Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Budget time

Budget--doesn't that word just make you cringe?  It sure does me.  Of course I know that a budget is crucial to keeping a happy home in check, especially when you have 2 people who like to spend.  Every couple of months I go back to feeling like I need to set one up.  I'll dwell on it for a month or so and then go back to my non-budget way of living.  I'll keep living and spending like no bid deal for a few months and then the cycle starts over again.  With the upcoming home building process about to start I'm thinking a budget is something we MUST start living by.  Now to decide on a plan.

Have you ever searched for ways to set up a budget?  There are so many out there it can be overwhelming to look at.  I've been talking about this lately with a friend and we've decided to team up on the budget task.  That should make things a bit easier.  I've found that a buddy systems makes doing things you generally don't want to a lot easier.  We've decided to try the envelope method.

I'm sure you've heard of this in one form or another.  The general idea goes something like this.  First, you take envelopes at the beginning of the month and put cash in them and that's all you can spend for the month.  You can have an envelope for groceries, one for clothes, one for maintenance, one for entertainment, and one for household expenses.  You get to choose which envelopes you're going to have, but the key is you don't spend more than you have in your envelope.  Then you keep track of all your expenses on each envelope, or keep the receipt and put it in the envelope.  If you have extra money at the end of the month you can do a couple of things.  Put it into a savings account, invest it, carry it over to the next month, etc.  You decide what you do.  Don't like the idea of carrying around a  load of cash?  I get it, I don't either.  Or maybe you use credit cards because you get points and then you pay them off at the end of the month?  Just put fake money in each envelope and take it out when you spend from that category.  Or you could even just keep a running total per envelope of what you've spent and what you have left.

The first month or two may be a bit of a learning curve.  We're going to look over the previous month expenses to try and get an idea of how much to budget for each category.  At the end of the month we'll reevaluate and make any necessary changes.  We'll also talk to each other about how we did.  This will be key for keeping me on track!

How do you budget?  What method do you follow?  Or maybe you have been thinking of starting a budget but something has been holding you back.  Are you looking for a buddy to keep you in check?Let's all join in and do this budget thing together.  The more the merrier!

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