As some of you may have noticed, yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. In the grand scheme of things, I can’t say that this day is all that important to me. If my desk calendar hadn’t informed me, it probably would have just passed me by. So while I don’t adhere to the traditional observance of Lent, I do believe there is a solid principle behind it.– “Giving Up Luxury”
How am I going to apply this? What am I going to give up?
Well, going through my budget last month, I confirmed my suspicions that I have a budget leak. This leak struck me 6 times last month, twice more than I planned for and 6 times more than I needed. It is a temptation I face everyday and one I’d love to be more diligent about because it is SO EASY to submit to it.
I have a weakness.
Confession: I Love Chipotle.
You know, the Mexican Grill that serves up burrito-y goodness and food glory wrapped in foil. My love for Chipotle reached an unhealthy level a few years ago, and it keeps rising.
I’ve been pretty good about limiting my indulgences since I started my new job, but there is a Chipotle in my building for goodness sake! How am I supposed to resist!? The funny part is that I can resist the one where I work. I’ve only been to that one twice and I was thoroughly disappointed both times. The service was poor, the portions were small (how is that even possible for Chipotle??) and the employees were rude. I don’t like to support businesses like that so I’ve been boycotting ever since my second trip confirmed my first rude experience.
The problem is that there is another Chipotle a short 10 minute walk from my desk. This Chipotle is wonderful and I’ve never been disappointed in the 3 years I’ve been giving them my money. How can I turn down their delicious food and smiling faces? It’s just a $6.92 investment for a happy tummy. I consider that an excellent investment. (To make matters worse, there is another Chipotle about a 15 minute walk away from me. I’m surrounded!)
Great….now I want Chipotle.
6 trips to Chipotle at $6.92 each cost me $41.52 this month. Even if I was able to drop it down to once a week, that would still be $27.68/month. That’s a lot of money to be spending on the satisfaction of rice and beans (and the other magic they put in there).
So for Lent this year, I’m giving up Chipotle. I’m also giving up eating out for lunch during the work week. Monday through Friday, I will be brown bagging it to work. (My lunch box is actually an adorable purple paisley pattern, but purple paisley-ing it to work just doesn’t have the same ring to it!)
If I can skip Chipotle over the next 40 days, I will save approximately $62.28 in lunches and I can proudly put that towards my loans.
A $62 loan payment never sounded so difficult to earn, but I’m up for the challenge!
What about you? Do you have any budget leaks you are trying to plug?