As I mentioned, this month, my budget is out of whack because of some unexpected pet expenses. The cat’s surgery is next Tuesday, but I’m already planning how to pay for it. While the money is there thanks to YNAB, I am doing my best to tighten the budget so that I don’t go over budget too much.
One thing that I did was review my budget and pull all budgeted money for “fun” things and put that into the Pet Care category. This means that I no longer had any budgeted money for books or movies or music, for example. Not that I ever budget very much in those categories, but usually have $10-$20 to spend. Not being able to buy any books this month shouldn’t be a problem as I’ve put myself on a buying freeze until I get through the huge stack (read: box) of unread books taking up space in my apartment.
I figure this wouldn’t be a problem. Then I heard a song on a tv show that I really wanted to download from iTunes. But that was going to cost me 99 cents. My music budget had no money in it. So technically I couldn’t afford it. I actually went back and forth for a solid ten minutes on whether or not I should still buy the song.
Then I realized that I was being ridiculous. I bought the song. I have enjoyed it more than I expected. And I learned a lesson. While it is important to keep your budget as tight as possible, there has to be some room for fun in the budget. Now, how much money that equates to varies from person to person, and for me, even varies from month to month.
In moments like this, I begin to wonder if I’m focusing too much on my finances. I shouldn’t let a 99 cent expense stress me out so much. Of course, if we’re talking 99 cents every day, that will add up. But one 99 cent song purchased this month is clearly not going to break the bank.
Some days, I just need to remember to put things into perspective.