Reality Check: Why Budgets are Essential

From time to time, I'll give a REALITY CHECK!

Of course shopping is fun and getting GREAT deals on things are even better, but we do have be wise about our spending no matter the income level.

So, today it's all about budgeting.

Think of budgeting as a diet for your money, too much spending not good, too little spending not good either because we need the essentials to live on, toothpaste, clothing, food, etc.

Let's talk groceries for a minute... Before I go food shopping, I take inventory of what I already have, this avoids duplication, hence excess money being spent.

Then, I make a strict list of things that I need and a strict monetary budget for those items. For example, I don't eat red meat and chicken, but I am not going to spend $350.00 for Hawaiian Tuna. I always buy fruits and veggies that are fresh and are in season-- local Farmers Markets are excellent for these items.

Items such as egg whites, almond milk, whole wheat bread, Chobani Greek Yogurt, and agave nectar. I find at a steal at.... BJ's. Yes, BJ's does have healthy food and when I buy these items, they last for weeks and it costs well under $35.00

As for clothing... I have an allowance for that as well! I learned that the same manufacturer that makes high end luxury, also makes for big box stores such as Target and Walmart. So why spend $50.00 on a cotton Tee Shirt when, I can get the same for $5.00?

What about career clothing? Two stores that I love for this are Famous Labels for Less, I bought my fully lined three piece "power suit" for $59.00, in gray, gray is the new "power" color now.

I picked up a tip from a lady in the doctor's office-- stores called , which have major designers for "half." I checked out the one in the Financial District of Manhattan, not bad at all and they have one in Garden City, Long Island. (Garden City has 3 golf courses and million dollar homes.)

One last store I love is Bolton's, I bought I pair of silk cargo pants with a blush sequin tank and gold tone scarf all for under $30.00. Bolton's also have great evening dresses for under $100.00.

OK, now that I have given you the stores, set a limit for clothing-- a new season is coming up, take inventory of what you already have, certain things can be revived with a new pair of earrings, or a new lipstick all for under $15.00.

When it is time for shopping only go with a debit card or cash with the predetermined amount of money you want to spend, no more! I stopped using credit cards three years ago.

If you get to the counter and you come up short, then put things back.

Buy, only what you can afford and if you buy quality, then certain things never go out of style, and you will always look great, without feeling angst about how to pay when the bill comes in.

Lastly, give yourself a time limit in every place, my time limit is 45 min. time to get the items I need on my list only, and 15 min. standing on line to check out.

Happy shopping and saving!

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