Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Budgetary concerns

So I think I'm making an offer on a condo tomorrow. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it for what I want to pay for it, but I'm going to try. And I'm very nervous. It's a lot of money. And, at least for the first couple of months, my budget will be very very tight. I think I'm going to have to stop buying shoes. And clothes. And bags. And hats (like this one, which, along with t-shirt that says "Captain Awesome," is what I happen to be wearing as I type this).

As someone who has never really been on a budget in her entire life, this is going to be a challenge. I don't even know where to start. I mean, I probably should have started a while ago. Like I didn't really need to buy a new dress this week. And maybe I should be learning to be less of a food snob -- for example, I can go back to buying cheese at the grocery store instead of at Cowgirl Creamery.

Maybe I should get a roommate.


Paige Jennifer said...

My condo didn't change things; my decision to go to grad school did. And by 'change' I mean stashing $1000/month. I won't lie, it's hard suddenly parting ways with organic, part-skim ricotta cheese and Italian designer accessories. But six months in, I can say it's fine. And you will be too.

Good luck on the bid!!!

dara said...

It's sort of the principle of the thing. When I got out of grad school and moved up here, I took a relatively low-paying job (for a lawyer, anyway), so I had a roommate so that I didn't have to scrimp on the things that I like -- food, clothes, etc.

Now it feels like I've I finally gotten to the point where I make more money than I need to be able to do/buy the things that I enjoy, and I'm starting all over again. It's a little scary. But I guess it's part of life. And I can drink $15 Malbec instead of $60 Malbec.

Justin S. said...

Well, at least the money you've been paying in rent will go toward something you actually own. And think of it as an opportunity to wear all those shoes you already own! And I think expensive wine is overrated anyway... I usually can't tell much difference between a $15 bottle and a $60 bottle.

Anonymous said...

Good luck on the bid. I hope you get it, but for the love all things holy, don't skimp on the cheese. Eliminate the truffled honey that is sooooo good with cheese if you must, but leave the cheese alone.

dara said...

Justin: In terms of cash, it will cost me about 40% more to own then my current rent, so it's not a fair statement.

I can taste the difference between good wine and bad wine -- it's not really a price issue. The best wine I tasted in Napa -- a Malbec -- cost me $60.

RestaurantRefugee: Yeah, going back to generic cheese might be tough. And it's not just the snacking cheese -- I shudder at the thought of giving up on fresh mozzarella (and heirloom tomatoes) on my pizza.

tingb said...

When I bought my place, I jumped about 40% too. It was tight for a few months but then things settled down as I adjusted. But I felt the same way that you did: although I started out with a big firm job, I left the firm for a position that paid about half what I had been making (sans bonus). Then I bought my place and felt like I shouldn't have to go through another belt-tightening phase.

However, when I moved, I found all this stuff (read: clothes and shoes) that had been in the back of my closet; I promoted them to the front and that (sort of) satisfied me for the few months I was in my non-acquisition phase. I'm not sure there's an equivalent of this for cheese, though.

DSL said...

At least you have tradeoff of owning your own place, not a bad one. And you can treat yourself once in a while. Sometimes it's better that way. And you can always keep the cheese and forego something else if it's that important to you. I try not to eat too much cheese, though I love it, especially brie and other soft, extra-fattening cheeses. And I'm sure the $60 wine is wonderful but some of the $15 wines aren't so bad for everyday. See how I can sympathize with someone who will be owning her own place and still have more spending power than I have?

dara said...

tingb: I "shop" in my closet all the time so I always feel like I'm finding new things. And not like it matters: I wear the same black Gap cardigan over everything anyway.

dsl: You don't understand: I like to treat myself EVERY DAY. I do agree, though -- some $15 dollar wine is just as good if not better.

And as for your buying power, well, let's just blame Justin. After all, if he didn't spend all these years trying to decide if he wanted to go to law school, he'd have graduated by now.

DSL said...

Alright, so you're spoiled. ;-) Sometimes you can't have everything.