Monday, January 21, 2008

Creating a Budget In Three Easy Steps

Step One: Gather up the courage to face into the number of Starbucks coffees both you and your husband purchase in a single week (not to mention a single day), the number of "extras" that always end up in your cart at Target that were NOT on the list, the number of times you've all gone out to eat (whether to McDonald's every week for lunch with your four year-old or to that expensive sushi restaurant with your husband, for a change), the amount of food from the specialty grocery store that gets thrown out on a weekly or biweekly basis for having spoiled before it could be eaten, and so on and so forth. Use a calculator to average these numbers for purposes of documentation. Throw away receipts and immediately pour a shot of something strong directly down your throat.

Step Two: Put all of these numbers down on a piece of paper, preferably in a nice, neat, organized fashion like Excel. Begin moving the numbers around in such a way as to make them look better. Feel free to delete some if it'll make you feel a little less nauseous since, let's face it, the only way you're going to be able to fit all your expenses into the meager number representing your income is if you lie your ass off, kids. When finished, run directly to the bathroom to vomit. Feel better?

Step Three: Tally up your totals! Smile glassy-eyed at the computer screen because YOU DID IT!! Forget that you had to delete some regular expenses that you'll both still expend money for "off the record." Besides, you and Super Man have been down this "let's make a budget" road before and it always ends up in the trash can because neither of you sticks to it anyway. But it helps to go through the exercise, doesn't it? Gets your blood pressure nice and high, gives you diarrhea, makes you so sick to your stomach that you at least will be eating less for a week or so (see, your grocery budget will now be more realistic than ever!).

Now, go do something that'll make you feel better. A trip to Target sounds good...

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