Every once in a while, I find that I need to revise my budget to make sure that it really reflects what is going on in my life. I know some people like to create a budget and stick to it until the end of time but for me, it’s really a fluid part of our lives. In my case, my budget needs a drastic overhaul. The girlfriend and I have moved into a new (more expensive) apartment, I have increased my contributions into my 401k and my savings, and payroll tax wen t up (damn 2%!). Overall, I need to seriously adjust my budget to account for an additional $600 a month I’m moving into other locations.
This is really leading me to my main point about being flexible. As I mentioned above, a lot of people create their budget and never deviate from it. As if it were handed to them from up on high, they worship the budget. No no no no no. Not cool. A budget is a tool, a flexible tool, that we need to use as part of our financial freedom repertoire.
So then, how the hell will I do this without letting my life suffer? I’ve got to find $600 a month! And I’m not getting any additional income from any other sources right now. So, how will I do it? Well, I won’t lie, I haven’t been living the most mustachian of lifestyles (by the way, if you haven’t checked out Mr. Money Mustache yet, do it. He’s insane and it’s amazing. I love it). Basically, I have been indulging in some things that I shouldn’t have. Namely, spending excess money going out to eat, drink, etc.
Now, we all need to enjoy ourselves from time to time. Going out with friends is typically a good time and I doubt you look back too often and say to yourself “Damn, that burrito with Tony was not worth it.” Because let’s face it, a burrito is almost always worth it. But what isn’t worth it is going out to lunch EVERY day. It’s not worth it for your wallet or your belt. Really, going out to eat or get drinks should be an occasion for you, your friends, and your family. Why waste the time, and the money, doing something like that every day.
I can understand what some of you are probably thinking: you just cannot stay in the office at lunch. Yeah, you’re not the only one. Trust me on that one. But if you can’t stand it then just get out! Eat in the park or go for a walk. Bottom line is that if you can pare down your lunchtime expenses so you’re only eating lunch out of the office maybe once a week, it can go a long, long way to correcting your budget.
Granted, I don’t spend that much money a money eating out. I’m also going to have to cut out on other things. I’ll be walking to work more in order to save on gas, as well as wear and tear, on my car. I’ll also take a little bit out of my cost of insurance, as that recently went down, as well as my bottom line. Generally, I always budgeted in a cushion each month. Between that, the things above, and more diligence on my part, I should be just fine with this extra $600 a month. Just, you know, don’t hate me when you see my February net worth update. Because it’s going to be AWFUL. Moving and getting some new (used) furniture, as well as a security deposit, has wiped me out. But that’s a story for another day. Until next time!