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Have a Need For Something That’s Not in the Budget? Modify It!

Most of you know that my wife and I are digging our way out of debt (student loans to be specific). We set up our budget in January and have done a pretty good job sticking to it. Lately though, there has been a pressing want/need, which wasn’t in our existing budget; a Canon Rebel SLR camera.

Dar would really like to start her own business soon, and I don’t blame her. It’s fun and exciting to earn money outside of your regular work. In our house though, we don’t really believe in dropping your existing work to maybe/possibly make money in an undeveloped self-made business. We like to go the safer route: start a business that you can work while still holding the current job, and if by chance that business takes off, then perhaps it’s time to dump the job. So, since Dar has always had a blast with taking pictures (and is very good at it), we’ve decided to invest some money in a new camera.

The initial question was, where are we getting this money from? We really want to continue to pay our debts at the same rate, so we either need to cut our some expenses or we have to make some more money!


The camera package that we were looking at cost $1,165.97 at Best Buy, but was currently on sale for $949.97 (then add tax and we’re looking at over $1,000). Since it was a brand new model, this didn’t seem like too bad of a deal, but we just couldn’t find that much money to deduct from our current budget. But, then I discovered Amazon. The exact same package only cost $920, and had no tax. Plus, I found a $100 coupon online. This brought our total down to $820 (about a 20% savings from Best Buy). Ok, so we found our deal, now we had to figure out how to pay for it.

We definitely got creative for our December budget, and that’s ok! If you have something that you want to squeeze into the budget, try to switch some things around a little. As long as you’re working within the confines of your main budget categories and don’t deduct from your debt payments, I have no problem with that.

Take a look at the table below. It was a bit of a struggle to whip up that much cash, but we did it!


Hurricane season is over, so it’s time to eat all of the canned food in the pantry; plus, we had a bunch of leftover Thanksgiving food. So, we figured we could deduct $100 from the food fund. Dar currently takes classes but does not start a new term until January, so we could take away $100 from that portion. Dar has some clothes money/play money every month, and she was willing to use that toward this camera. We also have a gift fund for random friendly purchases, but since it’s Christmas, we won’t be needing this fund (we have a separate fund for Christmas). Dar has an old laptop that we don’t use anymore so we’re selling it for $200. And, Merry Christmas to us! Instead of giving each other gifts this year, we’re donating that money toward this camera. And, just because we were a little short, I decided to throw in the remaining $70 of my own play money to make up the difference. Presto, there’s the $820, and the new camera is on the way!

We are so excited about this camera. It’s a slight set-back for now, but in time, it will begin paying for itself! Also, you should be seeing some much nicer photos on my website soon! Compliments of my lovely wife.

Hopefully this gives you some encouragement too! The budget is not always set in stone. Perhaps you can live without something for a month so that you can get what you truly want/need in the near future!

Budget Money

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

7 Comments

  1. Great post! It’s wonderful to see something like this in action. Thank you for using a real-life example!

    • Thanks Khaleef! I think real-life examples are a great way to teach others. I use them whenever I can!

  2. Great post! I love that you found a creative way to purchase this without deviating from your plan. Hopefully your wife will really enjoy this, and it will pay for itself with your wife’s side jobs.

    • I’m sure my wife will enjoy it! And yes, I hope it will pay for itself soon too! 🙂

  3. We really scrounged to make it work! I am so excited for this new endeavor. Hopefully the camera will pay for itself fairly soon.

    I can’t get wait to get started.

  4. Another way, is to put a category in and save for it, using the same method but cutting less from each category (maybe only $50 from food, etc). Yes I know you might not get the same deal, but again it would be possible to plan the purchase.

    • For sure! We do that occasionally as well. Sometimes we forsee something coming up that’s not in the budget and we might adjust a few categories to make it work. Either that or make some side income to fund it. 🙂


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