finance

The Budget, an update

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. I MAY EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES.

I know it’s lengthy, but I tried to recap each month quickly so you get the idea.  Please feel free to ask any questions.  I know it seems crazy at first (and we never had any credit card debt or anything else substantial like that), but it is really working well for us.

December ends month three on the budget for us.  As a refresher, we have
-paid off our second mortgage
-switched to an all cash system
-started a debt snowball to pay off our van and student loans
-are on our way to being debt free.

October was definitely hard.  It was the first month on the budget and we were planning our girls’ birthday party.  That was tough, but we did it, and ended up still paying some extra money towards our van (what we do with any extra cash at the end of the month).  We discovered that we can eat out (using the term loosely) for $20 a week, and our family of four can do fine with $80 a week for groceries.

Family budget update

November went very well.  We actually had the girls out of daycare for a week (as we are allowed one free week off) and got a referral bonus, so we had quite a bit of extra money and ended up paying quite a large extra payment on our van.  We have found that while our health insurance isn’t awesome, we are thankful for our health savings account which allows us to save money tax-free from every paycheck to use for medical expenses.  This comes in handy when you have to take your daughter to the urgent care clinic, the ER and the orthopedic doctor twice in one month.

December was the hardest yet.  We had to budget for Christmas.  However, while it was tough sitting down and crunching numbers, it was a lot easier knowing exactly what we had available to spend and knowing that we couldn’t spend anything extra.  And with two days left in the month, I think we still have a little extra money!  Quite the success.

One thing I’ve definitely learned, is budgeting has helped our relationship a lot.  I am not a person that likes Mr. Serious to buy me gifts.  Why?  Because it’s my money, too, and I don’t want it to be spent on silly things like jewelry (I know..don’t shoot me) or flowers.  That’s just me.  And, even when it came time for Christmas, previously, I was upset that he spent too much.

This Christmas combined with our anniversary, however, we both had an allowed amount to spend ($50 total).  While it was really hard to make this gift something nice and enjoyable, we both found that we appreciated our gifts that much more.  More importantly, I was truly appreciative of my gift, and didn’t get upset.

So, I think the habit is set.  And, we are doing well.  We are still on course to pay off our van (and have my student loans written off) by this summer and I couldn’t be more excited.  In fact, I don’t even think about using a credit card anymore….but I still have the numbers memorized!


THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. I MAY EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES.

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16 Comments

  1. Awesome. You're an inspiration! Just out of curiosity; what did you give Mr Serious and what did he give you?
    And totally unrelated but something that we were talking about earlier. IEP: Individual Education Plan (for special ed kids)
    EIP: Early Intervention Program (for elm kids who test low when they first start school)

  2. How awesome is that!! It sounds like y'all have been doing very well! I am so glad that I am not the only one that has my credit card numbers memorized!

  3. Definitely not a big fan of credit cards now that I am dealing with fraud. Kudos to you! I spend at least $100 at the grocery store for just two of us so I couldn't imagine for four! I think most goes to milk and cheese 🙂

  4. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Alena

    http://grantsforeducation.info

  5. I'm glad to hear this is working for you. It worked for another friend of ours as well. We tried it for awhile and it wasn't for us at the time. With more posts like this, maybe I'll reconsider 🙂

  6. I'm impressed! Mike & I should try something like that, although I'm a bit skeptical that we (actually, probably just me) could stick to it. But good for you! 🙂

  7. Good for ya'll! I am glad to read that it is working. It seems so scary to do. I think I will pickup the book and read.:o)`

    I am totally with you on the gifts. I don't like when Travis buys me something because it is usually too expensive and that is my money!

  8. What a HUGE accomplishment staying on budget through Christmas!! Congrats 🙂

    I am exactly the same way with presents! I have been told that women like me ruin men for everyone else because they get used to not going out of their way for gifts. Inexpensive thoughtful things are great! BUT if a lot of money is to be spent… please let me pick it out. I have to love it if they are going to invest *exhibit A: my new MK purse 🙂

  9. We're thinking about switching to a cash budget, too – glad to hear it is working well for you!

  10. It sounds like you guys are doing great as a family and controlling expenses! Great Job…

  11. Smart A$$ Mom says:

    I am so excited for you!! I know what a huge thing it was for my girlfriend, and they are still doing the Ramsey thing and swear by it!

  12. high five honey!!

    it's nerdy i know but i love when we sit down tomorrow and get our budget ready for the year. i love the numbers. the planning. and i love the end of the year when we check it all of the list and see how much we accomplished.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Amiable brief and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you as your information.

  14. Woot Woot! good work lady!! I'm the same way too; I hate when M spends money on things like flowers and chocolate because it seems like a waste of "our money"!

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