Also, I will try to put a percentage of my paycheck every pay day.

I am also giving myself a weekly allowance, which I can either spend or save. I know it's going to be harder than it sounds but I am willing to really try. Hopefully, this guideline will make it easier. I just have to remind myself that I am doing this to reach a bigger goal- to buy a house. :)

Now since we are on the subject of being frugal, I feel the need to confess... I did just buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 this past Sunday. Did I need it? Of course not, but I wanted it. I promise that this will be my last unnecessary splurge. (I think...)

And speaking of unnecessary spending. I had to go to on an unscheduled visit to my doctor yesterday, which led to me paying a $50 co-pay. It was all because I have a soft spot for spiders. I wouldn't let my co-worker kill a spider yesterday. In fact, I tried to save it. And since I have no fear of them, I decided to bring/carry the little guy outside with my bare hands. Of course, the spider, not knowing what I was up to, decided to bite me in defense. (Oh yes, the irony...)

At first, it wasn't a big deal, but then I started to experience a slight tingling, which then proceeded to slowly spread up my arm. Apparently, that was the spider's venom slowly spreading through. I had to go to my doctor to get medication, which was administered by injection in my uh... gluteal region. Now a day later, the tingling is gone and my arm feels better. All that is left of my experience is a tiny spider bite on my left palm (which now looks like a mosquito bite), a (still) sore butt cheek, and a $50 hole in my wallet. Lesson learned. LOL.


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