Monday, June 22, 2009

Budgets, a necessary evil..........

So, my dear husband and I have always had a love/hate relationship when it comes to money. I love to spend it, he hates to spend it. When we made the move to Michigan, we made some serious decisions regarding our family and our finances. Money was no longer king, and we shifted our focus to God and our family. We simplified our lives and got closer to God in the process.

On Saturday, after a nice breakfast out, we decided we had to firmly write down our finances and create a budget. It is a little scary writing it all down. What you really spend a month will stagger you. My program on my Macbook was very helpful. What I found out was I needed to trim $350.00 off our food budget and find another $300.00 a month to live. So basically, I need to find $650.00 a month and not dip into our savings.

Interesting. The food budget I think I can do, because, quite frankly, I fly by the seat of my pants in that department. What sounds good today? Oh, I will just pick that up for tomorrow type of stuff. I have to create a menu and buy what is on sale. The end. I will shop the specials, cut coupons and eliminate waste. Which, we all know, I should have been doing in the first place. Finding the extra $300.0o a month is going to be a bit challenging. I could sell one of the kids, but I am sort of attached to the little buggers. I am going to open up my schedule at work and see if that helps. Scott is going to work a little harder and we are going to tighten our belts.

Better to do this now, then try to catch up later. I have always been for a budget, Scott not so much, but is coming around. He always felt if we had, let's say, $200.00 for food, we would spend it all instead of not spending that much. I have changed his mind. We have had friends do the envelope system. That works too so much money in said envelope for said costs. Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover is a great place to start if you need some help in the budget department. You do have to budget fun. If all you do is drudgery, you won't stick to your budget. Period. You just can't eat at the fancy steakhouse every weekend. Unless you have a two for one coupon, a gift card and someone else is splitting the check.

In these trying times, we all have to get creative with our finances. We need to listen to our elders, who survived the Great Depression and use it again, save it, recycle it, or use it up. We are going to tighten our belts and get the last little drop out of the toothpaste. We have become a wasteful nation and we need to go back to the basics.

What do you do to save household money? Share the love and the ideas, we all need some help.

God bless you and yours.


Baby Z's Mom said...

Yes, we too have to do the budget. I like the 60/40 budget but just haven't sat down to crunch nubmers. You're right, it's scary but needs to be done. We will be doing the menu planning & shopping that way for a while. No more going to the store without a list & walking up & down the isles!

apittman said...

For me, the long-range menu always backfires, because the chicken dish that sounded so yummy a week ago doesn't have the appeal today. I quite often buy dinner for the day on the day I plan to cook it. It's cool to see an entire meal (with left-overs to come) ring up at $17. Yes, that means daily grocery store, but I go in the morning when it's not crowded, and I limit myself to one shopping bag--and cash.