Tuesday, January 25, 2011

welcome to my budget friendly life

There's going to be one word that Aaron is going to start to hate. Despise. Annoy. Frustrate. Agrivate.


This semester, I have donated my time on Fridays to my practicum experience (donate is not the right word. Forced as per my graduation requirements with my M.S). The point of a practicum is to experience a new office setting and environment; last semester, I experienced the department of art advising office (I've become quite used to it, actually. Weird) I wanted to honestly try something different than I had in the past and New Student Services (NSS) is a new office that I haven't really dealt with, on the other side of the coin. Being the art advisor, they contact me daily to set up appointments for students who are interested in visiting with the department of art. Perhaps, at times, I've been frustrated with their office. However, let the record state that my frustration was due to someone else (ahem: helicopter parents). I needed someone to blame. Opps.

So, in the spirit of following what the desired outcome is, I signed up for a practicum with NSS. This impacted my work schedule, as I needed to dedicate a good amount of hours with this office (NSS). I made the (risky financial) decision to not work on Fridays and drop from full time to part-time status (32 hours/wk). My paycheck has dropped, as well (obviously). $200 less. Ouch. This led me to 1) invoke the assistance of Dave Ramsey financial god and 2) create a budget so I can see in black/white just how close I need to play the financial game this semester. I'll be able to play the game. I just need to keep budget on the mind, at all times.

Aaron covers the phone bill and I cover groceries. After mass on Sundays, we go to Wal-Mart and play the "Is that the cheapest?" game. We plan out our dinners through the week. I've budgeted $50/wk for this trip (that includes all the toiletries, etc that I get, so not just food). Here's hoping that we can make it work on that, but I'm more willing to purchase the 97 cent Great Value Chicken seasoning as opposed to the "Shake-n-Bake" brand name that it's $1.97.

Poor, Aaron, though. I know that "budget" will be a word that he'll start to cringe at and will roll his eyes when I say "Is that in the budget? If not, then forget it" God, when he proposed he was proposing to all sides of me. The frugal side (which I never realized how deep the frugal bone runs in me), the dramatic side (which I always knew was there and strong), the pissed off side when we go to Aggieville for the first time in months and I'm pissed because I've made the SMART choice to not fake tan this season and all the other so-hos have. However, I'm still pissed about it and feel insecure, because I've tanned every other year. He proposed to all sides and he'll learn to love it. He already has.

On a sidenote: any words of wisdom in saving pennies @ the grocery stores? And don't waste the typing power on suggesting generic brands: I was raised on generics, baby.