Girl, I swear my mind lately has been consumed with budgeting. Once I put something in my mind that I am going to do, it’s hard to put it away. You will find me on Pinterest, looking up all the great hacks, on YouTube watching videos about how other people make it work for them, bugging my friends about all the great things I am planning, and more.
Recently, I decided my family needed a bit of a budgeting do-over. My husband is usually the finance guy in our home. He pays the bills way ahead of time, knows the interest rates to the loans and cards, has balances on the top of his mind all the time, and I found that I was kind of taking that for granted. I have been content with letting him do the finances, while not realizing that it was selfish of me to make him deal with the whole stress of saving and paying bills while I was just out spending!
I knew I wanted to take control of some budgeting items to give my husband a BREAK and to truly understand the ins and outs of our finances. The first thing I did was make a big ole’ spreadsheet of all our expenses, income, debts and assets. Then I looked at it and tried to decide what I could do to help get us to our ultimate goal, which is DEBT FREE and having optimal savings. Mind you, I am not a gifted budgeter or saver. It takes a LOT of work or dedication to stay on track, but with practice, you can get good at it. That’s overall #adultinggoals, is it not?
I called a few of the companies that I thought we were being overcharged for and got rates lowered. It was as easy as telling them I am budgeting and needed a lower rate! The savings may not be massive, but it all ads up!
The next thing I decided to do was grab a handle on our food and entertainment spending. I decided on $50 per week for groceries. I’m loving he site funcheaporfree.com, and Jordan has said in many of her videos that a good rule of thumb is $100 per month, per person. We decided to go with per week to account for 5 week months (at least at first!) I am using the envelope method, a la Dave Ramsey, to keep track, but not with all the moving money from envelope to envelope thing. Just one envelope per month!
What I do is divide it into weekly sections, put the $50 at the top of each week, then subtract as I go along. The excess will be thrown at the debt we are working on getting under control! Try not to borrow from week to week (like I already did this week from last week) because it can be hard to catch up! After you mark down the amount you spent, you can just put the receipt in your envelope and then you will have a year’s worth of grocery receipts before you know it! Let me know if you want a more in-depth how-to or video!
The last thing that was an easier change (even though hard to execute) was putting a budget in place for those extra things. For us, it’s a monthly restaurant budget of $80, entertainment budget of $40, and personal allowance of $80. This is VERY STRICT! We plan on increasing these things slightly as we pay off debt, but we know it’s for the better of our budget, so it is what it is!
I hope you guys liked hearing about this. I think I really just needed to get it all out! If you have questions on specifics of anything, I’m not an expert, but I’ll gladly talk you through what I have done for my own budget! I’d love to hear your tips & tricks too, so leave them as comments below!