Nothing like looking at your budget the month after you get married to reevaluate your spending habits.
I’d been using the zero-dollar budget to keep track of my expenses and start saving last January when I took a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class – I even paid off an entire student loan completely in 4 months! It was a mindset switch that took some getting used to but it was the most freeing move I’ve ever made with my finances.
I fell off the wagon right before our September wedding and haven’t done my healthy habit since. I definitely didn’t budget for 3 sets of fake eyelashes, acne cream for my stress-induced breakouts, and all the other shit I got at Target days before our wedding (like a white case for my sunglasses because it was WHITE, jeez).
Now, I’m back on the wagon and this time with a partner! Joel’s joining me for November’s zero-dollar budget and I’m really excited (yes, these are the kinds of things that excite me friends).
One of the most interesting observations through this process has been realizing how crazy consumerism is in America and this scarcity mindset that comes along with retail marketing. Go in to any store right now and you’ll see. The Christmas decorations were practically pushing out the Halloween decorations 2 weeks before Halloween even happened! Not only is this emotionally confusing (who sticks Santa next to skeletons, seriously?!) but it’s reinforcing this idea that we’ll never have enough or be enough.
When you don’t have it in your budget to buy more sequined pumpkins for your holiday mantle – and you don’t have credit cards to rationalize just one more package of glittered leaves – you start to get resourceful with what you do have. Your actual desires and wants start to surface as a result and you have 2 choices:
1. Save for next month when your budget renews and get all the sparkle at 70% off or
2. Go outside to discover a plethora of real leaves all around you, bring some inside and realize what you just had to have wasn’t what you really needed.