Ever since my husband gave me my new Nikon D40x camera for our first anniversary, I have looked forward to the day that I could get a longer lens for my camera. This week, I have found that I have a little spare money in my paycheck. After carefully crunching numbers last night, I realized that it was in this paycheck that I had the money I need to buy the lens, and I am heading up to the local mall to the camera store there to buy it today.
And this is where the guilt sets in…and it is also where I realize how far I have come.
Back in the day (when the credit cards were still heavily in use), if I wanted something of this cost (it’s about $250), I would get it. I didn’t get something that cost that much every pay, but if I wanted something badly enough (sometimes even not that badly), I didn’t make any effort to save up money for it. Instead, I waited until I had a month when I wasn’t charging quite as much on my credit cards, and I charged it.
Bad, I know.
Now, I have a budget spreadsheet saved on my Google account on which I track every penny I earn and every penny I spend. Therefore, I was able to lay out my expected expenses for the next two weeks on my spreadsheet today, compare those expenses with the income I received from my job at the hospital (YAY, OVERTIME!) and my job at Bath and Body Works, and see what kind of wiggle room I have for this pay period. I already set aside $300 from my last paycheck to take to Florida in a week and a half (July 12-19 in the Clearwater area with my mom, sister, and grandma – YEAH, BABY!!!!), and I found that this pay I had enough to pay my bills, pay for the extensions to our septic tank access (so we never have to dig down to those suckers again), and pay for my other expenses for the week (gas, food), as well as a decent cushion to put away for miscellaneous costs. This is mostly because our economic stimulus payment is going toward a black cloud of debt that we had hanging over our heads that is not there anymore (Thank you, President Bush!). So I can afford the lens. And I am going to buy it. Today.
However, there is a little niggling guilt in my head. Am I in a position right now to buy myself something that costs $250? Should I use that money for something else? Should I put it in my ING account to let it grow? Do I deserve the lens?
And that, my friends, clinches it. I have been working my ass off all summer, fitting overtime in wherever I am able to fulfill the bonus contract I signed for the summer months. Next week, I am scheduled for TWENTY-FOUR hours over my normal schedule. I did that because the next week, I head to Florida to spend some time relaxing. But I am doing my fair share, plus some, to bring money into this household.
I deserve it. And I am going to buy it. Today.
Just as soon as I wake up from my nap…