No Job, Plenty Fun: The Budget

Day 28: in which Marsha revisits the idea of needs versus wants and decides that if there is a Land of Frugality, she is not its Queen.

Do I want it or do I need it? And how much of each can I settle for? In this last post of a budget-watching month, these are my questions.

I think needs are fairly simple. Given the life we have lived, the aspirations and limits that are ours, we have some financial imperatives beyond food. One example is dog treats. It would be unfortunate for all of us, since we have chosen to welcome Sadie into our home, to do less than welcome her with ample love-in-a-box. Even though there  is life without Milk Bone, I consider it necessary to keep a good supply handy. But I buy her treats with an eye to value. I have not yet fallen prey to the doggy bakery with a full display of gourmet treats for the pup.

Wants are easily classified, not so easily quantified. Take coffee. I like good quality coffee. I won’t drink the standard stuff. If I could not buy the fair-trade, organic, whole beans from Colombia (or Ethiopia or Huaja,) I wouldn’t drink coffee at all. So what does that mean in my budget? I somehow must come up with a bottom line. At some point, the pleasure of being frugal is trumped by the pleasure of the coffee itself. It’s one expense I’ll pay, and one reason I call myself fairly frugal, not the Queen of the Realm.

There are some things I would do differently. I notice in my budget, between the sum I had in mind and the money we actually spent, I have just enough for a nice day or night away. And all our entertainment was free this month: A few lectures, a karate function here and there, a couple meetings and hook-ups with friends. That’s good, but probably not entirely typical. Once a month, a cover fee to hear Eva Scow would be great.

today $0.00 –  fairly frugal, to celebrate this last post

$0.00 + $1882.08 = $1882.08

The river of money moves on, with me flowing toward a spending spree. MacFrugal’s here I come.


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