I'm on a budget. I cringe even using the word budget because it sounds so stifling and oppressive. My husband just loves the word budget and he actually enjoys making little spreadsheets and checking the bank account and being all impressed over how much money is in our retirement account, which we can't even touch until we are, like, 80 or something. It's like a little hobby for him, in the way most people enjoy knitting or reading or going to the theater.
Will has never put me on a budget of any kind because even the mention of the word makes me fall on the floor and get a headache around the sides and partially under it, Eloise style. Will cannot stand that kind of drama.
This new budget, my first ever budget, is totally self-imposed. I made it up myself! In June, I spent $1169, mostly at Target, and in the next four weeks I am going to try to spend less than half that, $500 to be precise.
I plan to take out $120 a week from the bank and spend only that for 7 days, with a $20 buffer. It seemed like a good time to start this crazy plan, because on Thursday I have my wisdom teeth out so I'll be chillin' at home and next week I am going to a conference for which I get $50 a day per diem, which of course does not count toward my $500 since I will get reimbursed. So really I will have $800, but only $500 of that is my own money.
The funny thing is that even though I put myself on a budget, and even though the budget has nothing to do with how much money is in the bank and everything to do with stopping the ridiculous daily trips to Target, I somehow cannot stop complaining about the restrictions of my budget. What has to fit in the budget, I ask? Do I have to buy groceries with my money? Do I have to buy cat food with my money? Because if I have to buy cat food with my money, the cat is going back to dry cat food only. Sorry Millie.
(I do not have to buy groceries with my budget money. I do not have to buy cat food with my budget money. Will is going to buy these items. This is good news.)
Last night, I was suggesting wild and exaggerated What If situations concerning my budget. What if someone broke in and stole all my summer dresses? Would I get an increase in my budget? What if I had spent all my money and needed gas to get to work? Would I be allowed to take out $20 more dollars? I asked these questions as if my budget were inscribed on golden tablets, voted on and allocated by the state legislature, rather than just some numbers I made up in my own head.
After a dramatic monologue concerning my cash and the events that would ensue if I lost it all at a train station, Will asked if I was going to blog about my new budget.
With a significant amount of drama, I announced that "no, I am not going to blog about my budget. There is absolutely nothing funny to say about my budget."
"What is funny," he responded, "is how NOT funny you think this all is."
So far, I've spent $12. After the jump is a recipe, which is what happens when groceries are free but eating out is not.
In a large skillet, sauté 1/2 chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves in olive oil until translucent. Add 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts which you have cut into 2 inch strips. When the chicken is cooked, add 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed. Stir in 1/2 cup hot salsa and a dash each of cayenne pepper and chili powder. Cook 2 minutes.
Serve with tortillas, sour cream, salsa, and shredded cheddar.