Budgets are like diets

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The post title is how I feel about my track record with budgets. It is great when I put it all into place, but consistently sticking with it is really hard for us. I don't like to say no, we like to do things, go out to dinner, lunch, breakfast, go for ice cream (basically we love food but I don't always love to cook it!), I like to bring the kids to the museum, aquarium, do some road trips, I love to go crazy at birthdays and Christmas. Basically I spend and I don't think about it and I can continue to do that, but if I do, we will never see an upstairs on our house. We will always live, 2 adults, 2 children and a dog in 900 square feet...plus a great backyard, but unfortunately we can't sleep in the backyard. So, it's time to buckle down. I know we can do it.

Before doing our phase 1 renovation on the house, we had to pay off debt and we read this book by Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover.

This was a great book. Mike and I both read the book and put the plan in place. Were we perfect. No. Could we have paid stuff off quicker? Yes, but we finally reached our goal of being in a financial position to start our renovation. Unfortunately, as soon as we reached our first goal, we forgot everything the book taught us and went back to our old ways!   
So I am ready to look at our budget again, the Dave Ramsey way!
He does an all cash envelope system, I don't like to do cash for everything. Last time I did it for everything but gas and groceries. I didn't want to have to run into the gas station to pay (maybe I'm lazy, but isn't that a pain?) and I don't have time to calculate exactly what I am spending at the grocery store and I would be horrified if I got up there and didn't have enough money. So, no, that isn't very Dave Ramsey of me, but hey, I do it to the level that I am comfortable!
So my first step is to look at the budget and assign specific amounts to things like spending money (Mike and I), date night, family entertainment, etc. Then once a budget is in place every dime of extra money is put towards paying off debt. Lowest balances first, snowballing the payments onto the next thing until everything is paid off.
I definitely recommend the book even without financial issues, it is an eye opener about using credit and having a savings. Over the next month I will post about what I choose for envelopes and how that is going. I need to sit down and think about ALL the things we spend money on, not just the bills. I will do some posts about cutting costs, particularly on groceries, I feel like I could streamline our meal plan to lower our grocery bill. I will also give myself a budget for both of my kids birthday parties coming up at the end of June and early July and let you know how that goes (this will be a first and I LOVE to plan and go overboard for parties), sticking to a budget will be hard for me.
Stay Tuned! 


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