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Friday, January 3, 2014

Budgeting

     Many people don't find budgeting fun.  I love it.  Don't laugh, I really do!  There is something satisfying about putting it all down on paper or in a spreadsheet, and making it work.  In the past, I haven't really tried to stick to a strict budget.  I had a general idea of what we made, what we spent, and had alerts set on my bank and credit card for when we got close to a number I didn't want to exceed (or go under).  It worked for us.

     For as long as we have been married, we have purchased everything on credit cards.  Every month we pay them off completely - we do not carry debt besides our home and vehicles.  I often read about Dave Ramsey's envelope system, but I have to admit... getting the 5% cash back on our Discover Card made it hard to make the switch.

     Well, I wanted to get serious about budgeting, and the only way for us to stop making mindless purchases was to go all cash.  I had a chat with my husband, we both decided to give it a try.  I'd love to make these cute cash envelopes soon, but for now I'm using plain old paper envelopes.


     Right now, I am only using cash for food.  I don't have any money budgeting for anything extra this month besides birthday presents for our niece and nephew.  Gas is the only thing allowed on the credit card to make it easier on my husband, and will get paid every month.  Our paycheck goes directly into our account, and I pay our mortgage, cars, insurance, and phones online, so I couldn't really justify getting the money out just to put it back in...  

     For January, I have budgeted $100 for eating out (pizza night, and any unexpected outings), and $500 for groceries.  I cringe at $600 for food, but we were way above that in December.  Part of our plan to stick to this food budget includes meal planning, and weekly grocery trips, and no more eating out with our pizza movie night being an exception.  

     I can do this!  Do you have a budgeting method?  What helps you stay on track?