How are you doing sticking to your budget? For sure, some months are easier than others. Once in a while though, no matter how hard you try or plan to stay between the lines, there comes along a budget-buster you weren’t expecting—like a jar of pickles.
A few months ago, Judah and I were shopping at Costco and were being very careful about what we were going to buy. I had made a list, and we were going to stick to it no matter what!
So there we were at Costco—list in hand and budget well in mind—and I was in protection mode. We were strong!
Then we got to the aisle with the pickles, olives, and artichoke hearts—and we began debating on the gallon jar of pickles. Yes, I know. A gallon jar of pickles for two people? But here’s the thing, they were only $3.
I don’t know what happened after that—it’s all a blur—but something snapped. The next thing I knew, we were going back through the store grabbing and throwing into the cart all the things we were supposed to “think about.”
Once we were home and saw with eyes wide open the damage we had done to our budget, as well as to our fridge and pantry, we were mortified. How did we let this happen?
In that moment I realized—you never know what will become a chink in your budgeting armor.
Here are a few things that I have tried to do since that fateful Costco-run that have helped me to stick to my budget when shopping:
- I use paper not plastic. Credit makes me careless; cash makes me careful and thoughtful.
- I make a list and add up the prices as I go along. This not only exercises my brain, but I turn it into a game (have I ever mentioned how competitive I am?).
- I set a timer and get out of the store within the allotted time. I find that when I am able to do this, I spend less. (this is where a shopping list really comes in handy. It’s not worth it if you forget something and have to go back).
So don’t let your guard down and get yourself in a pickle. There’s no reason to lose your mind or your economy over cheap gallon jars of fermented foods (although those pickles were amazing).
Instead, develop good planning and organizational habits so that you are armed and ready to stick to your plan no matter what budget-buster comes your way. Taking control of your finances? How very Nest Pretty.