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Allowance.

One of my goals for 2011 was to know my limits and then do what I can to expand them. For example, I have this irrational dislike for toothpicks. They friggin’ freak me out and if anyone near me is using one I feel inclined to go ballistic and do what I can to assure that said person will swallow the vile device. I realize that this is a limit of mine and while I still can’t tolerate the sight of a toothpick, I no longer feel the need to buy a pistol when I see one in use.

I have this thing about money. I find it fun to spend. With a big, hard shove from the husbear, I have garnered a huge disinterest in credit cards, mainly because I feel like our financial status is a huge game of Jenga and if I place a credit card anywhere on the stack someone is going to take their paw and knock the whole thing down, reducing my life to living in a mobile home* and eating ramen noodles with lots of butter and the water drained out.

While I refuse to go into any sort of credit crunch again, despite the urgings of our local bank, I do like shelling out cash as much as possible. I tip at Dunkin’ Donuts. I’d probably tip at McDonalds if they ever came back to the counter. I buy two of everything, including things like windshield washer fluid and antifreeze, because 2012 is just around the corner and lord knows we’ll need antifreeze during the big armageddon.

Like most Americans I enjoy spending money but I do it faster than I should. So I have resolved this little bugaboo of mine by setting limits via allowances. My wallet is crammed full of Dunkin’ Donuts rechargeable cards, Tim Hortons cards and the like. I put a weekly amount on the card and then I stick to it. When it’s empty, we are done until the next allowance. I’m thinking of instituting this approach for my iTunes music and app consumption as well because at times I can get a little haywire with that.

It’s not that I can’t control my spending, because I suppose I could if I tried, but doing it this way, with the whole allowance card system makes me think twice about what I’m buying and it hones my budgeting skills in some way.

For some reason I think this approach might work for calorie consumption, but Richard Simmons did that whole deal a meal thing a long time ago and in all truth, I don’t think deal a meal has a card for a Friday cookie from Dunkin’ Donuts that has been saved up for with careful planning throughout the week.

* no kvetching about mobile homes, because I grew up in one and in all honesty I’d live in one again if I needed to. Earl, on the other hand, would rather not think about it at all.

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