Sunday, December 4, 2011

a budget isn't a bad thing

"We have $15 to spend, that's our budget."

I was speaking to my brother, and he hopped back out of the truck.

"There is noooooo way we can get what we need for $15. It's not even worth going."

I convinced him that, yes, we could go and that we could get what we needed on a budget. And if we needed more, we would have to wait.

Off to Lowes we went.

In fashion true to the nature of my family, it became a competition.

We needed two 2x4s. We found 16' long ones for $5.71. But they were the first ones we found and I suggested browsing a little bit more.

We found 10' long ones for $2.37. I let him do the math.

"If we get two of the 10-foot long ones, that's still less than the 16-foot long board and we get four extra feet."


The same scenario repeated itself when we chose a 1x3. And in the screws/hardware aisle, he compared prices to what we needed, checking, reading labels, checking again.

Then it was a drill bit for the drill.

All the while, I'm maintaining my position that we are not fighting in Lowes.

We typically always do, and trust me, there was plenty of opportunity today. I don't get mental images of projects and therefore, I question everything. Do we really need that? What's that for? I don't think it has to be that size. And since I'm always right, of course I'm right in Lowes!

Today, I questioned out of curiousity so as not to offend his creative genius. Truth is, he does know what he's talking about in Lowes and I should just push the cart.

We went $7 over budget. The screws got us. But, later we had to return them and purchase another 1x3, which set us forward about $3.

He was keeping track and I think it clicked.

On the way home, he said working a project on a budget makes sense, because it allows you to do other things with the money you might have overspent.

I emphasized the point that a budget doesn't mean you can't afford to make a purchase, it's that you're choosing to allocate your money elsewhere and more wisely.

We got home with our goods and he got right to work on our project.

"After we're done with this," he said, in between him sawing and me holding, "we need to make something that we can sell so we have money in our budget for the next project."

I like the way he's thinking.

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