While Chef was gone for three weeks in Alaska, I had to do the budget on my own. This didn’t seem like it would be a terrible task; he and I do it together every two weeks, but it’s pretty much the same each time, so I wasn’t too worried.
At the top, I wrote down the income. Then I started subtracting the expenses.
It was time to pay the mortgage, and things are always tight when it’s mortgage time. But on top of that, February had been a really cold month, AND we’d run out of firewood. This meant that the furnace had to run more than usual to keep the house warm. So the gas bill was also much higher than it had been.
As I kept subtracting and subtracting, it was getting a little uncomfortable.
There was no room for our fun money this time, and I could squeeze only $17 out for groceries for two weeks.
The good news was that since Chef wasn’t home and friends had invited me over for meals a few times, I still had cash left in the grocery envelope from the previous pay period. Plus, the dogs were depressed because Chef was gone, and that meant they weren’t eating as much either.
Sometimes it can be a little bit scary doing this pay-only-with-cash thing. But it’s scarier to get giant credit card bills in the mail, so I’m okay with the way we’re doing it. Truly, I love doing it this way. I’d much prefer to pay in cash than face up to my indiscretions later with a huge credit card payment.
And I did just fine on $17 for groceries.
And now that the weather’s warming up, we won’t be using the furnace as much. We have more daylight now, so we can use less electricity. And I can hang my laundry on the line instead of putting it in the dryer, so that’s a savings, too. (Plus, it makes the clothes smell like sunshine.) Before too long, we’ll be able to shop at the Farmers’ Market, and we always manage to get a ton of vegetables there for really cheap. So things are looking up.