Money. Credit cards. Dinero. Coin. We all know it. We all love it because it affords us to do the things that we want to do. We have jobs not only for the fulfillment of self, but so that we can have a nice house, the coolest car, fun toys, endless vacations, beautiful clothes, and the list goes on and on. I mean, maybe that’s not even your list? I know it’s not mine, because mine goes a little something like this: carpet in the bedrooms, a storage shed, money to rent a pressure washer, exterior paint, interior paint, new exterior doors, bar cart, house decor, new rugs, bedroom furniture, etc.

Of course a brand new house would be better and a lot less problems than the current one I have. The coolest car comes with a heftier payment than I have now with my gas saving hatchback (that I thought I’d never own). Fun toys? Does a new lawn mower count? Endless vacations? Thank goodness for an amazing momma who takes us every year on a family vacay. Beautiful clothes? What are those... I look like a hobo most of my days. Unfortunately, since I’ve purchased my bungalow, I’ve given up on many everyday, “luxuries”. (what I’m now coining them as). With being here a year, so many things add up, things I n e v e r thought I’d have to buy. Take for example, today. Today I got on Amazon, my very favorite store, and I bought 1500 ladybugs. Yes, ladybugs. Why?, you ask? Well, because recently I’ve noticed that my car is extremely sticky and is covered in what I thought was tree sap.

Guess again, lady, it’s not tree sap. The other night, my friend Rachel informed me that these sticky substance is from Aphids. These are little plant lice that can damage trees. Oh, and the stickiness all over my car is their POOP. Yeah. Realllllly cool. Tonight, I had to make a run to Walgreens and I looked like I just had driven straight out of a coal mine. My car was literally black on top from all of the Aphid crap. *insert largest eye roll here*. But, it just so happens that ladybugs will eat Aphids, so I’m hopeful that this will be the case as soon as they’re shipped here and I thaw them out in my fridge, or so the directions say...Fingers crossed that they’ll survive and not die or fly right away upon release.

Meanwhile, I’ve gotten completely off topic with bugs, so back to “Budget”. Recently, I made a list. I wrote every single thing down. I wrote down credit card debt. I wrote down payments. I wrote down every single thing and then I walked to the bathroom with glazed over eyes and vomited. Not really, but I wanted to, after I saw how much a year of a new home, new car, new computer, new appliances, tree removal, water main clog, foundation fixes, and home renovations cost. I contemplated hopping in my hatchback and just driving far away. I contemplated curling up in a corner and crying. I contemplated a nap. Yes, I do this when I’m stressed, I nap. But I didn’t do any of those things. Instead, I took a deep breath and decided I was going to do what I needed to do to get my bills down and more manageable. I totaled out how much I need to live on by giving myself a grocery allowance and vowed not to not use Postmates or Amazon Prime Now, for awhile. (Postmates is a food delivery service and we use it a ton here in East Nashville. You either fight traffic and parking or you get food delivery from wherever you want. Amazon Prime Now is also a delivery service where you order things online and get them within two hours, like groceries or a comforter if you have unplanned guests for the night.)

The important thing is that I now know EXACTLY how much I need to pay off. I’ve set up a goal sheet for things that I’d like paid off quickly. I’ve even said no to “hangs” that revolve around eating out. I’ve slowed down on my carryout coffee, and I’m trying to eat whatever I have in my refrigerator. But with all of that being said, you honestly don’t realize how frugal you can be until you begin saving and saying “no” every time you think about going out and spending money. I’ve never been one to withhold myself from a yummy meal out in a restaurant, or doing things I can’t afford—because what is life if we are all stuck inside the house without fun things

to do or yummy things to eat. But, here’s where that life lesson comes in hand, “Everything in moderation.”, and boy isn’t that the truth? I have little wins here and there, but I’m slowly learning to control my budget. I’ve got a lot of things coming down the pipeline that I need to prepare for.

And, because I’ve sat down and made a list of my bills, I’ve been able to cross them off which makes it more realistic. I’ve also gotten rid of two huge bills. Sadly, I don’t have a specific technique, I’m not David Ramsey. However, writing them all down has helped me immensely to face them head on and get a game plan going.


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