My new hobby is really an eye opener for me. As I looked at my Tomicas in their boxes last weekend, I realized that this new hobby is literally keeping me from my capacity to save money. Unlike my other collectibles, which come free with other purchases, like soda cans and fast food toys, scale models and toy trucks can easily put a dent into my fast shrinking finances. Uh-oh.
Hmmm… But I want to buy those Tomicas! (Especially those at Robinson’s, because they’re previous models/editions of the regular 120 lines!)
The solutions I thought are possible:
- Stop going to any toy stores.
- Lessen toy purchases.
- Buy cheaper toys.
Now, I can’t possibly agree to any of the three solutions I came up with, so I thought of another idea, which I can now say is the only solution to this dilemma. A compromise.
I realized that careful budgeting is the only possible way for me to go through this difficulty. (Unless someone ultra-rich gives me enough money to buy all the toys that I want in this world.)
So Sunday evening, I carefully wrote my expected expenses during the week (food and fare money), and then all the other expenses for the month (rent, bills, medications, groceries, toiletries). After that, I assigned a certain fixed amount for food because I realized that aside from rent and bills, food is the next area where I spend a lot.
I took out an old purse, and placed seven mini pockets inside. These mini pockets will hold the money allotted for fare and food for each day of the week. I allow myself to spend the money inside a mini pocket for a given day. Whatever money is left on a mini pocket goes to ‘savings’ at the end of the week. But there’s a catch here. If I run out of money for a particular day, I will have to get from the next day’s money, and not from the previous day’s left-over money, which is already considered as savings. This way, I will learn how to carefully spend the amount allotted for the day and not overspend.
At the end of the week, I will check the amount of money left in the purse and consider it as savings. By then, I will have the option to spend it to buy something, or to simply keep it and save for a bigger item, toy or otherwise. But with this scheme, I still got another catch which is another compromise. If I spend the savings to buy a toy truck, then I cannot buy a book, or eat a Happy Meal (to get a toy).
This is it. No savings, no toy. No savings, no book. No savings, no Happy Meal. I know it's only a matter of time before I break away from this scheme, but for now it works just fine.