Friday, August 22, 2008

Why It Sometimes Shtinks To Live On A Budget

I'm currently in the beautiful California Central Coast wine country on a business trip and I'm writing this post from my hotel. I arrived too late yesterday evening to visit wineries but I expect to be done with work early today and my flight doesn't leave until 7 p.m. What's the problem? Even if the winery tours are free, the tastings probably aren't and I probably won't be able to afford to buy any wine. (Even if the tastings are free, I always feel cheap not buying anything.)

I currently only have $29 remaining in my Amex budget (for food and incidentals) to last me until the 26th. On second thought, I guess I could still afford to buy an inexpensive bottle that costs less than $10. But the bottomline is, I have to be very mindful of what I could afford at all times.

For example, last month I attended a conference in Las Vegas. My colleagues took in shows and gambled. Thankfully, Vegas had plenty of free stuff that I could do, but I still wished I could've played some 7-card stud poker at the Mirage.

I'm very sorry for the whiny tone of this post. I do feel very empowered that I'm telling my money where to go rather than wondering where it went by budgeting. (Thanks John Maxwell for this wonderful quote!) But it still sucks that my budget is telling me I have to forego some fun....


FruGal said...

Counting every penny sure can be soul-destroying at times, but just remind yourself that you won't be doing it forever. When I really feel the urge to shop I either buy something REALLY inexpensive (so as not to have a blow-out and splurge later on), and ask myself 'will this purchase make a difference to me a year from now?' and 'is this purchase worth being X $/£ further away from my goals than if I didn't buy it'? One of those three things usually works! Totally envy your locale right now... :)

Shtinkykat said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement! I can usually resist most frivolous temptations (i.e., clothes and shoes shopping) by doing what you recommend. Unfortunately, the temptations that I find almost impossible to resist are food and booze. :-P Gluttony is a very hard thing to reason with! :-P