When it became clear both the girls needed new shoes (again), the biggest concern: when would we have time to buy them?
For once, the concern was not about how to pay for them. And the answer wasn't to put them on the credit card. On Sunday, the girls got their new shoes.
This is what I can do after budgeting for a year. I can buy my kids shoes when they need them.
I also went out to dinner, bought a new book, and went out for a drink with friends. None of it went on the credit card. None of it came out of my savings.
That's not to say there weren't compromises. I did some re-arranging in our dinner menu for this week and cut down my grocery list, and didn't go out to lunch on other days. They didn't feel like compromises, though; just a few changes to allow me to accept unexpected opportunities.
I'll still be saying no more than I say yes. I'll still watch my budget and bank accounts obsessively. I still have a long way to go to pay off my credit card. There's a long way to go.
Still, it's a great feeling to be able to give my children what they need when they need it.