This morning, I was faced with a tough decision. A friend of mine was 1st in line at the Apple store and had a ticket for the iPad she wanted and a ticket for close to the iPad I want. The only thing was that it was the 32GB version, not the 16GB versions. It would have cost $100 (plus tax) more than what I have budgeted. Bottom line...I said no. I would like to think I could have made it work, but extracting $100 from my budget would be hard. As a certain someone said, "you can make $100 go a long way." Does $100 make a big difference to anyone else out there? Turns out $100 is a substantial potion of my budget. If I had to scrounge up $100 in one month, it would basically mean the following:
Zero dollars for impulse buys instead of $25. Nearly impossible for me, by the way.
I could try to cut the eating out budget from $35 to $25. I've done it before, but it's NOT easy. Turns out, spending time with friends tends to cost money, so I don't think I could go below $25.
I could practice some serious discipline and go without any coffee or soda money. That would be about $15-20. I'll say $20 even though I try to keep it towards $15.That would also be nearly impossible for me. My will power isn't as great as I'd like it to be!
I could go without any CVS shopping for a month. I'll post about that sometime soon! That's another $10.
That's only $75. The above listed budget cuts would be hard, but do-able. I could make other cuts, but basically I'm not willing to. Those cuts would be what I consider extreme measure to cover a "want." If this $100 was a "need," it would be a different story. Taking extreme measure is what got me out of the hole. I just don't want to make those extreme measures anymore!
Moral of the story? Having a budget helped me a lot in this situation. It was a life line of sorts. The decision was essentially black and white. Even though I was tempted (and trust me...I was seriously tempted!), I know I only have a certain amount budgeted for the iPad. Also, I was forced to see what would have happened if I had made a bad decision to go over budget. I would be in the hole! Bad! I don't want to be there ever again!
So here I am. Practicing being patient. Reviewing my budget for April. Happy to see I didn't go over in March! Oh, and I'm super happy for my friend, Christine, who is probably playing with her shiny new iPad right now! She's the one who has been so thoughtful to send me texts at horrible early hours while she's waiting outside the Apple store. Go Christine! Download a fun app for me!