When I want something I tend to just go get it. I might agonize over it for a while because I know I should be attempting to save my money, but in the end I usually end up giving in and getting what I want.
I am, however, trying to get better about that. I am in the awesome position however of making over twice as much as I need to pay my modest bills, and that is before the raise that goes into effect two weeks from Friday.
Today it is a $50 beginners drone that I want. I could argue up and down the pros and cons of getting it, I could go on and on about the things I’d do with it, even mention that my boss thought it would be awesome to get a video of the shop from a drone perspective. I could say, what’s $50? When I make over $1000 more than my bills a month, what is $50 worth? How far back will that really set me in building my tiny house?
The truth, and the thing I have to remind myself, is that it adds up. $50 one month isn’t a big deal, but when that adds up, when it becomes $50 this week, $30 next, maybe another $40 the following, it adds up. That $50 could go to my credit card instead, or into my savings account. Every little bit helps.
When I do my finances in the excel spreadsheet I have them saved in, I round up my bills and round down my income. I get $467 a week (at the moment) but I round it down to 460. That’s $28 a month right there of buffer. My phone bill is $132, I round it to $135. My car insurance is $62 and I round it to $65. Hulu is like $12 and I round it to $15. From all those I’ve got almost $65 of buffer. I also don’t factor in the $75 check I get each month from work towards my phone bill because I use my cell for work. So that is over $100 buffer. I do that to ensure I’ve always got a little extra money than I expect, and also because I am horrible about checking my balance and even at looking at prices on items in stores.
Okay, with the big ticket items, $30+ I will look, but the price rarely phases me. But for food items for example, I don’t look, I just toss them in my cart and go. Same with things like shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, etc. A lot of times I go to the grocery store expecting to spend $20 on food only to end up paying $60, and I rarely even notice or look at the receipt.
I am HORRIBLE about my finances, and impulse shopping is just the tip of the iceburg. I can’t go to someplace like Walmart or Goodwill, or anywhere, and look around and leave the store without buying something. I feel almost obligated.
Recently my little blueberry has been giving me trouble. I love my car. I bought it brand new in 2007, and got to drive it right off the showroom floor. We’ve been through adventures together, from blizzards and hurricanes to driving from Maine to Georgia, to going to Salem, MA all alone.
I’ve gotten into near misses with accidents in my little Yaris. I’ve only been in two accidents. The first was within months of getting my car and I hit the gas instead of the break pulling into a parking spot and hit a light pole. Did $3,000 worth of damage to my car (just look at the front end in the picture. Even at 10 miles an hour, it took out half my engine). The other was a stop sign in Boothbay Harbor in a blizzard. I was 100% sure we were going to hit the stop sign head on right in the middle, but somehow when the snow cleared the sign had only taken off my driver’s side mirror.
But he’s been on the road for 10 years. In the past six months I’ve had to replace the alternator, the rotors and cuffs, it’s going to need new tires, and just recently the timing was off, so it needed a new timing cover and still needs $1200 worth of work on whatever the timing issue is. My dad has been able to do a lot of the work himself for just the price of the parts offline, but the costs are starting to add up. His opinion is that as long as I am spending less than $3000 a year on repairs, it’s still more cost effective to keep it rather than trading it for something else.
Though I admit… the new Mustangs are pretty sexy.
Now, I COULD afford a shiny new Ford Mustang, the payments after I trade in my Yaris would be around $350 a month. I could totally afford that.
But that is $350 a month not going to paying off my credit card, not going to building my tiny house.
If I continue to spend the way I have been, I’ll NEVER get my house and NEVER get out of my parents place. I need to start looking to the future, and see every dollar as setting me back in time of when I can afford to build my tiny house.
Once I get my raise, I can put $1000 on my credit card every month! I could pay it off by the end of July. Then I could save $1000 a MONTH towards my tiny house. I’d have the trailer by Christmas. But only if I keep up the constant mantra “after the tiny house” because once my tiny house is built… that extra money a month can go to whatever the hell I want! (Of course I’ll be responsible and set up a 401K and put like half of it in there.) New car? No problem. Drone? Sure, splurge on a $400 one instead of a $40 one.
But not until AFTER my TINY House.
It’ll be easier to save once I’ve got the trailer. Because then I will be able to feed my spending addiction by buying things for my tiny house. So if I can just hold out until christmas… put everything to my credit card, then everything to my savings… I got this.
I got this!