Happy Monday everyone!
With my normal budget, there are “5 ways I budget for happiness”
1. Budgeting for Dining-Out and Coffee runs
If you know me well, you know that I love to eat out and I love going on coffee runs! I’m not sure what it is about a warm cup of a delicious flavored mocha or a juicy burger and fries, but they give me happiness. Although dinning-out and going on coffee runs comes with a big price and cut from your budget every month! To help budget for dining-out, my boyfriend and I plan meals and try to eat at home all week and most of the weekend. We try to limit ourselves to dine-out only on the weekends. It’s healthier and a lot cheaper on our monthly budget to meal plan and eat at home. It also allows us to save up money so we can splurge when we do dine-out, go out with friends or use that money on other things.
Daily Coffee runs can really mess up your budget. Spending $4-$5 for coffee a few times a week might seem like a small purchase, but it adds up quickly depending on how many times you spend during the month. This is one bad habit of happiness, that I have always struggled with! I received a Keurig from my parents as a present last year and it has really helped me not splurge every month on coffee runs. I also try to substitute coffee with tea. I do try to treat myself on Friday mornings at work with Starbucks or another local coffee shop. I also tend to go on a coffee run on Saturday or Sunday. That way I only spend about $5-10 on coffee runs each week and it is an award that I made it through the week.
2. Budgeting for my expensive Horse Habit
I currently own 3 horses, I currently board two of them down in Utah with me and the other I have at my parents house back home. I have always been horse crazy, as you can see on the blog. I train and compete my horses in Barrel Racing. Owning horses is flat out expensive, I often wonder about how much money I would have if I didn’t own horses. However, I would be absolutely miserable since horses are my escape and passion, they bring me so much happiness in my life.
In budgeting for my horses, I budget for monthly expenses, horse supplies/tack, maintenance expenses, competition expenses, riding clothing, and emergency expenses.
- My Monthly Expenses are Horse Boarding fees which include hay, grain, supplements, and bedding.
- There are many other purchases that vary every month. With horses you always have tack or supplies (medical/grooming) that might need to be purchased. For more expensive items like saddles, I try to plan ahead and save up for quite a few months if possible.
- Maintenance Expenses also vary per month. I have to budget for farrier expenses every 6-8 weeks, Chiropractic, Massage, and/or Acupuncture appointments which are usually every 2-3 months, de-wormers, yearly veterinary appointments for yearly shots, coggins/health certificates and any other routine veterinary care depending on the horse/situation. Sending a horse to training or riding lessons is also another major expense.
- Competition Expenses vary by season. Usually I don’t attend many competitions in late fall/winter. I have to really watch my budget in the Spring through early Fall which is the busy season. Competition fees can be anywhere from $25-$100 per horse and run. Weekend races are expensive since you also have to pay stall fees and rv or hotel fees. Food and fuel also go into play with competitions since they are usually 1- 4 hours away.
- Horse riding gear is another expense to budget for. Yes, riding jeans vary from regular jeans- my boyfriend still has yet to understand that! I also buy competition shirts, hats, and boots. I usually go through one pair of working-cowboy boots a year. I also tend to buy more dressier cowboy boots.
- Finally, the worst is leaving some amount in your horse budget for emergencies. Horses are accident prone and they injure themselves at the worst times possible! Veterinary bills are very expensive so it is important to have some money to help cover those!
3. Budgeting for the Household
The third way I budget for Happiness, is by budgeting for the household. I view my current town house as my home, as a safe quiet place away from work and the barn. I try to budget for any household items like cooking wear, bedding or cleaning supplies to make the house more convenient. I also try to budget every once in a while for home decor, holiday decorations, photo frames and candles/wall flowers. I don’t splurge on these items every month but it is nice to a few times a year to make your home feel more like a home. Once I finally own my own home, I will feel more comfortable buying more household and decorations.