Budgeting for Adventures

Evidently those signs stuck in the grass on every other intersection in Chicago that read, “MAKE $200,000 A WEEK WORKING FROM HOME…IN YOUR PAJAMAS!” are particular about what kind of pajamas you have to wear. After further investigation, I decided to get a grown up job.

This past week I received my first paycheck in…well, a while (if you don’t count the allowance I was getting from my mom and dad for doing my chores last year). I decided it was time to update my budget to be as grown up as my new grown up job was. None of the templates I found for grown up budgets included a line for “adventures” though! Am I honestly to believe that Dave Ramsey doesn’t carve time out of his calendar or money out of his budget for an adventure now and then?

Because I cannot realistically live within a budget that doesn’t include adventures, I added the line in. Problem is, my budget was significantly higher than my income (am I the only one with that problem?) so I had to make a few changes. For those of you who can identify, I thought I’d share my tips on fitting adventure lines into budgets:

  1. I’ve had an aversion to purchasing new clothing items for a while now. I typically buy our clothes at second hand stores. This week a couple friends and I came up with an idea to not even have to spend money on second hand clothes. We were talking about college days, when closets had revolving doors on them, so much so that you eventually forgot which closet the items actually started in. A new idea evolved from the conversation. This summer my friends and I are implementing the “college dorm closet” to our gatherings. Whenever we get together, we’ll bring a bag of clothes with us to trade. Bam! New clothes! Weekly! Subtract $20 a month from my clothes budget.
  2. I’ve decided that when I go to Starbucks, I will bring a sippy cup with me to fill up at the condiment bar for B. Saves buying the kid a drink. They kindly offer skim, whole, and half & half. Subtract $10 from milk budget. Sometimes I throw some chocolate syrup in the cup before I leave home for a treat. (It’s been brought to my attention that cutting out Starbucks altogether would save a few bucks a day, rather than a few bucks a week…but that’s just crazy talk.)
  3. Tell a friend you miss them and would love to catch up over dinner. Ask, “My place or yours?” and let them respond. They will never answer, “Yours,” because it’s just plain rude to invite yourself to someone’s house for dinner. Dinner at a friends. Subtract $20 from food budget. (Can be applied weekly, if you have a lot of friends!)

And with those changes, a $50 line in the budget named “adventures” was added. (I don’t think I’ll be asked to fill in for Dave Ramsey in providing his disciples with money-saving tips while he’s out adventuring any time soon, but I’m happy having reached my own budgeting goals.)


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