Actually, I might have had more sense about money at the age of 11, when my income was from a paper route and said income was spent on video games and Tootsie Roll Pops at 7-11 (it was a small and relatively unprofitable route).
I will come out and say that I am a complete and utter idiot when it comes to money. Here is what I know about it: I go to work and make some. Then I turn around and spend more than that on stuff I don't need. I have run out of it several times and have been embarrassingly bailed out by my mother more times than I care to count. I am pretty sure I owe her one million dollars, though she says I work some of it off by carting her around sometimes so maybe I owe her more like $999,900 at this point.
I have set out to make a budget a whole bunch of times. But I'm pretty sure that never happened. I can always tell you how much I pay in bills each month. There's no variable. It's the "other stuff" that trips me up.
So on the one hand, I eat out too much; mostly at work, sometimes going out with friends. I am not sure what my beer budget is, but it's pretty high compared to most households, I'd imagine.
I wind up spending a lot of money on grooming. I just got my hair done today and if I had the skills to do it myself or if I ever took my friend's advice and let her do it for me I would save A LOT of money. But I've been seeing Bernice for years and years and I'm a creature of habit and I like how she does my hair so there you go. I also can't use cheap shampoo (as much as I'd LOVE to) because of the kind of hair I have, so there's more money.
Don't even get me started on waxing. I gotta wax my brows. I can't not go and see Bev. Don't ask me about parts I get waxed that no one ever seems to see. It's pretty ridiculous.
And then there's stuff on which I refuse to spend money. Like purses.
I had this purse I LOVED and the only reason I am no longer carrying it is that I wore it out. It was from Target and made of fabric and it was a black and white floral pattern and it was so flipping cute. And it was $8.
That's right. $8. It was normally $10, but I got it on sale for $8 because I'm cool like that.
So in my pursuit to replace this purse with an almost exact replica, I searched high and low. Checked at Target every time I was there, no dice. Finally found it on Etsy and it was $26. I went back and forth with myself about it. $26? But I really want another purse for $8. Here was a purse that was adorable, hand-made, machine-washable, and I loved it. Yet I was hemming and hawing about it being $26. This blew the mind of my dear friend, Stephanie, when this come up when I was hanging out with her, Spook, and Sarah. She could not believe I would trip off of something like that when I do spend money on other stuff. How much had I spent for this particular girls' night? How much would I spend for a sushi lunch (seriously, like $24 sometimes with tax and all that).
And it was hard to explain why I want a purse for $8 and I want t-shirts that cost about the same and I why I don't even want to spend $30 on a pair of jeans and why I like to buy shoes at Payless. The only way it possibly makes sense is if I say it is wasted on me.
If you gave me a purse that cost $100 and a pair of jeans for the same amount I would look at you like you thought I was the Queen of West County. Why, these are garments and accessories made for royalty, I would say to you.
I TOTALLY don't begrudge anyone their fancy pants or real jewelry (I'm pretty much a fakey fakerson when it comes to that, mainly because losing earrings is what I do), and I'd never pass judgment. Okay, that's not entirely true. If I knew someone who was kind of a douche and they had a pair of $200 jeans I might say, "Oh my gosh, that guy is such a flipping douche in his $200 jeans."
To many I realize I look like an idiot because I DO spend money and I have too much stuff but not so many nice things to show for what I spend. So this isn't about me being cheap, sheesh, I wish I were were. It's just that when it comes to some things I want to spend this many dollars and with other stuff I will spend more dollars.
I went to the book fair at the kid's school today and spent 40-plus dollars on books. We go to the library. Where we can check out books. For FREE. But the kid's a bookworm and she digs owning books. As in, "I get to keep this one? All the time??"
Okay, so I'm pushing it a little. But we will get a lot of use out of those books. And when she is done with them we will pass them on to her baby cousin, and who knows how many years they will be around. I could almost buy a fancy purse on sale at Macy's for what I spent on book fair books.
But I really wanted to get those books for her.
What do you spend money on that you shouldn't? Are there "fancy" things you just can't live without, places where you refuse to not splurge? How do you like to save money or stick to a budget?