Friday, February 13, 2009

We need a budget?

I used to be a member of Mvelopes. For those of you who don't know it's a budgeting program and while it's very good, I found it difficult to use because my banks
Fort Knoxx security made it hard to interface with Mvelopes, which was the entire point of the program. Now I've been thinking again, that we need some accountability in our finances. We thankfully make enough that we can always pay our bill, don't ever balance our account or worry that there's not money there. But, I know we could be doing so much better in regards to discretionary spending. Honestly, the Mister and I both love our toys and creature comforts. He's a big ticket purchaser and while I tend to buy thrift and bargain stuff...I do it often so it can add up. I'm thinking about the big "B" as these are tough economic times and I do worry about the future. We're not always the best at saving, in fact I think Mister's philosophy is "live now, for tomorrow you might die". I worry because even though my job is pretty recession proof, mister's isn't and he's the principal breadwinner. If Mister lost his job, we could still maintain our home and pay our bills, but our lifestyle would need to change some. I want to be prepared in case that were to happen. So, I've been making some small changes. I made a list of our bills/obligations and for the next month I will track our expenses to see if our money is really going where I think it's going. I have a pretty good idea already. I just subscribed to the paper so I could start clipping coupons and I joined several online groups dedicated to couponing. I'm also going through the house and garage to see what I no longer need and will list these items on Craigslist. My friend D. and I have challenged ourselves to live a bit more frugally and simply. I've committed myself to using my stash for craft projects and gifts for the next year and also plan to make most of the kids wardrobe for the spring and summer. So, I think all these are good starts...but I probably still need a budget.


Heather! said...

I found the Dave Ramsey book a really good starting place for sussing out the budget starting point. We tried the cash envelope system for a while, but it didn't really work for us. What has helped was stopping my husband's atm habit and getting him to use the check card instead.

I also was most inspired by Peter Walsh's It's all too much as far as really changing the way I decide what stays/goes/comes in the house.

Good luck---money is such a hard thing to think about and make decisions about changing habits on.

Chi-Chi, The Original Wombman said...

Excellent starts!!! Tracking the budget is the first step and I found that helped us get a really clear picture of where we were and what I had to change. I have a budget for grocery shopping but I give myself wiggle room. I found that I was giving myself a complex when I was being too strict. So I give myself space of about $30.

I am thrilled that so many are taking the steps to protect themselves in these uncertain times. :)