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Monday, September 25, 2006  

Why you don't have to stick to your budget all the time

Budgeting is a daunting task to so many people because they feel that every penny must be accounted for and that they're a failure if they don't meet all of their goals. First of all never forget that figuring out where your money goes is a fluid process, you will need to adjust your budget as you figure it out more realistically.

But the fluidity that must exist with budgeting is not what I wanted to write about today, I sat down to write about how I stick to my budget - most of the time - and that most of the time is good enough. I have started using cash to limit my food spending. Because I love reading real numbers on other blogs I'll tell you that my food budget is $60 per week. This includes going out on weekends and everything that accompanies that like cab fare. I spent the vast majority of that number on weekends.

Last week thursday rolled around and all my coworkers decided to go out for sushi. I felt like having a social lunch, and more than that was absolutely desperate to get out of the office that day. I only had $7 cash left- not enough for this lunch out. But I did it anyway. I am lucky that I'm in a position where that extra money on lunch is not going to make or break me. So I went over my lunch budget for the week. It's not a huge deal and it doesn't blow my whole month. I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch and didn't feel bad about it. The point of a budget is be aware of these little extravagances and make them the exception rather than the norm. You are not a failure if your budget doesn't work out all of the time. Work towards all of the time, but most of the time is definitely good enough.

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