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If my weekly budget is 0 one week, it seems like I can definitely get a new bottle of nail polish, order an extra drink at happy hour and take a cab home, right?Except that I also have two doctors appointments that will have copays, and need more toothpaste, and completely forgot my grandma’s birthday and I have to get her a card, and some more stamps, and since I’m in the drugstore anyway I’m also out of ibuprofen...The way some people can’t resist trying the latest workout craze, trendy fashions or exotic superfoods, I can’t find enough ways to challenge myself to be better at budgeting and trying new methods to save more money for the future.

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Between the two grocery stores where I usually shop, the greenmarket stand on the corner, and a midweek banana restock, I came 54 cents in under budget on groceries, but that was a little too close for comfort.

I added “staying comfortably within my grocery budget” to my list of goals.

I knew I was already over budget because of the Costco run.

I had a night in with the girls on the books (Seamless was a given for us), lunch with a friend from out of town, and drinks with my sketch comedy teammates after our latest show, in addition to all of the things I’d need to get through a normal week.

During week two, I had to grin and bear the great financial temptation of heading to Costco, and I was ready to fight it as much as possible.

I walked in armed with a carefully planned list of things my roommates and I would share, as well as essentials I wanted to stock up on.I was in for a rude awakening at the grocery store.I usually consider myself pretty on top of my grocery spending — but only because I stay under my “budget” at three different stores, and regrettably, that math doesn’t always add up.Was it a better deal to buy a bar of chocolate or a bag of peanut butter cups?Was that kombucha really going to enrich my life experience, or should I spend the .50 elsewhere?I came with a list, I stuck to the list, and I still spent a lot of money (about two weeks’ worth of grocery money, to be exact).

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