Monday, June 2, 2008

Budget? Budget!

I can't even really tell you how many years I tried budgeting our money, and how much of that time I failed. Sure, I could write down what we *should* spend our money on each month, but it wasn't happening.

We'd even failed at the envelope system in the past. I think because a) I carried all the envelopes around with me all the time, so if food ran out, I just snuck on over into gas or whatever and "borrowed." Um, yeah. b) I also carried around our checkbook and check cards and credit cards, so when the envelopes were totally out of cash, meh, no problem.

So what worked this time? Well, for one thing, we left the checkbook in the kitchen. All the time. We took our check cards and credit cards out of our wallets. When I budgeted $75 for groceries, I took $75 in cash to the store. And nothing else. There isn't really anything scarier than that, for me, the idea of maybe not having enough money. But... there isn't anything more exhilarating than having the total come out to $68.46 and bringing money home to use later!

Now that we've been on a cash budget for almost a year, we've relaxed enough that the check cards are back in the wallet. Plus, we've got a little money in savings. So when I saw organic cotton crib sheets on clearance this weekend, I could buy them, because I had money saved for that kind of thing. And that? Is huge.

I've listed out our budget here many times before. But the thing is, every single pay period it's different. I write up our budget every two weeks, for that two weeks. So... if anyone is still interested, here is our budget for May 30-June 12:

15.41 Van payment
702.83 House payment
92.52 Cable (phone, Internet, TV)
8 Car registration savings
30 Gifts (two birthdays)
15 Medical expenses
25 Clothes (SuperDad needs shorts)
35 Home Improvement (saving for a new DVD/VCR)
235 Food
105 Gas
15 Fun/misc
150 Saved for upcoming travel
95 Saved for baby

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