As most of you are aware, I'm currently more than just a boarder--I work for my trainer and am at the barn 7 days a week. This is great for horse experience: I ride lots of horses in all different situations and have to figure out how to get along with them.
This is not great for my pony shopping needs. Barn jobs, even fun, educational ones, do not pay well. I've always been a shoestring budget kind of girl, but I have to admit this is tight even for me. I'm used to having about $100 a month of money that isn't specifically designated to go anywhere. I can spend it on entertainment, food, books, or of course, pony things.
Pony things win a lot. You have no idea how long I can go without eating out. ;-) Unfortunately, I do not have that cushion now.
Anyways. Due to the aforementioned budgetary restrictions, Cuna has gotten something less than full-on tack-whore splurging despite being my horse. Yes, he has his own saddle and several bridles and a new bit, but where is the monogrammed pad? The personalized fly bonnet? Izzy had those.
The truth is, since I have accumulated kind of a lot of horse stuff for someone who can only have one horse, there are very few things that I need as such. Instead, I'm squirreling away small amounts of cash in anticipation of getting this:
An Ecogold secure jumper pad. It's designed to allow air to circulate, to prevent saddle slippage, and to protect the horse's back. It's pretty, it's trendy, and it costs $165.
Non-barn-working me could have saved up and gotten this pretty quickly. Barn-working-me is hoping to be able to afford it before the end of the month so that I can use it at our upcoming show, the first weekend of July.
So what does that mean? I currently have a very limited income. I do not have the option to pick up any more jobs to make more income. My schedule is way too busy as it stands.
Instead of increasing my income, I am focusing on doing with less. I drive an old, paid off, fuel efficient car (35 mpg ftw!!). Even so, I limit my driving to essentials so I am not wasting money on gas. When I'm desperate and have to buy clothes, I buy small numbers of high quality clothes. I only buy the things I completely love that I can wear in many situations. If I can't wear it to the barn, my office job, and out socially, it doesn't come home with me. (I have a low-key office job, which helps.)
If I'm going to the tack store, I give myself a budget and permission to spend a small amount, say $20. That's a pair of socks and some dee savers. I remind myself of several other things the $20 could go for, like slushies at sonic after a long, hot day at the barn. If I choose to splurge in one place, then I do not splurge in another. My cellphone is the cheapest smartphone they had in the store. My plan is the most barebones dataplan available.
I don't go to movies. I don't buy coffee. If I eat out, it's for a reason other than "I'm hungry and forgot to pack a lunch".
Of course, if I did, I could probably afford this:
Team Canada Pad. PRETTY!