I don’t know about you but at least once a month I have this long stressful conversation with my family about where is all the money going? You see, we try to do the right thing by establishing a budget and monitoring it to see if we are living the plan. Why? Because not having a budget is like living without a plan. Now I will be the first to admit that at times, it is not easy to remain on the budget because occasionally the unplanned event or circumstance shows up knocking at your door. However, the truth is that in most cases not sticking with the goal is a result of me being tempted by my “wants” as opposed to my “needs”.
- Movies – I have cable TV and rent videos from $1 – $3. So please explain to me why my family desires to visit movie theatres when we know that same movie will be on video in about three months’ time? The average cost per person at a movie theatre is $20. That’s a lot of money and when multiplied per family member, it makes for a very expensive two hours.
- Music – As a family we download music from legitimate places and listen to a lot of internet music stations but still have this desire to purchase CDs for the collection and to own the entire track. The reality of it is that there are only three tunes that we honestly like but we spend $18 for the entire CD.
- Fruits and Vegetables – Our health is extremely important so we try our best to eat healthy which results in buying more and more fruits and vegetables. This is a good thing right? Well as you know, produce is not cheap. However, when we start buying produce in prepared packages so that we don’t have to slice and dice our consumption, the price for the same quantity goes way up. Purchasing bagged salad and other items that have been “convenientized” can increase your cost as high at 75%.
- Bottled water and flavored drinks – In an attempt to stay healthy we also try to stay hydrated. I had a water filter system installed to assure that we would get clean water and save money. The average cost per glass is pennies on the dollar. With that in place and for whatever crazy reason, we still spend a lot of money buying bottle water and flavored water to have on the go. Up to $2 per bottle quickly adds up.
- Caffeine and snacks – Chances are that you have a strong desire or fixation for one or both of these items. In my household we buy the coffee for the purpose of brewing at home. I already stated that we try to eat healthy and load up on fruits and vegetable. So why in the world do we purchase coffee outside of the home at a local cafe’ with an average cost of $2.35/cup and why do we purchase snacks throughout the day at an average cost of $1.25/bag that is not even half filled?
I hope you see the insanity in all of this. You may suggest that we see a therapist. But the concern is that we are probably a typical family living a crazy life. Do you agree?
These are just some of my shortfalls or roadblocks. I take pride in the fact that I have identified them but I am sure that there are many more. Maybe we can help each other out if you add to the list in the comments section below.