Tag Archives: budget

Four Reasons Why a HABA Line Should be a Part of a Budget

13 Feb

eye makeupHere is the second part of the series about important lines on a budget. If you would like to see the first segment of the series, you can see it here.

I don’t spend a lot of money on makeup and beauty supplies. Makeup lasts me longer than it should, as all makeup has some sort of expiration to it. But, I still need beauty supplies. It’s been a line on my budget from the beginning. I’m going to give you four reasons why I think beauty supplies (or HABA) should be in a budget.

1. It’s necessary.

For my HABA line, I include soap, hairspray, deodorant, razors, and yes, makeup. I will always need those items. The people who work with me are thankful that I purchase and use these items. These are not items I can do without.

2. It allows me to buy the items I want to.

Some items I don’t mind using generic. Hairspray and deodorant are two items I go a little cheap on. I have been trying cheaper razors. Not a fan, so I’m going to make sure my HABA budget allows for more expensive razors. And a detailed HABA line allows me to buy the makeup I want, too. I actually use more expensive makeup. As long as I plan for it, my budget stays intact.

3. It keeps me so fresh, so clean.

I’m dating myself there. I still love that OutKast song. I like to keep my hair cut. It helps me feel cute and keeps me professional. I have a wonderful stylist who keeps me looking great at a decent price. Ensuring I stay committed to my HABA line helps ensure I have money to get my hair cut! I love the way a new haircut makes me feel.

4. I can allow myself some extra girl time.

I’ve never been a huge mani-pedi girl. Or someone who wanted to wax her eyebrows. As a matter of fact, I only recently (within the last three years) had my first mani-pedi and wax. It sure is nice, though. I feel great after I get my nails done. An accurate HABA line lets me have some fun!

I say accurate because I haven’t totally committed myself to the fourth point of this blog. I know I need to leave my HABA envelope alone instead of spending the leftovers every two weeks.

So, I really believe a HABA line is important for my budget. What lines on your budget do you think are important that might be “unusual”?

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Hidden Costs of Fun

28 Apr

I made a decision a few weeks ago to attend a Jesus Culture One Nights concert. The band was going to be just a couple of hours away, and I felt like it would be a wonderful getaway. I invited a girlfriend to go with me and purchased my ticket. I thought, “It’s only $25. I can work that into my budget.” Well, I was mistaken.

I didn’t really take into account all the other expenses that would go along with this day trip. I knew I couldn’t afford to stay the night in Birmingham. And I was okay with the sacrifice of being a little tired on the way home. What I forgot to account for – shame on me – was the cost of gas, and the dinner, and the CD I just couldn’t avoid purchasing (and probably overpaid), and the snacks on the way home that would help me feel like I might “stay awake.”

Really, the hidden costs of a purchase have often been my downfall. If I buy this item for this price, I can totally afford it. Then, I need this accessory, and oh, wait, I need to buy this item that will make the item I originally purchased that much cooler. I can’t just purchase this one item. I need all the other gadgets that go with it.

So, how do I avoid the hidden costs of a purchase? I think the first thing I can do is to write down all the possible purchases that need to be made to go along with my original purchase. This process may be as simple as an ironing board to go along with the iron I need. Or, it may be an extra controller and video games to go along with the PS3 I purchased two years ago. Anyway, you get the idea!

Next, I need to do some research on the product I’m buying. If I had done a little more research on the purchase of the concert ticket, I would have thought about paying for parking, and the cost of the meal I might purchase. I also would have thought about the CD I might want or concessions. I usually go into an event with the plans not to purchase anything from the concession stand. And I usually forget that plan as soon as I smell the hot dog in the bun. What is it with hot dogs??? I don’t like to eat them at home, but put me in a ball park, and I jump in line as soon as I’m able!

Then, I need to ask myself how much I really need the item I plan on purchasing. At this point in my baby steps (Step 2), I don’t need to do ANYTHING extravagant, and extravagant right now is anything that exceeds my spending envelope. This reality is especially difficult for me because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE going to sporting events. For the next few years, I have to pretty much kiss those goodbye. But, this will not be my reality forever. It’s only temporary!

The good thing about going through this process is I may very well talk myself out of the purchase by the time I’m finished. It’s a lot of work to do this much research around a purchase!

Sheepishly, I admit that not only did I forget to take into account the hidden costs of the concert. I also blew my budget by about $40. I would like to be able to say it was worth it, but is staying in debt longer really worth it? I think the resounding answer is NO.

With that being said, please see the pictures from the concert taken from my phone. I really did have a wonderful time. It was so refreshing to see so many people going after the Lord. If you’re not familiar with Jesus Culture, I highly recommend that you check them out. I assure you that you will not be disappointed!

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One Step at a Time

5 Jan

I have to admit that I get a little discouraged sometimes. When I think about how far I am from financial freedom…it just seems like such a daunting task.

I’m reminded of how I got here in the first place.  I like to spend. It’s almost like an addiction.  And addicts have to take it one day at a time.  It’s important to have a plan and to have that plan written down because it helps to make the plan feel more attainable.  But I can’t spend all my time thinking about the end goal.  I have to think about it one day at a time.  If I spend my money here, here, and here, I can’t pay off this loan as quickly as I’d like.  If I can keep my focus on tomorrow and where I will spend my money instead of next year, I feel like it will be more encouraging to me.

Of course, applying the one day at a time mentality can be a problem for me.  I have a really great budget spreadsheet I developed a couple of years ago.  I really love that spreadsheet, and it helps me keep my expenses on track.  However, one issue that I’ve had is what I do when I don’t spend all of one of my line items.  I used to just put that money in my pocket.  Now, I need to take that money and save it.  One day at a time, right???

I heard a Dave Ramsey podcast yesterday where he read a report by an assistant professor at Washington University.  The professor had done a study that said that it’s more beneficial for people in debt to pay off the loan with the higher interest rate.  Of course, this goes against Dave’s snowball method, which I wholeheartedly agree with.  Dave says that financial problems stem largely from behavioral problems and paying off the smallest loans first will help modify behavior that got the person in debt, in this case me, where they are now. This approach makes sense to me.  It’s a case of reinforcement. When a loan is paid off, a feeling of accomplishment occurs.  The debt-riddled person (again – me!) wants to gain that feeling again, so she decides to work on the next loan.  That debt is paid and reinforcement occurs again.  So, let’s tackle the next debt, and etc…, etc…, etc…  I get it!

It may be a long and winding road.  There will be bumps. There will be curves. There will be sudden stops.  There will also be smooth roads.  There will also be straight lines.  And there will be moments of heavy acceleration.  Buckle up with me.  I’ve got my hands in the proper position, and I am focused on the path ahead.

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