No Job, Plenty Fun: The Budget

Day2: in which Marsha is sorely tempted by the wondrous enterprise Costco. Will the excesses of Costco break her resolve? $4.99 for blackberries or $6.99 for blueberries, which one goes home? Budget or bust?

The trip to Costco yielded surprises. The most expensive item – puppy food. The least – bananas. In-between those two: dry beans, plastic bags, apples, pretzels, ground turkey. $95.65 worth of what-it-takes-to-live. “Under $100,” said the clerk, handing me the receipt and my card, somehow happy that I wouldn’t be signing my name with the not-pen.

Easy, you think? It was torture. Cookies, an item I buy there once a year if at all, called to me like I had an urgent appointment with sugar. Humus, three to a pack, never looked so good. How Stanley and I would eat it all seemed an unnecessary consideration.

All of a sudden I felt I must have: a new couch (no. the entire sectional,) a new desk, a bean-bag chair, tortilla chips to join the bag already at home. I wanted, must have, needed it all, just because of the budget that tells me I can’t. Or shouldn’t, unless it is a normal thing to buy. Another desk? Not normal.

I am trying, really trying to make this monthly accounting a real thing. Whatever I would normally do, I want to do that. What is normal? It’s a question I have never really asked, which makes me curious. What is the difference between need and want?

Today: $95.65 and a lot of grief. $95.65 + $85 = $180.65 sounds to me like a lot for the second day of the month


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