“B” words seem to have come up a fair bit on this blog. A few entries ago I wrote about how my grampy-laptop has a strong dislike for the “b” on my keyboard, freezing whenever it was touched. Yet I’m not against all “b” words like Alfred. The “B” word I’m talking about makes me freeze momentarily in gloom, makes my skin itch, my bank account shiver, my stomach yearn for that unreachable, unaffordable cupcake..
Can you guess? Do you want to buy a vowel?
It’s a budget.
I always thought that budgets were something that well-off people did, for instance:
Martha: “What do you mean I can’t get any more manicures? I need my weekly nails painted in Oriental crimson orgasm! I mean what will my friends at the Country club think of me if I’m just wearing ordinary L’oreal crimson polish? I’ll look cheap!
Frank: “I know m’dear, its tough. But that’s why they call it a budget. I’m even had to cancel my subscription to shadow-puppets monthly, but I don’t see anyway around it if we want to keep the yacht and all.”
Uni students are constantly on a budget, even if its not verbally spoken or doesn’t always involve constant scrutiny over whats coming out of the bank account. It’s just a given, we want cheap food and cheap entertainment. But to be on a budget-budget -where coupons and premium brands are king – well that just isn’t much fun, and that’s what I’m struggling with at the moment.
OK, I lie, my budget-budget was initially fun because I like writing lists and being pretend-organised (my room is a mess, so neat just isn’t me) I have a book for bills, receipts and spend far too much time on the internet poring over shopper dockets. But when it comes to the nitty-gritty budgets are just not fun and supermarkets are scary places just wanting to gorge on the contents of my wallet. A friend of mine, Gemma, recently posted on her blog about how she had to tell herself when walking past bakeries “the bread is stale, the bread is stale” to stop herself from buying wheaty-goods. I tried this tactic last night while wandering in Box Hill where many delicious wafts of Asian cuisine teased my nostrils, “the dumplings are definitely stale, the dumplings are like, so off by now.” Come on will-power! It didn’t work, I ended up buying some pumpkin cakes.
Here is a brief list of how to survive the awful “B” word:
1) Always take a shopping list when entering battle. Supermarkets are evil and do psychologically mess with you. I have three years of supermarket check-out chick expertise but still get throughly confused when entering a big supermarket, it’s the lights, music and all the signs SHOUTING SPECIAL. Constantly refer to shopping list. They say to never shop when hungry but I think its bad to shop when you’re super full because then you won’t want to buy a single thing either.
2) Do take freebies. Freebies come in the form of trial gym vouchers, the people promoting stuff on the street or eating meals at your boyfriend/girlfriend’s or grandparent’s place. Yes, you make look like a major stinge but its nice to get dinner cooked for you, some friendly conversation and an exciting meal that isn’t a stir fry.
3) Always take food with you when you go somewhere. I carry about a hundred things with me because of my Girl Guiding “be-prepared” indoctrination. It’s hard to avoid the yummy foods in the city but its worse if you’re absolutely starving, it’s very hard to say no because the inner-you will say “but if I don’t eat I could die!” Unlikely but still, the girl guide must eat and not survive purely on biscuits.
I wish my budget was more like Martha and Frank’s, but first I would have to start getting a manicure and subscribe to the shadow puppets monthly..