on budgets and such

A few weeks ago I posted pictures of my holiday… last week my water rates bill arrived in the mail, I paid up and all was good. Yesterday my council rates arrived, and I started wondering if I should have saved every cent for the bill.. perhaps I should not have gone away for so long? So far away? Cognitive dissonance is what psychologists call such questioning. I had the best time ever while away and I will be able to manage the bills without going into hock, so I conclude going on holidays was a great idea.
I have also been following smallnotebook.org as they do “no spend month” this month. Wow, 3 people, $250 for the month – now there is a challenge. It certainly sounds tempting to give it a go…maybe later???
I really love the idea of being proactive, of feeling like at some important level I am in control of my life and make decisions about what it looks like. Once upon a time I lived by a strict budget (I was an undergrad then) and found that I could live on surprisingly little. Over the years I have sometimes been overwhelmed with bills (student fees that had to be paid up front, as one example) and resorted to the credit card. At those times it always feels like someone else is making my decisions – because I am chained to the bank.
A few months ago I decided to start a budget again. I find that over time other bits of my life seem to get more stable and in control as I take control of my finances. I can’t say how it all works together, but there is an invisible cord through the bits of my life and sections are somehow bound together. Allow one part of my life to get out of control, and pretty soon more and more is sliding away.
I don’t know that I will keep a budget forever, but certainly for a while I will. With or without it though, I hope that I am learning to become more conscious of the choices I make, and the consequences of what my life will look like.

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