Last night my conversation with my husband touched on our budget, as it often does. We are in constant conversation over spending, needs, wants, and goals where our money is concerned. I've been nitpicking our grocery budget to pieces recently, scrutinizing it as one of the spendy spots we could watch more closely. We've been shopping at QFC more instead of our little fruit market (due to convenience) and our grocery budget tends to dwindle way quicker with each subsequent trip to QFC.
Anyway, I was expounding on this when my husband says, "Justus-sweetheart, I know you like to analyze our budget, but our food costs are within budget still. We're not going over in that category, just spending all of it...and I've noticed we never talk about one budget that seems to grow into overspending proportions each month."
"What?!" I nearly shriek. "We have a horribles budget that goes over every month and haven't fixed it? How is this possible? How have we been overspending every month? Show me this budget and we'll fix that right now!"
He looks at me like I'm insane (obvs, I am), then says, "Books, sweetheart. Books. When we first created the budget you said the $100 each of us gets for spendy-spendy money in the beginning of the month would cover your book purchases. Then we added a $25 book budget for each month, but that immediately became $30. But, sweetheart, this month your book budget is $85 so far."
I sputtered indignantly, swearing that couldn't be right and surely some of that money--every bit over $30--was spent on book gifts. My husband needed only raise an eyebrow at me to trigger the memories of exactly what books I bought to nearly triple the book budget.
Naturally, I was left with no choice but to point out that I don't have a Book Budget. I have a Book Addiction...and then I started to laugh at myself very, very hard, for the whole budgeting discussion had come about because I had said the dangerous words, "Oh, love! I found a book at work today."
My husband is very good about readjusting our budget every time I come to him with that sentence. To me, each book is so unique and distinct and wonderful I don't necessarily connect one with the other. Also, we do readjust our budget together, which means no purchase (book or otherwise) is made without first ensuring the budget can take it, and there are sometimes (I've been spoiled by the rarity) when we can't squeak a few extra book dollars out, so I wait.
...but today I found a new book at work!
Squirrel and Nest offers one-on-one and small group financial counseling services that aim to give individuals the knowledge and independence they need to get their financial lives in great shape.