But you told me I could splurge!!

That’s the exclamation I heard out of my friend last night.

She comes to me for PF advice (I have no clue why, of course) and wanted to kind of go over her budget and how she can improve.

She gave me what her budget was, and then told me where she went over budget and by approximately how much.

When she finished she said: So, whaddya think!?

FB: Uh. What do I think!? LOL!!

Let’s see, she went over budget in all of the following categories:

Eating Out
Toiletries (Shampoo, Conditioner)

Every single “fun” budget category she had was BUSTED up like a broken down doll. Not by huge amounts in each section, but they added to a total of an overage of $400!!!

I told her: Girl, you have got to learn how to cut back on something somewhere because you are overspending by way too much.

Her reply was: But you told me I could splurge! How cute are these PF newbies??!

FB: Yeah honey. I said that. ONCE in a while. ONCE. I am not talking about splurging on Starbucks as a treat each day, and then going out and buying Cargo’s whole line of eyeshadows!!!! Or Tarte’s lip glosses!

See, that’s the thing.

She can splurge. Sure! We all do it. Hell, I do it then I guiltily confess on here. I am not as frugal as a fanatic by any means.

I am not the Money Police trying to tell her or anyone else how to spend her money, but if you’re really into trying to budget and make your money work for you and pay down debt.. then you have to have a little, eensy, teensy bit of restraint when you’re spending on fun things that aren’t necessities like Rent or Food.

My rule of thumb is being allowed to splurge in ONE category each month if I have to. Can’t quit all Cold Turkey now can we?

But if you splurge in one category, you gotta cut back on another.

You can’t overspend by $50 on Makeup and then assume that buying a $6 latte at Starbucks is still OK because you have money left in that category!

If you have to sometimes pinch and steal from other categories to make it work, then do it. But don’t imagine that if you overspend in one area, that it’s okay to spend up to the limit in another Fun area.

A budget is FLEXIBLE, that’s the beauty of it, but you also have to obey the final rule of constraint: Your net income.

Can’t spend more than you make especially when you have debt…. Just can’t. It’ll never turn out good in the long run.

You need to make choices and set priorities, but you have to cut back in other areas.

Anyway, I explained all of the above to her, and she (adorably) tells me that she’ll sell me one of her Cargo eyeshadows to get under budget in at least one of her categories.


Love it.

Anyway she’ll be fine.

She’s just learning the ropes of personal finance, and I’m happiest about her even taking an interest in it in the first place.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.