Urban Adaptation

Sustainable urban living, rural dreams, and daily change for a homemade life.

The budget – what’s missing

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The other day, I posted my new budget.

There are, you may have noticed, a few things missing.  While I’ve carefully considered amounts for my budget, I’ve also carefully considered what is included in it in the first place.  While there are many small things that are cut here and there, there are a few relatively large things missing as well.

First, there’s no car, or anything that goes along with a car.  A bus pass is included in my university tuition (somewhere around $50 a semester) and I make very good use of it.  I considered getting a car, but the expense was too great even for the convenience, and I didn’t want the worry and stress – both financial and otherwise – of owning something that would require a regular influx of cash for gas, insurance, and maintenance.

There isn’t an entertainment category.  Usually, what entertainment I do indulge in gets tossed into the “play” category, but that’s fairly few and far between, and “play” is really just money to play with – one month it might be a small concert with friends, another it might be a used book that I’ve been wanting to read.  Technically speaking I suppose it’s still there, but I’ve been trying to find other ways to have a good time without needing much of an entertainment budget to support it while simultaneously limiting myself to a set amount of play money to spend in a month, total.  Friends over for dinner, a phone call to my mom, streaming movies on local TV stations, and playing the guitar have all proven to be excellent ways to stay entertained without spending an arm and a leg.

Alongside no specific entertainment amount, there’s also no cable included  in with my utilities.  I do have Internet access – a high speed connection that I need for work – and so I watch widely available streaming TV rather than paying the fees to have cable.  I get to see almost everything I want while only paying for something that I would need to have anyway, and making good use of it in the process.

Finally, another omission right now is a cell phone bill.  This is because I don’t have one (insert gasp here).  There are a few reasons for not having a cell – from not wanting the expense to really not wanting to be reachable all the time – but my landline serves me perfectly well, I frequently have my computer with me or am near one, and I just haven’t encountered enough situations where one is needed to justify the additional cost.

There are probably other missing things that I’ve…well, missed, but these are the really big, conscious ones for me right now, the ones that I’ve very intentionally decided to keep out of my budget.  On their own, any one might not be a huge deal – except the car, I imagine – but together, they really make a difference to my budget as a whole.


Written by Jenn

September 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Posted in Money matters

Tagged with , ,

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