I have this theory about budgeting:

I think of budgets the way I think of diets.  At first, I’m all gung-ho, “I don’t need food or money.”  That enthusiasm usually lasts a couple of weeks and then all of a sudden deprivation sets in and I become a crazed woman, who binges on food and shopping.

I’ve learned to live around this in terms of food.  I don’t diet (except for brief periods when I get hired to do so, but I learned my lesson), I just aim for living a healthy lifestyle.  A healthy lifestyle that sometimes includes ice cream, chocolate, and Chinese food.

Budgeting is a bit harder.  The older I get the more I want nice things.  Strangely, this also coincides with a desire to start saving for the future, retirement, vacations, etc.   Last week I decided it was time to be more diligent about my finances, yet still realistic.  This is my version of a healthy spending lifestyle.

I’ve cut out some “unnecessary” expenses, like my $20 yoga classes, cable, and taxis.  I’ve set up a weekly cash allowance.  Every week I start out with a certain amount of spending money to be used on whatever I want, but when that runs out there are no trips to the ATM to replenish.  I’ve also set up a weekly grocery budget.  I have the tendency to get really excited about groceries.  So far, it’s reigning in my love of the grocery store that has been the hardest.

Produce is expensive!

This week is scheduled to be a disgusting mess, and since my legs are my main form of transportation I decided to indulge a bit this week and order my groceries be delivered (worth the expense in torrential rain).  I’ve become very aware of prices all of sudden, now that I have a limit ($50) to stay within.  Actually, I exceeded my budget by $0.99, but this budgeting thing isn’t an exact science.

Do you have any budgeting tips?
How much do you spend on groceries?

Breakfast

Oatmeal with low fat sour cream
Orange juice

Snack

This apple was almost too pretty to eat…almost.

Lunch

Homemade chicken noodle

Snack

Hard boiled egg with watermelon, kiwi, and pineapple

Dinner

I had some left over wine from the weekend, perfect for sipping while dinner was cooking.

Trader Joe’s chicken lime burger with lite Cheddar, Ezekial English muffin,
roasted asparagus