Blythe On A Budget: On actually budgeting

Written on July 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
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I’ve been asked multiple times before why I never really talk about budgeting when it comes to the Blythe On A Budget series. There’s a really simple answer for this: I’m not an accountant (or a debt collector) and nor do I play one on television. My way of budgeting is a lot different than most other people. For starters, I only work 4 months out of the year (full time studies plus the commuting aspect of being a full time student does not lend itself well to a part-time job in my area).

How I justify my doll purchases is I look at my total savings account amount, minus the amounts needed for all tuition money needed still (up to May), minus an appropriate amount for textbooks (I budget $100 textbook money per class – I usually do not use all of this but have gone over once or twice, unfortunately), minus an appropriate amount of money for entertainment, food, miscellaneous purchases (I look at the number of birthdays that I’m likely to buy/craft gifts for; if it’s November/December I budget more for the holiday shopping). And then at the end of all my minusing, I see how much I have left over.

I always try to shop smart when it comes to Blythe. I look for good deals on dolls and also on good deals on the shipping. A lot of the time, most people are fairly sensible about what they charge for shipping (and handling!) fees, but sometimes people are slightly outrageous (for instance, if it costs them ~$20 to ship a doll to me in Canada and then tack on an excessive $30 on top of that, I’d be more than a little choked over that). I also have my boyfriend screen potential doll candidates for me. I’ll send him photos, talk to him about it. Sometimes he’ll gently remind me that I already have other dolls that look exactly like the one I’m wanting to buy (they’re never actually identical, different molds and all, but he does point out huge similarities, especially in hair colour). But he knows me well enough that I won’t ask him if he likes a doll unless I’ve already figured out if I can afford to get her, I just need to figure out if I want her badly enough to buy her. Sometimes I do, sometimes I’ll buy her. Sometimes I realize, after thinking about her and talking about her that I don’t really  need to get her.

What you should do is look at your total take-home pay in a month (or a year, or whatever length of time you want to look at). And start minusing from that the amounts of money that you need to spend every week/month/year. So you minus things like rent, an average amount for food, (necessary) entertainment, transportation, clothes, gifts, etc. You take away all of that and then see how much money you have left over. But since you’re all so much more responsible than I am (right…?!), you’ll also remember to minus an amount to go into a retirement fund (I’ll get to that, once I’m ‘really’ working). Once you take away from your take-home pay all the amounts of money that you need to spend, you’ll figure out the amount of money that you have to spend on more fun things.

If you have $50 left over for fun things, you don’t need to spend all of it every month. Say you really want to get a new doll, but $50 isn’t going to get you that Goldie of your dreams. But saving $50 for a few months will. It’s all about what you do with the money that you can spend.

Start a separate (as long as it’s free) savings account and have that $50 (or whatever amount) of money deposited into that fun account every month. When you’ve got that special purchase in mind, you’ll have the money there without needing to do some mental math of how much leftover fun money you have from the previous months.

Blythe is meant to be a fun hobby. It’s not fun to completely blow your monthly budget out of proportion because you decided to buy 5 Kenners in one month and now your electricity’s going to be shut off and you have nothing in your pantry except for a jar of peanut butter which may or may not be expired (ew). It is not the end of the world if you do not get that doll right now. There will always be another doll. There will always be another cute dolly-designer dress. And it’s okay to say no to buying a doll just because you cannot cut into the amount of money that you need for food. Having a new doll is nice, but being able to eat is just as nice and far more important.

Just remember to have fun. It’s a lot easier to be happy about the dolls and dolly things that you have if you can afford them without taking away money from something that’s more important in your life.

2 Responses to “Blythe On A Budget: On actually budgeting”

  1. Heather AKA @claribari

    Completely agree, Michelle! I recently made a few purchases with money in my ‘Paypal’ account, which is pretty much my fun money! I was so proud of myself for not taking it out of my ‘regular money’ or charging it. 🙂

    If it isn’t too personal, I would be curious how much the typical Blyther spends in a month (the ones where they don’t buy a kenner…that would blow the budget!)

    • Michelle AKA @blythelifecom

      When I *don’t* purchase a new doll, my typical spending is $25 or less in a month. As it stands right now, all my dolly money is being saved for a Kenner (!) and I’ve collect a lot of trims, fabrics and other supplies for making a lot of clothing items… I just haven’t gotten around to it just yet 😉

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