I know what you're thinking - "Man, they really know how to have a good time at the Rush house! How do they stand all that excitement?"
What can I say? We live dangerously around here.
Seriously though, we look at what's coming and going through the bank account, taking a hard look at what we spend money on. Then we decide which of those things need to stay in the budget and if there are some things we can decrease or eliminate altogether in order to save a few pennies.
When we did this a couple of months ago, we decided to take the plunge and drop our home phone service. We also got rid of cable and invested in a one time expense for a Roku box which is now how we watch TV. Please don't ask me to explain this - I have no idea how it works. I just know it does and I no longer have to send $130 a month to Time Warner for internet, phone, and cable. I started using cash to pay for our food (both groceries and eating out) which always helps cut out unnecessary purchases because I have an intense fear of getting to the check-out and not having enough money.
But there is one line item in our budget that some might consider frivolous but that we consider to be non-negotiable.
One night a week, Julie, our lovely babysitter who has certainly earned more than a few jewels in her crown since meeting our family, shows up at our house. She hangs with the Bird, feeds her supper, helps her shower, and sends her off to sleep. Then, if the big girls are around, they move on to really important stuff like watching Project Runway or Castle. Or searching YouTube for the craziest videos or sharing stuff on Pinterest.
Ryan and I get to go out by ourselves. Eat supper in a restaurant where nothing has to be unwrapped. Go see a movie while it's still considered a new release. Wander the bookstore or the outdoor mall. Sometimes, we take the big girls with us and play mini golf or wander some of the funky shops downtown.
The point is that this line item in our budget is money well-spent. I think I would rather give up meat than give up my babysitting money. And that's saying a lot for a girl born and raised in Texas!
For us, babysitting is more than just babysitting. It's mental health improvement. It's marriage enrichment. It's teenager enhancement. And while it is an expense, it's still cheaper than therapy. And Lord knows that budget line item is already maxed out on the Bird!
What about you? Do you have any expenses in your budget that you never want to give up? I want to hear about it!