Thursday, January 17, 2008

Better Budget Challenge

One of my favorite blogs, which I love because it's so honest and frugal and positive, is Sense to Save. Kacie at Sense to Save is having a budget challenge. At which I'm mostly failing.

But, here I go. The first part of the challenge asked about our budgeting experiences. It took me just a couple of months, at age 18, of blowing my entire paycheck on paint and cookies to realize that I did not make enough money to not have a budget. So I just simply started writing down what "bills" needed to be paid. Which was rent and car insurance. That was my first budget.

A decade later (or more, gah! shhh!), I pretty much do it the same way. The list is longer, the income is bigger, but other than that, it hasn't changed much.

The second part of the Sense to Save Better Budget challenge was to, um, start budgeting! Well, I'm an old-fashioned girl, so I just write out my budget, by hand, on the back of a used piece of printer paper, every two weeks. Then I three-hole punch it and put it into a binder. That's what I do. I find that this hand-written thing is important to me, the same way that using cash is, it just feels more real. Plus, writing it out by hand every two weeks makes me think. For example, we used to have a "clothing" category, but I just realized that was useless and encouraged shopping-for-entertainment, rather than shopping-for-necessity. So when I write out the budget, I think whether there is something in the clothing area that is needed. And then that category becomes, "Socks for D" or whatever, and is adjusted accordingly.

So that's how my budget works!

P.S. - for my GF readers, I'm hoping to have some more food-related entries soon!

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