I received a GREAT question recently that tied budgeting and intuitive eating together. My two favorite things to talk about. Wahoo! That question was: What if I intuitively want to eat something that’s not in my budget?
Meaning, what if I want a regular vanilla latte with soy milk and half the powder from Coffee Bean (can you tell this is my favorite drink?) but I’ve already spent all of my eating out budget for the month?
DANG. Such a good question. There are two things we want to honor here: the budget AND your body and giving yourself permission to eat/drink what you’d like. The answer is not as black and white as you might expect from someone who teaches budgeting.
First of all, I’d check in with yourself. Is there something else that could satisfy your craving equally that you have at home? If the answer is yes, then go ahead and go for that. Just make sure it IS equally as satisfying.
If the answer is no, take a look at your budget. Is there room to budge anywhere else? For example, did you spend less on clothing, groceries, or gas than you planned for? If so, enjoy the wiggle room. Go get your latte and keep on budgeting. It’s not a big deal. Flexible budgeting is what we’ll call it. 😉
In addition, the other thing I’d say is to, at the beginning of the month, really consider where it’s important to put your money in your budgeting/spending plan.
For example, I don’t give as much “fun money” as I could each month because I enjoy having a little more money in the eating out area. (My fun money is simple money that is mine to do whatever I want with it – no questions asked. Marco also has his own fun money.)
If you go through this month thinking “Darn, I really didn’t give myself enough in X area” then adjust your budget the following month. This is why I encourage you in my budgeting workshop to make a new budget EACH month. Things change.
It’s good to be thinking about these things. It’s good to have moments where you realize you spent too much eating out when it didn’t feel “worth it”. Those moments will make you consider your decisions more and eat out when it brings you joy and say no when it doesn’t feel worth it.
If you’re looking for even more support on budgeting, share your info here and I’ll email you with how to grab my budgeting class (it’ll help you to feel great about budgeting – as I’ve been told time and time again it’s a very different approach to budgeting than you’ve heard before).