Sunday, November 25, 2012
My husband and I are particularly good at spending money. Without a budget system in place, we would quickly and easily spend on the latest impulse gadget, music, books and apps from the iTunes Store, a cute shirt or any other trivial thing that comes along. Our impulse control could be much better.
So we give ourselves allowances for discretionary spending from every paycheck. It is about $100 every two weeks, which should be plenty to play around with. My strategy is to save about half for my next big purchase, whatever that may be.
Until about two weeks ago, though, I was having a tough time putting that savings away. My money just seemed to sift through my fingers faster than I could hide it away.
Until about two weeks ago, which is when I joined Spark People. That is also when I quit spending my discretionary fund on fast food. The cost adds up, especially these days, when costs have been rising and wages have not. A value meal (super sized, of course) ran close to $8. Not spending all that money on something that wasn't good for me has directly helped my bottom line -- a lot! I didn't realize how many times a week I defaulted to lunch from the drive- thru.
Now I have all that money to myself and I am saving it for the next splurge. A new camera? A nice weekend getaway for my husband and I?
I have also realized some other benefits: a shrinking belly, less swelling in my ankles and fingers from reduced salt intake, a better appreciation of moderate portions and a falling number on the scale.
I am realizing that eating fast food all the time came at an even higher cost than I realized. Now I am richer in both wealth and health.