Every month I go through and do a budget for the following month. I write out all of my expenditures and balance it with my paycheck. I then decide how much discretionary income I have that month which will usually be spent on dining out, ebooks, or itunes. I'm a total creature of habit.
I spend a ton more than most people on groceries since I am really picky about what goes in to my body for the most part. I buy local grass fed animal proteins, and eggs, and all that jazz. I drink only almond milk or coconut milk, and I buy ridiculously overpriced stinky cheese 'cause well, it's delicious. I will go to restaurants that cost upwards of $100 for myself about once every other month, without blinking an eye.
I balance this out, by being incredibly cheap in other areas. I used to have a shoe problem. I now only buy new shoes if my current shoe that color, is so worn out I can no longer wear it. I used to be part of the water club at work and pay $5 to get water out of the cooler every month. As soon as I realized the drinking fountain was filtered water, I stopped doing that. When my plastic bag supply for throwing out kitty litter is getting low, I ask around at work for folks to bring me bags. I only run my air on 78 and energy saver, when it's REALLY hot outside. Otherwise it's just doors and windows open and fans on.
I spend what some would consider an outrageous amount for services to keep my lovely body hair in check, and keep my lawns mowed. Yes, I'm really talking about my lawns here people. It's the one thing around my house I would rather pay someone else to do. I have a HUGE back yard (yes, we're still REALLY talking about yards) with exposed tree roots so I'd rather not deal with the hassle. Here's 60 bucks dude, you do it.
I sometimes cheat on my farmer's market and walk to the Mexican store down the street for cheap produce. I have been known to sing the "Avocados from Mexeeeeco!" song as I grab them there, feeling only slightly guilty all of the gas that was wasted to get that avocado to me. I often times think I need to plant an avocado tree in my yard. Then I remember I already have three trees to take care of, and that thought quickly makes Mexican avocados seem quite allright with me.
I have learned that the spices middle class people will pay a ridiculous amount for like: saffron, star anise, lavender, and others can be found at this Mexican market in 99 cent packets. I laugh as my bargain shopping ways are appeased by this feat of money saving that can be equalled only by not buying the stuff in the first place.
I furnished my whole home for under $3000. This wouldn't be a big deal if the house was an ugly hodge podge of stuff just thrown together like my old apartments used to be when I was in my 20s, but my house is actually quite adorable. All of the furniture goes well together. My light fixtures are almost all changed out with things I actually like. I have great art on the walls. My entertainment center has doors that slide over the television when it's not in use, to expose some book shelves. Everything is ALMOST how I want it in the house.
I balance out my fancy tastes for things like lamb, by getting all excited over a 40 cent wallet from Goodwill with the Weinerschnitzel guy on it. I go and buy a brand new Fiestaware set, then balance it out with a $5 skirt I fall in love with at a thrift store. I find that life is all about balance these days. It's a tricky act, and it's almost working out for me now.
Happy picture of the day: disco weiner wallet. Don't be jealous.