Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Budgeting (AKA don't buy so much yarn!)

 (My new scarf, pre-blocking. Fantastic pattern is here: Pax )

I have never been good at budgeting. When my big brothers went and put their money away in their savings accounts, I took mine out 75 cents at a time to buy candy (I must have driven my poor bank tellers a bit nuts- they were right on the way to the Quick-check where I got my penny candies!). I'm terrible for buying impulsively and just getting too much stuff.
I like my stuff, and there is very little I regret buying, but that doesn't change much. I know my spending habits need to change. I've never lived outside my means- close to the limit, sure, but my credit card bill is always fully paid by the end of the month. It's time that I started saving, though, and that means that I've written a budget and I need to stick to it.
I did my first budget in March. I didn't really stick to it, but I'm not surprised- it was just to figure out what I needed in each part of my budget, and what was realistic. In April, I let it slide. Got a bit lazy, needed a few things, decided to just spend "normally" and figure it out at the end of the month to compare. I did spend too much in April, although I still came out a bit ahead (and the Webs order on the way was totally worth it!).

Now in May I'm planning to seriously crack down. I have my budget, and I want to try and be under it by a little bit at the end of the month. It will be a lot of work. Some things will be no issue- I rarely eat out or buy drinks out, so keeping that down will be easy. It's not a habit. I pack my lunch every day.
Some parts of my budget will be hard. Cracking down on craft supplies will be really, really hard. I love new craft supplies, but I really don't need any more. I have enough projects to last a year at least.
May is no new yarn month. I would like to push that further and buy no new yarn in June, too, but I may permit small amounts of yarn. We'll see.
It's going to be really, really hard. I have enough yarn, though. I need to work my way through some of what I have before I buy more. It's getting out of hand, and I know it. It's so hard to resist when amazing yarn comes into the store on clearance and I really, really want it...
This brings me to a new rule I've made for myself. I am waiting at least a day before I buy anything (with reasonable exceptions, like that I need it or that I can't go back for it). Most of what I buy is from the mall I work at anyway, and clearance at work can always be put in my basket for awhile. A cooling off period will help me decide if I really need it or just want it.
So here's to hoping I can stick to my May budget. If I can really stick to it this month- keep entirely to my budget and not buy any yarn- I am splurging for one of the cheap back rubs at the back rub place in my mall.

On another note, I just published April's pattern. I want to try making this in fine weight yarn with just the petals in a band now. This one is more kid-friendly, I want to see if I can make it a bit more elegant for me!
Spring Flowers Headband- free pattern!


  1. you can do it! *grabs pom-poms* hoorayyy budget!

    ...ok, silliness aside, i'm totally the same way. i have major spending issues, and it's gotten me into a lot of trouble (that i'm still paying off!). but! i found the way to save is a bit at a time, tucked away where it's not so easy to find. i highly recommend something like a continuous savings plan, where money is taken out each month and put into another account (this works better if you can't access that second account so easily!).

    and now that my money geek-out is done, that headband is supercute! :)

  2. Yeah, I should do that... but my income has been so unsteady that it's been hard to do. I do have my savings accounts which are awesome, I just need to get in the habit of spending less. I'm getting there...